God real or not

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Offline tony6789

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #50 on: 01/03/2006 14:15:58 »
is god a hoax?

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Offline tony6789

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #51 on: 01/03/2006 14:26:50 »
Ok like i said there is no evidence on god that he is real. man i am getting more read here that in the chat section

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Offline Carolyn

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #52 on: 02/03/2006 06:31:41 »
Tony - I don't know that you will ever find evidence that God exists.  That's what faith is all about.  I'm glad you're asking questions.  There is nothing wrong with that.  I'm almost 40 and I question alot of the things I was brought up to believe. Although I do question alot of the religious "stuff", I have never questioned that God is real. I have experienced many miracles in my life, and I will be glad to share them with you, although I'm not sure this is the place for that.  I agree with Neil, you will have to make your own decision about what you believe.  Spirituality is very personal, we each have to work out our own salvation.  It is between you and God.  There are alot of things I want to say to you, but I need to get my thoughts in order first.  

What I will say now is that there are alot of zealots out there, on both sides of this issue.  I know alot of religious fanatics that believe its a sin to tell a joke.  Some say its a sin to associate with non believers.  I think they're full of crap.  I believe God has a tremendous sense of humor. He loves to hear us laugh.  I personally love a good dirty joke. (ok that may not be so good, but we all have our weaknesses)  I believe God wants us to love everyone, including non believers.  Neil and I have different beliefs, but I enjoy reading his posts and "chatting" with him.  I have a lot of friends who believe different things and thats ok.  Listen to your heart and you'll find the right answer.  Ask all the questions you need to ask.  God gave you that brain, he expects you to use it.

Carolyn
« Last Edit: 02/03/2006 06:34:01 by Carolyn »
Carolyn

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Offline neilep

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #53 on: 02/03/2006 14:07:22 »
Excellent post Carolyn.

Men are the same as women.... just inside out !!
Men are the same as women, just inside out !

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Offline tony6789

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #54 on: 02/03/2006 14:13:11 »
I agree that was a good post. Ok can i ask this do you have any info or knowledge in the Divinci(sry it is misspelled why can't they just call him bob?) Code. I am very interested in it

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Offline jiggster

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #55 on: 03/03/2006 17:16:54 »
I am a catholic year 10 doing philosophy as level God I think is not real were as the evidence the big bag which was a compassion of particle is a bit more believable then God went pop pop in 6 days created earth the whole universe. Itís so well designed it would have took milliners to design 1 plant let alone billions itís just not believable.
 

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Offline Carolyn

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #56 on: 04/03/2006 01:05:53 »
Tony - I started reading the Bob Code, but something about it just gave me the creeps.  It really gave me a queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach.  I don't know why, but it bothered me enough to put the book down.  That's never happened to me before.  Generally, I am the type of person who has to finish a book once I've started it.

Someone asked back on page one if anyone had read Angels & Demons by Dan Brown.  I have read that, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Also, since you're grappling with whether God is real or not, let me suggest the Left Behind series of books.  These books are based on the Bible, but they are FICTION.  I enjoyed every one them and I could honestly say I would have liked them even if I weren't a Christian.

I'm praying you find the answers you are looking for.  Have a blessed weekend.
Carolyn
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Offline namaan

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #57 on: 09/03/2006 05:23:00 »
I am a Muslim, for a change

I've just finished reading the Quran, the only good English rendering of the Quran that I know of can be found at: http://www.ourbeacon.com/7101.html
Itís available free for download.

First of all you all will probably be surprised at the type of arguments that I am going to make considering I am going to use the Quran as my reference.  This is the reason why I cited the version of the Quran that I read, since it is the only English rendering which is devoid of contradictions and is truly flawless as the Quran, the most pragmatic book on the planet (believe it or not, and if you donít read it and find out) itself asserts.  Also, for the remainder of the post, since this seems to be a largely secularist forum, please temporarily assume that God exists.

I haven't read all the posts, but as a general response, the problem I seem to see with most of the arguments here is that everyone tries to 'fit' God into science, even though God is the one who initiated matter from nothing and began time when it didn't exist and created the very fabric of the universe from nothing.  So, does it really make sense for us to try to frame the One with the capacity to create the quarks and the electrons and protons and so on from nothing into a system (science) which is directly derived from His creations?  

What you forget is that science in all its glory only creates a representation/instance of the world around us and not a copy of it.  This is so since all renderings/simulation of the world around us, no matter how sophisticated, will run on a looping function with a finite delay between frames.  Will you find some sort of minimum time interval between universal progressions?  Do the physicists think that there is some form of program running in the background of the universe that is calculating the trajectory of an object thrown in the air or launched from the spring?  Do the chemists think that there is some sort of program running in the background of the universe calculating the position of each electron and its progression through time and space between/among atoms causing the various chemical reactions they study?  Science can tell us what is, but it canít tell us what ought to be.  The most humans can attain from the Ultimate Glory of the creations of God (the Heavens and the Earth), is a mere representation of our immediate surroundings as to best suit our needs for a logical and stable environment.  

If God had willed, he could have created an unstable environment in which the so called ďUniversal ForcesĒ (gravity, weak force, strong force and electromagnetism) kept changing orientation or be completely replaced by some new law.  If God can initiate such laws to begin with, then why would He not be able to change them?  However, it says quite a few times in the Quran that God himself promises that his laws will never change, and it is for this very reason that there is even such an occupation such as a scientist.  

So, for the person apt in deductive and logical reasoning, you may find that the question to ask is not whether or not God exists.  It is whether or not the universe around us exists, and as far as that is concerned; I doubt that it even deserves a passing comment.
Take it with a grain or two of salt...

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Offline namaan

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #58 on: 09/03/2006 05:31:28 »
By the way, incase anyone is interested, Islam is not a fatalist religion.  In fact every concept in the Quran is explained from within the Quran, what I call an autoderivation.

Also, when I quoted the Universal Forces, it was to deny their existence, but rather to imply their synthetic nature.
Take it with a grain or two of salt...

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Offline namaan

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #59 on: 09/03/2006 05:37:21 »
Wow, for the second time:
When I quoted the Universal Forces, it was NOT to deny their existence, but rather to imply their synthetic nature.
Take it with a grain or two of salt...

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Offline clouded.perception

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #60 on: 09/03/2006 06:51:37 »
I, personally, am an athiest, but I freely admit that science has not disproved the existence of a god. Scientific-minded people tend to be logical thinkers, and so dislike the idea of believing something on pure faith (God is as difficult to prove as to disprove), so atheism and agnosticism are very apparent in the scientific community. But not all (or even close to all) scientists are atheist or agnostic. Check your local library; they're always full of the works of Christian scientists on topics such as creation and Noah's flood and suchlike.

I can picture in my mind a world without hate, a world without war.
And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.
I can picture in my mind a world without hate, a world without war.
And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.

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Offline namaan

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #61 on: 09/03/2006 15:29:00 »
I'm not sure as to whom you are responding to, if anyone, but I am a logical thinker (too young to be considered a scientist or anything) and I also do not believe in something on pure faith.  But I specifically said that Islam is not a fatalist religion, if indeed that was a response to my post, and went on to explain the reasoning for why God exists from within the framework of science and not from without.

By the way, I have no clue as to what you meant by the last sentence and how it relates to the second to the last sentence, please elaborate.
Take it with a grain or two of salt...

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another_someone

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #62 on: 09/03/2006 20:02:09 »
quote:
Originally posted by hddd12345678910

I am a Muslim, for a change



Nice to have a change of view.

Just to keep my cards on the table, I am one of the many atheists in this debate.

quote:


I haven't read all the posts, but as a general response, the problem I seem to see with most of the arguments here is that everyone tries to 'fit' God into science, even though God is the one who initiated matter from nothing and began time when it didn't exist and created the very fabric of the universe from nothing.  So, does it really make sense for us to try to frame the One with the capacity to create the quarks and the electrons and protons and so on from nothing into a system (science) which is directly derived from His creations?




It is a fair comment that God need not fit into science, but if God does not 'fit' into science, then He cannot be real when viewed from a scientific perspective.  This does not preclude His existence when viewed from other perspectives, but then one has to be careful to define the parameters of the particular perspective in which He does become a reality, and be careful to show that the perspective in which He may exist cannot overlap the scientific perspective.

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What you forget is that science in all its glory only creates a representation/instance of the world around us and not a copy of it.




Yes, I can go with that.

quote:


This is so since all renderings/simulation of the world around us, no matter how sophisticated, will run on a looping function with a finite delay between frames.  Will you find some sort of minimum time interval between universal progressions?




Now you've lost me.  I can understand that one can view the universe as discrete time intervals, it does not follow that this is an inherent property of all possible scientific models.

quote:


Science can tell us what is, but it canít tell us what ought to be.




In this, I would slightly disagree with you.  The importance of science is not that it will tell me what is (my own eyes can tell me that), but that it can tell me what will be (i.e. it can extrapolate from the present into the future, and can then demonstrate that that extrapolation correlates with the perceived reality at the time).

quote:


If God had willed, he could have created an unstable environment in which the so called ďUniversal ForcesĒ (gravity, weak force, strong force and electromagnetism) kept changing orientation or be completely replaced by some new law.  If God can initiate such laws to begin with, then why would He not be able to change them?




This does not follow.

Even if one assumed that God created all that is the universe we see, humans are notorious for creating things they are subsequently unable to control, so to assume that because God creates something thus he must be able to manipulate and control it at will is not a logical inevtability.

quote:


However, it says quite a few times in the Quran that God himself promises that his laws will never change, and it is for this very reason that there is even such an occupation such as a scientist.  




Aside from whether, that the Quran reports God as saying something, does it actually mean the report is true; but even if it is an accurate report, how can you demonstrate that God himself is telling the truth?  Given the enormous power that God supposedly has, how could you possibly hope to be able to catch Him out on a lie?  I am not saying that He was lying, I am merely asking whether you have the competence to tell whether He was lying or not.

quote:


So, for the person apt in deductive and logical reasoning, you may find that the question to ask is not whether or not God exists.  It is whether or not the universe around us exists, and as far as that is concerned; I doubt that it even deserves a passing comment.




To ask whether the universe around us exists is a perfectly valid question for a solipsist to ask, it is merely a very difficult question to answer.



George

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Offline namaan

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #63 on: 09/03/2006 21:28:26 »
quote:
Originally posted by another_someone


It is a fair comment that God need not fit into science, but if God does not 'fit' into science, then He cannot be real when viewed from a scientific perspective.  This does not preclude His existence when viewed from other perspectives, but then one has to be careful to define the parameters of the particular perspective in which He does become a reality, and be careful to show that the perspective in which He may exist cannot overlap the scientific perspective.




Judging from your reply, you did not thoroughly understand my post (or maybe youíre ignoring some aspects of it because of being an atheist).  I essentially stated that it makes no sense for humans to frame God around our system of understanding of the universe around us (namely science), since it is God who created the system that we analyze with the limited abilities we possess.  So if God does not Ďfití into our system of science, then it does not mean that He does not exist, but rather it means that our system is too provincial and limited in capacity to provide for such a possibility.  

I suppose the problem here is that for some wildly strange reason unknown to me, and surely will remain unknown to me, atheists and people in general have no concept of the fact that God CREATED FROM NOTHING EVERYTHING AROUND YOU!  Some how, this is not a big deal to most people.  As though God is only peripheral to humans and for some reason has no power over us even though He created us from NOTHING.  If any of you thinks this to be some small task, then I challenge any of you to create matter, or destroy it for that matter.  Create even a single atom or electron from nothing if you feel God to be somehow marginal in any regard.  And if you some how manage to do so, then figure out a way to create the rest of the universe and to some how figure out a way to evolve the progression of matter in the universe to a state when the various atoms produced in the cores of stars Super Novi alike end up in the form of the humans and apples and the neurons which give you the abilities that you so frequently flaunt besides God.  To be honest I have to really restrain myself while writing this because to me it is a ridiculous and extremely selfish notion that God, our Benevolent Creator, should conform to our understanding of the universe that He created.  Instead we are the ones that should be conforming our system of science to His eternal laws.

quote:


Now you've lost me.  I can understand that one can view the universe as discrete time intervals, it does not follow that this is an inherent property of all possible scientific models.




