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michaelcahill
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Yes or No

   Thread Started September 25 at 6:54AM

<< Thread Modifed September 25 at 7:22AM >>

It occurs to me that these debates end up being an unfair comparison between science and religion, usually Christianity.

Christianity vs Science is somewhat an apple/orange consideration in my view.

Science is strictly fact and not subject to much dispute. Indeed if there is dispute it begins to fall out of the realm of science, does it not? Astrology is not science, is it? Practices in the medical field that were once accepted science are no longer so. We no longer bleed people for ... EVERYTHING.

In spite of some attempts to offer "proof", Christianity or any religion or faith is just that, "faith" or belief. In essence it is belief in something that cannot be proven.

Gravity can be proven. Sure, I can say, "God created it and could cause it to cease". But it doesn't sound like much of an argument to me either. I could also say, "I created it and I'd stop it, but I don't want to ... so there!"

Noah parted the Red Sea by holding his staff over it and called upon the power of God. Yeah? Uh ... got some proof of that, bro? Sure, it's in the Bible. The Bible? Yep, the word of God. Sez who? God? AND so on ... BECAUSE we believe it. That's all. We can't even agree on a spokesman amongst ourselves. LOL So, we'll ALL debate you with our own individual ideas and it will be FUN.

So, is there something to discuss?

I think perhaps the basic question is one of yes or no. And then, why?

Maybe I'm wrong and just musing due to lack of sleep ... wouldn't be the first time.

I once posted a long winded blurb that began:

In the beginning

God.

The question was posed: What would a non-believer substitute for "God".

The answer was, "Nothing".

That seems like a decent topic for debate.

Why do you believe there is a creative force or power behind our existence OR why do you believe there isn't?

For the sake of argument, "God" is a familiar name and should be acceptable to most people of faith as the creative force, yes? That way no one is claiming that "God" is some guy sitting in a rocking chair with a beard smiling down on us from a cloud. It's agreed that "God" is something quite a bit more than that, yes?

As a believer in God, I'll try and make a point just to start things off. There is order to living things. Though the cells that form my physical being constantly die and are replaced by new cells, I retain the same form. Who I am as an individual is stored in my memory and I recall past events that are peculiar to me and me alone. Therefore, I see a design and being that there is a design I also perceive a purpose. That fact I perceive a purpose is of paramount importance. If it's all a result of chaos, then what is the purpose? Why would it matter if one did something "good" or "ill". Why would there even be good or evil? Why would it be evil for me to kill a man so I could have his pretty woman? In my world, it is "wrong". Where does "wrong" come from in a world of chaos?

I'll leave it at that. I hope this isn't a cricket farm. :))


CD Richards

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RE: Yes or No

Reply on September 25, 2017 08:37 AM << Modifed September 25 at 9:04AM >>
Hi Mikey,

I like the question, and will do my best to respond without being too narky or long-winded.

"Why do you believe there is a creative force or power behind our existence OR why do you believe there isn't? "

Very simply, I find it useful not to believe in something simply for the heck of it. I try to believe in things for which there is clear evidence. And I don't see any good evidence for the existence of a deity. Can I disprove such an existence? No, of course not - especially because of the "shifting goalpost" approach adopted by a number of religions, which makes any form of disproof impossible. But it is enough for me that there is no good reason to believe.

"Who I am as an individual is stored in my memory and I recall past events that are peculiar to me and me alone. Therefore, I see a design and being that there is a design I also perceive a purpose."

I seem to recall you saying in an earlier post that you've studied philosophy and logic. In that case you probably recognise this as a non-sequitur. I don't dispute what you say about your memories, but that is no reason to conclude a design, or a purpose. Neither can necessarily be inferred from the former.

"If it's all a result of chaos, then what is the purpose?"

I can answer this on two levels. Firstly, in my opinion there is no purpose from an objective point of view. Things are just the way they are. To assume a purpose assumes a director. However, I believe every thinking individual seeks to determine their own purpose in life.

It might be interesting to hear your detailed explanation of what you think God's purpose in putting you here is.

""Where does "wrong" come from in a world of chaos?"

I find the idea almost universal among the religious that morality can't possibly exist without God. I also find this idea, quite frankly, bizarre. Without repeating yet again all the detailed objections, I'll simply state that if we look throughout history, and all around us in the present day, the idea that belief in a God somehow leads to "good" behaviour is simply not backed up with fact.

I'd even go further and ask if we define our concepts of good and bad in terms of obedience to some superior being, how is that even morality at all? To me it just seems like subservience. I think true morality is sorting out for ourselves what is and is not ethical behaviour.

For a great many who have no religion, morality can be briefly summarised (oddly enough) as it is by many religious people - in terms of the golden rule. This is sometimes expressed as "do unto others as you would have them do unto you", or more simply "do no harm". Of course, a perfectly reasonable case could be made from a Darwinian perspective of why such a morality makes sense.

