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God is Not Tinkerbell

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posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 12:15 PM
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reply to post by etherical waterwave
 


Trust me, I've tried. I've openly and earnestly tried. It didn't work.




posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 02:18 PM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


I think even if you did pray and got a deep spiritual answer how could you say definitively that it is anything more than a very active imagination giving you the answer you wanted?

No matter what anyone says it boils down to belief and that is why after consideration God and Tinkerbell are one in the same it is only the blind trusting belief that will define your certainty as to the existence of either.

I have never once in my life heard of a proof of God that an open mind couldn't interpret to be an indication of any number of realities. A "Miracle" isn't proof of God, it is proof we don't understand how everything works and some things that happen are not explainable...



posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 02:31 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
reply to post by Jinglelord
 


You don't believe in god. You are an atheist.

Your own words were that you didn't believe in god, that makes you an atheist.


Are you trying to convert someone?


I have seen this several times recently. It is reminiscent of something else, very eerily similar, that i cant quite put my finger on...
Perhaps others have noticed the same similarity.

Either way, "proof" of god depends on its definition. If one were to define god in a certain way, they could prove he exists. i could say "god is every single thing that we see, including us. science is merely attempting to understand and explain god." The only way to argue such a thing would be in the application of the word, or semantics.
edit on 1-3-2011 by sinohptik because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 04:13 PM
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reply to post by Jinglelord
 



Originally posted by Jinglelord
reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


I think even if you did pray and got a deep spiritual answer how could you say definitively that it is anything more than a very active imagination giving you the answer you wanted?


Honestly? It would depend on the situation. I would, however, work through it.



No matter what anyone says it boils down to belief and that is why after consideration God and Tinkerbell are one in the same it is only the blind trusting belief that will define your certainty as to the existence of either.


And I'm not treating anything with certainty here....which is why I've tried to get across that the OP rests on straw men.



I have never once in my life heard of a proof of God that an open mind couldn't interpret to be an indication of any number of realities. A "Miracle" isn't proof of God, it is proof we don't understand how everything works and some things that happen are not explainable...


Or that whoever was present was mistaken.



posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 04:16 PM
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reply to post by sinohptik
 



Originally posted by sinohptik
Are you trying to convert someone?


I have seen this several times recently. It is reminiscent of something else, very eerily similar, that i cant quite put my finger on...
Perhaps others have noticed the same similarity.


Nope, not at all. I'm just trying to let people realize that atheism is simply not believing in any deity. I was mistaken in this case, as the person believed in a different deity.



Either way, "proof" of god depends on its definition. If one were to define god in a certain way, they could prove he exists. i could say "god is every single thing that we see, including us. science is merely attempting to understand and explain god."


Then you're not arguing for the existence of 'god', you're arguing for the existence of the universe. You're merely shifting the goal posts in a manner to make the statement a tautology.



The only way to argue such a thing would be in the application of the word, or semantics.


Or we could just go with how the word is defined by those who believe in it. Those who believe in the universe? Well, they're materialists, definitely nothing supernatural going on there, so it's not the sort of thing atheism refers to.



posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 04:39 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
Then you're not arguing for the existence of 'god', you're arguing for the existence of the universe. You're merely shifting the goal posts in a manner to make the statement a tautology.


That's not shifting the goalposts. It's called pantheism. This was the version of God that Einstein believed in.

You are merely proving sinohptik's point by disagreeing on what constitutes ''God''. You apparently do not think that pantheism constitutes anything other than a belief in the objective reality of the universe, whereas others, myself included, think that pantheism is a valid form of God that should be considered in anyone's declaration of beliefs or disbeliefs.

A big flaw with defining one's self as an atheist, is that it doesn't tell people whether the person doesn't believe in God or whether they believe that God doesn't exist. The even bigger flaw in the term, is that the definition of ''God'' depends on the individual who declares themselves to be an ''atheist''.

This bigger flaw is what I believe the poster was alluding to.



posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 05:36 PM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


edit: it isnt as clear as desired, so please check the bolded part at the bottom before reading madness.

