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A challenge to all "sceptics"

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posted on Sep, 23 2007 @ 02:14 PM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
Reply to Lexion


Thanks for taking the bait. My response to you is:

"Only what can be measured is true" is also a belief.

My paranormal experiences may be a belief, but they are also an experience.

Definition of Experience: Something perceived with the senses, felt, circumstances one has lived through.

Definition of Belief: A thought.

[edit on 17-9-2007 by Skyfloating]


Very well said like your first post. You discribe exactly my opinion about it.




posted on Sep, 23 2007 @ 04:26 PM
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reply to post by Rasobasi420
 


there is a reason why holy places and "holy people" suffer the ravages of war.in the garden of paradise that the Creator G-D made for the adamic type of humans made in the physical image of the G-D Beings-they were told not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.for approximately 116 years? near as i can figure out from the geneologies in the scriptures they left that tree alone but when the fallen angel was allowed to tempt eve she gave in and ate.they were cast out of that paradise and according to ancient church historians the time for us their children being left to ourselves to experiment with our own ways of devising laws and governments apart from G-D is 6000 years which hopefully ends in 2012 ?----till we almost destroy all life on planet earth by our self willed laws of G-D rejecting mindset and activities.you are right to be sceptical-----i am not a member of any religious organization on this earth----the moment you talk in their midsts like i'm talking to you----they throw you out of their assemblies.



posted on Sep, 23 2007 @ 05:44 PM
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reply to post by yahn goodey
 


Thanks for helping me out against this army of skeptics with your good contributions.



posted on Sep, 23 2007 @ 08:36 PM
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Originally posted by yahn goodey
there is a reason why holy places and "holy people" suffer the ravages of war.in the garden of paradise that the Creator G-D
(etc)

You mean God.



posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 12:30 AM
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When you go doorstepping, it's best to tread lightly


Originally posted by yahn goodey
here is some science you might find interesting:the periodic table of matter

Thanks, I learnt about that in chemistry at school. That would have been -- let's see, now -- thirty-four years ago.


it is a provable law that there is a gradual transition from metallic to non metalillic properties of matter

Do you understand what this means? Do you think it means that metals turn into non-metals?

Radioactive elements decay into stable elements. That's quite a different process.

For your information, the only elements produced in the Big Bang were hydrogen and helium. The rest came afterwards, forged in the thermonuclear crucibles of stars. If your argument is that the universe is running down because elements are becoming simpler, you've got your physical cosmology back to front.

But everyone knows the universe is running down anyway. So what are you trying to prove?


There had to be a time when it started----it could not have always existed.

Yes, this is also pretty generally accepted by scientists. The point is, Time also began with the Big Bang. There was never any such thing as 'before the Big Bang'. Get it? Well, if you don't, the problem isn't with the Big Bang, it has to do with the difficulty you have wrapping your head round the idea that Time, too, must have had a beginning. I don't blame you for that. It's not an easy concept to grasp it -- no matter how well (or badly) one has been educated.


if you want to go for the big bang to bring matter into existence------where did all the energy come from out of nowhere to become matter?

Nobody knows this. It may be impossible to know it...


here is only 1 logical conclusion i can think of and that is revealed by Yahvah G-D to moses when he asked the Being that spoke to him...

...but we can at least be sure that the God hypothesis is utter rubbish. If you really need Old Nobodaddy to explain the universe, then how do you explain Him? If He created the universe, then he has to be more complex and full of energy than the universe itself. So where the heck did He come from? Are you positing a whole series of nested universes, each more complex than the one it surrounds? Don't you see that answers nothing, it just multiplies the questions?

Surely you are not one of those saddos who thinks that 'God did it' should be explanation enough for anybody?

The God hypotheses just pushes the question of how the universe came to be one step farther back. Instead of asking how the universe came to be, you have to ask how God came to be. Or at least you would if there really was a God. But there isn't one scintilla of evidence to prove that such a being exists, so we can comfortably ignore that sort of nonsense and get on with finding out more and more about this amazing, wondrous, miraculous yet somehow inevitable universe we all live in.

You don't need Old Nobodaddy for that.



posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 12:36 AM
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Empirical Uncertainty


Originally posted by Lunica

Originally posted by Skyfloating
"Only what can be measured is true" is also a belief.

My paranormal experiences may be a belief, but they are also an experience.

Definition of Experience: Something perceived with the senses, felt, circumstances one has lived through.

Definition of Belief: A thought.

Very well said like your first post. You discribe exactly my opinion about it.

