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Author Topic:   The Case Against the Existence of God
Faith
Member
Posts: 30963
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 255 of 301 (302263)
04-07-2006 11:46 PM
Reply to: Message 253 by lfen
04-07-2006 11:37 PM


Re: Satheism, Watheism
Quite possibly Robin is wanting to distinguish between living things and non living things. What I am saying is that is a meaningless distinction because there are no things (entities) at all. All there is is a complex processing that is ongoing.

Does it make any sense to ask the question What set all this complex processing in motion originally?

For the sake of discussion I'm sure you can recognize the distinction between living and nonliving things at least, or is it not even worth it for the sake of discussion?

This message has been edited by Faith, 04-07-2006 11:48 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 253 by lfen, posted 04-07-2006 11:37 PM lfen has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 256 by lfen, posted 04-08-2006 12:03 AM Faith has not yet responded

  
lfen
Member (Idle past 2787 days)
Posts: 2189
From: Oregon
Joined: 06-24-2004


Message 256 of 301 (302265)
04-08-2006 12:03 AM
Reply to: Message 255 by Faith
04-07-2006 11:46 PM


Re: Satheism, Watheism
Consciousness and it's relationship to matter/energy is what I ponder these days.

At this point I see life as the same sort of manifest potential of the universe as are stars or black holes. Life is one of the processes matter/energy transforms into.

As I've complained about earlier, Robin's restriction to western models is very handicapping for me altough some modern thinkers do give me access to process models instead of static thing models.

One of the elegant aspects of the theory of the singularity as Hawkings originally described it was that it was in perfect balance. What created the universe, what was required to create the universe was a disturbance. Somehow perfect symetry had to have an imperfection introducted into it to destabilize it thus precipitating the expansion and cooling of the singularity which resulted in the universe that we now know. He has since come up with at least one other possiblity having to do with indeterminancy of some sort. Still it pleases me to think that God's initial act of creation was the introduction of imperfection. Think of an artist. What they have to do is disturb the clean expanse of paper or canvas by getting it dirty. Creation is messy business! Just one way of thinking about it.

lfen


This message is a reply to:
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nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 257 of 301 (302267)
04-08-2006 12:30 AM
Reply to: Message 157 by robinrohan
04-07-2006 2:56 PM


Re: What is pretend about living?
To a first approximation, a belief is an emotional committment to a statement (the semantic content of the statement, not the syntax).

I've never used it like that. I just use it to mean that if somebody is convinced that something is true, he believes it.


I don't see a difference. Isn't "is convinced that" the same thing as "has a committment to"? Maybe you don't like my use of "emotional", but I see emotions as important in our cognitive judgements. A computer has no emotions, but a computer is never convinced of any statement -- a trivial programming change will cause it to assert the opposite.
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Phat
Member
Posts: 12254
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 258 of 301 (302284)
04-08-2006 4:14 AM
Reply to: Message 198 by ThingsChange
04-07-2006 4:57 PM


Re: Hearsay
ThingsChange writes:

One more branch up the tree: Why do you believe inerrancy of these writers instead of some fuzzy interpretive truth like Phat does?

Fuzzy?

Let me clear the air!

I believe that an author is inspired in several ways, yet I basically believe that our inspiration originates from one of two sources:
1) The Holy Spirit
or...
2) The "other" flow.

I am not saying that I believe the entire Bible to be inerrent in word for word meaning.

What I am suggesting is that the New Testament authors were not making it up as they went along. They were actually recording under the unction of the Holy Spirit.

I have to take a stand on my beliefs one way or the other, and if it means ascribing human wisdom alone as the source of Biblical inspiration or being carried along by the Spirit..(as another thread suggests) I'd have to go with the Spirit!


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AdminPD
Inactive Administrator


Message 259 of 301 (302301)
04-08-2006 7:26 AM


EOT in 41 Posts
Only 41 posts left until End of Thread.

It is a good time to start winding down and presenting summaries or conclusions.
A summary from the originator is always nice at this point.

A gentle topic reminder from Message 1: Now, if one wanted to build a case against the existence of such a God, what sort of argument could one put forth?

Thanks for debating, carry on. Magic Wand


robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 260 of 301 (302326)
04-08-2006 10:10 AM
Reply to: Message 247 by lfen
04-07-2006 10:33 PM


Re: What is pretend about living?
By restricting your OP to the western notions of deity you've tied at least one hand behind my back you know. Ramana has such interesting things to say about "I am", but he was Indian.

The problem, Ifen, is that I've never understood what you meant (in past posts) when you use terms like "non-dualistic" and so forth. It's all mighty vague to me. So I was unable to respond to your ideas adequately.

