Poll

Do You Believe in "God"?

Yes. I Believe in a Supernatural Entity(s).
21 (58.3%)
No. I Don't Believe in a Supernatural Entity(s).
7 (19.4%)
Maybe?
5 (13.9%)
No. Man is "God".
3 (8.3%)

Total Members Voted: 34

Voting closed: October 30, 2005, 08:44:48 pm

Author Topic: Do You Believe in "God"?  (Read 20467 times)

xcalibur

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Re: Do You Believe in "God"?
« Reply #270 on: September 30, 2012, 08:01:41 am »
I believe in the Supreme Architect. I consider a creator intelligence to be the most rational explanation for the Universe.

Eske

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Re: Do You Believe in "God"?
« Reply #271 on: October 01, 2012, 01:14:21 am »
Personally, I do not believe in a God - but many of my friends and people I also know on facebook have a very, and disturbingly "hard atheist" stance on the issue.   

I define "Hard Atheist" as one who rejects the notion of a creator because scientific evidence lacks such a conclusion or that scientific evidence shows that a creator is not needed.

I place myself in the "Soft Atheist" category which I define as one who does not accept the notion of a creator because scientific evidence lacks such a conclusion or that scientific evidence shows that a creator is not needed.

They appear to be the same, but the difference is staggering, in my opinion.   The hard atheist sees that the typical creator model does not appear to apply to our understanding of the universe, so it must be false.

The soft atheist sees that the typical creator model does not appear to apply to our understanding of the universe, so the existence of a creator has yet to be determined.  This is different from an "agnostic" point of view because the soft atheist does not believe that a creator is possible, though not understood, nor does the soft atheist believe that a creator is possible simply for the sake of considering the possibility.  I guess both the agnostic point of view and the soft atheist point of view seem so similar, but the nuance is totally different.

So my answer is no, but really it is: I don't know and maybe I'll know later - or not.   =)

Thought

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Re: Do You Believe in "God"?
« Reply #272 on: October 01, 2012, 07:39:31 pm »
I generally dislike the "not needed" criteria because it presupposes that a creator could not exist who was capable of creating a universe that could function entirely on its own. Or, to put it another way, it claims that because an incompetent creator doesn't exist, no creator exists. It skips over the possibility of a competent creator.

I like to use the analogy of writing. A character is a well-crafted book will have no reason to suspect that the author exists, using any tool available to them. If the book is so poorly written than a character could figure out the existence of the author through science, then the book isn't worth your time. Basically, we know we aren't in a poorly written novel. Might still be in a grand epic fantasy, though.

... and yes, you could extend my analogy further and take it that Jesus is a Mary Sue.

The "lack of scientific evidence" is far more satisfying to me because it side steps the issue of creators entirely. It's internally consistent, as it were.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2012, 07:45:27 pm by Thought »

utunnels

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Re: Do You Believe in "God"?
« Reply #273 on: October 01, 2012, 09:32:19 pm »
Quote from: Thought
If the book is so poorly written than a character could figure out the existence of the author through science

If the author creates the character, he creates the world of that book. For example, if ice is hot and fire is cold when the world was created, we could still think that's nautural. The result is a different physical system. If all humans have only one eye, they will see one who has two eyes as a monster. So there's no "poorly" written book in this case, everyone is unique.

Maybe if the "book" is poorly written, it has only "poor" science, "poor" world, and "poor" characters who don't know how or never try to find the "poor" author.

Maybe we are those "poor" characters. :lol:

tushantin

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Re: Do You Believe in "God"?
« Reply #274 on: October 03, 2012, 09:11:13 am »
... and yes, you could extend my analogy further and take it that Jesus is a Mary Sue.

Strangely, in my cosmology, Jesus is hardly a Mary Sue. Instead, he stands to be one of the "pillars" of philosophy, encompassing others like himself (Gandhi, Buddha, Confucious, Krishna, etc.), symbolizing one extreme of humanity (Love, empathy and passiveness). The other pillars encompass other historical people with different attributes, some even being total opposites but not necessarily "evil". But of course, while I respect Jesus as a man of love, mercy and philosophy, I still don't accept him as "God" or "Son of God" simply because I haven't the necessary evidence to back up the claim. But at the same time, I find some of his philosophies legitimate and important in the growth of human civilization, as Gandhi was also influenced by it enough to aid his determination in helping India and the African untouchables gain independence.