Scientific models are not simulations, they are just, wellÖmodels.  I was referring to simulations that actually actively simulate the world around us like the type you may see on a game like Grand Tourismo which if you didnít already know is a racing simulation.  Of course you could get a really sophisticated simulation to calculate the events occurring at extremely small time intervals, but ultimately, thatís what you would be doing: calculating.  Basically my point was that no matter what, you cannot create a simulation that can replicate the quality of the universe, namely the infinite divisibility of time, or a physically infinite large universe either.

quote:


In this, I would slightly disagree with you.  The importance of science is not that it will tell me what is (my own eyes can tell me that), but that it can tell me what will be (i.e. it can extrapolate from the present into the future, and can then demonstrate that that extrapolation correlates with the perceived reality at the time).




First of all, the only reason that you are able to know what will be is because of the stability of the universal laws.  As I previously mentioned, if the universal laws kept changing with Godís will, then you and anyone else would be completely devoid of the possibility of even knowing for sure such a thing as if an apple detaches from a tree it will fall down.  And Newton would never have found an apple falling from a tree of any significance since the next day the apple might just stayed there.  

Secondly, you never responded to portion that stated ďit cannot tell us what ought to beĒ, so Iím going to have to assume that you agree with that statement.

quote:


This does not follow.

Even if one assumed that God created all that is the universe we see, humans are notorious for creating things they are subsequently unable to control, so to assume that because God creates something thus he must be able to manipulate and control it at will is not a logical inevtability.




Besides the, in my opinion, extremely selfish desire to compare the intellect of humans to that of God in his infinite Wisdom and Knowledge (selfish because of the reasons already mentioned), humans donít Create anything!  The most they can do as far as creation is concerned is the creation of ideas and concepts, but even those are gifts from God, for if He had willed He could have made us like the rest of the animal kingdom; unaware of their own existence.   Everything else we humans do is purely the manipulation of whatever is already created and supplied from God.

And why do you think that humans are notorious for Ďcreatingí things they are subsequently unable to control?  It is because humans are not even remotely aware of their Ďcreationsí at a fundamental level (the subatomic or atomic level in this instance).  If the chemist was able to consciously know what was occurring at the atomic level when doing his/her experiment, do you think that he/she would ever make a mistake cause some kind of undesired/uncontrollable reaction?  God did not make his Creations from a macroscopic context and subsequently leave it up to chance what happens at the subatomic level.  How could any living organism possibly survive for a day without constant adjustments taking place at a microscopic or further yet at an atomic level?  Indeed God created everything around us from the most fundamental level of organization.  And if the chemist was able to know what was occurring at the most fundamental level, would he/she not have absolute control of his experiment? (Not to draw any further comparison between God and a chemist then enough to respond to your statement)

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Aside from whether, that the Quran reports God as saying something, does it actually mean the report is true; but even if it is an accurate report, how can you demonstrate that God himself is telling the truth?  Given the enormous power that God supposedly has, how could you possibly hope to be able to catch Him out on a lie?  I am not saying that He was lying, I am merely asking whether you have the competence to tell whether He was lying or not.




If you read a book in which 100% of the information in it that you can UNDERSTAND is found by yourself to be accurate, then what reason would you have to assume that the things in the this book that you CURRENTLY DONíT UNDERSTAND are incorrect!  Such an assumption in this situation can only come from blatant ignorance.  Following this, God promises himself that He does not lie and his laws never change among other things in the Quran.  And by the way, the Quran doesnít Ďreportí anything, the author of the Quran is none other then God.

quote:


To ask whether the universe around us exists is a perfectly valid question for a solipsist to ask, it is merely a very difficult question to answer.
 


If after all that some one is to make such an argument as the universe doesnít exist, then donít expect me to waste my time on such futile logic.
Take it with a grain or two of salt...

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Offline ukmicky

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #64 on: 10/03/2006 02:29:48 »
quote:
        I essentially stated that it makes no sense for humans to frame God around our system of understanding of the universe around us (namely science), since it is God who created the system that we analyze with the limited abilities we possess. So if God does not Ďfití into our system of science, then it does not mean that He does not exist, but rather it means that our system is too provincial and limited in capacity to provide for such a possibility.



Are we not supposed to be created in godís image and therefore wouldn't our limited abilities be his limited ability.How is one supposed to follow and worship if we havenít been given the ability to understand what one is following.

Why would a god who wishes to be obeyed and followed through laws written down in a book of all things,(so simplistic considering the workings of the universe) give his creations the ability to investigate and question his existence through science and then fail to give them whatís required  to understand and  prove his existence. Wouldnít that be classed as dumb and certainly not what you would expect from someone with the wisdom and ability to create the universe.

By the way i'm a catholic who is in a struggle with his faith due to the scientific method given to us by god[:)]



Michael
« Last Edit: 10/03/2006 02:32:09 by ukmicky »

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another_someone

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #65 on: 10/03/2006 03:18:44 »
quote:
Originally posted by hddd12345678910

Judging from your reply, you did not thoroughly understand my post (or maybe youíre ignoring some aspects of it because of being an atheist).  I essentially stated that it makes no sense for humans to frame God around our system of understanding of the universe around us (namely science), since it is God who created the system that we analyze with the limited abilities we possess.  So if God does not Ďfití into our system of science, then it does not mean that He does not exist, but rather it means that our system is too provincial and limited in capacity to provide for such a possibility.




Firstly, I am sorry if there has been a misunderstanding, but you will have to realise that you and I are approaching this issue from different starting points, and it is inevitable that there will be differences in our basic assumptions and the way we interpret what is said.

On the other hand, what you have said above is subtly, but significantly, different from what you said earlier, and I think this is in part the cause of the misunderstanding.

You have referred above to ďour system of understanding of the universe around us (namely science)Ē, whereas before you merely referred ďscienceĒ.

You had stated later in your post that ďscience in all its glory only creates a representation/instance of the world around us and not a copy of itĒ.  I assumed the distinction you were making here was that science, being merely a representation, was incomplete, and necessarily had to exclude some of the reality of the universe.  As such, I was acknowledging that since science was incomplete, it is perfectly legitimate to hypothesise that things, such as God, might exist outside science (i.e. that science was not a complete system of understanding the universe, but was a sufficient system for the purposes required of it).

If you are now saying that science is a complete system of understanding the universe, and yet it excludes God, and yet you still believe God exists, then you seem to have created an unresolvable logical contradiction.


quote:
 

I suppose the problem here is that for some wildly strange reason unknown to me, and surely will remain unknown to me, atheists and people in general have no concept of the fact that God CREATED FROM NOTHING EVERYTHING AROUND YOU!




No, this is not the main problem with the notion of God.  In fact, it is a situation that science itself does not answer very satisfactorily.  The present dominant theory in science (although it is a theory that still has its dissenters) is that the universe started with a big bang, but it does not attempt to answer adequately how the conditions for that big bang came about.

The problem I have with God is firstly, that he cannot fit into the scientific model.  By this, I mean that the purpose of science is, as I said before, not to look at the past, but to look at the present and then project out into the future.  I cannot have any mathematical equation in which I can include the notion of God that will in any way help me predict a future event, at least an event that is testable and repeatable by experiment.  Thus, the notion of God is not experimentally provable.

Nor can the notion of God be proven by any formal logic (Descartes  may have tried to do this, but most people believe his logic was flawed Ė you may ofcourse make up your own mind on this matter).

And if one did assume God existed, then which model of God, and why would one assume one model of God the right interpretation and another model of God to be the wrong interpretation (and I'm not merely talking about the various 'religions of the book', Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, which substantially refer to the same God, but Hinduism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, and many others)?

If one looks at all the possible beliefs, and asks which is the simplest and most minimalist belief, that is to believe there is no God at all.

Another reason why a lot of people shy away from the idea of God is that they have seen in history that far too many people have killed each other over disagreements about which God to worship, and how He should be worshipped.  I actually think this is an erroneous argument, since atheists have proven themselves just as capable of killing each other as people who believe in one God or another, but it has left religion with a bad reputation in some people's eyes.

quote:


 Scientific models are not simulations, they are just, wellÖmodels.  I was referring to simulations that actually actively simulate the world around us like the type you may see on a game like Grand Tourismo which if you didnít already know is a racing simulation.  Of course you could get a really sophisticated simulation to calculate the events occurring at extremely small time intervals, but ultimately, thatís what you would be doing: calculating.  Basically my point was that no matter what, you cannot create a simulation that can replicate the quality of the universe, namely the infinite divisibility of time, or a physically infinite large universe either.




In a broader sense, you cannot make a complete simulation of the universe from within the universe, since you would need to duplicate all the information within the universe, and you would need at the very minimum an entire other universe to do it in.


quote:


First of all, the only reason that you are able to know what will be is because of the stability of the universal laws.  As I previously mentioned, if the universal laws kept changing with Godís will, then you and anyone else would be completely devoid of the possibility of even knowing for sure such a thing as if an apple detaches from a tree it will fall down.  And Newton would never have found an apple falling from a tree of any significance since the next day the apple might just stayed there.




Indeed, science does require stability in the underlying laws of the universe, but that very stability implies there is no active intervention within the universe by anything outside of the universe (namely God).  It does not ofcourse prove that there has never been intervention in the universe in the past (e.g. at the time of creation), but it does demonstrate that there is no intervention at present (at least insofar as it is possible to accurately predict the current and future behaviour of the universe).

quote:

 

Secondly, you never responded to portion that stated ďit cannot tell us what ought to beĒ, so Iím going to have to assume that you agree with that statement.




In a narrow sense, I do agree with you that science does not say what ought to be, but need we assume that there is anything that ought to be?

In human terms, we may ofcourse set ourselves objectives, and determine that in order to meet those objective certain things ought to be, but this is a human interpretation of the universe it is not an absolute or scientific interpretation of the universe, and it assumes human objectives.

quote:


Besides the, in my opinion, extremely selfish desire to compare the intellect of humans to that of God in his infinite Wisdom and Knowledge (selfish because of the reasons already mentioned), humans donít Create anything!  The most they can do as far as creation is concerned is the creation of ideas and concepts, but even those are gifts from God, for if He had willed He could have made us like the rest of the animal kingdom; unaware of their own existence.   Everything else we humans do is purely the manipulation of whatever is already created and supplied from God.




I think most of the above is semantics.  I accept that to 'create' something, one does so by manipulating what is.  If by 'create' you are using the word to merely mean to make something out of nothing, then I agree humans cannot do that -  in fact, it is doubtful if in any logical sense it could ever be possible to do that.  The act or creation is an act of causality (i.e. one has caused something to be created), and thus one must also have a means of causality, and thus something must be created from something (even if that something is totally from outside of this universe).  This is not to say that it is logically impossible for something to appear without cause, but that is not a deliberate act of creation, it is a random act without prior cause.

It is also a matter of uncertainty whether all animals are unaware of their existence.  I am not saying that all animals think as humans think, or even that any animals think as humans think, but to say that animals think differently from humans is very different from saying that no other animal besides the human animal has self awareness.

quote:


And why do you think that humans are notorious for Ďcreatingí things they are subsequently unable to control?  It is because humans are not even remotely aware of their Ďcreationsí at a fundamental level (the subatomic or atomic level in this instance).  If the chemist was able to consciously know what was occurring at the atomic level when doing his/her experiment, do you think that he/she would ever make a mistake cause some kind of undesired/uncontrollable reaction?  God did not make his Creations from a macroscopic context and subsequently leave it up to chance what happens at the subatomic level.  How could any living organism possibly survive for a day without constant adjustments taking place at a microscopic or further yet at an atomic level?  Indeed God created everything around us from the most fundamental level of organization.  And if the chemist was able to know what was occurring at the most fundamental level, would he/she not have absolute control of his experiment? (Not to draw any further comparison between God and a chemist then enough to respond to your statement)



That humans cannot ever predict to the minutest detail, and with 100% certainty, the consequences of their actions; I would agree with, and in fact follows from what we have agreed about an inability of ever making a complete simulation of the universe.

