AuthorTopic: Official Off-Topic Thread  (Read 806962 times)

Offline Ben2theEdge

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Re: Official Off-Topic Thread

Reply #340 on: January 27, 2009, 01:58:27 am
I do not take 1+1=2 as a binding proposition. I don't take any statement as a binding proposition. I take a few as applicable and useful. Not 'true' because nothing is 'true'. Again, I urge towards a study of Epistemology, it's not a word I'm making up, it's a philosophical field that deals exactly with the theory of knowledge, what is testable, what is binding, what is in effect, what skepticism is in essence.

I'm familiar with epistemology... I don't claim to be an expert in it, and honestly I really loath the subject. It turns into long and painful rabbit trails that end in silliness. You may claim not to take 1+1=2 as a binding proposition, but you can only say that to support a philosophical argument. In the real world you depend on this proposition every day just to process the world around you, as do we all. When we stop talking and look at practical reality we find that truth exists. If you tried living your life liberated from the notion that 1+1=2, you would not survive.

I furthermore do not think that understanding the world on paper is the same as experiencing the things you're trying to understand. The implication is that the world is complex and holistic and we do not stand to *experience* it all, and people trying to appeal to our intellect by giving us applicable models of it can only get so far in that way. You can sit there and explain to me how a bat (the animal) works how it's skeleton keeps it light how the sonar works etc etc and I can sit here and try to take all that information in but that doesn't mean I understand the bat, the experience of the bat itself is inherently unknowable for me as a human. It is similar in matter of theory of science and knowledge. Information is not the same as knowledge. Information helps build a testable hypothesis of the effects of properties that are fundamentally unexperiencable for the human being. On the existential level we should be looking with awe at a simple house cat and how futile it is to try to feel what it must feel, and yet we have the gall to summon bloated Gods out of the aether and decree them creators and benevolent fathers that watch upon us. More humility! There's more to find by pondering a wall than thinking about Jesus Christ as the lord and savior.

I'm having a really hard time following you through this paragraph. Are you saying that since we can't transplant ourselves into other creatures' experiences, we don't have the authority to claim the existence of God? Not a challenge here, but a request for clarification.

But if we are going to use a model for reality (and we must if we want anything else than to live in a cave), it being testable and applicable is the point of it. Not being 'true' on the metaphysical level. An all-powerful ever-present God doesn't enter into tests or applications in any respect, therefore its usage is bound to be problematic. Science is not to put ones blind faith into a testable model. It is to be very curious about it and constantly tweak it to better apply to the discernible effect. These are very basic things.

Science and faith have very different roles. Not opposing. Complimentary. And separate. Failure to understand this is resulting in all sorts of confusion and chaos in our current society. Faith is not about the mechanics of the physical universe. That is clearly science's function. Faith concerns itself with the mechanics of one's existential experience, one's identity, ethics, morals, etc. The two have very minor implications toward one another and should at all times compliment each other, not be pitted against each other as though they were opposed. It'd be like choosing between my left and right foot. The purpose of pursuing God is not to understand how the mechanics of the physical universe operate. Those who believe in God such as myself believe that science is His provision for understanding His universe. My Holy Book is NOT a science book and attempts to use it as such are as appalling as using The Origin of Species to determine right from wrong.

I do not have any emotional bias against a god existing and I feel that huge chunk of text of mine you quoted, you didn't properly address its implication. If God exists, it's more unsettling than if he doesn't. He creates more questions than he answers. I strongly urge you to address this issue instead of turning it around.

Whether God's existence is unsettling depends largely on who you believe God to be, and who you believe yourself to be in relation to Him. Initially I found God's existence to be woefully unsettling. Now I find it quite precisely opposite. It does create a lot of questions, but so does anything else worth discovering. What I'm saying is it's not unnatural to be repulsed by the concept of God but that has little effect on his existence.

If I die and god exists I've also tried my hardest to be a good man and to satisfy myself through life, to have no shame for my existence and I will sit in front of him and tell him I never believed in him (and still do not, but rather consider him a fading hallucination of the dying brain) and I am unrepentant. UNREPENTANT! My life was my own, my death also. If he is a just God and he understands completely his creation he will know that I did exactly what he made me do. I have nothing to lose in that respect.

So if you saw God face to face you would consider him a hallucination? Are you sure you're unbiased regarding the possibility of his existence?

