A Conversation for Unfinished Business of the Century

Is God dead 2

Post 21


I think Mustapha made a very good point about Scientific dogma being as strong as Religious dogma. We all believe in what we're taught to be the "real" physical state of the world as dogmatically as people did (and some still do) believ in God several hundred years ago. It was just commonly accepted that That Is The Way The World Is.

Why should we believe in a constantly expanding Universe, the Big Bang, Chaos theory or any other Physics constraint any more than we believe in God.

Scientists claim Proof.
Believers claim Faith.
Philosophers claim they don't know but it's nice to wonder isn't it?

Is God dead 2

Post 22

Irving Washington - Gone Writing

Well, though I'm not a church goer, I do count myself as Christian, although I believe that God has a sense of humor and can tell the difference between making a joke and being blasphemous. My personal view (and I think that religeon should be an individual thing, because when it gets organized people tend to kill for religious figures who believe killing is wrong) is that if there are any sort of ruels governing the Universe, those rules ARE God. I think the Laws of Physics are a mirical because they work so well, even though I'm not a scientist. I think that without a God (or, depending on the belief, gods) there would be no order to the universe, some people would be effected by gravity, some hurled into space for no reason. I've never seen science and religeon as incompatable. Some say "I don't believe in evolution because *I* believe in the Bible" and sound so superior but what does the Bible say? The earth was created in seven days? What is a day to an omnipotent, omnipresent, ominiscient being? Surely you could break evolution into seven stages if you tried. And if the Big Bang isn't a miracle, then what is? But I don't hold others in lower regard because of what they believe. I've got Catholic friends, Jewish friends, Hindu freinds, Mormon friends, Aethiest friends and Agnostic friends -- sure it's fun to debate but I'm not going to declare a Holy War! That's an oxymoron!

Is God dead 2

Post 23

@Work 8D

And what about Australia?
I've never been there, never seen it. Some people tell me about it, and are convinced about its existance.

Much the same as God.

If one or the other, both or neither exist, the real question is HOW DOES IT AFFECT ME?

The answer: sod all.

Is God dead 2

Post 24


Time for me (having introduced my Erisian beliefs earlier) to expound on some of the consequences of them. First of all, let me say that I'm at least sometimes psychotic and that many of my beliefs are founded on experiences that some people would call mystical and some people would call hallucinatory. Certainly I spent some time in a mental ward as punishment for having some of them. In short, take this with a grain of salt.

First of all, I do truly believe (as a good Erisian) that all things are true, even false things. Therefore, God (the Christian god, as opposed to Goddess, my goddess : ) is dead. God is also alive. It just depends on the reality you live in. Another true (and false) thing is that we each live in subtly different realities. In mine, for instance, I am a particle in Eris' mixing bowl which She stirs up once in a while just to see what will happen. So are you.

In your reality, I may very well be a stark raving lunatic, but since I'm really no danger to anyone, there's roughly sod all you can do about it : ) (By sod, being an American, I'm referring to topsoil, of course, not the vaguely dirty British word)

A little deeper into how this works, please, master Nilchii? Very well, much obliged for the transition, there, sir and/or madam as the case may be. Take any particle in the universe and think of it as a decision. In my universe, it's made the decision one way - if it made the decision another way, that's a different universe - one in which cats remained the dominant predator, for instance, and humans never got past the tree-dwelling stage. In that universe, God was never alive. In another universe, science and technology and all that never killed him. In another, it did, but he stuck around anyway. Think of these as alternate universes if you like. My own amusing conceit is that the universe is big enough for all truths to be played out at impenetrable distances from each other. There is another galaxy precisely like ours in every respect, except that God's alive there. Or here, and he's dead there - I can't say which is true, not being either christian or agnostic. To me, all gods live and affect the decisions represented by subatomic particles, but Eris is Goddess, and it is only by Her lack of interest in such decisions that they act at all. Of course, being fickle, She may get interested in a given decision and mess with it, just because She can.

Is God dead 2

Post 25


actually scientists claim theory, which is malleable. proof is a mental construct based on a semi-mathematical system invented thousands of years ago. if it's true that one and one equals two and I have one coca-cola over here and another over there, then there are two coca-colas nearby. usually, scientists observe something then come up with a hypothesis to explain it, test the hypothesis, and sometimes that leads to a theory of causation, but often that theory is "proven" by another theory to be wrong, or in part inaccurate.