Whether this has anything to do with God is something I suspect we shall have to agree to disagree about.

quote:


If you read a book in which 100% of the information in it that you can UNDERSTAND is found by yourself to be accurate, then what reason would you have to assume that the things in the this book that you CURRENTLY DONíT UNDERSTAND are incorrect!  Such an assumption in this situation can only come from blatant ignorance.




The statement is, at its most basic sense, logically incorrect.

If I read a book written in Serbo-Croat, I will not understand a single word written in the book, and yet every word that I understand will be true.  This will be so, even if every word in the book is untrue, because I do not understand any of the words that are untrue.

Ofcourse, the matter might be different if you had said that you could personally corroborate 90% of what you had read in the book, and had to accept on trust only 10% of what was written.  But even this situation does not mean that the totality of the book is demonstrably true, it only means that the book has sufficient credibility that in the absence of contrary evidence you might accept the other 10% as the basis for a working hypothesis.  It is important to take into account how pertinent the bits of the book that you can corroborate are to the bits that cannot be directly corroborated, and whether that which can be corroborated can stand alone without that which has not been corroborated.

quote:


Following this, God promises himself that He does not lie and his laws never change among other things in the Quran.




I'm sorry, but to quote Mandy Rice-Davies, ďHe would say that, wouldn't heĒ.

quote:


And by the way, the Quran doesnít Ďreportí anything, the author of the Quran is none other then God.




I am sorry if I sound ignorant on this, but I thought the Quran was supposedly written by the Prophet, and those who came before him, supposedly at the behest of God, but not by God in person.

quote:


quote:


To ask whether the universe around us exists is a perfectly valid question for a solipsist to ask, it is merely a very difficult question to answer.
 


If after all that some one is to make such an argument as the universe doesnít exist, then donít expect me to waste my time on such futile logic.




No, I did not say that the universe does not exist, I said it was valid to ask whether it existed, and it is not actually possible to prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that it does exist (can you really be certain that everything you see is not an illusion or hallucination?).  As a working hypothesis, we have no option but to assume that the universe, as we see it, does exist; but we cannot prove that to be the truth, we merely have no other alternative hypothesis that we can work with.



George
« Last Edit: 10/03/2006 04:29:31 by another_someone »

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Offline namaan

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #66 on: 10/03/2006 03:48:39 »
First of all, pardon me for my serious overtone, I know I've been talking in a bit stoic manner. I suppose that's what happens when you base everything on logic. [:D]

Now, on to the reply:
quote:

Are we not supposed to be created in godís image and therefore wouldn't our limited abilities be his limited ability. How is one supposed to follow and worship if we havenít been given the ability to understand what one is following.


So firstly, I'm not Catholic, or Christian for that matter, but rather I am Muslim, as I have already stated.  So the things you are referring to in your statement are all Biblical accounts of God and His capacity.  In the rendering of the Quran which I had mentioned in my first post (found at http://www.ourbeacon.com/7101.html) you will find a completely different account, one which remains perfectly intact even after all the science humans can muster up.  And thus, Iím not sure what Iím supposed to make of the Ďweí in your first sentence as it does not pertain to me.

So to remain consistent with my argument, no, we are not created in Godís image (He is far too Glorious to be completely represented in the form of any of his Creations; Infinite, while we are finite).  Thus our Ďlimited capacitiesí do not in any way correlate to the capacities of God (Please read my previous posts).  And I have repeatedly stated that Islam is NOT A FATALIST religion, itís technically not even a religion for that matter but I wonít go there.  So you are NOT supposed to follow or worship that which you do not understand.  God strictly prohibits blind-following.  This is why the Quran and the previous books of God were sent down to humans.  And the reason why I quoted Ďlimited capacitiesí is because although these were my own words in a previous post, it was not meant to signify stupidity in any way; it was only to signify the fact that compared to God, human capacity is limited.  But compared to a rock or a cockroach or a turtle, it is (as deemed by God) far superior.  And we ARE given the ability to understand all concepts of God and His universe by reading the Quran and previous such books as the Bible and Torah (although unlike the Quran, the preservation of the Bible and the Torah was never guaranteed and so I doubt anyone would be capable of finding original/untainted version of them available anywhere).

quote:

Why would a god who wishes to be obeyed and followed through laws written down in a book of all things,(so simplistic considering the workings of the universe) give his creations the ability to investigate and question his existence through science and then fail to give them whatís required to understand and prove his existence. Wouldnít that be classed as dumb and certainly not what you would expect from someone with the wisdom and ability to create the universe.



Again, God did not fail to give us what is required to understand and prove his existence, for after having read the Quran, I am fully cognizant of his existence.  And if you have read my previous posts, you will hopefully realize that I am a person of reason and logic and am not goaded by blind-following in the least.  The problem is (no offense) maybe you have simply been looking for a thorough proof of his existence in the wrong book.  And there is absolutely nothing simple about the Quran, it is meant as a book for all humans and for all times, which I truly understand now having recently finished it.  At this point I donít think that I need to answer the last part of your statement.

I have already said the Quran is absolutely in no way removed from scientific thinking.  Indeed several times throughout the Glorious book, God has stated that only the scientists will ever be able to truly appreciate the Glory of the Universe that he has created.  There are even mentions of the big bang and PLENTY of mentions of human evolution and no, in the Quran women are not made from the ribs of men and there is an entire chapter devoted to equal rights of women.  

Here are verses from the Quran that might get you thinking:

51:47 And it is We Who have built the Universe, and behold, We are steadily expanding it.

23:14 Then We fashioned the gametes into zygote, a clot, then the hanging little lump, the embryo. Then We created bones within the embryonic lump, and then clothed the bones with flesh. (Thus We designed it into a fetus). And then We made it into a new creation (the human infant). So Blessed is Allah, The Best of creators. (33:7-9, 71:14).

4:166 Allah bears witness concerning what He has revealed to you. With His Own Knowledge He has revealed it. If you reflect on the Order in the Universe, you shall find that His angels, the Universal Laws, bear witness. And Allah is Sufficient Witness.

Hope that helps[:)]
Take it with a grain or two of salt...

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #67 on: 10/03/2006 04:09:26 »
Hi Hddd12345678910 - I don't know anything about the muslim faith, but I'm curious, do Muslims believe in Jesus Christ?

Science is a subject that I've never had much interest or understanding in.  I think it intimidated me.  I enjoy this site, although some of the topics are difficult to follow. My 12 year old son is a "science geek".  He was voted class scientist last year.  He's one of the reasons I come on this site (and the zeta thread).  I want to be involved in things he's interested in.  My point is this.  I know he is very young, but he believes in God.  It would break my heart if he ever told me he didn't believe because of science.

Michael - I'm sorry that you're struggling with your faith.  I know from personal experience that's a difficult place to be.  I struggled with my religious beliefs but never with the belief in His existence.  I'm still struggling.  My church closed and I'm hesitant to find a new one.  I have serious issues with all of the bull ***** & and complete ignorance that goes along with going to church.  But that's another story.

My belief is in God and not religion.  I will be praying for you Michael.  I'm praying that you find peace and the answers you're looking for.

Carolyn
« Last Edit: 10/03/2006 04:48:37 by Carolyn »
Carolyn

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Offline ukmicky

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #68 on: 10/03/2006 04:41:37 »
Thank you Carolyn your comments are very much appreciated.

Michael

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Offline namaan

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #69 on: 10/03/2006 05:17:31 »
UmmmÖthese posts are getting too long, lolÖ  
There has indeed been a misunderstanding; I absolutely do not believe that science is a complete system of understanding the universe.  And your initial interpretation was more or less correct.  
quote:
The problem I have with God is firstly, that he cannot fit into the scientific model


As usual, you seem to be interpreting my arguments from its periphery, and are still not getting the core of what Iím trying to say, or maybe you just donít find the core of my argument very interesting (if thatís the case please tell me so I stop wasting my energy).  The core of my argument is, as I have already said, the problem shouldnít be that God doesnít fit into any type of human-made scientific model, itís rather that you are even trying to fit God into a system which is directly founded/based from His creations (namely the Heavens and the Earth and please refer to my previous posts for reference).  And as far as your mathematical equation example goes, please refer to your own quote:
quote:
As such, I was acknowledging that since science was incomplete, it is perfectly legitimate to hypothesise that things, such as God, might exist outside science (i.e. that science was not a complete system of understanding the universe, but was a sufficient system for the purposes required of it).

Indeed, what ever math humans learn is sufficient for us to be capable to build buildings and bridges and calculate trajectories out in space, but since they are only a representation/interpretation of the universe that God has created, they are of limited use when trying to represent concepts based on higher logic than that required to know the best gear ratio for a car.  
quote:
Nor can the notion of God be proven by any formal logic

As far as Iím concerned, formal logic is relative in nature and God is Absolute.  So what ability does the relative have to get a peak at the Absolute?
quote:
And if one did assume God existed, then which model of God, and why would one assume one model of God the right interpretation and another model of God to be the wrong interpretation (and I'm not merely talking about the various 'religions of the book', Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, which substantially refer to the same God, but Hinduism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, and many others)?


I guess my most uncontroversial response to that statement is which ever survives the test of time and is the last one standing.  God states in the Quran that no matter which way humans try to govern themselves, all man made systems will continue to fail until humans ultimately realize, by way of exclusion, what system is indeed the best for the governance of humans.  This is of course the most extreme case, and one undoubtedly containing the ravages of World War III, I personally would hope the humans would find another way to learn about themselves without consistently resorting to mass crises to wake them up.

However, if you want a more concrete understanding of why one is the best over others, I would have to say itís the one that is most logical in nature.  What proof do any of these other religions have of any of their claims?  The proof to backup the Quran is the Sun, the Moon, the inherent stability of the universe and all the stars dressed up as ornaments in the night sky as well as any and all scientific discoveries humans may ever make.  But I wouldnít dream of being able to sum up Ďmain themeí of the Quran even if there was one.  I have already directed anyone interested to http://www.ourbeacon.com/7101.html for further reference if you are in any doubt of anything I say.  This is so since the Quran is capable of explaining itself better then I could ever hope to do so myself.
quote:
Another reason why a lot of people shy away from the idea of God is that they have seen in history that far too many people have killed each other over disagreements about which God to worship, and how He should be worshipped. I actually think this is an erroneous argument, since atheists have proven themselves just as capable of killing each other as people who believe in one God or another, but it has left religion with a bad reputation in some people's eyes.


I will be the first one to admit to you that of the billion or so Ďmuslimsí in the world, I would be surprised to find any that are actually Muslim.  I wouldnít be surprised to find that 99 percent of these staunch believers in the Quran have not the slightest clue of its true meaning and significance and are stuck in rituals and blind following of the Ďreligious leadersí.  The reason why I mention this is that without doing so, it would be nearly impossible to make room for the following verse from the Quran:
97:5 Peace! It is a Message of Peace, and inevitably shall dawn a new Morning of Enlightenment (39:69).
I could elaborate on this if you want me to.
quote:

I think most of the above is semantics. I accept that to 'create' something, one does so by manipulating what is. If by 'create' you are using the word to merely mean to make something out of nothing, then I agree humans cannot do that - in fact, it is doubtful if in any logical sense it could ever be possible to do that. The act or creation is an act of causality (i.e. one has caused something to be created), and thus one must also have a means of causality, and thus something must be created from something (even if that something is totally from outside of this universe). This is not to say that it is logically impossible for something to appear without cause, but that is not a deliberate act of creation, it is a random act without prior cause.


To this, to save time, the following verse along with my previous posts should basically sum up my argument:
112:2 Allah is Absolute, Eternal, Unique, Self-Sufficient, Perfect, Independent, the Uncaused Cause of all that exists, Besought of all .

quote:

That humans cannot ever predict to the minutest detail, and with 100% certainty, the consequences of their actions; I would agree with, and in fact follows from what we have agreed about an inability of ever making a complete simulation of the universe.

Whether this has anything to do with God is something I suspect we shall have to agree to disagree about.


The point that I was trying to make was that if you could Create something from nothing and be cognizant of the creation in a most fundamental level (atomic and subatomic or even strings if we want to go that far) then I donít see how its possible for one to argue against your ability to have full control over your creation for all time.  

quote:
If I read a book written in Serbo-Croat, I will not understand a single word written in the book, and yet every word that I understand will be true. This will be so, even if every word in the book is untrue, because I do not understand any of the words that are untrue.