It appears to be a common belief on the part of the religious that a life without God is a ship without a rudder. One only has to look around to see that this is a complete and utter nonsense. People are people. There are highly moral atheists and believers, and there are despicable examples of both as well.

That's my two cents worth, for now.

[modified to add the following afterthought]

You spoke earlier in your post of "purpose". On this subject, why do you think it is that God needed to create a universe of unimaginable dimensions, containing hundreds of billions of galaxies, each with hundreds of billions of suns, around which orbit unknown trillions of planets? Why go to all the trouble of keeping all this going for billions of years with (as far as our knowledge goes) nothing happening? All this, so that for less than the blink of an eye on the cosmic time scale, on one single tiny little speck of cosmic dust, we can play out the pantomime known as human existence? Is that not just the tiniest bit of overkill? What is the "purpose" of all the rest of it?

mrsmajor
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RE: Yes or No
Reply on September 25, 2017 09:49 AM << Modifed September 25 at 9:28PM >>



Here's my 2 cents on your latest comments, Mikey, I don't expect agreement by most, here, or elsewhere, for that matter...but there it is!

Some people cannot get beyond their own reality...its impossible for them to even imagine they could be wrong, is it intellect?... I believe it is...Once we accept, that we are here not by our own doing, but by some superior entity...then we can search deeper into who that entity is...and whether we choose a different way than my neighbor, I do believe the essence of any religion is for good...(I'm not talking about the extremists)...

Why did the red sea open for the Jews, why did Noah build an Ark, what was the true purpose of the birth of Jesus Christ, and so much more...all of this can only be accepted, along with the spiritual reasoning, if we can get pass our own intellectuality...and realize there has to be something/one other than self, that has given us life.

This debate will go on forever, and so it should, for those that feel that need, but for those that are confident in their own understanding life will go on, people will continue to
make their thoughts know, but there will always be dissention...its just the way it is...

When we talk about "Faith"...that word alone carries great weight to those of us that do believe...its doesn't come easy, genuine faith requires basic and fundamental knowledge, acquaintance with evidence, as well as a heartfelt appreciation of what that evidence indicates...and it is with the heart, that one acquires accurate truth...How!, by Bible study...and the realization that each of us, is only a part of something so much greater.

When I sit down with my Bible, I offer a prayer to the son of God, Jesus Christ, to allow my heart to accept God's truths, I don't read the literature that's out there for information, but for the proof I need that God's word the Bible is the truth...

I'm just as knowledgable about science, philosophy as anyone else, even religious people learn to appreciate the thoughts of those that choose to stand on their own abilities only.

The scholastic ability to think is taught in any school, and one has to get the jest of all of that if you want to pass the classes, to get your degrees...but that doesn't mean one has to agree with all of that...I don't...

Like I said, there will always be these debates, conversations, and confrontations, and maybe its a good thing, its certainly good for me...as it gives me the opportunity to continue to study and assure myself of the existence of a loving God...something from my own experience has been known for most of my adult life.

Thanks, Mikey, I always like your thoughtful approach, to the discussion, we need that...

Just Some Thoughts!




Sarkems
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RE: Yes or No
Reply on September 25, 2017 01:58 PM
Hi, Mikey,

I've sort of answered this a few times on here, but if you're not too bored, I'll recap and answer you.

Maankind does have a 'purpose'. It is the same purpose as every living being on this planet, sentient or not. It is the same as that weird parasite I was telling Doug about on another thread in this forum, the one that mutates frogs in order to complete its life-cycle.

Our purpose is to survive as a species. To get born, to make more people (I've failed miserable at that one, it has to be said), and to die at the end of a productive life creating more of the species. Every single creature, in all their various weird and wonderful methods, reproduces. Some organisms contribute more to their surrounds by enabling others to exist by their existence. If there were no trees, for example, there would be no life-forms relying on oxygen to survive living on this planet.

It is this fact, this example of how other organisms enable one another's survival (without X, we wouldn't have Y) which answers, in part, the reason why I don't believe in a creator. A creator of an independent being surely wouldn't bother with that. Why, for goodness' sake, create a parasite that can only exist by deforming another thing a creator created? Why not just ensure there's oxygen without needing trees and phytoplankton in the oceans to convert the carbon dioxide into oxygen?

It makes much more sense to me to say that the earth was formed from a naturally occurring process (even if I don't know exactly what that process IS) because of the way it has continued to form and develop to optimise species survival. Had it been simply created, the various chemical reactions and interdependencies would surely not be required, particularly if the creator's ultimate aim, as some have suggested, was to give humanity a nice place to live.

