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  1. #1
    Rats off to ya! Mort Belfry's Avatar
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    Default Reconciling Evolution to Religious Beliefs

    As a child I was taught both, and accepted both...mainly because adults told me.

    Actually I wasn't really taught evolution, more told about it. My mother just said casually to me one day, "We used to be apes."

    To which I thought, "Really? But I've seen baby pictures of myself, I'm sure I was human. Then I must have been born an ape and very quickly morphed into a human with the rest of the family."

    But I'd like to hear from believers in religious faiths who also believe evolution. Does this mean you necessarily have to throw out the first book of the bible? Or is there still value in taking it allegorically? Or is there evolution in the subtext of Genisis?

    I'm not intending this to be a debate thread, I'd just like to hear your thoughts.
    Why do we always come here?

    I guess we'll never know.

    It's like a kind of torture,
    To have to watch this show.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Nonsensical's Avatar
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    I believe in both.

    I don't follow a lot of the Christian beliefs about the Earth, the story told in the book of Genesis, of the seven days..I don't believe in Adam and Eve, but I do believe in it as a metaphor.

    In a nutsehll..I believe that God simply is the supreme being of this universe and all that we are and see and feel and intuit...but what happens on earth is strictly on it's own accord. Everything that science has 'proved' is true, but in the presense of God..as if science is one small aspect in God. It's simple, really..I am not fond of christians who think that science is wrong, even though they have direct proof, like evolution, and I am not fond of atheists who are too ignorant to believe in a God.

    Middle ground is wise, I think.
    Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way?

  3. #3
    Rats off to ya! Mort Belfry's Avatar
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    So would you say that the bible has a holy significance, though not to be taken literally, or do just believe it's just a book written by theists?
    Why do we always come here?

    I guess we'll never know.

    It's like a kind of torture,
    To have to watch this show.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Nonsensical's Avatar
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    I think the bible is about 90% figurative. I do think of Jesus as a literal person, but some aspects of his character might be more figurative. It's all a moral standard, that tries to get its readers to follow though not clearly telling them to act certain ways.

    I don't think it should be followed strictly, though. In my opinion, that Roman Catholic church took it miles and miles beyond the limit. There should be a choice to believe in God, and church and state should be seperate. I'll give non-believers that.

    I do find it naive for atheists to feel so strongly that there is not God. It's all assumptions. You can't prove either side, and it seems like non believers judge it.
    Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way?

  5. #5
    Sniffles
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    Mort, you should really look into the concept of "Theistic Evolution", which as the name suggests is a religious interpretation of evolution.

    Perhaps it should be mentioned that most Christian denominations support this position, as opposed to Young Earth Creationism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mort Belfry View Post

    But I'd like to hear from believers in religious faiths who also believe evolution. Does this mean you necessarily have to throw out the first book of the bible? Or is there still value in taking it allegorically? Or is there evolution in the subtext of Genisis.
    St. Augustine addressed this issue centuries ago. The main point of the Bible is to teach spiritual truths, not give facts about the physical world.

  6. #6
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    Evolution IS god, and Creation is evolution. Same exact thing, except the creationist account has more axioms:

    "Let me pass to a very cognate philosophic problem, the QUESTION of DESIGN IN NATURE. God’s existence has from time immemorial been held to be proved by certain natural facts. Many facts appear as if expressly designed in view of one another. Thus the woodpecker’s bill, tongue, feet, tail, etc., fit him wondrously for a world of trees with grubs hid in their bark to feed upon. The parts of our eye fit the laws of light to perfection, leading its rays to a sharp picture on our retina. Such mutual fitting of things diverse in origin argued design, it was held; and the designer was always treated as a man-loving deity.
    The first step in these arguments was to prove that the design existed. Nature was ransacked for results obtained through separate things being co-adapted. Our eyes, for instance, originate in intra- uterine darkness, and the light originates in the sun, yet see how they fit each other. They are evidently made FOR each other. Vision is the end designed, light and eyes the separate means devised for its attainment.
    It is strange, considering how unanimously our ancestors felt the force of this argument, to see how little it counts for since the triumph of the darwinian theory. Darwin opened our minds to the power of chance-happenings to bring forth ’fit’ results if only they have time to add themselves together. He showed the enormous waste of nature in producing results that get destroyed because of their unfitness. He also emphasized the number of adaptations which, if designed, would argue an evil rather than a good designer. Here all depends upon the point of view. To the grub under the bark the exquisite fitness of the woodpecker’s organism to extract him would certainly argue a diabolical designer.
    Theologians have by this time stretched their minds so as to embrace the darwinian facts, and yet to interpret them as still showing divine purpose. It used to be a question of purpose AGAINST mechanism, of one OR the other. It was as if one should say “My shoes are evidently designed to fit my feet, hence it is impossible that they should have been produced by machinery.” We know that they are both: they are made by a machinery itself designed to fit the feet with shoes. Theology need only stretch similarly the designs of God. As the aim of a football-team is not merely to get the ball to a certain goal (if that were so, they would simply get up on some dark night and place it there), but to get it there by a fixed MACHINERY OF CONDITIONS–the game’s rules and the opposing players; so the aim of God is not merely, let us say, to make men and to save them, but rather to get this done through the sole agency of nature’s vast machinery. Without nature’s stupendous laws and counterforces, man’s creation and perfection, we might suppose, would be too insipid achievements for God to have designed them.This saves the form of the design-argument at the expense of its old easy human content. The designer is no longer the old man-like deity. His designs have grown so vast as to be incomprehensible to us humans. The WHAT of them so overwhelms us that to establish the mere THAT of a designer for them becomes of very little consequence in comparison. We can with difficulty comprehend the character of a cosmic mind whose purposes are fully revealed by the strange mixture of goods and evils that we find in this actual world’s particulars. Or rather we cannot by any possibility comprehend it. The mere word ’design’ by itself has, we see, no consequences and explains nothing. It is the barrenest of principles. The old question of WHETHER there is design is idle. The real question is WHAT is the world, whether or not it have a designer–and that can be revealed only by the study of all nature’s particulars."