I didnít have time and incorrectly assumed that you would understand that I had as an obvious basis, understood the majority of the Quran.  Do I seem to you as someone capable of blind following? I hope notÖ

quote:
I'm sorry, but to quote Mandy Rice-Davies, ďHe would say that, wouldn't heĒ.


Here Iím assuming that you mean that I said what I said to underhandedly promote the Quran?  Correct me if Iím wrong.  If not, then if you donít believe what I had stated, then I challenge you to read it and find out for your self whether or not I had made up the statements.

quote:
I am sorry if I sound ignorant on this, but I thought the Quran was supposedly written by the Prophet, and those who came before him, supposedly at the behest of God, but not by God in person.

Iím not at all surprised, considering that the average muslim has no concept of what the teachings of Quran are, I could hardly expect you, a westerner, to have any better understanding.  The Quran is authored by God, but since he promised that he and his angels would not physically interfere with humans outside the laws of the universe, he canít actually send down a pre-written book because that would be breaking his promise.  No offense, but this is why the Prophets were called Messengers after all, they delivered the messages of God for humans, and in the case of Mohammad, the last of the Prophets, the message was as deemed by God recorded in the form of a book by honored scribes through the recitations of the Prophet who was just a plain human.

And Carolyn, yes Jesus was a Prophet of God as was Mohammad, and Noah was the first prophet.  A common misconception is that Adam was the first Prophet, but in the Quran, it refers to Adam in a metaphorical sense to all humans (man and women), and there was no Eve.
Take it with a grain or two of salt...

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Offline namaan

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #70 on: 10/03/2006 23:11:34 »
Here's a quote from a book titled Sir You Said It by Shabbir Ahmed that you might find interesting to consider:

Who wrote the Qur'an? The non-Muslim's answer to this important question usually sounds like this:
"The Qur'an was authored by a human being; it is not a literal revelation from God. It is a book created by human intelligence, like any other book. It was, as a matter of historical fact, written by Muhammad, in the seventh century A.D."
If this is your view, rest assured that you have plenty of company!
You should also know, though, that this point of view is not without its difficulties. To believe it, you must also believe that Muhammad, peace be upon him:
- Knew that the Earth and heavenly bodies were once a single point, and were separated violently (21:30)
What's more...
- If you don't believe that he had access to special knowledge that made possible this prefiguring of the modern Big Bang theory -- a theory entirely unknown to the Arabs of the seventh century -- you must conclude that 21:30 of the Qur'an is merely an intriguing coincidence, a matter of getting something right by chance.
Perhaps this passage is simply an intriguing coincidence. If it is, however, it is not the only one.
This man, the supposed "author" of the Qur'an, would also have to have:
- Known about the relativity of time (22:47; 23:112-114; 70:4), a subject similarly unknown to Arab tribes of this period.
Either he possessed some extraordinary source of knowledge allowing discussion of this subject thirteen and a half centuries before Einstein, or we are looking at another intriguing coincidence.
Which is it?
- Most non-Muslims will instinctively answer along these lines: "Even if it means granting the text of the Qur'an a second striking coincidental feature, the likeliest explanation is that both passages are merely examples of happenstance."
And yet:
Consider that the same author would also have to have:
- Known that the universe is continuously expanding (51:47).
- Known that matter is created in pairs (36:36). (By the way, this discovery earned the scientist Paul Dirac the Nobel Prize in 1933.)
- Known what modern biological science knows about the foundation of life on Earth, namely that it is water-based (21:30).
- Known that iron is not native to the Earth, coming instead from an extraterrestrial source (57:25).
- Known that the planet Earth travels in an orbit (27:88; 21:33).
- Known that the sun, too, moves in an orbit (37:38), as indeed modern astronomy proves that it does.
- Known that the Earth's atmosphere acts like a protective shield for living creatures (21:32).
- Known that the stages of human development in the womb unfold in a specific, describable sequence (23:14) that has been confirmed by modern experts in human embryology.
- Known that the roots of mountains extend deep into the earth and serve the function of preventing shocks (21:31).
- Known details of how the Earth's rain cycle functions that were mysteries to scientists until the twentieth century (30:48).
- Known what modern oceanographers have now learned, namely that bordering seas meet but do not mingle with one another (55:19-20).
- Known that oceans have complex subsurface wave patterns (24:40).
- Known that, in communities of honeybees, only the females are workers (16:68-69). (The Arabic verb forms can connect only to female beings).
- Known, seven years ahead of time, that the humiliated Byzantine Army of his day would rejuvenate itself and secure a major victory, which in fact it eventually did against the Persians (30:1-4).
Known, two years before he did so, that he would enter Mecca in triumph (48:27).
- Known that the body of the Pharoah who had opposed Moses would be preserved for future generations (10:91-92) -- it is today on display in the Royal Mummies Chamber of the Egyptian Museum.
- Known to refer (12:54) to the Egyptian head of state of Joseph's, peace be upon him, era as king (Aziz-Malik) and not as Pharoah, the word that appears erroneously in the book of Genesis.
- Known that the fabled Arabian lost city of Iram (89:6-8) whose historical existence was confirmed by archaeologists only in 1990, was a historical reality.
- Known that the ancient flood that had beset the southern Arabian people of Saba from their dam system (34:15-17), similarly confirmed by modern archeology, was a historical reality.
- Known the name of Haman (28:38), a historical figure close to the Pharoah of the era of Moses, peace be upon him ... despite the problems that a) the name Haman does not appear in the Torah's version of the story, and b) the ability to translate the hieroglyphic language system of the Egyptians had been utterly lost for centuries at the time of the revelation of the Qur'an, and indeed would remain lost until the year 1799. After the discovery in that year of the Rosetta Stone, scholars were able to unlock the mystery of the hieroglyphs and, eventually, to confirm that there was indeed a Haman, unmentioned in the Hebrew scriptures, who was close to this Pharoah in this period, and who was involved in construction (especially of towers and of temples), just as the Qur'an says. If we believe that human authorship is the only possible explanation for the origin of the Qur'an, we must assume either that Muhammad (S), somehow had access to this information, or we must believe that this passage is yet another in a remarkably long series of intriguing coincidences.
How many coincidences do we need to get the message?
The message is simple: no human intelligence could have produced this book in the seventh century.
Please know that there are many, many more such coincidences in the Qur'an.
I have listed here only those that do not require advanced knowledge in such topics as Arabic, mathematics, Islamic history, or classical poetic forms.
Even with the brief list I have provided, there comes, I think, a point at which one is obliged to evaluate the Qur'an's Message carefully, closely, and respectfully. These supposed coincidences are, I believe, clear signs to humankind that the Qur'an's Message is of a special quality, and must not be ignored.
Only the repeated exposure of the individual human heart to the Qur'an's Message can settle such a momentous question, "Who wrote the Qur'an?"
If you are a person who believes that there is no such thing as a divinely inspired revelation, the question is: how many coincidences does it take for you to consider that such a revelation to humanity may be possible?
If you are a person who believes that there is such a thing as a divinely inspired revelation, the question is, how many coincidences are you willing to ignore before considering the possibility that a particular text presents such revelation?
Please know that I am NOT interested in any debate about the possibility that any ONE of these verses I have cited is just a coincidence, or is for some other reason unpersuasive to you.
The truly remarkable thing is that ALL of these features should present themselves in a text supposedly composed by human intelligence -- and the profound unlikelihood of that is the intriguing coincidence I wish to discuss.
Knowing what you now know about these supposed coincidences, do you honestly believe that the Qur'an is simply the product of human intelligence, a book like any other book? Or does it seem more likely to you that its Message is of a special quality?
Take it with a grain or two of salt...

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #71 on: 11/03/2006 04:14:20 »
quote:
Originally posted by hddd12345678910

UmmmÖthese posts are getting too long, lolÖ  




Indeed Ė I may not necessarily answer your post point by point, otherwise we may well get exponential growth in the size of posts, but if there is a particular point that you think I have mossed that I should have addressed, then by all means get back to me and I shall seek to address it more directly.

I will also try and put forward some new ideas in order to try and create some middle ground between the position you hold and that which I hold.  I am not expecting you to agree with the correctness of that middle ground (clearly, you have your own position, and you have no wish to shift your position, not even to such a middle ground), but it will give an opportunity to understand what within that middle ground does make sense in your model of the world, and what does not, and so help me better understand the parameters you are working to, and maybe might help you understand the parameters which I am working to, and thus help develop a common language by which we can explain better what each of us means, because each of us has done more to explain the unspoken assumptions in our words.

quote:


quote:
The problem I have with God is firstly, that he cannot fit into the scientific model


The core of my argument is, as I have already said, the problem shouldnít be that God doesnít fit into any type of human-made scientific model, itís rather that you are even trying to fit God into a system which is directly founded/based from His creations (namely the Heavens and the Earth and please refer to my previous posts for reference).  And as far as your mathematical equation example goes, please refer to your own quote:
quote:
As such, I was acknowledging that since science was incomplete, it is perfectly legitimate to hypothesise that things, such as God, might exist outside science (i.e. that science was not a complete system of understanding the universe, but was a sufficient system for the purposes required of it).





OK, I accept, and realised at the time I wrote the above, that it did include inherent contradictions, and I was not expressing myself very well.

I suppose what I was trying to say is that I could not find a model into which the concept of God could fit into that has contemporary utility and that could not just as well be supplanted by a simpler model that excludes the notion of God.

Ofcourse, it is perfectly valid to argue that the Quran, just as Vedas for Hinduism, or Avesta  for the Zoroastrian religion (and many others) does provide some sort of model into which their own notion of God(s) fit into, but none of these models are simple, and one must ask whether any of them have significant contemporary utility.  All of these works were written in an era when modern science, philosophy, secular law, and politics, had not matured to the point they have today, and to a significant extent they were intended to provide the utility that in many cases has been superseded by modern science, philosophy, secular law, and politics.  Thus, at very least, one might say that these models are burdened with components that have been replaced by the secular arts, and thus at very least they require significant simplification to perform more efficiently whatever roles one might consider have not been superseded by the modern secular arts.

So the question that arises is, what aspects of the model of the universe that would once have been fulfilled by religion is now better fulfilled by modern secular arts, and what role might remain (if any) to be filled by religion of one sort or another.

Clearly, the question of how the universe functions is now best satisfied by the scientific model of the universe.

The question of what the universe is is best satisfied by the philosophers.
You have mentioned the question of what the universe ought to be, but I am not certain that such a question has any meaning in any absolute sense.  Even if one were to decide that Mount Everest out to be two foot taller, what does that mean, and what is one going to do with that knowledge?

One question that has not been addressed is the question not of what but of who.  To some extent, this is a question that is addressed in secular law, where the apportionment of legal and criminal responsibility is apportioned, but not all responsibility is of a criminal or legal nature.  It can also be noted that the legal domain is one domain where the the concept of God, albeit in a slimmed down form, still survives in the legal concept of an act of God, this being action that has occurred that cannot be ascribed as the responsibility of a human entity (a single person or collection of people), and thus is ascribed by default to an abstract entity that is outside the scope of human responsibility (namely God).

Can this notion of God be taken further than the narrow legal scope?  The question of who
certainly can be ascribed a wider scope.  If one asks who built the Eiffel tower, one might ascribe responsibility for that to Gustave Eiffel, but if one were to ask who built Mt St Helen, one cannot ascribe responsibility to any human agent, and thus one may, by analogy to the legal precedent, suggest it was an constructed by God.

Would the above be a rational thing to do?  After all, many people, if asked who built Mt St Helen, would simply say that is a non-question, because it is a question without a rational answer.  On the other hand, if I asked how many times does the number zero divide into the number two, you would also have two schools of thought; the school of thought that would suggest that this is a non-question, because zero cannot be divided into two, and the school of thought which ascribe the abstract notion of infinity as the answer, saying that zero will divide an infinite times into the number two.  Infinity, like God, is not a real entity (insofar as neither correspond to any notion of physical reality), but each could, within the particular context, be used as an abstract answer to a question which could not otherwise be answered.