Those on the outside looking in on this theist/atheist duality will likely see exactly what i am talking about. Shocking to see that you deny your conversion attempt


Who are you to say what i may or may not define as God? I "believe in God," so my definition applies as per your qualifications. I am aware that this does not fit into your concept of what God is, but that is only relevant to you.

Those who dont "believe in the universe" are likely deluded, and those who do will not fit into any one categorization such as "materialist." Things are not as simple as we would like to make them.

I take such definitions as "omnipresent" and "alpha and omega" very literally. The sheer vast enormity of what is actually happening around us is beyond our comprehension, even when whittled down to individual facets. Following the scientific method has taught me many things, not the least of which is that most will invoke science as blindly as others invoke religion. Usually done by those who do not "practice what they preach."

When it comes down to it, i see what people are trying to conceptualize when they refer to their own limited concept of God. Those people reside in the same universe as i do and the same planet. We are all looking at the same thing. Some just dont like the words others use though, and base their beliefs, decisions, and actions off of that. They have programmed themselves to react to a situation before it even presents itself. Some get so wrapped up in the words that they can not see the forest for the trees.. We are all attempting to understand the universe around us, but as a result of individual perspective, we have to approach it through our own minds. This results in having to communicate it to others. That is where most people get caught up. Even if people were to be talking about the same exact thing, the verbalizations they use would likely differ. And that is exactly where disagreements such as this come up. My verbalization does not "agree" with yours, but we are living in the same universe. i see arguing about the validity of the verbalization (and ignoring the underlying concept) a result of the "teenage years" syndrome. Where one has learned just enough about things to think they know what they are talking about with absolute certainty. that isnt to say i think you are a teenager, but that is the most likely age for the attitude to manifest, thus its name!

What brings you awe? What opens your eyes to how small you and your, and our perspectives are? undoubtedly, i assume you would attempt to find your own concept of God, and not others conceptualizations of such a thing. What problem do you have defining that as God (simply a system/being much, much, much, much, much, much larger than us individually)? because of others equally "ignorant" use of the word? surely, you wouldnt let others control your viewpoint that much...

That would, of course, invalidate your current crusade against words though.

Really, when it comes down to it, i just found the attempt to "convert the heathen" as humorous. even titen mentioned that the intent behind all this is to persuade others! I only added the second part to be relevant to the topic
i knew exactly what your response would be to it as such things are as predictable as the sun rising and setting. I decided to go in depth in this post for others who might be reading.

My point is that the physical universe we can observe and measure is awe-inspiring in its continuous totality. All words, concepts, and math we use to define such a thing are equally limited and only valid in-so-far as they are a part of what they are pointing to. No one should let someone elses definition of their experience dictate their own, much less get so caught up over the use of a three letter word. I can say "i believe in an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent system that is the alpha and omega, the everything and the nothing. of which, we observe partially through our limited senses interacting with the universe around us." or, i can just say "i believe in God." Everyone is looking at the same universe through different eyes.

Really though, i can probably safely assume your response to all this.. so, lets just go ahead and agree to disagree
It will save you some time and effort that you just really dont need to expend on a heathen such as myself
That and it means you dont even need to read my wall of text, saving you further effort! Ill even bold this part, so ideally, you wont waste your time at all.

edit on 1-3-2011 by sinohptik because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 06:25 PM
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reply to post by Sherlock Holmes
 



Originally posted by Sherlock Holmes

Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
Then you're not arguing for the existence of 'god', you're arguing for the existence of the universe. You're merely shifting the goal posts in a manner to make the statement a tautology.


That's not shifting the goalposts. It's called pantheism. This was the version of God that Einstein believed in.


But it's not a version of a deity, it's just a shifting of reverence. Einstein didn't believe in a version of any deity, he merely had a passion for the beauty of the universe as science can explain it.



You are merely proving sinohptik's point by disagreeing on what constitutes ''God''.


No, I'm merely pointing out that it's a silly point.



You apparently do not think that pantheism constitutes anything other than a belief in the objective reality of the universe, whereas others, myself included, think that pantheism is a valid form of God that should be considered in anyone's declaration of beliefs or disbeliefs.


