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Author Topic:   Does God Really Exist???
Gilgamesh
Inactive Member


Message 226 of 305 (88686)
02-25-2004 7:56 PM
Reply to: Message 221 by Stephen ben Yeshua
02-25-2004 4:00 PM


NDE's
I studied near death experiences in some depth many years ago. I hoped that they would provide some evidence in favour of an afterlife.

They have been convincingly rationalised as the last impulses of an oxygen deprived brain. Sensory perception fades in the order demontstrated on brain scans (with hearing the last thing to go). The tunnel effect with a white light is merely the shutting down of the vision processing part of the brain (bit like those old television sets that fade to a small white dot!). Spiritual imagery, if any, is purely subjective and contextual: eg: Muslims see Allah, Christians see God.

And of course, some people have absolutely no experiences at all.

No-one has brought back any unknown knowledge from the "other side".

NDE's do change some people's lives as would an experience that emphasises ones own mortality.

I remember the words of one of Australia's most successful business men, Kerry Packer, who has had mulitple heart attacks:

"I've been to the otherside, and I can tell you, there's fucking nothing there".

Stephen if you are going to bring up your prayer experiments that have been dealt with in other threads, then why don't you conduct one of your own?

Try praying for the number!
(read above to find out what I am talking about).

[This message has been edited by Gilgamesh, 02-25-2004]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 221 by Stephen ben Yeshua, posted 02-25-2004 4:00 PM Stephen ben Yeshua has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 227 by Phat, posted 02-26-2004 5:57 AM Gilgamesh has responded
 Message 231 by Stephen ben Yeshua, posted 02-26-2004 3:02 PM Gilgamesh has not yet responded
 Message 232 by Stephen ben Yeshua, posted 02-26-2004 3:31 PM Gilgamesh has responded

Phat
Member
Posts: 7626
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 227 of 305 (88743)
02-26-2004 5:57 AM
Reply to: Message 226 by Gilgamesh
02-25-2004 7:56 PM


Re: NDE's and Cultural Enlightenment
gilgamesh writes:

People statistically believe in a particular faith because of where they are born. If you were born in the Middle East, chances are you'd be a Muslim and be now arguing it's validity and be claiming that the majority of the world reject your religion.

Yes, religion is often a product of ones environment although there are exceptions, especially in Christianity.
Gods divine impartation is no respecter of persons or cultures.
gilgamesh writes:

And of course, some people have absolutely no experiences at all.

Ignorance CAN be bliss!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 226 by Gilgamesh, posted 02-25-2004 7:56 PM Gilgamesh has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 237 by Gilgamesh, posted 02-26-2004 4:56 PM Phat has not yet responded

nator
Member (Idle past 1166 days)
Posts: 12961
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 228 of 305 (88791)
02-26-2004 9:37 AM
Reply to: Message 220 by charlie
02-25-2004 2:56 PM


quote:
I don't know if Carl Sagan said "THE COSMOS IS ALL THAT IS, EVER WAS, OR EVER WILL BE". But I do know this, very shortly before his death he said there has to be something out there. He was refering to a supreme being, a god. I'm am also assuming by that statement that previously he thought otherwise. At death's door we sometimes re-examine our thoughts and beliefs.

According to Sagan's wife, there was no deathbed conversion:

'Carl's wife Ann Druyan, in the Epilogue to Sagan's last book, Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium (published posthumously in 1997), gives a moving account of Carl's last days. They both acknowledged the fact that their final farewell would indeed be final:

"Contrary to the fantasies of the fundamentalists, there was no deathbed conversion, no last minute refuge taken in a comforting vision of a heaven or an afterlife. For Carl, what mattered most was what was true, not merely what would make us feel better. Even at this moment when anyone would be forgiven for turning away from the reality of our situation, Carl was unflinching. As we looked deeply into each other's eyes, it was with a shared conviction that our wondrous life together was ending forever."'


