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  1. #91
    Member Eye 'n' Teepee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevrawlings View Post
    "Dressing it up in God"? Just really consider that. He created it, how could revering him for his creation be confused as garishly dressing it up? Science is great, but it is limited, and a very poor substitute for God, in my opinion. Science merely takes what was here and studies it, observes it, reduces it, says "oh, pshhh . . . I get it."
    Science is sure as hell the best we've got for understanding the universe. It's probably not limitless, but at the very least it goes by evidence and reason instead of making up stories.

    It's like if someone showed you a magic trick over and over and you eventually found out how it was done. You would get a bloated feeling of accomplishment and self-importance for having discovered it. The magician, God (in this analogy), would be disheartened. When you are a kid, that magic is so much more real, but when you find out the mechanics of it, the wonder is gone.
    The wonder's not at all taken away by it...the fascinating thing is in trying to figure out "how did he do that?" When I was a child, I was always curious as to how the magician did his trick. "It's magic" was and still is a lame answer to me. The magician analogy is a pretty good one, though. While things might seem like magic at first, there's always a trick that we can find...often a simple one with far reaching consequences. People once thought that lightning was being thrown from the sky by Zeus with his godly magic powers - now we know better. It once seemed crazy that the diversity and complexity of life could have come about naturally...Darwin discovered the "trick" behind this.

    "I praise you, father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, for you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them only to little children. Yes, for it was your good pleasure to do so." Matthew 11:25
    "It's been a hard day's night, and I've been working like a dog. It's been a hard day's night; I should be sleeping like a log." - John-Paul 3:01.

  2. #92
    Senior Member kevrawlings's Avatar
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    All of your arguments are ones that I believed at one point. I have considered, at various points in time, in various phases of my former atheism, everything that you've brought to the table in this thread. I've also been on this thread, defending my original stance, for about 6-7 hours. That's the most time I've ever sat behind a computer, I'm intellectually drained.

    Regarding religious stories - I can tell you that the Bible is a series of books, like a library. Some of it is historical, some of it is poetry, some of it is just parables. As for the old school Greek mythology argument you brought up - Jesus was a historical figure, some will fervently dispute this, but they're pretty overwhelmingly ruled out by the popular consensus to say the least. Zeus is not a historical figure, and that's not up for debate.

    Also, Darwinism doesn't disprove the existence of God any more than the discovery of gravity does. Have you considered that evolution may be a mechanism that God put in place? You've gotta think big picture here, people. Where will your science be when you eventually die? What happens? Put that in a beaker and swirl it around a bit.

    If I was a philosophical materialist, I would see a person as a functionally integrated, irreducibly complex molecular machine, not a soul. You see, the body is like an avatar, merely a vehicle. Just as you are behind the wheel of your car when you drive, the soul controls the body.

    "People don't have souls. People are souls; people have bodies." - C.S. Lewis, Christian apologist

    Maybe I just enjoy philosophy more than science. I do love science, though. If I ever have to go to the hospital again, I thank God for people like Da Vinci who sought to understand the human body and its functions. Maybe I prefer philosophy because it lets you think, rather than simply observe and categorize. Most scientific discoveries are accidental. They don't occur with a "EUREKA! I'VE GOT IT!", but rather, a "huh . . . that's strange."

  3. #93
    Senior Member kevrawlings's Avatar
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    Until tomorrow . . . signing off the thread.

  4. #94
    Senior Member Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Einstein would have found it patently absurd for people to attribute such importance to his position.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  5. #95
    Senior Member Zangetshumody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevrawlings View Post
    This thread has derailed.

    The initial thread was about how fantastic and wonderful the world would be like if no one spoke of or heard the word God again. That "imagine" John Lennon nonsense.

    Hawking, agnostic, sure, by definition, I concede that. But the quote clearly, poetically, and very strongly, implies that he had a nagging sense that there is a God.

    Sorry I disrespected Einstein, if it's any consolation, he's dead, and doesn't know about it.

