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Old 12-15-2005, 04:08 PM   #46
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Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars


Who´s talking of evidence? One can believe things without having proof.


which is the point -- it's belief. it's faith. what i am saying is that there is no evidence for the existence of God, and it's a false choice to say that, well, there's no evidence for the absence of God. the burden of proof is on the assertion that God exists and that sunsets are suggestive of this evidence. it's a big leap, to me, to say that because sunsets are beautiful (which i agree, they certainly are) then God must exist, or i believe God must exist. i understand how a person arrives at that conclusion, and i was once one of those people, but i'm not anymore. i don't think that conclusion holds up.

while faith is lovely and can move people to do wonderful things, it's not enough for me anymore. that's where i'm at right now. i think that when you die, that's it. blankness. like how it was before you were born.
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Old 12-15-2005, 04:15 PM   #47
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Irvine, the evidence is in how it all serves a purpose.
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Old 12-15-2005, 04:18 PM   #48
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Originally posted by coemgen
Irvine, the evidence is in how it all serves a purpose.


could you please unpack that? it's a potentially interesting statement, though i would like more specifics before i respond.

also, to all: i am trying to be as non-confrontational and respectful as i can be. i really am, because i really am working through some of these things in my life, and i mean no one any offense, and my intention in challenging those of faith is not to denigrate their faith but to test out my own thoughts -- i am looking for a sincere dialogue.
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Old 12-15-2005, 04:23 PM   #49
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someone alluded to this earlier, but i shall spell it out for you. When you take a strawberry, or a sunset, or even U2's music, and say "Look, these things are so magnificent and so complex, surely something magnificent and complex must've created it." Very well, for the sake of the argument, I shall accept that there is indeed some magnificent and complex creator. What then accounts for it? If we have already argued that a magnificent and complex entity needs to be explained, then so does this creator? And, if we come up with some explaination, it will once again be magnificent and complex - we all do agree on this principle that something less magnificent and complex cannot create something more magnificent and complex that the original cause? - and then we will have to come up with a cause for that magnificent and complex thing....this is called a regress. There's bitches in philosophy.
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Old 12-15-2005, 04:27 PM   #50
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A regress works the other way to. Well, it's a regress of sorts for those who believe that God has given free will.
If in order to ecplain why this universe exists, we need a cause, then we accept the law of causation. So, God set the world in motion, and everything that has happened since is a direct result of his causing. Therefore, he is ultimately responsible for all the attrocities, rapes, murders, genocides, sins-if you will, etc. Again, this doesn't seem like this is where Christians would wanna go.
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Old 12-15-2005, 05:40 PM   #51
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Originally posted by Irvine511
which is the point -- it's belief. it's faith. what i am saying is that there is no evidence for the existence of God, and it's a false choice to say that, well, there's no evidence for the absence of God. the burden of proof is on the assertion that God exists and that sunsets are suggestive of this evidence. it's a big leap, to me, to say that because sunsets are beautiful (which i agree, they certainly are) then God must exist, or i believe God must exist. i understand how a person arrives at that conclusion, and i was once one of those people, but i'm not anymore. i don't think that conclusion holds up.

while faith is lovely and can move people to do wonderful things, it's not enough for me anymore. that's where i'm at right now. i think that when you die, that's it. blankness. like how it was before you were born.
Evidence, existence, absence, faith..

When I was, the Lord was not.
Now He is; I am not.
(Kabir)

People say they want to seek god. They say "Where is God? We want to find him". They also ask for the proof that God exists.

They do not understand what they are saying at all. There is only one way to seek God, and that is to lose yourself. You will not have the experience of God as long as you try to save yourself, as long as you try to retain your own identity. You can only have the experience of God when you are not. You will never have proof of God´s existence; you will only have it when you are lost, when you are not.

Whoever searches for the proof that God exists will come to the conclusion that he does not exist. From words, you will never conclude that God is.

Omar Khayyam has said that he went to many learned men to obtain true knowledge. He says they were very well-read, that he listened to their learned discourses, to their discussions and to their arguments for and against, but that he returned empty-handed, that he obtained no glimmer of true knowledge from them. You can never get anything from them. Even if you memorize my words, nothing will come out of it; you will always come home empty-handed.