This message is a reply to:
 Message 220 by charlie, posted 02-25-2004 2:56 PM charlie has not yet responded

  
nator
Member (Idle past 1166 days)
Posts: 12961
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 229 of 305 (88793)
02-26-2004 9:45 AM
Reply to: Message 211 by Phat
02-24-2004 7:34 PM


Re: Do we even want God to exist?
quote:
I maintain, using scripture as my source, that the natural mind does NOT want God to exist, since it trumps our freedom of choice.

I maintain, using the natural and social history of the human race, that the natural mind most definitely wants the supernatural to exist, since it explains what we don't understand and comforts us by taking away the fear of death by providing us with the notion of an afterlife.

Belief in God helps us believe that we don't really die.

That's a pretty powerful concept, and plenty of reason for us to evolve a propensity for wanting to believe in the supernatural, don't you think?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 211 by Phat, posted 02-24-2004 7:34 PM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 230 by Phat, posted 02-26-2004 10:45 AM nator has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 7626
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 230 of 305 (88808)
02-26-2004 10:45 AM
Reply to: Message 229 by nator
02-26-2004 9:45 AM


Re: Do we even want God to exist?
Yes, you have a point. This is a deep concept. People do want proof of immortality and divine love. It is our own independant thinking that we do not want to give up, for we are afraid of being controlled.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 229 by nator, posted 02-26-2004 9:45 AM nator has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 233 by mike the wiz, posted 02-26-2004 3:32 PM Phat has not yet responded
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 Message 238 by Gilgamesh, posted 02-26-2004 7:37 PM Phat has not yet responded

Stephen ben Yeshua
Inactive Member


Message 231 of 305 (88862)
02-26-2004 3:02 PM
Reply to: Message 226 by Gilgamesh
02-25-2004 7:56 PM


Re: NDE's
G.

Here's a site to the Lancet paper on the Dutch research. The nurses report of the information known to the comatose patient, and the author's citing of studies showing that blind NDE's have visual experiences, is more consistent with the soul hypothesis.

http://profezie3m.altervista.org/archivio/TheLancet_NDE.htm#summary

As to the number, the glass that I'm looking through remains too dark, but that may change. Hope it does.

Stephen


This message is a reply to:
 Message 226 by Gilgamesh, posted 02-25-2004 7:56 PM Gilgamesh has not yet responded

Stephen ben Yeshua
Inactive Member


Message 232 of 305 (88869)
02-26-2004 3:31 PM
Reply to: Message 226 by Gilgamesh
02-25-2004 7:56 PM


Re: NDE's
G.

Here's another:

"Finally, a nurse at Hartford Hospital states a patient described an NDE in which she saw a red shoe on the roof of the hospital during her OBE. A janitor later retrieved a red shoe. Ring140 describes three such cases involving shoes, shoelaces, and a yellow smock and recounts a similar anecdote of a Seattle social worker who also retrieved a shoe outside a window ledge that was identified by a patient during an NDE."

at: http://www.melvinmorse.com/e-cpp.htm

Stephen


This message is a reply to:
 Message 226 by Gilgamesh, posted 02-25-2004 7:56 PM Gilgamesh has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 243 by Gilgamesh, posted 02-29-2004 6:25 PM Stephen ben Yeshua has responded

mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4442
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 233 of 305 (88870)
02-26-2004 3:32 PM
Reply to: Message 230 by Phat
02-26-2004 10:45 AM


God made us we made gods
She might have a point but to be honest I've heard this one too many times from the old "less of a chance" deludants. In other words, it's a good idea, but it's guesswork. Maybe people did make gods to help them with death, idols etc. - And the real God made us. Certainly that would fit the physical history of idolatry. I mean - why invent an invisible God? History shows that people prefer to make their gods.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 230 by Phat, posted 02-26-2004 10:45 AM Phat has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 234 by nator, posted 02-26-2004 3:42 PM mike the wiz has responded

nator
Member (Idle past 1166 days)
Posts: 12961
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 234 of 305 (88874)
02-26-2004 3:42 PM
Reply to: Message 233 by mike the wiz
02-26-2004 3:32 PM


Re: God made us we made gods
quote:
Maybe people did make gods to help them with death, idols etc. - And the real God made us.