Most of the "pillars" in my cosmology is strictly conceptual and psychological, and hence are placed accordingly. In this sense, the "God" I believe in is the Universe itself -- not quite an "intelligent architect" -- basically, a collection of such concepts, or even the confluence of infinite civilizations and natural forces that has ever existed. In this case, I also have the freedom to believe many things: God is not a person, God is a living organism, God is unknown, God exists in broad daylight, etc. It doesn't matter if the beliefs contradict each other, because in my cosmology these contradictions can co-exist. It's all a matter of perception and scientific / artistic inquiry.

And this is usually why I can get along with both the religious and the atheists (except for the dominionists, fundamentalists and extremists), especially since I can be classified in the Agnostic sector (even though I might not be), and that my beliefs are compatible with others.  :) This gives me the freedom to believe what I want, do what I want, read into things what I want (both science and religious scriptures) without necessarily being a slave of cognitive disruptions and prejudice like most Hard Atheists (Anti-Theists?) and Fundamentalist Religious.


This is also because I relate to Syna's view: Playing the "Religious or no" game is outright boring and tedious. Life's too short, so let's just have fun and focus on self-development and social efficiency while we're at it. In this case, people's diverse worldviews help, because chances are they are incredibly good at their particular sector of humanity, and we need all the specialization that we can.


P.S.: If anyone's confused as to how contradictory concepts can co-exist in my worldview, it's simply the fact that I don't borrow into dualism, even though it does have "some" significance. Take this for instance: God (Universe) isn't intelligent because it doesn't have a brain, is not a living being, and hence cannot "think" and "process". However, God (Universe) contains many galaxies, that contain solar systems, that contain planets, and hence containing intelligent organisms that at and essentially bring about crucial change within the universe. Similarly, the collective living cellular organisms (or "civilization of cells") within the un-living human frame create the nervous system and other somatic and autonomous systems that essentially "breathe life" into the machine, i.e., the human "frame", making humans "intelligent". In this case, the collective "civilization of humans" create a part of a greater Solar Nerve Cluster in the universe that affect the outcome of the environs, breathing "life" into the universe. Essentially, Universe is also "Intelligent".
« Last Edit: October 03, 2012, 09:22:12 am by tushantin »

Thought

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Re: Do You Believe in "God"?
« Reply #275 on: October 07, 2012, 01:04:35 am »
If the author creates the character, he creates the world of that book. For example, if ice is hot and fire is cold when the world was created, we could still think that's nautural. The result is a different physical system. If all humans have only one eye, they will see one who has two eyes as a monster. So there's no "poorly" written book in this case, everyone is unique.

To try to clarify briefly, I was specifically trying to reference stories where the world itself is self-contradictory, like ours would have to be if science and God were working at odds.

Equestria is an example of this: Pinkie Pie is the only one aware of the 4th wall, while all the others think it is perfectly natural that ponies have to tend entirely to nature (even to the point of changing seasons), while nature gets along perfectly fine everywhere else. Or, indeed, that somehow a complex civilization can be formed without opposable thumbs (I can understand the unicorns, at least, since their magic makes grasping appendages unnecessary). I love the show, but because it's hilarious, entertaining, has good lessons for children, and puts me in a good mood, not because the world makes sense. Though, to be fair, in this case it isn't because it's been poorly written, but because the nonsensical world is intentional.

And yes, I did just bring up "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" in a religious discussion.

HeadlessFritz

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Re: Do You Believe in "God"?
« Reply #276 on: October 08, 2012, 01:04:24 am »
I hope not. With all the porn I watched, he would burn me alive until dead. Then resurect and burn me alive again.

ProtomanX904

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Re: Do You Believe in "God"?
« Reply #277 on: November 25, 2012, 04:37:27 am »
Well, I could definitely never accept organized religion, that's for sure. Not only for how illogical it is, but also for all the trauma it caused me.
I believe that the universe created itself, no God or anything. Whenever I say that, I always get the same response because it's oh-so-clever and thought-provoking: "How can the universe possibly create itself? God obviously created the universe!"
That really annoys me because it's just adding another step, and it's as stupid as me saying "How can God create himself? A blueberry pie obvioulsy created God!"