And how is it valid? What differentiates non-supernatural pantheism (as there are forms of pantheism that give the universe a will and others that don't) from atheism?



A big flaw with defining one's self as an atheist, is that it doesn't tell people whether the person doesn't believe in God or whether they believe that God doesn't exist.


Well, technically those who believe god doesn't exist also don't believe in god while it doesn't work the other way around.

All atheists do not believe in any deity. Some atheists also believe that deities don't exist.

So that's why we have qualifiers.



The even bigger flaw in the term, is that the definition of ''God'' depends on the individual who declares themselves to be an ''atheist''.


...actually....no. You see, atheists lack a belief in many deities. It's an umbrella term. I reject all theistic claims.



This bigger flaw is what I believe the poster was alluding to.


No, the poster was relying on silly straw men.



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 03:29 AM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 




just some music? Don't take it the bad way.



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 09:13 AM
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reply to post by sinohptik
 


From our bag of existential tools:

Intrinsically in mankind: From intuition/perception to concepts/abstracts.

Formal constructions: E.g. deductive logic, inductive reasoning, scientific systematic methodology, pragmatism.

Symbols: E.g. language, mathematics.


In the territory of concepts/abstracts where deductive logic ends (causality breaks down) language becomes so imprecise, that semantic confusion usually ensues.

I can follow your thoughts about looking at the same universe and the same planet (momentarily disregarding hypotheses of observer-created existence, which I don't carry too far anyway) via individual (possibly acquired) perspectives.

According to the above I can also agree on the communication problems arising when concepts are imprecisely represented semantically from different perspectives.

Quote from your post:

["I can say "i believe in an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent system that is the alpha and omega, the everything and the nothing. of which, we observe partially through our limited senses interacting with the universe around us."]

And:

Quote: [" or, i can just say "i believe in God."]

Fine. This is your (or a hypothetically) perspective and your (or a hypothetically) semantic presentation.

Then you write, qoute: ["Everyone is looking at the same universe through different eyes."]

If distinctly different from your two first (hypothetically) perspectives and (hypothetically) semantic representations of your perspective, you here give the option of other perspectives and other semantic representations. Fine.

(I'll skip the 'hypothetically' now, only implying it).

If the three quotes are a connected chain of reasoning, not good. Then you have framed the situation into your parameters, which relates to ultimate absolutes of your choice, leading back to your perspective and your semantics.

I suggest an alternative approach on this. Disregard 'absolutes' and center on optional perspectives. In each perspective language has a somewhat specific meaning, relating to the perspective.

Take alpha and omega. In the perspective context of the 'nameless' ultimate (which isn't all that nameless after all, but goes under the names of Ain Soph, Tao, Satori, Nirvana, BrahmaN, the alien god), alpha and omega has one meaning.

From a 'Jahveh'/universe-totality perspective alpha and omega means something semantically different.

From a perspective of indifference alpha and omega means nothing.

This sounds stilted and oversophisticated, but we use this perspective-based distinctions all the time. Take the word 'spring' and consider the necessity of stating a perspective, before it gives meaning.

My personal position as a metaphysicist starts FROM a mundane perspective and goes TOWARDS an open-end trans-mundane situation, of which I know very little (though I can speculate).

A religionist absolute perspective and its corresponding semantic representation 'threatens' my process through the inclusion of any perspective with 'absolutes'.

An agnostic-atheist perspective and its corresponding semantic representation doesn't 'threaten' my process, as mundane considerations can be approached from the relative reality of the visible cosmos and the approximative truth of e.g. science. The open-end trans-mundane options are available to me.

As I see it, our resident agnostic-atheists have been exposed to a massive campaign the last 2 or 3 months from religionists, with the aim of semantically twisting the agnostic-atheist perspective into an 'absolute' perspective (and consequently enforcement to use corresponding absolute semantics).

There has been a constant pressure of baiting the agnostic-atheists into 'absolute' grounds, and I strongly suspect you of doing the same, albeit at a very sophisticated level, where your 'absolutes' at the surface are toned down, but nonetheless still are present somewhere down the line.

I think Madness is doing OK, considering the semantic traps he's exposed to constantly. He doesn't impose anything on me.