All we know and achieve is going to die. There is no question that one´s worldly riches will diappear, but the wealth that we store up within ourselves will also disappear. The enlightened ones have always said not to amass worldly wealth. Worldly wealth has to do with the degree to which we step up measures for our security which is in direct proportion to the progress we make in digging our own graves (Osho). To be insecure is to be alive.

We see people dying, leaving wealth, buildings, palaces and kingdoms behind them, but Kabir is saying that one´s inner riches will also have to be left behind. no sooner do you experience something than duality sets in. As soon as you say, "I am pleased", or "I have experienced God", you become two - the pleasure and you. A distinction has been created. First, there is the happening, and second there is the person to whom it has happened. But no distinction can enter into God, you alone can enter there. You can´t take anything with you. Not even your spiritual experience. Not even your prayers. All will die and you will go alone.

Many people cling to those experiences, do I? Do we create a new world for ourselves? Before one was amassing wealth, now he is collecting experiences.

You are seperate from whatsoever you know, so you can not make God your experience. God himself can never become the object of your experience because whatsoever becomes an object of experience is certain to die. Do not create any duality.

God is not separate from you. God is your very existence, your innermost being. He is your very self, your soul. He is the hidden sound lying deep within your being, he is your own song. And just as a dancer is not separated from his dancing, or an improvising musician is not separated from his music in which God also resonates, the experience of God is not separate from you. It is not even proper to call it an experience. That is why the Upanishads say that he who says "I have known", has not really known Him at all.

How will you know God? To know means that there is some distance between the knower and the object that is known.

In your deepest depths you are one with God. There is not the slightest distance, not even the most minute space between you and Him. This is why Kabir says that as long as he was there God was not there, and that when God was there, he was not there.
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Old 12-15-2005, 05:55 PM   #52
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^ while much of that is lovely, and once i would have taken it to heart, it strikes me as a series of rationalizations and wishful thinking and gets into lots of touchy-feely stuff that really can't be discussed because it's predicated upon having individual experiences of "knowing" something -- just what do we mean when we know? again, all of this is couched in human terms fit for human consumption and understanding. i can't help but think that God functions in exactly the same way. it/he fulfills a very human need, in fact i think a belief in God is innate to both the human animal and the human condition.

but i see none of this as any sort of compelling argument to have faith beyond it making you feel better about said human condition, i.e., that we are born to die and back into nothingness we will go.

i feel like the recognition of how faith functions sort of pulls back the proverbial curtain to reveal the absence of anything independent of human creation.
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Old 12-15-2005, 06:04 PM   #53
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Originally posted by Irvine511
but i see none of this as any sort of compelling argument
I´m not arguing. This is way beyond a rational discussion.

Your mind is talking If I had the authority to tell you to get rid of it, I would.
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Old 12-15-2005, 06:12 PM   #54
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Irvine, I just want to say I'm not offended. I hope my last comment didn't seem like I was. I welcome all of this. It's good stuff.

The point I was trying to make is just how everything works together and serves a purpose. Think about your mouth. You have taste buds that help you enjoy food. You have teeth that chew it up. You have vocal chords and a tongue that help you talk. Saliva helps break up food and keeps your mouth moist. Then there's a way to swallow food. Then your body digests it and makes a turd. Then there's a way to get rid of the turd. Our bodies break down the food so they can grow and be healthy. We have feet to help us walk. We have hands and fingers to help us work and do stuff. We have sex organs that help us reproduce and have a good time. We have eyes that help us see. (The eye is a compelte marvel in and of itself.) We have ears to help us hear. We have feelings. We get hurt when something bad happens. We feel joy when something great happens. We feel love.
We can get food from plants that grow and animals . We need water, and it happens to be there. We need air and it's there. Think of the human brain! Without the sun, we wouldn't exist. Everything serves a purpose and works together.

Why? It's all by accident?

I don't buy it. It all screams love.

Does that make sense?
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Old 12-15-2005, 06:18 PM   #55
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Originally posted by coemgen
Why? It's all by accident?

I don't buy it. It all screams love.

