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   Author  Topic: God or nothing...  (Read 783 times)
Fox
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God or nothing...
« on: 2005-10-28 14:56:59 »
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If not truth then what is it that keeps gods name in faith alive, and allow a universe for us to describe...?

what are the thoughts and feelings of you on this?

« Last Edit: 2005-10-30 21:09:07 by Fox » Report to moderator   Logged

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Re:God or nothing...
« Reply #1 on: 2005-10-31 18:22:56 »
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IMO it is man' desire that keeps god's name alive, wishful thinking, if you will. Our search for the truth allows us to ever more accurately describe the universe. So far in that search we have found no evidence that points to the exsistence of god.
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Re:God or nothing...
« Reply #2 on: 2005-11-02 11:58:34 »
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I can respectfully see and understand your point.
But physical evidence can only go so far before the situation becomes inexplicable. Man will never find and attain all the awnsers in life with physical evidence alone.

I would call it an unfair observation to confuse 'wishful thinking' with faith no one can really tell you what it is, you just have to feel and attain it for yourself, kind of like love.

faith alone is just a word like evidence, but the reality between the two and the connection they have upon us is far more profound...its just easier to obtain with evidence.

Trust is afar deeper thing to have and hold in connection then evidence, weather it be between God and Man, or us and each other.

Think of trust in such away that it is the foundation of great citys of compassion and love, built upon the stone of truth.
I am sure that in reality we would all like to build our lives, and our own citys upon such wonderful virtues in complete vision and empathy.

Trust is primarily that which we found and base everything upon, even evidence.

                         
                                  Fox
« Last Edit: 2005-11-02 12:01:45 by Fox » Report to moderator   Logged

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Re:God or nothing...
« Reply #3 on: 2005-11-03 09:55:39 »
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Wishful thinking may be a part of it for some, but from a memetic point of view, Pascal Boyer http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0465006965/103-0615759-5069403?v=glance&n=283155&v=glance (in his book, Religion Explained) has made a powerful argument based on actual study that supernaturalisms of any type give a story an edge in being remembered.  Anthropopmorphism is one of the most mentally available metaphors in any human's cognitive tool kit.  So the same cognitive machinery that allows us to think abstractly and determine other people's intentions, have the side effect of filling our human imagination with gods, angels, and other supernatural anthropomorphisms.
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Re:God or nothing...
« Reply #4 on: 2005-11-03 17:38:25 »
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Fox you speak of trust in glowing terms, as if it's a virtuous thing, yet trust is not exclusive to those you would admire for their virtuous conduct. For instance, trust is also vital to the successful cooperation of people sharing intentions you'd find horrific. Only when the socially cohesive power of trust is combined with compassion and love could you work towards your great cities. Even then, is it not possible to bring about catastrophe despite honourable intentions? Knowledge is required also.

Although not necessarily opposed to knowledge, faith is an irrational conviction that requires no verification, i.e. evidence, to be considered valid, and where faith is challenged by evidence it can become the enemy of knowledge. That's great if you're subjected to the propaganda of some oppressor, and for whatever reason, your faith happens to be closer to the truth that the lies you are told. However, wouldn't it be preferable to discover the truth for yourself rather than rely on unfounded belief? Faith isn't necessary for that; intelligence and an enquiring mind would do you far better.

Having said all that I agree that evidence can only go so far. There are many forms knowledge and they all have boundaries of sorts, e.g. we can investigate phenomena in a reasonable and meticulous fashion, use scientific methods to establish exceptionally reliable models of the natural world, etc. yet there are epistemological & practical limits to our understanding. The noumenon is effectively unknowable, and we simply don't have the resources to examine our every interpretation of phenomena for erroneous discriminations and unjustifiable assertions. Regardless, in the same way that a child leaves behind empty fantasies of super human powers when the chance for real worldy power beckons, faith should be dropped when the opportunity arises to sincerely consider the nature of something important.

Of course, I might just be saying all this in the hope it will oppress your spirit and make you easier to manipulate. Do you trust me?
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Re:God or nothing...
« Reply #5 on: 2005-11-10 16:22:26 »
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Quote:
Although not necessarily opposed to knowledge, faith is an irrational conviction that requires no verification, i.e. evidence, to be considered valid, and where faith is challenged by evidence it can become the enemy of knowledge.


