View Poll Results: Do you believe in evolution?

Voters
95. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes

    80 84.21%
  • No

    15 15.79%
Page 3 of 6 FirstFirst 123456 LastLast
Results 101 to 150 of 260

How many people believe in evolution?

  1. #101
    Daniika Rain
    Guest
    I love how we've gotten completely off-topic, because it's giving me a good idea of who the people I like on these forums are. Gg Tygre, Alpha, Starfisher, Squid, Booly.

  2. #102
    Scream for me baby! El Russo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    London, UK
    squid, daniika, zeph - some great posts there... very informative, thanks.

    Actually, the argument that the universe couldn't have been created from nothing is refuted by quantum physics. God needn't factor.
    i was referring to the common argument used by creationists. i was using their own rhetoric against them, or trying to.

    I'd just like to point out to El Russo that if God created the universe, He is not bound by any of the physics or logic that apply within our universe. He is atemporal, and thus He has no cause. That's why the question "Who created God?" is pointless.
    oh yes, that explains it rather conveniently. and you know he is atemporal how?

    starfisher - entirety was right first time.

    quasar, i mentioned what ion was alluding to earlier, genesis;

    genesis was the tabloid interview with god from which he/she/it was heavily misquoted and misrepresented.

  3. #103
    Starfisher, many Muslims are able to recite the entire Quran from beginning to end (it is a compulsory requirement for some Islamic universities); does that qualify as a critical reading?

  4. General Discussions Senior Member  #104
    terrible, terrible damage Starfisher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Budd Lake, NJ
    No, because they simply have it memorized. I doubt many of them read it looking for mistakes. Thats critical reading. If you memorize something without analyzing then all you've done is fill up some memory space in your brain.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that you shouldn't blindly trust anything. If some guy walked up to you in the street and offered eternal happiness, you would probably think he was crazy. Yet the bible is trusted mainly because your brought up NOT to question it. As I stated earlier, a belief that can't stand to scrutiny is no belief.

  5. Technical Help Senior Member Modding Senior Member Homeworld Senior Member  #105
    www.relicnews.com ÜberJumper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    South Surrey, BC Canada
    I must learn more of Islam. Can you get english language Korans?

  6. #106
    kiith'sa sajuukar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Sexy, California
    Last time I checked, no matter what ethnicity you are, you have to remember the Koran in Arabic or something... I could be wrong, chances are that there are translations somewhere... and isn't the Koran just the first few books of the old testament anyway?

    Oh, and just because you don't belive in God and the bible doesn't mean that Jesus' teachings aren't good for you... they are! (Which is why I seek an unabriged recording of the bible!)

  7. General Discussions Senior Member Homeworld Senior Member  #107
    Israelie greasemonkey Alliance's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Israel
    what the hell is the koran???
    i dont even belive in "god", stupid idea if ya ask me.
    evolution is a fact...

  8. #108
    SquidDNA
    Guest
    I'd be surprised if English translations of the Koran or Quran weren't available. However, people who are really serious about the text (like those who are really serious about the Bible) read the earlier translations. I'm under the impression that most Muslims read the Koran / Quran in Arabic, but I wouldn't know for sure.

    Some of the important values underlying the teachings of Christ weren't original to Israel, they've appeared independently (from an anthropological standpoint) at points throughout history. This is to say that they appear to be adaptive ideas, they work for some cultures. Of course, it's more or less the same way with pyramids. I'm just saying that, as SQ said, there's some truth the the notion that the general philosophy of Christianity is viable even in the absence of belief in Christ.

    In much the same way that the Bible includes sections of the Torah, the Koran includes sections of the Bible and the Torah. It's amazing how a prophet can totally transform a religion, no?

  9. #109
    The Paladin finds it impossible to resist weighing in on this topic, despite sure and certain knowledge that it will lead to nothing good. Still...

    First, so that you cannot even try to accuse me of being a fundamentalist attempting to further his creationist agenda, I shall for the one millionth time explain that I am an atheist, a follower of the buddhist religion, I believe in evolution, and I am homosexual to boot. I have about as little tying me to Christianity as any north american male can claim. Now, on to the meat of the post.

    Those of you who criticize the monotheists (Christians, Jews, and Muslims) for their belief in God are hypocrites. Skepticism as a personal philosophy is all well and good as long as you don't attempt to apply it to your neighbors. Your empiricist views are in no way superior to those of a religious person or a relativist.

    There are certain things which can simply never be proven or disproven even within the empiricist framework (Nothing can be proven absolutely, but a concept can be 'proven' empirically if you choose to believe your senses are trustworthy), and such things logically are purely a matter of choice on the individual level, since if a thing can be neither proven nor disproven, neither belief nor disbelief in that thing is founded in reason, but rather mere personal preference.

    The existence of God is one of those things. There is no possible way that God can ever be proven to exist, or proven to not exist. That being the case, the choice to believe in God is every bit as logical as the choice to disbelieve. Either way is a matter of faith.

