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Old 01-05-2023, 02:42 PM   #11191
enorbet
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While I'd certainly opt for a much longer lifespan, I've never thought "it sux to be human". I figure we actually get to live. From whatever cause it is the ultimate gift. Someone(s?) wrote, maybe Kurt Vonnegut?, something along the lines of "We are the the Universe looking back on to appreciate itself". That's a nice concept in my view.

All of that is likely a sort of addendum to something my Dad once said, and this from a man who was not a particularly deep thinker but was a soldier who survived The Battle of the Bulge even when orders came down to not wear their overcoats even in foxholes in the French Winter and later marched into one of "The Camps" and saw ans smelled proof of the depths of depravity humans can sink to, nevertheless concluded "No matter how bad it gets, Life is sweet." Simple and profound, No?

Last edited by enorbet; 01-05-2023 at 02:46 PM.
 
Old 01-05-2023, 03:35 PM   #11192
sundialsvcs
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I am grateful for your Dad's service – and for his survival.

I simply believe that no one knows "all the answers." In fact, we don't even know what the questions are. (Whether we are talking about "religion" or "science.") We are all blind men, groping in the dark.

No matter what you think about "The Good Book," here are what I consider to be four of its most-important statements:
  • "Be not deceived: God is not mocked."
  • "My ways are not your ways, and My thoughts are not your thoughts." (Translation: "You don't have a cucking flue.")
  • "Pray in secret."
  • That it is possible to "sin against your brother." That you can be wrong if you try too hard to be right, even if you are, technically, "right." Know when to graciously withdraw from the fight, even to concede "defeat." "Let it go."

Pursue "your thoughts" however you like, whether they be religion or science or both, but never let either of them take you too far. Always be ready to say: "But, then again, I could be totally mistaken." Humility is a Virtue. Life is a Gift. You don't have to be "Right.™"

If you believe in God, then realize that "He is the ultimate realist."

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 01-05-2023 at 03:46 PM.
 
Old 01-05-2023, 06:26 PM   #11193
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Again regardless of source, I agree with much of your last post but I figure whether there is a Creator, a civilization of Gods, or no Creator, there is consistency and no attempt for deception, just very few clues. However because of the lack of active deception and the apparent consistency while we can never know it all, we can know some things and enjoy progress. Humility is a good thing in my view as long as we don't let it become self-destructive... same with arrogance. It's all in the balance.
 
Old 01-07-2023, 03:44 PM   #11194
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It's interesting to see you both rising to insightful thinking. I think I could add quite a few to that list of sound scriptural points, but I would say that, wouldn't I?

The main thing I would try to make clear is that all in this life is not as it appears on the surface. So insightful thinking only gets you so far. We think we know what's going on here; we don't, generally. We see effects of events being played out in the Spirit world, but hardly anyone recognizes that. So the answer to the questionj "Why..." is so often wrong. That leads to legions of wrong conclusions.

The Ethiopan eunnuch put it well when the disciple Philip asked him if he understood what he was reading (which was Isaiah ch.53). The eunnuch replied:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acts 8:31
Really, how could I ever do so unless someone guided me?
I was privileged to get that guidance, but had to act on it, or it was useless to me.

Last edited by business_kid; 01-07-2023 at 03:47 PM.
 
Old 01-09-2023, 04:48 PM   #11195
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Well, @business_kid, there are certain little exchanges in the New Testament that, shall we say, "always felt a little bit 'odd' to me," and this happens to be one of them. And I guess that I'll just leave it at that. If you sought and received spiritual guidance that was indeed of benefit to you, then may it indeed have been a blessing unto you. After all, who am I to say.

As for your original points – I have long ago concluded for myself that "life is not at all as it superficially appears." I have had, as I said, "spiritual encounters," and I will never dispute the validity of any of them even though I also cannot fully explain any of them. I was there. They happened. The end.

And, even when, @enorbet, we are talking about "science," a good dose of skepticism combined with humility is always a good thing. We construct hypotheses, elevate them to become theories, and endlessly test one theory against the next. But we should never lose sight of the possibility that, one day, something new will be found which appears to send the entire house of cards tumbling down. Or at least, back to the drawing board.

