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Old 04-10-2007, 12:42 AM   #76
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer


As far as science goes it is a philosophy of investigation that should make an observer strive for objectivity, it is far removed from faith; which is at least in part emotional and subjective - problems don't arise from non-overlapping theology and reason but from theology that requires the material world to be twisted around it to be affirmed.
Aren't you ruling out in advance, solely on philosophical grounds, the possibility that scientific observation and evidence could ever point to a designer as the origin of life and the laws of the universe? Not undirected natural forces and processes?
That science is energy and matter and nothing else, even in the grandest and most complex question we seek to answer.
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Old 04-10-2007, 01:18 AM   #77
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why the need for meaning?

i am totally sympathetic to this, and it causes me to lie awake at night -- what if when we die it's just blankness, not even blackness, would you be aware of it? etc. -- but i also think this need for meaning, this need for invisible friends, this need for omniscent parents, this need to have something care about us, is all a response to the inherent absence of meaning, human meaning, to the universe. it's all very sentimental, even childish.
Why, because only humans know of their pending death. When you think about it, that's a terrible burden to carry around. Religion puts death into context. We developed philosophy to helps us deal with it, and science and medicine to help us delay it. None of which I believe to be childish reactions to said knowledge.
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Old 04-10-2007, 01:42 AM   #78
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I don't see why we have to go on beyond the circle of life to understand what death is about? We live in cycles, the wind, the waves, the seasons, the revolutions of a day, the path around the sun etc, it is all cycles counting down, so why should life not be the same?

I understands man's quest - to give our lives meaning. Who wants to accept that we could just possibly be an evolution speck in a magnitude that we can't even comprehend. It's much nicer and cosier if we were "made" by some God, live our lives trying to follow his word and please him, for him to give us eternal salvation. I understand this, and can see why it would be nice and comforting to be religious for people who have this need to feel like there is a reason we are here. For me, I'm ok with being an occurance, a granule of sand on the long beach of the history of the universe, I focus on my life HERE on earth, its the only thing I know for real, that i am living, and i need to make the most of my time here. Of course its human nature to questions our lives, but on the whole im pretty happy with how mine is turning out, and im not going into some exinstential crisis right now (who knows in future though!)
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Old 04-10-2007, 06:58 AM   #79
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511




why the need for meaning?

i am totally sympathetic to this, and it causes me to lie awake at night -- what if when we die it's just blankness, not even blackness, would you be aware of it? etc. -- but i also think this need for meaning, this need for invisible friends, this need for omniscent parents, this need to have something care about us, is all a response to the inherent absence of meaning, human meaning, to the universe. it's all very sentimental, even childish.
Well, Scripture does talk about having the faith of a child. . .

The thing is I don't really worry too much about death. To me belief "frees me up" from having to spend an inordinate amount of time contemplating my mortality. My faith tells me there's something beyond this life, which for me, paradoxically perhaps, at least helps me to fully embrace the life I have now and makes my eventual death less frightening. (I find the pain and grevious injury far more frightening a prospect than death. Having not even ever had a broken bone, my experience with severe pain is pretty limited).

Course if I believed in hell like many Christians do, I bet I'd worry a whole lot more about the afterlife.
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Old 04-10-2007, 07:11 AM   #80
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^Oh you'll feel so fine when the pain is gone.
I've never had a bone broken, either, but as I wrote in another thread there was something more painful.

I'm not much of a philosopher. I don't worry about death, I don't think about the universe too much, I've never asked myself about the meaning of life, and I feel fine.

I don't believe in any God or deity or higher force or whatever. For me, death is death, and there is nothing to follow.
The exact reasons for universe are yet to be found out, but I can live with uncertainties and things we don't know for sure.

I'm living a happy, fulfilled live (well, more or less) and managed to get through without any God.

I'm not evil, don't live a life of sin and am not responsible for all the bad in the world.
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Old 04-10-2007, 07:17 AM   #81
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Ecclesiastes is not a great book to quote from, morally, because of how overtly cynical it is.
Awww, come on. Ecclesiastes always gets such a bad rap. Maybe I'm just being perverse, but I kinda like the book. . .always have. People say it's depressing. They say its cynical. You want to get fundamentalist Christians talking like liberal scholars, get them into Ecclesiastes (or the book that comes after it--the sexiest book in the BIBLE!!!). 'Well, we shouldn't take this literally.' and 'We need to keep in mind the perspective of the author.' It always makes me chuckle (though I'm not referring to you Ormus, just to be clear. I know you're not remotely a fundamentalsit). We just spent the last 12 weeks studying Ecclesiastes in our Saturday morning Bible study group and I think I was the only one in the group who consistently stood up for the book.