    As for him using God as a metaphor in that context - how can you use God as a metaphor? What else is like God? A metaphor for what? It was simply not a metaphor. As for him belittling believers in his quote, I'm not surprised. A man like that has to keep up appearances. He was the elite of the elite. Imagine how his peers would have received him if he was openly theistic.

    Watcha got on Tesla or any of the other prestigious theistic scientists? Or better yet, what does anybody have on the believers who aren't prestigious? What do secular materialists have? A smug air of condescension and intellectual entitlement? I'd rather be a "childish" believer any day of the week. To not have any evidence at all, and still look at a mountain range, or the open ocean, or a strand of DNA and think, man, God is amazing.
    God when honestly pondered is an irreducible mystery, the universe can be similarly conceived of, that is the source of the metaphor.

    Scientists are not philosophers, just because someone puts on the intellectual skeptic-hat for the science lab doesn't mean they apply that thinking to all their views, which Christian-scientists obviously don't. Also deism is not theism.
    Escape powerful genjitsu by averting your gaze from the eyes.

  6. #96
    Member Eye 'n' Teepee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevrawlings View Post
    Regarding religious stories - I can tell you that the Bible is a series of books, like a library. Some of it is historical, some of it is poetry, some of it is just parables.
    How do you separate the historical from the mythological?

    As for the old school Greek mythology argument you brought up - Jesus was a historical figure, some will fervently dispute this, but they're pretty overwhelmingly ruled out by the popular consensus to say the least. Zeus is not a historical figure, and that's not up for debate.
    If Jesus did exist, that says nothing about the accuracy of the entire bible. Just because David Icke exists doesn't mean that aliens run the world.

    Also, Darwinism doesn't disprove the existence of God any more than the discovery of gravity does. Have you considered that evolution may be a mechanism that God put in place?
    It seems strange that he would choose the one way that would make it seem as if he was not there at all, don't you think? If there is a God, he doesn't intervene in the universe, and maybe he can't.

    You've gotta think big picture here, people. Where will your science be when you eventually die? What happens? Put that in a beaker and swirl it around a bit.
    There's no indication that life continues after death. All consciousness is a product of our brains. We can alter our emotions, invoke "religious experiences" with chemical substances, and many other things. The brain dies during death, so that's likely all there is. Believing in fairy tales doesn't make a difference there.

    If I was a philosophical materialist, I would see a person as a functionally integrated, irreducibly complex molecular machine, not a soul. You see, the body is like an avatar, merely a vehicle. Just as you are behind the wheel of your car when you drive, the soul controls the body.
    Where is your evidence for this?

    Maybe I just enjoy philosophy more than science. I do love science, though. If I ever have to go to the hospital again, I thank God for people like Da Vinci who sought to understand the human body and its functions. Maybe I prefer philosophy because it lets you think, rather than simply observe and categorize. Most scientific discoveries are accidental. They don't occur with a "EUREKA! I'VE GOT IT!", but rather, a "huh . . . that's strange."
    You obviously have no idea about how science works if you think that it doesn't let you think. Coming up with ideas via intuitive leaps and the like is far more common than discovering things by accident.

  7. #97
    Senior Member kevrawlings's Avatar
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    Eye 'n' Teepee

    1.) I know that there are 66 books in all. I'm not a biblical scholar, so I can't break them down book by book. Much of it is clearly allegorical and not to be taken literally. Here is a quote that illustrates this well . . .

    "There is no need to be worried by facetious people who try to make the Christian hope of "Heaven" ridiculous by saying they do not want "to spend eternity playing harps." The answer to such people is that if they cannot understand books written for grown-ups, they should not talk about them. All the scriptural imagery (harps, crowns, gold, etc.) is, of course, a merely symbolical attempt to express the inexpressible. Musical instruments are mentioned because for many people (not all) music is the thing known in the present life which most strongly suggests ecstasy and infinity. Crowns are mentioned to suggest the fact that those who are united with God in eternity share His splendour and power and joy. Gold is mentioned to suggest the timelessness of Heaven (gold does not rust) and the preciousness of it. People who take these symbols literally might as well think that when Christ told us to be like doves, He meant that we were to lay eggs." - C.S. Lewis

    2.) Sure, just because Jesus does exist, that doesn't mean that all of the Bible is true. I was simply pointing out that to compare it to Greek Mythology is shortsighted.