Does this notion of God undermine scientific or philosophical models of the universe?  I don't think so.  If a scientist asks a scientific question pertaining to the Eiffel tower, he will ask how was it built, and the answer that Gustafe Eiffel built the tower is not relevant to that question.  If a scientist asks a scientific question about Mt St Helen, he will ask how is it constructed, and the answer that God constructed Mt St Helen is not an answer to his question, but neither does it contradict the correct answer to his question, it is merely an answer that is in no way pertinent to the question.

I am sure that this notion of God could be taken further, but the basic constraint must be that any extension of this notion of God must make sure that it does not try to answer scientific questions, or questions that might be better answered by another of the modern secular arts,  because the moment it does it will risk having to either invalidate the modern secular art, or itself be invalidated by the modern secular art.

The problem is that this notion of God does not fit well into any of the established religions, because they were not constrained by the sciences and other modern philosophies, because at the time of their creation these modern philosophies did not exist, and so they have naturally extended their reach into areas where they they now do conflict with modern philosophies (e.g. creation theory).

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quote:
And if one did assume God existed, then which model of God, and why would one assume one model of God the right interpretation and another model of God to be the wrong interpretation (and I'm not merely talking about the various 'religions of the book', Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, which substantially refer to the same God, but Hinduism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, and many others)?


I guess my most uncontroversial response to that statement is which ever survives the test of time and is the last one standing.  God states in the Quran that no matter which way humans try to govern themselves, all man made systems will continue to fail until humans ultimately realize, by way of exclusion, what system is indeed the best for the governance of humans.  This is of course the most extreme case, and one undoubtedly containing the ravages of World War III, I personally would hope the humans would find another way to learn about themselves without consistently resorting to mass crises to wake them up.




At the most basic, it is reminiscent of the logic behind trial by combat, or trial by ordeal.  In essence, the logic behind that is that if one man accuses the other of a crime, then let the accuser and the accused do battle, and God, being a just God, will always ensure that the righteous will win over the sinful.  The modern preference is to judge by evidence rather than merely assume that divine intervention will always favour the innocent over the guilty.

The other consequence of the above statement is that it actually alleviates the responsibility from the individual to decide which religion is right, since your argument seems to say that we should wait and see, and in the end, only one religion will remain (which may or may not be the religion of Islam), and then we shall know by that which is the right religion.
 
quote:


However, if you want a more concrete understanding of why one is the best over others, I would have to say itís the one that is most logical in nature.  What proof do any of these other religions have of any of their claims?  The proof to backup the Quran is the Sun, the Moon, the inherent stability of the universe and all the stars dressed up as ornaments in the night sky as well as any and all scientific discoveries humans may ever make.  But I wouldnít dream of being able to sum up Ďmain themeí of the Quran even if there was one.  I have already directed anyone interested to http://www.ourbeacon.com/7101.html for further reference if you are in any doubt of anything I say.  This is so since the Quran is capable of explaining itself better then I could ever hope to do so myself.




I would ask whether you have yourself read any of the religious texts of the other religions, so that you might know better how they compare, whether they are more of less logical, than the text of the Quran (I mean this not in any accusatory manner, but merely to ask whether your belief that the Quran is the most logical religious text is supported by any comparative studies of your own)?


quote:


The point that I was trying to make was that if you could Create something from nothing and be cognizant of the creation in a most fundamental level (atomic and subatomic or even strings if we want to go that far) then I donít see how its possible for one to argue against your ability to have full control over your creation for all time.  




I would suggest that you look a little more at chaos theory.  It is quite possible to create chaotic systems that are extremely simple in nature, and where each individual interaction can be fully and completely understood, and yet the complexity of the overall system remains such that one cannot accurately predict how the system in total will act over extended periods of time (or, at least, the amount of computing power needed for such a prediction would be beyond the capability of any current or foreseeable technology).

There is also a problem when one develops a system where the observer is a part of the system itself, because that creates a problem that the mere act of observation alters the system and thus invalidates the predictions one would make of the system.

This last point is one of the basic problems I have with the notion of God who can know everything (present and future) that will happen in the universe.  The only way such a God could operate is if He was totally disconnected from the universe He was observing, and thus is neither effected by that universe, nor has any effect upon it.  The moment He has an effect upon the universe, He can no longer predict the outcome, because in order to predict the outcome, He would have to predict Himself.



quote:

quote:
I'm sorry, but to quote Mandy Rice-Davies, ďHe would say that, wouldn't heĒ.


Here Iím assuming that you mean that I said what I said to underhandedly promote the Quran?  Correct me if Iím wrong.  If not, then if you donít believe what I had stated, then I challenge you to read it and find out for your self whether or not I had made up the statements.



Sorry, that is not what I intended to imply.

You stated that:
quote:
Following this, God promises himself that He does not lie and his laws never change among other things in the Quran.


What I was trying to say was that if it can be independently corroborated that God does not lie, then the statement that tells us the He has said He does not lie is superfluous.  On the other hand, if God does lie, then the statement He makes telling us He does not lie may itself be a lie.  Thus the statement carries no verifiable meaning.

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I am sorry if I sound ignorant on this, but I thought the Quran was supposedly written by the Prophet, and those who came before him, supposedly at the behest of God, but not by God in person.

Iím not at all surprised, considering that the average muslim has no concept of what the teachings of Quran are, I could hardly expect you, a westerner, to have any better understanding.  The Quran is authored by God, but since he promised that he and his angels would not physically interfere with humans outside the laws of the universe, he canít actually send down a pre-written book because that would be breaking his promise.  No offense, but this is why the Prophets were called Messengers after all, they delivered the messages of God for humans, and in the case of Mohammad, the last of the Prophets, the message was as deemed by God recorded in the form of a book by honored scribes through the recitations of the Prophet who was just a plain human.



But does not the fact that a messenger recites texts to a scribe amount to creating a report Ė by that, I mean that one has not only to trust the original source to which the material is ascribed, but one must also trust the integrity of the messenger.  I am not saying that one can say the messenger was necessarily a false messenger, but it is rational to ask the question as to whether there is proof that the message he brought was indeed a true and accurate account of that which it portends to be?  How would one go about seeking independent verification for the accuracy of message that the messenger brings?



George

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Offline namaan

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #72 on: 11/03/2006 06:57:46 »
I am going to be covering a lot of ground here, so brace yourself.  Just so you know I am not a seasoned philosopher/religious person coming here to argue about things.  I am actually a 19 year old undergrad just curious after having finished the Quran what kinds of things people argue about related to religion out here in cyberspace (essentially a general representation of [pop] culture).  I just found it curious seeing a topic having to do with God in a site discussing mainly science.  Following your last post and reading over a bunch of other posts in other places, I again came to the realization of what made sense to me from the beginning.  

I knew from the beginning that there was no way of actually convincing anyone of anything (although my hopes were admittedly high during the last few posts).  Before my initial post I had from experience, from this increasingly secular society, begun to realize how essentially we all live in a relativistic society; a society in which a person can call just about anything an argument.  A society in which the source of all types of moral restraints are removed from some higher plane and place as a responsibility to the shoulders of individuals; resulting in the frequent removal of moral restraints more or less altogether.  A society in which the quick gains of the immediate are taken over the investment in the long term (You have to read the Quran, the version that I have reference a couple of times, to understand some of these statements).

Essentially, this is a society that has lost hope in the concept of an Absolute (largely due to [from what I can tell] city life, frequent exposure to wars and affects of wars, observation that the causes of various conflicts throughout the world can find religion as their source, a wealth of available information that is relative in nature providing critiques of the human condition and yet devoid of an Absolute undertone, to name a few).  I obviously am not saying this is the worst society in the world or anything, my point is that we should be ever progressive and never compromise on anything that slows down the process of humanity reaching an equilibrium with each other over the long term (in terms of human rights).  

Before I continue, please keep in mind that Iím 19, so that I am mostly in contact with college students; maybe now you can understand where Iím coming from with my argument for relativism if you hadnít already.  They might not represent the current society, but since they arenít too far off from becoming the backbone of this society, I think itís fair to consider the society in their light, even if only temporarily (I find most college students to be quite annoying; yes I AM fairly weird).  Also, I know full well that I am generalizing a whole lot here, and donít presume to be a genius or something; I am simply here to learn, as are you I assume.

By now you are of course wondering what the heck this has to do with my argument.  Well, basically, as a general thing, I am trying to make a case for an Absolute and do so because I feel that relativism is only slowing down humans and will in the long run fail which ever way you look at it.  After writing this sentence, I felt an urge to write an entire book on how the very concept of relativism is flawed, but as you can tell from what I have already written, I am in no mood for further argument and now feel itís time to actually critique the processes we are using to argue rather then follow the tried-and-true-and-futile method of arguing back and forth in a relativistic society in which any one can make just about anything an argument.  There has to be a line drawn some where otherwise progress will be greatly slowed to a snail-pace in which humans require some type of global disaster of catastrophic proportions every time in order to implement any type of laws and legislation in a global level.  

I could say in response to your quote:
quote:
The other consequence of the above statement is that it actually alleviates the responsibility from the individual to decide which religion is right, since your argument seems to say that we should wait and see, and in the end, only one religion will remain (which may or may not be the religion of Islam), and then we shall know by that which is the right religion.


that in the Quran, humans are tasked only as much as provided by the Grace of Allah (a smart, free person should be able to accomplish more than a provincial slave; thus the smart, free person would be expected to do more than the bound one) and are never asked to do more pushing beyond their limits.  And so, to the best of our abilities, we should be searching for the Truth.  But then you could counter this by simply removing any significance from whatever I personally know to be Absolute, by pulling it down to the level of something relative.  From there, we could continue to delve in the relative; arguing about this endlessly until our heads explode. [:D] And so you may understand why I choose to not argue further in the same manner.  

When I gave you references to the Quran (Iím assuming that you never ended up reading any of it) I hope you did not think that I was trying to get you to get in the habit of calling your self a muslim and going out to perform a bunch of rituals and take part in religious dogmas and pray five times a day and talk to completely provincial and closed-minded people just because of a couple of words that I proclaimed.  It was my sincere attempt to help you understand that the Absolute does have credibility.  I mentioned previously that Quran is technically not a religion, but at the time I didnít feel like getting any further into it.  The Quran is a Deen, a system of life (please remove all concepts of rituals and dogmas and so on as you read this).  It is and has always meant to be a most efficient system of governance for humans and a most efficient system of social practices (please remove from your mind all concepts of stoning, chopping hands and feet, or any other types of cruel rituals that the foolish mullah or ďreligious leadersĒ have fashioned for themselves as well as all concepts of unequal treatment of women as none of these is consistent with the teaching of the Quran).  

Isnít the average human ultimately looking for a stable form of a global government which leaves space for every one in society to prosper in all aspects of life anyway?  So what does it matter what the source of such perfect governance is.  You may feel uncomfortable with the idea of a religious book providing practical, sensible means to govern the masses yet not questioning for a second their human rights and their dignity as humans.  But again, if it is able to do just that, what reason, besides giving way to preconceived notions and biases, could one have of ignoring it?  I only refer the Quran to you because I have already stated that it can explain it self better than any human, and it indeed is able of providing answers to all the questions that you may ask (provided you are an open-minded individual and read it without preconceived notions, which I am sure you are otherwise I most likely wouldnít have spent this much time and energy arguing with you).

Although all this may seem off topic, the original question was after all whether or not science is able to prove or disprove His existence.  So, as my more or less final argument, I say to you that since we already went down the road of trying to argue about it in terms of science (which of course ended up in one relative argument overtaking another), I suggest that you consider the Quran at its most fundamental level of function.  It was meant for a perfect form of governance.  Then from farily simple deductive reasoning (the Prophet could not have known all the things mentioned in my previous post, what human would be able to create such a perfect form of governance and social behaviors for other humans, and of course the topic that we started out with being all the order and perfection bestowed from God [before humans began to ignore their Lord's Grace and thus ruined themselves], this, all of this could not have come from any but a Devine and Absolute source) we, or atleast I so far, have found that God indeed does exist.  So I ask you, if you do after all decide to take on the challenge, to read the Quran from a purely a socio-economic and warfare (basically all aspects of a formal government) perspective and I think you will be surprised at what you find.  Finally the link to the free downloadable version is http://www.ourbeacon.com/7101.html.