I've often heard it said (not here) by believers that the optimum positioning of our planet within the solar system, which enables this planet to sustain so many life forms, points to the obvious hand of a creator. For me, it points to the precise opposite. This planet exists in the way that it does because of it's optimal positioning. Other planets exist the way they do because of their positioning. It's the 'chicken and egg' argument again, really, isn't it? Is the positioning optimal because we are here, or are we here because the positioning is optimal? I tend to the latter.

And what IS optimal? This planet is optimal for the kind of life forms it has on it, based on its proximity to celestial bodies like the sun. Too close, and we'd be fried, too far and it would be too cold for life as we know it to be sustained. But there are millions of planets out there in different conditions. The sun is a planet supporting star, (known as a 'red dwarf'), and there are others of these, which could potentially last long enough and grow big enough to re-create our own solar system elsewhere. And that's just within our galaxy. Who knows what else exists already beyond the fringes of our knowledge of space?

You said, Mikey, in answer to Recon, that the big bang theory didn't just come out of thin air. Incomplete and unverified though it may be, it came about from observation of our skies using tools like the hubble telescope to observe planetary systems beyond our own, thus seeing how others are formed. It isn't a great leap to suggest that our own planetary system is not so different to the others that it might not have started in the same way.

This might be getting a bit dull and hard to follow, but the upshot is that the 'accident' of planet creation is ongoing elsewhere. Ours is not the only planet. Ours is not the only solar system. If this planet were created for some undefined purpose by a creator, why are we not the only solar system, the only planet? What are all the twinkly things in the sky for, decoration?

Of course, it's possible that its all some big ruse, and that the hubble telescope, and others like it don't even really exist, that it's all a big con, but you only have to look up, and you can see so much with the naked eye. So everybody knows it's there, and now we can see in that bit more detail. And (for me, anyway) the more detail we get, the further away we get from a creator, an idea formed when we hadn't the tools for observing such wonders in space, or for understanding the relationship the things about us have to sustaining life on this planet beyond how they immediately relate to us.

We aren't the point of anything. We are a by-product of a functioning planet in a strong solar system. We aren't even as necessary to this planet's continued successful survival as other species here. In fact, we are probably most likely to cause damage that will take millions of years of our absence to heal.

But it's natural to think we are something more than other living organism, because we've developed sentience beyond what we really need for mere survival. But the reality is, we have no more purpose, in some cases even less purpose, than any other living organism here.

More later. If you've reached the end of this without dying of boredom, fair play to you. God is, I admit, far less boring ...



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RE: Yes or No
Reply on September 25, 2017 02:16 PM



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RE: Yes or No
Reply on September 25, 2017 03:45 PM
Recon, this video is very interesting, but it doesn't actually offer scientific proof of god's existence, it offers anther interpretation of recent scientific discoveries. It acknowledges the evidence pertaining to the big bang theory, which is good, and highlights some of the problems with the theory, again, good.

I'm pleased to see a thoughtful, science based video from you, presenting rational, logical arguments. I draw different conclusions from it, but it offers a very good address of points made. Thought - provoking stuff, indeed.


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RE: Yes or No
Reply on September 25, 2017 04:51 PM
no...?
well I'd say and many agnostic scientists also that a "chance" explosion didnt do me and you. that a "designer" the "more" rational Truth. Id also say that these "new" discoveries favor Biblical Truth more than man made....wouldnt you...?

CD Richards

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RE: Yes or No
Reply on September 25, 2017 07:55 PM << Modifed September 25 at 9:28PM >>
Emma is far too accommodating in her remarks when she describes this clip as a "science based video". What it is, is a collection of the most blatant lies and misrepresentations wrapped up in some "gee-whiz" scientific jargon to attempt to impress the gullible.

As much as I might deride belief in angels and devils and talking animals and the like, if you want to take all that literally and argue the point, I'm fine with that. I'll never agree with you, but I might respect your fortitude in standing up for your beliefs.

What I absolutely cannot stand is when people tell bald-faced lies and misrepresent science and scientists in order to shore up support for their unscientific views. It makes my blood boil.

This clip is full of unsupported inventions such as "scientists who used to scoff at the Bible's account of creation are now admitting that the biblical account of creation from nothing has been right all along". What a lot of vacuous crap. Who exactly are these scientists? (To save you the trouble, I'll just point out that when Lawrence Krauss speaks of "a universe from nothing", he doesn't literally mean nothing).

Or then there is the assertion that scientists now believe "something or Someone beyond scientific investigation must have started it all" [note the capitalisation].

For starters, how many scientists do you think agree that origins, whether of life or the cosmos, are "beyond investigation"? Clearly made up rubbish by someone [lower case S] who has no clue.

This video is full of unsubstantiated assumptions, made by nameless "scientists". This video attempts to make out that there is some sort of massive rush on the part of genuine scientists to embrace the idea of a creator. This is a nonsense. While a couple of hundred years ago virtually all scientists would have believed in a Creator, with every passing year, less and less see any reason for one. What has changed is that thanks to the invention of the internet, rubbish like this makes it into the public sphere, whereas once upon a time it would never have seen the light of day.