I think you're completely right about this. Faith in the christian god has its roots in a far, dim past when science wasn't something common people - and most non-common people too, probably - knew or cared about. It was made by people to make themselves feel comfortable and to be able to explain everything that happened with and around them.

That's of course not only the case with christianity, but most other faiths can be explained the same way. The old Greeks, for example, thought that Zeus was the one who was throwing thunderbolts at them when there was a thunderstorm. Modern Greeks don't believe such things anymore (at least I hope so) because science has proven that lightning originates from a totally other thing/fenomenon.

I think  the same will happen with the unexplainable problems we have now. Many of them will be explained by science. But don't understand me wrong, I'm not positivistic in a way; I'm quite sure there are - or at least there will be - some problems which are never going to be explained. I don't know why, and I don't know if there's a god of some sort, although I don't believe it, but I'm sure nature has some mysteries which won't get solved, whether or not 'god' has decided it.

I think many people today believe in god either because of their education or because they can't explain these mysteries and want to solve them by believing in a creator who has made it all and who knows all.
There's nothing wrong with that, I think, but I don't believe it because I don't find it necessary to solve everything. (but it would be quite cool, wouldn't it 
« Last Edit: 2005-11-10 16:25:19 by [AVH] » Report to moderator   Logged
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Re:God or nothing...
« Reply #6 on: 2005-11-19 19:32:55 »
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AVH reading Hume while at University (amongst other things) strongly influenced my views, especially towards agnosticism. Here's a Hume quote I saved for rainy days: -

"As to those impressions, which arise from the senses, their ultimate cause is, in my opinion, perfectly inexplicable by human reason, and 'twill always be impossible to decide with certainty, whether they arise immediately from the object, or are produc'd by the creative power of the mind, or are deriv'd from the author of our being. Nor is such a question any way material to our present purpose. We may draw inferences from the coherence of our perceptions, whether they by true or false; whether they represent nature justly, or be mere illusions of the senses."

As to why people believe in God, take your pick of ideas! As mentioned in this thread already, 'Religion Explained' by Pascal Boyer puts forward some excellent theories imo. Before coming across that I read 'The Varieties of Religious Experience' by William James, 'Why God Won't Go Away' by Andrew Newberg and 'Zen and the Brain' by James H. Austin. These suggested to me that the brain is hardwired for certain forms of mystical experience, but the interpretation of such experiences depend upon culture, education, etc.

I should mention that I once had a 'vision' so overwhelming that I was at a loss for reasonable explanation. That in itself that wasn’t unusual, by 20 I was well acquainted with all manner of ecstatic states of mind connected with religious practices, but this was off the (personal) scale! At the time it felt as though some impossibly magnificent alien intelligence had given me a glimpse of the world from its perspective. Even now all I have to do is recall the event and my mind is flooded with something close to bliss. So, it is not without an intimacy of spiritual ecstasy and the irrational mind that I dismiss faith!
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Eduard
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Re:God or nothing...
« Reply #7 on: 2005-11-20 15:08:37 »
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Thanks for the Hume quote, and interesting words and thoughts...

I'm thinking why our brain is hardwared so that there is a place for those mystical experiences, or the capacity to get those. In evolutionary sense, do they serve any mode of surviving...? And yet the way in which you said it: "is hardwared" suggests a reading that there is some programmer or be more specific ands accurate a thing that made the hardware - evolution might be your answer, or the virus? And is there any explanation of  what is role faith in sciences; it might be termed as 'believing that', not 'believing in' but if you allow me to say, I have often wondered how similar are the the faith of believer and the believing that... things are so and so. Because every new breaktrough - and yet smaller  revelation than revolution - of new scientific theory requires much of strength about believing that that is namely the case, not the way it has been thought baforehands...

All that does not, of course, mean anything serious, but what do you think about or regarding these few questions or suggestions?

I must add one good link of Hume's text: http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/HumSupe.html
« Last Edit: 2005-11-20 15:39:44 by Eduard » Report to moderator   Logged

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