Is God dead 2

Post 26


actually, having said that, I have to amend my statement. GOOD scientists claim theory. self-important, dogmatic scientists claim proof, and you're right - there are a lot of them out there...

Is God dead 2

Post 27

Fate Amenable To Change

I'm with the atheist philosophers and have recently been arguing the toss with a scientist as to how science is only theory in the same way that the idea that god exists is theory - nothing can be proved 100%, lots of scientific theories are 'replaced' given time and new knowledge. Needless to say the scientist is extremely closed minded and won't tolerate such an opinion...

Is God dead 2

Post 28


Well, saying that God exists isn't a theory, it's a belief, no matter how ontologically convolutedly you try to reason it. Descartes and some monk (Aquinas?) did about as well as you can do to "prove" the existance of God in the renaissance using Aristotelian logic, and not a lot more can be said on the subject.

If the scientist is obstinate and dogmatic, ask him/her to define scientific method, and if he/she doesn't give you the observation -> hypothesis -> testing -> theory schtick, then offer it up and let him/her snatch at it. You can then ask what happens when another observation contradicts that and is proven by theory (as when the THEORY of relativity contradicted the THEORY of gravity). Watch him/her squirm : ) Of course, what DID happen was that the theory of relativity was later seen to be faulty itself, requiring quantum theory, which has only recently been shown to require complexity theory to make any sense.

Is God dead 2

Post 29

Just zis Guy, you know? † Cyclist [A690572] :: At the 51st centile of ursine intelligence

A sort of God-as-Beadle? The prospect is simply too horrible to contemplate smiley - smiley

Is God dead 2

Post 30

Irving Washington - Gone Writing

What is this "Beadle". I for one would have no problem believing God is a *Beatle*... but then I always claim that either a) john lennon is my gaurdian angel or b) I was john lennon in a former life (as I was born just a few short months after his death). Which brings me round (back) to my theory/ belief/ whatever that no matter what you call God: quantum physics, Jehova, Allah, Eric Clapton, etc, it's still the same thing, the same force, just with different names (you could be a polytheist and it holds true, you've just got several names for what I use one name for, who says you're right or that I am?). Our theories of Physics replace eachother, our religions replace eachother, the old ideas still hold on, somewhere, but whatever governs the Univers hasn't changed, only man's perception and understanding of that force. I suppose that God, in my view, would be whatever is constant in the Universe. And I hope it's safe to believe in constants.

Is God dead 2

Post 31


Jeremy Beadle is the English counterpart to America's Allen Funt (Candid Camera's creator, if you're not actually American). But whereas Funt's little tricks and japes were aimed at evoking bewilderment and mirth, Beadle is just a cruel practical joker (like replacing someone's car with a replica and having a crane fall on top of it) whose only goal is to wind people up. It is perhaps a greater mystery than the existence of God that someone hasn't belted him one.

Beadle aside, it's good to see people laying cards on the table as to where they stand in this debate. I myself am a lapsed Catholic and an agnostic in the true sense of the word. I really don't know, but then as Francis Bacon said, "a little Philosophy inclineth Man's mind to Atheism; but depth in Philosophy bringeth Men's Minds about to Religion."

Also I'd like to expand on previous discussions about Science killing God. It can also be said that Religion itself has played a part in the deed. Let me ask this question: Whose God is the True One? In Christianity, there are several conflicting versions. There is the Catholic God, the Protestant God, the Jehovah's Witness God, the Orthodox God, the Coptic God, etc. Islam and Buddhism also have sects with their own individual perspectives. Surely, human factionalism has drawn and quartered God, and made it difficult to choose which bit is the right bit.

Is God dead 2

Post 32

Urtica Ferox

Hey is this a God, Box, Poison, Shrodinger sort of thing? Kind of appropriate really because my cat THINKS hes God. And really who am I to argue smiley - smiley

Is God dead 2

Post 33

Quordlepleen Groupie

As the Hindus might say in reply to this argument: "Don't have a cow, Mustapha."

Is God dead 2

Post 34


> observation -> hypothesis -> testing -> theory

That's only part of the story though and would provoke a squirm from only the most novice paperback scientist. All it does is explain how we arrive at scientific theories and yes, you are quite right - all theories, scientifically based or not, are theories.