It's ofcourse possible, that I have misinterpretated your position completely. I'm open for that.





edit on 2-3-2011 by bogomil because: clarification and spelling



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 02:17 PM
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Good to see you bogomil
Been waiting for you



Originally posted by bogomil
reply to post by sinohptik
 

In the territory of concepts/abstracts where deductive logic ends (causality breaks down) language becomes so imprecise, that semantic confusion usually ensues.

I can follow your thoughts about looking at the same universe and the same planet (momentarily disregarding hypotheses of observer-created existence, which I don't carry too far anyway) via individual (possibly acquired) perspectives.

According to the above I can also agree on the communication problems arising when concepts are imprecisely represented semantically from different perspectives.


I make a distinction between experientially based concepts and something our mind can deduce, so that might make things a little more clear when speaking of "semantics." I explain the experience that leads to my "thinking" on this here. So, you will see when i communicate it is not to discover/explore through debate or argument. I try to understand the experiential concepts behind what someone is putting forward, as i believe, in the end "actions speak louder than words."

I also do not feel that us looking at the same universe and planet automatically disregards the possibility of a observer-created existence. It just might not apply to all of existence. This specific concept is the one i struggle the most with when trying to put it into words. In.. "practice," it is significantly different than what can seemingly be conveyed verbally. And it is for very reasons like this that i attempt to understand the "actions behind the words."



If distinctly different from your two first (hypothetically) perspectives and (hypothetically) semantic representations of your perspective, you here give the option of other perspectives and other semantic representations. Fine.

(I'll skip the 'hypothetically' now, only implying it).

If the three quotes are a connected chain of reasoning, not good. Then you have framed the situation into your parameters, which relates to ultimate absolutes of your choice, leading back to your perspective and your semantics.


The three quotes are three different ways to look at the "action." The third is to illustrate the basis behind my intent to explore others perspectives beyond the words they present. There is not always conscious movement behind these words though.. the idea that was attempted to be conveyed beyond the word "God" was simply that i understand what was being spoken about by those that are not contained within the words.


I suggest an alternative approach on this. Disregard 'absolutes' and center on optional perspectives. In each perspective language has a somewhat specific meaning, relating to the perspective.

Take alpha and omega. In the perspective context of the 'nameless' ultimate (which isn't all that nameless after all, but goes under the names of Ain Soph, Tao, Satori, Nirvana, BrahmaN, the alien god), alpha and omega has one meaning.

From a 'Jahveh'/universe-totality perspective alpha and omega means something semantically different.

From a perspective of indifference alpha and omega means nothing.

This sounds stilted and oversophisticated, but we use this perspective-based distinctions all the time. Take the word 'spring' and consider the necessity of stating a perspective, before it gives meaning.


I also enjoy the "chair" analogy, as evidenced by mentioning it constantly
But even when stating a perspective, the full "monty," so to speak, is still hidden behind verbalization of a conceptualization, of something experiential.

Alpha and Omega means something to this one, which is why i use it. It is, perhaps, why anyone uses any words to describe the "nameless" ultimate. The actual meaning will differ from perspective to perspective, as the blades of grass all grow to different lengths. It is


My personal position as a metaphysicist starts FROM a mundane perspective and goes TOWARDS an open-end trans-mundane situation, of which I know very little (though I can speculate).

A religionist absolute perspective and its corresponding semantic representation 'threatens' my process through the inclusion of any perspective with 'absolutes'.


Can you point out what you are perceiving as absolutes? the words i use are viewed as nebulous to me, and as such, it sometimes takes an outside perspective to point out what they see when they view the words that i have written.



As I see it, our resident agnostic-atheists have been exposed to a massive campaign the last 2 or 3 months from religionists, with the aim of semantically twisting the agnostic-atheist perspective into an 'absolute' perspective (and consequently enforcement to use corresponding absolute semantics).

There has been a constant pressure of baiting the agnostic-atheists into 'absolute' grounds, and I strongly suspect you of doing the same, albeit at a very sophisticated level, where your 'absolutes' at the surface are toned down, but nonetheless still are present somewhere down the line.

