Who can know the mind of God?
Why does God do the things He does?
Because it is good to be king.
The meaning of God and life is lost in semantics. A meme that maybe has no meaning in and of itself but the effect of that meme on humans is quite strong and that's what is important.
Real or not, Jesus will "live" longer than me. In the human consciousness.
"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?"
When I heard this for the first time when I was a kid, I thought it was a stupid question because it was being presented as this deep philosophical question and I thought the answer was easy. I thought, "Of course it would make a sound! If you put a tape recorder there in the forest and no human was around to hear it, when you came back for the recorder after the tree fell, you would hear the tree falling on the tape." That was my immediate response.
Do things need an observer in order to exist?
When you die, you are not observing anything but the universe goes on. Earth will still be there. The Earth may have died TO that person but not to anyone else. If all humans died, I feel like the Earth would still move on...humanless.
What is this whole big deal about observation?
Yes, you could say that the universe dies with you when you die because you won't experience it anymore. It sorts of hits on the idea of everything is just in your head. You only know anything at all through your own experience.
Can you make a difference between the world in your head and the natural world?
Does that difference exist?
Is the "natural world" only something that exists in the human mind?
What is it about human observation that makes it so special. The fact that we are sentient? Other animals are sentient:dolphins, chimpanzees, etc. I guess that their kind of sentience is probably different from human sentience but my questions still feel unanswered.
The ideas in my head feel separated from the natural world because I don't feel like they affect anything but me. I guess after they affect me I might affect the world.
I would really like people's thoughts on observation and existence. Thanks!
Abomination (Latin abominatus, past participle of abominari, "to deprecate as an ill omen") English term used to translate the Biblical term תֹּועֵבָה tōʻēḇā or to'ba (noun) or ta'ab (verb).
The term in English signifies that which is exceptionally loathsome, hateful, wicked, or vile. In Biblical terms to'ba does not carry the same sense of exceptionalism as the English term. It simply signifies that which is forbidden or unclean according to the religion.
Linguistically it is therefore close in meaning to the Polynesian term taboo or tapu, signifying that which is forbidden, should be left alone and not touched, or (for some items) brings death by the act of touching.
This article examines the term as it is used in English translations of the Bible, and also the actual senses of the words which are being translated into this term in English.
"When we say that he, Jesus Christ, our teacher, was produced without sexual union, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding the sons (the god) Jupiter."
- Saint Justin Martyr, 100-165 AD
I am having an exchange of ideas via e-mail with a friend. This is an answer to one of my questions.
That's a hard question to answer. A lot of it comes down to gut instinct: I just can't believe that the universe, and everything in it, is ultimately purposeless and futile, which is what a matter-primary world implies, at least to me. A universe in which there is a sort of centreless, conscious field permeating the cosmos is much more intuitive to me.
One thought experiment that helped me accept the idea (and this is just me) is, what would happen if an intelligent species successfully colonized the universe? Not just a few stars or a galactic empire or something, but the entire universe? The universe might be mostly dumb matter now, but give it a few hundred billion years and it might fill up. Whatever happened to the universe after that, would be whatever the conscious entities occupying it directed to happen. The cosmologist Frank Herbert, a grand old man of science, developed a theory in which those far-future colonists (really highly advanced robots and computers) would manage the collapse of the universe in order to extract energy (and thus stay alive) right up to the Big Crunch, and then tunnel through and manage the Big Bang, managing the past as well as the universe's future. He was laughed out to the fringes for his Omega Point theory, but it's a difficult one to refute, in truth.
There's also the simulation paradox. Posit a far-future civilization with the computational resources to run massively parallel historical simulations, accurate down to the level of individual sims being
conscious entities every bit as real as a 'real' person. Either civilizations always self-destruct before they attain the technological prowess to run such simulations, or the odds are huge that the reality we know is just a computer simulation ... a neat little logical puzzle that, for me, is resolved - or at least mooted - if you just start from the assumption that consciousness is the precursor to existence. Saying we're all a simulation, after all, is just a modern way of saying we're just God's dream. Or, to put it more accurately, we're God dreaming itself.
Anyhow, that's more or less where I'm coming from on a theoretical level."
"Here's my reply:
Hey, it's the author of the piece above.
