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  1. #81
    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nozflubber View Post
    bleh....

    I swear to Logos, I'm gonna go through my huge ass Aristotle book and point out how you can have creationism backed by philosophical/scientific thought and not blind religious zealotry.

    Sometimes, you just gotta break it down Barney style, I guess.
    its precisely why irreducible complexity is such a huge issue. its the one area where creationists could make a stand on empirical/scientific (no comment on philosophical) grounds, and yet they still fail...

  2. #82
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babylon Candle View Post
    its precisely why irreducible complexity is such a huge issue. its the one area where creationists could make a stand on empirical/scientific (no comment on philosophical) grounds, and yet they still fail...
    Yeah, I was just thinking of appealing to "proper forms" as part of it.... not to mention why our geometrical space can be arranged, harmoniously, with 3 dimensions - no more, no less. But I'm sure that's just a convenient coincidence! I don't need logic to prove that now do I?

    And I'm glad YOU understand that, but it seems there's as much anti-creationist zeal and there is pro. So strange!

  3. #83
    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nozflubber View Post
    Yeah, I was just thinking of appealing to "proper forms" as part of it.... not to mention why our geometrical space is arranged, harmoniously, with 3 dimensions - no more, no less. But I'm sure that's just a convenient coincidence! I don't need logic to prove that now do I?

    And I'm glad YOU understand that, but it seems there's as much anti-creationist zeal and there is pro. So strange!
    i think at a certain point though, you have to honestly ask yourself what your theory predicts. a completely naturalistic explanation predicts a very different universe from a theistic one (as long as God is in abrahamic sense).

    i think appealing to things like proper forms could flow from an engineer God, but not really from an abrahamic God. Then you have to ask yourself, if its not personal, if he doesnt give us 'rules', doesnt require anything of us, doesnt intervene, nor judge us, is that really "god"? or is it just a name u've stuck over "the origin"?


    also look under my name: "HasGeometry = HasMeaning" ... everything ultimately comes down to "how its geometrically arranged in the dimensions of space-time". Everything from the meaning of life, morality, natural laws, etc ultimately originates more fundamentally with why are some things arranged in (X, Z, Y) and not (x, Z, y)? the best we can really get is that things are the way are they are, simply because they are arranged in space-time as such. why space-time is how it is? quantum inflation?

    replacing quantum inflation with "god", at best gets you an "engineer" God though... it hardly fits the abrahamic versions of God...

  4. #84
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    It's still God as in Spinoza's God, aka nature, so yes. Creation doesn't have to be an act of a will; it could be incidental....

    I think the problem is that people assume that creation implies an intent or plan. There's no such necessity to unify the two at all....

    I can create something without having an intent or plan, easily. Artists do it all the time, as a matter of fact.

    Or, consider Einstein's famous conjecture that God plays dice.... if God A) rolls the dice B) has no will, and C) has no intent.... you still have a result. You can have a reasonably well-ordered one, too, if you wanna go back into the quantum realm

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    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nozflubber View Post
    You can have a reasonably well-ordered one, too, if you wanna go back into the quantum realm
    ...roll 6 dice 50,000 times and you are more than 5/6 likely to get 1,2,3,4,5,6 eventually...


    I just don't like using "creation" for that kind of Einsteinian God, for much the same reason i dont like when people use the word "god" for the Spinoza or Einsteinian God. It confuses people, it gives the religious nuts a false sense of rationality, and its not even really referring to the kind of abrahamic "God" that most people think of when someone else uses the term "God".

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babylon Candle View Post
    ...roll 6 dice 50,000 times and you are more than 5/6 likely to get 1,2,3,4,5,6 eventually...


    I just don't like using "creation" for that kind of Einsteinian God, for much the same reason i dont like when people use the word "god" for the Spinoza or Einsteinian God. It confuses people, it gives the religious nuts a false sense of rationality, and its not even really referring to the kind of abrahamic "God" that most people think of when someone else uses the term "God".
    I agree using the word "God" is problematic, but there you are assuming that we actually have to take the Abrahamic God literally.... As I mentioned elsewhere, if you take the bible to be highly metaphorical and not-literal (which is how most read it), then there isn't an inconsistancy.