    Evolution is a theory. There is evidence that supports it, and the vast majority of the scientific community back it. However, that does not mean that a person does not 'believe' in it. When confronted with any given theory, the person in question must choose to believe or disbelieve. Some people will require more evidence than others to convince them of it's veracity, others will require less. In the end, it's still a matter of faith, since no amount of evidence can prove the matter beyond all doubt.

    Within the scientific community there is a small and fragmentary minority that believes the theory of evolution to be false. They are for the most part regarded as fruitcakes or poor scientists for failing to follow the lead of the majority. This however could be said of many scientists of earlier times who were in fact proven correct in time. I am not saying I agree with them, I have stated that I personally believe in the theory, however, I am not so very full of myself that I discount the possibility that they may be right and I wrong.

    It's the same with any of my beliefs. I choose to believe there is no God, for any number of reasons, but I realize and accept the fact that I could just as easily be wrong about the matter as right. There is no evidence either way, nothing to suggest God does or does not exist. My chances of being correct seem to be even either way.

    You see, there are three ways of looking at such situations. The skeptic's way, the believer's way, and the middle ground. Western society hates ambiguity. We like to think that everything can be known, that there is always a right and wrong answer, that there is an absolute truth out there. But really we're just afraid of uncertainty. Either way you swing on the issue, to skepticism or belief, it's generally to cover that fear.

    Believers believe because it lends them security. It gives them certainty that their choices are correct, and the comfort of the thought of a powerful being watching over them.

    Skeptics disbelieve because they are afraid of believing the wrong thing. They see the believers as gullible and fear being like them. The empiricist bases his choices on a rational and difficult to argue with system, and thus gains confidence in the rightness of his choices.

    Both of these philosophies breed intolerance. The believer becomes intolerant of anything outside the particular dogma he believes in. The skeptic becomes intolerant of belief in anything he cannot have proven to him.

    It takes a bigger man to accept the ambiguous nature of reality, and refuse to assume he is correct in his own beliefs. The wise scientist chooses a theory based on preponderance of evidence, but remains open to the possibility that it may not be correct in the end. How many hours, years, lifetimes of work have been wasted by individuals because of one misplaced certainty?

    Likewise, an intelligent devotee of any given religion will avoid the trap of intolerance because he is aware of the possibility that he is mistaken in his own beliefs.

    Now I personally believe in evolution. It would be the height of arrogance however, for me to assume that I am capable of discerning absolute fact. No one is capable of such a thing. Since I allow that I am not capable of that feat, I will not close my mind to other possibilities, nor will I discount the beliefs of others.

    And that my friends is the middle path.

    -Paladin

  10. #110
    SquidDNA
    Guest
    All good and well. Most people find they have to draw the line between yes and no somewhere, though, and revise as necessary. I find it works pretty well.

  11. #111
    But see, you don't have to draw that line. You can function perfectly well by simply choosing what you want to believe, and basing your actions on it, while still accepting that it was a choice you made to believe that way, and there is no proof that it's correct.

    If you can accept that level of ambiguity, truly accept that you'll never know with absolute certainty whether a thing is true or not, you can act on your beliefs without reservation without needing to create a false certainty which leads you to look down on those who chose to believe differently.

    You also have a greater ability to adapt to new information when you remain flexible.

    -Paladin

  12. #112
    SquidDNA
    Guest
    It's easier to draw the line, build on your assumption, and admit you were wrong later if necessary. To prevent misfortune, I rather take the approach that there are ways to build on your assumptions while not being an asshole.

    While, as a scientist, you can build an experiment designed to test multiple hypotheses, you must adopt assumptions to construct those hypotheses.

    This thread has kind of gotten off-topic as they usu. do, and I hope nobody is excessively irritated by this; it's just that the discussion has taken interesting directions.

  13. Technical Help Senior Member Modding Senior Member Homeworld Senior Member  #113
    www.relicnews.com ÜberJumper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    South Surrey, BC Canada
    aha! Online Qur'an!

    http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/interne....ap/index.html

    Well... it's a start anyway.
    Last edited by ÜberJumper; 5th Sep 02 at 10:55 AM.

  14. #114

  15. #115
    Hmm. We're not really arguing here Squid, you're just saying exactly what I'm saying... You look at the evidence, decide what you're going to believe, and work from that assumption, while keeping an open mind about it's actual veracity.

    The rest is just semantics, but useful to keep in mind. It's good to actually acknowledge that you chose to make a certain assumption based on your own personal interpretation of the data set, and that while the preponderance of evidence may support your belief, it still comes down to that choice.

    When you have that in your mind, you enter into interactions with others with the knowledge that you could be wrong, and they could be right.