I think Madness is doing OK, considering the semantic traps he's exposed to constantly. He doesn't impose anything on me.

It's ofcourse possible, that I have misinterpretated your position completely. I'm open for that.


i am frustrated that all attempts at meaningful communication about the concepts beyond the words turns into semantic debate about the words themselves. I also find it quite humorous as i was in a similar frame of mind when i was a teenager
That is my stance on the "agnostic atheist" clan on this board. No more, no less. Their view on the universe is as valid as my own, and as such, i wish to learn more about it. However, it is a struggle to get beyond the semantics and words and topics that are accepted without a personal search. The response to my words is consistent though, it just isnt the type of discussion i am looking for.



posted on Mar, 3 2011 @ 11:46 AM
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reply to post by sinohptik
 


Thanks for your answer and its peaceful tone. I was a littte worried, that my last post to you could be seen as too critical (even slightly insinuating) in places.

This answer will be a bit rambling, as some interesting sub-topics have manifested along the main-road of OP topic.

You wrote: ["I make a distinction between experientially based concepts and something our mind can deduce,..."]

I agree, though I'm uncertain as how to interpretate "experientally based concepts" precisely. As I understand 'concept', it's either something which is formed in your mind as a result of a chain of speculations or it's a semantic construct (E.g. when vehicles operating with engines were constructed, they were called 'auto-mobiles'. A rather reasonable choice).

I make the guess, that you mean the first version: Something being a result of speculations.

A long life including much contact with teachers, psychologists, new-agers, fringe- or exotic religionists and assorted idealists have taught me the dangers of speculation, if it's not done with rigorous care. Many of said types have the attitude, that "If it pops up in my mind, it MUST exist somehow, somewhere", and this is possibly a reason for the popularity of 'observer-created existence' and 'parallel dimensions/universes' in such circles.

An endless relativism, with 'somewhere' where all and everything REALLY does happens, so "I'm right and you can put your norms and structures, where the sun doesn't shine...ha, ha, gotcha".

Or they just fill out the gaps with semantics.

Concepts are wonderful; it would have a once-in-a-lifetime experience to listen to the Copenhagen group drinking beer and speculating wildly. (Sigh, they don't make them like that anymore.)

But when concepts start to have their own life and act as reference points, we get nukes and 'better dead than red'.

Quote: [" I explain the experience that leads to my "thinking" on this here."]

That is a truly wonderful post you linked to, and I'll presume on some of your time commenting.

My own position on ATS is often that of a third option in the black/white polarizations between atheists and theists (of all kinds). As third options usually are outside the scope of black or white, I appear to be standing vaguely in the middle, at best seeming to present platitudes just to make people notice that I exist. And on the ground of "if you're not with me, you're against me" I can even be an 'enemy'. Being both old, and by general character grumpy, I'm soon involved in meaningless extremist positions, where I'm alternatively seen as 'white' or 'black', and to my shame, act as if I am.

I will refer to the expression "shiver me timbers" (taken from your link above). I believe, it's something pretentious landlubbers say, just after they bought their first dinghy, so they can be part of the real thing.

To make a parallel to such, often leading to:
'apart from a few details I'm an übermensch and know it all'

I last week finished a pie-throwing contest on ATS with a new-age-christian-pseudo-scientist, who skipped 50 years of science/philosophy-of-science/epistemology/theology debate, and via his own (but never defined or demonstrated) 'grand unifying theory' went directly from 'quantum entanglement' (whatever that is) to the old man in the sky and the old man's specified personal quirks.

At informal ground ("My kind of science is as good as yours") and at formal ground ("you didn't understand your 'official' scientific education") my opponent in this pie-throwing contest seems to live in an unbreakable loop. Such situations regularly and eventually resulting in: "I don't believe, you actually HAVE a scientific education; you're just lying".

One notch upgraded, as an answer to your

quote: ["The three quotes are three different ways to look at the "action." The third is to illustrate the basis behind my intent to explore others perspectives beyond the words they present. There is not always conscious movement behind these words though.. the idea that was attempted to be conveyed beyond the word "God" was simply that i understand what was being spoken about by those that are not contained within the words."]

First: The word 'God', the nightmare of 'general semantics'.

