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 19799 times)

Radical_Dreamer

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Re: Do You Believe in "God"?
« Reply #285 on: January 07, 2013, 10:30:42 pm »
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.

Would it though? You're making a lot of assumptions about the creator/nature of creation in that statement. If the only thing we knew was that the universe was created, how does that provide us with better practical knowledge for guiding human development? What does that teach us about space and time, other than "They were created."?

"Created" is categorical knowledge. There are many different conceivable universe for which being created holds true, and they don't all imply the same, or even similar things.

tushantin

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Re: Do You Believe in "God"?
« Reply #286 on: January 08, 2013, 12:21:22 pm »
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.

Would it though? You're making a lot of assumptions about the creator/nature of creation in that statement. If the only thing we knew was that the universe was created, how does that provide us with better practical knowledge for guiding human development? What does that teach us about space and time, other than "They were created."?


Then there's one thing you probably didn't appreciate about the presence of knowledge: There is no such thing as "the only thing we knew", because knowing one thing would relate to what we knew or would have known in so many countless connections conceivable that it's impossible to map them all with a single mind-map alone. An example would be "Chocolate was created in a factory with so and so substance, and here's the recipe", which sounds simple enough and hardly much to do with our everyday lives. But this STILL pertains to important effects to the whole eco-system in general. How much production? What are the production costs? How many resources are consumed? Where does the finance come from? What are the waste matters excreted? How is it distributed? Where do the resources come from? How does it affect the farmers who produce these resources? Are they getting sufficient finance, or is it all worth their effort? How will this system sustain the production of chocolate for a longer duration? Etcetera, etcetera. The "Sun burning and giving energy to the world" is simply not enough data, because the information also must encompass the amount of resources used in fusion, how it takes place, how much energy it expends to sustain itself, and how long it will sustain itself.

The virtue of scientific (and, though people don't admit it, "artistic") curiosity is a long and tedious process, and it never stops. The variable we reach is infinity, but that does not mean we should stop altogether, because our own sustainence and evolution depends on it (even if Humanity may be at its peek already). A single answer will explode into a million other questions, much like the Big Bang, all demanding their answers. In other words, even the theories of relativity wouldn't be enough.

As for your question "would it though", I'll simply be frank: I don't know, at least not until we have the answer. But tracing back through countless civilizations and to the oldest known cultures that strived back then, I do know that the lives of people, and as such their paradigms, did indeed change dramatically with their perception, which in turn correlated with the drastic changes of their "Creation Theories". We rely on "observable universe through limited boundaries", the tools to comprehend it were inferior back in the days and they simply used what was available to them (such as philosophies that gave rise to religion). As time passed, our understanding of the universe became more and more accurate, and currently we have better tools in science to actually give us a proper explaination -- we've been able to locate solar clusters, super clusters of galaxies, quasars, and even cosmic microwave background that give us clues to our own origin, and which essentially gave rise to the idea of increasing universal entropy that re-defines our very existence. Now, even then our tools will never give us a 100% accurate answer, and we're still stuck with approximates. But there's still hope, as we're getting better with each try. 

"Created" is categorical knowledge. There are many different conceivable universe for which being created holds true, and they don't all imply the same, or even similar things.
And yet "Created" is a linguistically inconsistent term, making it one of the most general of terms in the English language. Here, I use "Created" for defining "Formation" -- as in, "Creating" omlette out of an Egg.

Lakonthegreat

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Re: Do You Believe in "God"?
« Reply #287 on: January 08, 2013, 11:57:58 pm »
Allow my confused ass to weigh in on this topic.

Yes, I believe in a supernatural entity that created the universe.

Yes I believe in natural selection of weaker organisms.

However, as for what God actually created all of us, I have no idea anymore. I used to be a die-hard, dyed-in-the-wool Christian, but I'm just not sure anymore. I don't think that if there is a judgement day, whenever that happens, that any God will fault me for having doubts.

I know one thing. Christianity can make some really shitty people into good, upstanding citizens.
It can also turn otherwise good people into rabid, frothing heathens that hate just to hate. I believe that, as Christ taught, every person on this planet is an equal. You love your neighbor as you would love yourself, the Second Greatest Commandment.

There are other religions that work to make other people good, and that's great too! My best friend is a Buddhist. He is also one of the kindest people I have ever met.

Me having the faith that I do makes me the person I am. It makes me believe in and act out of kindness and goodness. So in other words, this isn't really a scientific debate so much as it is a philosophical and psychosemantic one in my opinion.

Thought

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Re: Do You Believe in "God"?
« Reply #288 on: January 09, 2013, 01:32:50 pm »
If the only thing we knew was that the universe was created, how does that provide us with better practical knowledge for guiding human development? What does that teach us about space and time, other than "They were created."?

