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Free will, human rights, the universe and Christianity.

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posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 01:19 PM
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Before jumping straight into the substantial content of this post, I'd like to address one thing. Militant attitudes regarding one's belief are often contusive to a rich and constructive debate. I wouldn't add this precursor to my statements, but I see that all too often, the members of ATS forego the opportunity for intelligent dialogue simply to substantiate what they believe to be correct. I have a slew of questions and barely any answers. Isn't that what we all have though? I suppose that my feelings are just that to be dismissively conclusive is a good way to box yourself in from acquiring new information.

I do not call myself Christian or Atheist. I harbor little subscription to any single style or dogma. I don't want to prove anyone right or wrong, smart or dumb, enlightened or ignorant. I just want to speculate.

I'd like to begin by talking about coincidence vs. design and a statement released about cosmology. Apparently the Earth is lucky enough to be situated in what is known as a "Goldilocks Zone." This means that if the planet were to be just a nudge closer to the sun, it would sear the surface of the Earth and if it were any further, it would be frozen. This means that the Earth is placed in the exact right distance from the sun in order to make it habitable. Lets go a step further though. The sun has just enough nuclear energy to be a viable source of heat and light. If the sun were to have just a small percent of more nuclear force, it would have burned out billions of years ago, just a small percent less and it would have never ignited at all. The perplexities continue to mount as we learn that even the universe itself, seems to be tailor-made to support our cosmos. If the force of gravity present in the universe were slightly more enhanced, the entire cosmos would collapse. If the force were slightly decreased, the universe would seek to expand, ultimately becoming a frozen, barren void.

Understanding all of that leads to a mind boggling realization of how staggering the probabilities are. How could a reality so improbable possibly exist? The phenomena has been likened to a tornado that rips through a scrap yard and assembles a jet engine. There is some theory though. Apparently, there are many "dead" solar systems throughout the Milky Way. This presents a possibility of multiple "dead" universes surrounding our own. Imagine it like this: I have a marble in a bag, just one marble. I don't know what color it is so I toss it out. I want it to be blue (blue marbles will represent habitable universes) but that is very unlikely because if it is only a single marble, it can be any color. Lets say that now I have a bag of 100 marbles. Once again hoping for blue, I toss the contents of the bag onto the floor. Now I see a few blue marbles. Obviously there are more of every other color than there is of the blue marbles, but by having other marbles in the bag, I significantly raised my chances of finding a blue one or in this case, a few blue ones.

I don't think the aforementioned analogy is too far-fetched, but there is always more. In the grand scale of a marble universe, what is beyond the bag? Is there a vast expanse of multiverses, stretching out infinitely, or does the realm in which the multiverse exists have a membrane that separates it from an even more expansive collection of "mega" multiverses. How far until you reach the top? Can one find a place in which the multiverse theory has a beginning and end or does it just keep branching out into an endlessly expanding grape vine? Imagine a traveller who has reached the outermost limit of the furthest universe in the multiverse equation. if he keeps going, where will he find himself next?

The implication of limits to the scale of the universe is a very human concept. Human beings exist in a life defined by beginning and end parameters. We measure time and distance by understanding what those concepts relate to in a scale that we can comprehend. This is why we experience time in increments of month, day, year etc. We have the cycles of the solar system to set our clocks by, and so we do. When the sun rises, it brings with it another day and when it sets, another night begins and by our standards, time has passed. Imagine a life without time. How would you relate events to yourself and others if you couldn't say, "well, it happened yesterday." What is yesterday if there is no planet, no sun, no solar system? This is where I will begin to discuss religion. I will try to keep my observations objective to the fullest extent of my capability.

Lets imagine God. Imagine that the account of God creating the universe is true. This raises the question; where was God before the universe existed? If the universe was already here and thats where God was, then clearly he didn't create it. So now lets delve into a more complex theory. I would like to relate this video the point I am trying to express:


Interesting stuff Dr. Sagan. I can't imagine Carl Sagan feeling very confident about applying his explanation of multiple dimensions to a conversation about God, but let me toy with the idea as we go on.

Imagine that we are the flatlanders and that God resides in a dimension high above our own. Just as the apple in Sagan's demonstration is not confined to the laws applying to 2 dimensional creatures, perhaps God does not exist in a way that forces him to comply with our physical laws and expectations. This would mean that God exists completely independently of the consequences of time. This would mean that it is perfectly reasonable in some realm of imagining, that God did not need to be in the universe to create it and that God has neither inception nor termination. Human beings do not grasp the concept of an infinite being very well. Imagine the implications of an infinite being. This is what Christianity describes God as: an infinite being.

So clearly by the understanding that God is infinite and exists in parameters that are independent of time and space, an entire spectrum of possibility begins to unfold. I have not read the bible, but I have read many passages and parables on their own. It is told that every hair on your head is accounted for by God. Every step in your life is a product of God's design. Essentially, if you chose to get up and dance in your underpants, or you chose to sit quietly, it was not a product of free will. Before you even pre-meditated the idea, God had pre-meditated your pre-meditation and assigned an outcome. it is said that in absence of linear time, God sees all events as a single moment. There is no separation of days or years in God's eyes.