By the way, if you are still stuck on the Concept of God not fitting into modern science, then I refer you to my previous post which was all about the Quran and science.  You never commented on it, so Iím assuming you might have missed it.  It probably wonít answer your question specifically, but I think it may hint at the answer in a broader sense.
Take it with a grain or two of salt...

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Offline namaan

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #73 on: 11/03/2006 07:03:48 »
To quictly correctly my self, the Quran promotes the Deen Islam
Take it with a grain or two of salt...

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another_someone

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #74 on: 11/03/2006 11:41:25 »
I am somewhat tired at the moment, and in a hurry, so I will not try and address much of what you have said, and it is possible that in what I do say I may not express myself as well as I might.


quote:
Originally posted by hddd12345678910

I knew from the beginning that there was no way of actually convincing anyone of anything (although my hopes were admittedly high during the last few posts).




This is true, but I would also ask is it fair even to ask others to change their beliefs unless you are willing to entertain the notion of doing likewise?  Should you be asking of others that which you are not yourself willing to offer?

quote:


  Before my initial post I had from experience, from this increasingly secular society, begun to realize how essentially we all live in a relativistic society; a society in which a person can call just about anything an argument.  A society in which the source of all types of moral restraints are removed from some higher plane and place as a responsibility to the shoulders of individuals; resulting in the frequent removal of moral restraints more or less altogether.  A society in which the quick gains of the immediate are taken over the investment in the long term (You have to read the Quran, the version that I have reference a couple of times, to understand some of these statements).




It is erroneous to regard relativism as equivalent to amorality.  All that relativism requires is that you judge the morality in some context, and do not assume that you can have context free morality (in the same way that Einstein's notion of relativity did not seek to remove time, but merely suggested that time had to be measured according to the context, and there was no such thing as context free time.

I do agree that we live in an era where we are increasingly looking for short term gains, but this is a consequence of people being denied the benefits of long term investment, and so simply have no incentive to make long term investments.

quote:


Before I continue, please keep in mind that Iím 19, so that I am mostly in contact with college students; maybe now you can understand where Iím coming from with my argument for relativism if you hadnít already.  They might not represent the current society, but since they arenít too far off from becoming the backbone of this society, I think itís fair to consider the society in their light, even if only temporarily (I find most college students to be quite annoying; yes I AM fairly weird).  Also, I know full well that I am generalizing a whole lot here, and donít presume to be a genius or something; I am simply here to learn, as are you I assume.




You also have to recognise that the 19 y.o. kids that are your contemporaries will not remain 19 y.o. kids forever.  Time changes us all, and changes our perspectives on life.

quote:


By now you are of course wondering what the heck this has to do with my argument.  Well, basically, as a general thing, I am trying to make a case for an Absolute and do so because I feel that relativism is only slowing down humans and will in the long run fail which ever way you look at it.  After writing this sentence, I felt an urge to write an entire book on how the very concept of relativism is flawed, but as you can tell from what I have already written, I am in no mood for further argument and now feel itís time to actually critique the processes we are using to argue rather then follow the tried-and-true-and-futile method of arguing back and forth in a relativistic society in which any one can make just about anything an argument.  There has to be a line drawn some where otherwise progress will be greatly slowed to a snail-pace in which humans require some type of global disaster of catastrophic proportions every time in order to implement any type of laws and legislation in a global level.




Clearly, assuming a context free environment is simpler and quicker to work with than having to develop conclusions that are relevant to the context you are working in; but then were you not complaining about short termism, people looking for quick solutions?

quote:


When I gave you references to the Quran (Iím assuming that you never ended up reading any of it) I hope you did not think that I was trying to get you to get in the habit of calling your self a muslim and going out to perform a bunch of rituals and take part in religious dogmas and pray five times a day and talk to completely provincial and closed-minded people just because of a couple of words that I proclaimed.  It was my sincere attempt to help you understand that the Absolute does have credibility.




I appreciate your earnestness in your intent, on the other hand I also realise that getting to grips with a work as significant as any of the major religious texts is a non-trivial undertaking, and I doubt it is something one can just dip in and out of when one has a few moments to spare and expect from that any great understanding of it.







George

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Offline namaan

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #75 on: 13/03/2006 05:55:52 »
Firstly,
quote:

It is erroneous to regard relativism as equivalent to amorality.


I never I said this
quote:

but then were you not complaining about short termism, people looking for quick solutions?


nor this

Now, regarding the first quote, I never, as far as I can recall, said that the two are equal, I only said that in this society it is the individualís responsibility to develop a sense of moral on their own, and essentially went on to state that this will logically lead to a break down of morality among certain people in the population.  And I attributed this breakdown to the fact that we live in a relativistic society.  Of course I would expect you to now argue about whether or not there even is such a thing as an absolute understanding of moral.  Obviously, I would say yes since I read the Quran.    

Now for the second quote.  Who in their right mind would complain about people looking for quick solutions?  I am utterly at a loss as to how a quick solution is inferior to a long dragged out one.  (all other things being equal of course).  I was complaining about people looking for quick GAINS, not quick solutions.  And even in this, I was not necessarily referring to it in terms of time, a lack of investment in the long term could just as well come from arrogance (one would rather delve in the relative), the removal of which doesnít have some sort of time limit (it could happen quickly, after a long time, or never).  

quote:

I do agree that we live in an era where we are increasingly looking for short term gains, but this is a consequence of people being denied the benefits of long term investment, and so simply have no incentive to make long term investments.



It is obvious by now that we are speaking from two different backgrounds.  I think that you may have generalized this a bit too much, because I canít picture of any particular instance of this.

More importantly, I neglected to specify that I donít just mean long term investment in this life, but indeed, just as much, if not much more, in the afterlife (obviously a Quranic theme, as I doubt you understand the specific context in which I am speaking).

Now Iím going to be honest with you.  I donít actually have any interest of arguing with you or anybody else about religion or God, which I sort of hinted on in my previous post.  I like to learn about humans which ever way I can, mostly through observing their behavior.  Of course the best way of observing peopleís behavior is through some sort of cause and effect relationship (I post up some opinion I have and observe and analyze the effect).  You could obviously be wondering at this point, that if I am arguing for a lack of argumentation, then arenít I destroying my own argument?  WellÖdepending on your perspectiveÖI suppose.  Needless to say this is more or less my last post.

quote:

This is true, but I would also ask is it fair even to ask others to change their beliefs unless you are willing to entertain the notion of doing likewise? Should you be asking of others that which you are not yourself willing to offer?



Frankly, youíre absolutely correct; I am not willing to entertain the notion of the correctness of another religion.  Itís the same reason you are not going to read the Quran (I consider atheism to be a religion since, Christians believe in Christ, Buddhists believe in Buddha and atheists believe to not believe). So, if you havenít already figured it out so far from this post, I wasnít actually serious in asking you to consider reading the Quran.  I new you werenít going to read it, and even if you did, it would only have been an added bonus and wasnít as though that was some how my ultimate goal.  

But seriously, think practically for a second, could you imagine even one person in the history of online forums who actually changed their minds online and converted religion while having a discussion with words and sentences across the globe?  Or even slightly changed their spiritual orientation?  

Iím sure, however, that it wouldnít be too difficult for you to imagine the majority of people, including you and me, who only strengthen their own pre-conceived notions and biases by coming to online forums.  This is referred to as selective attention in psychology; essentially to look for things that confirm our biases.  

And so when you said:

quote:

Clearly, assuming a context free environment is simpler and quicker to work with than having to develop conclusions that are relevant to the context you are working in



which seems to me to be just a stretched out way of calling me a coward, I have this to say: I donít argue where I know for a fact that neither my arguments are going to have any affect on the opposing party nor are the arguments of the opposing party going to have any affect on me, and not only this, but more likely than not both parties are only going increase in conviction in their respective ideologies.  More importantly, I donít argue, if I donít think that I, or the person I am arguing with can benefit from it in some way.  

In my case, the benefit comes in the form of whatever knowledge I was interested in attaining, such as knowledge about human behavior.  So I leave you with this question: what reason do YOU have for reading this post?
Take it with a grain or two of salt...

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Offline tony6789

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #76 on: 13/03/2006 14:36:07 »
.........wow...........lotsa qoutes.....

- Big T
LCPL Hart USMC 6400 I Level Avionics

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another_someone

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #77 on: 13/03/2006 22:15:18 »
OK, I did say that I was in something of a rush on Saturday, and I apologise if I jumped to conclusions that you had not intended in your text.

But, looking in general with regard to issues of relativism and absolute moral codes.  At the time the Quran  was written, it was an era when both slavery and polygamy were accepted practice, and the Quran supported both concepts.  Polygamy is still accepted by the proponents of Islam, although there is no doubt that it is beginning to fall out of favour, while slavery is now condemned as much by Muslims as by any other mainstream religion (all of which had supported slavery in the past).

The question is, if the values of religion are absolute, then can it be possible to support slavery in one century, and then condemn slavery in the next?  On the other hand, if one accepts that morality has to function within the context of its time and its social environment, then one can say that in the era when slavery was condoned by the Quran and the Bible, it was appropriate for that era, but no longer appropriate to the changed circumstances of the modern era.

quote:

quote:

but then were you not complaining about short termism, people looking for quick solutions



Who in their right mind would complain about people looking for quick solutions? I am utterly at a loss as to how a quick solution is inferior to a long dragged out one. (all other things being equal of course). I was complaining about people looking for quick GAINS, not quick solutions. And even in this, I was not necessarily referring to it in terms of time, a lack of investment in the long term could just as well come from arrogance (one would rather delve in the relative), the removal of which doesnít have some sort of time limit (it could happen quickly, after a long time, or never).




I am not quite sure what you regard as a solution that does not provide a gain?  Ofcourse, you may be using the term gain in a purely monetary manner, in which case I can understand the distinction; but I would argue that quick fixes of any kind are always going to be inferior to those solutions that are carefully and painstakingly constructed, a process that almost inevitably will take time.  As a general rule, the quicker you construct something, the quicker it falls down.  Ofcourse, there are times when things do naturally come to the end of their useful life, but one would rather not pre-empt that time by not spending the time to check that your solution is sufficiently robust.

As for whether the relative is more of less arrogant than the absolute Ė I think I would take quite the contrary view.  Is not the absolute essentially say that the answer I  have in the only valid answer; whereas the relative is saying that the answer I have is one of many answers, and your answer may be just as valid as my answer.  So, which would you really consider the more arrogant?  This is even more the case where the two answers relate to circumstances in totally different societies (maybe separated by hundreds of years of time).  Where you and I must share a common society, then clearly we must find some common ground upon which we can base our codes of conduct, although this does not require that we share a common belief system.

Nor is relativism the quick or simple alternative.  On the contrary, an absolute system, once constructed, never needs to be updated or modified.  A relative system constantly needs to take into account changes in the context it is operating in.

Ofcourse, one might counter this by saying the very complexity of a relative system makes it more prone to error, and providing a simpler absolute moral code, even if this lacks flexibility in dealing with new social environments, at least relieves the practitioner from the responsibility of having to adjust the system to take into account changing circumstances (a little like providing a driver with a car that cannot change gear Ė it may have a more restricted application, but at least it's simpler to use Ė and I am excluding cars with automatic transmission for the purposes of this analogy).

quote:

think practically for a second, could you imagine even one person in the history of online forums who actually changed their minds online and converted religion while having a discussion with words and sentences across the globe? Or even slightly changed their spiritual orientation?



In all reality, I would think such a person to be very fickle if they did.

But, in my view, the value of such exchanges is not that either party should switch allegiances, but that each side, by having to think about questions that they may not necessarily have thought of asking themselves, is given the chance to extend their own belief system, to try and work out how their own belief system might answer a question they might not have thought of before.