This message has been edited by robinrohan, 04-08-2006 10:59 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 247 by lfen, posted 04-07-2006 10:33 PM lfen has responded

Replies to this message:
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robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 261 of 301 (302332)
04-08-2006 10:24 AM


Beings and Things
A being is that which is conscious, which has a mind.

We, for example, are beings. We have a private experience of consciousness. Now what consciousness is exactly nobody knows for sure. It's a big mystery. But whatever it is, we know about it privately.

In addition to beings like us, there are other beings such as animals (presumably). Certain creatures (insects, say) may or may not be Beings. We are not sure.

Everything else, mindless stuff, like rocks and planets and the physical universe as a whole is a thing.

So the question is, whether an eternal mind created the universe, or whether this thing, the universe, has always existed, and from it sprang forth creatures with minds, such as ourselves and perhaps certain animals.


Replies to this message:
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Faith
Member
Posts: 30963
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 262 of 301 (302334)
04-08-2006 10:30 AM
Reply to: Message 261 by robinrohan
04-08-2006 10:24 AM


Re: Beings and Things
OK, I didn't think "living things" said well enough what you were getting at with "beings" but "sentient beings" didn't either. I wonder if you will ever get to the title point about the case against the existence of God since the whole thread is bogged down in definitional confusions.
This message is a reply to:
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lfen
Member (Idle past 2787 days)
Posts: 2189
From: Oregon
Joined: 06-24-2004


Message 263 of 301 (302361)
04-08-2006 11:17 AM
Reply to: Message 261 by robinrohan
04-08-2006 10:24 AM


Re: Beings and Things
Everything else, mindless stuff, like rocks and planets and the physical universe as a whole is a thing.

Well, this is what I call the naive, or native viewpoint. This is how things appear to us given the language we've developed.

It's seems obvious to me that humans have created God or gods in the image of humans and then turned it around to say God or gods created us in their image. Physics using mathematics is pushing the envelope of our human viewpoint to model more deeply the universe.

I am drawn to a Wittgensteining approach to the problem that you are presenting in that I think it is entirely an artifact of human conceptual language.

This may be pantheistic I'm still not clear on that. It maybe Plotinus's neoplatonic system,butI will throw in a third explicit possiblity: Being is Consciousness and that it gives rise within itself to the complex process that is the universe. So it is the source and the object. There are not two separate catagories: entities and things, or subjects and objects which I suspect is the grammatical structure that brings that perception about. There is only being consciousness that in certain processes functions as material, matter.
see:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plotinus

The universe as it appears to our human nervous system is a functional artifact of that nervous system and not the universe in itself as it is. There are no separate beings. Only the appearance of separate beings. We know matter and energy to be a continuum as space time is a continuum. I suspect eventually matter/energy space/time will be a single continuum as will consciousness.

To disprove your hypothesized Creator Being as distinct from other beings would take only a demonstation that no beings exist except as codependent interdependent processes of the whole.

On the other hand that Creator Being does exist as the whole, All That Is, and the only "things" that have a shadow existence are the various illusions that it has dreamed. Those illusions as Shakespeare saw are you and I. We aren't our bodies and brains, we are the dream that these bodies and brains are beings. Was Romeo a being? Hamlet, Juliet? In one sense they don't exist. In another sense they have a kind of existence but are not real.

This is a theme found in Shakespeare and Borges. Your field is literature I believe. Jorge Luis Borges' short fictions often illustrate this very well.

lfen

edit: cleaned up a couple of typos

This message has been edited by lfen, 04-08-2006 08:24 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 261 by robinrohan, posted 04-08-2006 10:24 AM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 265 by robinrohan, posted 04-08-2006 12:09 PM lfen has not yet responded
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lfen
Member (Idle past 2787 days)
Posts: 2189
From: Oregon
Joined: 06-24-2004


Message 264 of 301 (302381)
04-08-2006 12:01 PM
Reply to: Message 260 by robinrohan
04-08-2006 10:10 AM


Re: What is pretend about living?
Robin,

To follow up on my recommendation of Borges here is a quintessential writing of his and even shorter than his usual brevity.

The other one, the one called Borges, is the one things happen to. I walk through the streets of Buenos Aires and stop for a moment, perhaps mechanically now, to look at the arch of an entrance hall and the grillwork on the gate; I know of Borges from the mail and see his name on a list of professors or in a biographical dictionary. I like hourglasses, maps, eighteenth-century typography, the taste of coffee and the prose of Stevenson; he shares these preferences, but in a vain way that turns them into the attributes of an actor. It would be an exaggeration to say that ours is a hostile relationship; I live, let myself go on living, so that Borges may contrive his literature, and this literature justifies me. It is no effort for me to confess that he has achieved some valid pages, but those pages cannot save me, perhaps because what is good belongs to no one, not even to him, but rather to the language and to tradition. Besides, I am destined to perish, definitively, and only some instant of myself can survive in him. Little by little, I am giving over everything to him, though I am quite aware of his perverse custom of falsifying and magnifying things.