Funny, I was just thinking how confused that post was.

Recommended reading for the both of you: An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke.



posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 12:15 PM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


sky i'm no genius-all i can do is read the info available in the the scriptures and then compare what we read to what the einsteins of the world have written of their researches and try to make sense out of why we are alive.life doesnt come from a non living Creator-we could stack up every corpse of animals or humans that died in the course of a day and there isnt 1 scientist or doctor on this earth yet that can bring them back to life again------and the evolutionists think they can start without a completed body that supposedly starts off by itself growing in a soup of ? and somehow accidentally without a Designer and Mechanic becomes a body of ? and poof it suddenly comes to life all by itself ?this takes more "faith" than those that believe in a Creator G-D have to have.



posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 01:25 PM
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reply to post by Johnmike
 


john-we have a translation into the english language by translaters that took liberties with their comprehension of what they were reading in the origional hebrew,aramic and greek text------the word G-D comes from the german language and means a molten image.they give us this their rendering from the hebrew El or Eloah=singular Elohim=plural Adonay=a proper name Yahvah=personal name.in greek the word G-D comes from Theos=Deity.instead of the translaters "helping" us to understand what is intended in the origional text----many times they end up clouding the truth.when you read genesis 1:26 let Us make man in Our image,according to Our likeness------this is one G-D Being talking to another G-D Being------it is not an absent minded G-D talking to Himself or to the angels.



posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 01:53 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 

what i wrote concerning the periodic table of elements------i did not pick out of the air-----i wrote part of what i read from websters encylodedic dictionary copyright 1988.i could type out the whole artical on the periodic table but since you already know it -whats the point?------i read at almost the end quote-transition from metallic to nonmetallic properties is usually gradual and continuous from left to right.the structure of the periodic table and the periodic law follow directly from the quantized structure of the atom.-end of quote.what am i to do?i am not a genius---they are either 1.telling the truth2.mistaken3.lying------i dont know-----just assume they are telling the truth.the big bang and time-----no doubt time was created at the same time as matter-i wasnt there-it is an assumption from what i've read.as said the G-D Being that spoke to moses said His name is I Am or Yahvah means Eternal =has always Existed--------our minds are limited----it is beyond my comprehension to always Exist-----but They live in a different dimension where time does not pass like it does in our dimension------so i've read.you believe in what you cant see in our dimension-----why do you not want to believe in Their dimension and G-D beings you cannot see either?are you afraid They might want something from us if we acknowledge Them ?



posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 04:05 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


sorry i missed an item you spoke of-------there is nothing to prove G-D exists-------obviously i cannot do a mind meld with you so you could reason the way i do.but you can read the scriptures just as readily as i-if you want to take the time to try and find out why we are alive-----if not then until the Creator G-D reveals himself to the world or if for whatever reason G-D wants to open your eyes (before the Messiah comes to prevent people from destroying all life on earth in prophecied up coming ww3)then you'll have to wait see.the prophecys imply that up to 2/3 of the inhabitants of earth are going to perish and 1/10 of the tribes of israel -the english speaking countries and judah will survive the wars and slavery of a resurrected german led "holy"roman empire----thats the prophecy as i and other scholars that are smarter than i see coming.if you are allowed to perish in what will happen- you'll have to wait 1000 years before Messiah will resurrect you to life again----and then you will believe there is a G-D.ezekiel 37:12-14



posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 04:26 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


Thanks for participating in this discussion, though I must say I am outraged at your particular brand of materialism and your latest example of the "cartesian theatre". You are denying that I can choose to go left or right, you are denying that the observer is seperate from the observed, you are denying that my body feeling is the effect of the sexual fantasy....in short, you are denying first-hand-experience and replacing them with theories that distort everything in favour of "only what can be measured and only what can be seen with our limited senses is true".

Have you considered that your first-hand-experience right now might tell you more about the nature of reality than some theory?



posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 07:04 PM
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reply to post by yahn goodey
 

I'm asking why you put a - instead of an o in God.



posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 07:08 PM
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To skyfloating:

Subjective experience is flawed and can be very much mistaken. People who had sleep paralysis used to KNOW they were being ridden by night hags, succubi or incubi, but we now know it's a misfiring of the brain.

I've "seen" and "felt" things in my youth that in my superstitious mindset, I attributed to ghosts and other paranormal entities.