Wow. You see the logic of my statement and reject it anyway.

If that's what your God requires, I don't want any part of Him.

quote:
Certainly that would fit the physical history of idolatry. I mean - why invent an invisible God?

Why invent an invisible God? It's a lot easier for an invisible god to take on any characteristic the believe needs the God to have.

Or, rather, if you need to believe in a god to get you through your life, then an invisible one is much easier to project upon it all of the characteristics you desire for this God to have.

quote:
History shows that people prefer to make their gods.

Very true, Mike, very true.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 233 by mike the wiz, posted 02-26-2004 3:32 PM mike the wiz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 236 by mike the wiz, posted 02-26-2004 3:50 PM nator has responded

  
nator
Member (Idle past 1166 days)
Posts: 12961
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 235 of 305 (88877)
02-26-2004 3:47 PM
Reply to: Message 230 by Phat
02-26-2004 10:45 AM


Re: Do we even want God to exist?
quote:
Yes, you have a point. This is a deep concept. People do want proof of immortality and divine love.

Yes. I can see religious feeling being very important in the early development of our species, as it was a very harsh existence compared to many people's lives today.

quote:
It is our own independant thinking that we do not want to give up, for we are afraid of being controlled.

Not sure what you mean by this or why you think it relates to why the natural mind is or isn't prone to belief in the supernatural.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 230 by Phat, posted 02-26-2004 10:45 AM Phat has not yet responded

  
mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4442
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 236 of 305 (88879)
02-26-2004 3:50 PM
Reply to: Message 234 by nator
02-26-2004 3:42 PM


Re: God made us we made gods
Wow. You see the logic of my statement and reject it anyway.

I see you idea but why make a God that you know doesn't exist? How will that comfort you if you know it's not true anyway. Remember, the first person to "invent" would ofcourse know he/she was inventing, I find this hard to believe though Schraff because the "inventor" would have invented, it would then only be the next people to believe who really would take comfort. And besides this, why not make, as in - physically, a "comforter" rather than trying to convince people of an invisible God which you cannot point at and say "look, there he is" ? I see your your "idea" as a fair point but it has it's problems.

Certainly I see your 'logic' as okay, and my God doesn't require that I deny your idea, I just don't think it applies to God. Your idea is certainly a possibility though, because there have been an awful lot of idols found throughout history. Do not dis-believe in God because of me.

[This message has been edited by mike the wiz, 02-26-2004]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 234 by nator, posted 02-26-2004 3:42 PM nator has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 239 by nator, posted 02-27-2004 10:46 AM mike the wiz has responded

Gilgamesh
Inactive Member


Message 237 of 305 (88896)
02-26-2004 4:56 PM
Reply to: Message 227 by Phat
02-26-2004 5:57 AM


Re: NDE's and Cultural Enlightenment
Phatboy writes:


Yes, religion is often a product of ones environment although there are exceptions, especially in Christianity.
Gods divine impartation is no respecter of persons or cultures.

Given that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world and that Christianity's growth is stagnant, I'd suggest that this indicates that the Allah is the only God providing significant "divine impartation" at the moment.

http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html


gilgamesh writes:
And of course, some people have absolutely no experiences at all.

Phatboy writes:
Ignorance CAN be bliss!


I meant that some people have absolutely no near death experiences. Like Kerry Packer. I don't see what ignorance has to do with it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 227 by Phat, posted 02-26-2004 5:57 AM Phat has not yet responded

Gilgamesh
Inactive Member


Message 238 of 305 (88923)
02-26-2004 7:37 PM
Reply to: Message 230 by Phat
02-26-2004 10:45 AM


Re: Do we even want God to exist?
Phatboy wrote:

Yes, you have a point. This is a deep concept. People do want proof of immortality and divine love.

Well, they certainly do want to think that they have immortality, and perhaps some sort of divine gaurdian angel, but they sure as hell are very undemanding when it comes to proof of the same.