    The bible is a set of literature..... allegories for our history and how to live life. Problem solved :P (not really but yeah)

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    Quote Originally Posted by nozflubber View Post
    I agree using the word "God" is problematic, but there you are assuming that we actually have to take the Abrahamic God literally.... As I mentioned elsewhere, if you take the bible to be highly metaphorical and not-literal (which is how most read it), then there isn't an inconsistancy.

    The bible is a set of literature..... allegories for our history and how to live life. Problem solved :P (not really but yeah)
    the liberal interpreter always loses. they are forced to admit that they are putting bold faced speculation in front of the 'word of God'. Opinion isn't good enough in deciding what the hell the Bible means (thus why a literal reading, is the only way to make sense of it). no one is won over by the argument from divine inspiration (i just 'have this feeling' that THIS is what that part means!). this again circles back to how religion has NO method! its the biggest issue of this entire thread!

  8. #88
    Member Oleander's Avatar
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    I think the word 'God' is very significant. When Christianity was founded there were thousands of gods and they all had a personal name including the Jewish OT god. The Christian god does not have a personal name. There was a realisation within pagan philosophy that whether all the gods existed or not (and whatever they were or what exist might mean in their case) there had to be some kind of Ultimate Principle, some Foundation that everything was a form of and for want of a better words call it The God beyond the gods.

    That is always the Christian usage. It's often usage in the Dead Sea Scrolls as well (and the word for 'god' is El or Al, as in Al-Lah). Whatever its 'real' origins, Christianity was a 'new dispensation' in that it dealt with a Principle beyond depiction or naming. There are similar concepts in related an unrelated religions. In Qabbala The Infinite Light of Nothing in Hinduism & Buddhism The Undifferentiated. Christianity treats the gods as at best fictions, at worst actual evil forces distracting us from greater understanding. St. Paul even says to go through 'Scripture' and what acts of YHWH fit Christian ethics and understanding of The Divinity actually are 'of the god', what do not are 'of man' - justifications for ancient conquests and royal decrees. If you want a 'depiction' or 'image' of the divinity, you have to go through The Christ as represented by Jesus. That covers the 'simple' in need of gods they can see and imagine.

    'God' is nota name: it is a label, a 'description' of some Priinciple that by definition cannot be defined (There's worse things in mathematical logic!). That is how Christianity comes to be a radical development of public religions of the time, though the initiatory Mystery religions taught similar ideas - and how, in pagan terms, it was seen as Atheism.

    Fine. But not everybody did think along those mystical lines. Christianity had its 'militant fundamentalists' then too. We hear about them as martyrs bravely resisting wicked Romans pleading with them to just even pray to their god for the Emperor's well-being. Not so hard: most modern states include prayers for their Head of State. We hear far less about the ones who found no problem with this or with accepting the official gods as part of the doings of normal life. They made no trouble so there's nothing to hear.

    Well not quite nothing. We do hear of them as heretics, backsliders, traitors to the Cause - all the things we might expect a suicide bomber to call the typical Muslim who says his prayers but doesn't mind the occasional forbidden drink and thinks Shariya Law was an improvement in the desert of the First Century AH but now that's where it should stay.

    I submit that it's these people who really understood the original Christian message and the kids took the school over over and eliminated their teachers. The militants had (and needed) better organisation and they flourished during sixty years when the Roman Empire fell apart in almost permanent civil war before being put back together in a new form that became the Byzantine Empire. It's notable that the first thing that happened then was a persecution of Christians and the second their legalisation leading to becoming obligatory State Religion.

    Why? Because those Christians probably had a better working organisation than the State. People looked to their Bishop for protection and justice, not to unreliable cash-starved bribable official magistrates. They constituted a state within the State and had to be either crushed (which didn't work) or absorbed (which worked mightily!)

    At the same time, those Christians had long since lost touch with a lot of the inner meanings and returned to the kind of personal god called God that pagans had. As the religion spread to non-Romans they replaced Thor with Christ, Woden with God and so on. The Orthodox and Catholic churches retain some vestige of deity as a Principle beyond some Zeus on a cloud interfering with the world. By the time you come to descendants of these 'Barbarians' in Switzerland and Holland and get Zwingli and Calvin, their God is a Person Up There with a very definite character (and not a nice one either!).