A lifetime later, looking back, I know I was mistaken because I was not using my rational mind, but my instinctive mind.



posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 08:23 PM
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There is a distinct difference between a skeptical mind and a cynical mind, which is where this discussion seems to be split. A cynical person will often describe themselves as a skeptical inquirer although it really has nothing to do with the aforementioned. Being cynical basically means that a certain scientific approach is based on self interest and altruistic goals are rarely met in that the cynical mind does not look at all evidence to base conclusions on. Cynical people will often try to hide their inadequacies and lack of proper research behind the guise of healthy skepticism, but most intelligent people can clearly see the difference.

In contrast with this, we also have the skeptic. I cannot find a better definition of a true skeptic than on the Skeptic Society's homepage:



Modern skepticism is embodied in the scientific method, which involves gathering data to formulate and test naturalistic explanations for natural phenomena. A claim becomes factual when it is confirmed to such an extent it would be reasonable to offer temporary agreement. But all facts in science are provisional and subject to challenge, and therefore skepticism is a method leading to provisional conclusions. Some claims, such as water dowsing, ESP, and creationism, have been tested (and failed the tests) often enough that we can provisionally conclude that they are not valid. Other claims, such as hypnosis, the origins of language, and black holes, have been tested but results are inconclusive so we must continue formulating and testing hypotheses and theories until we can reach a provisional conclusion.

Skeptic Society

A true skeptic will be as unbiased and objective as much as possible, and only accept conclusions if experimental results can be repeated by others. By doing so this eliminates the need to base conclusions on hearsay and eyewitness accounts, and forces the skeptic to make these conclusions based purely on science. If observations (by others, weather in a controlled laboratory or other circumstances) repeatedly and directly contradict the eyewitness claims of an event then the only logical formulation should be to base conclusions on what can be tested.

[edit on 24-9-2007 by Jazzerman]



posted on Sep, 25 2007 @ 01:25 AM
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Originally posted by yahn goodey
reply to post by Astyanax
 
there is nothing to prove G-D exists-------obviously i cannot do a mind meld with you so you could reason the way i do.but you can read the scriptures just as readily as i

Why do you think the scriptures are true?

Doesn't it frighten you to think that maybe you're backing the wrong horse? Imagine: what if Gee Hyphen Dee didn't exist, and all that heartache was for nothing? Wouldn't your life have been horribly wasted?



posted on Sep, 25 2007 @ 02:21 AM
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Mind-Body Problems


Originally posted by Skyfloating
I must say I am outraged at your particular brand of materialism and your latest example of the "cartesian theatre".

Yes, it is rather a gulletful for the ego -- yours, mine or anybody's. But it's not exactly a new idea; it's been around since Hobbes at least, so it'a a bit late for getting outraged.


You are denying that I can choose to go left or right,

Well, you may have a kind of limited 'free will', a short menu of circumstantial choices in any given situation. There's probably enough noise in the statistics to allow you that. But what use would it be, really? As far as your (illusory) conscious self is concerned, your will only allows you to choose when the projected outcome of all choices on the menu is the same in terms of its effect on you. You can have free will only, if at all, about things that don't matter.


you are denying that the observer is seperate from the observed,

Not exactly. I'm denying that there is such a thing as an observer.


you are denying that my body feeling is the effect of the sexual fantasy...

Not at all. I'm merely saying that you do not independently, acausally, will the fantasy. It is changes in your brain chemistry, produced by outside causes, that produce the activity that projects the images that you call fantasy into the illusory theatre you call mind. The fantasy may well then provoke other changes in brain chemistry, and other bodily sensations ('body feelings' as you call them) which give rise to further fantasy images, and so on in a feedback loop until you reach for the Kleenex.


in short, you are denying first-hand-experience and replacing them with theories that distort everything in favour of "only what can be measured and only what can be seen with our limited senses is true".

You contradict yourself, surely. What is 'first-hand experience' but the input (measurable or otherwise) of 'our limited senses'?

What I am denying is that consciousness exists as a thing separate from experience. Consciousness is merely an effect of how the brain processes sensory input. Or, if you prefer, it is an effect of experience. Consciousness is produced by experience.


Have you considered that your first-hand-experience right now might tell you more about the nature of reality than some theory?

First-hand experience is a theory. It's your brain's theory of mind, in action.



posted on Sep, 25 2007 @ 09:52 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax

Well, you may have a kind of limited 'free will', a short menu of circumstantial choices in any given situation. There's probably enough noise in the statistics to allow you that. But what use would it be, really? As far as your (illusory) conscious self is concerned, your will only allows you to choose when the projected outcome of all choices on the menu is the same in terms of its effect on you. You can have free will only, if at all, about things that don't matter.