For some, mere hope is sufficient. For others they need the full temporal lobe conversion experience offered by some evangelical churches.

Phatboy writes:


It is our own independant thinking that we do not want to give up, for we are afraid of being controlled.

And justifiably so! The only way to avoid cultism and the mind controlling techniqies of almost all churches is to retain some independent critical thought. Note how Christianity (with the Bible as an authority) squashes independent thought, encourages complete submission to the teachings of church elders and defines knowledge as "evil" right from the first book.

Like, I've said before, the Bible is great for making a religion. It certainly does not evidence the truth of that religion.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 230 by Phat, posted 02-26-2004 10:45 AM Phat has not yet responded

nator
Member (Idle past 1166 days)
Posts: 12961
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 239 of 305 (89038)
02-27-2004 10:46 AM
Reply to: Message 236 by mike the wiz
02-26-2004 3:50 PM


Re: God made us we made gods
quote:
I see you idea but why make a God that you know doesn't exist? How will that comfort you if you know it's not true anyway. Remember, the first person to "invent" would ofcourse know he/she was inventing, I find this hard to believe though Schraff because the "inventor" would have invented, it would then only be the next people to believe who really would take comfort.

The concept of God likely began, as I've said, to explain powerful and bewildering occurrences in the lives of early humans. In our effort to figure out why stuff happened the way it did (Why does the water fall from the sky? Why does the mountain explode and rain fire upon us? How does the firey ball in the sky travel from horizon to horizon?), we just didn't have the technology to figure it out, and so we decided that such momentous, sometimes frightening or capricious events must be controlled by extremely powerful beings with abilities far beyond ours.

Yes, Gods were "invented", but they were decided upon by humans trying to figure things out. By definition, the "inventors" of Gods would have believed.

Also remember that religions evolve, just like any philosophy or social institution.

On the other hand, there have been thousands of different religions over time. How did they all start if they weren't all invented?

quote:
And besides this, why not make, as in - physically, a "comforter" rather than trying to convince people of an invisible God which you cannot point at and say "look, there he is" ? I see your your "idea" as a fair point but it has it's problems.

All major religions have some sort of physical symbols or images for adherents to latch on to. Only a few forbid "graven images" but even those have special clothes or items, or at least descriptions of their gods in their books.

quote:
Certainly I see your 'logic' as okay, and my God doesn't require that I deny your idea, I just don't think it applies to God. Your idea is certainly a possibility though, because there have been an awful lot of idols found throughout history. Do not dis-believe in God because of me.

Don't worry, Mike. I don't know if God/gods exist or not, and neither does anyone else.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 236 by mike the wiz, posted 02-26-2004 3:50 PM mike the wiz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 240 by mike the wiz, posted 02-27-2004 11:11 AM nator has not yet responded
 Message 241 by hitchy, posted 02-27-2004 3:47 PM nator has not yet responded

  
mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4442
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 240 of 305 (89041)
02-27-2004 11:11 AM
Reply to: Message 239 by nator
02-27-2004 10:46 AM


Re: God made us we make debates
The concept of God likely began, as I've said, to explain powerful and bewildering occurrences in the lives of early humans. In our effort to figure out why stuff happened the way it did (Why does the water fall from the sky? Why does the mountain explode and rain fire upon us?

So it wasn't inventing them to seek comfort? As that would require inventing. I know what you are saying and YES - maybe to your surprise, I see your logic. But don't rule out God because of potentially invented or "to explain phenomena" gods. A thing that really mystifies me is the length people have went to in the past - the Pyramids for example. I admire the power of their belief to actually be this Creatively inspired - but I am biased being creative myself.

Don't worry, Mike. I don't know if God/gods exist or not, and neither does anyone else.

It did dis-please me when you said you want no part of God because of me. I would indeed look upon that as my fault, and would have failed to preach properly. I mean, the last thing I would want is for me to cause such a thing. That would be a complete failure for me.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 239 by nator, posted 02-27-2004 10:46 AM nator has not yet responded

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