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Old 08-01-2013, 11:47 PM   #21
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*ding* red flag.
And why must be assume that, Dr Planck?
I'm not saying this proves God - I'm just pointing out philosophy and theology have a voice in understanding reality just as much as a quantum physicist stating there are multiverses or membrane bubbles or parallel universes (without any possible way to ever measure or prove that) to explain the unobservant substance beyond the veil of our agreed upon reality.

I'm glad you point out the word assume - because that is mostly all they have in the quantum world, assumptions. Of course, these assumption a really cool and fun to discuss and they are based on at least some observable facts (not unlike theology) - but it is the same as my sign post in the fog analogy - they are only pointing in a certain direction...perhaps.

Given that quantum mechanics is the foundation of our entire existence - I think it is fair to point out that scientists at this point really have no frack'in clue why quantum particles behave they way they do...which means all information is subject to that substance behind the veil - whatever it is - but everyone, including the brightest minds, knows exists.
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:00 AM   #22
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But the question to why quantum particles behave the way they do could be a complete non-question. In what sort of universe would we find ourselves where quantum particles behave in no way at all?
If one were to completely forget the idea of a god, they wouldn't be independently lead that way by studying the natural world
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:01 AM   #23
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I'm glad you point out the word assume - because that is mostly all they have in the quantum world, assumptions.
But positing a god in place of knowledge doesn't answer any questions
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:16 AM   #24
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But positing a god in place of knowledge doesn't answer any questions
I agree... for the most part. I'm not saying because I believe that God is somewhere behind that veil - that we shouldn't keep pushing that veil back and back with our own exploration and understanding. That's why I love Quantum Mechanics.

However, the occasional arrogant tone and self-contradicting statements of someone like Dr. Krauss really places himself a negative light. Even though he states himself that the God-creation may be true - by smug facial expressions and demeaning jokes he makes it seem you must be an idiot to not agree with him and his creation-by-quantum-fluctuation-even-something-like-energy-and-particles-must-be-in-existence-in-order-to-fluctuate theorem.
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:42 AM   #25
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But the question to why In what sort of universe would we find ourselves where quantum particles behave in no way at all?
There would be no us to find ourselves into much of anything at all.

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If one were to completely forget the idea of a god, they wouldn't be independently lead that way by studying the natural world
JT - I love you man, but I can't follow this post after several times rereading it. Can you please rephrase this question?
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:03 AM   #26
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I agree... for the most part. I'm not saying because I believe that God is somewhere behind that veil - that we shouldn't keep pushing that veil back and back with our own exploration and understanding. That's why I love Quantum Mechanics.
Despite coming from opposite ends, I can still get behind this

Quote:

However, the occasional arrogant tone and self-contradicting statements of someone like Dr. Krauss really places himself a negative light. Even though he states himself that the God-creation may be true - by smug facial expressions and demeaning jokes he makes it seem you must be an idiot to not agree with him and his creation-by-quantum-fluctuation-even-something-like-energy-and-particles-must-be-in-existence-in-order-to-fluctuate theorem.
I'm not sure he's being self contradictory though. He's saying it may be true in the same way it might be any other unfalsifiable hypothesis anyone might have.
For his quantum fluctuations, there literally aren't any particles or energy in existence to fluctuate out of. They pop into and out of existence from nothing at all. That's the amazing thing about it.


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There would be no us to find ourselves into much of anything at all.
Right. So it could very well be a meaningless question. There needn't be a reason why.

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JT - I love you man, but I can't follow this post after several times rereading it. Can you please rephrase this question?
hahaha, alright. I guess I can put it like this:
You (the general you...but I guess also you) come to these questions with the idea of a god already in mind. If you were a blank slate, gathering the knowledge we have of the universe around us wouldn't independently lead you to the conclusion "well, it's obvious there's someone who put all of this together". When the veil is pushed back so far that a god is completely irrelevant, the "blank slate" wouldn't just invent, then plop one in at the end.
Make sense?
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:30 AM   #27
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They pop into and out of existence from nothing at all. That's the amazing thing about it.
Or...they pop in and out of our ability to observe...Also, are we to believe these particles pop in and out of existence in such a randomly perfect manner that is necessary to support this known (classical physics) universe with no guidance or predetermined pattern whatsoever? Are you suggesting the universe is an ongoing, moment-by-moment series of the same accident over and over again? Yet, the math (the new Holy Grail but we'll go with it) suggests that the odds are horribly against (meaning beyond reason to accept) such an idea - that this same randomness can keep occurring, moment-moment, over the course of billions of years in a uniform manner. Which is why men from Einstein to Susskind invoke something greater than our universe is beyond the veil.