Recon, I know you don't intend to mislead by introducing this, so please don't think the remarks about intellectual dishonesty are intended towards you. But the authors of this rubbish know better, and they should be ashamed of themselves.

[Addition]

Please note, I'm not addressing their presentation of the "science" here - though the conclusions they draw are of course, totally unjustified. The only point I am addressing in this post is the intellectual integrity (or lack of it) in inventing this fantasy rush by scientists to accept supernatural explanations.


michaelcahill
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RE: Yes or No
Reply on September 25, 2017 09:47 PM
Whew. Sooooo much to contemplate. It will take some time to consider all you've said. I appreciate the thoughtful responses and I find them challenging and excellent. It's something that seems simple but once it begins to run through my brain it becomes intricate and touches on a lifetime of thought and consideration and I can see that is true for all of you.

In my view there's NO scientific explanation for God, no proof or algorithm proving existence or even the hand at work. I've always been a huge fan of science and relish my curiosity. How, why, where, what and the like attract me and pose no interference with my faith whatsoever. How things happened have no bearing on my beliefs.

I don't embrace anything authoritative about my faith. Take it or leave it. I don't believe the creator I believe in demands anything. I think that may be a strong perception in terms of our human viewpoint, but it doesn't mesh the overall notion of free will that is clearly part of the mix.

Yes, I believe I interact with or that the creator is accessible or a part of me or that I am a part of it. I'm trying to avoid sounding overly "religious" for the sake of discussion. I have no problem with, "I pray to him and he hears me" or "he answered my prayers". No that doesn't mean I can ask Him for a new car and expect one in the driveway the next morning. But, on the other hand, I'm not saying it doesn't either.

As an aside, in my view the Creator is neither male nor female. I'd guess female, but I'm aware of how incredibly biased I am. LOL Not important to me. I have no problem if anyone thinks the Creator is male. That's perfectly fine.

Jeesh. It's like a tsunami of thought in my brain. I hope SOMETHING sensible is coming through. HA!

I don't see why "do no harm" is of benefit in a world without purpose. Whose to say what harm is? I could make a great case for HUMANS being "harm". What's the harm in us eating all the chickens in the world? Yeah, there would be no chickens to eat ... so, we'd eat something else, frogs taste like chicken.

The point is, we seem to have a "sense" of right and wrong, do we not? WHY in the world do we have such a sense? Why does it matter in the slightest if we do right or wrong? If we destroy the Earth and ourselves, SO THE HELL WHAT? It's a huge universe, beyond our comprehension. What could it possibly matter if we are in it or not? Why should I care when I die what happens? There won't be a trace of what I was continuing on, so what happens after is moot. If I was "good" or "evil" shouldn't matter at all. Really, for my own edification, I should wander down to the local bar and seduce the hottest chick there, yes? As long as I can avoid consequences, I'm good to go, no?

Okay, enough rambling. LOL!!!!

See, I'm willing to sound like a moron to further the discussion ... or ... do I sound like a genius? HAHAHAHA!


michaelcahill
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RE: Yes or No
Reply on September 25, 2017 09:58 PM
Oh ... I want to add.

To me, the Bible is the complete history of the Christian faith, including its origins, folklore and history. Of course, the closer we get to the present the more accurate the history becomes. I'd say around the time of King David, the account is approaching events as they occurred. True, the recording of events didn't compare to our current methods, but I think it's a reliable source.

That leaves the book open to scrutiny ESPECIALLY the Old Testament.

IF scientific documents were presented in the same way and WE were allowed to assail them in their ENTIRETY, I think the debate would take on a different tone, yes?

Science? HA! Aren't you the dudes that said the Earth was flat and you'd walk right off the edge? HAAAAHAHAHAHA!

I contend that Christianity in its essence can be found in its namesake, Jesus Christ. THAT is the cornerstone of what it is all about. HIS words and teachings are the basis for how I live my life. Yeah you can grab a line or two and try and shoot Him down too. But, read all of his words and I'm sure you'll have to admit, he was about loving each other and helping your neighbor. Whether you believe he died for our sins or not, it is crystal clear that HE BELIEVED IT. That is one magnificent thing He did. I have no problem bending a knee to it.


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RE: Yes or No
Reply on September 25, 2017 09:59 PM
there is no "fantasy" CD...or alternate explanation for these new findings. all this...life is far too finely tuned to have not been designed. Most of our science world is skeptic toward Divine reality, if these findings would have substantiated an explainable otherwise....we'd all be hearing about it....finally.
not grudging acknowledgement of a Superior Designer....or God for short. anyway if were wrong please show us....big Love-

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