    3.) I have a personal theory on this, and I'm likely going to lose you on this one, not because you won't understand it, but due to scientific incredulity. Think about how much goes on in our minds and how complex the human brain is, we haven't even scratched the surface to completely understanding it. I believe that God communicates and orchestrates the world through our thoughts on an individual level. This is much easier to believe than the notion that God is some invisible physical force that intervenes in bad situations to help you out because he loves you just so much!

    4.) I could bring up the numerous instances of people dying for short periods of time and then coming back to life and their accounts. There are a lot of interesting things that they have seen. Of course, if you wanna get all House M.D. on me, you could explain it away by breaking down certain brain chemicals that are released upon dying, and the different processes that occur at that time causing a person to hallucinate, just the random and arbitrary firing of nerves and synapses. I'm imploring you to look beyond the tangible, material, sensate world that is ruled by empirical laws, friend. I feel like Morpheus here, "This world is a prison for your mind, it is ruled by laws and principles and you must break free of them. Free your mind."

    5.) I have no physical evidence for this. To me, it is self evident, and seems like common sense. Is it really so hard to believe? The subject of neural parallelism is an area of science and psychology that deals with this. The idea that, for every thought, there is a corresponding chemical reaction and firing of a synapse in the brain. Which comes first? Nobody knows. I believe that we have free will, and are more than just a series of physical events that occur within our skulls.

    6.) This one you're right about for the most part. It was late last night and I was tired (had been on the thread for 6 hours). Science does involve a great deal of thought and intuition. It is, however, important to remember why you have your mental faculties in the first place - they were all given to you by God, and can be taken away at a moments notice. My favorite reclusive, mad scientist - and the originator of the mad scientist archetype, at that - Nikola Tesla understood this intuitively.

    “The gift of mental power comes from God, Divine Being, and if we concentrate our minds on that truth, we become in tune with this great power. My Mother had taught me to seek all truth in the Bible.” - Nikola Tesla

  8. #98
    Senior Member Robopop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Einstein would have found it patently absurd for people to attribute such importance to his position.
    How do you know, have you spoken to him lately?

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eye 'n' Teepee View Post
    Science is sure as hell the best we've got for understanding the universe. It's probably not limitless, but at the very least it goes by evidence and reason instead of making up stories.
    As a scientist I agree with the first part of your statement, but our interpretation of the "best" way to understand the universe is relative and for those that require a different type of explanation science leaves a lot to be desired.... This may not always be the case, but for now it certainly remains so... thus science really isn't in a position to try to explain many of the things that are explained by religion (albeit unsatisfactorily for the person who believes in the tangible and physically observable)....

    Some of us are okay going about our daily lives and finding purpose without knowing why we are here or if there is anything beyond this life... other people chose to have "blind faith" in a higher power and this gives them direction... so it is really being insincere to dismiss all of religion as mere "stories" when we don't really have any proof one way or the other... Obviously opinion is one thing, but it can't be presented as fact...

    I don't necessarily think the world would be any better without religion.. it isn't religion that causes the majority of our problems so much as people themselves.... So long as mankind remains plagued by things like ignorance, intolerance, greed, arrogance, and the list goes on... we will always have problems... People use religion to push their hatred, but there have been people that have used science in the same way... the underlying problem remains the hatred and intolerance that certain men harbor for anyone and anything that isn't exactly like them... I suspect this would continue in a world without religion....
    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    watch where you're driving f$cktards! I have the right of way!!! :steam:

  10. #100
    Senior Member kevrawlings's Avatar
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    Here's a chapter from a book that goes further into the idea of human frailty that you're talking about, Spin.