Spinoza knew that all things long to persist in their being; the stone eternally wants to be a stone and the tiger a tiger. I shall remain in Borges, not in myself (if it is true that I am someone), but I recognize myself less in his books than in many others or in the laborious strumming of a guitar. Years ago I tried to free myself from him and went from the mythologies of the suburbs to the games with time and infinity, but those games belong to Borges now and I shall have to imagine other things. Thus my life is a flight and I lose everything and everything belongs to oblivion, or to him.

I do not know which of us has written this page.

http://www.georgetown.edu/faculty/irvinem/english016/borges/borges.html

I will merely note that if you are not taken with the brilliance of his writing then I will stop pestering you with my insights.

lfen


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 Message 260 by robinrohan, posted 04-08-2006 10:10 AM robinrohan has responded

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robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 265 of 301 (302384)
04-08-2006 12:09 PM
Reply to: Message 263 by lfen
04-08-2006 11:17 AM


Re: Beings and Things
On the other hand that Creator Being does exist as the whole, All That Is, and the only "things" that have a shadow existence are the various illusions that it has dreamed.

What a high-falootin' bunch of stuff you have here, Ifen. So the universe is a thing-being which dreams us up and we don't really exist except as this being-thing's dream. And the only reason I think as I do, so "naively" and so "sophomorically," is that I am mired in this extremely limited little mental world called "Western thought," and the most simple and naive version of it as well. My ideas are really just the result of language structures that I was born with. Sentence structure dictates my thought.

I think I got it.


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robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 266 of 301 (302388)
04-08-2006 12:14 PM
Reply to: Message 264 by lfen
04-08-2006 12:01 PM


Re: What is pretend about living?
you are not taken with the brilliance of his writing then I will stop pestering you with my insights

It has a certain literary flashiness.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 264 by lfen, posted 04-08-2006 12:01 PM lfen has not yet responded

1.61803
Member
Posts: 2823
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004


Message 267 of 301 (302390)
04-08-2006 12:21 PM
Reply to: Message 155 by Faith
04-07-2006 2:38 PM


Re: Oh but it is based on fact
Would you please define for the purpose of this argument what your going to use as a definition of facts ?
Stating the existance of a supernatural entity based on facts is well and good. Can you tell me what facts do you have that would convince a independant, non bias panel of scientist or lawyers ?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 155 by Faith, posted 04-07-2006 2:38 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
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Faith
Member
Posts: 30963
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 268 of 301 (302392)
04-08-2006 12:25 PM
Reply to: Message 267 by 1.61803
04-08-2006 12:21 PM


Re: Oh but it is based on fact
Would you please define for the purpose of this argument what your going to use as a definition of facts ?

The witnesses testify to the facts and I believe them, therefore I believe the facts they testify to, that is, the entire account they give of Jesus, in fact the entire account of the Bible from beginning to end. That is what happens when you believe what truthful witnesses tell you. What they tell you is fact. Just as the existence of Australia is a fact although I've never been there and merely believe those who have.

As for convincing anybody else, I already said that {abe: the difficulty of} this is due to the prejudices in the hearers, and explained how. They bring to the hearing of the witnesses a prejudice against what the witnesses say.

This message has been edited by Faith, 04-08-2006 12:34 PM


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BMG
Member (Idle past 2272 days)
Posts: 356
From: Southwestern U.S.
Joined: 03-16-2006


Message 269 of 301 (302398)
04-08-2006 12:41 PM
Reply to: Message 263 by lfen
04-08-2006 11:17 AM


Re: Beings and Things
Hi Ifen.

Your ideas sound incredibly similar to Hinduism, more specifically, the Upanishads (I hope I am not off topic, but WTH).

The fundamental assumption of the Upanishads is that there exists but one true reality in the universe- Brahman. Brahman is sexless, formless, eternal, infinite, and totally impersonal.

Moreover, they posit all beings, or things-everything- is an expression of Brahman.

Thus, Life is an illusion (Maya) arising from the ignorance of the true nature of reality-Brahman.

Just thought I would throw that in.

edit: threw in previously forgotten fourth sentence.

This message has been edited by Infixion, 04-08-2006 12:47 PM


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