    Pragmatism - Lecture III. Some Metaphysical Problems Pragmatically Considered (by William James)

    EDIT: point here: Evolution does NOT deter or "take away from" creationism, it ADDS TO ITS EXPLANATORY VALUE!! I wish religious zealots could see that.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Nonsensical's Avatar
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    Nozflubber signed, sealed, and delivered the argument. Couldn't of put it better myself..actually..he put it way better than I did.
    Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way?

  8. #8
    Senior Member professor goodstain's Avatar
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    The creater which designed our design also designed that design to falter before the keepers of that design could figure out that design. That is truely devine
    everyone uses every function about evenly. take NE for example. if there are those who don't use it much, then why are there such massive amounts of people constantly flowing through Wallmart with 20 items or less?

  9. #9
    it's a nuclear device antireconciler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Perhaps it should be mentioned that most Christian denominations support this position, as opposed to Young Earth Creationism.
    The loudest most annoying Christians/athiests/republicans/democrats/libertarians/&c are often the most unyielding and unforgiving and generally don't represent the group they claim to. It's easy to lose sight of this.

    Quote Originally Posted by nozflubber View Post
    ... The WHAT of [the designs] so overwhelms us that to establish the mere THAT of a designer for them becomes of very little consequence in comparison. ... The real question is WHAT is the world, whether or not it have a designer–and that can be revealed only by the study of all nature’s particulars.
    I like this, however, I think it oversimplifies. That there is so much to know about the world arguably should not distract us from the question of design, and not because it is of any consequence to our physical sciences, and thus any useful material product of them, but because it is an important matter to many concerning their interpretation of what the entire physical world means. The complexity of the world doesn't entail that its meaning is derivable from an ever deeper exploration into that complexity alone. One has to insist on NOT being overwhelmed by that, and on, instead, encapsulating the complexity wholesale in a conceptual totality, even if that totality is not entirely defined, but instead stretches outward and outward into ever more fine distinctions.

    Does this make sense? It is a difficult distinction to convey in words because it represents two very different manners of thinking. One is rightly immersed in the world, the other is rightly holding the whole of the world out at arm's length as though it were a snow globe.

    Once we persist on encapsulating the complex world within a conceptual totality, the question of meaning (and thus the matter of a designer) remains unchanged. "What is the working order of the world?" becomes SYNONYMOUS with "What is the meaning of the world?" In both cases, we are asking for the foundation of the world. What is it?

    The matter of what it means, however, is also a matter of what the self means, since world and self is the essential relation at this level. The question, "who are you?" makes no sense when asked to the mechanical world one is immersed in, but it makes perfect sense to ask this at the level of self-and-world. Similarly with the question, "who am I?". In the first case, the answer is mechanical, "you are these sets of physical processes". In the second case, the answer is very different, and people begin describing themselves and the world in terms of creation stories. But you see that AT the level of world-immersion, the creation stories make no sense at all, and this is because they are not being interpreted in the required context.

    Now, it is not as though there are really these distinct levels, because what we find is that the whole of the world-immersion level is rather like a fading dream IN THE SENSE that nothing there is, in itself, grounded. The paradox of the Ship of Theseus is an excellent example. It applies just as easily to the self saying "I am this set of processes." The knowledge at this level begins smudging the moment it is asserted, and this is because it begins going over into its opposite, just like the rest of the impermanent world which is fated to do the same, hence, temporarily.
    ~ a n t i r e c o n c i l e r
    What is death, dies.
    What is life, lives.

  10. #10
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    Quote Originally Posted by antireconciler View Post
    Once we persist on encapsulating the complex world within a conceptual totality, the question of meaning (and thus the matter of a designer) remains unchanged. "What is the working order of the world?" becomes SYNONYMOUS with "What is the meaning of the world?" In both cases, we are asking for the foundation of the world. What is it?
    PRecsiely! Are you familiar with James' philosophy? Because "simplification" is Pragmatism's middle name whether its trivializing what it cannot is up for debate, really

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