    "Pride or Self-Conceit: the virtue opposite to it, in Christian morals, is called Humility. Now, we have come to the moral centre. According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.

    Does this seem to you exaggerated? If so, think it over. I pointed out a moment ago that the more pride one had, the more one disliked pride in others. In fact, if you want to find out how proud you are the easiest way is to ask yourself, 'How much do I dislike it when other people snub me, or refuse to take any notice of me, or shove their oar in, or patronise me, or show off?' The point is that each person's pride is in competition with every one else's pride. It is because I wanted to be the big noise at the party that I am so annoyed at someone else being the big noise. Two of a trade never agree. Now what you want to get clear is that Pride is essentially competitive - is competitive by its very nature - while the other vices are competitive only, so to speak, by accident. Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others. If everyone else became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking there would be nothing to be proud about. It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone. That is why I say that Pride is essentially competitive in a way the other vices are not. The sexual impulse may drive two men into competition if they both want the same girl. But that is only by accident; they might just as likely have wanted two different girls. But a proud man will take your girl from you, not because he wants her, but just to prove to himself that he is a better man than you. Greed may drive men into competition if there is not enough to go round; but the proud man, even when he has got more than he can possibly want, will try to get still more just to assert his power. Nearly all those evils in the world which people put down to greed or selfishness are really far more the result of Pride.

    Take it with money. Greed will certainly make a man want money, for the sake of a better house, better holidays, better things to eat and drink. But only up to a point. What is it that makes a man with œ10,000 a year anxious to get œ20,000 a year? It is not the greed for more pleasure. œ10,000 will give all the luxuries that any man can really enjoy. It is Pride - the wish to be richer than some other rich man, and (still more) the wish for power. For, of course, power is what Pride really enjoys: there is nothing makes a man feel so superior to others as being able to move them about like toy soldiers. What makes a pretty girl spread misery wherever she goes by collecting admirers? Certainly not her sexual instinct: that kind of girl is quite often sexually frigid. It is Pride. What is it that makes a political leader or a whole nation go on and on, demanding more and more? Pride again. Pride is competitive by its very nature: that is why it goes on and on. If I am a proud man, then, as long as there is one man in the whole world more powerful, or richer, or cleverer than I, he is my rival and my enemy.

    The Christians are right: it is Pride which has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began. Other vices may sometimes bring people together: you may find good fellowship and jokes and friendliness among drunken people or unchaste people. But pride always means enmity - it is enmity. And not only enmity between man and man, but enmity to God.

    In God you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself. Unless you know God as that - and, therefore, know yourself as nothing in comparison - you do not know God at all. As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.

    That raises a terrible question. How is it that people who are quite obviously eaten up with Pride can say they believe in God and appear to themselves very religious? I am afraid it means they are worshipping an imaginary God. They theoretically admit themselves to be nothing in the presence of this phantom God, but are really all the time imagining how He approves of them and thinks them far better than ordinary people: that is, they pay a pennyworth of imaginary humility to Him and get out of it a pound's worth of Pride towards their fellow-men. I suppose it was of those people Christ was thinking when He said that some would preach about Him and cast out devils in His name, only to be told at the end of the world that He had never known them. And any of us may at any moment be in this death-trap. Luckily, we have a test. Whenever we find that our religious life is making us feel that we are good - above all, that we are better than someone else - I think we may be sure that we are being acted on, not by God, but by the devil. The real test of being in the presence of God is, that you either forget about yourself altogether or see yourself as a small, dirty object. It is better to forget about yourself altogether.

    It is a terrible thing that the worst of all the vices can smuggle itself into the very centre of our religious life. But you can see why. The other, and less bad, vices come from the devil working on us through our animal nature. But this does not come through our animal nature at all. It comes direct from Hell. It is purely spiritual: consequently it is far more subtle and deadly. For the same reason, Pride can often be used to beat down the simpler vices. Teachers, in fact, often appeal to a boy's Pride, or, as they call it, his self-respect, to make him behave decently: many a man has overcome cowardice, or lust, or ill-temper, by learning to think that they are beneath his dignity - that is, by Pride. The devil laughs. He is perfectly content to see you becoming chaste and brave and self-controlled provided, all the time, he is setting up in you the Dictatorship of Pride - just as he would be quite content to see your chilblains cured if he was allowed, in return, to give you cancer. For Pride is spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense.