I do not expect that you would walk away from this any less a Muslim than you were at the start, but that maybe at the end of this discussion, you might go back to the Quran and try and think of slightly different ways of interpreting it than you did before, because you now have new questions to ask that you had not asked before, and likewise, I might spend time thinking about how I might view my own thoughts and beliefs slightly differently because I have had to answer questions I had not thought of before.  You will still remain a Muslim, and I still remain an atheist, but each of us still maybe now armed with a few more questions than we had before.

quote:

Iím sure, however, that it wouldnít be too difficult for you to imagine the majority of people, including you and me, who only strengthen their own pre-conceived notions and biases by coming to online forums. This is referred to as selective attention in psychology; essentially to look for things that confirm our biases.



I can agree with this insofar as it pertains to what I am willing to listen to from you, or you from me.  As I said above, the interesting aspect of such exchanges are not that I will listen to your answers, but that I will listen to your questions.  The questions are more important than the answers.  Accepting someone else's answers is for idiots who cannot think for themselves, but accepting someone else's questions give one cause to think answers out for oneself, answers that mean something to oneself, which may be something very different from the answers that mean something to someone else.

quote:

I consider atheism to be a religion since, Christians believe in Christ, Buddhists believe in Buddha and atheists believe to not believe



Buddhists believe in  Buddha as Muslims believe in Mohammed, but  Mohammed is not God, and neither is  Buddha.

Buddhism is actually an atheist religion, it has no intrinsic belief in a God (although, I believe some variants of it might integrate theist notions within Buddhism).

Atheism, of itself, is insufficient to be considered an entire belief system.  The other side of the coin, believing in God is not of itself enough to define a particular religion.  Believing in God does not make a person a Muslim, since there are many people who believe in God who are not Muslim (although, ofcourse, believing in God is a prerequisite for a Muslim, but not a sufficiency for it).  By the same token, a belief that there is no God is not sufficient to define all those who share that belief as belonging to a common belief system.

As I said, atheism may indeed form a part of a belief system.  Buddhism is an atheistic religion, and I would argue that Communism is an atheistic religion (albeit, most Communists would themselves be horrified to think of themselves as such, but I would regard that Communism is a complete enough system to be regarded as a belief system).

It may be arguable that it is human nature that we all have some sort of belief system (whether it be a theistic or atheistic belief system), but it is open to debate whether most atheists share enough of a communal belief system that they could be regarded as actually sharing in a communal religion.  This last point is something I am presently undecided about Ė to what extent do most atheists in a community share a common belief system, and to what extent do their belief systems vary, and how does one decide which religious community does an atheist belong to, since there is no communal gathering of atheists, nor any communal self identification of atheist communities?



George

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #78 on: 13/03/2006 22:17:10 »
quote:
Originally posted by tony6789

.........wow...........lotsa qoutes.....

- Big T



Well, since you started the topic, I hope you've been reading all the responses (we may be asking questions on it later [:D]).



George
« Last Edit: 13/03/2006 22:17:57 by another_someone »

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Offline namaan

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #79 on: 13/03/2006 23:13:10 »
Don't worry, I was aware of the fact that you were busy, I was going to point out those things regardless...

quote:

But, looking in general with regard to issues of relativism and absolute moral codes. At the time the Quran was written, it was an era when both slavery and polygamy were accepted practice, and the Quran supported both concepts. Polygamy is still accepted by the proponents of Islam, although there is no doubt that it is beginning to fall out of favour, while slavery is now condemned as much by Muslims as by any other mainstream religion (all of which had supported slavery in the past).

The question is, if the values of religion are absolute, then can it be possible to support slavery in one century, and then condemn slavery in the next? On the other hand, if one accepts that morality has to function within the context of its time and its social environment, then one can say that in the era when slavery was condoned by the Quran and the Bible, it was appropriate for that era, but no longer appropriate to the changed circumstances of the modern era.




I know that I said Iím done arguing, but (no offense), you have very little understanding about the Quran, so I feel as a Muslim it is my duty to provide correct information.  Rather then say my own words, it would be better if I just dug up a couple of verses from the Quran:

4:92 It is not conceivable that a believer will slay another believer unless it be a mistake. If one kills a believer by mistake, there is the duty of freeing a believing person from bondage; may it be slavery, extreme poverty, crushing debt or oppression. And pay compensation to the victim's family unless they forgo it by way of charity. If case the victim was a believer, and belonged to a tribe who are at war with you, free a believing person from bondage. If the victim was a believer, and belonged to a tribe with whom you have a peace treaty, you should pay the compensation to his family in addition to freeing a believing person from bondage. For those who find this settlement beyond their means, two consecutive months of Abstinence, as in the month of Ramadan, are ordained by way of repentance from Allah. And Allah is the Knower, the Wise.
9:60 Remember that the funds that the Central Authority receives as Alms and Charity belong to the following categories:
- The poor. Those who are not able to earn enough living to meet their basic needs, for any reason.
- Those whose running businesses have stalled or the ones who have lost their jobs, who have become needy with their active lives coming to a standstill.
- Officers who have been appointed by the government to collect alms and charity.
- Those who are hindered from joining the Divine System for financial reasons.
- To free men and women from bondage of any kind: physical slavery, unjust captivity, and oppression from any quarters.
- Those pressed under the load of ransom or heavy debt from an enemy.
- Defense of the Ideological State, in the Cause of Allah.
- The wayfarer who becomes needy, or travels to the believers in destitute condition, and the homeless son of the street.
This is a Duty from Allah. He is the Knower, the Wise and His Commands are based on Knowledge and Wisdom.

And hereís one relating to polygamy:

4:129 Men who have been permitted a second wife for post-war exigencies (4:3) must understand that: You will not be able to deal equally between your wives however much you wish. But turn not altogether away from one, leaving her as if in suspense between having and not having a husband. Fulfill the rights of each one of them and be mindful of Allah. Verily, Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful. (Your effort is seen 53:40, and He is the Absolver of your imperfections).

I was looking for a much better verse, but was didnít have enough time.  However, this should be enough to make the point.  The ONLY time that a man is allowed to marry more than one wife is after a war.  The reason for this, if you havenít already realized, is that since men were the majority of the soldiers (yes women were also allowed in the army, but of course were the minority), most of the casualties were men.  So a lot of the men get killed, there are a lot of widows who canít necessarily support themselves; thus in this instance, and only in this instance, is a man allowed to marry another women in order to SUPPORT her.    

As far as your actual argument is concerned, Iím not about to give you a history lesson on Islam, as it would be essentially impossible to cover everything.  I would be better off just giving you a reference of the source of my knowledge.  Most of your argument can be found to be flawed even if you only read the preface of the rendering of the Quran which I have mentioned many times.

The rest is detail that just goes around in circles (as I like to say, delves in the relative), as far as Iím concerned.  Donít mind me, its not as though Iím the only one reading your post, some one will surely find it of some use, but I have already dropped out from further argumentation.

Have I shown you one aspect of Islam that you found disagreeable?  Iím not talking about your current understanding of Islam, but aspects of Islam that I presented to you?  If so you would be correct in saying that finding new questions to ask is the point of all these discussions.  But you missed my whole point.  I have accepted the absolute, you have not, so if the Quran is telling me that all the questions as to how to best and most efficiently live my life while taking into consideration the well being of the rest of humanity are answered within the book, then what need do I have to look for new questions?  I've already throughly explained to you that I'm not a blind follower of anything and have at the most fundemental level agreed with everything I could understand in the book (I was able to understand most it). Your argument isnít incorrect, it just isnít relevant.  
Take it with a grain or two of salt...

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #80 on: 14/03/2006 00:11:24 »
quote:
Originally posted by hddd12345678910

Have I shown you one aspect of Islam that you found disagreeable?




I have never had anything intrinsically disagreeable about Islam, it has simply not convinced me that it was technically the most meaningful world view for my view of the world.  This does not mean that I am, or have ever been, antagonistic to Islam.

quote:


But you missed my whole point.  I have accepted the absolute, you have not, so if the Quran is telling me that all the questions as to how to best and most efficiently live my life while taking into consideration the well being of the rest of humanity are answered within the book, then what need do I have to look for new questions?




I have two issues with this.

Firstly, most of the quotes you gave relate to how Muslims should treat each other, not how it should treat the rest of humanity.  I am not doubting that the Quran does also tell you how you should treat non-Muslims, it is merely that it (as does the Bible, particularly the Old Testament) does appear to be quite discriminatory in treating one's own differently from treating outsiders.

More specifically, I don't know what the Islamic tradition is, but certainly in the Jewish tradition (and at least some branches of the Christian tradition) there are people who spend their whole lives looking at the Bible and seeking to find new answers to questions from therein.  Sometimes the answers can seem like an over-interpretation of what is written, but nonetheless it does demonstrate the principle that merely because a body of written knowledge is fixed, it does not mean that one cannot seek new knowledge even from that fixed set of words.





George

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Offline namaan

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #81 on: 14/03/2006 01:01:53 »
2:62 (That was a glimpse of the past.) Behold, those who believe (in the Qur'an and call themselves Muslims), and those who are Jews, and Christians and the Agnostics - whoever truly believes in Allah and the Last Day and does work that benefits humanity - surely their reward is with their Lord. For them shall be no fear from without, nor shall grief touch them from within.

Well, you pretty much hit a wall right there...What can I say, that's the point of a religion these days.  But although itís complicated to you; itís not at all so for me.  If you want a general summary of humanity in view of the Quran, here it goes:  Humans are created; they begin agriculture and so forth, begin to form permanent dwellings and begin to ask the big questions about life.  Without any direct guidance from God so far, Noah comes to them as God's first message.  History continues, and essentially more and more prophets keep coming to warn humans of wrongdoing and show them a way towards bliss and security.  From the time of Prophet Noah, to the time of Prophet Muhammad, all nations recieved a prophet (such as Moses to Egypt and Jesus to Israelites) and thus a fair warning and incentive to do good works for ALL humanity.  The Torah and Bible were both authored by the same God that authored the Quran, but since humanity was slowly developing its infrastructure, these books were revealed in stages, with the Quran being the final message.  And so that is the reason why no prophets are needed any longer, the Quran is the final message and it is well preserved unlike the other books who's original message has been thoroughly decimated because of the selfish desires of humans.

quote:

Firstly, most of the quotes you gave relate to how Muslims should treat each other, not how it should treat the rest of humanity.



Your argument makes no sense.  What do you expect them to do, go into the other society, and fight whoever is oppressing there own people?  Thatís like saying the United States embarking on a mission to save a homeless person in another personís societyÖAnd keep in mind the world was not globalized as it is today.  It wasnít even as though the other societies at the time besides the Islamic society were weak in strength.  But besides this, there are plenty of verses, which I donít have time to find right now, that relate to leaving people at peace as long as they wish to remain at peace.  

2:190 [All mankind should agree upon and mark their calendars for four months of peacetime. However, true following of the Divine System of Life will meet with harsh opposition.] So, fight in the Cause of Allah those who wage war against you, but do not commit aggression. Behold, Allah loves not aggressors. (2:194, 2:217, 4:91, 9:5, 9:36, 22:39, 60:8.)

2:193 Hence, fight them only until there is no more harassment, and Deen may be adopted for the sake of Allah alone. And if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against those who replace peace with aggression.

Take it with a grain or two of salt...

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another_someone

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #82 on: 14/03/2006 02:48:33 »
quote:
Originally posted by hddd12345678910
quote:

Firstly, most of the quotes you gave relate to how Muslims should treat each other, not how it should treat the rest of humanity.



Your argument makes no sense.  What do you expect them to do, go into the other society, and fight whoever is oppressing there own people?  Thatís like saying the United States embarking on a mission to save a homeless person in another personís societyÖAnd keep in mind the world was not globalized as it is today.  It wasnít even as though the other societies at the time besides the Islamic society were weak in strength.  But besides this, there are plenty of verses, which I donít have time to find right now, that relate to leaving people at peace as long as they wish to remain at peace.  




Firstly, my comment was with regard to your quotes, not the totality of the Quran, which as I said, although I did not know exact texts, I was aware did include clauses about how to treat non-Muslims.  The only issue I was raising was that you were saying how great Islam was for humanity, and I was saying that your quotes only pertained to how great Islam was for Muslims.

Secondly, your comparison with the USA is both erroneous and inconsistent.