I firmly believe that we as humans have many ways of learning and discovering: religion, (intuition, "gut instinct"), philosophy, and science. And, I believe that all of these things are not "in competition" with one another. I am determined to embrace them all.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 01-09-2023 at 04:57 PM.
 
Old 01-09-2023, 09:58 PM   #11196
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I agree about humility and skepticism but Newton, as just one example, never had to "go back to the drawing board", let alone come crashing down, just because Einstein's view is wider and better. It's just a bigger "board" than Newton could possibly have known about but it isn't as if he was simply wrong. It's often just expansion and refinement. On a bit more complex level Gravity and Expansion didn't come crashing down either when instead of slowing down it was found the expansion of the Universe is accelerating. We do lack a comprehensive understanding of Gravity but Newton's formulae still lands probes on comets. That's not nothing.

Last edited by enorbet; 01-09-2023 at 10:03 PM.
 
Old 01-24-2023, 01:01 PM   #11197
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I remember this working the doors as J.W.s do one day. I had an Awake magazine on Atheism. This old guy waved me away. He said: "Of course there's a God - LOOK UP!"

He was right. Everything mankind does wears out, & needs maintenance. The Universe has gone billions of years without a service. Even on earth, everything is designed to function in self-perpetuating cycles: the water cycle; the carbon cycle; the nitrogen cycle. Trees produce seeds which are eaten but not digested by birds and then deposited in a good compost (bird dung) from mid-air or another perch. Because before there were jets travelling worldwide, birds were migrating.

Science has it's place in making our lives better. But Scientists look at all of that and totally miss it's purpose. We need to look up - AND PERCEIVE, not simply take it for granted.

Last edited by business_kid; 01-24-2023 at 01:03 PM.
 
Old 01-24-2023, 04:07 PM   #11198
enorbet
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Taking it for granted is exactly what scientists do NOT do and the religious cling to as gospel. As for looking up, things and events are not static. Even deep seated cycles wink into and out of existence. Stars explode. The Earth will be consumed by our Sun. Galaxies collide, including our own and Andromeda, and the Universe appears to be expanding into Heat Death. Down here on Earth, things tend to fall down instead of up because of the natural properties that create Gravity. No Designer is required.
 
Old 01-28-2023, 03:51 PM   #11199
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
Someone(s?) wrote, maybe Kurt Vonnegut?, something along the lines of "We are the the Universe looking back on to appreciate itself". That's a nice concept in my view.
It might be Carl Sagan, as he said something like that: "We are a way for the cosmos to know itself".
 
Old 01-28-2023, 08:16 PM   #11200
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Ahh, yes ... Kurt Vonnegut.

Maybe, this is why I just keep coming back to the observation that [b]science, philosophy, "the [particular subset] 'philosophy of science,'" and(!!) religion" are all perfectly-legitimate "modes of human inquiry" which [u]are[u] not(!) "in mortal competition with each other." Each has nothing to prove. Each will never "defeat" any other.

We should also fully recognize that [ugly ...] human politics is an inescapable although undesirable facet of all such inquiries. "We cannot 'be objective,'" even though we might personally consider ourselves to be. Likewise, "The State is always an intruder."

Like it or not: "We are blind(!) men, confronted by an elephant." Therefore, we must make of this situation as best we can – and realize that everyone else is in their own way trying to do the same thing.

My own personal approach has therefore been tolerance, never "absolutes." While I will be quick to express my opinion, I will never insist that "I am right." Nor do I find any motivation to do so. I am personally very sensitive to the simple, and Biblical, observation that "you can 'sin against your brother.'" That you can be dead wrong for insisting too hard that you are right. (With or without the "biblical" element, which I have no personal motivation to pursue, I think that this is "common[-sense] wisdom.")

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 01-28-2023 at 08:21 PM.
 
Old 01-29-2023, 02:06 AM   #11201
enorbet
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Sundialsvcs, in my view that would be true IF Religion had confined itself to speculating about the purely spiritual and avoided pondering the physical Universe, though I should add we are deeply indebted to religion for storing knowledge that could so easily have been lost but I suppose we can never know just how much was lost that didn't qualify as Canon. It is a complex balance sheet.