    So, to try and sum up, I think the Abrahamic Personification was just what Christianity was intended to get beyond with a much more philosophical 'god' considered Atheistic at the time. The idea got lost and instead they restored the old kind of personified deity using God as a personal name instead of a title. The worst of them took their ideas across the Atlantic where they became ever more primitive and ever more crazy so that some of them can read passages talking about Jews and the Promissed Land as applying to themselves while denouncing real Jews as cursed. We should really think of 'The God' in the New Testament as something much vaguer and greater than the Personage imagined in the Old.

    That doesn't make me a 'Christian' in any usual sense. It makes be an outright heretic. But I feel that taken that way, all religions reconcile up to a point, given the different societies they have developed in. Europeans and Middle Easterners are far too dynamic to have developed anything like Buddhism. Indians have a tradition of philosophy and mysticism going back too far to develop something as formalised as Islam. Even where they have taken to it, they were among the first to develop Sufi mysticism. And so on.

  9. #89
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    The discourse between proponents of Intelligent Design and proponents of Evolution are amusing to me as each side attempts to understand and discuss the issues while using a different paradigm.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Babylon Candle View Post
    the liberal interpreter always loses. they are forced to admit that they are putting bold faced speculation in front of the 'word of God'. Opinion isn't good enough in deciding what the hell the Bible means (thus why a literal reading, is the only way to make sense of it).
    This, uh, is the problem.

    There is no "literal" reading that makes any sort of pervasive sense.

    How in God's name (literally) can you read a document composed from different cultures, by different authors, over the space of 1500 years, written in different languages and translated into new ones (so much for "literal"!) by people far removed from the culture in question so they don't really understand the text and its implications in a literal fashion?

    "Literal" is just yet one more interpretation, just like all the "liberal" interpretations out there. The only seeming difference between the two is the letters "b" and "t".

    no one is won over by the argument from divine inspiration (i just 'have this feeling' that THIS is what that part means!). this again circles back to how religion has NO method! its the biggest issue of this entire thread!
    Which is why I've moved from a position of assuming that perfect divine truth can be specified from a textbook.

    Divine truth is going to contain ambiguity, and it's going to contain complexity, and it's going to give principles rather than answers, and it's going to be organic within the situation, not imposed on it from afar.

    Many spiritual people can accept this. I think the argument rises mostly because some people want an idol they can touch and feel and specify and put boundaries on and so feel secure that they are doing exactly the right thing in any situation, removing the need for real fear and trembling before God because of the uncertainty inherent in any walk of faith.

    What does it mean to "let God be God and let ourselves be human?" It means accepting there's a lot we don't know, nor can we.

    4. religion has no method. this is the main problem with religion. there is no convergence on any "truth" using religious means, because there is no method that has been refined to "find" anything resembling "truth" on a consistent and convergent basis.
    Yup. Because religious truth, I don't think, is a scientific process. People try to teach methods (I've learned a number of them)... but that's all they are, methods. I see them more as various forms of illumination that you can try in a situation and see which one reveals the most useful answers; unfortunately, just because a light works in one situation doesn't mean it'll work elsewhere, and it also depends on who's holding the light.

    Here's a real-life example. I got a letter last weekend from a conservative believer I haven't talked to for years who heard about what they think is a Big Mistake i am making. They bowed out of any rational discussion of the issue and just told me that it wasn't between me and them, I needed to "go to God" and work it out with Him.

    (With the underlying assumption that, if I had ever done so, I would have reached the same conclusions as this person did.)

    However, I wrestled with God over the situation for decades, and it was in that peace and acceptance I made my decisions now.

    Two people "went to God" and came up with completely different answers.

    The method does not produce similar results.
    Because the method can't be separated from the individual in question, like scientific method can.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    The discourse between proponents of Intelligent Design and proponents of Evolution are amusing to me as each side attempts to understand and discuss the issues while using a different paradigm.
    It's rather a problem when the two sides are speaking different languages without realizing they're doing it.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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