Observation from practical examples of the more primitive kind of christian evangelism: "We (my comment: 'we' ??????) all look for the same G-d (or whatever). Christians, muslims, hindus, buddhists, cosmic deists" etc.

Disregarding that buddhists don't have the monotheistic creator-god concept, that 'informed' hindus include 'BrahmaN' together with Brahma (where christians exclude Ain Soph from their somewhat similar Jahveh to Brahma (=the creating 'god') and that cosmic deists are undecided on where 'dualism' takes place.

Well, .... now I don't think, that you, Madness et al (hopefully including me also) are at that level of creating semantic traps, but to return full circle to our starting-point, I consequently agree with you on the following 'solution':

Repeated quote: [" The third is to illustrate the basis behind my intent to explore others perspectives beyond the words they present."]

Because you are of similar mind as me, I consider you wise.

I call this attitude being: 'Participating observer', the perspective-based/originated (hopefully extensive, in the direction of 'total') understanding I call 'relative reality', and the more or less validated resulting 'explanations' I call 'approximate truth'.

Amongst the more 'informed' debaters on ATS this is sometimes understood, albeit with other labels (and at the 'label' level then creating its own confusion), but when the various positions get to the point of semantics on semantics, I think something has been missed on the way there. You can TALK about ditch-digging (like the japanese professor on buddhism, who wrote an endless series of books on 'The simplicity of zen'), but you don't have much of an understanding until you actually have dug some ditches.

Existence can allegorically be compared to a puzzle. The bits have to be put together to give meaning, but you can't FORCE them to fit together. And ofcourse you can't invent bits, even if this is possible conceptually. Even IF existence is observer-created, there's still an observer (who is this guy????) and still a creation to consider as 'fixed' points. (If interested, I can do 'transcendent' also as an extension of this).

So from as many 'perspectives' I can master, I can personally not see the difference between the christian 'god', the spaghetti monster or Tinkerbell. They are all the result of individual or collective processes of laying the puzzle from a very limited 'methodology'. As soon as christians acknowledge, that this is a 'faith' I'm satisfied. It places it on the level of 'faiths' in general, where self-preservation should be enough to respect different layings of the puzzle.

Darn, I've started preaching now myself. It's my recent consumption of coffee being responsible. Coffee is a strong mind-altering substance, which only ought to be sold on prescription to the terminally apathetic.



edit on 3-3-2011 by bogomil because: spelling



posted on Mar, 3 2011 @ 05:13 PM
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Originally posted by bogomil
I agree, though I'm uncertain as how to interpretate "experientally based concepts" precisely. As I understand 'concept', it's either something which is formed in your mind as a result of a chain of speculations or it's a semantic construct (E.g. when vehicles operating with engines were constructed, they were called 'auto-mobiles'. A rather reasonable choice). I make the guess, that you mean the first version: Something being a result of speculations. A long life including much contact with teachers, psychologists, new-agers, fringe- or exotic religionists and assorted idealists have taught me the dangers of speculation, if it's not done with rigorous care. Many of said types have the attitude, that "If it pops up in my mind, it MUST exist somehow, somewhere", and this is possibly a reason for the popularity of 'observer-created existence' and 'parallel dimensions/universes' in such circles. An endless relativism, with 'somewhere' where all and everything REALLY does happens, so "I'm right and you can put your norms and structures, where the sun doesn't shine...ha, ha, gotcha". Or they just fill out the gaps with semantics. Concepts are wonderful; it would have a once-in-a-lifetime experience to listen to the Copenhagen group drinking beer and speculating wildly. (Sigh, they don't make them like that anymore.) But when concepts start to have their own life and act as reference points, we get nukes and 'better dead than red'.


First off, the rambling is a-ok, as i tend to do it too! well more precisely, its all i do
The issue is compounded by the fact that i can type 100+ wpm. A "recipe for disaster" to be sure
I also tend to be completely obsessed with my work, and have a severe back injury which prevents me from "going out." So, this is a communication outlet for me
So, that is my agenda
I just enjoy talking with people, but really dont enjoy debates on things no one understands. It seems only useful in stroking ones ego, and if it has ever lead to actual learning or progress, i am not aware of it.

