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Religion and Science - Conflict of Interests?

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posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 11:48 AM
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Originally posted by illimey
but...........
If He wanted to - He could!

And actually, I think that accepting God in those terms simplifies - not complicates - the issue. Once one understands that God can do anything, everything becomes simple!

And yes - maybe there is no such thing as nothing.

But if God wanted nothing to exist....

It would.

[edit on 6/14/2004 by illimey]


Do you also put you shoes on before your socks??
You are creating your own problems, in other words.

If He wanted to - He could!
What makes you think God Wants Anything?
Or that God is a 'He'?
Alpha & Omega, Beginning & End, First & Last.....Do you see a pattern here?
If God is All, Infinite, Eternal, Source of Everything, What could God possibly Want? If (s)he contains Everything then (s)he has everything. If God Wanted something that would mean not having something, but that would mean it would be Outside of what God Has, correct? Which is NOTHING. Therefore God Wants Nothing.

See how things tie together nicely when you don't confuse things?




posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 12:22 PM
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Originally posted by mOjOm

Originally posted by illimey
but...........
If He wanted to - He could!

And actually, I think that accepting God in those terms simplifies - not complicates - the issue. Once one understands that God can do anything, everything becomes simple!

And yes - maybe there is no such thing as nothing.

But if God wanted nothing to exist....

It would.

[edit on 6/14/2004 by illimey]


Do you also put you shoes on before your socks??
You are creating your own problems, in other words.

If He wanted to - He could!
What makes you think God Wants Anything?
Or that God is a 'He'?
Alpha & Omega, Beginning & End, First & Last.....Do you see a pattern here?
If God is All, Infinite, Eternal, Source of Everything, What could God possibly Want? If (s)he contains Everything then (s)he has everything. If God Wanted something that would mean not having something, but that would mean it would be Outside of what God Has, correct? Which is NOTHING. Therefore God Wants Nothing.

See how things tie together nicely when you don't confuse things?



Hmmmmmmm.....

Firstly, I didn't say that I think God wants something. I said that if He DID want something (or in the case of our little debate - nothing) He COULD create whatever that something (or in the cas....oh, y'know) was.

I refer to God as 'He' because that is the accepted (but wholly misunderstood) pronoun to use. By refering to God as 'He', I am not attributing Him with only possessing what humanity recognizes as masculinity. I am CERTAINLY not attributing God with a male human form!

God is Spirit.

Gen 1:27

"So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. "

Basically, this leads me to believe that male and female humans share the same spiritual nature.... Our spirit is created in God's image. God created the male and female gender for a) reproduction and b) pleasure.

The tradition of using the male pronoun to refer to God has definitely caused deep misunderstanding.

So - please somebody, suggest a reverent alternative? At times like this I wish I had some knowledge of the original languages the Bible was written in. Maybe the answer is that we simply no longer have the suitable words to use to refer to God.

OK - to return to the 'nothing' problem.

Once again, all I can say is that I believe God can do ANYTHING and that there are an infinite number of 'anythings'.

How does that belief complicate this debate?

I guess it is my inadequate presentation of my beliefs that is causing the complication.

So in the simplest possible terms:

I believe that God can do anything. Not even nothing is impossible!

Finally - in a belated attempt to make this post relevant to the subject of this thread - how does science explain the concept of nothing? How many people here truly believe that 'in the beginning was nothing - which then exploded'? And if you hold the belief that the Big Bang was actually something else exploding - where did that something come from? Science does not have the final answer to the ultimate question. God does. That is the root of the conflict of interest we are in this thread to discuss.



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 01:19 PM
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Ok, as for the He/She thing, never mind. I'm with ya as far as it being the common term, so forget what I said there.

Another thing, I'm not trying to punch holes in your belief structure or faith in God or whatever. Just the opposite in fact. To me it seems that you are just making things more confusing than they need to be in certain ways. To quote you, you said:
"But if God wanted nothing to exist....

It would."


Well, what does that mean??? The whole idea of nothing is that 'Nothing Can't Exist". Why? Cause it's 'Nothing'. It's not even like Anti-Matter which is Negative Something. Negative something is still something, but Nothing is just Nothing. To Create Nothing makes no sense. It's like a Square Circle or something.

What I was saying before is fine without changing 'Nothing' into anything different. Also, anything along the lines of 'If God Wanted..." What is God going to Want?? If you want something, then you don't have it. However, God either is, or isn't the Eternal and Possessor of Everything. If he is then he has everything, so he wants Nothing.
So that means that 'Nothing Exists Outside of God'
What exists outside God?
Nothing.

It is almost like we are saying the same thing, but then you post something like:
I believe that God can do anything. Not even nothing is impossible!
So I'm not quite sure.....