    Before leaving this subject I must guard against some possible misunderstandings:

    (1) Pleasure in being praised is not Pride. The child who is patted on the back for doing a lesson well, the woman whose beauty is praised by her lover, the saved soul to whom Christ says 'Well done,' are pleased and ought to be. For here the pleasure lies not in what you are but in the fact that you have pleased someone you wanted (and rightly wanted) to please. The trouble begins when you pass from thinking, 'I have pleased him; all is well,' to thinking, 'What a fine person I must be to have done it.' The more you delight in yourself and the less you delight in the praise, the worse you are becoming. When you delight wholly in yourself and do not care about the praise at all, you have reached the bottom. That is why vanity, though it is the sort of Pride which shows most on the surface, is really the least bad and most pardonable sort. The vain person wants praise, applause, admiration, too much and is always angling for it. It is a fault, but a child-like and even (in an odd way) a humble fault. It shows that you are not yet completely contented with your own admiration. You value other people enough to want them to look at you. You are, in fact, still human. The real black, diabolical Pride, comes when you look down on others so much that you do not care what they think of you. Of course, it is very right, and often our duty, not to care what people think of us, if we do so for the right reason; namely, because we care so incomparably more what God thinks. But the Proud man has a different reason for not caring. He says 'Why should I care for the applause of that rabble as if their opinion were worth anything? And even if their opinions were of value, am I the sort of man to blush with pleasure at a compliment like some chit of a girl at her first dance? No, I am an integrated, adult personality. All I have done has been done to satisfy my own ideals - or my artistic conscience - or the traditions of my family - or, in a word, because I'm That Kind of Chap. If the mob like it, let them. They're nothing to me.' In this way real thorough-going pride may act as a check on vanity; for, as I said a moment ago, the devil loves 'curing' a small fault by giving you a great one. We must try not to be vain, but we must never call in our Pride to cure our vanity.

    (2) We say in English that a man is 'proud' of his son, or his father, or his school, or regiment, and it may be asked whether 'pride' in this sense is a sin. I think it depends on what, exactly, we mean by 'proud of'. Very often, in such sentences, the phrase 'is proud of' means 'has a warm-hearted admiration for'. Such an admiration is, of course, very far from being a sin. But it might, perhaps, mean that the person in question gives himself airs on the ground of his distinguished father, or because he belongs to a famous regiment. This would, clearly, be a fault; but even then, it would be better than being proud simply of himself. To love and admire anything outside yourself is to take one step away from utter spiritual ruin; though we shall not be well so long as we love and admire anything more than we love and admire God.

    (3) We must not think Pride is something God forbids because He is offended at it, or that Humility is something He demands as due to His own dignity - as if God Himself was proud. He is not in the least worried about His dignity. The point is, He wants you to know Him: wants to give you Himself. And He and you are two things of such a kind that if you really get into any kind of touch with Him you will, in fact, be humble - delightedly humble, feeling the infinite relief of having for once got rid of all the silly nonsense about your own dignity which has made you restless and unhappy all your life. He is trying to make you humble in order to make this moment possible: trying to take off a lot of silly, ugly, fancy-dress in which we have all got ourselves up and are strutting about like the little idiots we are. I wish I had got a bit further with humility myself: if I had, I could probably tell you more about the relief, the comfort, of taking the fancy-dress off - getting rid of the false self, with all its 'Look at me' and 'Aren't I a good boy?' and all its posing and posturing. To get even near it, even for a moment, is like a drink of cold water to a man in a desert.

    (4) Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call 'humble' nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.

    If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realise that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least, nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed." - C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

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