So no, to keep it short.

tushantin

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Re: Do You Believe in "God"?
« Reply #278 on: November 25, 2012, 07:01:24 am »
I believe that the universe created itself, no God or anything. Whenever I say that, I always get the same response because it's oh-so-clever and thought-provoking: "How can the universe possibly create itself? God obviously created the universe!"
Moderate religion is often better than organized religion, that's for sure. And whether god created the Universe is debatable (and who or what god is can also be debatable).

But how sure can you be that the universe created itself? Despite the countless theories supporting it, there's nothing that makes it factual. If anything, the belief that the universe created itself is just that -- a belief.

Now, that doesn't mean that the only alternative is that god created it (remember that in early religions 'God' was just a semaphore or personification of natural existence that could not yet be explained, so we don't know who or what it is), but there must have been an important event that triggered the creation of time.

This is what I call "Chrono Trigger". Har hur hur!

Boo the Gentleman Caller

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Re: Do You Believe in "God"?
« Reply #279 on: November 25, 2012, 11:16:01 am »
I've found that self-created religion (or a skewed personalization of an existing religion) rarely requires sacrifice. Without sacrifice, it feels like a cop-out and feels, ultimately, empty.

Just an observation based on my worldview.

ProtomanX904

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Re: Do You Believe in "God"?
« Reply #280 on: November 25, 2012, 03:52:04 pm »
I believe that the universe created itself, no God or anything. Whenever I say that, I always get the same response because it's oh-so-clever and thought-provoking: "How can the universe possibly create itself? God obviously created the universe!"
Moderate religion is often better than organized religion, that's for sure. And whether god created the Universe is debatable (and who or what god is can also be debatable).

But how sure can you be that the universe created itself? Despite the countless theories supporting it, there's nothing that makes it factual. If anything, the belief that the universe created itself is just that -- a belief.

Now, that doesn't mean that the only alternative is that god created it (remember that in early religions 'God' was just a semaphore or personification of natural existence that could not yet be explained, so we don't know who or what it is), but there must have been an important event that triggered the creation of time.

This is what I call "Chrono Trigger". Har hur hur!

I'm not positive that the universe created itself, but I like to think there was a big bang since it's the most plausible theory I can think of.
It's the same way I'm not 100% positive, say, that  Bruno Hauptmann kidnapped the Lindbergh baby, but after seeing such evidence as the wood on the ladder previously being part of his house and him having most of the Lindbergh baby's ransom money, I've come to that conclusion and will stick by it unless presented with good opposing evidence.

Thought

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Re: Do You Believe in "God"?
« Reply #281 on: November 27, 2012, 07:53:33 pm »
To note, acceptance of the Big Bang Theory is not inherently at odds with a belief in a creationary deity.

In contrast, belief in a self-creating universe is actually at odds with science. Science functions because of the assumption that the effects we observe have a rational cause. Science assumes that everything in existence has a cause. A causeless start to the universe, then, is something entirely outside of science's experience and ability to comprehend. A theist saying that God created the universe is, at the very least, being internally consistent. A scientist saying that the universe created itself can't claim similar consistency.

Of course, that doesn't mean that the universe didn't create itself. Though few scientists hold the Big Bang as the start of it all (they go back earlier: perhaps our universe is the product of p-branes colliding, or the metacosmic equivalent to a bit of gristle in the multiversal gum, or the black hole to another universe, etc.), they all generally accept that, eventually, we'll just have to say "'cause that's the way things are."

ProtomanX904

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Re: Do You Believe in "God"?
« Reply #282 on: November 27, 2012, 08:19:13 pm »
To note, acceptance of the Big Bang Theory is not inherently at odds with a belief in a creationary deity.

In contrast, belief in a self-creating universe is actually at odds with science. Science functions because of the assumption that the effects we observe have a rational cause. Science assumes that everything in existence has a cause. A causeless start to the universe, then, is something entirely outside of science's experience and ability to comprehend. A theist saying that God created the universe is, at the very least, being internally consistent. A scientist saying that the universe created itself can't claim similar consistency.

Of course, that doesn't mean that the universe didn't create itself. Though few scientists hold the Big Bang as the start of it all (they go back earlier: perhaps our universe is the product of p-branes colliding, or the metacosmic equivalent to a bit of gristle in the multiversal gum, or the black hole to another universe, etc.), they all generally accept that, eventually, we'll just have to say "'cause that's the way things are."