It might have to do with this thing where people feel the need to give God Human like characteristics like Wanting this or that, or thinking about things in this way or that way or anything where there is some Duality involved. This makes no sense to me and the only thing it does is confuse everything. Then 'Nothing' starts equaling 'Something' and all kinds of weird things like that. So, I'm not sure if we are actually saying the same thing and not realizing it or what.....



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 07:07 PM
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Newsflash, People !

The Creation Myths in the Bible were not compiled to answer "modern scientific" questions, but was concerned more with moral / Israelite political teaching.

It is DANGEROUS to look for purely modern scientific answers in a book which could not cope with such a modern scientific approach. It was written by pre-scientific hands who had little idea of the earth's true place in a rather obscure solar system of a galaxy consisting of more than 450 billion suns each with planets/planetoids surrounding them.

The Scientific Method as we know today is a development of the Age of Enlightenment (post 1700). Even the ancient Greeks had problems dealing with many of the scientific facts we today take for granted (i.e. that the earth rotates around its sun, or even the practical acceptance of the friendly use of electricity).

The people that wrote that book were "pre-scientific" and believed things like the world (lit. Eretz, "land") was flat and rested on 7 pillars (e.g. Proverbs 8 and 9) surrounded by a Solid Dome, or that Donkeys can speak fluent paleo-Hebrew (Balaam's Ass in the Book of Numbers), or that the "Sky" is Blue because there is "waters above the Firmament Dome" or that YHWH can cause the "sun and the moon to stand still" so that Joshua son of Nun can finish a battle "and be avenged on his enemies", or that miracle angels can appear and disappear at will, or that daemons are the cause of mental depression (King Saul), or that 90 year old women can get pregnant (Sarah), or that Elijah was lifted up into heaven by a firey chariot or that men can live to be 969 years (Methusaleh) or all the animals, birds and insects on the planet can be carted into a single boat (Noach) etc.

With regards to Genesis, please note that there are TWO Creation Myths in the book (Bere#h or "Genesis") both of them are mutully exclusive and contradictory.

Take some time to read them very carefully if you never noticed this fact.

The first Myth was written by the "School of Hezekiel" (labelled P for priestly writer) some time after 480BC (Genesis 1:1 to 2:4a). The writer uses the same vocabulary, syntax and grammar as the writer of the Prophet Hezekiel in the OT.

In this Creation Myth the "god" who does the "creating" (bara) is called in Hebrew "Elohim", ("gods" but governing a singluar verb !) and he "creates" by dividing things up. Things below from things above, light from darkness, water from land, etc. later things are made "after their kind", a favourite phrase of Hezekiel.

There are some problems with the Hezekielite writer's "scientific" facts however in the Book of Genesis:

The Six Days of Creation plus a Day of Rest are of course liturgical (the "7 eyes of YHWH" are the Sun, Moon + the five visible planets which seemed to move over the bacgkround of fixed stars as viewed from the earth--e.g. Sun, Moon, Venus Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn --so the number 7 became a magic number in ancient cosmology). No telescopes to see planets like Uranus or Pluto or Neptune.

Note also the writer things that Vegetation was "created" before the Sun, and the Stars erroneously appear even later in the order of Creation according to this "P" writer) = very bad Science to the modern reader.

The writer also believes in a solid Reqiaq ("Inverted Bowl" "dome") called the Heavens, which are covering a presumably Flat earth at the center of it all----so his astronomy echoes Babylonian and Egyptian world views (the prophet Hezekiel was deported into Babylon around 550 BC where his "school" picked up a couple of Babylonian loan words, such as Tehomah (Watery Chaos, from the babylonian chaos monster Tiahamat).

In the first Creation Myth, Male and Female are created together and are called Adam (the same writer re-appears in Genesis 5:1-4

(And Elohim created Adam in his own Image, Male and Female created he them...and he called THEIR name Adam). This was done on the "6th day".

The 2nd Creation Myth (Genesis 2:4b through the end of chapter 4) is more conversational was written by a group of priests whose style is Hebronite Hebrew from around 700 BC and fuses the two gods YHWH ("the LORD") and ELOHIM (lit. Gods) into one single god "The LORD God" = YHWH-Elohim (the socalled JE writer) to do the "forming" (not "creating") of the world, and Adam is made first from mud and the animals later so that a mate could be found for the man. The order of Creation in Myth # 2 is reversed.

Notice in myth #2 there is an Adam "formed" first then an Eve or Hayyah who if formed from his "side" (and not just a single Adam with two sexes like the P writer!) also there are no 7 days of creation, and no divine fiat ("let there be...and there was...") and the god is anthropropmorphic (i.e. like a man) where YHWH Elohim literally walks around the Garden of Eden crunching leaves "in the cool of the afternoon" where Adam can "hear him walking" in the Garden.

Note the difference in the writer's style between the two myths. In the 2nd myth, there is a lighter hand at work where ee see a talking snake who stands upright (only later to be cursed to crawl on his belly) and miraculous trees (Tree of Life; Tree of Knowlege etc.) and YHWH talking like a man. In the 1st myth, Elohim is transcendant, aloof, and merely says, Let there be!