And ultimately, most importantly, it is not a matter of haggling, it really shouldn't be. I do not define my ontology based on the gambling odds of there being a hellfire and eternal damnation in which I might be designated later on. So be it! There's still no real reason to go from examining this universe to inferring there is a God around in it besides people screaming about him being around. So if I have to suffer eternal damnation for not being stupid enough to trust other beings that are essentially as clueless as I am on matters of abstract metaphysics, then so be it! Punish me, just and everpresent lord, punish me by letting me be what you need me to be!

Again... this is getting into personal beliefs which would be a bad turn for this discussion to talk. Although I'd be happy to dialogue about that privately. I will say that Christian concepts of afterlife, eternal judgment, etc. are some of the most complicated aspects of my faith and the grossly condescending and inaccurate cliff-notes versions that are commonly passed around are, for lack of a better word, vulgar and embarrassing.

Again the most important thing I'm talking about is this: examine the motivation of 'faith' on the human animal. The uncertainty of the universe is mind-boggling. We invented anthropomorphic faces for the natural powers around us to understand them, to symbolise them and contain them, to not go insane by thinking what this thunder is that falls randomly out of the sky and splits the old tree in half. The sentient animal needs faith because otherwise they'd go insane trying to run a fault simulation in their mind in which there are no dangers around them. As long as inexplicable things happen, the animal thinks it's in danger! It must make its surroundings safe and it must make the internal world safe by establishing symbols, words and stories that are causal and make sense. Where did we come from? Goddidit. Where are we going? God knows. What should we do? God tells.

There are points where supernatural attributes have been credited to natural occurrences, yes. Just as emotions were once thought of as stemming from the heart. Our understanding of the universe changes with time. But again, the fact that God's hands don't manipulate the sun through the sky has nothing to do with whether or not He could exist. The questions you ask, "Where did we come from?" - "Where are we going" - "What should we do?" - those of us who profess faith in God do not have such simple, trite answers to those questions as what you listed on our behalf. God is the launching pad for the long difficult journey of discovering the answers, not a cop out to avoid them.

Try to take a few steps outside the box in which you're trying to rationalize the existence of the most huge overspill of thermodynamic energy in the universe and think of WHY you are doing it.

Been there and done that. Self examination and faith are two things that tend to co-habitate. If you're searching for an ulterior motive for my advocating God's existence, you won't find one. My belief in God isn't so that He will like me... that's silly because if I didn't believe in Him it wouldn't matter whether He likes me or not. My belief in God isn't because it makes me feel better about life; in fact many times my beliefs has caused me to look at life quite harshly. My belief in God is not an act of will but a culmination of every experience and all the knowledge that I have obtained up until this point.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 02:07:04 am by Ben2theEdge »
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Offline Akira

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Re: Official Off-Topic Thread

Reply #341 on: January 27, 2009, 03:59:22 am
For me the most alarming thing about this comic was that Science obviously has no backpack. So just where did he get his flashlight?
thanks Dogmeat!

Offline .TakaM

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Re: Official Off-Topic Thread

Reply #342 on: January 27, 2009, 04:09:55 am
religion has the answer
Life without knowledge is death in disguise

Offline Larwick

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Re: Official Off-Topic Thread

Reply #343 on: January 27, 2009, 04:10:46 am
For me the most alarming thing about this comic was that Science obviously has no backpack. So just where did he get his flashlight?

Ahah! So by understanding that we can assume they are actually inside his backpack!

Offline Gil

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Re: Official Off-Topic Thread

Reply #344 on: January 27, 2009, 04:29:18 am
Maybe he has an invisible backpack that created itself and can't be proven to exist. The backpack said "let there be flashlight" and so there was.

Offline Ben2theEdge

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Re: Official Off-Topic Thread

Reply #345 on: January 27, 2009, 11:43:16 am
Maybe he doesn't really want to know where the flashlight came from because he doesn't like the moral implications. When the batteries run out it will just be dark again and he's totally okay with that.  :crazy:
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Offline Panda

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Re: Official Off-Topic Thread

Reply #346 on: January 27, 2009, 12:00:49 pm
A flashlight with batteries? Pfft.
Science would be carrying one of these:
http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/lights/875c/

And of course kept in a gadget belt!

Offline Helm

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Re: Official Off-Topic Thread

Reply #347 on: January 27, 2009, 12:20:56 pm
Helm : just reread what I write perhaps.