    -Paladin

  16. #116
    Whispering One The Reflection's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Outside
    A fine point, though, I want to argue is that skepticism - true skepticism - arguably is that middle path. While skepticism can mean doubting especially of religious beliefs, it can also mean a questioning attitude, or the belief that all knowledge is uncertain(At least according to dictionary.com). What is being referred to "skepticism" here is arguably better called criticsm, or for that matter, a reverse dogma. What skepticism is about is refusing to accept a statement as a certain truth (whether positive or negative), but rather questioning it and examining its worth - and when it is deemed of sufficient worth, then it is accepted for the time. But you do not stop there, deciding on that as an answer.

    If it is truth that we are after, and if we accept that there is such a thing as truth, but that it is extraordinary difficult or impossible to reach it, then simply settling on an answer, even if you know it is uncertain, doesn't really tell you anything about the truth. All you're doing is, in essence, giving up and saying "Well, I can't figure it out, so we'll just believe this." A better idea would be to question it to see if it is true - if it seems to be under consideration, then that's all well and good, but if it's not, then you try to come up with something better. And you don't just accept that either, you question and consider that, because it might be wrong, and when that statement doesn't hold up, you try to come up with something even better, and you keep doing this. If reality is uncertain, then you will be doing this forever. But that doesn't really matter - either way, we will never know all of it, but at least we are trying to go in the direction of truth. It's the questions that we ask in search of truth, not the answers we pose to answer them that are important, because in an uncertain existence, any answers we come up with will be themselves uncertain and perhaps wrong.

    That, I think, is at the core of what science is all about. We constantly experiment and hypothesize and question, so that we generally go in the direction of truth (at least about physical reality). We didn't sit down at the Enlightenment and say "Now, we want to discover the Laws of Thermodynamics, general relativity, atomic theory, and natural selection." That would be imposing answers on the world. We took a look at the natural world around us and began questioning it ("Why does this work as it does? Does this rule always hold, or are there exceptions? What happens if we do this?"). We then sought out to answer those questions - positing hypothesis, and trying to see if they have an element of truth within them. Those answers that worked, we accepted for the time, because they appeared to have some truth within them. But we didn't stop there. We questioned those answers - constantly testing them to see if they were correct through experimentation - and if we got hints something was wrong, we asked "Why isn't it working? Is there something better?" and actively sought out those answers. For example, Newton's gravitation seemed to be working, except there were a few flaws in it - it failed to predict the proper precession of Mercury's orbit, for example. Some sought to find explanations, but in the end, it was resolved by Einstein, who formulated general relativity which supercedes Newtonian gravitation. The once seemingly invincible framework of Newtonian physics turned out to be fallible after all. It is because Einstein questioned the world around him ("Why do Maxwell's laws seem to apply the speed of light is the same from all reference frames? Are inertial mass and gravitational mass equal?") that we now have relativity. But we don't stop there either, saying "Well, general relativity is good enough." We know it isn't certain, and more than that, general relativity breaks down at Planck scale and do not incorporate quantum mechanics. If we accept that there are laws of physics at Planck scale, if we accept there is a truth about gravity, then we must question why general relativity doesn't work at those levels, and if it doesn't, then what we should use. Scientists and skeptics shouldn't just stop where they are now, but should actively seek truth by testing, questioning, and considering. We know that we don't know everything about the Universe, we know that some of the things are in doubt, but if there is a truth to be sought, then just stubbornly clinging to whatever we know won't help. We must be willing to question what we know - if it still holds, then that is fine, because it suggests there is truth in it - but if not, then we should seek why it isn't true.

    Science starts out by asking simple questions about the world - what is out there? It postulates answers, which are skeptically analyzed to determine which is closest to the truth. From there, it expands, asking more complex questions about the world - why is it out there? How did it get there? And we must be willing to reconsider what we already know, because we don't hold it as certain. Nothing can be certain, really. But the point isn't to blindly accept a truth without questioning, not to doubt every truth and say nothing is true, and not to simply give up and not make any statement about the world. It's to try to head in the general direction of truth through questioning and consideration, knowing though that we will never reach it, we will at least be facing in the correct way.

    I personally do not believe in God (or souls or the afterlife and so on; on the other hand I do believe in evolution and the Big Bang) - but I honestly believe that is the best explanation of the truth I have at the moment - it is the best theory (from my hopefully skeptical perspective), based on my experience and from what I can percieve from the world around me. It is the best answer to the questions I have asked. I don't want to say "There is a God, end of discussion" or "There is no God, end of discussion" or even "There is no way to determine either way, end of discussion." I say "I think there is no God, based on the results of the questions I have asked. Further questions may or may not change that." I try to question and consider what I see around me, see what seems to be the best explanation, and ask more complex questions that stem from that answer. But I also should try to question the answer, to see if all evidence I encounter point to there being no God, or if something comes up later that would suggest that maybe there is Something. I shouldn't simply stay put and refuse to budge, now that I have that conclusion, but I should aim to constantly question and be skeptical and reconsider and reevaluate, refusing to accept an answer just because I like it or it would be nice and tidy if it is true. I think I am closer to the truth, but if I find that I am not, then I should try to move closer to it then.