I'd say the 'god-field' is more like the ether, something that's just sort of there, supporting reality. Calling it conscious probably isn't accurate, actually, not unless you stretch the definition of
consciousness beyond the point of meaninglessness. You could call it superconscious or metaconscious, but really there aren't any elegant words in English for the concept (except for God, which I don't like to use because it runs the risk of anthropomorphizing.) The Indians -
who have put thousands of years of contemplation into the question of how to understand the god-field - call it Brahman, the source of creation and the goal of spiritual evolution, which is as good a word as any.
The question of who, exactly, has control is a difficult one, especially if you look at it from the point of view of 'God vs mortals'. Of course, if instead you posit that everything in the universe is part of God, then the problem disappears. Control is shared by everything, and held by nothing.
(As usual with this sort of topic, it's virtually impossible to discuss without tripping over paradoxes....)
I signed on to livejournal as dinopteryx just so I could post ... then found out I had to be listed as your friend...."
I feel like I've been asked my entire life, "Do you always need a reason? Can't you just go with the flow?" This post is less about me attacking that statement and more about trying to think about it deeper. Here are some things that I think about when the above question is asked to me. It has been asked to me many times throughout my life but I never felt like I could answer it well...or never had the time enough to think about my answers to it. At least not as much as I wanted to have.
1. How does asking the question "why?" go against the flow?
2. Why is this even an issue at all? Can't I ask why and it not be a problem?
3. Why do you think that asking why goes against the flow?
4. Why do you not look for reasons in your own life?
5. Isn't "why?" the most important question of them all anyway?
6. If it is not reasons that you are living by, then what?
7. Why is it such a big deal...or why do you think it's such hard work to search for reasons?
Now to go into this even further, I don't think I need reasons for EVERYTHING but I do feel that most "why?" questions are answered in one or two sentences. Maybe it's because I feel this way that I often ask why.
Also, I do (as you probably can already tell) ask why for the big questions...questions concerning religion, the human condition, etc. I understand that those need a lot of work but I feel that I often get asked "Can't you just go with the flow?" when I ask "why" for the little things. I suppose people get angry or frustrated when asked "why?" concerning little things but then I get back to my old self when that happens and ask (usually to myself), "Why do you get frustrated when I ask that?"
All that is good and wonderful in the world can be seen and heard at ted.com...or so I thought. There's one more lecture that wasn't at TED that's really awesome. Randy Pausch gives this speech just before he died of pancreatic cancer. He was a pioneer of virtual reality. Maybe you saw the Randy Pausch link on google. The speech is really inspiring and makes you want to live your dreams.
I feel like people use their "faith" in order to skirt around actual scientific and historical evidence. It's a way of jumping to where they want to be and, I feel, the jump is so premature. A lot of people make the jump without thinking the jump through....but then again "it's faith you don't have think! That's the beauty of it! Faith is easy on my brain!"
If you want to know more about my views, or where I get a lot of my views lately, please watch these videos.
This is Sam Harris.
Also, here's one on stem cell research that really helped me to form my opinion on the issue.
And this is Richard Dawkins and Christian theologian debating.
"Next to a battle lost, the greatest misery is a battle gained."
Duke of Wellington
"A couple in love doesn't look at each other, they look in the same direction." - I saw this quote on my friend's profile a long time ago and I still really believe in it today.
"Being a fool for a woman such as yourself is always the right thing to do." - Esteban Vihaio, Kill Bill
"A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds." - Francis Bacon
"You deserve the teacher that you find." - Bud Malmstrom
"The man who asks how will always have a job, but will always work for the man who asks why." - a high school teacher I had
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln
"The vast universe, beautiful in its coldly impersonal totality, contains all that we call good or bad, all the answers for all the paradoxes we see around us. " - Masaaki Hatsumi
"Despite their extremely disproportionate numbers, Greek morale was high. Herodotus writes that when Dienekes, a Spartan soldier, was informed that Persian arrows would be so numerous as "to blot out the sun", he responded with a characteristically laconic remark, "So much the better, we shall fight in the shade."" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Thermopylae
"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. " - Albert Einstein
"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." - Albert Einstein
"We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh."