This leads to the question; how does God perceive his own existence? Lucifer obviously rebelled in the past so God must acknowledge that it is an event which HAS happened. The revelation is planned for the future, so it is an event that WILL happen. Perhaps God understands our understanding, but needs not apply it to himself.

I would like to continue to my next observation. The system of redemption and punishment. God accepts humanity into his good graces when we follow the doctrines of respect that he has set forth. If you fail to follow these doctrines, you are punished for eternity. Please take the time to view these two videos, as I feel that the ideas I am attempting to illustrate are greatly elaborated upon in their contents.



Let me put forth a scenario. Lets say that I have a son but unfortunately he hates me. I treat him well, provide, nurture, and listen but to no avail, he rebukes me. For all of his life, I continue to watch out for his well being until the day that one of us dies. I could implement serious punishment, such as kicking him out of my home, refusing to support him etc. I would not do this and I know of many people who would choose to never give up on this wayward child. Does that make the most forgiving of us humans more compassionate than God? God has a cut-off point. If you die and attempt to repent at his feet, he denies you. I do not have the heart for judgement of others, and many others in this world feel the same. If humanity can treat each other with more amity than God treats us, then what does that say about God?

It is said that the system of repentance is in place so that none will go to hell if they simply choose God. God does not have it in his plan for any of us to go to hell, apparently we just doom ourselves via our own actions. What of those with no say however? For instance, an unbaptized baby who tragically dies at birth. Does this baby now face eternal condemnation for being dealt a bad hand? What of the tribes who are so sequestered from the rest of civilization that they cannot ever hear the word of God? This means that if God is creating everyone with deliberate intent, from inception to death, that he created some humans solely for the purpose of damnation.
That is not the calling card of a loving creator if you ask me. God is obviously not benevolent if some of us are created to be punished.

There are religions that pre-date Christianity. I won't name them all but it brings up an interesting conjecture. Did God propagate these other religions as part of his master plan? If the universe is God's machine, then God is accountable for historic evidence that contradicts himself. Some argue that such evidence is merely Lucifer working against God to entrap humanity. Many people around the world respect Buddhism as an enlightening path to spiritual growth. Buddhism however, exercises a tenet that goes against Christianity. That tenet is deep introspective. By denying superfluous outside stimulus, one can meditate on the answers within. Many people attest that this perspective has brought them to a harmony with themselves and the world around them. People find patience, understanding, and compassion through Buddhism. However, seeing as how deep introspective is a focus of self and a denial of God in some cases, it is touted as another tool of the devil.

Many modern ideas are often described as tools of deception within the realm of Christianity. Post-Modernism itself is an institution of thought that is entirely speculative in nature, and constantly questions the validity of the world around us. A friend of mine once likened the ideas of Post-Modernism to landing a plane, but then proclaiming that the runway may be a non corporeal projection and so then deciding to crash. His opinion was that the Post-Modern perspective is too shaky to use in an argument about religion, and one certainly cannot validate scientific conclusion with its methods. Even the UFO phenomena is nowadays attributed to biblical involvement. Some say that the presence of extraterrestrial beings would be a deception to steer us away from faith in God. Case in point:


There are a few final thoughts I would like to share. What happens to the God theory if humans achieve immortality through science? What happens to the God theory if humans achieve time travel? What happens the the God theory if humans colonize other planets? Imagine God raptures the Earth. Does he rapture Mars? Does he rapture the extra-solar planets as well? What about the fact that we are currently treating and studying our most daunting ailments by unzipping our genes? What would God's place in all of this be?




As I stated in the beginning of my thread: I do not know the answers and I do not want to assault anybody's faith. If my perspectives have offended you then I really am sorry that your feelings were hurt, I could not help my own speculations, but I tried to present them civilly. If you ask me what I really think about the universe and humanity though, I'd have to say that I really don't know. I try to keep myself grounded in the present in order to maintain a clear vision of the world around me. Some may have faith and some may not. Some may claim they have evidence of God, aliens, simulated reality, extra-dimensional activity and so on. It is always good to think, even if your thoughts may seem comparatively outrageous. Remember that in 100 years we have gone from cobblestone streets to the moon, so how outrageous can any one thought really be? I think very little is impossible under the right circumstances, and we are lucky to have the strength and perspective that we have today. I don't know what happens in supposed dimensions beyond our own or in the realm of death. I do know however, that to live a fulfilling life here and now, you cannot bog yourself down too much in fear of the unknown. An ounce of observation will take you further than a ton of fear.










edit on 30-6-2011 by GetSomeBringItOn because: Punctuation




posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 02:00 PM
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reply to post by GetSomeBringItOn
 



There are religions that pre-date Christianity. I won't name them all but it brings up an interesting conjecture. Did God propagate these other religions as part of his master plan?


please share your evidence to support this notion



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 02:19 PM
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reply to post by ignorant_ape
 


Thanks for pointing that out. I suppose my idea comes from the fact that there is written history which is assumed to be correct that describes civilizations worshipping and acknowledging deities which are not Christ. I suppose an example of this would be Egyptian religion and their concept of the afterlife. The Egyptians presumably established around 3150 BC. There are some parallels between modern Christianity and ancient Egyptian beliefs but they seem vaguely interconnected, not complimentary to a single theology.