    I think that's what skepticism is all about. I believe it is the middle path Paladin describes - a path of being uncertain, but nonetheless still seeking the truth by questioning and reevaluating and posing answers and tearing them down again. In the end, if there is no certainty, it's not that we don't arrive at the truth - it's that we strive for it. Science and skepticism are not about the answers, it is all about the questions, the refusal to settle on any answers as certain, but to constantly try and look for better ones if they exist, the aim to strive for at least a glimmer of truth in an uncertain world.

    It is only at the meeting of knowledge and ignorance, of light and dark, that new understanding may be found: in the shadow. - Babylon 5: Invoking Darkness by Jeanne Cavelos
    Author of Outside and Naggarok's Children
    Where there is truth, there is symmetry. Expect me when you see me.

  17. #117
    Well at any rate, the only reason I brought up the point is because absolutists of any variety irk me. I was merely reacting to certain individuals who posted here who struck me as empiricists of the order I described earlier, those who refuse to accept any idea until after it has been proven, and who will not believe in anything which cannot be proven, even if it cannot be disproven either.

    To me that's just as bad a position as clinging to a religious dogma in the face of overwhelming evidence.

    Especially when you make a point to belittle adherents of the other viewpoint.

    Basically I was just giving a logical refutation of the "All you religious people are deluded fools" argument. And I think it's a good one. As for the brand of skepticism you described Reflection, I have no issue with that.

    -Paladin

  18. #118
    Logico-Fishosophicus ionfish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    I live in Beer.
    I think a point we ought to remain very aware of is that holding a viewpoint that is sceptical of religion does not mean you're an atheist; the absence of belief implies agnosticism, and the attendant admittance that one does not know whether god exists or not.

  19. #119
    True, but I am in fact, an atheist. I believe that there is no God. A lack of belief one way or the other would make me agnostic, which would have been an accurate description at one point, but I now actively believe that there is no God, which makes me an atheist.

    The point is that even if you're an atheist you don't have to look on the religious with contempt. Actually I'm both an atheist and religious, yay buddhism.

    -Paladin

  20. #120
    evolution is kewl :fallen:
    :wowsers:
    Last edited by the_sidewinder; 5th Sep 02 at 12:09 PM.

  21. #121
    Whispering One The Reflection's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Outside
    A slight clarification - if agnosticsm is simply defined as "I don't know at the moment", then that's fine, but if it means "It is impossible to know", that is not implied by skepticism. I think my point was that being skeptical doesn't imply anything about your belief - not that you do believe, not that you don't believe, not even that you can't ever decide. Skepiticism starts out questioning all statements; they can earn better acceptance through consideration and testing. It's about how you get to that belief, and about not holding on to it blindly. I may be uncertain that the Law of Conservation of Energy holds, but that doesn't mean that I'm agnostic about it - I really do believe it holds, judging from the current evidence we have. Now, it would be wise to continue testing it just in case it isn't, and if we are presented with contrary evidence we should most certainly reconsider, but for now, it's convenient to say that energy is conserved. I may be uncertain that I have 10 fingers (maybe I counted wrong all those times, or my memory is bad), but I can still believe that I have 10 fingers - I just can't be absolutely certain of it.
    Similarly, I may be skeptical and still say "God does not exist" as opposed to being indecisive because (to me) it best fits what I see around me in the world. The point is that I shouldn't blindly follow it, but decide for myself through constant analysis, contemplation, and questioning whether it fits the world around me.
    But, yes, being skeptical doesn't necessarily imply atheism; it just doesn't imply being religious or agnostic (in the sense of "It is impossible to decide") either.
    Sorry for getting a little off topic.

  22. #122
    Scream for me baby! El Russo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    London, UK
    paladin and reflection - most excellent posts!

    the underlying theme is that we cannot be 100% sure of anything (and by anything i mean everything). we can be 99.999% sure but not the last yard. this is what leads to post-modernism where everything is doubted historically because it is all subjective (if one is wrong how can we be sure any are right?). no matter what is written of anything it is not the absolute reality of what happened and thus it cannot be taken as THE TRUTH. this has led to outrageous claims like those which claim the holocaust did not happen.

    kinda summing up - there is no proof, either way, that god exists/does not exist. there is evidence and currently, even to religious people (i would dare say), it is favourable to His non-existence. but who is to say who is right on this issue? only god CAN answer that question and if He doesn't...

    evolution and religion do not necessarily contradict each other. the bible is obviously not completely literal and as a text it is worth the read even to the non-believer (sorry to sound glib). the same goes to all other major ones like the qu'ran because they teach morality, goodness (on the whole) and ethics. the reason why religious people are eager to dismiss it is because it contradicts the idea of souls (and of good vs evil) and replaces it with a bleak hopeless world where we are sentient and merely living out our lives. i think sentience is the SAME as a soul and this gift enables us to fulfill itself in that we should seek self-improvement and the improvement of humanity.