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Right. So it could very well be a meaningless question. There needn't be a reason why.
Well - if we didn't question why there wouldn't even be a field like Quantum Mechanics or Philosophy or Theology. We are human - it is in our essence to question why Just like Dr. Susskind asked, "Why all this stuff?"


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hahaha, alright. I guess I can put it like this:
You (the general you...but I guess also you) come to these questions with the idea of a god already in mind. If you were a blank slate, gathering the knowledge we have of the universe around us wouldn't independently lead you to the conclusion "well, it's obvious there's someone who put all of this together". When the veil is pushed back so far that a god is completely irrelevant, the "blank slate" wouldn't just invent, then plop one in at the end.
Make sense?
Well, perhaps you are right. But I was an Ayn Rand atheist before I read Plato - so, my filters aren't so strong that I can't change my mind in the face of a compelling/enlightening idea. An all-powerful, all-loving eternal God is a compelling/enlightening idea.
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:05 AM   #28
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Found some quotes that might add to the discussion.

I will certainly concede that when top physicists do mention the possibility of God or Intelligent Design they are referring to a more Deist view than a Theist one.

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But physicists can never explain what 'breathes fire' into the equations, and actualises them in a real cosmos. The fundamental question of 'why is there something rather than nothing?' remains the province of philosophers." - Martin Rees
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"Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light-years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual...The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both." - Carl Sagan
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:13 PM   #29
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You (the general you...but I guess also you) come to these questions with the idea of a god already in mind. If you were a blank slate, gathering the knowledge we have of the universe around us wouldn't independently lead you to the conclusion "well, it's obvious there's someone who put all of this together". When the veil is pushed back so far that a god is completely irrelevant, the "blank slate" wouldn't just invent, then plop one in at the end.
Make sense?
Isn't it human existentialism and social interaction, or maybe mortality that led God and religion to arise in the first place? And if so, didn't it arrive naturally?

Superstitions are also taught, yes, but those initial superstitious were not passed down by ancient astronauts. Humans will place Order over Chaos, naturally. Even to this day. See: conspiracy theories. I think if we forgot all about the concept God one day, there would be a new "God" within weeks.

I think it's a very natural thing. It's also basic deduction of causation, is it not? Science has a difficult time explaining this sort of...human nature. Some of us are able to rationalize through that science but many cannot. This is also why I believe anti-theism is pretty damn wrong (note - not atheism, but anti-theism). There is a lot not accounted for in terms of basic human need. And most anti-theists, formerly including myself through most of my 20's, opine from a place of luxury that not everyone else has.
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Old 08-02-2013, 04:21 PM   #30
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Or...they pop in and out of our ability to observe
Perhaps. But they you can attribute any quality of the universe you want to just something we can't observe.

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...Also, are we to believe these particles pop in and out of existence in such a randomly perfect manner that is necessary to support this known (classical physics) universe with no guidance or predetermined pattern whatsoever?
There's nothing about it that suggests they pop in and out of existence at just the perfect manner to support the universe.
But yes, we are to believe there is no guidance or predetermined patterns because there is not a shred of evidence for either

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Are you suggesting the universe is an ongoing, moment-by-moment series of the same accident over and over again? Yet, the math (the new Holy Grail but we'll go with it) suggests that the odds are horribly against (meaning beyond reason to accept) such an idea - that this same randomness can keep occurring, moment-moment, over the course of billions of years in a uniform manner. Which is why men from Einstein to Susskind invoke something greater than our universe is beyond the veil.
What perfect pattern do you mean? Either way, you can't use probability in reverse like that. The probability of me seeing license plate number ADHR 274 today out of all the license plates in the world was infinitely small. So small in fact to be statistically impossible. But since we can't use probabilities in reverse that way, it's irrelevant.

(Einstein didn't believe in something greater. His god was metaphorical)



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Well - if we didn't question why there wouldn't even be a field like Quantum Mechanics or Philosophy or Theology. We are human - it is in our essence to question why Just like Dr. Susskind asked, "Why all this stuff?"
Oh, no, no. I wasn't suggesting we shouldn't ask questions. Rather, I was suggesting we should sometimes recognize that some questions are meaningless (ie what is the meaning of life?). I will concede asking questions about the behavior of quantum particles is well worth exploring, but it's completely within reason that at some base layer in the onion, things just are.