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 06:16 PM
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Originally posted by GetSomeBringItOn
It is said that the system of repentance is in place so that none will go to hell if they simply choose God. God does not have it in his plan for any of us to go to hell, apparently we just doom ourselves via our own actions. What of those with no say however? For instance, an unbaptized baby who tragically dies at birth. Does this baby now face eternal condemnation for being dealt a bad hand? What of the tribes who are so sequestered from the rest of civilization that they cannot ever hear the word of God? This means that if God is creating everyone with deliberate intent, from inception to death, that he created some humans solely for the purpose of damnation.

edit on 30-6-2011 by GetSomeBringItOn because: Punctuation


This is often misunderstood, God has nothing against the baby that dies at birth as they are innocent in his eyes. People often use kids dieing or being killed as proof that God does not care, that is not true. I'm not saying you believe that, it is just a common excuse used by many.

"Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven". Matt. 19:14



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 10:20 PM
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reply to post by GetSomeBringItOn
 

This means that if God is creating everyone with deliberate intent, from inception to death, that he created some humans solely for the purpose of damnation.
There are some preachers who will speak in such a way as to seem to be supporting this sort of concept. It is a misinterpretation of scripture and serves no good purpose to say such things. God would want all people to come to repentance and would like it if all the world could be saved. This is not just me imagining to be reading the mind of God, but me sharing the knowledge of Christianity that I have. A lot of people who label themselves as Christian do not understand it properly and may have no response to such claims or may actually believe them, themselves. God did not create people in order to have someone to destroy. God says to the ones who appear as if they were headed to destruction, "I have a better future for you that I want you to come along with me for, in order to fill these elevated positions and to fulfil a higher purpose". A purpose that they do appear to be able to fill, in their current state. God can bring us to that state which would fit the position that he has in mind.



posted on Jul, 3 2011 @ 05:21 AM
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reply to post by GetSomeBringItOn
 


I just read the OP, and in spite of my generally grumpy character, I was impressed by the bredth and depth of its observations. While the OP is a bit long and goes off into several directions (each suited for a thread alone), it's still a shame, that the few comments on it mainly have been from a 'blind faith' perspective. It deserves better.

The OP goes far beyond such black/white attitudes, which usually define theist positions.

So if you still hang around GetSomeBringItOn, I would gladly join you for a while on this thread. I find it a refreshing change from simplistic postulates, quantum-religion, sugar-coated sermons and the cottage industry 'methodologies' cooked up to 'prove' something, when doctrinal 'answers' are found insufficient.

From respect of your sound attitudes, I will do my outmost to be civil (even when we disagree), if you can keep up the standard from OP. So please give a signal here, if you want your thread revived this way.



posted on Jul, 4 2011 @ 07:26 AM
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reply to post by bogomil
 


Thank you for taking interest in the discussion. I'm still here and I would be very interested to see the topic take off and be interpreted by other members of the site. I can't post as often as I would like to, but I would really enjoy seeing the perspectives of others and perhaps adding more of my own.

I think that in discussions of theology and philosophy it is crucial to maintain a distance from black and white thinking and I'm glad this came out somewhat in my original post. I've often seen many religious discussions become a matter of one side condescending to the other, whether it's theists against atheists or vice versa. It is my opinion that if you do not allow your own conclusions to bind you too much to a single subscription of thought, you can learn much more much faster.



posted on Jul, 4 2011 @ 12:49 PM
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reply to post by GetSomeBringItOn
 


Thanks for your answer. It also suits me fine with some space between posts (I'm building a new house presently and it takes much of my time and energy).

Maybe a presentation of my own position could be a place to start:

I am a guarded metaphysicist, on one hand following and insisting on 'objective procedure' to its present limits, and on the other hand having some personal metaphysical speculations and even a few tentative metaphysical 'arguments' (though not to the point of claiming conclusive 'answers').

So I find myself in the situation of saying: "Hey, that's too far and too speculative" to theists....and

"There ARE indications of trans-cosmic existence" to atheists. On exactly the same information (usually quantum based hypotheses or theories. 'Intelligent design' is imo opinion just theist kindergarten sementics, not really worth bothering with).

This is ofcourse a simplification of the situations I often am in, only a broad outline.

Would you please choose what you find a central starting-point from OP. There are to many facets to approach in one bite.

Greetings

Bogo



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