    definitions:

    atheism: the non-belief in god
    agnotisicism: the belief that nothing can be known about the existence of god

    an agnostic can be atheist but not the other way round.

    what i hate are the religious people (and this includes personal friends of mine) who condemn and pity me for not believing because i am a contradiction with their own deeply held beliefs. i try to be open about it but i suppose i am guilty of the same thing in dismissing them (for that is my currently held position). my fear is that there is a god and i will be punished for not taking the leap of faith to unquestionably believe in Him. i think this is the only thing that stops my brain from completely ruling my heart. if i had to hedge my bets i would go for the "nothingness" option which means that when i die i cease to exist in a mental state, and not only that but i will fail to recognise this fact (and that means i cannot prove to myself He does not exist).

    like i said earlier, death holds all the answers and only one of the options listed above enables us to see 100% THE TRUTH. the other does not even bother telling us the answer. maybe, for this reason, we should believe in god...

  23. #123
    SquidDNA
    Guest
    Was it Pascal who essentially said that there was little harm in believing in God, while not believing had the greatest potential for harm?

    Thats a cynical approach, though, and I doubt a divine judge would be fooled by such a ploy. I sensed this at some point, because even though I wanted to believe, I knew that I couldnt say that I really did and be completely honest. At some point in the past year that changed, but I nonetheless think that one should be honest with oneself in such matters.

    Re: pity, I feel sad for the athesists I know. Not because I think they're inferior or damned or anything, not because I think they necessarily need help or something, it's just that... well, suppose you have a really great old friend you can talk to anytime you like, who understands you really well, but some people don't, won't, or can't ever meet him. It's kind of that same feeling... sort of.

  24. #124
    Daniika Rain
    Guest
    Pascal's Wager has been demonstrated to be full of holes, though I'm honestly too lazy to pull any links. I think I recall Ceejay posting one at some stage though.

    Regarding skepticism etc, I feel people may have thought I was intending to "belittle" religious people. This was not the case. I was merely trying to point out the underlying reasons for religion's existence. As some famous dood once said, if God did not exist we would have to create Him.

    I disagree with Paladin that skeptics don't believe for the same reason that religious people do: fear. It is true that skeptics are "afraid" to believe anything, in that they understand the unprovability of everything and don't see the logic in committing to a belief completely. But that's not fear.

    However, I do agree with everything else that has been said. I'd like to add something though:

    Occam's Razor.

  25. #125
    Tygre
    Guest
    Holy crap, I'm glad everybody's watched Contact.

    Now, which sounds more believeable according to Occam's Razor:

    An atemboral, omnescient, omnipresent perfect being creates an imperfect universe in a matter of seven days and drops in two incredibly imperfect beings, who reproduce to levels of 6 billion in 7000 years, provides their offspring with a possibility for faith but gives them no actual sign he exists sans a confusing, vague book.
    or...
    Due to quantum flux in and out of dimensions, a tiny amount of energy was released into a 3d p-brane causing a massive explosion, keeping the plane's total energy and mass at 0 but turning it into a heterogeneous solution which over eons eventually randomly spawned at least one semi-intelligent race.

    Just like the two times they reffered to it in Contact (which is where I first learned of this Razor), they both sound pretty damn complicated to me.
    Last edited by Tygre; 5th Sep 02 at 7:53 PM.

  26. #126
    Daniika Rain
    Guest
    Given that we have laws and equations describing how the second option is possible, and these laws and equations have been arrived at by observational analysis and tested to be true to the best precision we can provide for, I would have to choose the big bang theory. Quantum physics describes the formations of universes, and though we cannot empirically verify these formations, QM has been demonstrated so far to be accurate. Therefore, if one part of QM is verifiable and accurate, then non-verifiable parts must be accurate despite that we can't prove their accuracy, in order for the theory to be valid. I'm willing to accept that, since there is no other way we know of to describe the universe (I know quantum physics isn't a complete theory yet, but it's complete enough to be certain of many things, where certainty == beyond reasonable doubt).

    Many physicists (Hawking included) believe that universes are being formed, due to quantum fluctuations, quite regularly.

    By Occam's Razor, since we can explain option 2 with only the information the universe provides us, it is more likely to be true than option 1, since this requires an additional complication that adds nothing to the system.

  27. #127
    there is evidence and currently, even to religious people (i would dare say), it is favourable to His non-existence.
    Actually that's not true... There can never be the slightest shred of evidence of God's existence of non-existence. There is no evidence supporting either theory. The choice must be made completely on individual preference.

    -Paladin

  28. Child's Play Donor  #128
    senile member Mac_Bug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Caprica
    To inject two liner doubts into this discussion once again, Occam's Razor is not a guarantee.

  29. #129
    Daniika Rain
    Guest
    Agreed, but it's a fairly reliable axiom in a situation with two possible and equally valid explanations, particularly in physics.