But I like Ecclesiastes. I don't find it morally suspect, or depressing. I find it bracing, interesting, thought provoking.
The message of Ecclesiastes when read as a whole is difficult to boil down to an easy to swallow platitude, which is what makes it perhaps so unpopular.

Quote:
Originally posted by Ormus
As such, I don't believe that our entire existence is dependent on fear and subservience to God.
I don't think so either. But then I don't think that is what God want's out of us either.
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Old 04-10-2007, 07:24 AM   #82
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Originally posted by INDY500


Aren't you ruling out in advance, solely on philosophical grounds, the possibility that scientific observation and evidence could ever point to a designer as the origin of life and the laws of the universe? Not undirected natural forces and processes?
That science is energy and matter and nothing else, even in the grandest and most complex question we seek to answer.
If the evidence did point in that direction then I may be so inclined, but given the sheer elegance of evolutionary theory in not only explaining the "perfection" of systems but also the imperfection at a multitude of scales there is no need for a God based explanation.

There is no reason to entertain the idea of God from any rational standpoint, such an entity is completely irrelevent at this time.

Answering an question with an unknown element doesn't answer anything.
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Old 04-10-2007, 07:26 AM   #83
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Originally posted by dazzlingamy
I don't see why we have to go on beyond the circle of life to understand what death is about? We live in cycles, the wind, the waves, the seasons, the revolutions of a day, the path around the sun etc, it is all cycles counting down, so why should life not be the same?
Cycles, cycle - life, doesn't
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:19 AM   #84
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean
But I like Ecclesiastes. I don't find it morally suspect, or depressing. I find it bracing, interesting, thought provoking.
The message of Ecclesiastes when read as a whole is difficult to boil down to an easy to swallow platitude, which is what makes it perhaps so unpopular.
Well, I did read from it in both of my Catholic school graduation ceremonies. That has to count for something.
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:21 AM   #85
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Cycles, cycle - life, doesn't
Actually, I'd say that we are quite cyclical in our chemistry and behavior. We are walking concoctions of science, with the added twist of conscious thought.
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:24 AM   #86
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Originally posted by U2Bama
Would they have been surprised if you had shown up with a Rickenbacker 12-string guitar and performed The Byrds' "Turn! Tutn! Turn!"? Much like U2's "40" to Psalm 40, the Byrd's song is a musical recitation of Ecc. 3:1-9. Our Methodist youth group sometimes sang it at weekend retreats.
They would have been surprised if it had come from me. We did have our musical classmate who had a contemporary outlook on Christian music, and he performed in church fairly regularly when I was in school.
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:50 AM   #87
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There is no reason to entertain the idea of God from any rational standpoint,
creatio ex nihilo

Until science can explain how "something" came from "nothing" - there is room for God in the discussion. As we've discussed before, the Big Bang Theory favors the notion of a singular moment when matter came into existence. Only something "other than matter" could "cause" this to happen. Any other proposition is a non-rational viewpoint (if there was a Big Bang).
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:50 AM   #88
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Originally posted by INDY500

Why, because only humans know of their pending death. When you think about it, that's a terrible burden to carry around. Religion puts death into context. We developed philosophy to helps us deal with it, and science and medicine to help us delay it. None of which I believe to be childish reactions to said knowledge.


i agree with you, totally.

and this, if anything, makes god even less objective and more subjective. it's the grasping to feel good-ism in the face of what might well be blankness, non-existence, nihilism, is what i consider childish.

it doesn't surprise me that religious people tend to be happier; the truly gut-wrenching questions about existence are answered for you. accepting the given answers is surely a more pleasant way to go through life.
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:53 AM   #89
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and this is a nice discussion, all.
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Old 04-10-2007, 10:10 AM   #90
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Quote:
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it doesn't surprise me that religious people tend to be happier; the truly gut-wrenching questions about existence are answered for you. accepting the given answers is surely a more pleasant way to go through life.
This seems like a rather highfalutin explanation for why religious people tend to be happier; thinking one has certain answers to "the truly gut-wrenching questions" isn't the only attribute commonly associated with a "religious lifestyle" which might positively affect mood. Do you really think existential crises are typically the Big Thing burdening people you've known who are generally unhappy?
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