Sure, I'll do that.

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my definition of Religion is as objective as it can be :

You use 'objective' in a very strange manner. I guess it must be your personal lexicon. I will re-read what you write to learn your language some other time, perhaps.

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You have a way of always misinterpreting everything I say in extremely negative ways, and I just don't know how to avoid this.

I'm sorry you feel that way. As to how to avoid this, you'd have to realize what a conversation is first. I'll keep re-reading until you do.

Quote from: Ben2theEdge
I don't claim to be an expert in it, and honestly I really loath the subject.

Well it's not very pleasant to realize that everything is inherently subjective and that there is no truth, is it?

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You may claim not to take 1+1=2 as a binding proposition, but you can only say that to support a philosophical argument. In the real world you depend on this proposition every day just to process the world around you, as do we all. When we stop talking and look at practical reality we find that truth exists. If you tried living your life liberated from the notion that 1+1=2, you would not survive.

No, see here's what it is: Of course I will take 1+1=2 as an applicable model since I am sitting here in front of my computer which is made of this binary logic model. But inside of me I know to approach any 'handy' thing that rests on 'handy' truths with a boulder of salt because these things have been shown again and again to be mutable, to be evolving. There is no 'truth' because there is no objectivity of any kind, everything you experience is only what you experience, there is no way to be certain that it's exactly as other people experience it. This is not an academic matter for me, it has really helped me live better to approach reality with this existential humbleness. I think it's a very big neurosis of the modern human that he believes that because he made motor cars and computers and rockets, he now holds in his hands some ever-dependable axiomatic truths. It leads to all sorts of problems for him, this hybris. It's the other side of the God hybris, in a way.

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I'm having a really hard time following you through this paragraph. Are you saying that since we can't transplant ourselves into other creatures' experiences, we don't have the authority to claim the existence of God? Not a challenge here, but a request for clarification.

I am saying that since we can't transplant ourselves ANYWHERE but inside of where we are, we can only draw flimsy, empathic parallels between oneself and the outside world and that therefore words are not the way in which something like a 'God' can be approached.

And if he can only be approached through personal experience, then he is not something that should be talked about as if his traits are a matter of public consciousness.

Furthermore, a scientific model, which is useful for interpreting reality in comfortable ways doesn't seem to allow for the overspill of an endless God. The scientific model is not proof that God doesn't exist  as the model itself is highly debatable. It is just proof that if you enjoy working within this scientific model to interpret reality, whatever this 'God' being is, does not factor in. You can't have your pie and eat it too.

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Science and faith have very different roles. Not opposing. Complimentary. And separate.

When it comes to the human psyche I posit that there are no 'COMPLEMENTARY BUT SEPARAAAATE' effects. I'm sure the part of your brain that deals with a faith in a higher being also deals with an enduring reliability that gravity will be in effect tomorrow. These things make you feel safe, and the search for safety in the animal is holistic, whether it is self-aware or not.

I dislike this often-said quote where science and faith are separate but equal. It seems to me that the people that say this have not looked into what epistemological weights science carries very carefully and are just saying 'MY kind of science, the docile and handy one, not that other one where God doesn't factor in'. I'm not saying you cannot pick and choose, your language is your own and do whatever you want with it, no shame etc etc. Just be honest about it. If the second law of thermodynamics exists in your model of reality, then there is no God. If your god is outside the universe, then he is useless and creates an infinite who-created-the-creator-regress.

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So if you saw God face to face you would consider him a hallucination? Are you sure you're unbiased regarding the possibility of his existence?

Yes I am not biased because you see, the probability of a God existing is so small in a thermodynamic universe where if I were to sit face to face with him I'd have to consider all the other (and I mean ALL) more probable scenarios for what I am experiencing before I reach for the 'there is no conservation of energy after all!!' card. Do you understand this scenario I am presenting? I can restate it in such a way: I may take some drugs and see God in all his glory. Then I may come off of the drugs. Should I consider it more probable that I was hallucinating or that the second law of thermodynamics doesn't exist after all?