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Well, perhaps you are right. But I was an Ayn Rand atheist before I read Plato - so, my filters aren't so strong that I can't change my mind in the face of a compelling/enlightening idea. An all-powerful, all-loving eternal God is a compelling/enlightening idea.
I'm sure different people have different scales with which they apply preconceptions. I have no doubt you'd be reasonable enough to change your mind when presented with something compelling (as evidenced by your willingness to push the veil (and thus, god?) further back in light of new understandings). But like you mentioned to be in another thread, I'm not here to convert you; I'm just here to share my views and listen to others

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Found some quotes that might add to the discussion.
Sagan's god was also more of a metaphor. When he speaks of spirituality, he isn't talking about supernatural spirituality. More of the contemplate-the-vastness-of-the-Universe awe (You can probably, on occasion, add smoke-a-joint-and to the beginning of that string). Harris, Dawkins, Krauss, etc also talk about this kind of spirituality. I experience it myself and believe it's even more fulfilling than anything supernatural because it doesn't require a leap of faith and the inkling of doubt that certainly must creep in
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Old 08-02-2013, 04:26 PM   #31
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Isn't it human existentialism and social interaction, or maybe mortality that led God and religion to arise in the first place? And if so, didn't it arrive naturally?
Yes, but in an ignorant world. I meant with our current knowledge of things.
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Old 08-02-2013, 04:34 PM   #32
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I think it's a very natural thing. It's also basic deduction of causation, is it not? Science has a difficult time explaining this sort of...human nature. Some of us are able to rationalize through that science but many cannot. This is also why I believe anti-theism is pretty damn wrong (note - not atheism, but anti-theism). There is a lot not accounted for in terms of basic human need. And most anti-theists, formerly including myself through most of my 20's, opine from a place of luxury that not everyone else has.
What sort of human nature does science have difficulty with? (Just not sure what part you're referring to)

I consider myself leaning toward the anti-theism camp. I believe all the good religion can do doesn't require religion. But much of the bad it does happens simply because of religion.
You're not giving people - the ones perhaps not in a place of luxury - enough credit. There's so much more you can tell an individual to give them hope - real hope. not the postponed hope of a better life to come after this one. I feel it's in those conditions that religion becomes a little more nefarious and predatory
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Old 08-02-2013, 05:54 PM   #33
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What sort of human nature does science have difficulty with? (Just not sure what part you're referring to)
Emotional need? I might be able to find a better descriptive later within the reaches of my brain. Just bored and typing...

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You're not giving people - the ones perhaps not in a place of luxury - enough credit.
We have an entire history of the whole of humanity saying one thing and your Godless hypothetical saying another. If this were a scientific pursuit. I like the side with all the evidence versus none.

Have you ever known any religious people that have lost their religion and have completely fallen apart? They exist. How about people in true despair? Whether it is health issues or the impoverished or otherwise. How about addicts that have no other recourse (according to their own psychology) but to call out to a God that might not even exist according to you or I? All of recorded history is full of this kind of stuff. And accompanied by some system of belief. A yearning for something greater than one's self.

I could also go on a lengthy diatribe here about general human ignorance. Much of which, I would guess, you would similarly use to show the folly of religion. And how does this ignorance suddenly rectify itself? When we can see as societies, even Western societies, a dumbing down of the culture. Advances in technology actually accentuate this do they not? We are more and more asking the culture to NOT think. How does this lead to a progression where God (as concept) has no place? Again, I am a former (near or actual) anti-theist. But I've been through all these topics a thousand times in my own head and in conversations with others. I am comfortable where I've landed.

You say all the good religion can do doesn't require religion but that does not involve the basic human emotional needs of millions outside of yourself. People like you, me and others - are able to rationalize, and use reason and logic (and so on) but there are many people that don't. You can say I am not giving them enough credit - all I am doing is observing what has happened over the course of humanity. Humans tend to place Order over Chaos.

Think about your own view. And what ultimately leads people to religion (it's not just what is taught to them). And explain how that goes away. And if it doesn't go away, it doesn't make any difference how much an objective view says it's not needed. It's needed, if it is, because people want it. "Want" is the not the best word...need it. Again, this is part of the initial question I need to try to do a better job of articulating. Philosophy was never a great interest of mine. I like facts and logic and science, etc. But I've tried to become a hack science/religious pundit over the years as you can tell.

I think it is very important to make one distinction here. God, belief in a God, belief in a higher power (from the God of Abraham to some kind of...collective consciousness) and religion can be mutually exclusive. I know you know this good and well, JT, I am just making the emphasis. I don't think people in the year 2100 will be more inclined to follow religions as much as I think there might be a new religion resembling, for lack of a better example, Deism. I just don't think it goes away. Ever. Because we can't explain everything away with science. Even if we can, we can't get people to listen. There are otherwise intelligent people that refuse to believe in Evolution. It's not for lack of education, it's for a simple incuriosity to hear different. That is the kind of emotional response I am talking about. Maybe I can elaborate later on.
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Old 08-03-2013, 12:27 AM   #34
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Perhaps. But they you can attribute any quality of the universe you want to just something we can't observe.
That's true.