Once again, I don't accept the big bang theory 100%, I just accept it more than any other theory I've heard of. Yes, it lacks a cause, but for all we know an exception to a rule such as that is not impossible.
Anyhow, the last line is pretty much how I feel at the end of the day. It's just the way things are, and so what if we found out the way the universe was created? What difference would it make? It's like discovering who Jack the Ripper was; sure you might feel the need to know, but in the end it makes no difference besides fulfilling our curiousity. His victims are still dead, we can't punish his descendants, the murders happened, and that's all there is to it.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2012, 08:21:32 pm by ProtomanX904 »

tushantin

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Re: Do You Believe in "God"?
« Reply #283 on: December 28, 2012, 10:37:26 pm »
Oh, no! Not again! The rebellious... demon... inside me wants to get out... again... BRACE YOURSELVES!

*Tushantin has transformed into Super Antagonistic Mook again!*

....so what if we found out the way the universe was created? What difference would it make?
That's exactly what Sherlock Holmes says: "You say that we go round the sun. If we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or to my work."

But ya know, I'm no Sherlock Holmes. If we find out how the universe was created, it would not only alter the paradigms of science and religion themselves, but also my entire direction of artistic endeavors. It would make our whole existence clearer, give us better means to design our evolution and development, understand the universe we live in even further, unlock the mysteries of the fabric of space and time itself that was created past the Singularity explosion (aka the Big Bang), etc.

And you know what else? We'll even have a freaking sitcom based on the new science theories! (Somebody, please kill me!)

It's like discovering who Jack the Ripper was; sure you might feel the need to know, but in the end it makes no difference besides fulfilling our curiousity. His victims are still dead, we can't punish his descendants, the murders happened, and that's all there is to it.
It's like when anecdotes go weird, and we're attacked by dinosaurs due to literary paradoxes.  :lol:

Discovering who Jack the Ripper is (if you actually mean Jack to be a "metaphor" for mysteries of the past events) actually becomes the foundations of our very existence. They say that those who do not remember historical events would not learn from them, and hence are doomed to repeat it. And sometimes, the answer to the future always lie in the past (check: Chrono Trigger). And just to play with even more taglines / mottos, "Knowing is half the battle".

See, learning who Jack the Ripper was won't really bring back dead, nor does it give us the right to punish his descendants. But knowing who he was and how he did it will essentially am us against such "kinds" of criminals in the future too. If you don't recall, we've actually had plenty of Lambeth Poisoners, Adam Worths, Frank Abagnales, and the recent star Adam Lanza. But the only reason we don't have more than there were is because we uncovered the mystery, learned from it, and made sure it doesn't happen again.

On top of that, knowing the name of criminal doesn't just give the detective the means to have him arrested, but also unlocks a whole new world of tales that not many people would ever know about (think: Adam Lanza, the boy who was never known until he somehow "snapped" and went on a rampage). I'm not saying that such stories are entertaining (unless some artists seek some kind of inspiration for a new mystery / drama novel), but the more information we have the more we can revise and refine our methods to work better. A simple incident like that made a whole nation demand for banning assault rifles for good; but that's just the start of it many connections in fate that are about to happen.

Now (back to objective point of view), how would Jack the Ripper's identity affect us? Frankly, I haven't the foggiest. But that's the thing about the human intelligence: it rarely knows more than 1% of what the universe may allow, and we hardly know more the other 99% of the components that make the universe (categorized under Dark Matter, Dark Energy, or spectrums we haven't yet found means to detect, etc.), or how that may affect us in the first place. In essence, the only way to know what difference it makes is to actually know about it. Though, if there's one thing I do know, the knowledge about Jack the Ripper would finally make all those horrible (only horrible, not the "good" creative ones) works of fiction based on him entirely invalid.

So in a closing statement, I'll say this: "Knowledge is Powah!" (And no, don't fight this powah)

*Super Antagonistic Mook loses power, turns back into the dazed-out Tushantin*

Uhh... what happened? *looks into the mirror* Am I wearing a bow-tie?

ProtomanX904

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Re: Do You Believe in "God"?
« Reply #284 on: December 28, 2012, 11:20:45 pm »
You know tushantin, you make some very interesting and valid points. Perhaps I was being ignorant when I said knowledge of these things would make absolutely no difference. Hell, I was being about as ignorant as the people saying "God created the universe, end of story no discussion."
It certainly would help us understand the world around us better, and that's definitely useful information in one way or another. Kudos to you for opening my mind a bit, though I still believe humanity could do without that knowledge.