- Friedrich Nietzsche
“Art is lies that tell the truth.” - Picasso
"If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was
standing on the shoulder of giants." - Isaac Newton
"Be calm, and share the bananas." - Koko the Gorilla (in sign language)
"I am still learning." - Michelangelo (Age 83)
"If you have a faith, it is statistically overwhelmingly likely that it is the same faith as your parents and grandparents had. No doubt soaring cathedrals, stirring music, moving stories and parables, help a bit. But by far the most important variable determining your religion is the accident of birth. The convictions that you so passionately believe would have been a completely different, and largely contradictory, set of convictions, if only you had happened to be born in a different place. Epidemiology, not evidence." - Richard Dawkins
Here are some things to consider about Christianity.
1. The first murder...I forget who it was but the guy that did it was cast out of Eden and into the Land of Nod. If you read this, it shows that the Land of Nod had people in it. What does this mean? It means that there were other people other than Adam and Eve and that whole crew at that time. Some people take this interpretation as Adam and Eve being the beginning of the Jewish people only and the people of Nod were goyem.
2. There is no Hell in the Old Testament. Some people think Jesus made it up. This is why Jews don't believe in Hell because they focus only on the Old Testament.
3. This one is a fucking doozy. People are always praying to God for fucking help. I have known people to turn to Jesus after horrible accidents and whatnot. WHO THE FUCK LET YOU HAVE THAT ACCIDENT, YOU FUCK? If you believe he's in control of everything and omnipresent...where the fuck was he then? Is this wheelchair for the rest of your life some kind of fucking trial God has set before you? I'm not saying don't believe in this god because of it...I'm saying if you believe that he's in control...if your idea of God is a God that is omnipresent and ever-loving...where was he during that fateful night? Why aren't you angry at your new trial and tribulation that God has set before you...for the rest of your fucking life. Instead of getting angry, people turn to God during these times of hardship. Why...because when people feel out of control of their life or basically get the shit scared out of them, they turn to this universal...old dude in the sky. Why the fuck didn't you turn to him before? If you believe in the shit so much where were you before, asshole? Don't say a goddamn thing to me. God is there when good things happen but not there when bad things happen...what the fuck is that?
You turn to the guy that caused the accident in the first place. Maybe he didn't cause it but he sure as hell let it happen. You don't notice that he's the one who let it happen in the first place?
4. Number three reminds me of the Book of Job. This is about Job being played like fucking dice between Satan and God. This is all well and good if you take it for face value and say that it's not a true story but I come from the snake-handling, let's kill us some niggers South and people believe that shit is truer than global warming. Why the fuck do you want to believe in some shit where God is playing with you like a doll with the devil?
Research your own religion. Don't believe in some shit that you barely known anything about. Research other religions as well. Perspective is one of the most important things. I find that most Japanese people don't even know where to begin with the Christian idea of God. They think that God is something inside you only...and not this ...I don't even know...old dude in the sky? What exactly do Christians believe? Is God a force? A metaphysical consciousness that somehow keeps the universe together? I kind of like the last one the most but I'm not entirely convinced of that one either.
That's another thing, I was always confused at people that totally believed they were gods and in control of their own destiny. I think that's fine. Taking control of your own life is a damn good thing but saying you're a god is a little much. I suppose the key points (back to astronomy and shit) to God for me were always...how did we get here? Who created the universe? Was it created? How was it created? Of course I thought about my future as well....but when talking about God...I was always interested more in the Universe...not my future as much...which I suppose is a bit weird. Maybe both are control issues though.
If you say that you are a god, if you say that you believe that you are your own god...then what about creation? Creation of the universe. I am referring to any kind of creation....the universe creating itself or God doing it.
Also, perhaps referring back to entropy....I think the more we progress as a world civilization ...the closer we are to all dying. Perhaps our progress as a world society is a step to doom for mankind. I don't know.
Is there a theory that dinosaurs shit themselves to death? Seriously, bovine gases (cow farts) are a recorded and proven reason for part of the global warming problem. Dinosaurs were huge animals and they were all over the Earth...probably more than there are cows today...did they just fart themselves into extinction?
Are we humans just shitting ourselves to extinction? Factories usually are pretty damn smelly if you ask me.
"God exists, if only in the form of a meme with high survival value, or infective power, in the environment provided by human culture."
"A universe with a God would look quite different from a universe without one. A physics, a biology where there is a God is bound to look different. So the most basic claims of religion are scientific. Religion is a scientific theory."
- Richard Dawkins