The idea that was presented is that, in their totality, the experiential basis which our life is actually.. "existing," is not only beyond what words and data we can use to empirically explore, but beyond the comprehension of the mind-based perspective in the first place. i illustrate this through the idea that even just within the bounds of perspective, what is happening in its continuous totality just within our own bodies, is beyond our quantification of it. We would struggle to quantify even a moment in its totality, much less the continuous "reality" that is life. It was in this realization that i ceased attempting to "live" by trying to comprehend everything within my perspective. The shift was made to becoming what most speak of as "conscious," "awake," and other such illusions. The mind was then used to actively focus experiences, and translate such things into words for others. The idea that one can actively comprehend.. anything.. with ones thoughts, logic, and rationale, alone is outright faulty. Even if just from the stance that they are a single part of even just our own "being" or "body." Most do not even try to experientially "be" their body, actively, and instead attempt to try to think such things into "being." It is the basis behind my "arm" allegory. It illustrates the difference between thinking about moving ones arm, and then actually moving ones arm. The brain and synapses are used both ways, but only one way gets the arm to move.

I "buy" the idea that if it comes into ones mind, it exists on some level. As, the products of our minds and our thoughts themselves are viewed as an intrinsic part of the universe, it is an inevitability of sorts.



That is a truly wonderful post you linked to, and I'll presume on some of your time commenting.

My own position on ATS is often that of a third option in the black/white polarizations between atheists and theists (of all kinds). As third options usually are outside the scope of black or white, I appear to be standing vaguely in the middle, at best seeming to present platitudes just to make people notice that I exist. And on the ground of "if you're not with me, you're against me" I can even be an 'enemy'. Being both old, and by general character grumpy, I'm soon involved in meaningless extremist positions, where I'm alternatively seen as 'white' or 'black', and to my shame, act as if I am.


I try to be as honest and straight forward as i can be. I have nothing to hide and am not ashamed of anything in my life. i used to hide events such as the one you read, because of the inevitable judgment. but, now i realize it can also have the opposite effect and actually help people. pride was the only thing preventing me from realizing that. Indeed, i am in the same "boat" (heh). I think that you tend to lean towards the "atheist" side, and i tend to lean towards the "theist" side. but really, its because i have realized the theist side is less likely to have an actual discussion than the atheist side. that opinion has shifted drastically after coming to this message board though, where it is mostly the other way around. The atheists i have dealt with before this board (including myself, at one point) were not interested in debate, which led to fantastic opportunities for our perspectives to learn about each other.



I last week finished a pie-throwing contest on ATS with a new-age-christian-pseudo-scientist, who skipped 50 years of science/philosophy-of-science/epistemology/theology debate, and via his own (but never defined or demonstrated) 'grand unifying theory' went directly from 'quantum entanglement' (whatever that is) to the old man in the sky and the old man's specified personal quirks.

At informal ground ("My kind of science is as good as yours") and at formal ground ("you didn't understand your 'official' scientific education") my opponent in this pie-throwing contest seems to live in an unbreakable loop. Such situations regularly and eventually resulting in: "I don't believe, you actually HAVE a scientific education; you're just lying".


Indeed, i think "practicing what you preach" is not exclusive to religion
I dont like blind invocation of science anymore than i like blind invocation of religion. Sometimes they get intertwined, but my sentiment remains the same.


First: The word 'God', the nightmare of 'general semantics'.


It really is, isnt it? i mean, its amazing. I tend to use it as a gating mechanism to weed out those who are blindly in the "yea" or "nay" pre-programmed mindset. I find it quite interesting that someone will agree with someone in totality until the word "God" is mentioned. You see it happen constantly on these boards, and its a clear sign such posters are letting "their mind take them for a ride." Instead of simply disagreeing with the mention of such a thing, they discard all ideas that they actually previously agreed with!


Observation from practical examples of the more primitive kind of christian evangelism: "We (my comment: 'we' ??????) all look for the same G-d (or whatever). Christians, muslims, hindus, buddhists, cosmic deists" etc.