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There's nothing about it that suggests they pop in and out of existence at just the perfect manner to support the universe.
But yes, we are to believe there is no guidance or predetermined patterns because there is not a shred of evidence for either
The point I was really trying to make is that the "random" accident did not just happen once at the Big Bang - it's been happening every single moment in every single square nanometer of the cosmos for over 14 billions years now...those are ghastly odds that are growing exponentially larger every single moment the universe does not just dissolve or dissipate.



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What perfect pattern do you mean? Either way, you can't use probability in reverse like that. The probability of me seeing license plate number ADHR 274 today out of all the license plates in the world was infinitely small. So small in fact to be statistically impossible. But since we can't use probabilities in reverse that way, it's irrelevant.
That's a good point if we are talking about one single event - but what the panelists in the video seem to be saying, and what Sting Theory tries to explain - is that ineach moment our universe must be filled with incalculable "accidents" surrounding each frickin particle in the entire cosmos (and has been true for over 14 billion years ) just to sustain the reality we can observe. The math demands that everything should instantly disappear - yet it doesn't.

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(Einstein didn't believe in something greater. His god was metaphorical)
A metaphor for what?



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Oh, no, no. I wasn't suggesting we shouldn't ask questions. Rather, I was suggesting we should sometimes recognize that some questions are meaningless (ie what is the meaning of life?).
I must respectfully diagree with you there - I think it is a valid question indeed, and I've spent most of my adult life trying to answer it. Of course, it's a question that's not easily answered, but that doesn't make it meaningless.

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I will concede asking questions about the behavior of quantum particles is well worth exploring, but it's completely within reason that at some base layer in the onion, things just are.
That's funny you said this - not sure if was on purpose. Of course, that is exactly how God defines himself (I AM). Meaning, at some base layer in the onion, God Just Is.

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I'm sure different people have different scales with which they apply preconceptions. I have no doubt you'd be reasonable enough to change your mind when presented with something compelling (as evidenced by your willingness to push the veil (and thus, god?) further back in light of new understandings). But like you mentioned to be in another thread, I'm not here to convert you; I'm just here to share my views and listen to others
No, I don't feel like you're trying to convert me and I am thoroughly enjoying this thread. I'm happy you started it. Yes - I'm willing to push the veil back in my understanding of God and this amazingly complex and mysterious universe, but my relationship with Him is based on something else, something just as mysterious as these spooky particles.


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Sagan's god was also more of a metaphor. When he speaks of spirituality, he isn't talking about supernatural spirituality. More of the contemplate-the-vastness-of-the-Universe awe (You can probably, on occasion, add smoke-a-joint-and to the beginning of that string). Harris, Dawkins, Krauss, etc also talk about this kind of spirituality. I experience it myself and believe it's even more fulfilling than anything supernatural because it doesn't require a leap of faith and the inkling of doubt that certainly must creep in
I think I understand what you're saying. I remember feeling that way several times before my own conversion - so I do no think it is unique to those that believe in God. Yet, I would still like some clarification on how God is used as a metaphor. I would think that this is the only metaphor that would never work (assuming by God we mean the perfect, omniscient, and omnipresent being and not Zeus).
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Old 08-03-2013, 12:41 AM   #35
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That's true.


The point I was really trying to make is that the "random" accident did not just happen once at the Big Bang - it's been happening every single moment in every single square nanometer of the cosmos for over 14 billions years now...those are ghastly odds that are growing exponentially larger every single moment the universe does not just dissolve or dissipate.



That's a good point if we are talking about one single event - but what the panelists in the video seem to be saying, and what Sting Theory tries to explain - is that ineach moment our universe must be filled with incalculable "accidents" surrounding each frickin particle in the entire cosmos (and has been true for over 14 billion years ) just to sustain the reality we can observe. The math demands that everything should instantly disappear - yet it doesn't.
I dunno. This seems like a bit of getting lost in the numbers. Philosophers encounter a similar phenomenon when they spend too much time in their thought experiments. The Universe doesn't evapourate into nothing, but there's no reason to think it's a god keeping it from happening. What sort of design would that be if the only thing holding it all together is his magic? There's clearly something keeping it from happening and when it's sorted out (if it indeed isn't getting lost in the equations), god will be pushed back further into the fringes

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A metaphor for what?
For the laws of physics. Hawking also uses the term god in this way. Neither of them are suggesting a god actually exists


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I must respectfully diagree with you there - I think it is a valid question indeed, and I've spent most of my adult life trying to answer it. Of course, it's a question that's not easily answered, but that doesn't make it meaningless.
Well I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one. Fair enough


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That's funny you said this - not sure if was on purpose. Of course, that is exactly how God defines himself (I AM). Meaning, at some base layer in the onion, God Just Is.
Just semantics though. I wasn't implying god was at the centre of it (I'm sure you're shocked). It just so happens we used similar terminology.