In most regards, the law of the USA pertains to all persons legally living within the USA, whether they be US citizens or not.  US jurisdiction, for the most part, does not have global reach, and so does not pertain to persons living outside of the USA, of whatever nationality.  I accept that this is a generalisation, and there is some extraterritoriality in US law, and there are some differences in the rights of US and non-US citizens resident within the US, but these are a few exceptions, and in principle all humans within the jurisdiction of the US law are equal under the law.

Beyond that, to try and compare Islamic law with US law would imply that Islam was merely a nation State.  It is not that, and certainly it has ambitions to be far more than a nation State.

Your comment that ďkeep in mind the world was not globalized as it is todayĒ seems to imply that you implicitly accept that one should read the Quran within the context in which it was written, and regard it as pertaining to that context.  Does this not run counter to your argument that the Quran should be read context free, and its law should be regarded as valid for all contexts, without regard to the context in which it was written.

By the way, none of the above is intended to be a condemnation of the Quran, just simply highlighting that it is more the work of man than of God, and as such it should be regarded as having the imperfections of all works of men, including the fact that it was more concerned with what was happening within the society in which it was written (the society that was what the human authors of the Quran were concerned about) than it was looking at a broader world view.  Within that limitation, it is a valiant attempt of its time.



George

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Offline namaan

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #83 on: 14/03/2006 04:06:52 »
Sorry, but this is exactly why I stopped arguing.  This whole arguement is just going in circles since I'm sure I have already covered everything you are arguing in previous posts.  You made an intial mistake which sprang out from still not fully realizing my absolute prespective from which I am speaking and rolled with it to the end of the post.  So as far as I'm concerned, I felt that much of the post towards the end was irrelevant.  I feel like typing, "maybe now you understand what I mean by delving in the relative", but I'm sure that you don't.  I'm not blaming you or calling you ignorant, but this is the obvious limitation of speaking across online forums which I throughly explained in a previous post.
Take it with a grain or two of salt...

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Offline tony6789

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #84 on: 16/03/2006 14:42:08 »
Hey i got on most replied topic YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Big T
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Offline tony6789

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #85 on: 16/03/2006 14:44:36 »
SO no one really knows the answer oh well but i hey i mean there is a possiblity that he is not real i mean people belive what they would like to think is true. People like the idea of a god and jesus so they beilieve it

- Big T
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Offline mcduke

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #86 on: 23/03/2006 03:59:26 »
Hi all, this is my first post here so be gentle
So, is God real? I'm assuming you mean the biblical all powerful, all knowing creator of everything God. Well, first of all you would think such a being could do a better job of preventing the confusion with all the different religions in the world. There's to much of the, you must believe the same as me or you'll burn in hell for an eternity (cuz that's what a loving God does?). Lets face it, two thousands years ago there wasn't a heck of alot to do except the usually fight for survival bit with alot of why am I here thinking going on. To have a bunch of guys on earth write down on tablets rules to live by and leave it at that, well, Can you be a God by proxy? Our father who art in heaven! If any parents on earth tried being a parent by proxy they'd be thrown in jail for child abuse. Ok kids, I'm going to have you write these rules down for you to live by and I'll look in on you from time to time, but you won't see me. I think if there is a supreme being then he/she needs to be more hands on, and I'm not seeing that.
Religion provides security and comfort in a world where nature is harsh, cruel, and frightening. I've had friends who've turned back to they're religous beliefs in hard times when they need comfort and security. After all, it's what they were raised with. When they've tried to talk religion to me I side step the conversation. Not because I'm afraid of the conversation. I'm simply respecting their belief and don't want to take away their security and comfort. A majority of people cling to a specific belief simply because of how they where raised (it's what they're used to and comfortable with).

Here's an interesting thought. In the bible God can be angry, jealous, and loving. How about bored? Let's face it, being all powerful and able to do anything anytime you want sounds like a perfect recipe for boredom eventually. Therefore, the universe, and we, where created for entertainment. That's why the world is such a confusing mess. And we're all channels on a remote control for the ultimate plasma tv. Click, lets see what Bob is up to today! oh, what a card, that Bob is funny. How about Jack? What's Jack doing today. Oh Jack, that's being a bad boy. So, a perfect world is a boring world not to mention an over populated world.
So, is there a God? If there is one then none of us really have any true idea what he is or wants from us (atleast not unitl you die, maybe). As for me, I like Buddhism, they're peaceful and respect others.
 

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #87 on: 23/03/2006 04:28:06 »
quote:
Originally posted by mcduke

Here's an interesting thought. In the bible God can be angry, jealous, and loving.



One of the things you also have to bear in mind is that over time the very meaning of the words used has changed, so what the people intended when they wrote the words might have been subtly different from the way we reed those words.

quote:


 How about bored? Let's face it, being all powerful and able to do anything anytime you want sounds like a perfect recipe for boredom eventually.



It actually sound like a recipe for indecision Ė if you can do anything, then you can also do it an infinite number of ways, and no one way is any better than another, so there is no rational basis for choosing one way of doing something over another way of doing it.



George
« Last Edit: 23/03/2006 04:38:54 by another_someone »

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Offline ukmicky

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #88 on: 23/03/2006 04:31:16 »
I wonder if he's got fast forward,or slow reverse[:)]

Michael

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Offline gecko

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #89 on: 26/03/2006 09:31:19 »
the idea of something being all-powerful is self defeating and natural selection and evolution continue to compound hard evidence, showing a creator is unneccesary.

god doesnt and exist and he never did. what, have you people lost it?
 

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Offline tony6789

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #90 on: 27/03/2006 15:15:41 »
hey hey hey ok gecko prove that he does not exist

- Big T
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Offline mcduke

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #91 on: 28/03/2006 04:54:28 »
The reason people believe is because they need the security and comfort of that belief, that there is something greater and benevolent out there watching over us. The mess this world is in pretty much answers that question. Sure we may be the most intelligent beings on the planet, but that just means our ways are that much more complicated then the other creatures on the planet.
I've been asked do I believe in God, but what I'm really being asked is does my belief match his belief? These days I tell em I'm buddhaRue. That means I'm peaceful and live in harmony with all things unless you piss me off, lol.
Most important is just to have fun in life. After all, if you can't have fun then what's the point?

I bet that Gods remote control has fast forward and backwards, and even slow forward and backwards for full entertainment value.
 

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Offline gecko

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #92 on: 28/03/2006 05:13:34 »
tony, i cant prove god doesnt exist anymore than you can prove he can.

 when you say something exists with no evidence whatsoever, just because of faith or belief, you can never be proven wrong. i believe theres a planet in the universe ruled by a race of skyscraper sized ants who eat nothing but pancakes. if you cant prove me wrong, than is that true?

 god is just about as likely, considering theres the same amount of proof for both. i always want to see evidence before i believe in something... for some reason objectivity and skepticism have taken a backseat to the whimsy and wonder of religion
 

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #93 on: 28/03/2006 13:43:57 »
In the physical world (i.e. away from mathematics or pure logic), then the only thing that can be proven is ďI think, therefore I amĒ - everything else is hypothesis, and its usage depends upon its utility not upon absolute proof of absolute truth.

It may be argued that the utility of God as a working hypothesis has been superseded by other theories that provide greater utility in many contexts, but none of this proves any of them to be an absolute truth, or absolute falsehood.



George
« Last Edit: 28/03/2006 13:44:52 by another_someone »

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Offline mcduke

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #94 on: 29/03/2006 02:55:20 »
Inorder to prove if God exist or not, don't you need to know what religious version to prove or disprove? I think there's a reference in the Bible to Gods, not just God. So, if there is more then one, which one/ones would you like to prove/disprove?
I would think that a God would provide better order in the world, ya know, like just one religion, and if someone gets the idea of starting a different/wrong religion God would pay him/her a visit(or atleast send an angel) to say,"hey, that's wrong". I would think an all powerful being would be able to do that. If not, then the confusion here must be on purpose, as in, We're entertainment for a supreme being that is bored. Or, maybe just a science project. Of course there is the possibility that we're just nature at work void of any divine intentions.
« Last Edit: 29/03/2006 02:59:05 by mcduke »
 

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #95 on: 29/03/2006 04:07:08 »
In my opinion, God is an invention via the imagination of man.
Men are the same as women, just inside out !

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #96 on: 29/03/2006 08:39:52 »
What I dont get is that there is neither "proof" for or against some super deity behind the scenes. So why would someone jump to the conclusion that one exists? Maybe back in the day before we had any scientific method or knowledge it was the simplest answer to the great question; Why? But now we have scientific method and a nice simple answer that the universe just is and runs on natural interactions between stuff and other stuff. So why would anyone continue with deity worship? Personally I embrace EVERYTHING as if it were God because clearly we are all part of the grand interconnected system that is life.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ockham%27s_Razor

Assuming that there is a hidden super being running the show isn't exactly justified in my mind. Why do I need to think that there is one?? When the world merrily goes on working without me doing so in a reasonably predictable way from currently available evidence. If suddenly we find that everything we thought was true breaks down and four giant horsemen come flying about my head I might be inclined to change my mind [;)]

A lot of religions don't take themselves quite so seriously as Christianity or Islam etc. Most of the eastern philosophies take a far more relaxed approach and dont assume anything is true [:)] or that any of their deities truly exist in how they worship and symbolise them. So who is right???
wOw the world spins?

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #97 on: 29/03/2006 16:17:15 »
quote:
Originally posted by mcduke

Inorder to prove if God exist or not, don't you need to know what religious version to prove or disprove? I think there's a reference in the Bible to Gods, not just God. So, if there is more then one, which one/ones would you like to prove/disprove?
I would think that a God would provide better order in the world, ya know, like just one religion, and if someone gets the idea of starting a different/wrong religion God would pay him/her a visit(or atleast send an angel) to say,"hey, that's wrong". I would think an all powerful being would be able to do that. If not, then the confusion here must be on purpose, as in, We're entertainment for a supreme being that is bored. Or, maybe just a science project. Of course there is the possibility that we're just nature at work void of any divine intentions.



Maybe God would rather remain anonymous, and is quite happy if we don't know who he is, but would worship some non-existent phantom Ė who can tell.

The problem is, if the guy is all powerful, then He would scarcely need to send angels to correct His
mistakes, because the mistakes would not have happened to be corrected.

In fact, the notion of God being all powerful implies that He must be the only God, since if He had any competition, then he could not be all powerful.  But, if He is all powerful, then why would He even require assistants, such as angels?

quote:
Originally posted by Ultima

What I dont get is that there is neither "proof" for or against some super deity behind the scenes. So why would someone jump to the conclusion that one exists? Maybe back in the day before we had any scientific method or knowledge it was the simplest answer to the great question; Why? But now we have scientific method and a nice simple answer that the universe just is and runs on natural interactions between stuff and other stuff. So why would anyone continue with deity worship? Personally I embrace EVERYTHING as if it were God because clearly we are all part of the grand interconnected system that is life.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ockham%27s_Razor

Assuming that there is a hidden super being running the show isn't exactly justified in my mind. Why do I need to think that there is one?? When the world merrily goes on working without me doing so in a reasonably predictable way from currently available evidence. If suddenly we find that everything we thought was true breaks down and four giant horsemen come flying about my head I might be inclined to change my mind [;)]




The point is that there are different ways of looking at the world.

The modern perspective is almost purely functional, and the question we ask most is ďhow does it workĒ - and the answer to this is not well facilitated by the notion of God.

In the past, the world was less scientific, less functional; and people were more interested in hierarchies of allegiance and responsibility, and having a God at the root of such a model makes as much sense as the Big Bang makes to the fill the lack of direct knowledge about the roots of cosmology.



George

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Offline mcduke

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #98 on: 30/03/2006 21:37:44 »
Well, may the force be with you.
 

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Offline gecko

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Re: God real or not
« Reply #99 on: 30/03/2006 23:40:11 »
isnt the idea of all powerful-ness adressed with-

can god make a stone so big he couldnt move it?

if he can, then he is not all powerful; because he cant move the stone. if he cant, then he is not all powerful either; because he cant make a large enough stone.

thats what always killed all-powerfulness for me.