Well, those are your fatalist beliefs against my beliefs. But its all only beliefs, its all in your mind. Lets look at the overall FRUITS of your belief that "its all an illusion and your choice doesnt matter", and then lets look at the fruits of my belief that I do have choice and it does matter. Even if you turn out to be right in your assumptions I wouldnt take on your belief because I dont see any positive benefit for it in my personal day to day life. If I wake up this morning and say "ah well, its all an illusion, there is no "I", there is no observer, and the choices I make dont matter" I might as well stay lying in bed all day. On the other hand, if I get up in the awareness that I do have choice and that my choice does matter, the day will turn out to be more fun. So, even if you were right (which I dont think you are though), you could not convert me to such a belief.


Not exactly. I'm denying that there is such a thing as an observer.


yeah. otherwise youd have to admit to my spirit-theory. So, there is no observer. may I ask who is replying to these posts then?


Not at all. I'm merely saying that you do not independently, acausally, will the fantasy


Yes, thats what you are saying. And I am saying that I do will it, do cause it. You are saying that a human amounts to nothing but a reacting piece of meat & brain and I contradict that due to immediate-right-now-demonstratable experience. So if I hit you in the face right now I could, according to you, say "Well, I did not Will that".


You contradict yourself, surely. What is 'first-hand experience' but the input (measurable or otherwise) of 'our limited senses'?


Yes, alright thats a contradiction. But while my conclusions are based on what I am experiencing right now, yours are based on what some line of philosophical reasoning theorizes.


What I am denying is that consciousness exists as a thing separate from experience. Consciousness is merely an effect of how the brain processes sensory input. Or, if you prefer, it is an effect of experience. Consciousness is produced by experience.


Interesting point we have reached in this debate. I am saying "Experience is produced by consciousness" and you are saying the exact opposite. Fascinating. But I guess countless people before us have had this same debate without ever reaching a conclusion other than both sides remaining in their particular point of view.



posted on Sep, 26 2007 @ 05:54 AM
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Is this a debate between imaginary entities?


Originally posted by Skyfloating
Well, those are your fatalist beliefs against my beliefs.

Please! A fatalist is someone who believes in a higher power. I am a determinist and a materialist. Or, as some people like to put it these days, a naturalist.


But its all only beliefs, its all in your mind.

No, it's in the neurophysiological data. Consider:

  1. Where is this self you're so keen to prove exists? Where is it located in the brain? Is it located in the same place as the seat of consciousness? Neuroscience has proved that consciousness has no seat; the functions from which it is derived are scattered all over the shop and rarely operate simultaneously.
  2. At what point does this self begin to exert its will? Long before your sluggish consciousness gets the message, countless unconscious brain functions have been activated and discharged. Your body has taken decisions and acted on them without any conscious intervention from you. Neuroscience shows us that this is happening all the time, but we only ever notice it when an unconscious response is brought to consciousness. When you instinctively swung your steering wheel to avoid a car accident, where was your self that took the decision? When the noise of your alarm clock woke you this morning, where was the conscious self that made the decision to rise?
  3. Where is your self when you are asleep, drunk or in a coma?

These are questions that people who believe in a willing, independent self must answer. Of course, if you believe in gods and spirits and the like you can provide whatever fairytale answer you wish and get away with that. But then you wouldn't have explained anything; all you'll have done is say 'these are holy Mysteries' and shut the door on thought. At that point we would have nothing more to say to each other.


My conclusions are based on what I am experiencing right now, yours are based on what some line of philosophical reasoning theorizes.

Actually, it's you, not I, who are basing his conclusions on philosophical theory. Here's Hobbes:


The cause of sense is the external body, or object, which presseth* the organ proper to each sense... which pressure, by the mediation of nerves and other strings and membranes of the body, continued inwards to the brain and heart, causeth there a resistance, or counter-pressure, or endeavour of the heart to deliver itself: which endeavour, because outward, seemeth to be some matter without. And this seeming, or fancy, is that which men call sense; and consisteth, as to the eye, in a light, or colour figured; to the ear, in a sound... All which qualities called sensible are, in the object that causeth them, but so many several motions of the matter by which it presseth our organs diversely... And though at some certain distance the real and very object seem invested with the fancy it begets in us; yet still the object is one thing, the image or fancy is another. So that sense in all cases is nothing else but original fancy caused (as I have said) by the pressure that is, by the motion of external things upon our eyes, ears, and other organs, thereunto ordained.