Practical? Perhaps not, but practical knowledge is so... bleh. People have far too little respect, now-a-days, for more abstract knowledge. That's why the humanities are suffering, unfortunately, even though they tend to be the most important thing a person could study. Philosophy, history, literature, music: knowledge of these things is rarely practical, but oh so necessary!

Anywho, my academic laments aside, if the universe were created, that would necessitate that the universe itself isn't a closed system. Of course, being created doesn't mean created by a creator: could be two planks colliding, could be another universe expanding and branching our universe off, etc. Science is relatively happy with such possibilities, though that does mean that eventually science will probably have to throw its hands up in a very religious-like way and say that some things are the way they are "just because." As far as we are aware, we can only observe, and thus scientifically understand, things within our universe.

But if the universe were created by a creator being, then we can start applying certain assumptions based on what sort of being that might be. A "mad, blind god" should have produced chaos, an "idiot-god" would have produced something like the Discworld universe, a rational god something more, well, rational. Of course, science already makes the assumption that this is a rational world, but it would be nice is that wasn't just a necessary assumption but one backed up with umph.

tushantin

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Re: Do You Believe in "God"?
« Reply #289 on: January 09, 2013, 08:20:45 pm »
I don't think that if there is a judgement day, whenever that happens, that any God will fault me for having doubts.


Just thought I'd mention, as a bit of a trivia: Most of the things mentioned about "Judgement Day" in the Bible have already happened in the past, and the book might actually be referencing them in imaginative terms as "how it might look like" (and Science does say that there will be more extinction events to come in the future, perhaps until 4 billion years or more, but don't know when).

It's not so much about "repenting for sins" as it's about "trying to have the best attributes necessary to survive" (as evolutions in the past have noted). Our current paradigm shift towards universal empathy might just help in some way.

Also, quite the majority of Christians don't know this, but scholars (and even mathematicians) believe that the Beast 666 was actually Nero Caesar]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkZqFtYtqaI]the Beast 666 was actually Nero Caesar. And it seems to be a fairly logical assumption too!

I know one thing. Christianity can make some really shitty people into good, upstanding citizens.
It can also turn otherwise good people into rabid, frothing heathens that hate just to hate. I believe that, as Christ taught, every person on this planet is an equal. You love your neighbor as you would love yourself, the Second Greatest Commandment.

As much as I'd hate to say it, there's one thing that Gandhi says that really strikes true here: "I like Christ, but I don't like your Christians." It's largely accepted that Christ, along with other "pillars" of philosophies and reason, helped inspire Gandhi to war against sexism and make non-violence fashionable again.


Science is relatively happy with such possibilities, though that does mean that eventually science will probably have to throw its hands up in a very religious-like way and say that some things are the way they are "just because." As far as we are aware, we can only observe, and thus scientifically understand, things within our universe.

http://www.chronocompendium.com/Forums/index.php/topic,9588.msg216790.html#msg216790


But if the universe were created by a creator being, then we can start applying certain assumptions based on what sort of being that might be. A "mad, blind god" should have produced chaos, an "idiot-god" would have produced something like the Discworld universe, a rational god something more, well, rational. Of course, science already makes the assumption that this is a rational world, but it would be nice is that wasn't just a necessary assumption but one backed up with umph.
Now, here I'd like to ask an important question:

I've always believed that poets and artists often asked the most important questions and held "maybe" as artform, out of curiosity, that would eventually inspire logicians to seek out an answer in the most "technical" means available. This cycle may then be important so that scientists find actual truth to previous questions, replacing poet's versions of contemplation where the artists bring the concepts to the common people in accessible ways. Then the poet would take those resources to ask more questions, keeping the cycle going.

Now, Occam's Razor is one such important "assumption substitute", where the simplest answer would suffice until you get the actual one. Wouldn't it, then, make it sensible for ancient religions to use Occam's Razor (and add details because every author loves to play with surrealism, including me and Masato Kato) by first deeply contemplating on existence itself and sticking to the simplest explainations for the sake of cultural symbology and reference, especially when the Akkadians didn't exactly have a Hubble telescope to verify?

Ancient Religion: "How was the universe created, you say? Judging by how things are created by sculptures, I'd say someone created the universe too! Proof? Er... Look, cookie!"

New Science: "How was the universe created, you say? Judging by the theory that a Black Hole's mass reaches infinity, creating incomprehensible amount of gravity, I'd say the density focuses on a single point called 'singularity', and I believe that's where the universe formed, its own singularity, popping from nothing to something. After all, when you have nothing, only then you crave for something.... right? Proof, you ask? Er... Look through this telescope, it should be right there. Keep looking, while I.. er.. go get coffee... *runs away, doesn't return, because apparently the door is a scientist's event horizon*"

Lakonthegreat

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Re: Do You Believe in "God"?
« Reply #290 on: January 09, 2013, 11:16:35 pm »
I know one thing. Christianity can make some really shitty people into good, upstanding citizens.
It can also turn otherwise good people into rabid, frothing heathens that hate just to hate. I believe that, as Christ taught, every person on this planet is an equal. You love your neighbor as you would love yourself, the Second Greatest Commandment.