Quote:
No, I don't feel like you're trying to convert me and I am thoroughly enjoying this thread. I'm happy you started it. Yes - I'm willing to push the veil back in my understanding of God and this amazingly complex and mysterious universe, but my relationship with Him is based on something else, something just as mysterious as these spooky particles.


Quote:
I think I understand what you're saying. I remember feeling that way several times before my own conversion - so I do no think it is unique to those that believe in God. Yet, I would still like some clarification on how God is used as a metaphor. I would think that this is the only metaphor that would never work (assuming by God we mean the perfect, omniscient, and omnipresent being and not Zeus).
It's just their way of speaking about the laws of the universe in an anthropomorphic way.
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Old 08-03-2013, 12:44 AM   #36
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Emotional need? I might be able to find a better descriptive later within the reaches of my brain. Just bored and typing...



We have an entire history of the whole of humanity saying one thing and your Godless hypothetical saying another. If this were a scientific pursuit. I like the side with all the evidence versus none.

Have you ever known any religious people that have lost their religion and have completely fallen apart? They exist. How about people in true despair? Whether it is health issues or the impoverished or otherwise. How about addicts that have no other recourse (according to their own psychology) but to call out to a God that might not even exist according to you or I? All of recorded history is full of this kind of stuff. And accompanied by some system of belief. A yearning for something greater than one's self.

I could also go on a lengthy diatribe here about general human ignorance. Much of which, I would guess, you would similarly use to show the folly of religion. And how does this ignorance suddenly rectify itself? When we can see as societies, even Western societies, a dumbing down of the culture. Advances in technology actually accentuate this do they not? We are more and more asking the culture to NOT think. How does this lead to a progression where God (as concept) has no place? Again, I am a former (near or actual) anti-theist. But I've been through all these topics a thousand times in my own head and in conversations with others. I am comfortable where I've landed.

You say all the good religion can do doesn't require religion but that does not involve the basic human emotional needs of millions outside of yourself. People like you, me and others - are able to rationalize, and use reason and logic (and so on) but there are many people that don't. You can say I am not giving them enough credit - all I am doing is observing what has happened over the course of humanity. Humans tend to place Order over Chaos.

Think about your own view. And what ultimately leads people to religion (it's not just what is taught to them). And explain how that goes away. And if it doesn't go away, it doesn't make any difference how much an objective view says it's not needed. It's needed, if it is, because people want it. "Want" is the not the best word...need it. Again, this is part of the initial question I need to try to do a better job of articulating. Philosophy was never a great interest of mine. I like facts and logic and science, etc. But I've tried to become a hack science/religious pundit over the years as you can tell.

I think it is very important to make one distinction here. God, belief in a God, belief in a higher power (from the God of Abraham to some kind of...collective consciousness) and religion can be mutually exclusive. I know you know this good and well, JT, I am just making the emphasis. I don't think people in the year 2100 will be more inclined to follow religions as much as I think there might be a new religion resembling, for lack of a better example, Deism. I just don't think it goes away. Ever. Because we can't explain everything away with science. Even if we can, we can't get people to listen. There are otherwise intelligent people that refuse to believe in Evolution. It's not for lack of education, it's for a simple incuriosity to hear different. That is the kind of emotional response I am talking about. Maybe I can elaborate later on.
I'm not ignoring this. I will respond
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:52 AM   #37
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For the laws of physics. Hawking also uses the term god in this way. Neither of them are suggesting a god actually exists
Sounds a bit like the Stoic use of the term Logos - the governing principle of the universe.
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:55 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Jive Turkey View Post

I wasn't implying god was at the centre of it (I'm sure you're shocked).
Oh - I knew that. I was just appreciating the irony.
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:44 AM   #39
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I'm yet to determine if I can contribute anything much to this thread, but I am glad that it exists. This forum needs to be broadened beyond a stale and one-note emphasis on current affairs (often from an exclusively US perspective).
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:49 PM   #40
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Einstein, Hawking and Darwin were/are Pantheists, whatever they are
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