But the philosophy schools, through all the universities of Christendom, grounded upon certain texts of Aristotle, teach another doctrine; and say, for the cause of vision, that the thing seen sendeth forth on every side a visible... show, apparition, or aspect, or a being seen; the receiving whereof into the eye is seeing... Nay, for the cause of understanding also, they say the thing understood sendeth forth an intelligible species, that is, an intelligible being seen; which, coming into the understanding, makes us understand.

-- Leviathan I.1

*makes an impression on

So you see, it is you, not I, who stand with the Schoolmen. But never mind...


Lets look at the overall FRUITS of your belief... and then lets look at the fruits of my belief...

Yes, this is the interesting bit.


Even if you turn out to be right in your assumptions I wouldnt take on your belief because I dont see any positive benefit for it in my personal day to day life.

Are you saying that you don't care what is true or not true, you're going to believe only in whatever suits you and so much the worse for the truth if it doesn't support your beliefs? That's stupid, and I don't believe you're stupid.

And are you saying that you only believe in something when believing offers some kind of 'positive benefit'? That's moral relativism, a highly repugnant philosophy that can be used to justify any wickedness or atrocity. I'm sure you're not a moral relativist either. You just didn't think through the consequences of what you were trying to say.


If I wake up this morning and say "ah well, its all an illusion, there is no "I", there is no observer, and the choices I make dont matter" I might as well stay lying in bed all day.

Nobody is saying 'it's all an illusion'. I'm saying that the self is an illusion. The real world is not an illusion. The sun still rises, the world still turns, friends and lovers are still friends and lovers. Why not get out of bed and enjoy these things to the full?


On the other hand, if I get up in the awareness that I do have choice and that my choice does matter, the day will turn out to be more fun.

Fun is not the issue. There are real, potentially worrying consequences to the insight I'm trying to communicate. There are, in the first place, moral consequences.


You are saying that a human amounts to nothing but a reacting piece of meat & brain and I contradict that due to immediate-right-now-demonstratable experience. So if I hit you in the face right now I could, according to you, say "Well, I did not Will that".

Ah, that's more like it. Now you're getting to the real question. If there is no free will, what happens to the concept of personal responsibility? What becomes of self-control when there is no self?

Tom Wolfe ponders such matters in this essay, and like any God-fearing New Journalist-turned-novelist would be, he's appalled. But perhaps there's less cause for alarm than he fears. The Economist, as befits a liberal newspaper, is more sanguine.

And there is reason to be. This short piece by one of the world's leading zoologists (who is also a materialist and determinist) explains how we can start to deal with issues of moral responsibility in the absence of free will...

While, if you have the stomach for it, this interview with an analytical philosopher who takes a very hard stance against free will considers the relevant issues lucidly and in some detail.

And so...


(If) there is no observer may I ask who is replying to these posts then?

You are, of course. The entity known on ATS as Skyfloating. My personal, intuitive Turing test suggests you're human. The human being known provisionally as Skyfloating responds to its environment in particular ways based on its inheritance, history and circumstances. Your replies to my posts are an example of such a response. The observing 'I' perceived by Skyfloating as his or her 'self' doesn't exist, but what does that have to do with who or what is replying these posts?


But I guess countless people before us have had this same debate without ever reaching a conclusion other than both sides remaining in their particular point of view.

Except that these days, science takes a side in the debate. And that, as the religious have found to their discomfiture, tends to make a very large difference.



posted on Sep, 26 2007 @ 07:22 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


Astyanax writes: Is this a debate between imaginary entities?

Skyfloating: The only thing I know for sure is that its a worthwhile debate.

Astyanax writes: Please! A fatalist is someone who believes in a higher power. I am a determinist and a materialist. Or, as some people like to put it these days, a naturalist.

Skyfloating responds: Yes, sorry, you are not a fatalist but a determinist. The only similarity is in the attitude of "we have no choice, choice doesnt matter".


Astyanax writes: No, it's in the neurophysiological data.

Skyfloating: Passing scientific theory as scientific data? Passing something about which there is still ongoing debate and uncertainty as established fact?

Astyanax writes: Where is this self you're so keen to prove exists? Where is it located in the brain? Is it located in the same place as the seat of consciousness? Neuroscience has proved that consciousness has no seat; the functions from which it is derived are scattered all over the shop and rarely operate simultaneously.