It would certainly have been far more advantageous to Humanity AND Religion had it not been so violently rigid and sanctimonious. Just one example is that it took roughly 300 years to even recognize and apologize for what was done to Galileo, and by extension to all the world, countless millions if not billions of people. There was a time when at least some Religions championed knowledge, exploring and understanding the physical world even though it was dogmatic and selective entirely on whims and misguided piety, but at some point even what balance there was evaporated away and Religion became largely an enemy of objectivity. As an atheist I actually hold a different view from some atheists in that I'd rather not see religion disappear, but instead, adapt. It should be obvious that another set of countless millions have found it/them useful and instructive in reinforcing decent social behaviour for many thousands of years. It seems to old story of the Oak and the Reed. Flexibility is valuable. Rigidity? not so much.
 
Old 01-29-2023, 07:52 AM   #11202
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I totally understand but nevertheless object to you guys talking about religion in general without putting the word "false" in front of it.

I think sundialsvcs came close with his elephant illustration, because the all-loving, all-caring, bountiful Creator clashes totally with the guys threatening Galileo, and ruining his life afterwards.

Let me try this way. The Gospel accounts depict Jesus as having enviable positive qualities - mercy, kindness, generosity, although he was nobody's fool. He told his Apostles: "...Whoever has seen me has seen the Father also."(John 14:9) Now when you contrast that idea of Jesus and God with the people claining to follow him, the sharpest of contrasts emerges. Had Galileo not recanted, he would have been burned at the stake. Yet God condemned the practise in Jeremiah 7:31

In short, I think you'll get further by assuming that all religion that doesn't lead you to God is false. That's basically all of them. In the 1960s, Donovan wrote 'The Universal Soldier.' False religion supplies the Universal soldier. Eliminate the fakes, then start looking, because you're not listening to me much.

Last edited by business_kid; 01-29-2023 at 07:54 AM.
 
Old 01-29-2023, 08:09 AM   #11203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
I totally understand but nevertheless object to you guys talking about religion in general without putting the word "false" in front of it.
...
In short, I think you'll get further by assuming that all religion that doesn't lead you to God is false. That's basically all of them. In the 1960s, Donovan wrote 'The Universal Soldier.' False religion supplies the Universal soldier. Eliminate the fakes, then start looking, because you're not listening to me much.
The problem with that is that every religion proclaims itself to be true religion and the others to be false. Muslims think that they are the only people practising true religion and all Christians are following a false one. I'm an Anglican and business_kid thinks that is a false religion. Most Christians, including Anglicans, think that Jehovah's Witnesses are a false religion. Where do you draw the line?

At least Enorbet's position is logical. He thinks that all religions are false. And I, obviously believe that mine is true.
 
Old 01-29-2023, 10:31 AM   #11204
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazel View Post
The problem with that is that every religion proclaims itself to be true religion and the others to be false.
That's not entirely true. The monotheist religions consider each other inadequate, but not totally false: the Quran states that Christians and Jews will be saved, Christianity (Orthodox and Catholic) teaches that all virtuous people can be saved, and Jews believe that their God accepts anyone who follows the "laws of Noah".

And despite millennia of persecution, a third of the world's population have not accepted Christianity or Islam, and we are not exclusive I would consider every religion to contain some truth, even if only because its practitioners are not atheists!
 
Old 01-29-2023, 11:13 AM   #11205
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@hazel: Perhaps the answer to "where do you draw the line" is to simply observe that you(!) are the one who is actually "drawing the line" – not any sort of universal god.

And yet, when we look across history, we see the same line being drawn: [i]"I am right, and you are wrong, because [G|g]od says so (according to me." Okay, here we are. "Celestial" religion meets "human" politics. And sometimes, war.

There are very many distinct layers by which "religion" interacts with "humanity." And has done so for many centuries. And doubtless will do so for many more.

As for your personal religion with your personal [G|g]od, I encourage you to: "to thine own self be true, and to Hell with the rest of them." Because, whenever you arrive at "whatever might if anything happen after life," you will arrive there all alone.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 01-29-2023 at 11:15 AM.
 
  


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