Also I must say I'd be very disappointed in my subconsciousness if it presented me with a God on the moment of death. I'd have strongly rathered it would present me with visions of carnal excess and happyness, so I may slip into nothingness without these burdens that a highly religious society has impressed on me at a young age. Shame on them for shaping minds in such a way that one may not enjoy their own deaths :P

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Again... this is getting into personal beliefs which would be a bad turn for this discussion to talk. Although I'd be happy to dialogue about that privately. I will say that Christian concepts of afterlife, eternal judgment, etc. are some of the most complicated aspects of my faith and the grossly condescending and inaccurate cliff-notes versions that are commonly passed around are, for lack of a better word, vulgar and embarrassing.

I don't know how your personalized vision of the afterlife or hell looks like, but as long as unrepentant sinners feel some degree of uncomfort for all eternity in it, let me tell you that it's probably embarassing and vulgar for me too. But feel free to expound on some different sort of hell you have in mind.

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There are points where supernatural attributes have been credited to natural occurrences, yes. Just as emotions were once thought of as stemming from the heart. Our understanding of the universe changes with time. But again, the fact that God's hands don't manipulate the sun through the sky has nothing to do with whether or not He could exist.

But as more and more is 'explained' (I stress the '' s because as I said I don't think science 'explains' anything, but it does provide a handy model) through science, then what use is your God anymore? Even if he exists, who should care? The use of a God is from my point of view clearly a psychological one, and I won't say it's BAD that people need the metaphysical shoulder to cry on, I certainly cry on different shoulders too from time to time. I just don't think these shoulders should be justified and agreed upon universally as to be existing before you can do your crying. Cry on your great great grandfather's ghastly shoulder, that's far less thermodynamically insulting. He won't mind. He will comfort you also. But a freakin' GOD? Creator of the universe? HE'S the one whom you summon? Isn't that the worst hybris in the world?

I've felt more comfort (not to mention awe) by looking at my little cat cleaning its fur than I've ever felt pondering religion, for one, so it's hard for me to understand where you're coming from, but if you can provide for me some other motivation for summoning the biggest thermodynamic fault you could ever in existence besides emotional support, I'd love to hear it. Cuz

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The questions you ask, "Where did we come from?" - "Where are we going" - "What should we do?" - those of us who profess faith in God do not have such simple, trite answers to those questions as what you listed on our behalf. God is the launching pad for the long difficult journey of discovering the answers, not a cop out to avoid them.

You're stalling here and also

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Been there and done that. Self examination and faith are two things that tend to co-habitate. If you're searching for an ulterior motive for my advocating God's existence, you won't find one. My belief in God isn't so that He will like me... that's silly because if I didn't believe in Him it wouldn't matter whether He likes me or not. My belief in God isn't because it makes me feel better about life; in fact many times my beliefs has caused me to look at life quite harshly. My belief in God is not an act of will but a culmination of every experience and all the knowledge that I have obtained up until this point.

here. You're telling me I'm wrong in my assumptions (fair enough) but you're not presenting the truth about why you need your thermodynamically challenged God. Those bits of personal information you're hesitating to present to me are what I'm ultimately interested in. I don't want to challenge your faith in the least, really. I want to understand you.

Offline SolidIdea

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Re: Official Off-Topic Thread

Reply #348 on: January 27, 2009, 01:11:02 pm
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I want to understand you.

You don't. Maybe I've misread you for the whole discussion, but you are not one to strive for understandment in this subject.
For one to understand a noesis must be capable of empathy on the matter, but as of now, it seems you question yourself before such could happen.
You don't need to accept and take as truth to know or at least judge something as it is on the realm of the possibility.
Although that too does not say or imply that everything must be true or real, just that everything is for the sake of being.

And if by any means I mistook you for any, please correct me so, english is not my first language so interpretations are somewhat of a trap to me.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 01:13:21 pm by SolidIdea »

Offline Helm

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Re: Official Off-Topic Thread

Reply #349 on: January 27, 2009, 01:36:11 pm
I do not think understanding someone implies that I may do so fully and completely and dependably (or even reliably). If you'd rather I use a different word (one that is far more creepy!) I want to 'feel' the other side even a little bit. I want to feel it's naked bod-- uh, I want to achieve some empathy that isn't based on cheap cliches (whose sole use is that they're easy to empathize with) and for this to happen I want to ask the risky questions (why do you need a God?) and get an answer without any shame.

Your observation is an astute one however. I try to avoid this double standard you spot, and the way that I do this is by being humble about the limitations of my understanding and by being honest about what ends it serves. I'm not attempting science on Ben2theEdge.