The story goes on, though, to tell of the collection of evidence and how real, observed evidence can support or break a theory. If you find a piece of evidence that breaks a theory in a repeatable way then your pet theory was wrong in the first place and must be revised or replaced. If a piece of evidence supports your theory then look for some more.

True: nothing can be 100% proven - because we are always looking for disproof and that's the way it should be. Some theories, though, in their lifetime gather an increasing amount of supporting evidence. Others trip over something that doesn't fit and it's "back to the drawing board". There are even some for which no evidence has ever been collected.

Is God dead 2

Post 35


OK, Rashelle I hope this answers your question a little bit on what some of our standpoints are.

Cool discussion.smiley - smiley

Is God dead 2

Post 36


Vlad, yep sure does answer my question. I'm *surprised* to see that you folks are actually intelligent on various subjects. I'm more accustomed to chat rooms where you find 2 smart ppl and 50 who don't know anything. But to give you my views on the omnipotent Diety (or lack thereof)...

I am a Baha'i. This is not a cult or sect. It is an independent religion founded in 1844 around the belief in progressive revelation. This means that since the beginning of time, God has sent down messangers/teachers/prophets such as Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, Moses, etc to teach mankind. Baha'is believe that each of these persons is difference, but embody the same spirit which is a perfect reflection of the attributes of God--everything that is good. The latest/most recent of these prophets is Baha'u'llah. He is the return of Jesus in a spiritual sense. Different physical body, but same perfection. He brought teachings that are appropriate for this age. Think of it as school. You learn something new in every grade, but you also review past material. Therefore, Baha'u'llah brings many of the same messages as Jesus, only more suited to this day and age. So really, I believe in Jesus and Moses and most of the prophets of all other major religions.

On the evolution issue: One of the main foundations of the Baha'i Faith is the unity of science and religion. I believe 100% in the Bible, but I believe it can be seen to prove evolution: Genesis 1--the WATERS brought forth, and the LAND brought forth. God greated the earth to evolve on it's own (also did you ever notice that there was light before the sun? smiley - smiley ). Baha'is take the Bible more symbolistically than Christians.

Another thing very important to the faith is the belief that each person should under go an independent search for truth. We don't believe in following a religion just because your parents did. (For a time, I was an agnostic/atheist.) I mean, if you don't explore all other options, how do you know what you have is true??

Is God dead 2

Post 37


> We all believe in what we're taught to be the "real" physical state of the world as dogmatically as people did (and some still do)
> believ in God several hundred years ago. It was just commonly accepted that That Is The Way The World Is.

No. I have been taught to be skeptical. We are all invited to collect evidence in support or refutation of any theory we like.

> Why should we believe in ... Chaos theory .... any more than we believe in God.

I've just selected one, because I don't play fair.

If, by Chaos theory, you mean Complexity - the seams of novel order for free that emerge from systems poised on the boundary between order and chaos - then the reason is because I can *show you* it working.

The demand for proof protects us from believing things that simply are not true. I could ask you to believe all manner of bizarre things; how would you sort out the wheat from the chaff. Would you not treat some of my claims with a modicum of skepticism?

Skepticism[n]: Memetic immunology

Is God dead 2

Post 38


> Because if none of you really believes in God, this is a pretty sorry world indeed.

Sorry, I can't let that go. Why do you feel that way?

Is God dead 2

Post 39


>earth was created in seven days? What is a day to an omnipotent,
>omnipresent, ominiscient being? Surely you could break evolution
>into seven stages if you tried.

"If you tried". Exactly! Never mind the real course of evolution, never mind it's bushy, branching nature plucking novel order from near-chaotic genomic networks. Never mind that the only time that matters to evolution is _now_. *If you try* you can divide the history of life on earth by seven and build a creation story over it! I bet you could chop it into 42 different stages if you tried hard enough!

Why do all the exclamations I want to use have religious names?

Is God dead 2

Post 40


>True, my pizza has
>many toppings and is warm to me, it gives me dilemas and morals,
>it shows me that life is a circle and that sometimes you have extra
>cheese and sometimes you get anchovies, but its my pizza, I take
>what I get and live the life I lead.

I can live by that! smiley - smileysmiley - smiley

You are obviously a man after my own pizza. Pepperoni to you Sir!

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