  30. #130
    find confession in your dreams boolybooly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Northamptonshire
    Originally posted by SquidDNA

    Re: pity, I feel sad for the athesists I know. Not because I think they're inferior or damned or anything, not because I think they necessarily need help or something, it's just that... well, suppose you have a really great old friend you can talk to anytime you like, who understands you really well, but some people don't, won't, or can't ever meet him. It's kind of that same feeling... sort of.
    That's funny because when I was younger I used to look on it as allowing MY soul or conscience to come to me as though across a metaphysical chasm or divide, my divide too. I used to elaborate to myself the things I was trying to understand aka thinking. It used to reduce the doubts and worries.

    But I had to make a special effort to do this. Which implies to me that we do not normally use this mode of thinking during waking hours, possibly because of reaction times and the need to keep them low. It was much harder to do unless I felt physically safe.

    At any event it never seemed to me to be like someone else, it was always firmly and inescapably me which is why I never understood people who talk about God except as people who did not understand they were talking to themselves. Though I accept that the nature of reality is that I do not know how other people think, so it has always been something of a mystery to me why people say such things.

    Once my headmaster, a devout Christian, told us all to write a prayer to God.

    I wrote something that sounded a lot like the other prayers I had heard because there was no "other" for me to write to. He looked at me and said, "this looks like a prayer someone wrote because he was told to write to God". I looked back at him and said nothing because he had spoken the truth and I think he understood that.

    edit

    Interestingly, a year later I remember he stood behind me in the middle of a school exam (which were held in absolute silence) and made tutting sounds and then said, so that I could hear it "& I thought you had a brain "booly" ", not the sort of thing you say to an eleven year old in the middle of an exam. Which told me something about that man ie that he was offended that I did not see the world the same way as him and would use the most underhand tactics to obstruct me since I did not. An education of sorts I suppose !

    I hope noone is offended that I see the world the way I do, its just that I see no merit in pretending otherwise, it would merely be cowardice, not faith. However I take comfort from the histories of much more capable people than I turned out to be, being harassed by religious fanatics eg Galileo etc and I am sure that they were right to proceed cautiously but were also right to persist with their efforts to understand more clearly.
    Last edited by boolybooly; 6th Sep 02 at 4:19 AM.

  31. General Discussions Senior Member  #131
    terrible, terrible damage Starfisher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Budd Lake, NJ
    Paladin:

    People think in circles when they only have their own input to work with. I was making an observation about human nature, not bashing religion.

    That said, it IS possible to dis-prove certain interpretations of god. There is that link I posted earlier, but basically I think we can all agree that there is no such thing as a cubic sphere. That's a contradictory statement. In the same way, an omnipotent, all powerful, 'good' God is impossible.

    Good and evil are human terms anyway. Whats good for one person is evil to another, and even if there was a universal good, God would still be unable to perform said universal good without a balancing evil. Thus God would have to be neutral. Praying and that sort of thing is a comforting, but ineffective way to get what you want. I forget where it comes from, but "God helps those who help themselves" seems to be a roundabout admission that If you don't do it yourself, it will never happen.

    Humans, myself included, do not enjoy watching young kids die of leukemia. The religous attribute their death to "God's Plan", while the non-religious give it a cause. There is no metaphysical "why". It just happens. "God's Plan" destroys another tenent of most major religions: free will. If God knows everything past present and future, then you obviouisly aren't calling your own shots.

    There a numerous other reasons I can't believe in a god, an afterlife, and the like. But basically, the human emotion of hope is what created god. If you knew for sure that after seventy odd years, you died and that was it, how quickly do you think humanity would eventually succumb to depression and self-destruct?

    I'm not trying to force my views on other people. I'm trying to get a response that goes deeper than "I can't tell you why I believe, but I do." or "You can't ever prove anything."

  32. #132
    SquidDNA
    Guest
    In the same way, an omnipotent, all powerful, 'good' God is impossible... Good and evil are human terms anyway. Whats good for one person is evil to another, and even if there was a universal good, God would still be unable to perform said universal good without a balancing evil. Thus God would have to be neutral.
    It isn't necessarily true that a benevolent God is also a wish-fairy. Also, human perceptions of an absolutely good act as evil don't make it a "balancing evil." The way I see it, there wouldn't be much point to existence if God did all the work. At the same time, I think he cares, and to that end I think he helps us in small ways, like arranging things slightly to provide opportunities, and giving us little nudges now and then. But no, life isn't fair, and I think God knows that. However, that's the nature of life, and it should come as no surprise to anyone. Why would God make it this way?

    What the hell point would there be in striving and building, if there was nothing to strive and build towards? If the world was perfect, how could we try to improve it? How could we enjoy anything if we didn't have to work for it?

  33. #133
    ADUN
    Guest
    I read some magaziene that was completely about creationism once, It made some decent sence that they believed 'something' made us, but it then got into how every word in the bible is literaly true and it is 'the guide to the universe' and then a whole wad of other cheesy stuff.

    This creationism stuff dont make sence when theres no decent proof, many more things lead to evolution.