Disregarding that buddhists don't have the monotheistic creator-god concept, that 'informed' hindus include 'BrahmaN' together with Brahma (where christians exclude Ain Soph from their somewhat similar Jahveh to Brahma (=the creating 'god') and that cosmic deists are undecided on where 'dualism' takes place.


I view them all as simply pointing at the same moon. personally, i feel that instead of arguing the inevitable differences in "pointing," that we can learn significantly more by trying to understand that even though that other person isnt pointing at the "same" moon as the one in our own perspectives, they are still, indeed, pointing at the same moon external of ones perspectives. How do they see it? What can this one learn from anothers pointing?



Amongst the more 'informed' debaters on ATS this is sometimes understood, albeit with other labels (and at the 'label' level then creating its own confusion), but when the various positions get to the point of semantics on semantics, I think something has been missed on the way there. You can TALK about ditch-digging (like the japanese professor on buddhism, who wrote an endless series of books on 'The simplicity of zen'), but you don't have much of an understanding until you actually have dug some ditches.


Agreed, that is exactly the point i try to get across when speaking of my "arm" allegory. Philosophizing over the nature of existence is like talking about basketball, when one has only heard the word "basketball" itself.


Existence can allegorically be compared to a puzzle. The bits have to be put together to give meaning, but you can't FORCE them to fit together. And ofcourse you can't invent bits, even if this is possible conceptually. Even IF existence is observer-created, there's still an observer (who is this guy????) and still a creation to consider as 'fixed' points. (If interested, I can do 'transcendent' also as an extension of this).


I think to add as well, when someone is truly exploring, an open mind is necessary. Else, one will simply look for things that will affirm their already present bias. Conceptually, i find that actively proving myself wrong leads to the greatest amount of perspective growth. And where that perspective flux (i call it PF) actually exhibits growth will be where we have focused, and this growth can be encouraged with faith. Much like a plant growing towards light (focus) with nutrients in its soil (faith). I feel our "soul" is an EMF driven celestial body, a simile to all of the other EMF driven celestial bodies we can observe. That is starting to go off topic though
And really, it is my "religion," as in it is my own conceptualization of the universe. Most do not bother with such personal searches, instead letting the exploration of others define their reality. I believe it is through this, that control can be asserted as it has been by organized religions for centuries. We also see the same thing starting to happen on mass scales with mainstream science.


So from as many 'perspectives' I can master, I can personally not see the difference between the christian 'god', the spaghetti monster or Tinkerbell. They are all the result of individual or collective processes of laying the puzzle from a very limited 'methodology'. As soon as christians acknowledge, that this is a 'faith' I'm satisfied. It places it on the level of 'faiths' in general, where self-preservation should be enough to respect different layings of the puzzle.


I believe the faith itself is critical, and everyone has it whether it is contained within their perspective or not. However, it is the "yea" or "nay" polarizations once again that never use it for growth. The "yea" side (typical christian, say), rarely consider that faith is simply a tool and can even be a motivation. It is seen more as the "ultimate end goal" and that nothing else matters beyond the faith. The "nay" side witnesses this as incorrect, and assumes that what they speak of is absolute nonsense, without realizing they have faith that they are correct in their assumption. The "nay" side in this can be clearly illustrated as before, where one will discard all previously agreed upon conversation, due to the invocation of God. psychologically, its a very interesting thing
I said elsewhere: "For the "fringe" scientists, science is the search for truth. For mainstream science, it is nothing more than a testable representation of what is already perceived to be true. Such things are frequently proposed by the fringe scientists of 1-3 decades previous, who were inevitably mocked and labelled as frauds." the same concept can be applied to organized religion as well. Though, i prefer to speak on science since i am more familiar and involved with it than religion.


Darn, I've started preaching now myself. It's my recent consumption of coffee being responsible. Coffee is a strong mind-altering substance, which only ought to be sold on prescription to the terminally apathetic.


These things happen! In my perspective, every word spoken by any individual is "preaching." It just comes down to what story one wishes to write with their limited time. "Doing nothing" is still seemingly a choice as the time-frame moves on nevertheless.


Good talk either way!
edit on 3-3-2011 by sinohptik because: (no reason given)



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