None of this is any kind of "science" in the modern sense of the word it is more of a moral story telling which seeks to answer such questions as: How did we get here, why is there evil in the world, why does mommy scream during childbirth, why do men have to sweat for a living, why do we die and return to dust, why do serpents slink on their stomachs, and basically, why are people the way they are...?

The kinds of questions these writers are grappling with are not the kind of questions most scientists have a vocabulary for, and vice versa.

To take the "bible" as any kind of repository for science in the modern sense is to look in the wrong place. You WON'T find it.



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 08:49 PM
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Originally posted by Amadeus
The Scientific Method as we know today is a development of the Age of Enlightenment (post 1700). Even the ancient Greeks had problems dealing with many of the scientific facts we today take for granted (i.e. that the earth rotates around its sun, or even the practical acceptance of the friendly use of electricity).


Aristarchus (310 - 230 B.C.)
Astronomer from Samos that was first to conclude that the earth revolves around the sun. This almost cost him his life since it was considered to be offending the gods.

He also created a method of measuring distances of the sun and the moon from the earth. The method was basically correct, but his results wrong because of lack of accurate instruments.

The only surviving work of Aristarchus is "On the Dimensions" and "Distances of the Sun and Moon". The rest of his work we know about through the writings of Archimedes.

Protagoras (c.480-411BC)
Philosopher from Thrace who taught in Athens and was a friend of Pericles. He was the first Sophist, and taught grammar, rhetoric as well as the interpretation of poetry.

Protagoras believed nothing was exclusively good or bad, true or false and that man is his own authority, saying that "man is the measure of all things". This has in later times sometimes been misinterpreted. What the philosopher meant was that each man's opinions differ, and what is true for one person can be false for another. Therefore, he concluded, there is no general or objective truth.

According to Plato, Protagoras stated that the punishment for a crime is executed in order to prevent the same crime from happening again, and not for revenge. Although a celebrated teacher, Protagoras was finally charged with atheism and drowned fleeing to Sicily. Fragments of his works Truth and On the Gods have survived.

Pythagoras (c.582-500BC)
One of Pythagoras beliefs was that everything is based on numbers, and that true reality consist of them. He also discovered that the tones in music are relative to the length of the strings. The Pythagorean astro-nomy was also important, since it stated that the earth was round and revolved around a central fire together with the other planets. This movement created a musical harmony that we are so used to that we cannot hear it.

The common belief that everyone was a bunch of superstitious idiots until only recently is a Lie.

The trivium consisted of the three subjects in the lower division of the seven liberal arts: grammar, rhetoric, and logic. The word trivial derives from the fact that the trivium contained the least complicated studies.

The quadrivium consisted of the four subjects in the upper division of the seven liberal arts: arithmetic, astronomy, geometry, and music.

While most were stuck on the lower levels of 'Toying with the Languages' only a select few made it to the other levels where Science joined up with Philosophy for a more complete understanding.



posted on Jun, 15 2004 @ 05:58 PM
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Of course I agree that not ALL ancient people were just a bunch superstitious fools: the Greeks and many other ancient peoples were centuries ahead of their time in many respects considering the tools they had to work with, and those they did NOT have (like telescopes for example). And we've all heard those stories about the Dogon tribe of West Africa and their uncanny knowledge of Sirius B's peculiar orbit...

However, comparatively speaking, the ancient Israelites (to judge by the nonsense in the "Bible") were way behind the 8-ball in terms of modern science of the day when they wrote the contents of Genesis chapters 1-11 which are mainly concerned with morality anyway, and not Scientific knowledge.

The Jews certainly were not writing SCIENCE as we know it today: they were dictacting poltical and religious morality. And even in open minded Greece, Aristarchus and Pythagoras' views were in the minority, and had to take their belief system underground, as it were.

My point earlier was that even the Greeks, great thinkers though they were for their time (comparatively speaking of course) still by and large believed in a flat earth like even the great Aristotle did, who we know proposed a Finite Universe with a complex system of crystalline "spheres", with earth, again, at the center of it all.

His system was based on observation---from the point of view of the earth, naturally: like Eudoxus of Cnidus and hundreds of other Greek thinkers did before him.

But hats of to Aristarchus and Pythagoras who dared to postulate a non-terrestrial centered universe (and they were punished for it for daring to even think such a thing by their fellow Greeks, who normally alllowed room for some debate on these issues, unlike the Hebrews whose priests demanded full acceptance of the "word of YHWH" often uttered under ecstatic conditions...).

Not surprising that the writers of the Bible, the Yahwistic Israelite priestly classes, ever concerned with purely ritual and moral matters (especially the ones who compiled the material that found its way into Genesis) were also Terra Centric (as well as Ziono-Centric, with Israel at the center of creation).



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