Skyfloating: Yes, it has been proven that consciousness doesnt have a seat. Exactly my point. But while you interpret that as meaning that self doesnt exist, I interpret that as meaning that self doesnt exist within the physically measurable context.

Astyanax: At what point does this self begin to exert its will? Long before your sluggish consciousness gets the message, countless unconscious brain functions have been activated and discharged. Your body has taken decisions and acted on them without any conscious intervention from you. Neuroscience shows us that this is happening all the time, but we only ever notice it when an unconscious response is brought to consciousness. When you instinctively swung your steering wheel to avoid a car accident, where was your self that took the decision? When the noise of your alarm clock woke you this morning, where was the conscious self that made the decision to rise?

Skyfloating: Again, you interpret this factual data to say self/consciousness doesnt exist, and I interpret it to show that self/consciousness exists in a realm not measured by science.

Astyanax: Where is your self when you are asleep, drunk or in a coma?

Skyfloating: It resides within a context beyond what your little tools can measure.

Astyanax: These are questions that people who believe in a willing, independent self must answer. Of course, if you believe in gods and spirits and the like you can provide whatever fairytale answer you wish and get away with that. But then you wouldn't have explained anything; all you'll have done is say 'these are holy Mysteries' and shut the door on thought. At that point we would have nothing more to say to each other.

Skyfloating: God and Religion I do not need to demonstrate my point. While you are sitting there, place your attention on the tree outside the window. Now on that car down there. Now back to your computer. What you just exercised was choice. What you just witnessed was that your awareness was not located within the brain...suddenly it was at the tree, outside of the brain. What was at the tree? Something non-physical, invisible, not measurable. Awareness. Self. Consciousness. Just because a scientist cant measure what you just did, doesnt mean it doesnt exist. My ability to place my awareness on that tree over there does exist.

Astyanax: Are you saying that you don't care what is true or not true, you're going to believe only in whatever suits you and so much the worse for the truth if it doesn't support your beliefs? That's stupid, and I don't believe you're stupid. And are you saying that you only believe in something when believing offers some kind of 'positive benefit'? That's moral relativism, a highly repugnant philosophy that can be used to justify any wickedness or atrocity. I'm sure you're not a moral relativist either. You just didn't think through the consequences of what you were trying to say.

Skyfloating: No. I am saying "Effectiveness is the measure of truth". If I looked at the statistics of people who believe in personal free will and choice and those who dont, I suspect I would find the following: Those who believe in choice are more succesful, get more things done, get more things invented. Those who believe in "everything is pre-determined" will tend to live in slums (fatalist india) or build nuclear weapons ("nothing matters"). I live my life by what line of thinking works. When I encounter a theory or concept I apply it in my daily life. And if it doesnt result in any improvement, I discount it, whether its "true" or not. Walking around my day, practicing my profession with the idea "I have no choice and there is no self" is not very effective if you have certain demands of what life should be for you.

Astyanax:Nobody is saying 'it's all an illusion'. I'm saying that the self is an illusion. The real world is not an illusion. The sun still rises, the world still turns, friends and lovers are still friends and lovers. Why not get out of bed and enjoy these things to the full?

Skyfloating: oh I will enjoy, I will enjoy. Uh...for practical purposes, may I still use the word "I"?

Astyanax: Fun is not the issue.

Skyfloating: Not for you folks, obviously.

Astyanax:Ah, that's more like it. Now you're getting to the real question. If there is no free will, what happens to the concept of personal responsibility? What becomes of self-control when there is no self?

Skyfloating: Thanks for the collection of links and examples, which I briefly went through. I see that people who have maneuvred themselves into a mind-set of "there is no free will" get a load of confusing concepts they have to grapple with. Fortunately I dont have to struggle with them because I believe in free will (free will to a certain extent) and a self.

Now, returning back to the tree outside, how long could you keep your awareness, your concentration on it? Thats how to exercise the personal will (which you say doesnt exist).





[edit on 26-9-2007 by Skyfloating]



posted on Sep, 26 2007 @ 08:11 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


Since you polarize between science and religion I may add that I am in no way pro-religion. In fact, most religions dont practice free will/choice/responsibility either. On the contrary, by referring to "gods will" or "destinies will" they also undermine personal choice.

Which is, for me, the basic "conspiracy" the soul has to deal with. Born to this planet he has all kinds of voices and sides reminding him that he does not have choice, he does not have free will. Lucky is the soul that moves beyond religion and beyond science and embraces ecstatic spirituality...beyond kneeling down and worshipping strange Gods, beyond kneeling down and worshipping dull matter.



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