As much as I'd hate to say it, there's one thing that Gandhi says that really strikes true here: "I like Christ, but I don't like your Christians." It's largely accepted that Christ, along with other "pillars" of philosophies and reason, helped inspire Gandhi to war against sexism and make non-violence fashionable again.

I, like him, love Christ. But I don't like some Christians.

The Westboro Baptist Church being a great example of shitty people in the Christian community.

Radical_Dreamer

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Re: Do You Believe in "God"?
« Reply #291 on: January 10, 2013, 01:26:14 am »
It seems I need to clarify my statements.

tushantin: Of course there would be a big effect on culture if it were ever demonstrated that the universe was created. My objection is to the specifics you put forward. This is something that Thought touched on. When you claim certain outcomes from learning that the universe was created, you're making assumptions about the creator and/or creation. To borrow the chocolate factory analogy, it would be like claiming that if a factory was ever discovered, it would teach us about making food with almonds. That's an assumption; some chocolates have almonds in them, but not all of them do. The discovery of a chocolate factory MAY teach us something about almonds, but if all we know is that there exists a chocolate factory, it's simply not enough information with which to claim that we're liable to learn about almonds.

Thought: I have no objection to abstract knowledge, in fact, I'm quite the fan of it. I specifically asked for practical information as a result of tushantin's claim that the discovery of creation would "give us better means to design our evolution and development". That's a claim that a certain piece of abstract information would lead necessarily to a particular sort of practical knowledge. I don't think that's a fair leap to make, although you may disagree.

I'm not sold on your assertion that the universe, if created, could not be a closed system. Is it not in principle possible for a closed system to be created?

tushantin

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Re: Do You Believe in "God"?
« Reply #292 on: January 17, 2013, 11:53:31 pm »
Pardon my delayed response. XD

Anywho, if we're taking analogies, do note that this is why I said "we don't know what will change", which is hardly an "assumption" -- if we find a chocolate factory, then knowing HOW almonds are used has a small percentage on how likely we are to find a factory that uses almonds and not, say, caramel. But, if by chance it uses caramels instead of almonds, then we find out how caramels are used instead. If mere chocolate -- dark or white -- are used, we'd found out that too. But because it's a factory, simply because it CREATES products, we are likely to find "something" that might benefit us with the knowledge of our environment, which we are pretty likely to use. And if we consider humanity as a single entity, and Me as the whole of Humanity, then I will CERTAINLY use it.

Almonds, caramels, cashews... it doesn't matter. SOMETHING connects us, something seems out of place, and we're finding it for the sake of curiosity. What we do after that all depends on what we find, and study further about it.

Another analogy: If we take your analogy of practicality, it would actually be similar to a child at school wondering "why Algebra is even important in the first place". They can't use all those means and square roots throughout their lives, and they don't know where to use those complex algorithms in the first place. Then what's the point of learning it all?

And guess what, you are not to blame on it. That's a perfectly logical question, a strange problem I've been scratching my head at for several years now.

But that doesn't mean that such mathematics would be entirely "useless" -- sure, you can't use it in your day to day lives, but for sheer scientific or mathematical endeavors of curiosity, based on how you were raised or what direction you choose to go, will aid your toolkit and forge a better future, enabling you to get answers for yourself and others, especially since Physics depends on mathematics (and for the new Quantum Gravity field, even more so). Based on the statistics, calculations and conclusions you arrive to a given problem, you also figure out relations to your own life, and find a better means of actually existing.

At the same time, I would also have to disagree with you when you say that abstract thinking does not lead to practicality, because nothing is further from the truth. Abstract information tends to largely influence on the decisions you take, and the practical approach you make, by simply "being there". Knowing that humanity is governed by Evolution, and not God, does not make a difference to its existence, BUT it does make a big difference to your "innate belief" and driving your neural systems in a specific way, such as knowing the "needs" of adaptation and flexibility as the essentials of survival not just for species but also individuals. In other words, abstract information "shapes" you sufficiently to influence your practical approach.

Thought

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Re: Do You Believe in "God"?
« Reply #293 on: January 22, 2013, 01:10:14 pm »
@RD, sorry for not making that clearer: that was just a rant directed at academics in general, not you in specific.

But for abstract leading to practical knowledge, again, if we know that the universe was created, and if we know it was created by a particular kind of being, that allows us to practically direct our own scientific inquiries based on reasonable inferences between the creator and the created.

As for if the universe/closed system issue: a closed system can't be acted upon by external forces. Creating it would have been an external force, therefore, even if the creator was subsequently entirely contained within the universe, the system wouldn't be closed. That said, upon further research, it looks like I am using a "classical mechanics" closed system definition, but a thermodynamic closed system would allow for external forces to be applied, as long as matter doesn't get exchanged.