  34. #134
    ADUN
    Guest
    Originally posted by SquidDNA


    What the hell point would there be in striving and building, if there was nothing to strive and build towards? If the world was perfect, how could we try to improve it? How could we enjoy anything if we didn't have to work for it?
    I agree with this one.

    Apparently, the creationism people think of it the other way around, that theres 'no reason to live' if their wrong..

  35. #135
    find confession in your dreams boolybooly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Northamptonshire
    Originally posted by ÜberJumper
    I must learn more of Islam. Can you get english language Korans?
    Sure Uber you can find them online.

    http://www.hti.umich.edu/k/koran/browse.html

  36. #136
    find confession in your dreams boolybooly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Northamptonshire
    Originally posted by ADUN

    This creationism stuff dont make sence when theres no decent proof, many more things lead to evolution.
    Creationism is quite new, people used to be more rational about it in the middle of last century. Creationism is part of a fundamentalist backlash which has swept the world for the last two decades. Maybe a reaction to the strange phenomena of the monetarist eighties and the crumbling of the Iron Curtain.

    You can see it in all religions so it is not a response of a particular sect, apparently these people are responding at a global level, perhaps feeding off each other in a competitive way or perhaps reacting to event. However you find this kind of thing occurs in cycles, for example John Wesley started a wave of fundamentalism in the mid 1700's in the UK which some say probably saved it from another civil war and consolidated the power of the republic created by Cromwell. Once again religion oils the wheels of power !
    Last edited by boolybooly; 6th Sep 02 at 10:20 AM.

  37. #137
    SquidDNA
    Guest
    Actually, creationism, in some form, predated the scientific model of Earth's history currently supported by geology and biology. Unless I'm mistaken, the age of the Earth set at around 7000 years was calculated prior to Darwin's voyage. At any rate, Darwin's theory met resistance almost immediately.

    I will agree that some amount of resurgence in fundamentalism began in the mid-ish 20th century in the US, as a backlash to radical social changes and Eastern influences. "New Age" and so on.

  38. #138
    find confession in your dreams boolybooly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Northamptonshire
    Are you sure that isnt a cuttle-fish ?

  39. #139
    SquidDNA
    Guest


    Cuttlefish have those weird "skin pouches." This just happens to be a Squid resting on the bottom. Although your question has sparked an amusing "cuddle-fish" pun that I have to find an occasion for..

    Hmm. Seems like this topic is officially done. Nice while it lasted-- will someone archive it for linkage the next time it comes around?

  40. #140
    I shouldn't get involved evolution threads - they are so exhausting...

    Anyway, my annoyance with creationism (as opposed to the 'idea of creation') has always been due to its horrendous abuse of science.

    All ideas are valid in themselves, but there is a difference between scientific ideas/theories and non-scientific ones. I have nothing against the idea of creation, but it is not a scientific idea. Whether scientific ideas should take automatic precedence over non-scientific ideas is a different question altogether, but this is what creationists are really opposed to.

    I don't mind what people believe as long as those beliefs are allocated their proper place within the universally agreed philosophical framework (or words to that effect).

    I don't want to live in a world where non-scientific ideas are relentlessly persecuted; think of all the books, buildings, art, and even science-fiction that would have be to trashed in order to meet the demands of the 'scientific fascists'. However, I don't want to live in a world where scientific ideas are persecuted by religious zealots either...

  41. #141
    SquidDNA
    Guest
    I appreciate your last point, but you don't teach anatomy with Picasso, astrophysics with Homeworld, or History with Michael Crichton. Why would you teach basic science with Genesis?

  42. #142
    Scream for me baby! El Russo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    London, UK
    Actually that's not true... There can never be the slightest shred of evidence of God's existence or non-existence. There is no evidence supporting either theory.
    actually, that's not true. from the oxford english dictionary:

    evidence: anything that gives reason for believing something.

    -> evidence is not the same as proof.

    the bible is evidence, "love" is evidence, the "beauty" of mother-nature is evidence. i do not agree with or believe this, but it is evidence.

    physics disproving sections of the bible is evidence, evolution (ie; the inference that humans are merely intelligent animals) is evidence. i mostly agree with this.

    like i said, there is no proof.

    The choice must be made completely on individual preference
    i agree and have said that before. the choice should be made on the above most times it is not.

  43. #143
    Liberator
    Guest

    Point of Order please.

    In reply to the statment that the Earth is 7000 years old is scientifically non-viable. However, if you take into account that the Earth was created just prior to the creation of man and that man was created whole-cloth, the assumption can be made(just as the dogmatic evoloutionist have) that the Earth was created in its present state whole-cloth as well. If He can create it, why can't he make it any age He wants?

    Also, this is a little OT but in the same area as far as I'm concerned. Global Warming is sham perpetrated by small minded "Intellectuals" who have an overinflated opinion of Mankind's ability to affect the enviroment around us. Anybody who's taken a beginner's level course in Meteorology can tell you about the Water Cycle. Basically have you ever been out after an afternoon rain shower, it's much cooler because the rain has absorbed much of the heat, which is how the Cycle begins.