Does that make sense?


it makes emotional sense, perhaps even logical sense, but it makes no more sense than any other explanation for the complexity of nature.

i would argue that there's no love within any creation beyond the love you, the human, who understands love on human terms, chooses to put there.

i suppose i think that things simply are. and there's really no comment, no love, no meaning, no anything beyond what we choose to put there.
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Old 12-15-2005, 06:21 PM   #56
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Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars


I´m not arguing. This is way beyond a rational discussion.

Your mind is talking If I had the authority to tell you to get rid of it, I would.


okay, i hear what you're saying, but this doesn't get us anywhere, and there's really nothing i can do but take your word for it when you say, or anyone says, that they sort of intuit the presence of God. how is that any more credible than someone saying they intuit the absence of God?

without my brain, can i turn it off? do you see what i'm saying? no matter what we do, we cannot go beyond ourselves, and i feel as if all understandings, intuitions, and descriptions of God are trapped by this as well.

there's no there there.
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Old 12-15-2005, 06:48 PM   #57
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Originally posted by Irvine511
okay, i hear what you're saying, but this doesn't get us anywhere, and there's really nothing i can do but take your word for it when you say, or anyone says, that they sort of intuit the presence of God. how is that any more credible than someone saying they intuit the absence of God?

without my brain, can i turn it off? do you see what i'm saying? no matter what we do, we cannot go beyond ourselves, and i feel as if all understandings, intuitions, and descriptions of God are trapped by this as well.

there's no there there.
Now we´re getting somewhere.

I´m reluctant to speak for you when you say you can not go beyond yourself; that does not mean no one can.

The "yourself" you are speaking of is your ego, your feeling of "I" which is a construction of your mind.
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Old 12-15-2005, 07:02 PM   #58
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Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars


Now we´re getting somewhere.

I´m reluctant to speak for you when you say you can not go beyond yourself; that does not mean no one can.

The "yourself" you are speaking of is your ego, your feeling of "I" which is a construction of your mind.


actually, i would argue that no one can go beyond themselves for that sense of being "beyond" is one that can only be understood, or even sensed, through human faculties, and such things can also be described as coping mechanisms, whether voluntary or involuntary, hardwired into the human brian in order for it to continue to deal with what i've been calling "the human condition."

could this sense of being able to go beyond yourself be just as much a construction, a need to be fulfilled, as you say the "yourself" and "I" are?






also, i don't mean to turn this into an "Irvine's Crisis of Faith" thread ... this was started for other purposes, so if i've led us astray, please let me know and will depart ever so quietly into the night.
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:56 PM   #59
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Oh my goodness.....where can I START....?

I'm not going to get all weepy and philosophical...I'm just going to give you a plain answer - YES I do believe in G-d and it will take me a long time to explain why....I wish I could make it simple but I can't.

Sept.11th was a horrible day where thousands of people were senselessy killed by Islamic fanatics who twisted the words of their own scripture to justify the slaughter of innocent people. Islam itself is a very tolerant and peaceful religion, just like Christianity and Judaism.

However horrible it was, I believe that G-d was merciful on that day in so many ways:
1. If the attacks had happened an hour later the death toll would have been doubled.
2. The WTC withstood the initial impact of the planes - allowing many people to escape from both towers.
3. Even though all the flights were doomed from the start, I believe that G-d gave the passengers on flight 93 the strength to resist the hijackers and divert the plane from its intended course of destruction - thus saving more lives.
4. As mentioned, George Bush's life (and many others) were spared when United 93 didn't continue on towards the White House as intended. I believe that there's a reason his life was spared - to avenge the deaths of the innocents killed on that day.

I could give you so many other examples but I imagine that there are a lot of you out there who are ready to punch me in the face.....lol.

"I could give you so many other examples"

you should go to the other examples

9-11 is very bad choice to advocate for your G-d.

It is a better advocacy for Allah
to think that 19 young man could accomplish that ??

Makes the single shot theory for the JFK assassination seem like a slam dunk.


9-11 is a more powerful and unlikely story than "David and Goliath".

and still BinLaden is free!!

more proof that there no G-d but G-d.


btw-
Bush was in Florida
not at the White House
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:10 PM   #60
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Hey AWanderer -- it's been a while since we've talked.

I have a couple questions:
1. How do you know this is true?
2. How do you know this isn't the work of God?
3. Also, just reading this makes everything seem so random and without purpose. I can't see how the world works and just accept it's all an accident. The probability of that is astronimcal with way too many opportunities for it all to go wrong. Like I've said before, it's like me throwing a million puzzle pieces in the air and having everyone of them fall together in place to make a complete puzzle. I could do that the rest of my life and it would never happen. And we're talking about living organisms, plants, animals, humans, the sun, the solar system, oxygen, water, etc. etc. -- all of these things that work together. It's all an accident? That takes WAY more faith to believe that. I understand how you can break it down into a science, but that just serves as proof of an inteligent being behind it all.

That's just my perspective.
I know that to understand something we must look at it in a reductionist and empirical fashion. Understanding the facts of it and being able to explain it with logic are far more powerful tools of investigation than comforting assumptions.

The "perfect forms" listed are not a matter of accident, it is a matter of cosmic inevitability. The solar system for instance is a distribution of objects with mass in a state of constant freefall. Now the element distribution with the heavier elements concentrated in the inner solar system and lighter ones furthur out is a direct concequence of gravitational attraction during accreation, now as for why the planets all more or less perfectly operate in orbit firstly they are not all perfect (e.g. Venus and the kuiper belt objects) and secondly the reason that they are all in stable orbits is because if any object was not in a stable orbit then it would have wound up colliding at some point in the past (and what do you know we have evidence for this with the crater scarred planets like Mars, Mercury - The Moon Itself is the product of a collision, it is the reason that the earth has a higher core to mantle ratio than the other terrestrial planets). The theory of gravity as well as nucleosynthesis and stellar physics has only boosted our understandings of why this is the way it is. Things are the way that they are because they conform to fundamental physical laws, it is this principle that moves us away from thinking that we are an exception to the rule to understanding that we are part of and conform to those rules.

Now secondly a completely nontheistic naturalistic worldview does not mean that human beings were instantly formed from raw carbon, oxygen, hydrogen etc. It is about random variation in all replicating organisms, all the way back to the first organic molecules, but these variants are put under a tremendous selective pressure and those that reproduce more effectively in the conditions will be at an advantage, that is very non-random. Natural selection is the driving force of evolution, it is what enables certain forms to florish and others to die. It is also what has enabled the formation of higher life. This theory explains a lot of problems from transmission of infectious diseases (strains etc.), the fossil record, the genetic similarities between organism and pretty much all biology. Given what has been accomplished by scientific method I think the burden of explaination rests upon the theistic creationists to justify why they are not wrong. Facts are not faith, evolutionary biology as a framework of knowledge is not just taken as faith, it is tested time and time again and every time the observations conform to it. It is dynamic so when we come across something that we didn't know could exist we may formulate explainations for why (for instance siblicide and why in certain situations parents will not interevene). Science is the antithesis of faith because it starts from the premise that we know nothing and moves forward from there. Organised religion starts from the premise that everything is a known creation of a divine omnipotent being and it can be understood through scripture and uncritical belief.

As far as astronomical chances you are probably right, the odds of sentient life coming into existence are probably infitesimally small. But you have to remember that the universe may be infinitely big . If every possible permutation of particles within the confines of the laws of physics takes place within an infinite set then it is but a cosmic inevitability that not only organic life, but intelligent life will come to be. It can only exist in more or less the best of all possible worlds for life of its type so when we look at the world and how perfect it is for the type of life that we know we can either see it as perfectly designed or that life is brilliantly adapted for its conditions. In the absence of any empirical evidence of an onnicient and omnipitent being I think that we must go with what is observable and known and generate an understanding based on fact and not fiction.

The puzzle/jet engine/watch paradigm is flawed, it assumes that life on earth in it's complexity is a static system and overlooks its dynamic nature. Extinction takes species out the equation at varying rates, speciation adds them, life is a constantly changing system and too place human beings as the be all and end all is very anthropocentric. It also overlooks physical constants that govern our universe producing the optimum conditions for the chemical reactions that life as we know it uses; the anthropic principle / best of all possible worlds is the best philisophical argument that is consistent with what we know. Infinite possibilities means that the world as we know it will turn up every once in a while.
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