  44. Child's Play Donor  #144

  45. #145
    That said, it IS possible to dis-prove certain interpretations of god. There is that link I posted earlier, but basically I think we can all agree that there is no such thing as a cubic sphere. That's a contradictory statement. In the same way, an omnipotent, all powerful, 'good' God is impossible.
    That's not true... Just because an entity is omnipotent and good doesn't mean it should actively interfere in the lives of lesser beings. In fact a strong argument could be made that if a God were to actually interfere in our lives, there would be no point to existence in the first place.

    actually, that's not true. from the oxford english dictionary:

    evidence: anything that gives reason for believing something.

    -> evidence is not the same as proof.
    Yes well, I was speaking of empirical evidence, things which could conceivably be used to support a hypothesis in the realm of science, which is a much narrower definition.

    physics disproving sections of the bible is evidence, evolution (ie; the inference that humans are merely intelligent animals) is evidence. i mostly agree with this.
    This is evidence of the inaccuracy of the bible, but I fail to see how it's evidence that God does not exist.

    There are three world religions (To my knowledge) which worship a single God, plus hinduism which is a monist/monotheistic religion (It's only polytheistic on the surface). That's just off the top of my head. There are many holy books. The bible itself is a collection of various writings, it did not exist as a complete work until sometime in the middle of the midieval period... If there are inaccuracies in one or all of these, I fail to see how the writings of humans can be seen as evidence of the existence or lack thereof of God. Even if you accept the predicate that these are inspired works, the authors still had to put down their own interpretations of their visions and the word of God, which given the lack of general scientific knowledge of the time periods involved well...

    My point is that if God exists he does so outside of our ability to perceive. Therefore there can be no empirical evidence of his existence, nor can we ever come up with evidence to show he does not exist. If a thing cannot be perceived it cannot be disproven.

    -Paladin
    "Fear nothing except in the certainty that you are your enemy's begetter and its only hope of healing. For everything that does evil is in pain."
    -The Maestro Sartori, Imajica by Clive Barker

  46. #146
    SquidDNA
    Guest
    Liberator, I have difficulty understanding your first paragraph. "Dogmatic evolutionists" don't assume that the Earth was created "whole cloth" just prior to the creation of man. Indeed, an omnipotent God could make the Earth appear as old as he liked, and even put fossils in the ground and stars in the far sky and to "test our faith." It's possible. There's just no scientific support to back that claim up.

    Regarding your second paragraph, rain sometimes cools a low-altitude airmass off because it's cooler than the airmass. Sometimes, it doesn't make a lick of difference. I'm not sure what you're trying to say here, either.

  47. #147
    SPAWN OF SATAN
    Mostly on break
    ceejayoz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Pittsford, NY, USA
    In fact a strong argument could be made that if a God were to actually interfere in our lives, there would be no point to existence in the first place.
    On the other hand, an omnipotent God would know exactly how everything would turn out - he would already know exactly what will happen for all eternity. Kind of messes up the whole "free will" thing.

  48. #148
    Scream for me baby! El Russo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    London, UK
    Yes well, I was speaking of empirical evidence, things which could conceivably be used to support a hypothesis in the realm of science, which is a much narrower definition.
    i'll take that as some sort of concession. just because you were thinking empirically does not mean everyone else is.

    physics disproving sections of the bible is evidence, evolution (ie; the inference that humans are merely intelligent animals) is evidence.
    This is evidence of the inaccuracy of the bible, but I fail to see how it's evidence that God does not exist.
    it is counter evidence to god existing. evolution implies that humans are merely highly (comparatively) intelligent animals. christianity believes there to be a clear difference between mankind and animals (ie: a soul). therefore if evolution is correct, and we have no souls, then heaven and such cannot exist. i understand your point that there is no direct evidence contrary to god existing but that could be because "we" designed him impossible to disprove. the only evidence for god is created by mankind... "we" see "love", and "we" see the "beauty" in the universe. could it be that He is just a figment of our imagination too?

    the first thing i'd do with a time machine is travel to the only time He is supposed to have been witnessed (ie: the millenia before christ's birth). to be fair to god, why should He prove himself to a world that doubts him so? for the gazillionith time, it's that leap of faith thing again. why should He let us lot in so easily by proving He does exist?

  49. #149
    Scream for me baby! El Russo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    London, UK
    on the subject of free will: even if we are merely acting out a play the fact that we do not know our lines before we speak them makes our will free. what difference does it make if the invisible director (ok, taking the metaphor a bit far here) knows them before we do?

  50. #150
    Tygre
    Guest
    even if we are merely acting out a play the fact that we do not know our lines before we speak them makes our will free.
    At least, we think we don't know our lines.

Page 3 of 6 FirstFirst 123456 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

     

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •