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The Forum > Article Comments > Is being a scientist compatible with believing in God? > Comments

Is being a scientist compatible with believing in God? : Comments

By George Virsik, published 19/7/2013

Conflicts arise only when religion is seen as ersatz-science and/or science as ersatz-religion.

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Translation: If we rewrite 'religion' to remove any and all empirical content, we can make it compatible with ANYTHING!

Now go and sell that to the fundamentalists...
Posted by Jon J, Friday, 19 July 2013 7:28:37 AM
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Implicitly the author equates religion with theistic religion. One can be religious without a belief in God. Buddhism is an example of a non-theistic religion. One may believe in a god but not believe that any scripture describes the god that is believed in. Spinoza rejected the historic religions of Judaism and Christianity and believed in a God that he equated to the natural world. In short religion can be a large number of delusional systems if one chooses to believe in unprovable propositions.
Posted by david f, Friday, 19 July 2013 9:35:08 AM
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As soon as I saw the title of the article, I could tell quantum physics was going to be mentioned there somewhere. Theists use quantum physics as a way of shoehorning their god into science. But if the Abrahamic God has such an important message for us all, then why would he be hiding in such obscure places?

This is the nail in the coffin for the Christianity.

Furthermore, if this God transcends our reality/universe/realm, then that means we are superior to him/her/it in some way, thus he/she/it is not a god.

<<Events that can be recorded by scientific instruments as violations of known natural laws would simply be absorbed by science as new observations, new facts.>>

In other words, you would never be able to distinguish between a divine act and a natural occurrence. That's a big problem for anyone who values the truth of their beliefs.

<<…it is not true that religion and science contradict each other, only some interpretations of religion and some interpretations of science do. Also, it is not true that religion and science are mutually irrelevant, only "uninterpreted" religion and "uninterpreted" science are.>>

It absolutely is true that they contradict each other, if you’re referring to the Abrahamic religions.

An omnibenevolent would not leave humans (that it supposedly loved) out in the wild for 200,000 odd years to die from their teeth, be eaten alive by wild animals and suffer such cruel and unimaginable grief with a phenomenally high infant mortality rate; only to then decide that it would finally intervene as of 5000 years ago and botch all that up too.

A god like that is either evil or impotent.

These are desperate theological re-interpretations from those whose intellects have obviously led them to a place that they find incredibly uncomfortable. And as such, they invent a new and more absurd god than the ones that came before it. But while those old concepts of gods are patently false, they still provided explanations that were good at the time and are still good for anyone not willing to investigate reality.
Posted by AJ Philips, Friday, 19 July 2013 11:36:10 AM
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David

I agree there are lots of variations of faith and belief that don’t fall within George’s article, but I think he’s done quite a good job of surveying the compatibility between the beliefs of many scientists and acceptance of “divine action”. There are other forms of belief, though, which fall somewhere between deism and acceptance “divine action”, which I think are worth exploring in the context of science and religion. These include process theology, and the related idea of the world made free to make itself (which Polkingorne espouses). These see God’s presence in the world evident not so much as in finite events (“actions”) as in an evolving cosmos conducive to the development of sentient beings. And of course Peter Sellick writes regularly for OLO espousing a theology which firmly rejects any scientifically intelligible causal relationship between God and the world.

AJ Philips

If God has a message to the world, it isn’t written in quantum mechanics. If the relationship between science and religion is worth exploring it’s about how and whether the divine and mundane interact, not what they have to say to each other. I agree that the question of evil is a bigger issue, and personally I disagree with George that it is unrelated to the relationship of science and religion, but that’s a whole other discussion.

The fundamentalists might disagree, but the historical evidence shows that Christianity and Judaism never interpreted scriptures as literal accounts of the origins of humanity and earth in the manner of a physics or biology textbook. For example, the first two books of the bible provide two very different, and on a literal level contradictory, accounts of “creation”. If they were meant to be taken literally this would be a strange thing for the Bible’s compilers to do, but as complementary theological accounts they have enduring value.
Posted by Rhian, Friday, 19 July 2013 3:15:39 PM
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George Virsik,

Are you George who comments on olo articles?
Posted by david f, Friday, 19 July 2013 3:37:10 PM
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Interesting article...all I know is Isaac Newton was Christian and Lady Gaga and Keira Knightly are atheists.
Posted by progressive pat, Friday, 19 July 2013 4:21:17 PM
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Hi Rhian,

I didn’t mean to suggest that God’s message would be found in quantum mechanics. The poor stringing together of those two sentences (which I partly blame the word limits there) seemed to give that impression, but all I really said was that a God with an important message for us all would not be hiding away to such an extent. Anything that could qualify as a god would understand that the Abrahamic God has made appallingly insufficient attempts to reach us; especially if He’s trying to convey the ultimate message to us.

<<…personally I disagree with George that [the problem of evil] is unrelated to the relationship of science and religion >>

If you haven’t already read it, Sam Harris’s The Moral Landscape, probably touches on what I think you may be alluding to here. In it, Harris dispels the long and widely held belief that science has nothing to say about morality (or ethics and jurisdiction, as George has said).

Finally, whether or not the scriptures were meant to be taken literally, and whether this absurd and obscure God of today’s sophisticated theist is actually “new” or not is largely beside my point. My point was more that (invented or adopted) its rise in popularity is a sign of the desperation to cling to the concept of a god - in a world where it is becoming increasingly irrelevant - rather than simply abandoning it. Religion is unique here in that I don’t think we could find an example outside of religious belief where such lengthy, convoluted and desperate attempts are made to keep a concept alive. I think that says a lot.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have said “invent”, but then we really don’t know what the writers of the scriptures were trying to convey, do we. And that’s just one of the many problems theists face in justifying their beliefs.
Posted by AJ Philips, Friday, 19 July 2013 4:29:40 PM
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Dear progressive pat,

You wrote: ...all I know is Isaac Newton was Christian and Lady Gaga and Keira Knightly are atheists.

I'm sure you know many other things. Isaac Newton lived in seventeenth century England where it would have been most hazardous to announce that one was not a Christian. He certainly would not have been able to go to university and hold the positions he held. However, he was an unorthodox Christian who did not accept the trinity.

Lady Gaga lives now, and Keira Knightly who I never heard off may also be contemporary. If Isaac Newton were alive today and Lady Gaga along with Keira Knightly lived in seventeenth century England Newton might be an atheist, and Lady Gaga and Keira Knightly would most certainly be Christians.
Posted by david f, Friday, 19 July 2013 4:40:57 PM
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Jon J,
>> If we rewrite 'religion' to remove any and all empirical content, we can make it compatible with ANYTHING! <<

Well, not “with ANYTHING”, e.g not with the belief that religion has to have an empirical content, whatever that means ;-)). You probably meant “with any system supported by empirically verifiable facts”, or something like that. I anticipated this reaction, so I wrote that “a person … who believes in … God … will probably not agree that everything he/she sees as God's intervention can be this easily explained away.” Also, I made it clear I did not consider deism. Nevertheless, thanks for this observation.

Anyhow, what exactly is meant by the “empirical content” of a worldview? Although a worldview does not have to deal with the concept of God or divine action, it somehow should with those of consciousness and free will, irrespective of what physics or biology can "empirically" say about them. Hence my suspicion that divine agency should be detectable, if at all, in the vicinity of, or rather in connection with, these human phenomena.

Of course, I agree that these considerations would be hard to sell to fundamentalists of both the theist and atheist kind.

david f,

I was careful to write about belief in God of the Abrahamic religions, not about religion as such, but you are right that in the last two paragraphs (and the subtitle), I speak of religion as if I equated it with belief in the God of Abraham. I apparently could not resist the temptation to quote my favorite saying, (that you might remember from my other posts). So yes, I am that George who writes those posts.

And yes, religion can mean many things to many scholars - psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists etc - studying the phenomenon of religion, and not all definitions are as dismissive as the one you offer. Also, as you know, since Goedel there are unprovable propositions also in mathematics.
Posted by George, Saturday, 20 July 2013 1:11:05 AM
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AJ Philips,

It was also you I had in mind, when I added “Let me state again the obvious: this need is given by the scientist's (a priori) faith … It should not be regarded as an argument for the existence of God.”

Rhian,

Thanks for the many insights. Yes, I thought I made it clear I was reacting to what Randall called “confusion”, and tacitly assumed that she was referring to scientists who were theists (and not e.g. to people like Fritjof Capra, who tries to reconcile Buddhism with modern science).

Certainly the topic of divine action is very rich, especially when treated by those who are first of all theologians rather than scientists. So I agree that there is a lot worth exploring, and I certainly could not have covered everything, even if I could understand it all, which I do not. Polkinghorne indeed speaks of open theology (rather than process theology which he criticizes), “in which God interacts with creation but does not overrule its divinely granted freedom to be itself. Such a concept of continuous creation is helpful in facing perplexities posed by theodicy” as he put it.

I myself am uneasy about process theology, my favorite joke being: I can understand Russell but don’t agree with him, whereas I agree with Whitehead but cannot understand him.

I wonder whether Peter Selick would agree with your description of him as a de facto deist. I have difficulties following his strict distinction between the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the God of philosophers (and scientists).

I did not say the question of evil was unrelated to the relationship of science and religion, only that it did not require a deeper understanding of contemporary science, as the referred to attempts at explaining divine action, consciousness and free will apparently do. So I certainly agree that theodicy is a “whole other discussion”.

On second thoughts, you are probably right, that contemporary science - again Polkinghorne comes to mind - offers new insights also into the problems of theodicy.
Posted by George, Saturday, 20 July 2013 1:16:44 AM
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Dear George,

The answer to the question: "Is being a scientist compatible with believing in God?" is 'yes' since there are competent scientists who believe in God.

I wrote the article, "The Man who Invented the Computer." I don't know whether John Mauchly believed in God, but his lying and stealing someone else's ideas seem much more important to me.

At the moment I am trying to collect material on the history of skepticism and the separation of religion and state. In "Yanomamo, The Fierce People" Chagnon describes the elaborate spirit life and theological beliefs of the Yanomamo. The beliefs are consistent and irrefutable. After death "Wadawadirawa asks the soul whether it has been generous or stingy in mortal life. If the person has been stingy and niggardly, Wadawadirawa directs the soul along one path - leading to a place of fire: Shobari Waka. If the person was generous with his possessions and food, he is directed along the other path - to hedu proper where a tranquil semi-mortal existence continues.

The Yanomamo do not take this very seriously, that is, do not fear the possibility of being sent to the place of fire. When I asked why, I got the following kind of answer: "Well, Wadawadirawa is kind of stupid. We'll just all lie and tell him we were generous, and he'll send us to hedu!"

I see just as much reason to follow the beliefs of the Yanomamo as to follow the beliefs of the Abrahamic religions. I see more reason to to share the skepticism of the Yanomamo.

I am also reading Spinoza who believed in God but rejected all narrative, historical religions. He equated God with the totality of the natural world.
Posted by david f, Saturday, 20 July 2013 6:58:42 AM
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There exists a fundamental and mutually exclusive difference between science and religion. Science involves explaining the natural world through mathematics, chemistry and physics, while religion involves explaining the natural world through the intervention of supernatural forces.

I know that there are religious scientists, and how they reconcile that clear contradiction, I do not know. They must be exhibiting some sort of cognitive dissonance to reconcile the two mutually exclusive forms of logic.

George Virsik tries the old todge that since science can't explain everything, then that must leave room for a supernatural explanation. Sorry George, I don't buy that one. Just because we don't know everything, does not equate to any remote probability that a supernatural force created the universe, and all of the natural laws which govern it's continued existence. And we just keep pushing forward our knowledge of the world. Every time we advance, we push the supernatural view backwards.

If you want to pray to the Sun, a telegraph pole, or a non existent, invisible, supernatural entity George, go right ahead. I used to think that people like you were stupid, but I know better now. It seems as if a very large proportion of the human population who are quite intelligent do have a compulsive need to think that they will live forever. And they think that continuing devotions to a supernatural force can bring that desired end about. That does not mean that they are stupid at all. It just means that they are psychologically different to me in their emotional makeup.

But even the stars die, George, and so in all probability, the universe. Science is now very close to creating the first chemically created cell. When humans can create life George, are we not Gods ourselves to the life forms that we created?
Posted by LEGO, Saturday, 20 July 2013 7:36:26 AM
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Dear david f,

>>I see just as much reason to follow the beliefs of the Yanomamo as to follow the beliefs of the Abrahamic religions. I see more reason to share the skepticism of the Yanomamo.<<

I could answer that Randall was probably concerned with scientists who were Christians or religious Jews, not Yanomamo. Seriously, I again appreciate that you present the equivalence of the two kinds of religious beliefs (and reasons for skepticism) only as your personal perspective.

This touches upon the general question of which religion - seen as a system of beliefs (religion, of course, is more than that) - better represents the divine/spiritual. Of course, this presupposes a belief in the existence of the latter that is irreducible to the physical/ material. Without that belief, all such representations must indeed look as equally meaningless.

As I wrote before, I think the question of which such representation is better is even more complicated than the question of which physical theory more adequately represents physical reality. One of the reasons for that is that possible criteria of adequacy involve subjective, cultural, historical, psychological and sociological factors to much more extent than in the case of physical theories.

>> Spinoza … equated God with the totality of the natural world.<<
Calling the totality of the natural (material) world God, is called pantheism. As I see it, for representations of the material world we have science. I am not sure how Spinoza understood what today we call science and its relation to what he called God.
Posted by George, Saturday, 20 July 2013 8:07:54 AM
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LEGO,

I could reciprocate by writing another long list of simplifications, absurdities or nonsense and claim you wrote it. What would be the point of it? The purpose of my article was certainly not to make you, or anybody, to become a scientist who believes in God. Otherwise, see my response above to AJ Philips.
Posted by George, Saturday, 20 July 2013 8:21:18 AM
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.

Dear George,

.

I appreciate your interest in this topic and your endeavours to come to terms with it. I know from personal experience that writing helps in such endeavours.

You will not be surprised to learn that my vision is somewhat different from yours though indisputably of vastly inferior value given my quasi-total ignorance of both science and theology compared to your profound acquaintance of both.

I can’t help thinking of all those scientists persecuted by religion throughout history, culminating in Pope Jean-Paul II’s official excuses for the errors of the Catholic Church with particular reference to its wrongful condemnation of Galeleo.

What then is the credibility of declaring, as Jean-Paul II did, that "Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth." Galaeleo had attained truth by flying with his own wings. He had no need for faith in some god in order to achieve truth.

Religion clipped his wings and condemned him to prison (later commuted to house arrest) where he remained for the rest of his life.

It was those who professed to have faith in God who shot him down while he was in full flight. It was only when it became obvious to everyone that the dogma of the Church was ridiculously wrong that it sought to “reconcile” religion with science.

The fact is, religion has no place in science and science has no place in religion. Science does not seek to contradict religion. Nor is it in competition with religion. That is not its purpose. Its sole purpose is to achieve an ever greater knowledge and understanding of reality.

At best, religion sees science as a useful tool and contents itself with occupying the vast domain of the unknown and the unexplained, gladly conceding additional space to science as it laboriously conquers a few centimetres of new territory.

Religion has finally realised it’s stupid to try to compete with science. After all, scientific knowledge is just a mere drop of water in an immense ocean of ignorance. Or should I say faith

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Saturday, 20 July 2013 8:39:50 AM
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George,

I thought we had dealt with all this the last time. You bring out the a priori assumption like it were some sort of a trump card, as if to say “Oh well, it’s an a priori assumption - whatcha gonna do, eh?”

<<It was also you I had in mind, when I added “Let me state again the obvious: this need is given by the scientist's (a priori) faith … It should not be regarded as an argument for the existence of God.”>>

Yes, that “need” certainly does come from an a priori faith, but our a priori assumptions are not immune to analysis and nor are they immune to validation. There is still an objective answer as to the accuracy of the assumption. And if, when trying to harmonise the two, the interpretations of our subsequent experiences and observations necessarily become convoluted and obscure, then a revision of the a priori assumption may be necessary.

Here’s a quote from an online dictionary that I think is most apt:

“However, [a priori assumptions have] a negative side: an a priori assumption made without question on the basis that no analysis or study is necessary, can be mental laziness when the reality is not so certain.” (http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/a+priori+assumption)

<<…for a scientist who believes in God's interactions, there is a need to find a suitable interpretation of what may be known from science (through established theories), an interpretation that is compatible with this belief.>>

But the fact that it’s a priori - independent even - doesn’t mean that it is, or should be, completely immune to all observations and experiences that follow; anyone who treats an a priori assumption as such is probably just looking for a get-out-of-jail-free-card for a belief that is otherwise untenable. If it really were that independent, then trying to harmonise the two would be an utterly pointless exercise.

Both science and religion make claims about reality and in this sense they are not independent.
Posted by AJ Philips, Saturday, 20 July 2013 12:07:58 PM
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Some references on on the nature of Reality and/or Consciousness & Light or the Energy of Consciousness. Essays which provide a completely different perspective than those provided by the advocates of scientism and the usual dim-witted Christians and their naive reductionist infantile/childish mommy-daddy "creator-God".
How many of the usual dim-witted Christian apologists even talk or write about Consciousness with a Capital C.

http://www.consciousnessitself.org
http://www.dabase.org/Reality_Itself_Is_Not_In_The_Middle.htm
http://www.dabase.org/up-1-7.htm the Three Principles of Truth
http://www.beezone.com/AdiDa/Aletheon/zero_point.html

An essay which directly addresses the issue of Christians appealing to science or scientism to "prove" the existence of their mommy-daddy "God".
http://www.adidam.org/Content/teaching/print-files/religion-and-science.pdf

An interesting humorous understanding re the limitations of both science as a method of open-ended free enquiry and of scientism as a dismal reductionist ideology.
http://global.adidam.org/media/science.html
Posted by Daffy Duck, Saturday, 20 July 2013 12:13:54 PM
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In “Of the Divine Law” Spinoza wrote:

“Now, since all our knowledge, and the certainty that removes every doubt, depend solely on the knowledge of God; - firstly, because without God nothing can exist or be conceived; secondly, because so long as we have no clear and distinct idea of God we remain in universal doubt – it follows that our highest good and perfection also depend solely on the knowledge of God. Further, since without God nothing can exist or be conceived, it is evident that all natural phenomena involve and express the conception of God as far as their essence and perfection extend, so that we have greater and more perfect knowledge of God in proportion to our knowledge of natural phenomena: conversely (since the knowledge of an effect through its cause is the same thing as a particular property of a cause) the greater our knowledge of natural phenomena, the more perfect is our knowledge of the essence of God (which is the cause of all things).”

Spinoza equates being a scientist with gaining knowledge of God.
Posted by david f, Saturday, 20 July 2013 12:36:12 PM
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"Is being a scientist compatible with believing in God?"

One can be, the same way as you can have an honest politician, oxymorons aside...

I would have trouble with the research of anyone that was, the same as I have issue with any politician that is, they're obviously easily deluded. It's not a relativistic question, like what's your favorite colour, it's Q:"Do you believe in Santa Claus ?" A:"Yes I do."
Posted by Valley Guy, Saturday, 20 July 2013 5:14:50 PM
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It seems to me that there is no inherent contradiction. Gould tried to express this in his concept of "non-overlapping magisteria".

As a person with a strongly positivist intellectual modality I found this a very confronting idea. How could anybody take the idea that some things are not empirically definable? However, of late I've been compelled to do a lot of thinking about the subject for various reasons and I'm coming to the view that there is more to understanding than knowing what and how. There is also why.

Davidf put me onto EO Wilson's idea of eusociality, for which I'm grateful. I think it explains a lot of the proximal "why" about the higher purposes and finer feelings of people, just as religion and other moral philosophy has tried to do.

In other words, a belief in God is a means of expressing and encouraging the fundamental nature of people as parts of a greater whole in an accessible way.

The semantics are what matter.
Posted by Antiseptic, Saturday, 20 July 2013 9:35:02 PM
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Dear Banjo,

In your excursions into history there are parts I agree with and parts that I don’t. However, my article was about a response to Randall’s “confusion”, i.e. how a CONTEMPORARY scientist who believes in God MIGHT interpret divine action. Of course, if you do not believe in God, if you believe that reality that science has access to is all reality that there is, then the question of divine action does not arise, does not make sense.

Only a few remarks: Galileo was not a contemporary of John Paul II, so it is not fair to judge the contemporaries of the one on what the other said.

>>religion has no place in science and science has no place in religion. Science does not seek to contradict religion. Nor is it in competition with religion. <<

Well, I prefer the last two sentences of my article (although they are somewhat unrelated to the rest, as david f rightly pointed out), because not only “fundamentalist religions”, (more precisely theologians) make statements that belong to the realm of science, but also other "philosophically unsophiscated" individuals (including some scientists) think that science can answer questions that are of a worldview - in particular, but not exclusively, religious - nature.
Posted by George, Sunday, 21 July 2013 1:59:41 AM
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AJ Philips,

Please accept that other people - those less educated than you as well as those with a broader perspective - subscribe to worldviews that you don’t like or don’t understand. Most of them don’t want you to change the basic premises of your worldview as a consequence of an online debate, and I think neither should you. Fundamental worldview premises - about what exists, what is reality - if scrutinized from an a priori opposite worldview position will naturally have to be dismissed. That follows from the very meaning of “opposite”.

A priori assumptions, as you put it, can be criticized and validated PROVIDED all agree on the meaning of all words used to express the assumption and its criticism. Otherwise it is just a monologue. For instance, you can criticise, validate, or what you want, somebody’s belief that “God exists” if you can agree with the believer on the meaning of the words “God” and “exists”. Both are fundamental concepts that cannot be unambiguosly defined. Physicists, or rather philosophers of physics, cannot even agree on the strict meaning of “matter exists” (just google for “does matter exist, physics”).

Valley Guy,

>>I would have trouble with the research of anyone that was (a scientist believing in God)<<

Well, you indeed would be in trouble since all research undertaken by atheist scientists necessarily builds on research by other scientists, some of whom believe (or believed if dead) in God. And vice versa.

Dear david f,

Thank you indeed for the Spinoza quote, though I am still not sure whether Spinoza used the word (natural) science, and if, how does that relate to our contemporary understanding of it. I admit I don't know much about Spinoza’s philosophy.

Now I can see why Spinoza is usually seen as something between a deist and a pantheist (a deist pantheist?). The same about Einstein: “I believe in Spinoza's God, who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind... “ in his letter to Rabbi Goldstein.
Posted by George, Sunday, 21 July 2013 2:57:41 AM
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Dear George,

I am reading Spinoza as part of my study which hopefully will produce a history of the separation of religion and state. The scepticism of the Yanomamo is relevant to that. The roots of that separation go deep and also include Protagoras, the prophetic tradition in Judaism and Jesus’ injunction to render to Caesar and render to God what is appropriate to each.

Spinoza was the first secular modern man. He wound up living attached to no religious group. He gave lectures to a group of radicals who were officially part of the Dutch Reformed Church. The difficulty in understanding Spinoza is the difficulty in understanding any philosopher. Throughout their life they produce writing, and their later writing might contradict or negate their earlier writing. Spinoza wrote much biblical analysis of both the Jewish Bible and the New Testament. He wound up rejecting all historical narrative religion which makes his biblical analysis rather pointless except as a path leading to his rejection of all historical narrative religion. I am primarily interested in his ideas on the separation of church and state but am reading all of his work.

His personal life was apparently quite ascetic, and he can be regarded as a secular saint. He has been described as a “God-intoxicated” man, but his God does not necessarily have anything to do with the Bible. Spinoza wrote:

“The multitude ever prone to superstition and caring more for the shreds of antiquity than for eternal truths, pays homage to the books of the Bible, rather than to the Word of God.”
Posted by david f, Sunday, 21 July 2013 4:02:54 AM
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.

Dear George,

.

« ... if you believe that reality that science has access to is all reality that there is, then the question of divine action does not arise, does not make sense. “

If “divine action” is a reality, George, then I see no reason why science should not have access to it sooner or later.

Would you agree as a scientist ?

Naturally, if it is not a reality, but merely, as I understand it to be the case, the fruit of the imagination, then I see no reason why science should not be able to provide access to the human imagination as well, at sometime in the future.

My hunch is that this latter development will be rather sooner than later – on the cosmic time scale, of course.

So not to worry, George, if the worst comes to the worst, it won’t affect us.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Sunday, 21 July 2013 8:12:31 AM
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I like the idea of working, for clarity's sake, with the simple Yanomamo model rather than the complex Judeo-Christian one.

It appears that the Yanomamo people have no religion.

Yes, they have legends and folklore, but at the bottom line those do not make them more generous and less stingy.

Had the beliefs of the Yanomamo helped them become less greedy, less selfish, thus closer to God (by that I don't mean Wadawadirawa), then I would be inclined to believe that they do have a religion. The test is in the results, not in the ideas.

The ideas of Wadawadirawa, Shobari Waka and Hedu MAY be used (in such a primitive tribal society) as a religious technique, but apparently it's a failed one. Perhaps it could succeed if they believed that Wadawadirawa had binoculars to watch their actions from the sky, but they don't. Whether Wadawadirawa himself exists or not is of least importance, in fact a silly question. Unfortunately people (both theists and atheists) tend to confuse religious techniques for religion itself.

---

Dear LEGO,

<<Science involves explaining the natural world through mathematics, chemistry and physics, while religion involves explaining the natural world through the intervention of supernatural forces.>>

Not so. What you describe is a distortion of religion. It may be that at some stage in history, particular people benefited religiously from the idea of intervention by supernatural forces. Whether such supernatural forces in fact exist is irrelevant - what's relevant is that some people who so believed became more moral and less selfish as a result, thus closer to God. That's again a case of confusing between a particular religious technique and religion itself.

<<I know that there are religious scientists, and how they reconcile that clear contradiction, I do not know.>>

There is no contradiction. Science is about knowing the physical universe while religion is about coming closer to God. They are completely unrelated goals.

There is however a conflict between the two, for those unrelated goals compete over one's time and attention. However, that's no different for example than watching sports, which conflicts with both.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Sunday, 21 July 2013 8:20:40 AM
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Antiseptic,

>> How could anybody take the idea that some things are not empirically definable?<<

What do you mean by that? There are many things in mathematics even in physics and elsewhere that are well defined but not “empirically”, if I understood you properly.

You are probably refering to the paper “The evolution of eusociality” written by EO Wilson in cooperation with Martin A. Nowak and C. E. Tarnita.

Nowak is a Harvard Professor of Mathematics and Biology, the author of “Super Cooperators: Altruism, Evolution and Why We Need Each Other to Succeed” with R. Highfield (Free Press 2011) that “looks beyond ‘The Selfish Gene’ and invites us to think afresh about evolution”.

Now EO Wilson is, I believe, something of an agnostic or even atheist. On the other hand, Nowak is a self-confessed Catholic. A good illustration that different religious attitudes don’t have to be an obstacle for cooperation as scientists.

Dear david f,

Thank you for the clear nutshell info about Spinoza’s philosophy. You made me want to read more thoroughly what is in http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/spinoza/.

I suspect that in his times hardly any other than literal interpretation of the bible would have been sanctioned by authorities, Jewish or Christian. Probably all serious contemporary Jewish or Christian biblical interpreters, exegetes, would have been excommunicated as well.

Spinoza identifies God with Nature, but apparently does not think the separate label for God is superfluous. I still don’t know whether he had a notion of our “science” and if he had, whether he would assume that his God must be within the reach of scientific investigations (as today those who require a scientific evidence for God do). Anyhow, it is probably futile to try to find out how a thinker who lived centuries ago would answer questions, react to situations, that did not exist in his times. (I was 14 when I asked my father how would Aquinas react if he saw a TV, whether he would think that small people or small devils lived inside that box. I don’t remember what he replied.)
Posted by George, Sunday, 21 July 2013 8:52:21 AM
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Dear Banjo,

>> If “divine action” is a reality, George, then I see no reason why science should not have access to it sooner or later.<<

I am not sure what you mean by it being a “reality”. What I wrote is that if you do not believe in God then the question of whether and how the non-existent God acted does not make sense.

On the other hand, events, or phenomena that a theist sees as miracles or divine acts, are naturally amenable to scientific investigation. I devoted a whole paragraph to that. It is their interpretation that can be either theist or materialist (and, of course should not clash with what is established by science). I was not concerned with materialist interpretations or explanation of such events, but one possibility is certainly to dismiss them as fruits of the imagination
Posted by George, Sunday, 21 July 2013 8:54:28 AM
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George, if you really think you have an empirical way to detect the existence of God, then why are you wasting your time writing apologetic articles for a handful of readers? Come out with it, prove it works, publish the results, pick up your Nobel Prize and earn the undying gratitude of either the theists or the atheists.

Or is this just more unfounded speculation?
Posted by Jon J, Sunday, 21 July 2013 12:12:16 PM
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Hi George, it was a rhetorical question. Empiricism forms the basis for rational reasoning, but it doesn't provide any first-cause bases for the empirical observations and it is limited to deductive and inductive processing. What is missing is abductive processes that allow leaps from one chain of empirical/rational reasoning to inform another.

That's the part that positivism has trouble with and it leaves room for God.
Posted by Antiseptic, Sunday, 21 July 2013 1:57:38 PM
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Yuyutsu, if a God created the universe, what was he (she?) doing before the universe existed?

He (she?) was doing nothing, because there was nothing to do. What was he (she?) thinking of? Nothing, because there was nothing to think about. Where was he living? Nowhere, because there was nowhere to live. Then he (she?) got an idea "lets create EVERYTHING." So he (she?) flew around outer space at a speed exceeding the speed of light, and whacked big lumps of nothing together to create a hundred billion (that we know of) galaxies containing a (on average) a hundred billion stars, including supermassive stars 120 times bigger than our sun, and supermassive black holes of a billion solar masses.

Yeah. Pull the other one. It plays "Jingle Bells."

"But Captain, that does not compute."
Posted by LEGO, Sunday, 21 July 2013 7:35:17 PM
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Dear LEGO,

<<Yuyutsu, if a God created the universe, what was he (she?) doing before the universe existed?>>

God is not a creator, but if it helps you to think of Him as such, if it enhances your devotion, then do so. Historically, many people's lives were uplifted by that notion, however, if it doesn't help you, if the idea of creation doesn't suit you personally, if it doesn't forward your spiritual progress - then don't! then for God's sake please forget about it and don't pursue such futile ideas.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Sunday, 21 July 2013 8:16:46 PM
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.

Dear George,

.

« … phenomena that a theist sees as miracles or divine acts, are naturally amenable to scientific investigation ... but one possibility is certainly to dismiss them as fruits of the imagination.”
.

Thank you for explaining that by “divine acts” you mean “miracles”. I did not know that all “divine acts” were considered to be “miracles”. I’m afraid I ‘m a neophyte in such matters.

What I meant to say was that if God (any God) exists, then I see no reason why science should not be able to provide conclusive evidence of (his, her, or its) existence, sooner or later.

I added that, if, on the other hand, as I understand it, God is simply the fruit of the imagination, then science should also eventually be able to gain access to human imagination and demonstrate that fact conclusively as well.

These were the two ideas I wished to submit to you as a scientist in order to have your carefully considered opinion.

I hope I have made it clear that I do not consider that, as you surmise, “ reality that science has access to is all reality that there is”. I see “reality that science has access to” as evolutive and eminently extensible, as I imagine you do too.

I would nevertheless like to have your confirmation on this point and am interested to know if you think God, real or imagined, is beyond the reach of science or not.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Sunday, 21 July 2013 10:37:29 PM
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To Yuyutsu

Both you and George Virsik have now posted articles directed at me which are completely amorphous in the logic. Both your premise's appears to be, that God can not be defined. Both of you want to tell me what God isn't, but you can't tell me what he (she?) is.

That is like saying that ghosts, unicorns, fairies, Santa Claus, and flying saucers exist because they can't be defined.

Sorry, I gave up on that sort of thinking when I was 15 years old, when I realised that all of this supernatural BS was some sort of collective hallucination by a large number of people who really do want to think that it is possible to live forever.

I can still remember sitting in my religious instruction class at school while some old fool talked about the Holy Trinity.

Like, 3 times 1 is 1.

1 times three is 1.

And 1, plus 1, plus 1, is 1.

Yeah, that figures.

If you believe that, you can believe in anything.
Posted by LEGO, Monday, 22 July 2013 6:35:15 AM
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Jon J,
Your first post made me think.This one didi not; it only testifies that you have not read the article, only its heading and perhaps the first paragraph. Otherwise you would have noticed the number of explicit denials of any apologetic aims: one is not apologetic if one tries to analyse worldviews that do not agree with yours; see also my responses to AJ Philips.

Also it is up to Graham and not you or me to decide which article is worth publishing to be read by a handful or not of people. Anyhow, I presume only Graham knows how many people click on an article he decided to publish.

Hi Antiseptic,

I have to admit I don’t know much about the philosophy of empiricism, so I misunderstood your reference to “things empirically definable”. However, a little of googling brought me to its meaning that I would express as “empirically detectable” which explicitly involves the observer who does the detection.

If applied to the concept of God, being empirically definable/detectable would mean there being an event or situation that would turn an atheist into a theist or so. Thus formulated it is obviously subjective: there have been such events or (personal) situations that turned this or that unbeliever into a believer (and vice versa). If asked for an event or situation that is UNIVERSALLY detectable, i.e. that would turn ALL (or most all) atheists into theists that is obviously not the case. I actually could not even imagine such a situation.

So in this sense I am with you on “How could anybody take the idea that some things are not empirically definable?”. Belief that God - in whatever cultural representation - exists is barren without the accompanying faith (a state of mind) which it is only one feature of.

I presume, by adductive you meant abductive (processes). I am not sure I understand the processes part, however I know something about abductive reasoning. So I would be grateful if you could explain in what sense it “leaves room for God”.
Posted by George, Monday, 22 July 2013 6:37:10 AM
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Dear Banjo,

Thanks for your feedback. I indee appreciate it.

I did not speak of “all” miracles or divine acts as such (whatever that would be) only of events or phenomena that this or that believer in God sees as a miracle: Obviously, this depends on the believer. For instance, many more phenomena were considered miraculous, as God’s direct intervention, by medieval believers than by educated believers today. So, perhaps I should have written “what a theist sees as miracle or God’s direct intervention” since in the poetic sense, for instance every newborn baby can be seen as a “miracle”.

>> if God … exists, then I see no reason why science should not be able to provide conclusive evidence of (his, her, or its) existence<<

Well if science could “provide conclusive evidence of” God, then God would become a cluster of phenomena investigated by science, hence different from a post-Enlightenment (Christian at least) understanding of God. In the article I devoted a whole paragraph to the case when what some believer would see as God’s direct intervention would be recorded by scientific instruments as violation of natural laws, dismissing it as something that would become incorporated in science.

Perhaps your question refers just to God’s detectability that I wrote about in the previous post to Antiseptic. If by “conclusive evidence provided by science” you mean what I called universal detectability, then, as I wrote, I do not believe it can exist: I cannot even imagine, how it could exist. As individual detectability, “experience of God” does exist as witnessed by many conversions. (ctd)
Posted by George, Monday, 22 July 2013 6:42:56 AM
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Dear LEGO,

<<Both you and George Virsik have now posted articles directed at me which are completely amorphous in the logic.>>

Let me assure you that George and I are not coordinated.

<<Both your premise's appears to be, that God can not be defined.>>

I don't recall claiming that in this particular thread, but yes, this is my view.

<<Both of you want to tell me what God isn't,>>

As far as I'm concerned (I cannot speak for George), for a good reason: mis-concepts such as "God is a creator" have created havoc and ongoing damage: it has subjected religion, especially since the advent of modern-science, to shame and ridicule and placed religious people at risk of persecution (as we are reminded from time-to-time by certain OLO users who would be delighted to throw all religious people in a boiling pot).

<<but you can't tell me what he (she?) is.>>

Not only can't: even if I could, I would have no interest or inclination to do so.

<<That is like saying that ghosts, unicorns, fairies, Santa Claus, and flying saucers exist because they can't be defined.>>

I have stated not once (on other threads) that God does not exist, hence it's an invalid comparison.

<<If you believe that, you can believe in anything.>>

Doesn't it indicate an open mind?

As an example, you have a personal problem - perhaps overweight or a drinking issue, which you want to address, so you see a hypnotherapist, who sits you on a couch and says: "As I count down you will feel more-and-more tired and relaxed...10...9...8... you are now floating on a pink cloud..."

If you hold tight onto the idea that one cannot possibly sit on a pink cloud, you will not be hypnotised and your problem will not be solved, so are you really better off sticking to objective facts?

Viewing God as creator, for example, is a religious technique/practice that seemed to uplift many generations of the Abrahamic faith. If so, then why argue with success? For you, a modern-science-fan, this technique is probably useless, so why bother further?
Posted by Yuyutsu, Monday, 22 July 2013 8:06:49 AM
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(ctd)
>>science should also eventually be able to gain access to human imagination and demonstrate that fact conclusively as well.<<

If I understand you properly, this touches upon an adequate description of consciousness (and free will) through science that, you are right, we don’t have yet. I am not sure what it should "demonstrate conclusively", however, some think that we might be about to embark on a completely new understanding of consciousness. Not so much of its nature but its relation to reality observed by the “conscious” observer.

How is this related to divine action? As I suggested in the article, I suspect that a suitable interpretation of scientific facts and theories, that could satisfy a scientist who believes in divine acts, could somehow be related to a satisfactory (to all scientists, not just believers), scientific theory of consciousness and free will. Quantum physics with its perplexities is perhaps the leading candidate for this.

Until Einstein, time was a priori given, independent of the observer; after Einstein there is still no better understanding of the “nature” of time, however its independent-of-the-observer status had to be given up. Perhaps something similar is going to happen with consciousness, more precisely the independence of observed reality from it, through a better understanding of what at present we still see as quantum physics’ enigmas. Well, this is now indeed a pure speculation (on the Copenhagen interpretation)
Posted by George, Monday, 22 July 2013 9:34:49 AM
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HI George

Sorry, I’m re-joining the conversation rather late. I don’t think Peter Sellick is a deist, but he seems to me strongly influenced by Barth’s theology that insists God is known only through revelation and not through material evidence – hence one cannot infer the creator from creation. I may be misrepresenting him here so I’d be happy for him to correct me if he’s watching this conversation.

I did some study of creation theology a while back and was particularly impressed by Polkinghorne’s insights into creation and theodicity. A world free to make itself includes not just the possibility but perhaps the inevitability of evil. Polkinhorne speaks of the fall as a fall “upwards”. Genesis 2-3 provides a profound allegory of human origins and nature. Eating from “the tree that was desired to make one wise” (Genesis 3:5) represents human curiosity and capabilities for abstract and analytical thought. Freedom, self-awareness (Genesis 2.25, 3.7, 3.11), moral consciousness (Genesis 2.17, 3.5, 3.22), and awareness of mortality (Genesis 2.17, 3.3, 3.19, 3.22-24) lead not only to increased human potential for good but also, necessarily, to the potential for (and probability of) evil. So in his theological model, creation, the existence of evil and theodicity are inextricably intertwined.

(Reason and Reality, pp.99-100)
Posted by Rhian, Monday, 22 July 2013 12:41:38 PM
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Is being a scientist compatible with being a Buddhist who doesn't believe in God? Is being a scientist compatible with believing in astrolgy? Is being a scientist compatible with being subject to any form of compulsive behaviour?

Scientists are human. I believe no humans are completely rational. Therefore if my belief is a valid one no scientists are completely rational.
Posted by david f, Monday, 22 July 2013 1:28:31 PM
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Dear David,

<<Therefore if my belief is a valid one no scientists are completely rational.>>

Yes and further: ask any scientist why they chose to do science and you are bound to receive an irrational answer.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Monday, 22 July 2013 3:00:46 PM
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quote..<A person, especially a scientist, who wonders how God can act within physical reality without being detected by science as a source of this action, will suspect that there is some intrinsic relation between the three enigmas of conscience, free will and divine action.>>

wonder isnt a condition..of gods actions within the 3 primary realms
indeed god is in the common/mundane..as the reason and cause.

eg life force..life 'lives'..and life is a sign..of god
where life is..is god sustaining its living..[science has not..will not cannot MAKE*,..life..but by trickery..[ie putting dead dna into a living bacterium cell*]..

the life condition..pre egsisted
the so called life 'created'..by science method

a simple guide being all good is of god..as life is a pre conditional..to 'judging good from vile'..life judges not god

ditto logic,..where god is..logic is
base law is..[now called by 'science;..*natural* laws'...

[eg..action/reaction..
eg gravity physics..changes of state/heat rising..osmosis..laws of decay/balancing ..the middle way etc.
Posted by one under god, Monday, 22 July 2013 5:52:28 PM
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Hi Rhian,

I am sure you are right about Karl Bath’s influence on Sellick. I was just wondering about some of his assertions that sounded deist to me and seemed to resonate with what you wrote. I could not see his unequivocal rejection of the God of philosophers as following from Barth, but I admit I was wrong.

What I know of Barth comes from Jon Macquarie’s “20th Century Religious thought” (SCM Press, 1963), where e.g. on p. 322 one finds “Like Feuerbach, he regards man’s ideas of God as projections of man’s own wishes - though of course Barth makes an exception in favour of of the Christian revelation “. This certainly sounds like Selick and not like deism.

I think you gave a good summary of Polkinghorne’s position. I knew of him as one of the physicists who stood at the cradle of quarks before I knew anything about his religion, and apparently before he became a theologian. He is one of my favourite theologians mainly because I can understand him better than most others.
Posted by George, Tuesday, 23 July 2013 12:56:15 AM
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.

Dear George,

.

No doubt awareness (consciousness) and autonomy (free will) coexist with imagination in the human brain but I see the latter as an completely different and independent cognitive function involved in representation (symbolism), interpretation, creation and construction.

My understanding is that, unlike consciousness, imagination is not concerned with perceived reality. I rather see it as a mechanism which allows the individual mind to free itself from perceived reality and explore the unknown.

At best, imagination can be a source of enlightenment ( a stroke of genius). At worst, it may plunge the individual into an inextricable form of psychosis causing him to lose all contact with reality.

My question to you as an eminent mathematician with a keen interest in scientific research and a solid theological background is do you, personally, see any reason why science should not, eventually, be able to establish whether God really exists or is simply the fruit of the imagination.

I am always very grateful to you for sharing your knowledge with me (here on OLO) on the state of the art of scientific research but as I have come to know you a little and appreciate your intellectual honesty, I value your personal opinion.

I hope I am not being too indiscreet.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Tuesday, 23 July 2013 6:57:21 AM
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Dear david f,

>>Is being a scientist compatible with being a Buddhist who doesn't believe in God?<<

Yes, see e.g. Fritjof Capra, but after all also the Dalai Lama, although not a scientist, clearly believes in compatibility (c.f. his “The Universe in a Single Atom”).

>>Is being a scientist compatible with believing in astrolgy?<<

Probably not, unless you can provide a respected (natural) scientist who believes such things.

>>Is being a scientist compatible with being subject to any form of compulsive behaviour?<<
Clearly yes, and not only that. There are scientists who are smokers, who are alcoholics, who cheat on their wives, who are celibates etc. Howver, none of these attributes forms an essential part of a worldview like e.g. belief or unbelief in God does.

>> Scientists are human. I believe no humans are completely rational. <<
No question about that. The point of my article was to explore in what sense, if at all, the rational - as opposed to emotional and moral - part of a particular class of worldviews can or cannot interfere with a contemporary scientist’s professional research.

one under god,
to wonder = to be curious about something
Posted by George, Tuesday, 23 July 2013 7:00:42 AM
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George, yes I was referring to abductive reasoning. There are clear algorithms for induction and deduction. They form the basis of the scientific method. However, abduction requires a cognitive leap: "what if thus is not so?" and the faith to carry the chain of reasoning to conclusion. It is the basis of all the great advances in science and the humanities.

Grounded theory is the closest thing to an abductive algorithm we have arrived at to date, and it is quite good at deriving robust understanding of emergent attributes of complex data, but it doesn't create anything new. It simply iterates until results converge.

True abduction demands that leap of the imagination, which some have referred to above as revelation. That is where God comes in.
Posted by Antiseptic, Tuesday, 23 July 2013 8:26:05 AM
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the ability*..instinct/will etc
to wonder..c0mes via god..[in my opinion]..o

it is..ne of those base issues easily missed/overlooked/dismissed..etc due to their commonality,..,as highlighted..within the human condition..

animals may or may not wonder..but im going to go with no wonder..
or awe..or the many other UNIQUELY human..gifts gifted from him..said to be most high..yet able to be found with*in..*any living thing..

within the least as much as the most

i feel..if first..you*..[used*generically]..
*you..remove the truth/protector etc

ie [god=good/god=life/god=love logic light..
god=sustaining life its living etc]..THEN..*you have taken the beast from its protecting shepard..and can abuse them at liesure
Posted by one under god, Tuesday, 23 July 2013 8:28:26 AM
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Dear Banjo,

I am really grateful for your inputs. They are challenging, and make me expand on my article.

I agree with your first three paragraphs, except that I do not see imagination and consciousness as competing. Consciousness is a “state of being” whereas “imagination” is an ability (of consciousness). In my dictionary:

Consciousness is the … state of being aware of an external object or something within oneself. (Perhaps higher animals possess a lower level of consciousness: animals are aware of external objects, whereas humans are also aware of the fact they are aware.)

Imagination … is the ability to form new images and sensations that are not perceived through … senses. (Animals don’t have imagination).

Science explores the “hardware” (brain) and this throws some light on the “software” (consciousness) run on it. Emphasis on “some”: a computer technician, who knows my computer, its specifications, could tell me what kind of programs can run on it, but not what is the content of this particular writing of mine. To overcome these limitations science would have to radically change how it sees reality, something I indicated in the last post.

Sometimes I think that wanting to understand the workings of our consciousness (including imagination) on the same level as we understand e.g. the movement of planets is like a doctor wanting to perform a complicated operation on his/her own body. But this is just a personal opinion.

>>any reason why science should not, eventually, be able to establish whether God really exists or is simply the fruit of the imagination.<<

I thought I answered that in my previous post: “if science could ‘provide conclusive evidence’ of God, then God would become a cluster of phenomena investigated by science” (like Russell’ flying teapot or Dawkins’ boeing 747) hence would not be God as e.g. Christians -well at least many, including me - understand Him.

Whether or not the only alternative is “figment of imagination” is something science cannot decide in principle, only the worldview you choose. Science is just the finger. Some see it is pointing to the moon, some don't.
Posted by George, Tuesday, 23 July 2013 9:30:47 AM
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George..im sure
if fall mans emotive mental *qualities could be charted,..
[as per 'macro' evolution postulates..ie gradual progression..via the 'survival' of fit-test/and lol natural*..[thus not..science selection]..

the graphs would reveal
that the macro evolution THEORY is deeply flawed..

[macro evolution as like..into new replicable/viable genus]..

in truth evolution is within the genus limitations
/variation within a specific genome..like seen in darwins /finches/pigeons/dogs

darwin chose evolution of SPECIES[not genus]
evolution theory postulates not just one 'genus evolution,but millions

the numbers dont add up..
new genus evolution never recorded
nor observed nor ACHIEVED.. VIA ANY SCIENCE means...in mans many years

the so called 2% genetic difference between ape/man
yet equals HUNDREDS OF 'mutated'/ favorable fertile 'evolutions'

it dont add up!
natural says NOT science ...NOT progressive/planned or deliberated by trans generational logic but perhaps via transitional logus[god]

what i dislike is all gods *natural words/process
are now owned/claimed by 'science' wolves..just like religion peers before it claimed right OVER god
Posted by one under god, Tuesday, 23 July 2013 10:21:15 AM
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Antiseptic,

Thanks for the explanation. As a mathematician I strictly distinguish between deduction, that is binding for everybody, and induction that is based on “common sense”, or abduction based on “best explanation”. I agree that scientific research and progress - including in social sciences - is based more on induction and abduction than on deduction, whereas in (pure) mathematics induction and abduction appear, so to say, only "in the background" of the mathematician's thinking.

I think when reasoning (about God) the problem is that both “common sense” and “best explanation” are subjective, usually understood differently by a theist and an atheist. Therefore I am skeptical about reasoning when the context is existence of God. Probably my mathematical prejudices are showing.

Are cognitive leaps, that you refer to in connection with abduction, related to Thomas Kuhn’s paradigm shifts that I can discern more clearly in social than in natural sciences, (although Kuhn coined the term for the latter)?

>> leap of the imagination, which some have referred to above as revelation<<

Is this leap something like Bernard Lonergan’s insight?
Posted by George, Tuesday, 23 July 2013 7:55:49 PM
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.

Dear George,

.

If I have understood you correctly, your personal opinion is that science will never be able to prove the existence of any god or gods. Nor will it ever be able to prove that any such entity is simply the fruit of the imagination.

That is all I need to know for now. Thank you very much.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Wednesday, 24 July 2013 5:12:12 AM
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banjo

one small thaw..doth not a summer make
i know science..can lead to proof of god..thats where i began

it is clear that science is a way..[ta0]
but there are many ways..to god..it begins with KNOWING*..god is grace/mercy/love logic life light..dont judge and dont do collective wrath.

its a matter of finding the true 'person-al'..not person
the one true creater god..living loving good god ammong all the lies/fears..faulse-gods and false mess-angers.
Posted by one under god, Wednesday, 24 July 2013 6:06:33 AM
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Hi George,
As a mathematician friend of mine said "once it's proven mathematically, it's proven forever". The trouble is that the premises may change and anything deductively proven is only true for the premises it derives from.

Induction is the way that we fit those eternal verities into our current observed reality, but it is only by abduction that we can derive a new set of premises entirely - such as the leap from classical to quantum mechanics, or from creation theology to evolutionary biology, or from one epistemiology to another generally.

I think the point I'm making is that deductive rigour is great once we have a set of premises. It lets us talk to each other about those premises and communicate effectively.

However, it constrains us to a linear mode of development of our ideas. God is inherently non-linear.
Posted by Antiseptic, Wednesday, 24 July 2013 6:12:38 AM
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George,
thank you for mentioning Bernard Lonergan. I hadn't heard of him previously. I'll read much more I think, but yes, it does sound a lot like what I'm struggling to express.
Posted by Antiseptic, Wednesday, 24 July 2013 6:41:10 AM
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all extracted from

http://www.icr.org/article/7098/

<<seldom will you hear an evolutionary tale...of the origin of mathematics..because it just isn’t possible.

Numbers cannot have evolved..
because numbers..;cannot change.??

<<laws of mathematics do not change with time.
Therefore,..they existed before people existed.

So they obviously cannot be a creation..of man.!

The equation 2+3=5..was true long before any human being thought about it, realized it, or wrote it.

<<we would ask,..“From what did numbers evolve?
What were numbers before they were numbers?
When did the physical universe..begin obeying mathematical laws?”

Or how about..the irrational numbers?
When did these numbers begin obeying..mathematical laws?

Did laws of mathematics..*evolve first,
and then numbers later?..Or was it the reverse?

If these sorts of questions sound silly,..it is because they are.
The evolution of numbers*..makes no sense whatsoever.

7 has always been 7,..just as 3 has always been 3.
Likewise,..the expression..2+3=5..was as true at the beginning of time..as it is today.

And yet laws of mathematics are conceptual in nature.
Concepts exist in a mind;..they are objects of thought...So how can a conceptual entity like math exist..*before any mind is around to think it?

Numbers are a reflection of God’s thoughts...Numbers existed before people..because God’s thoughts..*existed before people.

Laws of mathematics..are a reflection*..of how God thinks about numbers...The internal consistency of mathematics is a reflection of the internal consistency..*within the Godhead.

The invariant nature..of mathematics
is a reflection..of the unchanging nature of God.

Since God is beyond time..(2 Peter 3:8),..His thoughts do not change with time!..and,thus,..neither do laws of mathematics.

Laws of mathematics apply everywhere..because God is omnipresent(Jeremiah 23:24).

Laws of mathematics are absolute because God is sovereign and does not change His mind (1 Samuel 15:29)...Laws of mathematics are real and,..*yet,.not physical—just as God is real..and not physical/..in His essential nature.

Whether it is the intricate workings..of a living organism,
or..the existence of the solar system,..gradual change over time is considered to be the “creator”—not God...They promote the idea,..that if you just give it enough time,..lol..then the impossible becomes inevitable..through gradual,..naturalistic change.

Of course, there are many reasons to reject such conjectures
Posted by one under god, Wednesday, 24 July 2013 7:15:27 AM
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extracted from
http://www.mathematicsofevolution.com/

<<..Prior to the discovery of DNA,..the evidence against*..the theory of evolution was significant>>

ie..the phenotype gaps
not evidenced genotype

<<...Since the discovery of DNA the evidence against the theory of evolution..has become overwhelming!!

<<Literally,.because of the discovery of DNA,..the theory of evolution has become the most absurd scientific theor.. in the history of science!!

<<For example,..could a DVD of country music ..which represents DNA)
..*be randomly mutated..into a new Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto..or anything else..that is useful..(meaning the DNA of a new species)?

Obviously not.

Yet,the theory of evolution..claims that human DNA,..
which is 3.2 billion pairs of nucleotides long,..came to exist by a long series of...lol..accidental "mutations" to DNA.

What nonsense.!..>>>

CHECK OUT THE MATH:}

http://www.mathematicsofevolution.com/Evolution_Of_Evolution.pdf

from pdf

<<..how is it possible that the scientific/establishment can be so supportive..of the theory of evolution,..and yet other scientists consider the theory of evolution..to be absurd..(*from a scientific standpoint,..yet everyone...is looking at the same data?}

<<The reason.there is a vast gulf..between evolutionists and creation scientists...has nothing to do with scientific discovery..and has everything to do with initial assumptions.

<<Those who have no interest..in God..begin their "quest"
with an assumption..there is no God..and that evolution is true...They then look for "evidence" to support..their beliefs and gain converts.

<<Those who believe..in God..begin their "quest"
with a belief..that God created all*things.

<<*They..then look for "evidence"
to support their beliefs...and they may try to..AGAIN..to gain converts.

<<Thus,..the "gap" between evolution/creation science..did not begin with scientific evidence,..*it began and ended with different foundational beliefs.

<<Instead of starting with no beliefs,..and then looking for evidence,..both sides of the debate typically started with their core beliefs ..atheism or a belief in God),..*then they started looking for evidence..to support THEIR beliefs.!

<<This is exactly why the.scientific evidence can be identical,
but the end..beliefs..can be so far apart.

<<The two parties in the debate..did not start from..*the same starting point,..nor did they have..*any intentions..of changing their
initial assumptions or beliefs...>>..!*!..

sounds true..so forget..your faith..
...*dispute the math...if you can

http://www.mathematicsofevolution.com/Evolution_Of_Evolution.pdf
Posted by one under god, Wednesday, 24 July 2013 10:25:51 AM
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.

Dear one under god,

.

« i know science..can lead to proof of god..that’s where i began”.
.

Thanks, one under god. That’s pretty clear and straight forward. I have noted your position on that.
.

[<<Those who believe..in God..begin their "quest"
with a belief..that God created all*things.

<<*They..then look for "evidence"
to support their beliefs...and they may try to..AGAIN..to gain converts.”]
.

I wonder if that is different from the “scientific method”? Perhaps George has something to say on that point.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Wednesday, 24 July 2013 6:22:05 PM
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dear banjo

i note that ANY science project needs funding
and this will need a peer review..etc..

lets admit..that they will not fund..issues
that may conflict..with a great money stream..faith in science assures

[look how lab-coats feature in adverts..
perception are everything..its faith in the 'science'..
that allows live aids virus grown on monkey serum..to be injected into african kids

or superbugs or german gas chambers
and many other lesser known issues..like adverse reactions causing death..from percription drugs...

[as i myself at present am finding ..i just spent 4 days on intravenous drug drip..and now have an infection from the cannula

modern me-die-sin..its great mate
same peer re-view.,.

oh well..death where is thy sting
as jesus said..this is satans realm
if you cant explain it..maybe having faith in it.. is misplaced

e-volution..sic*..
is just the next church..
for controlling the neo-faithless..
taught to trust the science..as they loose faith in religion.

peers review is great for stasis
baffle em with bull

same game..
different name
Posted by one under god, Wednesday, 24 July 2013 8:09:17 PM
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Dear Banjo,

Yes, you understood me correctly. Actually, what I was trying to argue was that it is not the business of science to "prove" anything about reality, only to form theories that agree with observed phenomena, can make verifiable predictions and thus explain reality through these theories. You prove things beyond any doubt only in pure mathematics or formal logic (or in trivial, everyday situations where the premises are universally understood and/or agreed upon).

Banjo, OUG,

>>I wonder if that is different from the “scientific method”? Perhaps George has something to say on that point.<<

“Looking for evidence to support one’s beliefs” makes sense only when either

(a) both, “belief” and “EVIDENCE” are understood as purely subjective, as is the case with fundamental worldview beliefs, or

(b) when both are objective, i.e. happen within a shared framework of more fundamental beliefs, for instance concerning scientific investigation or in the court. This cannot be the case with FUNDAMENTAL worldview beliefs often based on concepts that are not definable to everybody's satisfaction. That is, unless one sees “evidence” only as a support for these fundamental, a priori held (theist or materialist) beliefs. This kind of “evidence” is better communicated across the theist/materialist divide as (stronger or weaker) ARGUMENTS.
Posted by George, Wednesday, 24 July 2013 8:28:14 PM
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Hi Antiseptic,

Principally we are in agreement. Deduction whether in mathematics or not, is pure logic, induction or abduction are not. However, I agree, they are very important when forming assumptions about observed reality. These assumptions are then incorporated in a (physical) theory about (part of) reality, where they move to the background and deductions, binding for everybody, prevail. Here the subjective character of induction and abduction does not matter (only one subject, the researcher, is involved) in distinction to when applied to reasoning - as mentioned before - where at least two subjects are involved.

I am not very comfortable with the concept of truth except in trivial situations, religion or symbolic (mathematical) logic, when speaking of truth values (1 or 0) of propositions. Only the last situation, "familiar" to all computers, is non-controversial, “worldview-free”.

So I think it is important to distinguish between “getting new ideas” where abduction is essential, and debating or reasoning, where it can lead to a cul-de-sac because of its subjectivity.

Maybe abduction (“best explanation” for a new set of experimental data) indeed played a role in the rise of quantum mechanics, but I do not see how it could lead from one approach to theology to one approach to biology.

I don’t understand in what sense is God non-linear.
Posted by George, Wednesday, 24 July 2013 8:31:20 PM
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OUG thanks, those are very interesting ideas.

Hi George,
A fascinating discussion, thanks for helping me to think about this. I find that the best way to organise my own ideas is to have someone to discuss them with. As I read somewhere recently, "how do I know what I think until I hear myself say it?"...

I completely agree with you about the potential for circularity in abduction/induction. The "grounded theory" approach" to scientific reasoning is an attempt to avoid that, in that it includes reflexivity as an essential aspect of the process. Having arrived at a new set of premises through induction, the next step is to inductively assess those premises for congruence with observed reality and only then can deductive reasoning be used to assess implications.

The problem with it is that it can fail at the second step, the inductive one, because of that sense that a mathematical or rigorous solution is an eternal verity. If one is too strongly committed to a particular paradigm, then it takes a great deal of effort to accept a new insight that is divergent from the consensual (empirical) reality. On the other hand, if one is simply eclectic, then there is little chance of deriving a useful set of precepts that can inform deduction, since induction does not have a basis for filtering wheat from chaff.

Creation theology is a good example of the non-linearity I referred to: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth". There's no linear progression from nothing to something, just a sudden emergence of something unpredictable from chaos. I'd go so far as to say that every human advance has been characterised by the same sort of non-linearity. Evolution required a non-intuitive acceptance that all was not as it had always been and that was most certainly non-linear. The deductive implications are still being explored.
Posted by Antiseptic, Thursday, 25 July 2013 4:41:17 AM
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Sorry, silly typo: "Having arrived at a new set of premises through ABduction", of course...
Posted by Antiseptic, Thursday, 25 July 2013 5:17:01 AM
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A creation scientist is an imaginary creature like the unicorn. There is no evidence for the scientific validity of the creation story in Genesis. Those who call themselves creation scientists are creationists but not scientists.

The Jesuits who man the Vatican Observatory are religious scientists, but that is a different matter.
Posted by david f, Thursday, 25 July 2013 6:34:28 AM
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i note that god...saying
let there be light..has a spontaneous 'beginning'..as much as 'the big-bang*..both initiating events..have a cause..

whether it be religions principle cause..[god]..via apostles
or the brane's THEORY..of science..that accord's..[postulates?]
the theory that two opposite dimension's..collided..[these naturally accord with heaven/hell]

add in the eve of religion..with the 3eve's[5?]..of science;outof africa THESIS..

plus that god ,made plants first..
or science accords protoplasmic slime..as the first creation of the pre-egsisatant 'deep..'revealed in the light..

versus the vacuum of pre bang nuthingness of science theory..that science accords/allows the spontaneous formation plus immediate collapse..of energy pure form's..

add in peers and secret knowing[gnosis]..peer revieuw
plenty full funding..special rites/ritual doctrinal; process science rigor..variation within the known written certainties..

and more variation
at the workplace individual..personal level..

plus blind faith..of the hangers on
not even attempting to get educated..in the big picture..let alone minutia.

im noting much similarity.
so walk the middle path..trusting both..only a little
yet allowed to use the facts to make my own deductions..however abbe rant those with faith alone may regard me to be..

its all just opinion..till blind faith
in science or religion kills you.

i realize the pdf is a big read
but NEED feedback on the math*
[that begins around page 70]

http://www.mathematicsofevolution.com/Evolution_Of_Evolution.pdf
Posted by one under god, Thursday, 25 July 2013 8:03:56 AM
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Hi Antiseptic

>>thanks for helping me to think about this<<

I feel the same. A PhD students of mine wanted to talk to me about a (mathematical) problem he encountered while writing up his thesis. He talked for half an hour, scribbled on my whiteboard and finished with a “thank you, now it is all clear” without me having opened my mouth during his exposition. I acted as a catalyst, a function that e.g. his grandmother could not have fulfilled, since his subconscious would not allow it: he would not have believed she could understand his exposition although it was actually he who needed to understand himself.

I am afraid I am not familiar with research methods, in particular grounded theory, in social sciences or even data collection and evaluation in natural sciences. Theories in physics are built on experimental data that are INDUCTIVELY extended to describe a whole family of phenomena and rationally organized to provide a “best possible explanation” of them (ABDUCTION) that is then formulated as a logically consistent system, where mathematics plays an important role (and DEDUCTION comes into play). As for Kuhn’s paradigms, they are places of discontinuity (or leaps) in the above description of theory, when the new collection of experimental facts (and the phenomena they refer to) does not fit the previously obtained “best explanation” and a new, more encompassing “best explanation” has to be found and organized into a coherent system.

Well, this is my off-the-cuff description of how I see things. I am not sure what role grounded theory or “non-linearity” (obviously not the same thing as non-linearity of equations ) plays here.

You are certainly right, that there was a progress from Genesis to modern cosmology and evolution as one part of the process when religion (in our Abrahamic context) was ceasing to function as ersatz-science and modern science was coming into existence. If one wants, one can see an interplay of deduction, induction and abduction in this process.

Dear david f,

You are right, except that Antiseptic mentions creation theology, not creation science.
Posted by George, Thursday, 25 July 2013 8:57:38 AM
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Dear George,

You wrote: Dear david f,

You are right, except that Antiseptic mentions creation theology, not creation science.

Dear George,

I was not referring to Antiseptic. I was referring to the following by OUG:

<<The reason.there is a vast gulf..between evolutionists and creation scientists...has nothing to do with scientific discovery..and has everything to do with initial assumptions.

I gather that Creation Theology makes the New Testament message a new creation. IMHO that gives a particular religious viewpoint an undeserved grandiosity.

However, I do believe that if there is a God he/she/it has little or nothing to do with either the Jewish Bible or the New Testament.
Posted by david f, Thursday, 25 July 2013 9:37:57 AM
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quote..<<..I acted as a catalyst,..a function that e.g. his grandmother could not have fulfilled,>>

you are correct..it was your thought..plus his thought
that strengthened,..the linkage to spirit..who thus was able to 'join-in'

we commonly fail to note the importance of spirit
despite words like 'in-spired'..or in-spi-ration'..all great invention is inspired..by spirit..[the mindmeld linking us to the so called dead

*needing only two minds..with one goal
[or one..seeing opposing side's without bias]
ie communication is established by our mind set..

[spirit 'sees' our minds thought forms
as energy that is simpatico energy..;which in spirit feeds like energies.. like attracts like]

i put it..that vile thinking attracts vile input[demons if you will
and good energy repels the vile..and attracts the light bearing serving to the good]

it true-ly is a truism..
that more [of the same]..will be given*
as we think [emmit]..so will we receive

curiously..<<since his subconscious would not allow it:>>

is a key point

yet he is as we are..<<he would not have believed...she could understand his exposition>>

she couldn't have ..nomeeting of minds..*LIKE MINDS
able to form an energy form..recognizable to the needed 3 rd party

again this is true..<<although it was actually he who needed to understand himself.>>he needed..in this case you..to act as bridge betwixt/between..you and your guides

i will call this opinion
but am sure its towards the reality..[we do all have 'conscious/unconscious'....from then only need the bias..

or flow of con-science..or force of will
if we got the intensity/passion/singular focus[much like prayer does]

passion..open minds
they are the way..[ta0]
Posted by one under god, Thursday, 25 July 2013 9:52:43 AM
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George, you're right, I could have said discontinuity, but I think the term non-linearity expresses a slightly different sort of phenomenon. Not complete discontinuity, but a significant inflection in the curve that is not predictable from the previous model but can be induced once the new model is properly understood and integrated.

It seems to me to be an important epistemiological phenomenon that isn't properly understood as yet. Chaos theory and dynamical complexity are trying hard, I think, but I don't know enough to be able to comment meaningfully on those subjects.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complex_system

The other issue is the role of rationalism. I have long been an empiricist but of late I've been moved to contemplate a more rationalist approach. Modern scientific practice has little room for rationalism that is not empirically based, but the whole foundation of science is such rationalism. Abduction in the service of rationalism rather than empiricism is what creates new paradigms, while grounded theory demands that any such rationalist flights of fancy must be able to be fitted to empirical observations. If they are not they are labelled "philosophy" or perhaps "mysticism" depending on how the labeller feels about them. Emotion is important, even in empiricists...

Anyway, I'm still grasping at this. It's not an easy topic.
Posted by Antiseptic, Thursday, 25 July 2013 9:54:21 AM
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Antiseptic,

>>Not complete discontinuity, but a significant inflection in the curve that is not predictable from the previous model but can be induced once the new model is properly understood and integrated.<<

Mathematically, what you are describing is a function (of time) that at a given point is not discontinuous, only its derivative, the tangent direction, is; the graph is broken there, forming something like a cusp, so that one cannot predict the “future behavior” of the function from its “past”, not even approximately, as it is the case at points where there is no discontinuity of the tangent. In mathematics this has nothing to do with non-linearity.

This is first year calculus, in distinction to chaos theory and dynamical systems (dealing with non-linear differential equations) which are very abstract but clearly defined and understood parts of pure mathematics. They can be, and are, used to model many situations in physics, and perhaps in some sense can also be used to represent some epistemological procedures, as you rightly indicate.

However, I am suspicious of explanations that mix mathematics with the field where it is to be applied (as they do in the wikipedia link you provided), although this is how scientists, including physicists, interested in representations of physical reality (and not in mathematical structures as such ) work. A trivial example of what I have in mind: a child has to learn about numbers through counting oranges and bunnies, but once it got the idea of a number, he/she does not have to refer to oranges to learn about arithmetics; actually the mixing in of oranges when learning about e.g. prime numbers would be irritating.

In my dictionary, empiricism is the theory that all knowledge is derived from sense-experience, and rationalism is the theory that reason rather than experience is the foundation of certainty in knowledge. In this sense rationalism with its “rather than” seems more embracing, open to qualifications, than empiricism with its rigid “all”. Of course, it all depends on what one understands by “certainty in knowledge”, “experience”, “reason”.
Posted by George, Friday, 26 July 2013 8:18:13 AM
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Thanks George, I'm constantly reminded that my maths is not what it used to was (and that was pretty average, at best). However, I was simplifying a little, because it seems to me that chaos and complexity are critical to a proper explanation of the sort of abductive cognitive leaps that I'm describing. Perhaps from one chaotic attractor to another? As I said, I'm still grasping at this, I can't claim to have any kind of developed hypothesis, let alone understanding.
Posted by Antiseptic, Friday, 26 July 2013 6:04:25 PM
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Just remembered this article I read a while back:

http://www.australiancatholics.com.au/content/view/243/

Brother Guy Consolmagno, astronomer at the Vatican Observatory
Posted by Poirot, Friday, 26 July 2013 6:16:20 PM
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thanks fort the link poiroi..<<He adds that both..[science/relig]..respond to ‘hidden-ness’ or mystery in the same way:

‘The nature of faith is to keep growing.
The nature of science is to not be complete.’

According to Brother Guy,..the opposite of both science and faith is actually certainty...‘No scientist is certain’, he remarks.

‘If we were certain,..there would be no more reason to do science.’..>>

IT Also reconfirms..the close link to study of god
via study of his creation

i couldnt assist with input..
re antiseptic/george conversation..

so back tracked..
to antiseptics quote..<<..Creation theology is a good example..of the non-linearity I referred to:.."In the beginning,..God created the heavens and the Earth"...

<<There's no linear progression ..rom nothing to something,..just a sudden emergence..of something unpredictable from chaos.>>

first thought
chaos..not applicable...in theological sense
as we can presume..'the face of the deep;'..darkness..of the heavens was in direct linear progression..from its creation..;to..'let there be light..

that..*when created/revealed ..'was waste and void'..
which we can presume god was able to see..*sans the light..[logical deduction/linear progression]....

the deep/liquid earth began rotating/[night day]
centrifugal force raised the Gondwanaland plate/..*
firmament

-divided the atmospheric gaseous/waters...
from the liquefied..[no.ice at that stage]

micro flora/fauna...man..etc
all reasonable deductions..by lineal deduction?

anyhow
love the fresh inputs
and enjoying the helpfull/kindness all are showing
Posted by one under god, Friday, 26 July 2013 7:25:26 PM
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Poirot,

I am joining OUG in thanking you for the link. I did not know of the article (of course, I knew of Guy Cosolmagno), not even of the website.
Posted by George, Friday, 26 July 2013 7:34:17 PM
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Poirot, I'll third that vote of thanks.

OUG, I'd also like to thank you. At times you are impenetrable (aren't we all?), but in the last you've been very clear. I'll have to think about what you're saying.
Posted by Antiseptic, Saturday, 27 July 2013 9:00:39 AM
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you are spot-on antiseptic
everytime i re-read ..my words..even i find basic errors
that can/does upset methodical minds..[eg the chaos]..

re the statement
pre the big bang..[gods creation moment]..

simply speaking..there was nothing..[we could see ..with material eyes/ears]..and the unseen 'spirit form-ative essence'.. equates to the sciences new brane theory..

science has yet again..co-opted..lol..
without naming these..[polar opposites of the material/spi-ritual human condition]...heaven/hell

[science used to agree
but recently favors chaos..
[ie something before god began.*making everything..from nothing..spontaneously..forming/collapsing..[ie..chaos]

logic says something..[perhaps dark-matter]..
was set in motion..by say gods 'speaking'..[as in]..the words;..'let there be light'

or as mahamoudians say
that he spake,,the word :..'be' [and it was]..

or as john says
the word..[god]..became flesh..[material]

my theory is..there is an infinite big bangs
FOLLOWED by infinite..big collapses..

[as the constituent parts of matter..
*disperse into 'nuthing-ness'..[relatively speaking]..ie cyclic

then re-formed ..yet again..
as the collective good ..[united godhead]
yet again speaks his creation/vibe..into realization..of the next big-bang..

[each new bang i refer to mentally as a godhead 'breath']
but its all..subjective..as opposed to by objective..for me

some of the insane music programing on radio national..indicates the big collapse will;..yet again..occur soon..

as the insanity of hell
yet again subverts goodness[thus god]..into going away..yet again

when all logic says
no god needed or wanted etc..god goes away yet again

if its godlessness we want..he must give it to us
and does..every time..[we are already past due..for the final meltdown

to those who have faith..more will be a given
regardless of what we chose to have trust/faith..in*
Posted by one under god, Saturday, 27 July 2013 10:28:51 AM
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I was watching a science show the other day, about some research facility in Canada....full to the brim with top-notch physicists.

The amazing thing is that "now" most don't go with the Big bang theory...that is they think there was something before it that seeded our universe's existence. Of course, they are looking scientifically at it and there are a number of theories, but the general consensus seemed to be that the Big bang was not "the beginning".
Posted by Poirot, Saturday, 27 July 2013 11:02:42 AM
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Poirot,

The Big Ban model of our universe incorporates time, so if one accepts this model, the question what was “before the Big Bang” does not make sense. It is like asking what is to the north of the North pole, as Hawking put it. In particular, the Big Bang was not the beginning of anything (meaning a point on the time scale that separates the non-existence in time of the “thing” from its existence), only the Einstein theory gave a mathematical model of our universe, which physicists/cosmologists could explain only up to 10^(-43) of second after what the model would indicate as zero time.

If our universe is just one of many (making up for a multiverse) then it still does not make sense to ask which one came before which one, since there is no time independent of the observer (apparently sitting inside one of the universes).

This was not the case with the Newtonian or Kantian understanding of ABSOLUTE time (and space) that Einstein ditched.

However, even this Big Bang geometric model of the universe is now under attack as you mention. This challenge is apparently Roger Penrose’s new geometric model that extends the Big Bang model into that of a succession of phases “so that the remote future of one phase of the universe becomes the Big Bang of the next. This suggestion is my ‘outrageous’ conformal cyclic cosmology” (see http://accelconf.web.cern.ch/accelconf/e06/papers/thespa01.pdf or his book Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe, Vintage 2011. A good explanation of conformal cyclic cosmology is on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conformal_cyclic_cosmology.

The mathematics of this construction is not easy to understand, the physical justification even less so (at least for me). See also criticism at http://thuban.spruz.com/forums/?page=post&id=6E1EE5E0-5883-41CE-964C-46B649051073&sedit=0F9FACA4-5790-495B-8364-B7306DBBF900
Posted by George, Saturday, 27 July 2013 8:21:19 PM
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Thank you, George.

will look at your links.

I found this on Penrose's theory.

http://www.nature.com/news/2010/101210/full/news.2010.665.html
Posted by Poirot, Saturday, 27 July 2013 8:47:46 PM
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Dear George and Poirot,

Unless one has the view that the Creation story in the Bible is literally true I don't see that however the earth, solar system and universe originated has anything to do with belief in God. I used to believe in God, but I never believed, unless I don't remember what I thought as a very small child, that the Creation story was at all true.

If there is a God I see no reason that he is to be found in the Bible or in any other sacred book.
Posted by david f, Saturday, 27 July 2013 9:17:20 PM
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must checkout the links

anyhow

George mentions the concept of time
i have long held that time is relative...

that at the big bang..all 'E'[energy]at the time..
is presumed to have been able to 'fit'...with-in an area..the size of this [.]*[full stop dot][.]

any linear change of time..would necessarily be
measurable..only by changes of state...
as hyper dense 'matter'..expanded

[or de-compressed]..changing state
from solid..to say liquid....time thus would be moving ever faster..as space time expands ever faster..[if science facts saying so..can be believed]

[its here ..just after god re-created..the last big bang..
that..the use of the word concepts..of the '..''darkness..moving on the face of the deep''..'..in genesis..seems prophetic /plagiarized?..

yet again...

anyhow..as usual science theories are evolving..
much like described my previous topic..re the evolution of evolution..
http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=5899&page=0

in lue of science facts/falsify-ables..
ie true VERIFIABLE FACT..using real science method..
any old godless theory will do..fake it till you break it...

anyhow..as time seems to fly
get ready for the next change of state..
as we depressurize..universally in this material realm..into ever finer gas..or aether..

only half serious
no..really..seriously*..

anyhow..cheers
Posted by one under god, Saturday, 27 July 2013 9:42:57 PM
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Dear david f,

>>I don't see that however the earth, solar system and universe originated has anything to do with belief in God.<<

I agree, except than “originated” seems to implicitly assume an absolute, Kantian, concept of time. Therefore I prefer to speak of “models” of the universe, rather than its origin. Of course, at the time when the bible was written this distinction would not make sense. Howver, today we have to learn to interpret these texts rather than take them literally.

Poirot and I hinted at different models of the universe based on different interpretations of available physical theories. On the other hand, there are different interpretations of the bible (or other sacred texts), including concepts of God pictured therein .

These are unrelated: there are theists as well as atheists who prefer Penrose’s model to the Bing Bang one, and I presume there are theist as well as atheist specialists who are critical of it.

Of course, there are those, who naively confuse the aims of scientific texts with that of sacred texts, and vice versa. Or in Galileo’s words, who confuse the scientific question expressed as how “heavens go” with the existential question of how to “go to heaven”, i.e. what is the purpose (if any) of human existence.

OUG,

You are right, physics is not the only way to approach time, that we all seem to be familiar with, without knowing why and how. Augustin’s “What, then, is time? If no one ask of me, I know; if I wish to explain to him who asks, I know not” still holds.
Posted by George, Sunday, 28 July 2013 12:32:52 AM
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George, consilience is the key to making rationalism a useful endeavour, it seems to me. Empirical congruence is the final test, whereas epistemiologically divergent congruities are what drive exploration beyond rigid empirically-grounded modalities.

I think I'm starting to get the germ of an idea.
Posted by Antiseptic, Sunday, 28 July 2013 6:06:12 AM
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Antiseptic,

Although “consilience” is a 19th century term, it was made popular by EO Wilson’s book, and this is also where I know the concept from.

I have to admit, I feel uneasy about Wilson's sweeping conclusions whether epistemological or ontological: There are differences between methods of research, forming and verifying new theories in social sciences and in, say, physics. Also it is clear what is meant by stating that cells, molecules, the brain, nations, etc. exist. It is not nearly so clear when one claims that spacetime, gravity, quarks, photons, electromagnetic waves, fields, etc. exist.

This is just off the cuff. A quick googling brought me to http://www.lrb.co.uk/v20/n21/jerry-fodor/look, which contains, I think, a more thought through criticism of Wilson’s concept and book.
Posted by George, Sunday, 28 July 2013 8:00:33 AM
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Thanks for the reference, George. I thought a quote from Wilson within it was instructive: ‘The ongoing fragmentation of knowledge and resulting chaos in philosophy are not reflections of the real world but artifacts of scholarship.’

He's a very impressive mind all round. I wish I could speak with him.
Posted by Antiseptic, Sunday, 28 July 2013 8:14:55 AM
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we are still..on the same page
time to me has always been used..too loosely..[to have any definitive 'standard'..as a science measure..let alone a consistant proof.

eg..a..24 'hour' day..is absurd..when we KNOW..the earth..is slowing down..
ie a 'day' at one time..was much less..
as measured in 60 minute/hours..ditto the 365..'day/year'..as we continue our elliptical/spiral..into the sun

[another recent change..i have noted
is apparently..we dont circle the sun..but spiral into it

i have also noted the expanding earth thesis
with intrest[taking it as a signof an ever reductionof the presure of a big bang

further on the big bang..it couldnt have been a 'bang'..
as vacuum if it dont carry sound..plus no-one outside the 'space/time''..of it..to note any 'bang'

and all matter was inside it..
[i presume ,much..i know../but yearn to know]

while we are at it space/time..seems absurd/spin
as space and time are variable..till we prove all space = consistent ..and all measure of 'time..is constant

im likewise..not happy with E=mass times the speed of light..times the speed of light..

[ie a mass depends on its weight..in speculative units
and gravity itself isnt a consistent..even just here on earth[let alone throughout space

never the less for models
[ie not reality..it will work..>>in theory]
bnt must not be regarded as any science 'proof'..only a potential

thesis..not fact].,.

plus the speed of light dont equate..to mass..
though its initial velocity may..have frictional..as well as fictional drag

light is particle's photons..
bumping free other photons in..in waves/caused by specific events
its not so much that then bend..but scatter..like a pool ball knocking on/releasing the next photon..

much like waves of water dont move..as much as pass on the force..[study has revealed the water particles bump together..thus pass-on the pressure..to the next particle./.

so at a molecular level..they appear to rotate..
as the pressure wave passes by..but moving the water particle..that returns back to near where is was..pre the initiating event..force.

time modifies all theory...i ever heard of
yet facts cant change..but then what is fact..
taking models as fact..is not science..as such..
cause its a model..and science studies/verifies fact
Posted by one under god, Sunday, 28 July 2013 8:21:13 AM
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Anti, George, OUG,

It's great to ponder this stuff.

But it's easy to to tie ourselves up in knots with complexity.

I love the "simplicity" behind the story of Einstein coming up with the germ of General Relativity....

"I was sitting in a chair in the patent office at Bern when all of a sudden a thought occurred to me: “If a person falls freely he will not feel his own weight.” I was startled. This simple thought made a deep impression on me. It impelled me toward a theory of gravitation."

He described it as the happiest thought of his life.
Posted by Poirot, Sunday, 28 July 2013 11:13:16 AM
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Clifford Pickover's "A Passion for Mathematics" has a great deal about religion.

From the book: Philo justified the story of Genesis by the fact that 6 is a perfect number and the number of days in the Biblical Creation story. "So important were perfect numbers to the Jews in their search for God that Rabbi Josef ben Jehuda Ankin, in the twelfth century, recommended the study of perfect numbers in his book "Healing of Souls". p. 73

Perfect numbers are numbers equal to the sum of their divisors less than the number. 1+2+3=6. 1+2+4+7+14=28. For every prime there is a corresponding perfect number. 2 to the power p-1 times ((2 to the power p)-1) = the pth perfect number where p is a prime.

Number theory is a pleasure that can be enjoyed by atheists, religionists, poor and rich. Pick over Pickover.
Posted by david f, Sunday, 28 July 2013 11:44:43 AM
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Thanks Poirot, it's always nice to be reminded when one's head is in one's...erm...less salubrious parts.

David, number theory is not something I've ever looked at. I'll do so.
Posted by Antiseptic, Sunday, 28 July 2013 12:48:32 PM
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Not so much that, Anti,

I think you've got an excellent mind.

(As opposed to mine which gets boggled on these things quite easily:)

However, the greatest breakthroughs tend to emanate from a simple thought (backed up by considerable knowledge, of course)
Posted by Poirot, Sunday, 28 July 2013 1:46:32 PM
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Did you know that Charles Darwin's grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, had theories on evolution?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erasmus_Darwin

So these things came together in Charles'.

Did you know that his voyage on the Beagle came by chance, because someone else was unable to go?

Knowledge, antecedents and opportunity delivered us the Theory of Evolution.

(His other grandfather was Josiah Wedgwood)
Posted by Poirot, Sunday, 28 July 2013 1:51:08 PM
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Dear Poirot,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin%E2%80%93Wedgwood_family contains Darwin's family tree. Erasmus Darwin, Charles Darwin, Ralph Vaughn Williams, Josiah Wedgwood and Francis Galton along with other notables are all related.

There are certainly examples where inbreeding has produced remarkable individuals in humans. Cleopatra who was not only seductive but most intelligent was the product of generations of brother-sister marriages.
Posted by david f, Sunday, 28 July 2013 2:08:37 PM
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Thanks for the compliment Poirot, I think you've got an excellent mind too. The thing is, Ockham's Razor is a fine tool for cutting logical stubble, but it's prone to getting clogged with ontological shavings.

Wilson's cosilient hot towel seems like a good way to open the pores and let Singer's rhetorical aftershave do its job with a minumum of burning.

Of course, all of that probably has hairs on it. What would I know, I'm just sitting here stroking my beard?
Posted by Antiseptic, Sunday, 28 July 2013 2:31:08 PM
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poirot.s..quote re falling

reminded me we are all falling into the sun
so falling..is relative..to which force is attracting us or repelling

noting science cant explain..'gravity'
but by limited generalities

noted
this on the way to a suitable reference..to quote

<<Acceleration relative to the rotating Earth

The acceleration measured on the rotating surface of the Earth
is not quite the same as the acceleration that is measured for a free-falling body because of the centripetal force.

In other words, the apparent acceleration in the rotating frame of reference is the total gravity vector minus a small vector toward the north-south axis of the Earth, corresponding to staying stationary in that frame of reference.>>

thus..in the frame of reference..
[that we all are*..falling]

<<..Earth is in freefall as it orbits the Sun, and the astronauts are in freefall as they orbit the Earth. That's what an orbit is;SEEMINGLY... a never ending freefall.

The reason for the weightlessness
is that your perceived weight is equal to
W = m*(g - a)
where W is your weight, m is your mass,
g is gravity, and a is your acceleration.

When you are in freefall, your acceleration (a) exactly matches gravity (g), so g = a. That mean g - a = 0, so your weight is zero.

Standing on the ground, however, your acceleration is zero, while g is still large. Therefore, your weight on the ground is:
W = m*(g - 0)
W = m*g...>>

funny enough that reply didnt get best answer
but thats why i dislike yahhoo answers..many are there for who knows what
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090419131606AAFO84W
Posted by one under god, Sunday, 28 July 2013 3:25:50 PM
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i keep forgetting to mention..a key insight i had while reading
the kids science books..re gas pressure in a container..they said something like particles released under heat..banging on the sides cause..'pressure'

,my theory its..the interaction..of the orbiting electrons/etc
forcing trhe outer electrons intoever lower orbits..as more gas molicules get forced into ever smaller space

tillin time all orbits are as low as they can go
and the gas is FORCED into the liquid stage..release the pressure..[ie release the forced orbit interference]..and they return to the orbit that classifies them as gas

my visualization given me from my guides..at thye time
was like the planets..plus the sun..equating to a single gas molicule..[electrons plus atom..being forced together..

the outer orbiting 'planets'..[electrons]..etc
are forced into lower orbits..changing their state..from gas into liquid etc

further..re the falling issue...its not as much that we are falling into the center of the earth,,but that the dust that fell before us..prevents uis falling further

gravity [to me]..is a clogged MICRO-blackhole
that despite having its throat clogged..yet has the attraction to matter to act as gravity indeed acts..

[micro/black-holes..thus sit at the center..of all larger gravitational actives..such as planets/sun's....

with things like meteorites
merely having the attraction 'power'..of its mass

its often difficult to interpretate
the mind pictures..spirit uses for input's..direct into our minds
whether they be true or false is for us..to judge..

as demons as much as angels feed us these clues..
that support their belief*..

[BUT..just because we/them..believe it
*dont mean its so..spirit is just as fallible..as we are..

as much wrong as we are..
but like minds..linkup..[for good or ill]..that is fact*
thus trusting infallibility in spirit..*is just as fraught by error as we in this material realm..are

[as we continue falling into the sun..
[ie hell][its the vile passions..that are prime cause of life]

it evil..thus has its good karma..

but for the need...to utilize safely....our evil passion..
there would be no sun..no light..no life ..int his realm

[to a 45%..surety]
Posted by one under god, Sunday, 28 July 2013 4:09:14 PM
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Antiseptic,

>>‘The ongoing fragmentation of knowledge and resulting chaos in philosophy are not reflections of the real world but artifacts of scholarship.’<<

Well provided “artifacts of scholarship” means the obvious: today no one person can embrace all available knowledge, be an absolute polymath.

“We are entering a new era of existentialism ... that only unified learning, universally shared, makes accurate foresight and wise choice possible” (p. 332). EO Wilson obviously doesn’t advocate or expect a return to (human) absolute polymaths, but it is not clear (to me) what he means by “unified learning, universally shared”. By whom?

“Consilience is the key to unification … The belief in the possibility of consilience beyond science and across the great branches of learning … is a metaphysical worldview … Its best support is no more than an extrapolation of the consistent past success of the natural sciences … Given that human action comprises events of physical causation, why should the social sciences and humanities be impervious to consilience with the natural science (pp. 6-9).

Admittedly, this is a selective quoting, but as its stand it seems to be just a weak form of (c.f. “belief in the possibility of”) what is normally known as the materialist or naturalist worldview. Why an extra name for it?

Poirot,

>>I love the "simplicity" behind the story of Einstein coming up with the germ of General Relativity<<

Another one concerns Newton pondering the falling apple. Unfortunately, with quantum mechanics we have no such single moment of “simplicity” only a chain of perplexities connected with a theory that works but we don’t know why. Hence the need “to tie ourselves up in knots with complexity” when wanting to understand reality.

david f,
>>Number theory is a pleasure that can be enjoyed by atheists, religionists, poor and rich.<<
This is true about many things, including other parts of mathematics.
Posted by George, Monday, 29 July 2013 8:23:53 AM
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George,

I'm not so sure there won't be a moment of "simplicity" when everything falls into place in a thought on quantum physics. A lot of things had to come together in both Einstein and Darwin for their thought to "crystallize"

For instance, Einstein had to turn an assumption on its head to form his theory of gravitation. He made the leap when he realised that the person falling is the one whose body is "not" feeling the effect of gravity - and that the person sitting watching him is.

That gravity and acceleration are two sides of the same coin.

The person attached to the earth is accelerating and therefore feeling gravity - and the person who is falling through space (in earth's atmosphere) is not. (ignoring for a moment an absolute vaccuum)

I love this other quote by Einstein, which gives a clue to how these things are first encountered in thought form.

"If, at first, the idea is not absurd. Then there is no hope for it."
Posted by Poirot, Monday, 29 July 2013 9:02:14 AM
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poirot..<<..I'm not so sure there won't be a moment of "simplicity" when everything falls into place..in a thought on quantum physics.

when i was studying alternate energy forms
from a gas that implodes..rather than explodes..[the joe fuel cell]..i came across a gif

that showed an electron that moved in the form of the figure 8..[basically the electron.,..wasnt spinning..around the atom..but partially around alternate poles..in a shape resembling an 8..or a vertical eternity symbol

thus in affect appearing to be in two places..
virtually at the same time..much like some quantum reporting ..that reports a quark>..?.. to both be there..yet not be there..at the same time.

but few would care
even fewer think it worthy of further thought

..the affect could be studied further..
except science peers dont like free energy..

so its unlikely any eurika moment..would be allowed
even if some fool..was allowed to report on it

much like the increase..of 240%..in thyroid cancer
http://health.yahoo.net/experts/dayinhealth/why-thyroid-cancer-fastest-rising-cancer-women

most assuredly ..not*..caused by iodine deficiency
nor by dosing ..low thyroid healthy persons..with iodine supplements..nor because of a deemed too low thyroid activity..*so our science peers..will authoritatively deny.

we live in satans realm
but satanists ..well..*they lie..go figure
Posted by one under god, Monday, 29 July 2013 12:59:17 PM
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George,

This is a perfect example of what I was referring to regarding theists using the weirdness of quantum physics to shoehorn their god into reality:

<<Unfortunately, with quantum mechanics we have no such single moment of “simplicity” only a chain of perplexities connected with a theory that works but we don’t know why. Hence the need “to tie ourselves up in knots with complexity” when wanting to understand reality.>>

If that was supposed to be a subtle analogy with religious belief (and in my experience, it always is), then there are enough differences between the weirdness of quantum physics and theology to render it a false analogy fallacy.

Not only is quantum physics observable, but the simplest explanation, that makes the least assumptions is the one we'd go with until it was discredited. Additional steps and assumptions would only be added if, and when, they became absolutely necessary. We won't "tie ourselves up in knots with complexity" in order to avoid simpler explanations as theists do with their gods.

The weirdness of quantum physics does not make religious belief any more rational.
Posted by AJ Philips, Monday, 29 July 2013 2:53:36 PM
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Poirot,

What you describe in the last two posts is Einstein’s discovery, that inertial mass and gravitational mass can be identified.

>>I'm not so sure there won't be a moment of "simplicity" when everything falls into place in a thought on quantum physics. A lot of things had to come together in both Einstein and Darwin for their thought to "crystallize" <<

Newton’s, Darwin’s and Einstein’s innovative ideas came about, and had consequences, (mostly) within their respective branches of science (physics or biology). Although Einstein’s Special relativity affected also how we view reality as such (by shattering the Kantian idea of an absolute space and absolute time) it has not lead to nearly as many perplexities about the very nature of reality as did quantum physics.

There are no speculations about this or that interpretation of Einstein’s theories. If you understand the theory (its mathematics) you also understand the reality they try to describe. However, there is a vast literature about interpretations of quantum mechanics, all of them being much more weird than what follows from Einstein’s theories (and I would suggest, Darwin’s as well). Today the leading contenders are presumably the Copenhagen and Everett’s many worlds interpretations, the one mixing consciousness of the observer with physical reality he/she observes, the other seeing reality as consisting of many increasingly divergent, branching, non-communicating parallel universes.

Of course, nobody can guarantee that there will not come >> a moment of "simplicity" when everything falls into place<<, but if so, it would have to be much more groundbreaking in our understanding of the world we live in than what Darwin or Einstein gave us. So far even within physics all attempts at a (mathematically) “unified theory” of physical reality, (implying both Einstein’s theory of gravitation and quantum physics as special cases), that Einstein and others have worked on so hard, have failed. Perhaps this failure - to "know the mind fo God" as he put it - is what lead Stephen Hawking to speak of “model-dependent realism”, see e.g. my article www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp.article=14464 .
Posted by George, Tuesday, 30 July 2013 6:49:54 AM
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AJ Philips,

>>using the weirdness of quantum physics to shoehorn their god into reality<<

If this refers to my article, please give an exact quote of where I am doing the shoehorning.

>> The weirdness of quantum physics does not make religious belief any more rational.<<

I do not see where I claim it does.

As far as I can understand what you wrote, you seem to suggest that only theists - physicists or not - are perplexed by the possible implications for the nature of physical reality. So below just a random choice of some quotes from physicists who were/are atheists:

“(T)hose who are not shocked when they first come across quantum theory cannot possibly have understood it. (Niels Bohr)

“[While] solipsism may be logically consistent with present quantum mechanics, monism in the sense of materialism is not.” (Eugene Wigner, one of the prominent backers of the Copenhagen interpretation, although he later switched his allegiance)

“While it may be premature to imagine that the present philosophy of quantum mechanics will remain a permanent feature of future physical theories, it will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the conclusion that the content of the consciousness is an ultimate reality." (Eugene Wigner)

“We always have had a great deal of difficulty in understanding the world view that quantum mechanics represents. At least I do…” (Richard Feynman)

“...the "paradox" is only a conflict between reality and your feeling of what reality ‘ought to be.’” (Richard Feynman)

And one quote from one of the fathers of quantum mechanics, albeit not an atheist (a Lutheran) that you probably will not like:

"The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.” (Werner Heisenberg)
Posted by George, Tuesday, 30 July 2013 8:18:07 AM
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"The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.” (Werner Heisenberg)

God is in the dregs?
Posted by david f, Tuesday, 30 July 2013 8:22:51 AM
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>>God is in the dregs?<<

Sorry, it is too late to ask Heisenberg what he meant by the metaphor. I do not think he expected everybody to see things his way, but he probably would have agreed that metaphors, like jokes, one does not explain. You either get it or don't get it.
Posted by George, Tuesday, 30 July 2013 8:35:33 AM
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george..<see e.g. my article www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp.article=14464 >>

http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=14464

GEORGE/QUOTING EINSTEIN..<<''These mental concepts..are the only reality we can know...There is no model-independent test of reality. It follows that a well-constructed model creates a reality of its own."

george<<What this means is that physics/science cannot provide any guarantee ("evidence")..that there is a reality*..independent of what "model",..one uses to represent(describe)..it with.

<<Nevertheless,,,for practical purposes
one cannot live without the assumption ("belief"?)..that there exists such a reality,..that there is a "truth" about this reality,..that scientists are striving to know>>

all seems true..and still..it seems too general..ideally yes scientists..[heck why limit it to scientists]..we all would strive to know..yet most seem reluctant to leave the reality they constructed in their mind.

this is particular-ily noticeable in the next 'life'
where our mind models..[illusions of mindset]..are projected before each of us..for all to see..they make these phantasms real..to only themselves [the rest of us see they lack true solid living presence...but even then..yet fail to see our own delusions]

its us who make our own reality real..for us
thats why blind faith..in true death[no afterlife/the lie of judgment day..no god etc..are so dangerous..[ie many are only in hell..because of ignorance..based on blind faith

[jesus said much about the blind leading the blind
thats why those of science [to who much was given..so much more was to be expected]..

if its not provable/replicable [ie falsifiable]....its not science..

nor infallible...
lie built on lie..is building on sand..

in the end..we learn god is true living loving logic grace/mercy..
dont throw that away...on mere modeling bling

or faith in a lie..that feels true
or we hope..true

it must be all true..or its fraud science

on my own topic im getting to the math bit
http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=5899&page=

around page 149
http://www.mathematicsofevolution.com/Evolution_Of_Evolution.pdf
Posted by one under god, Tuesday, 30 July 2013 8:42:04 AM
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By George, I think I got it!

Will Rogers almost said, "I never metaphor I didn't like."
Posted by david f, Tuesday, 30 July 2013 9:06:15 AM
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George,

It is well know (particularly amongst those interested in counter-apologetics) that quantum physics is only ever brought-up in discussion by theists to support a belief in God. You're not the only one on OLO who does this... http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=12760#221043

Simply Google any religious term and "quantum physics" together to see the plethora of apologetics grasping at a justification for religious belief and you'll see what I mean.

<<If this refers to my article, please give an exact quote of where I am doing the shoehorning.>>

Given what I've highlighted above, the simple fact that you mention quantum physics (not to speak of your frequent mentioning of it in various other discussions on OLO) is enough of an example of the shoehorning. Could you really sit there with a straight face and say that your frequent "name-dropping" of quantum physics, in so many discussions, is just an unfortunate co-incidence?

The degrees of subtly may vary but theists only ever insert quantum physics into a discussion as either an analogy to the mysteriousness of their god, or to suggest that he too may be hiding in its weirdness. Your last quote was a good example of the latter.

<<I do not see where I claim [the weirdness of quantum physics makes religious belief more rational].>>

You didn't have to. See below...

<<As far as I can understand what you wrote, you seem to suggest that only theists - physicists or not - are perplexed by the possible implications for the nature of physical reality.>>

No. How did you get that from what I said?

More to the point, though, are you honestly suggesting that this "perplexedness" is all you were talking about? That you - a person often accused of obfuscation, mental gymnastics and unnecessarily convoluted arguments - were not defending your theology when you said "Hence the need “to tie ourselves up in knots with complexity” when wanting to understand reality"?

C'mon george. If you're going to be that dishonest with me then there's not much point in me continuing here.
Posted by AJ Philips, Tuesday, 30 July 2013 3:30:17 PM
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AJ Philips,

Well, I don’t see why I should feel guilty about mentioning quantum physics (or, for that matter, any other topic) in my OLO contributions.

>>If you're going to be that dishonest with me then there's not much point in me continuing here.<<

As I mentioned many times before, I am not going to reciprocate in a similar tone, however I wholeheartedly agree that there is no point in continuing.
Posted by George, Wednesday, 31 July 2013 12:17:38 AM
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George,

<<Well, I don’t see why I should feel guilty about mentioning quantum physics (or, for that matter, any other topic) in my OLO contributions.>>

The fact that you add “or, for that matter, any other topic” shows that you’re still missing my point. In fact, at this point, it seems you are taking great pains to not understand what I’ve been saying. Why would I suggest that you should feel guilty for just mentioning quantum physics?

<<As I mentioned many times before, I am not going to reciprocate in a similar tone…>>

You seem to be insinuating that there is something negative about my tone, or implying that one cannot say any of what I have said in a constructive way, using a positive tone. Why would you do that in the complete absence of any nastiness on my behalf if you’re not feeling guilty?

<<…however I wholeheartedly agree that there is no point in continuing.>>

The problem, however, is that you agree with me for such different reasons that it renders our agreement meaningless to the point where mentioning it just looks like an out; I don’t appreciate disingenuousness, while you just seem to be hitting the eject button frantically.

There’s nothing wrong with “killing two birds with one stone” by defending your theology at the same time as talking about the perplexity of quantum physics (the problem was that in doing so, you were committing the false analogy fallacy). Except that you’ve now denied it when it is very apparent that that’s precisely what you were doing.

You seem to be feeling VERY guilty here. And you should be. But not for the reasons you thought I was suggesting.
Posted by AJ Philips, Wednesday, 31 July 2013 7:45:39 AM
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AJ Philips,

OK, so let us agree that there is no point to continue, for whatever reasons you prefer.
Posted by George, Wednesday, 31 July 2013 8:32:44 AM
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http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=15341&page=0

its about word use
or rather language

oh well
pollute the well
best know now..we dwell in hell
Posted by one under god, Sunday, 18 August 2013 4:47:58 PM
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I don't mind if others believe there is something after life and hopefully it is a better place.

That shouldn't put off living in the present and making the best of it, but the great majority of the parishioners of the mainstream churches near to me seem to do that anyway.

For myself I would add my sincere hope that the various mongrels who make life awful for others eventually get their comeuppance.

Belief seems to have positive outcomes,

"Why Be Spiritual? Five Benefits of Spirituality
Spiritual people are gracious, optimistic, compassionate, and self-actualized"
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cant-buy-happiness/201302/why-be-spiritual-five-benefits-spirituality
Posted by onthebeach, Sunday, 18 August 2013 5:01:34 PM
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OtB, I agree that spirituality is a positive thing in general. It is like an arbour for a grape vine that provides a structure which the vine can climb and take strength from.

However, if the arbor is rotten, it can collapse and leave the vine in a heap to rot. If that happens, even the shoots at the top won't last long, regardless of how plump their bunches were.

I think the organised religions, some more than others, are full of rotten arbors that have been painted up to look impressive but that have no real moral strength. It's time to think about ways to replace them with something more durable that will support the vines of humanity into the future.

The thing is that the rot always starts at the bottom, where the arbour meets the ground. If we do not have a good strong educational system that provides a proper moral basis to guide our decisions, we cannot hope to have a good strong society.
Posted by Antiseptic, Sunday, 18 August 2013 7:12:35 PM
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onthebeach,

Spiritualism defined as “search for something sacred”, as in the link you provided, is a good definition if one can agree on what “sacred” is.

To me it is not clear what they mean by spiritualism or spirituality. In my dictionary “spiritual” means “of, relating to, or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things” or “of or relating to religion or religious belief”. In both cases the religious context is implicit.

However, there is also “secular spirituality” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_spirituality) which is explicitly “godless”, without relation to the divine. ("Search for something sacred" seems to be something in-between the two versions, religious and secular.)

Both are valid approaches to spirituality, although “religious spirituality” is broader, in the sense that it encompasses all the experiences of “secular spirituality” plus the additional awareness (or assumption if you like) of being in the presence of Something (“the divine”) outside the Self.

Antiseptic,

An interesting metaphor. I don’t know what your experience with “organised religions” was but it was obviously different from mine. I grew up in a society, where atheism (as it was called, although anti-theism is a better description) was institutionalized. For us, the fact that spirituality, religion (Christianity) had an “institutionalized” history that dwarfed that of Communism, was an additional source of comfort and reassurance. [True, it also had a non-religious aspect: a formal expression of continuity with European tradition and heritage, so different from the imposed from above Soviet political culture.]

In spite of that, I like your metaphor. Here is another one - my story of the three little pigs, if you see spirituality as those flowers: http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=2909&page=0#66836.
Posted by George, Monday, 19 August 2013 1:00:48 AM
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.

Dear George,

.

I have just returned from a trip to Australia and take up from where I left off our discussion.

You wrote on 24 July:

“ Actually what I was trying to argue was that it is not the business of science to "prove" anything about reality, only to form theories that agree with observed phenomena, can make verifiable predictions and thus explain reality through these theories”.

This would seem to indicate that in the absence of any scientific evidence of the existence of a god or gods or any other supernatural entity, the way forward for science would appear to be to “form theories that agree with observed phenomena” such as the belief in such existence as well as the apparent need “observed” among large masses of humanity for such belief.

This, of course, is historically a domain of research occupied by the humanities though recent inroads in the domain have been made by so-called neurotheology scientists.

From all accounts, the human brain has yet to reveal all its secrets, including, perhaps, the origin of the god concept and its subsequent elaboration.

Future “verifiable predictions” promise to be interesting as well as the long awaited “explanation of reality” which scientific theories may possibly manage to provide.

That is not to say that I, for one, should expect anybody to change their minds on the subject, one way or the other, whatever science may happen to establish as a result of its research.

But having said that, I am not sure that I have correctly applied your definition of “the business of science” as you described it here.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Monday, 19 August 2013 8:20:34 PM
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from georges link..secular/spirituality
..<<..Spirituality in this context..may be a matter of nurturing thoughts, emotions, words and actions..that are in harmony with a belief..that everything in the universe is mutually dependent.>>

my issue is if its a matter..of institutional humanities
holding 'teachings'..creed limitations definitions interpretations..etc..

then who..is the science authoritative peer
to differentiate valid from error..

from georges link..i found this link
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritual_But_Not_Religious

..<<..the word spiritual..came to be associated with the private realm of thought and experience..while the word religious came to be connected..with the public realm of membership in a religious institution with official denominational doctrines.>>..

yet the 4 gospels[proper]..[hold first person witness]..
should of themselves stand alone..separate from..the creed largely from paul'

<<..Zinnbauer and Pargament(2005) write that in the early 1900s psychology scholars such as William James, Edwin Starbuck, G. Stanley Hall, and George Coe investigated religiosity and spirituality through a lens of social science.[13]>>

where is their church?
preserving these holy texts?

<<..pirituality has emerged as a distinct social construct and focus of research since the 1980s. With the emergence of spirituality as a distinct concept from religion in both academic circles and common language, a tension has arisen between the two constructs.[13]

One possible differentiation among the three constructs religion, religiosity, and spirituality, is to view religion as primarily a social phenomenon while understanding spirituality on an individual level.[16]

Religiosity is generally viewed as being rooted in religion, whereas this is not necessarily the case for spirituality. A study of the differences between those self-identified as spiritual and those self-identified as religious found that the former have a loving, forgiving, and nonjudgmental view of the numinous, while those identifying themselves as religious see their god as more judgmenta..>>
Posted by one under god, Monday, 19 August 2013 8:53:27 PM
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George, thanks for that anecdote and for your own metaphor, which is addressing a somewhat different conceptual aspect of the topic - that of the way that individuals use the same raw materials differently depending on their perception of what is salient. Our Western model is very much that of the first two pigs, who cut off the pretty flower and were soon left with dead blooms to dispose of. They looked at their narrow self-interest instead of the whole picture. It's that narrow utilitarianism that has been so destructive socially.

It's also become entrenched as a model of doing research, with even PhD theses now exploring very small and tightly controlled topics, constrained by budget, time and publication demands, rather than by a search for novelty, which used to be the standard to separate a PhD from a Masters. I'm not sure precisely how the difference is defined today. As a result, people become narrowly focussed very early in their careers and have little incentive or even latitude to explore outside the bounds of their specialty. In a recent first-year lecture, for example, the work of Carol Gilligan was discussed and the lecturer made the comment that women are socialised to be nurturers in the second of Gilligan's 3 stages of female moral development. I spoke to her during the half-time break and suggested that it may be an evolutionary adaptation, which to her credit she did mention later in the lecture, but what interested me more, was that her reaction to my question about her own subject, which is developmental psych. She said "yes, cognitive and emotional" and disavowed any knowledge of evolutionary aspects, which seem pretty fundamental to understanding development at more than a cookbook level.

I'm not criticising her, she is obviously highly qualified and skilled in her field, but it does illustrate how knowledge is chopped ever finer.

We need more creative synthesis and that means we need to give people time and freedom to follow their curiosity, even down dead-ends.
Posted by Antiseptic, Monday, 19 August 2013 9:49:32 PM
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Dear Banjo,

>>This, of course, is historically a domain of research occupied by the humanities though recent inroads in the domain have been made by so-called neurotheology scientists.<<

In that quote and elsewhere, by “science” I mean “natural science” and not what the Germans call Wissenschaft (as for the French “science”, you know better), having in mind mainly physics. So I am not sure to what extent what I wrote applies to social sciences and humanities.

As far as “neurotheology”, built on neuroscience, is concerned, I think it cannot decide about the structure of Ultimate reality (i.a. “the existence of God”) any more than a neuroscientist scaling a working mathematician’s brain can decide whether the proof of something he/she offers is correct or not. As put by Vilayanur S. Ramachandran (whom Richard Dawkins called “The Marco Polo of neuroscience”):

“Just because there are circuits in your brain that predispose you to religious belief does not in any way negate the value of a religious belief. Now it may be god's way of putting an antenna in your brain to make you more receptive to god.” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/2003/godonbraintrans.shtml)

The same as an anthropologist, sociologist, historian etc can study the phenomenon of religion without making assumptions, or drawing conclusions, about the existence or non-existence of God or anything “divine”:

“This book can be read either as a study of the evolution of human IMAGES of God, or as the evolution of the human CAPACITY TO COMPREHEND God. The same theoretical model suits either interpretation.” (Rodney Stark, “Discovering God: The Origins of the Great Religions and the Evolution of Belief, HarperCollins 2007; I had to capitalize parts that are italicized in the book.)
(ctd)
Posted by George, Tuesday, 20 August 2013 7:50:27 AM
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(ctd)
>>That is not to say that I, for one, should expect anybody to change their minds … as a result of its research.<<

I agree 100%. It is in the nature of the fundamental worldview assumptions that they cannot be decided one way or the other through arguments acceptable to all, theists as well as atheists. Conversions, or losses of faith, do happen, however not as the outcome of some impersonal, detached, rational, “scientific” - or even logical - argument.

OUG,

Spirituality - whether “religious” or “secular”, self-made or rooted in tradition (Christian, Buddhist, Sufi, etc) - has nothing to do with God being “judgmental”, although ethical systems associated with e.g. the Abrahamic religions has this aspect of seeing God as being behind moral norms that refer to conduct, behavior, and not to being spiritual or whatever.

Spirituality and religiosity do not contradict each other but are either mutually independent or complement each other, depending on how you define religiosity.

Antiseptic,

>>your own metaphor, which is addressing a somewhat different conceptual aspect of the topic<<

Well, in that link the metaphor addressed one situation, here I used it to illustrate the advantage, as I see it, of spirituality rooted in tradition over “self-made” spiritualities that seem to be mushrooming in the West in recent years. And you provided a third, more general context re our Western model, which I look at very much the same way.

The same about the forth case concerning over-specialisation in scientific research. I agree in general, although the problem is, that there are not, and cannot be, true polymaths any more. Nevertheless, I agree that creative synthesis is good (except where it is done the way Sokal and Bricmont criticise, c.f. http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=3445#82275), and so are dead ends, more precisely research that shows that this or that way of going is a cul-de-sac.
Posted by George, Tuesday, 20 August 2013 7:56:17 AM
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antiseptic..<<..We need more creative synthesis>>..sin-thesis

<<..and that means we need to give people time and freedom to follow their curiosity, even down dead-ends.>>

I AGREE..thats why we each have eternity..to get it right
[do it our own way]..KNOWING..the dead ends..cause we been there..done that..and that didnt work for me..[AT that time]..yet im glad it works..for them...at this time

gerorge..<<..this aspect of seeing God..as being behind moral norms that refer to conduct,behavior,..and>>

to the being..being..behind the normal-normative norms of being..
we chose our base being..like we chose how/where/wether..
to drive an auto..or cycle

[god just makes the elect-tricks/mechanical s work]
where we chose to drive..THEN*..is up to us

religion..at its core
must be based on a common core or common destination
or common cause..creeds cuss-toms norms..conduct predicable behavior

not..?
<<..to being spiritual or whatever.
Spirituality and religiosity do not contradict each other
but are either mutually independent or complement each other, depending on how you define religiosity.>>

religiosity
is a classification/judgment call

religion=many fold religiosity..[plural]..[re legions] many

religious=signular personal

spi-ritual*
$pi-ritual
spirit-u-all*
Posted by one under god, Tuesday, 20 August 2013 8:27:16 AM
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george..<<.."much effort has been invested..in recent decades in finding clues..in contemporary science..that allow for an account of special,..providential divine actions,..without postulating violation of natural laws"..>>

are we talking of miracles?

<<theories that allow..for an interpretation of God's action
so as to provide an understanding of the latter from within the former.>>

A satisfactory account
of how this can be achieved is still lacking.

jesus wrote a course in miracles
http://acim.org/Lessons/

<<..“Be still,..and lay aside all thoughts..of what you are and what God is;..all concepts you have learned..about the world;..all images you hold about yourself...all..you think god to 'be'..do>>

first see you are the miracle
see the mirror-call..of your life/all living

<<..Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love.
They are performed..by those who..have more..for those who temporarily have less.>>
http://www.weboflove.org/courseinmiracles
<<..Only those..who give over all desire..to reject
can know..that their own rejection is impossible..>>

<<..The ego..does not want to teach everyone..all it has learned, because that would defeat..its purpose...>>

<<The ego seeks to divide and separate.
Spirit seeks to unify and heal..>>

<<Love will immediately enter into any mind that truly wants it.>>

<<Anger involves projection of separation,..which must ultimately be accepted as one's own responsibility,..rather than being blamed on others...>>

<<..Empty your mind of everything..it thinks is either true or false, or good or bad,..of every thought it judges worthy.. and all the ideas of which it is ashamed.

Hold onto nothing
Do not bring with you one thought the past has taught,
nor one belief you ever learned before..from anything.

Forget this world,..forget this course,
and come with wholly empty hands..unto your God.”>>
Posted by one under god, Wednesday, 21 August 2013 6:39:34 PM
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Lesson 91
http://acim.org/Lessons/lesson.html?lesson=91

Miracles are seen..*in light.

It is important to remember..that miracles..and vision
necessarily go together...This needs repeating, and frequent repeating.

It is a central idea..in your new thought system,
and the perception that it produces...*The miracle is always there.!

Its presence*..is not caused by your vision;
its absence..is not the result of your failure to see.!

It is only your awareness..of miracles that is affected.
You will see them..in the light;..you will not see them in the dark.

To you,..then,..light is crucial.
While you remain in darkness,..the miracle remains unseen...Thus you are convinced it is not there.

This follows from the premises..from which the darkness comes...Denial of light..*leads to failure to perceive it...Failure to perceive light..is to perceive darkness.

The light is useless to you then,..even though it is there.
You cannot use it..because its presence is unknown to you...And
..*the seeming reality of the darkness..makes the idea of light meaningless.

To be told..that what you do not see..is there..sounds like insanity. It is very difficult to become convinced..that it is insanity not to see what is there,..and to see what is..*not there instead.

You do not doubt..that the body's eyes can see.
You do not doubt..the images they show you are reality.
Your faith lies in the darkness,..not the light.. How can this be reversed?

For you it is impossible,
but you are not alone in this.
Your efforts, however little they may be, have strong support.

Did you but realize..how great this strength,..your doubts would vanish...Today we will devote ourselves to the attempt to let you feel this strength...When you have felt the strength in you, which makes all miracles within your easy reach,..you will not doubt.

The miracles your..sense of weakness hides..will leap into awareness as you feel the strength in you.

important to read next lesson

http://acim.org/Lessons/lesson.html?lesson=92

..<<beliefs that come from the conviction you are a body,
and the body's eyes can see.

You also believe the body's brain can think.
If you but understood the nature of thought, you could but laugh..>>

thought?

http://acim.org/Lessons/lesson.html?lesson=132
Posted by one under god, Wednesday, 21 August 2013 6:56:59 PM
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Lesson 45

God..is the Mind..with which I think.

Today's idea holds the key..to what your real thoughts are...They are nothing that you think..you think,..just as nothing that you think you see is related to vision..in any way.

There is no relationship..between what is real
and what you think is real...Nothing that you think..are your real thoughts resemble your real thoughts..in any respect.

Nothing that you think you see..bears any resemblance..to what vision will show you.

You think*..*with the Mind..of God.
Therefore you share your thoughts..with Him,..as He shares His with you.

*They are the same thoughts,..because they are thought..*by the same Mind...To share..to make one...is to make alike,..

Nor do the thoughts..you think with the Mind of God..leave your mind, because..thoughts do not leave their source.

Therefore,..your thoughts are in the Mind of God,..as you are.
They are..in your heart mind as well,..where He is...As you are part of His Mind,..so are your thoughts..part of His Mind.

Where,..then,..are your real thoughts?
Today we will attempt to reach them.

We will have to look for them..in your mind.. because that is where they are...They must still be there,..because they cannot have left their source.

What is thought..by the Mind of God..is eternal,

We will attempt to leave..the unreal and seek for the real.
We will deny the world..in favor of truth/light/love/logic.
We will not let..the thoughts of the world..hold us back.

We will not let the beliefs of the world..tell us that what God would have us do is impossible...Instead,..we will try to recognize that only what God would have us do..is possible.

We will also try to understand..that only what God would have us do..is what we want to do...And we will also try to remember that we cannot fail..in doing what He would have us do.

There is every reason to feel confident..that we will succeed today. after all..It is the Will of God.

Lesson 15
http://acim.org/Lessons/lesson.html?lesson=15
My thoughts are images that I have made.

Lesson 19
http://acim.org/Lessons/lesson.html?lesson=19
I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts.
Posted by one under god, Wednesday, 21 August 2013 7:21:08 PM
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.

Dear George,

.

Thanks for the link to the BBC transcript of the “God on the Brain” report (which, perhaps, may have been more appropriately entitled: “God in the brain”).

It seems to me that if, indeed, we human beings somehow acquired a biological religious predisposition since we broke away from our common ancestor with the chimpanzees some five to seven million years ago (chimpanzees do not appear to inherited the same disposition), it must be due to our subsequent (Darwinian)evolution.

We know that primeval man invented animist gods as an explanation of the violent manifestations of nature which terrorized him (ferocious deluges, floods, lightning, thunder, hurricanes, snow storms, bush fires, earthquakes, volcanos, devastating meteorites, etc.), humbly submitting himself to them as their subject, worshiping them and imploring their mercy, offering animal and human sacrifices ultimately epitomized by the elevation of the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth as the saviour (scapegoat) of mankind.

The god concept seems to have been made possible thanks to the development of our superior intelligence. We elaborated a survival strategy based on the concept.

Examples are legion where faith saves lives. It produces miracles which science and technology are incapable of producing.

From what you have written here, George, I understand that science is barely scratching the surface of what we should need to acquire in order for the god concept to become redundant. Even then (on the cosmic time scale) if it could still save just one single life, why bother to make it redundant.

Provided it is accompanied by compassion for others as well as respect for their liberty and their right to be different, faith is a virtue.

Having said that, there is no doubt in my mind that there is no god and it is of great personal satisfaction to me to have been able to settle such an important question during my lifetime.

So many brilliant minds have said so much to the contrary that I feel quite privileged by the revelation.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Thursday, 22 August 2013 12:52:55 AM
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Dear Banjo,

Thanks for the nice and sincere post.

>>Having said that, there is no doubt in my mind that there is no god and it is of great personal satisfaction to me to have been able to settle such an important question during my lifetime.

So many brilliant minds have said so much to the contrary that I feel quite privileged by the revelation.<<

Many a deeply religious person would say exactly the same thing, except that he/she would write “revelation” with a capital “R” (and, of course, use “a God” instead of “no god”).

This illustrates that it is not so important (for humanity to have a future) whether one is a theist or an atheist (or sits on the fence) - I believe there will always be people of both kinds, a belief I expressed in the last paragraph of my previous post to you - as long as one is sincere in one’s own beliefs (even if one calls them unbeliefs) and not only tolerant but also respectful towards those sincere and honest from the other side of this worldview divide.

Bhagavad Gita the incarnate god Krishna says, ‘Whatever god a man worships, it is I who answer the prayer.” Maybe something similar could be said about revelations and Revelations: “Whatever a man believes is the source of his revelation, it is what he makes of it, rather than what he believes about it, that counts”.
Posted by George, Thursday, 22 August 2013 1:31:04 AM
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banjo/quote..<<..we human beings..somehow
acquired a bio-logical..religious predisposition>>

thats a big 'clue'..
see how far..from the beasts..we are
not one other..'beast'..has writing..speech
to voice..what the inner mind's eye..is seeing..hearing feeling
let alone cast it..into intelligible abstract forms..like words/works

then..recognizing..
the inner light..illuminating..our inner brain..with imagery..
that we some-how are seeing..via our minds eye..manifested..into speech/word/work/deed/..

interacting..the abstract emotive inner imagery..
with the perceived to be real..external fact..as our animal senses report.

for a beast..only what they perceive..is real..for them
but we go..,much further..by huge leaps..

much bigger than..'evolution'..
theoretically could 'evolve'/resolve

when..its the inner light..
*allowing the inner seeing..that is the true miracle..

all outside..can only be reasoned..[made sense of]..
from/via..the inner reagent..emoting upon the external..[darkness]

<<since we broke away..from our common ancestor..with the chimpanzees some five to seven million years ago>>

i must take that on faith
i understand humans*..are only 100,000 years old...at best?

KEY*..<<(chimpanzees do not appear
to inherited..the same disposition),>>..

NOR ANY OTHER..beast..be-for..*us!
..OF THE MILLIONS OF SPECIES..OF BEASTS!

[for who we are..called
charged..'to be our brrr-others..keeper']

<<it must be due to..our subsequent(Darwinian)evolution.>>

but*
its such a hugely divergent..'evolution'
it needs a new name..that reflects..the huge..leap..away from beast-hood.

ITS A MIRAcle

..<<We know..that primeval man...*in-vented>>

YET fail to allow..FOR
the inner miracle..light.life/logic
doing the..*in-spir-ing..

making real..
the...*in-vent-ing

THE INNER MIND...invented*...the <<animist gods..
as an explanation..of the..EDITED..man*-ifest-ations..*of nature..>>

see the greatness..in thyself..

to the beast..your as close
as they will get..to seeing...the great inner unseen..

UNSEEABLE..TO THE BEAST/LEAST*
yet we ALONE..are allowed to see/con-sieve..him..
ever present/omnipotant/omnipresent...ifr only..in our minds eye
Posted by one under god, Thursday, 22 August 2013 7:14:58 AM
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Dear csteele,

Considering King David I consulted the Bible and found:

Kings 1 1:1 Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat. 1:2 Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat. 1:3 So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 1:4 And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.

I will be 88 on October 31. I certainly would like to get heat from a young virgin. Unfortunately I would have to seek one out. The Queensland police would probably be after me if I advertised for her. My wife would probably object to her joining us in bed. My carnal capacity is pretty limited so I don’t think I would be able to know her, but it’s a nice thought. However, if any young virgins see this and are interested in giving heat to an old man I can be reached. Just send an email to Graham Young and ask him to forward it to me. I shall await with worms in my mouth (baited breath).

Dear platypus1900: I ask you again: Can you cite any verifiable evidence of God holding anybody accountable for anything?

If not will you reconsider your statement: i believe God will hold us all accountable as a country on the way we kill our unborn,

One problem with religious belief of what I think is your type is that you never really examine your statements or positions. Your statement above is clearly without any substance, but I doubt that you will think about it. What will God do? Will he send a tsunami to Australia or make Tony Abbott PM?
Posted by david f, Thursday, 22 August 2013 10:56:00 AM
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Oops, posted previous to wrong thread. Sorry.
Posted by david f, Thursday, 22 August 2013 11:30:59 AM
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.

Dear George,

.

« Many a deeply religious person would say exactly the same thing, except that he/she would write “revelation” with a capital “R” (and, of course, use “a God” instead of “no god”). »

.

I agree.

From my perspective, the existence of a god is not a prerequisite for spirituality, holiness, the sense of the sacred, piety, sanctity, devoutness, devotion, morality, goodness, generosity, altruism, self-sacrifice, religiosity, etc. Otherwise there would be none in the world today.

The fact that some people do demonstrate these qualities cannot, in my opinion, be attributed to the existence of a god.

Also, just as light produces shadow, the god concept inevitably comes with its corollary as two sides of the same coin. Impossible to have one without the other.

From my perspective, faith without god is what we have today.

It’s a perspective worth meditating upon as a source of inspiration for the best way forward ... beyond the god concept and its inevitable corollary.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Thursday, 22 August 2013 7:57:19 PM
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i replied davids post at the topic
http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=5975#170303

noted..banjo<<..From my perspective,..the existence of a god
is not a prerequisite for spirituality,holiness,..the sense of the sacred,./.EDITED..religiosity, etc...*Otherwise there would be none in the world today.>>

there wasnt any..at all
before mankind..'evolved'..it..defined it..mandated it
but of course..my opinion.,.is equally valid as yours

<<The fact..that some people do demonstrate..these qualities cannot, in my opinion,*..be attributed to the existence of a god.>>

cant agree

<<..Also,..just as light produces shadow,>>

now hang on there banjo
absence of light..[by blocking it..casts a shadow
the light cant be said to produce the shadow..as much as that blocking the light

<<the god concept..inevitably comes..with its corollary>>

corollery..meaning,,:
1..a logical proposition..that follows one allrready proved..[please sir where is your proof..or are you conceding..the god concept?]

2de..definition..:..a direct consequence..or result of*
[im.not seeing your point]

then..inevitably..with its corollary..<<as two sides of the same coin...<<...Impossible to have one without the other.>>

i agree

<<..From my perspective,
faith without god..is what we have today.
It’s a perspective worth meditating upon..as a source of inspiration for the best way forward>>..

best way forward?
for who?

for you..it may be the best way..for you

<<... beyond the god concept and its inevitable corollary.>>

inevitably..the true meaning
of corollary..needs clearing up..i feel..maybe via thesaurus

other options to..the word corollary
;..result/upshot/effect/repercussion/product/..knock on affect

anyhow glad we agree..to a point
Posted by one under god, Thursday, 22 August 2013 8:28:36 PM
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Dear Banjo,

From my perspective there is too much faith and not enough doubt. It is more comfortable and easier to accept without examining what we are and what we grow up thinking. However, as far as I am concerned leaps of faith which spring from acceptance of what we cannot prove are markedly inferior to doubts which causes us to ask questions. IMHO doubt is a virtue, and faith is a vice.

From doubt arises knowledge. From faith may arise atrocity.
Posted by david f, Thursday, 22 August 2013 8:46:00 PM
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Dear Banjo,

>>From my perspective, the existence of a god is not a prerequisite for spirituality,<<

Perhaps rather ”belief in the existence of a god is not a prerequisite for …”, or did you mean “God is not necessarily the only explanation of …”? In both case, I agree. For instance, Buddhism and other forms of mysticism that are not directed towards the God or Godhead of Western religions are good examples of that. [Although folk versions even of Buddhism assume “the existence of … well they do not call them gods but … spirits”.]

For me - for my “life equation”, c.f. http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=5975#170286 - a God as modeled by Christianity is the best possible explanation of all that you mentioned as well as many other things, including contemporary philosophy of science and philosophy of religion. Obviously, for others - including you - this is not the case. However, if we still can communicate on a level that enhances our worldviews - as it seems we two can - that on its own is worth keeping up our occasional exchange of opinions.

>>From my perspective, faith without god is what we have today.<<

I think by “faith without god” you mean what is more commonly known as secular (or atheist) spirituality, c.f. my post above http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=15257#265481. As for my (outsider's) view of spirituality without its roots in traditional religion, see my story about the three little pigs:(http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=2909&page=0#66836).
Posted by George, Thursday, 22 August 2013 9:04:31 PM
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Dear david f,

If you DEFINE faith as the negation, opposite, of doubt then you are right. Otherwise I cannot imagine a theist who would never have doubted anything - have you heard of the "Dark Night of the Soul" by Saint John of the Cross?. Neither an atheist who would doubt everything. Some things at some times and to some extent you doubt, some you don’t. It is not an absolute (unlike propositions of formal logic or pure mathematics that can be either proved or disproved … well, never mind Goedel).
Posted by George, Thursday, 22 August 2013 9:25:24 PM
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Dear George,

Of course it is unlikely that anybody is a complete doubter, or anybody has complete faith. However, I still don't think faith is a virtue.
Posted by david f, Thursday, 22 August 2013 9:33:52 PM
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Dear David,

I just happened to discover that this old thread is still alive. I enjoyed skimming through the responses, but I would have lots of catching-up to do and no time in the next few days, so I just want to relate to the issue of faith:

No one with a mind has no faith.
There is no vacuum.
The question is only in what.

Do you have faith that the sun will rise tomorrow?
Do you have faith in your senses and in your mind?
Do you have faith in doubt?

One is not more rational than the others.

Faith in God is a powerful remedy against faith in the world and one's mind and senses.

Dear Banjo,

<<the existence of a god is not a prerequisite for spirituality, holiness, the sense of the sacred, piety, sanctity, devoutness, devotion, morality, goodness, generosity, altruism, self-sacrifice, religiosity, etc. Otherwise there would be none in the world today.

The fact that some people do demonstrate these qualities cannot, in my opinion, be attributed to the existence of a god.>>

Absolutely. But they can be attributed to God.

<<Also, just as light produces shadow, the god concept inevitably comes with its corollary as two sides of the same coin. Impossible to have one without the other.>>

Exactly, which is why God is not a concept and another proof why God does not exist.

<<From my perspective, faith without god is what we have today.>>

What you probably mean is faith without a concept of the existence of God - which is wonderful.

Dear George,

Thank you for great insights.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Thursday, 22 August 2013 10:19:08 PM
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.

Dear David,

.

« … as far as I am concerned leaps of faith which spring from acceptance of what we cannot prove are markedly inferior to doubts which causes us to ask questions. IMHO doubt is a virtue, and faith is a vice.

From doubt arises knowledge. From faith may arise atrocity ...

Of course it is unlikely that anybody is a complete doubter, or anybody has complete faith. However, I still don't think faith is a virtue. »

.

I get your point, David, but need to clear the air on the semantics. You oppose faith and doubt whereas the antonym of faith is mistrust and that of doubt is certainty.

It is possible to doubt and have faith simultaneously on a single issue. One does not necessarily exclude the other.

Both are virtuous in my view.

But, as you suggest, nothing is absolute. It’s the story of sand in the oyster: a little produces a pearl; too much kills the animal. It’s also a question of swings and balances. Each issue has to be weighed-up on its proper merits ... a little more faith; a little less doubt ... a little more doubt; a little less faith ... backed-up by constant surveillance and strong corrective measures where necessary.

All human relations are based on faith. Lack of it causes breakdown and failure of communication, comprehension and exchange. Nothing can be contracted. Everything grinds to a stand-still resulting in paralysation, chaos and abandonment.

Faith needs to be restored for human relations to operate smoothly and efficiently. It creates a virtuous circle. Mistrust, lack of confidence, puts a spanner in the works, creates a vicious circle and leads to systems failure.

Also, please allow me to suggest that rather than “from doubt arises knowledge” wouldn’t “from challenge and questioning arises knowledge” be more exact? The term “doubt” indicates rejection. That’s it. You need to do something a little more positive than that in order to acquire knowledge.

In a similar vein, rather than “from faith may arise atrocity” might I suggest “from pure bigotry may arise atrocity”?

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Friday, 23 August 2013 7:06:12 AM
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.

Dear George,

.

« I think by “faith without god” you mean what is more commonly known as secular (or atheist) spirituality, ... »

.

What I mean is, supposing for the sake of the argument, that there is no god (which I trust any intellectually honest theist would be prepared to admit as a possibility, albeit a highly unlikely one), in which case his faith would, in fact, be grounded in nothing. He would simply be mistaken.

In this scenario he would have faith but no god.

It is a very common and extremely ancient scenario which has being playing out ever since the beginning of mankind, five to seven million years ago, which continues to play out even today in respect of all those tribal communities whose members fervently place their faith in animist gods.

In this scenario, I am not sure how the spirituality of the theist can be any different from that of the non-theist. Though the theist may ignore it (or simply not admit it as a fact), wouldn’t his spirituality be the same as that of the non-theist if there is no god to differentiate them ?

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Friday, 23 August 2013 8:31:40 AM
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Dear Banjo,

>> supposing … that there is no god … in which case (the theist’s) faith would, in fact, be grounded in nothing. … mistaken.<<

Formally either God exists or does not exist, however which one is the case depends on how you define “God” and “exists”. Otherwise, having a Faith and concluding that God, as you understand and trusted Him does not exist makes you loose your faith. As I mentioned we have also secular/atheist spirituality, either self-made or grounded in Buddhism.

However Godless faith sounds to me - forgive my language - as a kind of spiritual masturbation. For a Christian there is “vertical love” between God and the believer, and "horizontal love", including erotic, between two humans. As there is partnerless sex so is there Godless faith, but in both cases it somehow is not the real thing.

Faith is not just belief (like in the existence of extraterrestrials); it is a complete state of mind, which you acquire either through religiously effective education since childhood - very few of that recently - or you are an adult convert as the consequence of what psychologists call a limit situation that you A POSTERIORI see as “God’s entering your life”.

>>In this scenario he would have faith but no god.<<

Such faith, would indeed be considered a delusion by those who claim God doesn't exist. If the believer himself agreed, he/she would have lost his faith.

>>I am not sure how the spirituality of the theist can be any different from that of the non-theist. …wouldn’t his spirituality be the same?<<

I reckon that the spirituality of a believer is experienced in about the same way as that of the unbeliever. The difference is that the latter concentrates on his (mystical) experience, wheres the believer in addition “sees” God in whom he believes (God’s actual existence or non-existence is irrelevant here, only the strength of the believer’s belief in e.g. the Christian God counts)

I have been oversimplifying things, spirituality is not my piece of cake. Maybe I should write a more careful article about it.
Posted by George, Friday, 23 August 2013 10:00:38 AM
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Dear Banjo,

Your semantics are exquisite, but I am not antisemantic. If words had simple meanings then we could say what the antonym is. The antonym of colour is colourless, but faith has many antonyms which may disagree with one another. Faith also has several definitions. One of the definitions of faith according to Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary is ‘firm and unquestioning belief in that for which there is no proof.’ That is also a characteristic of bigotry. Bigotry ascribes certain unfavourable qualities to a group with no justification or proof. If there is proof then it is no longer bigotry.

I don’t know what pure bigotry is as opposed to impure bigotry. However, bigotry is only one type of faith. A synonym for faith is trust. That synonym does not include bigotry. Trust in their Lord was exhibited by Abraham when he was willing to murder his son, Jephthah when he murdered his daughter and those who flew the airplanes into the World Trade Center. As far as I know none of them were bigots, but they were all men of faith. From their faiths arose atrocity.

I think mistrust would have been more appropriate than trust in the instances cited above.

Doubt alone will not bring knowledge, but doubt is necessary to start the process leading to knowledge unless one confines knowledge to merely absorbing received doctrines.
Posted by david f, Friday, 23 August 2013 11:01:59 AM
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.

Dear George,

.

« Godless faith sounds to me - forgive my language - as a kind of spiritual masturbation ... As there is partnerless sex so is there Godless faith, but in both cases it somehow is not the real thing. »

.

That is an interesting image, George. It takes my mind back to the Sumerian goddess Inanna, also known by the Akkadians as Ishtar. She was the goddess who incarnated the natural forces of fertility and fecundity in Mesopotamia during the Neolithic period (dating back to about 10.000 BC).

I doubt that there is anyone, in this day and age, who seriously considers that there ever was such a goddess. Nevertheless, she was venerated, for over 8.000 years, by the kings of both Assyria and Babylon, as combining the symbolism of fertility and the power of the warrior-woman until the fall of Babylon in 1.595 BC

From what you say, George, I guess they were simply indulging in the perconal spiritual occupations you mentioned.

Thank God we’re not like them !

.

“Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell
and the profit and loss.

A current under sea picked his bones in whispers.
As he rose and fell he passed the stages of his age and youth
entering the whirlpool.

Gentile or Jew
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.”

(Death by water, from T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land)

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Friday, 23 August 2013 10:12:53 PM
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.

Dear David,

.

“Your semantics are exquisite, but I am not anti-semantic.”

.

Don’t worry, David, I saw from the flash of your gun at high noon you were shooting from the hip.

You were the only one standing when the smoke cleared.

Shoot first and explain later.

That’s fine with me.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Friday, 23 August 2013 10:26:07 PM
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Dear Banjo,

I appreciate your erudition, but faith still promotes atrocity. It may also promote other things, but I don't think of it as a virtue.

As far as Godless faith goes the Buddhists have a deep faith. My daughter is one, but they do not have a God.

God is a construction upon which Jews, Christians, Muslims and Baha'is focus. However, Buddhists and Hindus focus their faiths in other ways.

The warrior woman is still a figure to be reckoned with in some societies. If one goes to a Chinese opera attended by Chinese reared in the classical tradition you will hear an intake of breath from the assembled Chinese geezers when the warrior woman takes the stage.

She appears in the Bible also. Deborah led a successful counterattack against the forces of Jabin king of Canaan and his military commander Sisera, the narrative is recounted in chapter 4 of Judges. She used excellent strategy by choosing the high ground on Mount Tabor to base her troops. Forces with chariots may prevail on a plain but don't do so well against missiles coming at them from the heights.

From too much love of living,
From hope and fear set free,
We thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever gods may be
That no life lives for ever ;
That dead men rise up never ;
That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea.

Welcoming death from Swinburne's Garden of Proserpine

One of the penalties of living as long as I have is that so many people I know are no more. Banjo and George, long life to you and your friends.
Posted by david f, Friday, 23 August 2013 11:14:10 PM
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Dear david f,

“unquestioning belief in that for which there is no proof.’ That is also a characteristic of bigotry. ’

You are right, this is a definition of faith as bigotry. There are also definitions of faith as simply belief in God or something supernatural, since many non-English languages cannot distinguish between “faith” and “belief” when speaking about religion. Another thing is faith as trust, and for trust as such there is a separate word in, I suppose, all languages. In my mind, all these definitions are too one-sided; faith as a state of mind is more complex than that.

>>Trust in their Lord was exhibited by Abraham when he was willing to murder his son,<<

Like trust in the cord attached to his feet was exhibited by the bungee jumper when he was willing to commit suicide by jumping?

Dear Banjo,

>>From what you say, George, I guess they were simply indulging in the perconal spiritual occupations you mentioned.<<

No, I was referring to the strange concept of “Godless faith” (as distinct from Godless spirituality which is genuine, see e.g. the Buddhists or secular spirituality). As for those Sumerians who believed in goddess Inanna etc, if you want to refer to their state of mind as “faith” (I am not sure whether anthropologists study such a concept) then their faith certainly was not godless.

They believed in something beyond the natural (they did not have science to measure what nature and what supernatural - real or imagined - was) the same as some of us believe today; only they had a rather naive understanding of it. Like they knew of thunderstorms as we do, only had an apparently naive explanation of its causes.

But it is the same thunderstorms and the same supernatural, divine, that both they and us refer to. The difference is, of course, that nobody doubts the “reality” of thunderstorms unlike that of the divine that some of us believe is the cause and purpose of all existence, irrespective of how we model it to make it comprehensible for our culture- and evolution-dependent minds.
Posted by George, Saturday, 24 August 2013 12:07:39 AM
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george/quote..<<..nobody doubts..the “reality”*..of thunderstorms..>>
because..we know*..its qualities/form/function.

<<<..unlike that..of the divine..[EDIT]..irrespective..of how we model it*..to make it..comprehensible*>>

THAT'S..the key,..
all of our certainties..are believable facts
which then..underpin' our faitsh..[regardless of what..the faith...WE*..may-be sustaining]

..my certainties..
http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=15341&page=0

and..as many are....said to be..un_intelligible..
i prefer..to put up links..to allow the basis..of my certainties..to be judged..for themselves.

so saying..i extract..a quote..
i last posted at..the sells special/god..language topic..*noting an almost immediate reply..finally..from peter

<<i have been..following..previous posts,..at..*..Is God back?

http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=2909&page=0#66836

and have noted..that many links..
posted..there..*have been REMOVED/deleted/404*

i said<<...in case you want to know more
i suspect it goes something like as..is written in these stories
http://www.angelfire.com/ne/newviews/gonewest.html
http://www.angelfire.com/ne/newviews/wsltoc.html
>>..

anyhow the first link..
NOW..is here..[gone west]
[the best exposure..of after life]..[and of our ongoing redemption]

http://new-birth.net/booklet/Gone_West.pdf

the others like ..*"the officer"
http://new-birth.net/booklet/Subaltern_Spirit_Land.pdf

''30 years among the dead ''
http://new-birth.net/booklet/30_years_among_the_dead.PDF

anyhow the last one is a proper science publication
using science/method..which confirms the reality..of spirit..[not god]

the first one..[gone west],
explains how the after life realm..is structured..
it includes a drawing/map..of the after life realms..these show the divisions..[or many 'rooms/reams/planes]..by which order is maintained from disorder

specifically of importance..
is the multiplicity..of 'gods'..as revealed via the links..[in hell]

the middle link..[the adjutant..describes the death..to resection/..then his eventual redemption]..of the officer..

there are many books..like these
suppressed in time..thus peters reply/finally..to stop posting..them

its info..[i hold as truth[..the church dont want known
but strangely..ditto atheist's dont want known neither..

cause its same/same..

peter actually admitted..his education..created an atheist..
but sadly the catalyst..[the only one worthy..of his time/.effort..he would regard as a peer]..didnt take the bait..

but such is freewill

and there wee get back to faith*
especially in the next life..IF YOU BELIEVE it..!
its you MAKE it real for you..!

thus beware..of what*..you trust/have faith in..[make real/..REAL-ize]
cause hell ..s full of these..so called phantasm/s
or false gods..we then project..ie make real..
[manifest][project]..before us..

with only us..the ones being self deceived..
making them real..only to ourselves..!

what we CHOSE to..give reality to..[via absolute belief/faith]
is the very thing..that we must overcome..if not here now..

then
there

then
Posted by one under god, Saturday, 24 August 2013 8:20:17 AM
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Dear George,

Any belief is in something for which there is no proof. That is essential to belief and is not bigotry. If there is proof of the existence of an entity or a percept it is no longer belief. Banjo has muddied the waters by bringing in bigotry. However, I would not equate faith with bigotry although I feel both are to a degree malignant.

All Christian doctrines - the virgin birth, original sin, God, the triune nature of God, the substitutionary atonement etc. are matters of faith. There is no proof for any of it. Christianity is of course not unique in that. Most of the Bible with its fairy tales appeared before the invention of Christianity. Non-theistic religions and Islam have their share of wonder tales also.

The trust in the Lord exhibited by Abraham in the Bible was definitely not like the trust of the bungee jumper. The bungee jumper expects to have the cord hold and will have the frisson of danger knowing that it might not. On the other hand apparently Abraham fully expected to murder his son. By my morality the biblical story remains profoundly evil. I cannot accept the God portrayed in the Bible as anything but an evil fantasy.
Posted by david f, Saturday, 24 August 2013 8:44:47 AM
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david/quote..<<..Any belief is in something for which there is no proof.>>

like i believe..
the sun..*will rise..again..in the east?[tomorrow..at a spercific time location]..or ibelieve it will rain..sometime?

i have faith..i will..finish writing this line.
i have the firm belief..i am not alone..[yet sit here by myself

im..trying to restore the context..of the next quote

ANY belief..in some*thing..[unprovable?..<<That is essential to belief..is not bigotry.>?

this must relate to one of georges replies?

my feelingis..any unprovable*..point
may bear a biggited bias..yet not be true faith

<<If there is proof
of the existence..of an entity..or a percept..it is no longer belief>>

in my opinion
yes..this..i too believe

but..
what is belief/faith..without works..*

or the use of faith/belief..into abuse
that brings us down..or frightens us into denial/fear/anger
theism..or indeed atheism..or/pain..death..etc

or ..[insert any hurtful/injurious negatives]
[that hurt self..or other..]
Posted by one under god, Saturday, 24 August 2013 9:45:03 AM
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Dear david f,

Thank for the food for thought. The following is written off the cuff":

>> Any belief is in something for which there is no proof. <<

True, provided this “something” is provable - i.e. a proof is imaginable, would make sense - by its very nature. In mathematics theorems are provable axioms are not; you expect a theorem to be proved, not the axioms. Neither are basic worldview presuppositions, even the very existence of physical reality is not provable (see Hawking-Mlodinow quoted in my www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=14464) but everybody believes it. On the other hand, belief that ALP will win the next elections, or that there is untelegent life on some planet in our galaxy are both provable.

Had you used “evidence” instead of “proof” I would have used “falsifiable” instead of “provable”. For instance, the belief in virgin birth would be of that provable/falsifiable kind if we had Jesus’ and Mary’s DNAs. On the other hand, belief in the divine that by its very definition is not detectable through our scientific methods of investigation is not, and cannot be, of the provable kind, unless one accepts naive ideas of God that identify the Divine with our, usually personified, models of it offered by various religions.

>>On the other hand apparently Abraham fully expected to murder his son.<<

I do not know what Abraham expected, how could anybody? I only know that there is an interpretation of the story that you prefer, and one that I prefer (expressed through reference to the bungee jumper), an interpretation that - I suppose, though am not sure - is also the interpretation of most Christians and probably also religious Jews. If you watched the bungee jumper and for some reason did not see the cord, you would naturally assume that he was about to commit suicide. The same about reading the Abraham/Isaac story if you do not see what I (and others) call the point of the story.
Posted by George, Saturday, 24 August 2013 10:01:09 AM
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Dear George,

One can also say belief is accepting that for which there is no evidence. We cannot prove that the sun will rise tomorrow, but one can assume that it will since it has risen on all the days we know of. That can establish a reasonable presumption that it will rise tomorrow as there is evidence for one's presumption. However, religious belief requires more. There is not only no proof of the virgin birth and the other doctrines of the church, but there is also no evidence on which to presume its truth. non modo sed etiam.

We cannot know what Abraham expected, but the story implies that he was willing to carry out what he thought was the wishes of the Lord. We cannot reasonably say that the story has a point other than the point its readers give to it. When I was a little boy I was told that the story marked the transition from human to animal sacrifice. We cannot know what point the creators of the story had in mind when they wrote it. My interpretation that it is to inculcate blind, unquestioning obedience as a virtue is largely based on the fact that it appears in a book that lauds such obedience.

I prefer the story of Prometheus who defied the Gods. I probably told you this story before, but I think it's a good one that others might not have heard.

In the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a large painting of Prometheus bound with an eagle devouring his liver. I took my oldest son to the museum, and we saw the painting as well as many other things. When we got home my wife asked, "William, what did you see?" He answered, "We saw a bird eating liver."
Posted by david f, Saturday, 24 August 2013 10:38:42 AM
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davids quote..<<..By my morality the biblical story remains profoundly evil...>>

i again must agree
but*..please recall..jesus saying..the beast..KNOWS its masters voice

i read the bible as a collection..of stories
written..DEFINITIVLY*..by the hands of men[not god]

..<<I cannot accept the God portrayed in the Bible..as anything but an evil fantasy.>>>

agreed
but the words/thoughts/words of great thinkers
and not so great..conceiving/formulating/believing..
the inconceivable..*..the life force sustaining us all..

great progressions as we developed to the 10 commands..
then..the witness of those who saw the carnate../incarnate? christ..

[definitively born of woman..!]

thus..the word made flesh..doing as we willin timedo greater
a living example of higher human..being..simply doing
as they then expected god/with_us.[Emmanuel]..to do..

[as was prophesised]..[ie serving other
as THE way to good/god]..like the father..serves all life our living

JUST AS THE BEAST..knows*[its masters voice
we thus learned..ALL*..GOOD comes of god[grace/mercy]

just as we now know..
ALL NOT GOOD..is NOT of god

thanks be to the greats..who wondered upon these things
these same/concepts questions/events..before us

this detail..unites their minds
with ours..its like communing with the dead..[only SPIRITUALLY they arnt dead]

the vile inthe bi-ble..comes from men
the good*..comes inspired from him all loving

those who.*know love/good..
even in..*the word equal..our as lived inour lives
KNOW our masters VOICE..!*

this stillinner voice..will comfort..
will unite..will be mercy-full

is detectable..even if just words
recorded/reworded/translated..wurds
*changed edited/.deleted..censord/hidden..words

amoung the many great WORDS..of mankind
sacred words..of those who's trial's/comforts morals..leanings of their experiences..of..that which came before us*

time has passed..thus allowing reasonable doubt..
in lue of the certainty..[absolute]..if jesus came today..

where the freewill.?..then
ie now..which.god holds sacrosanct..

wanting us..
no..*rusting us to chose love../grace/mercy
of other..in lue of..dominion over 'the other'
Posted by one under god, Saturday, 24 August 2013 10:53:20 AM
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for david..[from gone west introduction]
http://new-birth.net/booklet/Gone_West.pdf

see the next 2de quote
but to retain its context..begins here

<<..Those who have come up..from the Realm of Half-Belief,
like J. B. P.,..do not drift..into the narrow sects of the lowest division.

They arrive freed..of preconceived prejudices,
and devote considerable attention..to the study of the various faiths they find there,*..and endeavor to draw from each*.. the vital truths which are enshrined in them.>>

ok..here is..the bit i thought you might like
in response to your..<<..I prefer the story of Prometheus who defied the Gods.>>

so saying..onto the quote,,<<..Some of the most interesting revelations J. B. P. made..were that the Gods exist, or, at
any rate,..*the forms of the Gods,

and they condescend to answer the prayers of their worshippers.

In particular,..he describes a service
in a great Egyptian temple at which 0siris appeared.

Similarly, he has visited a Hindu temple, where Kartikeya, the God of
War, presided.

He also gave a most striking account of a library in the Realm of Belief..>>..

anyhow

the structure of the afterlife map
is on page 19..of the book

or rather page 31 ..*of the pdf
http://new-birth.net/booklet/Gone_West.pdf

on the next page 20
is the map of realms..spheres of our personal influence
that is uniquely..tied to that we love..to keep on doing the most..[after death][lol]

anyhow

use up word count

let us turn to consider the
matter given in these pages.
The original plan of the work as arranged by H. J. L. was as follows: —
The Astral plane —
(a) As seen by a bad man, viz. The Officer.
(b) As seen by an average man of the world, viz. W. A.
The Spirit plane, divided into —
(1) Hell, or the Realm of Unbelief, related by The Officer.
(2) The Realm of Half-Belief, related by H. J. L.
(3) The Realm of Belief lacking in Works, related by J. B.P.
(4) The Realm of Belief shown forth in Works, related by The Monk.
Posted by one under god, Saturday, 24 August 2013 11:26:56 AM
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There is some evidence that the virgin birth is merely due to a faulty translation informed by a desire to make Christianity compatible with existing beliefs.

KJV: Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

In the original Hebrew an ‘almah’ shall conceive. An almah is a young woman with no connotation of virginity. The first translation of Isaiah was into Greek and ‘almah’ was translated as the Greek ‘parthenos’ which means virgin.

Perhaps a clue to the reason for that translation can be found in the pagan narratives of the time.

Mithra was born in a cave, on the 25th December of a Virgin. He traveled far and wide as a teacher and illuminator of men. His great festivals were the winter solstice and the Spring equinox (Christmas and Easter). He had twelve companions or disciples (the twelve months). He was buried in a tomb, from which however he rose again; and his resurrection was celebrated yearly with great rejoicings. He was called Savior and Mediator, and sometimes figured as a Lamb; and sacramental feasts in remembrance of him were held by his followers.

Adonis or Tammuz, the Syrian god of vegetation, was a very beautiful youth, born of a Virgin (Nature).

Attis was born of a Virgin--Nana--who conceived by putting a ripe almond or pomegranate in her bosom.

Krishna, the Indian god, was also was born of a Virgin (Devaki) and in a cave, and his birth announced by a Star. To destroy him a massacre of infants was ordered. Everywhere he performed miracles, raising the dead, healing lepers, and the deaf and the blind, and championing the poor and oppressed. He descended into hell; and rose again from the dead, ascending into heaven in the sight of many people. He will return at the last day to be the judge of the quick and the dead.

Apparently the Jesus narrative has been conflated with the narratives of the pagan religions extant at the time of the invention of Christianity.
Posted by david f, Saturday, 24 August 2013 2:22:28 PM
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.

Dear David,

.

“ Banjo has muddied the waters by bringing in bigotry.”

.

Sorry about that. I thought I clarified them, David. Let me have another go at it.

I feel sure you can see the same duality in nature that I see and that a whole lot of Chinamen can see – what they call the yin and the yang: male and female, day and night, light and dark, left and right, back and front, top and bottom, hot and cold, fire and water, life and death, and so on.

That was what I had in mind when I wrote to George on the bottom of page 21 that: “just as light produces shadow, the god concept inevitably comes with its corollary as two sides of the same coin. Impossible to have one without the other.”

I saw faith from the same perspective. The yang is pure faith. The yin is pure bigotry. Same coin. Two sides.

But, of course, life is a little more complex than that. Yin and yang coexist in perfect harmony in nature. It’s not just all one or all the other. Nor are they usually equal. In some cases it’s yin, and in others it’s yang which dominates.
.

“I don’t know what pure bigotry is as opposed to impure bigotry.”
.

I don’t either, David. I was simply alluding to the opposite side of the coin where faith is located, the side where there is just bigotry and nothing else.

.

(continued)

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Sunday, 25 August 2013 5:18:49 AM
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.

(continued)

.

The Chinese apply the principle of natural duality to many aspects of their daily lives, including among other things: classical Chinese science, traditional Chinese medicine, martial arts and qigong (that gentle Chinese exercise now practiced by more and more people world-wide).

The duality of certain natural substances also finds recognition in Western medicine where, depending on the dose, they have the power either to cure or to kill. Medicines are virtuous. Poisons are vicious. Just two properties of the same basic element.

In a similar vein I observed that faith is like sand in an oyster: a little produces a pearl, too much kills the animal.

My final observation was that all human relations are based on faith. Without faith there can be no meaningful communication, understanding, exchange or agreement. No contractual engagement and can be entered into and nothing positive can be undertaken.

Faith is a virtue which creates a favourable environment for fruitful human relations. Lack of faith, mistrust, is a vice which renders fruitful human relations impossible.

As demonstrated by the periodic table, the number of natural elements is limited. The number of thought patterns and sentiments are too. Future research on artificial intelligence will probably codify this as well, one day.

Each immaterial element will contain its own duality just like the material elements with the dual properties of medicine and poison: faith and bigotry, thrift and avarice, etc.

I trust you now find the water to your liking, David, but, don't worry, I dont' expect you to bathe in it.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Sunday, 25 August 2013 5:26:28 AM
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Dear Banjo,

I don't see faith as opposed to bigotry. I see bigotry as a kind of faith. I think it is a false dichotomy.

I think the yin-yang is a good way of looking at things. It applies in painting also. If we paint a white house by the sea we put some blue on the house to reflect the sea and some white in the sea to reflect the house.

I'm just a babe in your bathwater, but the water is getting muddier. Banjo, what day is mudder's day?

You wrote: "Faith is a virtue which creates a favourable environment for fruitful human relations. Lack of faith, mistrust, is a vice which renders fruitful human relations impossible."

I disagree. To deal with other human beings realistically we must mix faith and mistrust. I regard a person who has faith in either Abbott or Rudd as a fool. Complete faith is gullibility. Complete mistrust is negativity. We must employ them in the proper proportions. That would be a reasonable application of the yin-yang.

You wrote: "As demonstrated by the periodic table, the number of natural elements is limited. The number of thought patterns and sentiments are too. Future research on artificial intelligence will probably codify this as well, one day."

Here you played fast and loose with an analogy. The periodic table does not demonstrate the number of natural elements is limited at all. It merely gives an order to the elements we know of. New elements have been created since the periodic table was first developed. For all we know the number of new elements that can be created is infinite. Of course natural has more than one meaning. It can mean what is found in nature or it can mean that which is not supernatural. I was using the latter meaning.

Whatever the periodic table demonstrates there is no reason you have given to show that an analogy between the number of elements and the number of thought patterns is in any way a valid analogy. Your usual rigour is absent.
Posted by david f, Sunday, 25 August 2013 6:28:25 AM
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Dear david f,

>>One can also say belief is accepting that for which there is no evidence. <<

As I said, I agree in principle but would like to distinguish between those beliefs that are, and those that are not, about “provable” statements (i.e. for which an evidence can be imagined), as I tried to argue in my previous post.

You are right that those of a religious kind - e.g. belief in the existence of God - are (mostly) non-provable, whereas e.g. belief in the existence of extraterrestrial intelligent life is of the provable kind, i.e. one can somehow imagine what would constitute an evidence although we do not have one. On the other hand, I cannot even imagine an evidence for the existence of God acceptable to everybody, although some atheists ask theists to come up with it without being able to say what would actually constitute such an evidence convincing to all (or most) atheists.

>>We cannot know what Abraham expected, but the story implies that he was willing to carry out what he thought was the wishes of the Lord.<<

Another, just randomly chosen, interpretation: “God had earlier promised Abraham that he would make a great nation of him through Isaac, which forced Abraham to either trust God with what mattered most to him or to distrust God.” (http://christianity.about.com/od/Old-Testament/a/JZ-Sacrifice-Of-Isaac.htm).

As said, I am no biblical scholar to adjudicate between different interpretations of the story, especially whether it is about absolute obedience or absolute trust. I only know that for me one interpretation is more meaningful than another. You and OUG apparently prefer a different one.

>>We cannot reasonably say that the story has a point other than the point its readers give to it.<<

Exactly. And different readers (private or “institutional”) give different points to it. (ctd)
Posted by George, Sunday, 25 August 2013 7:42:02 AM
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(ctd)
>>There is some evidence that the virgin birth … narrative has been conflated with the narratives of the pagan religions extant at the time of the invention of Christianity <<

This might be one aspect of the mystery. As far as I know, at those times the woman (its womb) was seen as just the passive vessel into which the man implanted his seed. Hence the human mother (rather than father) to represent the passive contribution to the Incarnation. (Of course, another, rather obvious reason is that a person's mother is more "visible" than the father.)

Well, here we are in a for me even more unthreaded (exegetic) territory. Namely, how to properly (whatever that means) interpret the fact that the New Testament, and consequently the Church, ignores the question of Jesus’ biological father and, if you insist, claims he did not have one.

The fact, that these things Christianity shares with more "primitive" religions worries me about as much as the fact that I share 95% of my DNA with a chimpanzee. Evolution, darwinian, cosmic and in general, offers a new perspective of looking at many things.
Posted by George, Sunday, 25 August 2013 7:52:19 AM
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Dear Banjo,

>>“just as light produces shadow, the god concept inevitably comes with its corollary as two sides of the same coin. Impossible to have one without the other.”<<

Sorry I somehow overlooked this. What is the “corollary of the god concept”?

>> I saw faith from the same perspective. The yang is pure faith. The yin is pure bigotry. Same coin. Two sides.<<

The “Two sides of a coin” metaphor implies that the two are interchangeable, which is not what one has in mind if one refers to the Yin-Yang principle. Yin in Chinese philosophy is often referred to as the opposite of Yang, and vice-versa.

This could be misleading, since in our (English) use, “opposite” can have two different meaning:

1. having a position on the other or further side of something
2. diametrically different, of a contrary kind.

For instance, the female complements the male whereas absence of something is “diametrically different from the presence of that thing. The traditional chinese thinking, as far as I can follow it, did not have this distinction, hence the mixture of kinds of pairs that also you list.

For us, I think, a better understanding of the Yin-Yang relation is to see it as COMPLEMENTING, rather than opposing, each other. Well, in that case, I certainly do not see (religious) faith as complementing bigotry

>>In a similar vein … faith is like sand in an oyster: a little produces a pearl, too much kills the animal.<<

I think this is much better, bigotry as being an exaggeration of faith, although I would prefer “degeneration” (on the psychological level ).

A general remark: If one makes statements about, say, “space” one must make it clear whether one speaks of the abstract concept dealt with in physics, the even more abstract concept used in mathematics (like Hilbert spaces) or that what you are looking for if you want to park your car in a car park. Otherwise all sorts of confusion can arise.

I think something similar applies to a careless use of abstract terms like faith, belief, proof, evidence etc.
Posted by George, Sunday, 25 August 2013 8:45:11 AM
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Dear George,

The virgin birth does not seem a mystery to me. It is legend based on a lack of knowledge of biological processes at the time the legend arose. Religion incorporated the legend and preserved it.

One can find security and community in the bosom of any religious group. To find security and community one must sometimes assent to dogma that you may know is nonsense or may bring yourself to accept.

However, to me it is no more reasonable than the Japanese account of the birth of the sun goddess.

Pages 21 to 33 of "Sources of Japanese Tradition" give an account of some of those legends.

A History of Embryology by Joseph Needham gives an account of various beliefs that people have had regarding reproduction in the past.
Posted by david f, Sunday, 25 August 2013 9:32:29 AM
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Dear david f,

>>The virgin birth does not seem a mystery to me. It is legend based on a lack of knowledge of biological processes at the time the legend arose. Religion incorporated the legend and preserved it.<<

As I said, this is not my cup of cake. I called it a mystery, or enigma if you like, for those who have to believe it in this or that form as a basic tenet of their Christian faith. As you know there are enigmas also in Quantum physics that those who understand physics have to live with. Maybe the will be satisfactorily resoloved, maybe not,

Technically, we are not far from doing all sorts of things unheard of a couple of decades ago (human cloning, human-animal chimeras) so perhaps one could think of providing a male DNA to Mary’s ovum in a way that we and our ancestors can understand only as “supernatural” intervention. Of course, this is all pure speculation.

When contemplating these things I am always reminded of Frank Little, the former Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne (1925-2008) who, when asked a difficult questions to which he could not give a straight answer, used to say? “If you cannot accept (or understand, I don’t remember) any other answer only yes or no, then the answer must be YES”. This is what i would have to offer as my answer to the question whether Mary was a Virgin.

>>However, to me it is no more reasonable than the Japanese account of the birth of the sun goddess.<<

And to me an Arabic text is no more comprehensible than a Chinese. An Arab would not say that. It is possible that the one text is very deep, the other just silly but I would not know except if somebody translated them to me, somebody I can trust will be as faithful to the original text as possible. Even so, this is not 100% possible so I own e.g. three English and one German translations of Tao Te Ching.
Posted by George, Sunday, 25 August 2013 10:26:43 AM
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extracted..from pdf/gone west..

(2)What..*do you mean;..by
“believe”?..Believe what?

<<..I mean..*belief generally,..belief in a future..life..and God,..in fact..‘belief.’..*The first thing..to do..is to believe
something.>>

ANYTHING*

<<..It does/not..so much matter..what,
so long as..you believe...something

A nigg*er believing in
a fetish..is better*off..than a man..who believes nothing..at all*...

Believe..in..something!>>

its a key-point.

a bit..earlier...<<..of course..there are no..class-distinctions..HERE..as such...There are no
Tories here,..perhaps..because there’s no plunder,..

*but at the same-time..lack of education in...the widest sense..results in something*..which at first sight*..rather looks like class..that is,..men who think..*and believe alike*

..each..fall into sets...
The richer/classes,..who are more
cultured,..shall we say,..are generally..in different groups..from the poor...>>

..<<..J.W...“Then I gather..that you are
*in this world..and see it as we do.”

H.J.L...“We are*..in this world,
*but not restricted to it...

Moreover,..it does not look the same..to us as to you.
We..see much more...we see the past,..and some,I believe,..can see the future,..though I cannot.You will understand that...YOU*..FORESAW MY DEATH>>

,,<<..“To return..to how..‘I’ ‘come’ to you.
I just think..of you,..or,rather, concentrate my
thoughts..*on you*..to the exclusion of..ALL..other things.

That..is getting quite easy,..though at first..it was very difficult...But it’s not so easy..to get..*your spirit
*..in ‘tune’ with mine,..so that I
can communicate/with you...>>

<<..there’s not only something..but almost everything in telepathy.
It’s the outer edge..of those faculties..which we have to develop here...

*It’s the main link
between our world and yours.

You know..that some people have learnt of things which are
happening..to their friends at a distance.*We all can do so here,
!

and that is the way we..communicate..*with each other;
YET..speech does not exist with us.

This explains those sayings
in the Bible..about nothing shall be hid.

*You cannot tell lies here..Nor be deceived.
But that is not all,..*for every separate thought..*exists of itself and..we..*..can see them all.

“This explains..the doctrine of the Catholics
(at which I used to laugh)..that a really*!*
evil thought,*..such as murder,.,.is worse than a venial sin.

“My punishment..consists largely of this,
that all my evil deeds..and thoughts rise up
before me..*in as real a shape as I myself possess.

They are there with all the surrounding
impedimenta.”
J. W. “What do you mean by that?”..
CONTINUES
Posted by one under god, Sunday, 25 August 2013 10:37:50 AM
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HJ.L...“Well, Jack,..I don’t want you to think worse..of me,
so..instead of quoting a..real offence,..I’WIll show you.what I mean by a fictitious one.

“Suppose..a man committed a murder,..or even meditated DOING..one
not merely the actual murder,..but all the surrounding details,..such as the furniture..and room in which it..was,..*or
was intended to be committed,..ALL,,are here.NOW.”

J.W.“Then..do you mean to say..that there is no difference
between the fault..*thought of..and one committed? “

H.J.L.“It all depends..*on the reason*..why it was not.

Supposing..your better nature
gains the upper/hand..and you refuse*..to act as your lower/nature prompts you;..*then,..after seeing the evil thought,..you will be refreshed..*by seeing the good one..for all your good/deeds and thoughts..come here also.

“If the sin..had not been committed
solely because you were prevented..*by something else,..*then there would be no good thought..to refresh your weary spirit.

Of course..a man
may be temporarily prevented..from giving way to an evil passion.. and afterwards rejoice that it should have been so.

All that..*he will see here.

Thus each one lives..in a world of his
own creating,..here..and the more nearly..his world approximates to that..*of others around him,..the more company,..the less solitude will he have.

“Solitude is one of the worst punishments here,
and so those who, though having
many faults,..*yet loved much..*and had many friends,..yet..get their reward..>>

<<..I don’t
really know..exactly what happens,
but as we go on thinking here..we create fresh
thoughts,..and as these are of a nobler nature..than those we thought on earth,

they refresh us and enable us..to bear more easily..the grief we feel for our former faults.

“We realize as faults here things..that on earth we deceived ourselves into thinking..*were not faults.

“I should add that at first..it’s rather like a hideous nightmare: — all one’s dead
thoughts..come crowding round;..but after a time they seem to fall into a distinct order,

but
I can’t explain how...At any rate, things become easier.

A lot of what I have been telling
you I have recently learnt from my teacher.
I have also..learnt a lot from some of the MANY..others.>>..like ,myself.
Posted by one under god, Sunday, 25 August 2013 10:45:49 AM
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Dear George,

The Virgin Birth is a dogma of your faith. If you had never heard of it then it would probably never have entered your mind. I gather a Catholic is obligated to believe in dogma. One meaning of believing in dogma is to believe because some authority figure who has put down the dogma maintains it is your obligation to believe. You can accept that, and you will do so. As long as you don't try to put it on me you can believe what you like.

The bishop you cited could not say other than what he did say because he is obligated to subscribe to church dogma. What he actually believes we cannot know. I am free openly to doubt. The bishop wasn't. Possibly you are also not free to openly express your doubts.

I think it better to accept only those items which seem reasonable to me to accept.
Posted by david f, Sunday, 25 August 2013 11:49:27 AM
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the negativity abounds
http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=5978&page=0
but thankfully not here

but
as i was listening..to cliff richard..singing the fathers prayer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1cG-4YSyhQ&list=PL9706FE91E54F5E77

Our Father,..Who art in heaven
Hallowed..be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
.....*
Thy will..be done,
on earth*..as it is..in heaven.*

THY WILL..BE DONE..>>on earth..
AS IT IS*..in heaven!

[as..i posted..in the..two previous posts
of how..it really is*..in heaven..

[as reported via gonewest pdf]
http://new-birth.net/booklet/Gone_West.pdf

Give us this day..our daily bread,..
[we dont 'eat'..and time =one on going/eternal..'day'

and forgive us..our trespasses/as we forgive..those who trespass against us;

/..ahh-men

“‘Now..it is difficult for you to understand..our arrangements here; it is very different..from what you are usually taught...It is not however..so much that the original teaching of the church was wrong, but..that it has been misinterpreted*..by its teachers.

At the best,...they only show..a part of the truth.
Not even here..do we know all*..the truth.

Truth..is like a diamond..with many facets.
Each facet..contains part,..*but only part,of..the truth.
Some facets..are larger than others;..*so all creeds exist..because of the ‘facet’..of truth,..however small,..which they possess.

No faith..which had no element..of truth could exist at
all..for any space of time on earth...Often,however,..the ‘facet’ is very small.

The larger..the amount of truth,..the stronger
that faith..will,as a rule,..grow...Thus the Roman Catholics are
a numerous body,..but neither they..*nor any Sect possess all the truth.

They simply form..one of the communities..which exist..in the sets where men believed...There are also..Buddhists..and ‘heathen’..there, and,..indeed,*..all religions.

From this stage..we advance until we have gathered in..all truth,..and then we shall really know..*what is meant by God.

But
that is..far hence.
“Since,..however,it is easier..for you to comprehend..*the new facts with which..I am about to deal..*if you can attach them to some theory..with which you are acquainted,

I shall..adopt the general plan of Heaven,..Purgatory,and Hell.

Be under no misunderstanding,..as depicted by many persons..*these names are wholly misleading...*But if accepted..as a
convenient..*and rough classification,..they will be helpful.

One fact,however,
you must..clearly grasp.

So far as I can discover..there is no evidence..of the eternity of Hell...Drop..that idea and the rest..will be easy to understand.
Posted by one under god, Sunday, 25 August 2013 6:32:43 PM
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.

Dear David and George,

.

George: « I don't see faith as opposed to bigotry. I see bigotry as a kind of faith. I think it is a false dichotomy.”
.

I see bigotry as a perversion of faith. There is a bright side of the coin and a dark side. I see a virtue on one side and a vice on the other. In that, they oppose each other even though each is a different version of the same thing.
.

George: [ What is the “corollary of the god concept”?]
.

The corollary of God is the devil. Two sides to the same coin. Impossible to have one without the other. Adam and Eve. Abel and Cain. Romulus and Remus... If there is good there is bad. Good needs bad for harmony. It is indispensible and inevitable. The law of nature.
.

George: “ Yin in Chinese philosophy is often referred to as the opposite of Yang, and vice-versa. “
.

I think your second version of yin and yang being complementary to each other is closer to Chinese philosophy.

Another way of understanding it is what I imagine Freud saying to one of his patients: “That horrible witch who haunts your nightmares is your gentle loving mother”. Just another aspect or version of the same person, or perhaps a different (unconsciously repressed) perception we might have of that person.

.

(Continued)

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Sunday, 25 August 2013 9:53:23 PM
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.

(Continued)

.

David: “ The periodic table does not demonstrate the number of natural elements is limited at all. It merely gives an order to the elements we know of. New elements have been created since the periodic table was first developed. For all we know the number of new elements that can be created is infinite. Of course natural has more than one meaning. It can mean what is found in nature or it can mean that which is not supernatural. I was using the latter meaning.”
.

My knowledge of the periodic table of elements is limited to what I read in Wikipedia, from which I deduced that the number of “natural” elements was limited. It seemed to indicate that new additions to the table resulted from new elements created by mankind, not as a result of the discovery of previously unknown “natural” elements.

Here is the link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periodic_table
.

On virgin birth:
.

I understand that virgin birth or parthenogenesis is not possible in human beings. Apparently it occurs naturally in many plants, some invertebrate animals such as water fleas, some scorpions, bees, and parasitic wasps.

It also occurs in a few vertebrates such as some fish, reptiles and a few birds.

It is highly regrettable that the authors of the bible affirm the virgin birth of Jesus as an indisputable fact because it inevitably throws discredit on everything else they wrote.

Unfortunately, their religious fervour and desire to impress has not withstood the test of time.

No need to invent anything if what they had to say were true.
.

David: “Any belief is in something for which there is no proof.”
.

I can also believe in something for which there is proof. In fact, I usually do.

Allow me to re-submit the following definitions:

“Faith” is belief where there is no material evidence, only circumstantial evidence or a credible eye witness (or both).

"Blind faith" is belief where there is no material evidence, no circumstantial evidence and no credible eye witness.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Sunday, 25 August 2013 9:57:08 PM
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Dear david f,

You obviously have different ideas about what it means to be a Catholic than I.

>>As long as you don't try to put it on me you can believe what you like.<<

I certainly did not try to put anything on you, only tried to explain something that is not only hard to explain to an outsider, but also where I am far from an expert. So I apologise if my clumsy attempts gave you the impression that I was “putting something on you”.

The question of Catholic dogma is certainly not the only question where simplified answers are just that - simplifications. And I am sure, Archbishop Little was not the only one to be aware of this.

>>I think it better to accept only those items which seem reasonable to me to accept.<<

This is a very wise position, but please tolerate that others also accept only those items which seem reasonable to them, even though the acceptance of those items (concerning the nature of reality and how it is modeled from this or that perspective) might not seem reasonable to you.
Posted by George, Monday, 26 August 2013 9:26:29 AM
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Dear Banjo,

>>I see bigotry as a perversion of faith.<<
I agree, perversion or degeneration.

>>The corollary of God is the devil.<<

I did not understand why “corollary”. Of course, I agree that the opposite (in the second, contrary, meaning of the word) of the concept of God is the concept of Devil. Rodney Star, whom I like to quote, finds this in his anthropological investigations:

“To more plausibly picture God as rational and loving, it is helpful to assume the existence of other, if far lesser, divine beings. That is, evil supernatural creatures such as Satan are essential. In this manner Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are dualistic monotheisms—each teaches that, in addition to a supreme divine being, there also exists at least one additional, if less powerful, supernatural being who is the source of evil. “

So evil is the opposite of good, devil of God. However I think applying the Yin-Yang (female-male) complementarity to this pair is misplaced. The complementary, Yin (female) aspect of the God of Abrahamic religions, with His predominantly Yang (male) projections is to be sought elsewhere. It is interesting, that Tao Te Ching describes Tao (in one translation) as the “Mother (not Father) of ten thousand things.”

In Catholic tradition this complementary Yin role is played by Mary. Although theologians vehemently oppose assigning any divine attributes to Her that could imply worship, this complementary function is visible at least on the psychological level, as “veneration of Mary”, especially through its many folkloristic manifestations
Posted by George, Monday, 26 August 2013 9:29:00 AM
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george/re-quoted..<<..supernatural being..who is the source of evil.>>“

george reply..<<..So evil is the opposite of good,..devil of God. However..I think applying the Yin-Yang (female-male) complementarity to this pair is misplaced.>..

god has no..equal..thus no opposite
the opposite..of building/creating..=destroying/breaking it

destruction..is a mindless act
building takes skill*..destroying is a thing children..do

we the children..of the fat'her..
*DID..every..bit of evil..recorded into word!

[lest we forget..satan...is
a fallen angel..[one of many other angels

satans opposing angel..could be the man..we knew as jesus
satan/christ..if you will..ARE passable/possible... opposing/opposites

god created ALL created..[including satan]

george feels..<<..The complementary,Yin (female) aspect of the God of Abrahamic religions, ..with His predominantly Yang (male) projections is to be sought elsewhere.>>

and i..would suggest opposite ANGELS*
not opposing creators.

..<<..It is interesting,that Tao Te Ching describes Tao (in one translation) as the “Mother (not Father) of ten thousand things.”>>

i just cast em

11..tranquility..
line 3

[in my translation?..it reads as follows

<<...while there is no state of peace..
that is liable to be disturbed..and no departure..of evil men
[that will..*not be followed..by their return..YET..when one is firm AND correct....

..<<..AND accepts..that disorder..MAY occur..
the one will commit..*no error

There is no occasion..for sadness..at the RE-occurring changes..AND in this mood..the happiness..of this present moment..may long be en-joyed...>>..by who isnt...clear

but commentary follows..<<..THINGS are always changing..
so you can..*expect..bad fortune..to follow good..accept this as natural..and you will savor..the present favorable moment..>>

it would be interesting to hear
...how georges i chin..read the call of 11/3...[in his translations]

noting..we each
get..the versions..as our guides saw fit to give
[i have many ichin/books..but only use this one..that via word visualization..matched my thinking]

i never decide anything..by ichin
only using it as a second chance to re-think the decision..of this issue

the memory basically..as a way..is good
then its balancing..vile..[for fairness]
and to..enjoy this brief respite..of niceness..for now..

and how
Posted by one under god, Monday, 26 August 2013 10:51:08 AM
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Dear George,

You wrote: ““To more plausibly picture God as rational and loving, it is helpful to assume the existence of other, if far lesser, divine beings. That is, evil supernatural creatures such as Satan are essential. In this manner Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are dualistic monotheisms—each teaches that, in addition to a supreme divine being, there also exists at least one additional, if less powerful, supernatural being who is the source of evil. “”

That is not true for Judaism. In Job Satan is pictured as a servant of God and not in opposition to God. Christianity and Islam absorbed traditions from Zoroastrianism. It is explicit in the Jewish Bible that God is the source of everything including good and evil.

Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

The basic statement of faith in Judaism is: “Hear, O, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.

Some later branches of Judaism have absorbed ideas from Zoroastrianism. Like Christianity and Islam Judaism has many different sects. However, mainstream biblical Judaism is a unitary monotheism. Rodney Star is wrong in this instance.
Posted by david f, Monday, 26 August 2013 11:00:30 AM
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david f..quote..<<..Isaiah 45:7 I form the light,..and create darkness: I make peace,..and create evil:..I the LORD do all these things.>>

lets get it straight..
god KNOW'S..the sun..*dont "rise"

ie see issiah 45;6..<<..''..so that the RISING sun..lol
to the PLACE..of its..SETTING"..men may know*..there is none..but me''...I AM..the lord..>>..

ie..[satan..*lord..OF THIS MATERIAL REALM.]
recall he offrerd it to jesus/jesus refused..this world

and as lord*..of the material realm
satan/lord satan..says...<<..and there is no other >>..

and there isnt

yet god is still..god
never a god..'in the flesh'..not alone in one man/beast/being
but to be found within..*all mankind/the beats..and every living thing

i do not recall..god judging his creation..
beyond SEEING it..*'was good'..[good of god]
not vile that built up the scape goat/satan

satan..never MADE anyone..*CHOSE to do vile
we chose..*!*,..and as grownups..MUST mature..

we..[must KNOW..
our true masters..loves graces mercies..[recognize../chose which *is/which..*is not..HIS*..still/quiet/inner voice..

if its not good
its not of the one true eternal..good..even..
[only]..innocent children are not deceived..by the lord deceiver

deceiver..also dont have an specific [falsifiable]..opposing
it has believers..and those who believe not..

and..never the twain..shall meet..
ECEPTing..here..in satans realm*

<<..Hear, O, Israel,
the Lord our God, the Lord is one...>>

ie..@..very skill full..deceiver

[the darkness light can reveal
as opposed to the darkness that con-seals]
Posted by one under god, Monday, 26 August 2013 12:05:29 PM
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Dear david f,

Thank you for the correction to Rodney Stark, by pointing out the differences between the Judaic and Christian views of Satan who, I suppose, in both traditions is an angel who rebelled against God. Note that Stark in his general statement admits that Satan is “less powerful” than God, so perhaps even more generally Satan should not be seen as the “mirror image” of God along the good-evil scale. Perhaps Stark should have used the term “Devil” rather than “Satan” in that quote, but that is going too much into detail that I really am not at home with.
Posted by George, Monday, 26 August 2013 8:55:03 PM
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Dear George,

Original sin, the fall, Satan's revolt against God and substitutionary atonement are ideas that entered Christianity from non-Jewish sources. In the Jewish interpretation the guilt of Adam and Eve died with them. It was not transmitted further. The serpent was a tempter sent by God but had nothing to do with Satan. Religions change. Old ideas are abandoned, and new ones adopted. In Catholicism encyclicals state new doctrines. In Judaism change comes through consensus. There is a current discussion among rabbinical authorities on whether mistreated animals can be considered kosher. The people's sins in early Judaism could be put upon a scapegoat, but that idea was abandoned. A person is now considered responsible for his or her own sins. Sins against God can be forgiven by penitence, prayer and charity. Sins against one's fellow creatures can be forgiven by trying to compensate for it and then asking the person wronged for forgiveness. If that doesn't work it is then up to God to decide. The fall is a Platonic idea coming from the degeneration of the ideal forms and entered Christianity through the Neoplatonic philosophers. The conflict between good and evil as separate independent forces comes from Zoroastrianism.

Judaism maintains that within each person is a yetzer hara, a spirit of Evil, and a yetzer hatov, a spirit of Good. Either may dominate at different times, but good and evil come from within not from without. There is no devil or external evil spirit.

There is a tendency to see other religions in terms of the one you are most familiar with. I think Stark has done that.
Posted by david f, Monday, 26 August 2013 10:29:32 PM
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so much..of what david observed..in the last post is as i believe
but lets egsamim..<<..the guilt of Adam and Eve died with them.>>

the..church i think..holds eve..guilty...of some sort of sin
but this too..is easy refuted..recall..the serphant did ask..*eve..DID GOD FORBID..and that is key

eves reply..SHOULD have read
no..my..husband/brother/father..etc[ie ADAM..did]
cause i was but a rib..at the time..GOD FORBID ADAM*

further..under the mosaic laws..
a father..can forgive HIS daughters..foolishness
a husband..can forgive his wifes..foolishness

ditto..
a brother..forgive a sister..their foolishness

and adam was all of them*
thus eve is forgiven..[forgivable]]..by many ways
thus no origonal..*sin

david is correct..<<It was not transmitted further.>>

The serpent..*had nothing to do with Satan

further..god made adam..of clay..[think goyam]
angels are made of fire/flame

further..[re the ichin/..feminine aspect]
god sought an equal..thus made herself the goyam[adam]

but he wanted what the beasts have
ie a..MATE*..sogod in her wisdom..gave him..his sister

thinkof adam=Xy
eve =XX..

if you double up..on the god gene[X]
you soon see why..*god ditched the y..and gave eve the GIFT..of co-creation*

jesus cant die..*FOR our sin
cause god sees not the sin..

[he knows the sin..was never really real]

in time we all..growup..
not needing any..scapegoat..to blame
or beg others..to save them..from what?

we are eternal..spirits..
[life/living energy accumulators..if you will

[now recall..the LAW..of energy consevation..
*energy cant be created..NOR destroyed*

you got it..[E}
more of the same..will be a given..

david again..<<..Sins against one's fellow creatures..can be forgiven by trying to compensate for it..>>..

please read chapter 22
http://new-birth.net/booklet/Gone_West.pdf
Chapter XXI In the Third Division. A Library in Hell ................................................................... 132
Chapter XXII A “Hospital” in Hell ................................................................................................ 134
Posted by one under god, Monday, 26 August 2013 11:38:14 PM
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Dear david f,

Of course, there are ideas that entered Christianity from other than Jewish sources (especially when it comes to systematized theologies). Thanks for reminding me of that. I really did not know that the idea of Satan as the fallen angel, did not come from Judaism.

Rereading the part from Stark that I pasted here, I think the mistake - of seeking Satan as the opposite of God even in Christianity (I know of Zoroastrianism even less than what I know about Judaism where it differs from Christianity) - was mine, rather than his. Nevertheless, elsewhere he claims "Satan is a fallen angel who rules Hell and tempts people to sin" as part of Judaism. Thanks to you I found "In Judaism "satan" is not a sentient being but a metaphor for the evil inclination – the yetzer hara – that exists in every person and tempts us to do wrong." (http://judaism.about.com/od/judaismbasics/a/jewishbeliefsatan.htm), which is more or less what you wrote.

Galileo (or was it Bacon) spoke of two books “written by God”, that of Scripture and that of Nature. Regretfully - I mean for me - only one of them is “written in the language of mathematics”, as put so aptly by Galileo.
Posted by George, Tuesday, 27 August 2013 1:22:43 AM
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.

Dear David, George and One Under God,

.

It is not surprising that the duality observed in nature has become engraved in our human sub-conscious and we have projected it into our concept of the so-called supernatural.

Even Newton attests to its existence in his third law of motion: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

The very need of a “supernatural” seemingly corresponds to the necessity to create a counterpart to fulfil the role of complement or opponent to our “natural” environment.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Tuesday, 27 August 2013 2:03:52 AM
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Dear George,

There are differences between eastern and western Christianity regarding evil. Orthodox Christianity, less dualistic than Catholicism or Protestantism, accepts the existence of a devil but also sees evil as internal. Solzhenitsyn, an Orthodox Christian, expressed this idea in “The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956”

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

The above is not too different from the yetzer hara and the yetzer hatov. Solzhenitsyn was rejecting Marxism which saw the class struggle as an expression of the opposition of the good proletariat against the evil capitalist.

The idea of original sin, redemption and Eden occur in the Marxist historical narrative. Marx had Jewish ancestry but was a Christian by education and outlook even though he later rejected religion. Capitalism was the original sin which took humanity from the Edenic bliss of primitive communism to the period of the class struggle. Mankind would be redeemed through the advent of advanced communism and the millennial fantasy of the classless society.

Joachim of Fiore, a Calabrian abbot, proposed a three stage period of history, the Edenic period of the father, the period of struggle of the son and the millennial period of the Holy Ghost. Hegel was influenced by Joachim, and Marx, as a left Hegelian, gave the ideas his own twist. The right Hegelians became German nationalists, some of whom later became Nazis. The phrase, the Third Reich, that of Hitler, was coined in 1923, by an early Nazi anticipating a Nazi takeover. Both Nazism and Marxism had millennial aspects.

The Joachite three stage theory of history is a common European theme. Kaiser and tsar both are forms of Caesar. Imperial Germany and tsarist Russia saw themselves as the Third Rome.

Dear Banjo,

Duality is not observed in nature. Human perceptions give nature a duality.
Posted by david f, Tuesday, 27 August 2013 5:46:46 AM
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Banjo<<..The very need..of a “supernatural”..seemingly corresponds to the necessity..to create a counterpart..to fulfill the role of complement or opponent..to our “natural” environment..>>..

i would suggest..that super/nature..is only..by our naming..for that unseen[that material sensory..without obvious visual/physical causation]

lest we forget..in the beginning..god created..the heavens
[the now unseen]..and the..earth....that when god sayeth..LET THERE BE LIGHT..that the light*..only reveals that..*able to be seen/heard/felt/imagined..

*but that not falsifiable..
[the great unseen.].got labeled super/..naturally

and thus davids..<<..Duality is not observed in nature.>>

plus that..<<..Human perceptions give nature a duality.>>..yet again..hit right to the mark

look at the beast..
it wants to play..so it plays
it feels hungry..thus looks for food

it dosnt plan..for murder
though its primitive lust thoughts
yet attract the beastly spirit..so loving its life force..shed blood

i wont get into the why of it
but anyhow..the officer covered that

thankfully..i can disagree..<<.,."satan".is not a sentient being>>

quite correct off course
yet we see him clearly..reflected..by those claiming to serve him[his own]..just as much as the christ..can be seen as he walks with his own[not anactualbeing[as such]..but a fixated faith,,makes it appear so[if only to them]

recall..nuthin will be hid*den..*
[i think..*hid was a god at some stage]

satan..thus is slightly more than..<<..a metaphor for the evil inclination>>..

but only by fine defintion

yet again correct..<<..the yetzer hara..that exists in every person and tempts us to do wrong.">>..plus..the good angel

ie our higher/lesser natures
is vital..[the beasts..dont got two..!
like we..the caretakers of the least[beast],have]

made in his image..
we thus learn more..of the ONLY one's duality..called IAM
except the collective..we*..are his opposite/opposing
___
ME
---
_*__
WE
--

=i am is being
with..[in]..us..[all]
Posted by one under god, Tuesday, 27 August 2013 7:42:52 AM
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Dear David,

<<Krishna, the Indian god, was also was born of a Virgin (Devaki) and in a cave, and his birth announced by a Star. To destroy him a massacre of infants was ordered. Everywhere he performed miracles, raising the dead, healing lepers, and the deaf and the blind, and championing the poor and oppressed. He descended into hell; and rose again from the dead, ascending into heaven in the sight of many people. He will return at the last day to be the judge of the quick and the dead.>>

Krishna was a man, said to be an incarnation of an aspect of God (Vishnu), but otherwise no more God than you and me. New archaeological evidence indicates that he actually exited (http://jayasreesaranathan.blogspot.com.au/2009/01/krishna-reality-archeological-proof.html).

Krishna was the 8th son of Devaki and her husband Vasudeva, so Devaki wasn't a virgin. He was born in a prison-cell, not a cave. There was no general infant-massacre as attributed to Herod: Devaki and Vasudeva were imprisoned and king Kamsa killed their first six children (Krishna's brothers) each the day they were born (the 7th escaped by being replaced with a baby-girl). Krishna raised only two dead (one the son of his teacher, for which he descended to Yama's realm of the dead to fetch back his soul, the second was his unborn nephew, Parikshit). Krishna is not known to heal lepers, deaf and blind, but only one hunchback woman. Krishna did not ascend to heaven in the sight of many people (perhaps you confused him with Rama, an earlier incarnation of Vishnu who did), but was alone when shot in error by a hunter.

<<Apparently the Jesus narrative has been conflated with the narratives of the pagan religions extant at the time of the invention of Christianity.>>

Apparently we are occasionally blessed to have extraordinary people who either factually perform what we call 'miracles', or more importantly lead such a pure life, providing such example that inspires others to tell such stories about them.

As for virgin birth, if pregnancy occurs without the slightest thought of lust, that should qualify as great miracle.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Tuesday, 27 August 2013 5:51:46 PM
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.

Dear David,

.

“Duality is not observed in nature. Human perceptions give nature a duality.”
.

I get your point and agree that nobody can be sure that his interpretation of reality is exact.

I do, however, consider, rightly or wrongly, that there is a reality, independent of myself as an observer, which includes me.

The sequence of events is that following my initial “perception” of the phenomenon of “duality in nature”, I subsequently “observed” it attentively, “contemplated” it, “examined” it, “analysed” it, and” integrated” it into my understanding of the “reality” of nature.

It did not seem unreasonable to me at the time to consider that such common, distinctive signs, as male and female, day and night, left and right, life and death, etc., may not only be “perceived” but also “observed”, “contemplated”, “examined”, “analysed” and, to a some degree, “understood”.

Apparently you consider that what I thought I was doing was simply an illusion.

I also deduce from your remark, and am surprised to learn, that the scientific community considers Newton’s third law of motion (for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction) to be a simple “human perception” and not, as I naïvely imagined until now, an “observation” of a particular phenomenon of nature.

Perhaps you will be kind enough to explain to me why you consider that “duality is not observed in nature. Human perceptions give nature a duality.”

I am curious to hear your arguments.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Tuesday, 27 August 2013 6:09:35 PM
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Dear david f and Banjo,

Thanks to both for your thoughts, especially to david f for his essay on evil, which, of course, also Christians and others can talk about without its personification in Satan or the Lucifer.

There are many things that come in pairs, and many that come in triples (and numerology “sees” correlations between also other numbers and observed or imagined realities). However, I think not EVERYWHERE where two “things” appear is the application of the Yin-Yang complementarity insightful. The same for Plato’s triad of the categories of beauty, truth and goodness (perhaps in a different order) that some people correlate with the Christian idea of the Trinity. See also http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=9292#150621.

I cannot see the Yin-Yang complementarity (that somehow should reflect our intuitively grasped female-male complementarity) meaningfully applied to natural-supernatural, the binary system of 0s and 1s, plus and minus, beauty and ugliness, truth and untruth, good and evil etc.

The same about Plato’s triad (or Christian Trinity), although I know of a pious physicist who sees manifestations of the Christian Trinitarian model of God in all sorts of physical entities - or rather concepts in our physical theories - of which there are three kinds. I think that is silly, although Plato’s trinity is a “prism” that I find useful to look through at many aspects (but not all triples) of reality, especially where humans are involved. The same for Yin-Yang.

Well, in http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=8316#131871 I admitted to you:

“Maybe you are right, prism is a wrong metaphor. … In my original writings (not in English) I used the split-image focusing in (old) SLR cameras: the camera that is used to depict reality is neither part of the observer (not “subjective“) nor part of reality (not “objective“) but a mediating tool. So perhaps “lens” might be a better metaphor to describe what I have in mid with the triad aesthetic-rational-ethical, or the pair Yin-Yang… “

Phew, I am not sure I made myself comprehensible.
Posted by George, Tuesday, 27 August 2013 8:57:40 PM
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TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF
THE TRINITY THING..its just always sounded wrong

i can get..say mother father child=3
or water/ice/gas..or hot cold neither..

or even the simple binary..off or on

on joachim..from wiki.
..<<....According to Joachim,..only in this third Age..will it be possible to really understand the words of God..*in its deepest meanings,..and not merely literally.>>..

never the less an interesting find

http://www.uleth.ca/dspace/bitstream/handle/10133/2538/von%20Heyking%20-%20Brague.pdf?sequence=1

not to the 3 thing
but such..is the joy of discovery

<<Central to our confusion is the way modern assumptions..fracture law from counsel and turn it into a form of command.

According to Brague,..law and counsel are unified in the medieval Jewish, Islamic, and Christian minds..because..law, as a “dictate of reason”.(Aquinas)..directing human beings to the good,

..it takes..*the form of counsel
..out of what is owed..to human beings as rational creatures.

In modernity, law and counsel are disconnected
from the good,..as is fitting for beings..whose reason is now seen as instrumental.

Instead of law and counsel being united,
counsel became self-interested cunning, and law became command.

The subtle reasoning behind the extrinsic nature of the law and its movement upon the human intellect and will found among
the medieval thinkers..was spliced into Machiavellian cunning..that
needs to be controlled by the strong sovereign..who stands above
the realm and exerts his will upon it.>>

but back to trying to discern
the trinity from the binary

cause process affect
means way completion
plan act result

the wholly ghost?

ie the life force..spirit
[in every living thing][matriarchal feminine][good god]

the lord..[or the father]..satan

the son..[the fruit]..how about the 6 6 6 thing
i thought6 straight lines/6 triangles/6intersecting points

[i..visualize it..but not sure
of the intended meaning]

6 intersecting sects
6 straight shooters
6 self contained isolated spaces

never was good at numbers/..unless they..are in word
but i get due-ality..its just the three thing..seems incongruous
Posted by one under god, Tuesday, 27 August 2013 10:05:12 PM
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.

Dear George,

.

« Phew, I am not sure I made myself comprehensible.”
.

It does sound a bit wobbly, George, but don’t worry. I get the message.

Like Plato and Christianity, the Chinese and a number of other cultures also include a third element in their world view.

Perhaps something similar to Plato’s goodness and Christianity’s holy spirit is the Chinese qi (chi) or life force which continuously animates matter such as, for example, at molecular, atomic and sub-atomic levels.

In Japan it’s called “ki,” and in India, “prana” or “shakti.” The ancient Egyptians referred to it as “ka,” and the ancient Greeks as “pneuma.” For Native Americans it is the “Great Spirit”. In Africa it’s known as “ashe” and in Hawaii as “ha” or “mana.”

According to Australian aboriginal culture, spirit ancestors possess supernatural powers and breathe life and energy into their descendents. Spirit ancestors govern and determine Aboriginal people's ritual activity, imparting a specific meaning to every step of a dance, every verse of a song and each pattern in a painting.

I am not very well versed in the South American cultures but I understand that the concept of life-giving energy was associated with tobacco in many indigenous cultures. For the Incas of Peru, Viracocha was the creator god, the one source of power, aided by servant gods, the most important of which was the sun god, Inti. The huaca, was a magic and holy object or spirit, something similar to Christianity’s holy spirit.

I see this third element, life energy, as a human concept, independent of the duality (yin and yang) observed in nature, while those who believe in the supernatural, no doubt, associate it with whatever happens to be their concept of deity.

In other words, until David persuades me I am wrong, I see the duality in nature as objective reality and the third element, life energy, simply as a human concept.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Wednesday, 28 August 2013 6:34:35 AM
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Dear Banjo,

Well, we probably do not understand each other:

You are probably right, that if you see Yin and Yang as “forces” you can add a third one to them, the “life force”. Here “force” is probably the best translation of the Chinese concept.

However, what I had in mind was more the PRINCIPLE of the Yin-Yang (female-male, passive-active) complementarity as an epistemological tool that can help us to understand some aspects of a perceived piece of reality. This principle is not "in nature" since no physical theory deals with it (unless you want to associate with it any pair). Hence my metaphor of split image focusing as a tool to see the object in focus. Those lenses are neither part of the observer nor of the observed "nature", they just help us to see the picture in focus.

I think that in some situations also the triad of aesthetic, rational and ethic - corresponding to the three Platonic ideals of beauty, truth and goodness - can similarly serve as an epistemological tool, although this is less common than the use for this purpose of the Yin-Yang complementarity.

This has nothing to do with deities or Christianity, although Plato can inspire Christianity as well as many other Western cultural achievements.

>>I see the duality in nature as objective reality and the third element, life energy, simply as a human concept.<<

As my metaphor of the split image focusing was trying to say, I see the Yin-Yang principle or that of the Platonic triad as neither being part of “nature” nor as being purely subjective, a “human concept” (anyhow, what would be non-human concepts?).
Posted by George, Wednesday, 28 August 2013 7:49:37 AM
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im grasping..george's..camera...simulation..[i think]

if only seen from the camera..view..
there is first the image.[or rather the light..reflected from the image]

that passes..its refractive and reflective photons..
though..say a polarizing..lens/to reduce some of the scattered..[refractive photons]

leaving the reflective..photons..passing though the
..focus and other lenses../or other filter's

then the aperture...to the film

[in this case..i substituted..the polarizing lens..for georges..angular lens]..not sure if polarization lens would nullify the triangular peephole lens..thingy..[by which we observe the focus/framing of the photo's composition


if not..then..via the 45%..refractive thingy..[which captures the refractive photons..NOT the direct..[polarized]..reflective potons..moving though it..to the flim

so 1 =image's..emitted photons

two=the re-direction of some of..
the not direct..line of sight photons..[ie some of refractive photons]

3..[ignoring the other photon filtering/modifying/mechanisms..the photons captured on film...

the issue of lights variable components..has long confounded science..with the speed of light..not being constant

does..for example
red blue ultraviolet infrared light
heat sound particles..ultra sound etc..all moving in waves..*
yet do..they all move [vibrate]..at the same speed..[my opinion..no they dont]

im know im over thinking this

but as my mind isnt visualizing..it*..[ie forming an image of it]....
thus my brain isnt seeing it...

never the less
i see im over-thinking it
not over trying to grasp it....ok..lets examine my mind..as a trinity

concept/definition/

testing/faulsification/

comprehension..

ok i get it..we sometimes add..too many filters
or to many scattered photostatic sub clauses..

duality..=original/copy

the third =the way..[ta0]..
meaning the mean..[meme plus means]
Posted by one under god, Wednesday, 28 August 2013 9:08:09 AM
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Dear Banjo,

Newton’s laws are excellent mathematical models of what happens with moving bodies. Like other mathematical models they approximate reality but are an abstraction which does not fully reflect reality. In an actual physical collision between billiard balls an action will not have an equal and opposite reaction only a close approximation to one. Unlike ideal billiard balls real billiard balls are not completely elastic. Momentum is not preserved. Some of it will be lost in friction. In any macroscopic act in the real world entropy will increase. When we are introduced to Newton’s laws in the classroom they are generally treated as though they are descriptions of nature. They are like the platonic forms that do not exist in the real world. Newton’s laws of motion are close enough to reality that they have practical applications.

I am sure that Newton with his sophisticated mind knew that, but students are introduced to the laws of motion as though they are perfect descriptions of the real world. They aren’t.

However, when the speed of the bodies approaches the speed of light Newtonian laws of motion become inadequate as no longer even good approximations.

Duality is the quality of being made up of two elements or aspects. In order to perceive the two elements or aspects we have to perceive them. The perception of the two aspects requires human or other intelligent mental activity to divine those aspects.

Yin and Yang are abstractions which are applied in Chinese philosophy to various phenomena. However, Yin and Yang are not self-evident in themselves. We may relate the sun to Yin and the moon to Yang or vice versa, but that is a human categorisation.

Can you give an example of duality in nature that is inherent and doesn’t require the human activity of mental abstraction to make it evident?
Posted by david f, Wednesday, 28 August 2013 10:01:46 AM
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http://www.google.com.au/search?q=nature+duality

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dualism

..<<..Dualism..denotes a state..of two parts.

..<<..The term 'dualism' was originally coined..to denote co-eternal binary opposition,..a meaning that is preserved in metaphysical and philosophical duality discourse..but has been diluted in other usages to indicate a system*..which contains two essential parts.>>

in nature the two parts are..creator/parental]
..beast/fruit/offspring

cause/result..

life from life
energy form..into energy form

or maybe a grub/metamorphosing into a moth
or tadpole into frog..no..im muddying the water

OPPOSITES*..only
by specific action..[means]
[observation]..

back to wiki..<<..Moral dualism*..is the belief of the great complement..or conflict..between the benevolent and the malignant...

..<<..It simply implies that there are two moral opposites at work, independent of any interpretation..of what might be "moral" and independent of..how these may be represented...<<>>..

pre-sence.
ab-sense

[tree ,falling in a forest..its opposite is standing]

opposite of living/dead

<<..In philosophy of mind,..dualism is a view
about the relationship between mind and matter..>>..

..<<..In theology, dualism can refer to
the relationship between God and creation>>..

..<<..in philosophy of science,..dualism
often refers to the dichotomy..between the "subject" (the observer) and the "object" (the observed)>>..

..<<..In physics.. dualism..also refers to mediums
with properties..that can be associated with the mechanics of two different phenomena..>>..

...<<<..ontological dualism
the world is divided..into two overarching categories.>>..

in nature..dualism..
can be..that EVEN a murderous beast*
yet nurtures loves..its own..?..what the lie..what the truth

oh..
this looked more interesting
http://www.highexistence.com/topic/the-duality-of-nature/

..<<..To me, Duality is two main things;
The physical universe, with its laws and logic, in conjunction with the dual; the spiritual, the consciousness, the feelings of existence.>>
Posted by one under god, Wednesday, 28 August 2013 10:33:16 AM
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3o..interesting/quotes..re-duelity

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/duality

too many..to quote..so...
http://www.plotinus.com/reflection_on_duality_copy.htm

<<..Source of Life manifests..itself..in the comprehensible and tangible substance..called primordial matter,.giving it an infinite and unimaginable ..variety of attributes..and characteristics.

Thus,..together,..the un-manifested Center of Pure Being..and primordial matter..impregnate all animate..and inanimate manifested creations alike..with their ethereal characteristic.

Primordial matter..fills the whole of creation,and yet,
under the influence..of spirit,..it incessantly transforms itself into new shapes..and forms...

Hence,..through these two completely..opposite..and contrary poles..that govern the whole of creation,..the Law of Duality..comes into play,..controlling..the whole process of life..and creation.

As individuals,..we personally experience..the effects of the Law of Duality..on a daily basis,..since it is part of creation..itself.

However,.in simpler terms,..we could say that duality..is based on the law of attraction..and repulsion,..and therefore creation itself is..founded on the Law of Duality.

But..why is this so?

First,let us clarify..that the invisible complement..of primordial matter..is the unfathomable nature..of unmanifested Being.

Here is the..inconceivable..and extraordinary paradox..that demonstrates..that an unmanifested/essence,..

an essence..that does not belong to..creation..[presence]..itself,..and therefore..does not exist as such..for us,..*[presences]

incomprehensible..to scientific..and rational minds alike,
yet..can somehow mysteriously..cause of all creation.

Similarly,..this inconceivable essence..is also the source..and cause of consciousness...Why?..Because without consciousness,..we would not be able to understand..*the goal of creation,..and the reason and cause for experiencing duality....>>

spiritual evolution

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:O_YG-_A99CAJ:http://ascension101.com/en/home/ascension-blog/31-september-2010/95-the-nature-of-darkness-in-duality.html%2Bnature+duality&hl=en&ct=clnk

<<..One of..the things..that puzzled me,..as we did this work,..was that as I looked..*at Earth,..it was pure/light[energy].

The centers,..[nucleolus]..after being retaken,..were pure light.>>
[think/like ball-lightening..[a self sustaining closed looping]..

[created when..the energy crossed over..its own path..
then closed off..the e loop

<<..And the energy..that flowed was pure light>>[mass].

<<..And,..as I explored..and tried to understand,
various bits of information..came my way..which showed the nature,..and the reason,..for this work.

..<<we are in an unbalanced and "wrong" structure of duality.>>

<<..One where the polarities..are in the wrong ends and causes separation,..suffering and otherness.>>

<<..But that if duality..was to be in the right configuration,..there would be no suffering..or sense of separation...and the question is, where does Darkness go..when we achieve this balanced/configuration?

The information..then was
that this "wrongness" of polarity..in this world was purposely designed..and implemented..*by humans..in order to experience an abuse of power,otherness and much more.>>..

LIFE'S LESSONS..TO..EVOLVE..our NURTURE/..*NATURALLY
Posted by one under god, Wednesday, 28 August 2013 10:58:27 AM
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Dear david f,

>> mathematical models … approximate reality but are an abstraction which does not fully reflect reality. …
Yin and Yang are abstractions which are applied in Chinese philosophy to various phenomena. <<

What an interesting analogy between the role of mathematics in understanding (physical) reality, and that of what I referred to as epistemological tools (Yin-Yang complementarity, beauty-truth-goodness aspects). Or did I misinterpret you?

>> We may relate the sun to Yin and the moon to Yang or vice versa, but that is a human categorisation. <<

Well, we may, but I do not think than any such arbitrary assignment is meaningful, i.e. properly reflects the intrinsic meaning of the Yin-Yang complementarity. Something like, one may assign any mathematical concept to any physical - i.e. a Euclidean space of dimension 13 to physical space, or any other arbitrariness - but it is meaningless unless such a mathematical model is an intrinsic part of a physical theory justified through observation, measurement.

It is not easy to describe explicitly what it means to say that a mathematical model is meaningful, suitable, but it is still easier than to explain what I mean by “properly reflects the intrinsic meaning of the Yin-Yang complementarity”.
Posted by George, Thursday, 29 August 2013 8:27:44 AM
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.

Dear David,

.

Thank you for that excellent scientific briefing on Newton’s third law of motion.

I note that like other mathematical models it “approximates” reality but does not “fully reflect” it.

More importantly, the fact that it is recognized as a law, “close enough to reality that it has practical applications”, means that is not just a pipe dream or a mere figment of the imagination. If I understand you correctly, whether mankind perceives it in that manner or not has no influence on the matter whatsoever. That’s just the way it is.

Also, apparently the law has a speed limit close to the speed of light but that shouldn’t be a problem. Who’s worried about elasticity at that speed?

It seems to me that what we are debating here is clearly reality and not just the phantasmagorical elucubrations of some absent-minded professor or even those of a Fields Medal winner, for that matter.

I’m sure we all do our best to keep our minds free of the pride and prejudice that risk to cloud our vision and warp our judgement. I agree that we must be constantly on our guard not to confuse subjectivity with objectivity, but not to the point of denying reality itself existence.

It is my view that if such a broad public from all walks of life, throughout humanity, are capable, not just of perceiving, but of recognizing and attesting, a certain duality in nature, then there is ample circumstantial evidence to support such a case.

And to answer your question: “Can you give an example of duality in nature that is inherent and doesn’t require the human activity of mental abstraction to make it evident? “, I reply male and female, life and death. Neither are abstract, both are real Both are independent of mankind.

But I am more than willing to admit that time may prove me wrong.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Thursday, 29 August 2013 8:31:06 AM
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Dear Banjo,

We can consider male and female along with life and death. It is our minds and our identification with our species that make those differences meaningful.

Male and female as differentiated organisms arose only during the last 600,000,000 years of the development of life. Most living biomass consists of bacteria which do not have the male/female dichotomy. It is important to us since we have a greater sexual dimorphism than most species and are more clearly differentiated in that regard than most species. Even those species which are differentiated into male and female may change sex spontaneously during their lifetime. Some species of fish are female when younger and male when older. Even in our own species the differentiation is not always clear. There are people who are attracted to and make partners of those of the same sex. There are people who have an incompatibility of the sex of their bodies with the sexual identification in their minds. The boundaries of male and female sexuality is only clear at a distance, and those species which are sexually differentiated are only a small subset of the biomass.

The boundaries of life and death are also not clearly marked. Viruses not in a host are crystalline substances which do not exhibit any of the characteristics associated with living matter.

Life and death along with sexual differentiation into male and female are dichotomies made by human beings and not a duality basic to nature. What does a clam know of garter belts?
Posted by david f, Thursday, 29 August 2013 9:09:21 AM
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.

Dear George,

.

« if you see Yin and Yang as “forces” you can add a third one to them, the “life force”. Here “force” is probably the best translation of the Chinese concept.”
.

That is not my understanding. My impression is that the Chinese see yin and yang as entities, characteristics or qualities with complementary attributes which combine to form a harmony.

Yin and yang correspond to the duality observed in nature. Whereas the third element, the qi (chi), as I previously indicated, seems to be more a supernatural concept, similar to the holy spirit of Christianity.

Obviously, the function of the qi is not exactly the same as that of the holy spirit because it is conceived as representing the life force or energy, whereas the holy spirit is not defined in terms of a particular function, but rather as a “third person” of a triune god.

I do understand your metaphor of the magnifying lenses but from my limited knowledge of Chinese culture they do not give me the impression of sharing that point of view. They tend to be very superstitious and whatever their degree of intelligence and culture, always careful to respect the ancient rules and customs of “Feng Shui” (literally, wind and water).

Through Feng Shui, which was developed over 6,000 years ago, people are believed to be able to make themselves more compatible with nature, their surroundings and their own everyday life, so that they can make an impact on their finances, health, and emotions. It is based on the awareness of the relations between human beings and nature. Only when the world is well-manipulated, can it be well availed of and become productive and favourable to humans. Yin and Yang are determining factors of Feng Shui.

There is little doubt in my mind that for the Chinese, yin and yang are not just magnifying glasses but dual characteristics of nature.

Whereas qi (chi) is a (human) concept of a sort of supernatural life force or energy.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Thursday, 29 August 2013 9:40:39 AM
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.

Dear David,

.

Yes, all that you relate can be found in nature and is quite amazing.

What you say is true.

But, for ,the time being, I am sticking to my guns and firmly consider that what I say is true too: duality is not just our perception of nature, it corresponds to a characteristic of nature.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Thursday, 29 August 2013 9:55:45 AM
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banjo..<<..I agree..that we must be constantly..on our guard
*..not to confuse subjectivity with objectivity,>>

thats an important point
the real..from the imagined?

NOT to con-fuse..the*sub-ject..with an ob-ject,,
<<..but not to the point..of denying reality itself..[its]..existence.

<<>>It is my view that..*if such a broad public..EDIT..not just of perceiving,..but of recognizing and attesting,..a certain duality in nature,..[only?]..*then there is..ample circumstantial evidence to support such a case.>>

and its not sounding..all that good

<<..Life and death..along with sexual differentiation
into male and female..are dichotomies..*made by human beings..and not a duality basic to nature.>>

dichotomies..:..<<..A dichotomy..is any splitting
of a whole..into exactly two non-overlapping parts,>>
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dichotomy

this..in natural../natures duality=birth/death
but again its subjective division..

[nature must be objective..[there]..or not..ie[subjective[..
a duality..yet not nature?

plitting/overlapping part..<<..meaning it is a procedure*..
[by/via]..in which..a whole is divided into two parts.

It is a partition of a whole(or a set)
into two parts (subsets) that are:

* jointly exhaustive:
everything must belong to one part or the other, and
* mutually exclusive:
nothing can belong simultaneously to both parts.

Such a partition is also frequently called a bipartition.>>

next
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/dichotomy

<<1. Division into two usually contradictory..parts or opinions:>>

duality=living nature..[objective]/dead nature..[subjective]?
Posted by one under god, Thursday, 29 August 2013 9:59:50 AM
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Dear Banjo,

Human concepts are inherent in nature because humans are a part of nature. However, those dualities, concepts and dichotomies did not exist before humans were around to make them.
Posted by david f, Thursday, 29 August 2013 10:26:29 AM
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.

Dear David,

.

« Human concepts are inherent in nature because humans are a part of nature. However, those dualities, concepts and dichotomies did not exist before humans were around to make them.”
.

Absolutely, David! Your logic is impeccable. And I’m glad to see that we finally agree.

The concept of a tree, the air, a bird, a flower, for example, never existed before mankind arrived on the scene. Who could have imagined two love birds huddled up together on a wire? Nobody. Because nobody existed before mankind arrived.

It seems that man is a relative newcomer on the cosmic time scale. A recent addition. Almost an afterthought. A final touch of fantasy of the chef. The icing on the cake, as it were.

I wonder what mother nature got up to all those billions of years before mankind finally emerged from the beasts of the jungle loaded up with all that intellectual paraphernalia of “dualities, concepts and dichotomies”.

Who on earth could have put all those ideas into his head before he rushed off with them to the moon for further extension.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Thursday, 29 August 2013 6:56:52 PM
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Banjo wrote: "Because nobody existed before mankind arrived."

I hear kookaburras in back laughing.
Posted by david f, Thursday, 29 August 2013 7:24:07 PM
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interestingly..at the end..of catalyst..
http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/3836881.htm
there was put..a strange...*concept of duality..[dual-causality]

[read transcript]

http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/3836881.htm

Dr Graham Phillips
Here's..a great enigma...Evolution seems to have made..our brains too good...Like all animals,..we evolved through the survival-of-the-fittest laws of the jungle...But our brains are able to do much more than just survive.

We can understand..complex mathematics,..for example,..and physics. We can do something..so removed from daily survival ..as study the beginnings of the universe...Why?

NARRATION
This fact bothered Einstein too...He remarked,..'The most *in-comprehensible thing..about the world..is that it is *comprehensible.'

Maybe minds..play a big role in the universe,
even having a hand in..*designing it...

Get ready
for a truly mind-bending idea.

Dr Graham Phillips
Paul Davies..thinks the universe..is indeed fine-tuned..for minds like ours...*And who fine-tuned it?..Not God,..LOL..

HERE GOES..
not god[lol]<<..but minds from the future,
OR..perhaps even our distant descendants,[past]..;that have reached back through time..lol..to the Big Bang..and selected the very laws of physics..that allow for the existence of minds..in the first place.

YES*..Sounds bizarre,
but quantum physics actually allows..that kind of thing.

NARRATION
It's like a loop through time,..stretching from the far future back to the Big Bang,..the future selecting the past*..and the past allowing the future*..-

mind-bogglingly,
*both causing each other.

Professor Paul Davies
The universe,..its laws and its observers
*all explain each other..in a self-consistent package.

NARRATION
As wacky as the idea sounds,..it was championed..by the extremely eminent physicist John Wheeler,..famous for naming black holes.

Professor Paul Davies
He believed - the way he put it,
that the laws of physics all came out of 'higgledy-piggledy'.

In other words,..back in the Big Bang,
the laws hadn't really sort of congealed - lol

..<<they were still very loose and approximate -..and that as the universe expanded and cooled,..the laws focused down on the set that we now have,..which turns out to be a set*..that is friendly to life.

NARRATION
Of course,..while this idea is consistent with physics,
it is highly speculative...[yes i willsay/athiestic logic?]

..<<Then again, the existence of a multi-verse
..is fairly speculative too.>>

no its NOT*
swedenberg said 9 other earths..[thats it]

<<For the moment,..the fine-tuning question..remains unresolved.>>

fair enough
Posted by one under god, Thursday, 29 August 2013 8:52:22 PM
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Dear Banjo,

So we agree that Yin and Yang are not “things” of the same kind as qi (chi), i.e. forces. We also agree on the expression Yin-Yang complementarity, although I prefer to look at it as a principle rather than a pair of entities .

I agree with what you wrote about Chinese culture, however, one cannot judge Chinese philosophy, way of thinking, from folkloristic cultural manifestations, any more than one can Western philosophy.

Accidentally I came accross the paper http://www.indigenouspsych.org/Interest%20Group/Li_p/Submission%2010-11-2010.pdf. It uses a language that is somewhat strange to me, however it speaks of the “salient source of Ying-Yang balance as a legitimate frame of thinking” which sounds like what I called the Yin-Yang principle as an “epistemological tool” (with the SLR camera metaphor).
Posted by George, Friday, 30 August 2013 7:29:44 AM
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.

Dear George,

.

« ... one cannot judge Chinese philosophy, way of thinking, from folkloristic cultural manifestations, any more than one can Western philosophy”
.

Quite right, George. Folklore is simply the archaeological trace of ancient culture, mores, beliefs and superstitions.

Whereas yin and yang is what Anne Cheng, a professor at France’s leading oriental language school in Paris, describes as an “anthropo-cosmology” uniting mankind to the cosmos in perfect harmony.

The process which gave rise to the yin and yang concept did not consist in projecting anima (to employ a term coined by Jung) on nature, but rather in the duality of nature having inspired anima - the duality of nature being an integral part of reality, not just an image – nor a simple, theoretical, “epistemological tool”.

As for the essay published by the Indigenous Psychology Organization for which you kindly provided the link (“The Salient sources of Chinese Yin-Yang Balance - toward a Mind-Language-Brain Meta-hypothesis”), I must confess that I have very serious doubts about the scientific value that could be attributed to this study of a “theoretical Chinese mind” in all its cognitive and psychological aspects.

To apply the authors’ own criticism (as regards human thought processes) to their own methods of study, it seems to me that “they tend to be so simplified that they distort reality beyond recognition”.

I wonder what the results would be of a similar theoretical study of the mind of Jesus in all its cognitive and psychological aspects – and what value such a study would have for Christianity.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Saturday, 31 August 2013 8:03:48 AM
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Dear Banjo,

>> the duality of nature being an integral part of reality, not just an image – nor a simple, theoretical, “epistemological tool”.<<

The point I was trying to make, that Yin and Yang, can be seen as having both an ontological (forces, entities, principles) and epistemological (epistemological tool, frame of thinking) meaning. Of course, this is a Western distinction that did not exists as such, in the Chinese philosophical tradition. So you are right that the original idea of Yin and Yang as found in the I Ching is closer to its ontological interpretation by us, Westerners:

“All things have both aspects, a Yin aspect and a Yang aspect. They are not separate, but are always found in relationship to one another.” (http://www.bmeacham.com/whatswhat/TaoTeChingOntology.html).

I think David’s, analogy with mathematics is illuminating: Pure mathematics has its own world of sets, real numbers, Hilbert spaces etc that is not the same as the world of physical reality studied by science, the same as the Yin and Yang entities as such are not something that can be explained (by science) as part of (pysical) reality as we, Westerners, understand it (and I am not going to speculate how they may relate to “supernatural” reality that our religions try to depict). However, mathematics can be applied in various different situations to understand the physical world, (and science, mostly physics, makes use of it abundantly) so one could call applied mathematics an “epistemological tool”. It is a similar epistemological application of the Yin-Yang complementarity that I had in mind.

>> As for the essay … I must confess that I have very serious doubts about the scientific value <<

Maybe so, I am not a psychologist or cognitive scientist, I was just attracted by the term “frame of thinking”.
Posted by George, Sunday, 1 September 2013 7:27:05 AM
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last night ..i watched the workings of faith..[in the power of chi]
just watch the way..[ta0]..of chi

first two vidios
http://www.google.com.au/search?q=super+human+drill

as separate from yin/yang
Posted by one under god, Sunday, 1 September 2013 7:55:38 AM
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from..geo/link<<..For the Chinese..there are two fundamental laws..underlying change in the universe,..the law of polar reversal and the law of periodicity...>>

lets recall..the polar reversal/law

i recall once..seeing a moving giff..
that revealed a circum polar orbit..around the alternate poles of an atom

the electron..flipped [fell][was drawn]..first 2/3 rds the way..arround the positive pole..

then skipped over-to
the..so called negative..which flicked it right back..circling again 2/3 rds the way around..before yet again..repeating the alternate partial pole circumnavigation..repeat endlessly

side on..it would resemble the ying/yan
and from..its oppisite side..resembling the yin/yang

but at the time..
i only saw it as the horizontal *8*..[of eternity]

the other giff i recall..was the yin/yan
which showed the dots alternatly..passing though the opposing..yin/yan hole..[with the black/white sphere/holes/balls..passing through the rocking tear shapets..horisontaly8

WHICH yet againbrings us to..<<Polar reversal means that things change into their opposites,..but not only that.>>lol

<<..Even more profoundly,the seeds of change
are carried ALTERNATLY..within each entity;..each entity contains within..*itself the tendency>>..

lol its own..equal/opposing
variable constant..lore/law ..lol
living/loving light via logic..[suss-staining]..life..
revealed in the light/sustained by the flow of e [light]via logic

logically..seeking life into to logical living loving..lived

<<that will one day manifest..as its opposite.>>?

Periodicity means things change..in recurring cycles,
like night and day or the changing of the seasons.>>

but thats not the be all/end all
Posted by one under god, Sunday, 1 September 2013 9:37:53 AM
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.

Dear George,

.

Thank you for the link to that interesting piece by Bill Meacham entitled “Tao Te Ching Ontology”.

I feel a certain community of thought with the ideas expressed by the author and his mentor, the mathematician philosopher, Alfred North Whitehead, though I also have some major differences, particularly in relation to the appropriateness of the term “polar reversal” to describe the modification of the dominating factor of yin or yang, and, also, the concept of “the world as being a field of energy, called Qi” – a sort of worldwide grid of energy.

In both instances I see these as Whitehead’s personal interpretations rather than a faithful description of yin and yang on the one hand and qi on the other, as conceived by their Chinese authors and those having adopted them as part of their world view.

As previously indicated, my understanding is that yin and yang is a concept inspired by the duality observed in nature, which Anne Cheng terms an “anthropo-cosmology” uniting mankind to the cosmos in perfect harmony. Whereas qi is conceived by its Chinese authors as a supernatural life force or energy, equivalent to the Christian concept of the holy spirit.

As regards David’s analogy with mathematics, I see pure mathematics as a product of the human imagination and, as such, not part of reality. Your definition of applied mathematics as an “epistemological tool” is fine with me.

Yin and yang, on the other hand is not a product of the imagination. I see it as a logical construction based on the duality observed in nature, an extrapolation from nature. It seems to me that the mental process is the inverse of that in mathematics.

But please correct me if I am wrong.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Monday, 2 September 2013 1:12:50 AM
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.

Dear One Under God,

.

Re: YouTube video of superhuman Shaolin monk.

Recourse to magic is a constant throughout history to prove the existence of the supernatural and, to my great regret, the gullibility of mankind knows no bounds.

Even some of the more intelligent among us fall victims to magicians, swindlers, crooks, con men, gurus, religious cranks, fortune tellers, hookers, hustlers, whoremongers, politicians and experts of all sorts ...

Just how they manage to do it is a mystery to me.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Monday, 2 September 2013 2:08:18 AM
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Dear Banjo,

>> I see pure mathematics as a product of the human imagination and, as such, not part of reality. <<

There are the Penrose’s three worlds, mental, mathematical and physical. Of course, the mental and physical worlds are different, but many mathematicians see also the world of mathematical concepts and relations as different, though obviously not independent, from the other two. If mathematics were a pure product of human imagination - like a fairy tale about ghosts and fairies - you would have the problem with what Wigner called the “unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics” in explaining physical reality, including making verifiable predictions. Of course, the mathematical world is not part of physical reality, and I believe it is neither part of, nor solely product of, mental reality (I prefer the terminology “not reducible to” to “not part of” or “not a product of”); it lingers somewhere “in between”.

>>Yin and yang, on the other hand is not a product of the imagination. I see it as a logical construction based on the duality observed in nature, <<

Well, the same could be said about mathematics. Natural numbers (and other elementary mathematical concepts) are “constructions based on” phenomena observed in nature: You learned to understand the concept of “5” by being asked to observe the difference between five, and say three, apples, and what was shared by five apples and five bunnies. Only higher mathematics are constructions that are not based on direct observation, nevertheless are "unreasonably effective" in explaining features of physical reality.
Posted by George, Monday, 2 September 2013 7:34:48 AM
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i..agree banjo
it has to be a trick..
just like dynamo..
http://www.google.com.au/search?q=dynamo+bucket+of+fish+trick

some i can figure out..others amaze me
how can humans think..so affectingly..so as to trick us

sure with computers
we can raise the dead..make water freeze..
or 3 buckets of fish..come out of an empty bucket..

thus it all..must be clever editing..

but i found there is other stuff
like the joe fuel cell that makes..bonded hydrogen?..[HH2?]
ie a gas..that dont explode..but IMPLODES*.

.its created only via..a certain grade..
of graduated stainless steel tubes..that somehow capture the chi

http://www.google.com.au/search?q=joe+fuel+cell+byron+bay
[see a 45 minute vidio..[rubber carrying electron flow][imploding gas]
Posted by one under god, Monday, 2 September 2013 7:53:04 AM
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Posted by Banjo Paterson, Monday, 2 September 2013 2:08:18 AM

Banjo wrote: As regards David’s analogy with mathematics, I see pure mathematics as a product of the human imagination and, as such, not part of reality. Your definition of applied mathematics as an “epistemological tool” is fine with me.

Dear Banjo,

What exists is reality. Let us here make a distinction. We can confuse the map of a territory with a territory. The territory may or may not exist, but the map does. We may map imaginary territories with magic which shows the existence of a supernatural. We agree that this is a map for the gullible, and the supernatural does not exist. We can map Middle Earth which is a product of Tolkien’s imagination. Middle Earth does not exist. However, the map does exist. Our discussion of it is a consequence of its existence.

The human imagination exists. It is real. However, what it conjures up may or may not be real. Mathematics is one of the objects conjured up by the human imagination. The map is real. Mathematics is a map. There are no infinite sets as physical objects. There are no perfect circles as physical objects. Nevertheless, infinite sets and perfect circles are part of the map called mathematics. The map is real as are the legends of supernatural beings. Whether the supernatural beings are real or the objects mathematics conjures up are real is another question. Of course they aren’t.

However, the objects conjured up by the map called mathematics can either approach reality or coincide with reality. Number is an abstraction. However, we can count ten objects. It is the human mind which assigns a number to the collection of objects, but the objects are real.

Mathematics is a product of the human imagination, but it is also reality just as the legends of the supernatural are real. We can think of mathematics as a map which can be manipulated and can be applied to understand real physical territory.

continued
Posted by david f, Monday, 2 September 2013 8:30:37 AM
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sorry....that should be HHO

but this tells a more fuller story
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAbuHe9X_cs

key bits are that the engine timing MUST be
set back25 degrees[so it..*fires on the upstroke]..not the down

also important is the orientation of the stainless tubes..when molded
as moulding sets up a certain magnetic structure/matrix..and having a northmatrix..inside a south matrix..tube

is like..joining positive to negative..in say two twelve volt battery=24 volt..[series]..

as opposed to the joining of earth to earth..[in parralel]..

the two hydrogen..bonded with an o
somehow increasesthe eletrical voltage/conductivity
[hence the rubber water hoses]..carrying voltage?
and the water hose direct into the motor intake
yet..not affecting the moters running[8minutes]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfFahPkLUck

more details here
http://peswiki.com/energy/Directory:Joe_Cell
Posted by one under god, Monday, 2 September 2013 8:40:53 AM
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continued

Applied mathematics as defined by George is an “epistemological tool” The tool exists and is real. The tool would not exist without a prior theoretical mathematics which is also real even though the objects that theoretical mathematics describe are not real.

The objects of the legends of the supernatural are not real either, but those legends may give us an understanding of human behaviour. Loki is the God of mischief. I wish that more Australians could appreciate his spirit and deflate the pomposities current in our electoral process.

I’m ending with a Loki because at the moment I don’t feel adequate to reach a high key.
Posted by david f, Monday, 2 September 2013 9:01:51 AM
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.

Dear David & George,

.

Thank you both for your explanations which lead me to modify my initial thoughts on the matter.

I must confess that I made a rather peremptory judgement on this one without giving it much reflexion. What seemed to me as obvious is, as you both rightly point out, mostly true but not totally true.

Allow me to take a step backwards and look at matters differently in an effort to see things more clearly.

For anything to be a pure product of the imagination, it can only exist if mankind exists. Let us, therefore, take away mankind for the time being and see what is left (but, if you don’t mind, I shall take a peep at what is left from behind a curtain - my presence would have little or no influence where maths are concerned anyway).

In a world without mankind there would continue to be births and deaths (additions and subtractions) within the remaining biota. The sun and the moon would continue to form circles in the sky. Migrating birds would fly in straight lines. Mountain peaks would form triangles and conic shapes. Tree trunks would be cylindrical. The plains would be flat surfaces, the seas and oceans would make waves, fish would swim in zig-zags, and so on.

All of this exists in nature independently of mankind.

Now if I were to come out from behind the curtain, my feeble but not completely nil capacity for abstract thought would allow me to introduce multiplication and division (which I acquired at primary school in the bush).

And if you two guys were to suddenly appear on the scene ... Wow! There we’d have it: the wonders of pure mathematics and applied mathematics, in all their splendour!

I hope I got it right this time. Did I?

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Monday, 2 September 2013 7:37:28 PM
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Banjo wrote: The sun and the moon would continue to form circles in the sky. Migrating birds would fly in straight lines. Mountain peaks would form triangles and conic shapes. Tree trunks would be cylindrical. The plains would be flat surfaces, the seas and oceans would make waves…

Dear Banjo,

Human perception of reality has been informed by expecting it to fit some ideological gestalt. The gestalt may be due to wanting the world to fit some mathematical model. Your remarks above indicate that you are influenced by this type of thinking as many other people have been.

Ancient philosophers thought that the heavenly bodies moved in circular orbits as the circle was a ‘perfect’ form. Observation showed this was not so.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kepler's_laws_of_planetary_motion tells how Kepler examining Brahe's data on the movement of the planet Mars found that an ellipse described the movement of the planets around the sun more accurately than a circle.

Migrating birds do not fly in straight lines. Their patterns minimise the energy they use to get from one place to another. To do this they will follow the prevailing winds at different altitudes and catch thermals to gain altitude. Their navigation may include stop off points to feed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird_migration exhibits some flight patterns of migratory birds. They are not in straight lines.

Mountain peaks and plains with few exceptions only have conical shapes and planar surfaces in children’s paintings.

The seas and oceans do not in general make waves. Movement on the surfaces of the waters are usually determined by wind patterns above the water although there may also be underwater disturbances that make waves.

Mathematical models are an excellent tool for examining reality, but one must be aware that it usually is only an abstraction of reality and not a reflection of it.

The boundary between applied and theoretical mathematics changes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Projection-slice_theorem describes the slice theorem which was developed by a mathematician early in the twentieth century.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godfrey_Hounsfield tells how Hounsfield got a Nobel prize for applying the slice theorem to X-ray computed tomography. The slice theorem, previously theoretical math, became applied mathematics.
Posted by david f, Monday, 2 September 2013 9:08:43 PM
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banjo..<<..Now if I were to come out..from behind the curtain, my feeble but not completely nil..capacity for abstract thought would allow me..to introduce multiplication and division>>..

but..what use..would it be?
to the beasts..

how does that..teaching..
make their life any better/or any worse..?
it seems a nill sum gain..so im..missing something..

<<..All of this exists in nature
independently of mankind..>>

so the beasts/nature egsist..the same as before
only now your keeping count of their..math..just like sciences godheads

then along comes george and david..
and model..the numbers..and compare the model..with the reality

but..the separation/duality persists..
just like..it must have done..in the beginning..[with god..observing her creation..except where you created david/george..she created adam

ie a potential equal..
who could appreciate..her model bling

but adam..didnt get the math

BUT he saw what nature had..and wanted what the beasts 'have'[ie amate]
so god took his dna..from the marrow of a rib..doubled up on the X.[threw away the why[y]..and at last adam[Xy]..got eve[XX}..his sister

found the yin..for his yang

so he got it..in the end..
got..what the beasts got..[incestuous naturalism

[do the math..
god knew..he would in time..do the math..himself
much like he had to before god maid eve..that sounds like a thing..loki would do

but loki..is much how god did the evolution..[of the beasts]
Posted by one under god, Monday, 2 September 2013 9:09:50 PM
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Dear Banjo,

>>Let us, therefore, take away mankind for the time being and see what is left … In a world without mankind there would continue to be births and deaths … The sun and the moon would continue to form circles <<

Well, that is the whole point, we cannot “see” the world which has no observer that we can communicate with. All the things you mention is just a projection into situations, absent of any observer, from our best explanation of the world we “see” (i.e. have access to through our senses and theories that adequately model physical reality). Here “adequately”, means, roughly speaking, leading to verifiable predictions.

As I tried to explain in my article (www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=14464), “reality is what exists” only defines “reality” or “exists” provided one agrees on what the other term means. (Yuyutsu believes in God, but does not think He exists, because he apparently defines “exists” as being part of physical reality.)

As Hawkins and Mlodinow put it, “our brains interpret the input from our sensory organs by making a model of the outside world. We form mental concepts of our home, trees, other people, the electricity that flows from wall sockets, atoms, molecules, and other universes. These mental concepts are the only reality we can know. There is no model-independent test of reality.” Put briefly, “Epistemology models ontology.” (John Polkinghorne, physicist and theologian)

It is a matter of belief that a reality, independent of how we perceive, imagine, model or explain it, exists. This belief is shared by everybody (except for solipsists).

Another belief is in the irreducibility of mathematical concepts and relations to both physical reality (i.e. they cannot be “found” in the physical world) and mental reality (i.e. they are not purely constructs or products of our imagination); a mathematician both discovers and invents. This belief is shared by many - perhaps a majority - of mathematicians.

(And there is a belief in the existence of a numinous realm irreducible to any of the three worlds of Penrose. This belief is shared only by some people, theists among them.
Posted by George, Tuesday, 3 September 2013 1:01:48 AM
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.

Dear David,

.

Looks like I got in wrong again ... but not completely.

If I read you correctly, everything was wrong except the additions and subtractions (birth and death) operations which continue to be effected in nature despite the absence of human beings.

That’s less than I thought. I thought there would be some geometry as well, but, apparently not – no circles, no straight lines, no conical shapes, no waves, ... You didn’t mention it, but I suppose there are no triangles, no cylindrical designs and no zig-zags either.

By the way, what I meant was that the sun and the moon both have the shape of a circle, albeit an imperfect one. I was not referring to their movement in space. That’s my fault. I should have expressed myself more precisely.

Mind you, perhaps you, should have realised that only human beings could conceive of the movement of the sun and the moon in space as describing a circle or an ellipse or whatever. So I couldn’t possibly be referring to that because I had indicated that I was describing a situation in which there were no human beings – just me, a mathematically illiterate person hiding behind a curtain.

In the final analysis, it seems that the only maths to be found in nature, independently of mankind, are the adding and subtracting operations effected by birth and death.

Unless, of course, the imperfections you detect in nature (migrating birds that don’t fly straight, imperfectly designed mountain peaks and planar surfaces, seas and oceans which don’t make waves), are simply optical illusions caused by George’s magnifying lenses (if you happen to be looking through them), or, alternatively, errors produced by those mathematical models you employ to examine reality, since you indicate that they can only produce an abstraction of reality – not a reflection of it.

I guess it’s either an imperfection of nature , as you suggest, or George’s magnifying glasses that need cleaning, or, an error in the mathematical abstraction.

I wonder if George and One Under God share your opinion.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Tuesday, 3 September 2013 1:28:44 AM
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we are each..trying to describe..our own inner seeing..
revealing..our inner..to those without..[outside]revealing their own inner seeing

banjo..your correct..to a point..
and that is the point

[to try to describe]..

david<<..Mathematical models are an excellent tool for examining reality,>>..and they are..

but tools shape the substance
[think..art/woodwork etc]

taking art..[a method..of drawing..
sets up block shapes..to set up..THE proper proportion..

the golden mean..that at first..
only vaguely resembles the natural face/scene..or body..

via math..blocks circles/triangulations..
then the perspective..[vanishing point]..all..mechanical abstractions..[derivatives]..that yet draw our drawings..closer to that validated..of reality

[see the golden-mean]..

<<..but one must be aware..that it usually
is..only an abstraction of reality..and not a reflection of it...>>

you are both correct..and able to be made...to look not quite right..but so is it..with us all..as we each try..to block-out..or rather rough in..a bigger picture..

from our relatively narrower fields of affect..
via the individual minutia..into the real experiences..validating our smaller revelation..into words..

[lets include faulse memory..mechanistic law..ergo ego]
the mind-full..inner imagery from within..as seen via the material temporal values imposed from..without...[outside..as opposed by in-side].,.,

two dimensions..into a third..
out of 3rd..we get the 4th..inner space..[di-mention]
Posted by one under god, Tuesday, 3 September 2013 5:54:05 AM
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Dear Banjo,

I’m sure that George, OUG, you and I all see beauty in this world, all can feel love in our hearts for something, all see our own abstractions, all try to understand the world and share our humanity in many ways.

I hope we all see beauty in mathematics, and we all know mathematics at some level or other.

The fertilised ova from which we all come start their development in a geometric progression – 1,2,4,8,16.. cells.

"Mathematics is the language in which God has written the universe." - Galileo

At the start of the Second World War, mathematician G. H. Hardy felt a need to justify his belief that mathematics should be pursued for its own sake, rather than that of its applications. The resulting book, A Mathematician's Apology, is a defense of mathematics as a field. It’s a good read and can be found on the net.

The following explicitly connects pure mathematics with a search for the divine.

“Throughout history, application rather than abstraction has been the prominent driving force in mathematics. From the compass and sextant to partial differential equations, mathematical advances were spurred by the desire for better navigation tools, weaponry, and construction methods. But the religious upheaval in Victorian England and the fledgling United States opened the way for the rediscovery of pure mathematics, a tradition rooted in Ancient Greece.

In Equations from God, Daniel J. Cohen captures the origins of the rebirth of abstract mathematics in the intellectual quest to rise above common existence and touch the mind of the deity. Using an array of published and private sources, Cohen shows how philosophers and mathematicians seized upon the beautiful simplicity inherent in mathematical laws to reconnect with the divine and traces the route by which the divinely inspired mathematics of the Victorian era begot later secular philosophies.”

Since mathematics is a part of my life and I think death is oblivion there is no aftermath for me.
Posted by david f, Tuesday, 3 September 2013 7:39:08 AM
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.

Dear George,

.

I have no problems with your last post which I had not read before posting my last reply to David. It must have arrived while I was busy preparing my reply to David.

The only slight reservation I have is in relation to your comment : “Well, that is the whole point, we cannot “see” the world which has no observer that we can communicate with”.

I doubt that we observe any region in the world in its totality, 24h a day, 7 days a week but that does not prevent us from having access to a large number of them “through our senses and theories that adequately model physical reality” as you stipulate.

As for the more remote regions where there are no permanent observers, just the odd passing visitor every decade or so, I don’t think any reasonable person would entertain the slightest doubt as to the existence of the physical reality of those regions – even in the absence of “adequate models of physical reality leading to verifiable predictions”.

To return now to the question in hand as to whether pure mathematics is a product of the human imagination and, as such, not part of reality, that does, indeed, seem to be the case, except as regards the operations of additions and subtractions which are effected by life and death.

This is the result of an analysis of nature independently of mankind.

David has expressed doubt as to whether life and death should be considered as part of reality or not. But there is no doubt in my mind that they do. On the other hand, I thought I could discern signs of the application of geometry in nature (circles, triangles, cones, straight lines, flat surfaces, waves, zig-zags). David does not.

Hence my provisional conclusion, pending your opinion and that of One Under God, that pure mathematics is a product of the imagination and, as such, not part of reality, except as regards the operations of additions and subtractions.

I await yours and One Under God’s comments with interest .

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Tuesday, 3 September 2013 8:51:17 AM
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its/sad..david sees..no afterlife..for*himself
and..neither..do i..for this present*..material-self[body]

BUT*..we..of ourselves..isnt everything
in fact..we each..are all..but micro-bits..of something..far greater

[much like..individual cells]..yet To-GETHER..
part of..a much larger..neurobio-logical/bio-structure..[the uni-verse][god]

lets quote..from..'gone_west'..again
hear*..what the departed..themselves reveal

<<..“‘Now..it is difficult..for you,to understand..our arrangements here;..it is..*very different..from what you..are usually taught.

It is not..however.;.so much that.;.the original teaching..of
the church..was wrong,..but that it has been..*misinterpreted..by its teachers.

At..the best,however,..
*they..only show..a part of*..the truth.

*Not even..here..do we know..*all the truth.

Truth..is like*..a diamond..with many facets.
Each facet..contains part,..but only part,*..*of the truth.

Some facets..are larger/smarter/more switched on..than others;
just like..all creeds..exist8..because of*..the ‘facet’.of truth,
however small,..which they..WE*..each..possess.

No faith../being/beast or presence..which had..*no element..of truth &*could exist..at/all..for any space of time..on earth.

Often,however,..the ‘facet’..[we each hold]..is very small.

The larger..then amount of truth..[first person/witness]...,the stronger that faith/proof..will,as a rule,grow...Thus the Roman Catholics..are..a numerous body,..but neither they..nor any Sect possess*..*all the truth...They simply form
one of..the communities..which exist/in the sets..where men believed...now live.

There..are also..Buddhists..and ‘heathen’..here,..and,indeed,..all religions.[people parts]

From this stage..we advance until..we have gathered..in all others/truths,..and then we shall really know..what is meant by God.

But..that is far hence.

“Since,however,..it is easier..for you to comprehend
the new facts..with which I am about to deal..if you can*..attach them to..*some..[egsisting]..theory..with which..you..already are acquainted,

I shall..thus..adopt
the general/plan..of Heaven,Purgatory,..and Hell.

Be under..no misunderstanding,..as depicted..by many personal/beliefs..these names are*..wholly misleading.
*But..if accepted..as a convenient..and rough [imprecise]. class-ification,..they will be helpful.

One fact,..however,..you must..clearly grasp.

So far as..I can discover..there is no evidence.of the eternity..of Hell.
Drop..that idea..and the rest will be easy..to understand.

At the same time.,.spirits may be..in what.I..will call Hell..for countless ages...For example,..Nero is there..still.. and likely to remain..there..for many..an earthly age.

“The officer..has just come up..from Hell,
and so that proves*..it is not a place of
perpetual torment...But as most spirits..who communicate with the living..are fairly spiritual
ones,..*they*..have never been..in Hell,..and so can tell you nothing of it.

Many do/not know
of its existence...For we do not know everything,!..only what,..is necessary for our own
progress.

They*..need no pains of Hell,
and so know not..of its existence.>>..

one big..living loving..biol-logical..*EL
light..sustaining/life..one cell..at a time
Posted by one under god, Tuesday, 3 September 2013 8:53:20 AM
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Dear david f,

Thanks for the Hardy quote.

My generation is younger than Hardy’s but also throughout my student and professional years, there was us, doing “exact” contemporary (pure) mathematics, and - as we used to say - theoretical physicists and applied mathematicians who were dressing their 20th century findings in 19th century mathematics.

Well, certainly an exaggeration, but there used to be a gap between proper, modern, mathematics, for instance differential geometry that I was working with, and outdated differential geometry that physicists were speaking when explaining and working with general relativity. Concepts like connections in principal bundles were something we strived on, but physicists did not find useful (and understand) these constructions. For instance, Lie groups, as formulated in 19th cenntury were very insightful but needed an input of 20th cdentory toplogy to make it the theory Lbullet-proof" (the same Dirac function until Laurent Schwarz fixed it).

This was the situation until Yang-Mills came and showed that these connections were nothing but what physicists called gauge fields in (physica) gauge theory (of elementary.particles).

[Apologies to Banjo, OUG and others who might not be familiar with these technical terms]

This was a fascinating experience for a pure mathematician like me, perhaps not unlike when centuries ago they found out that complex numbers (constructid just to defy the non-negativeness of squares) found important applications in various parts of physics. I wonder whether it was not this, Yang-Mills experience, that prompted Wigner to write about “unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics”.

Today, the new generation is different. No serious theoretical physicist can talk about gravitation theory, gauge theory or speculate about superstring theories without understanding much abstract, and “modern” concepts of pure mathematics that are now completely beyond my comprehension. So the gap - between “elegant” contemporary mathematics and mathematics applicable in theoretical physics is closing, or already closed. And that is good feeling that my PhD and habilitation, although dealing only with "elegancy" in approach to mathematics is needed, albeit very marginally in my case) in physics for progressive research.
Posted by George, Tuesday, 3 September 2013 9:13:19 AM
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Sorry, the end of third paragraph should read:

formulated in 19th century were very insightful but needed an input of 20th century topology to make its the theory “bullet-proof” (the same Dirac function until Laurent Schwarz fixed it).
Posted by George, Tuesday, 3 September 2013 9:17:49 AM
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Dear Banjo,

I have no doubt that life and death are reality. At this time my life is reality, and my death will be reality in the future.
Posted by david f, Tuesday, 3 September 2013 9:29:32 AM
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gauge_theory

http://empg.maths.ed.ac.uk/Activities/STS/AdSCFT/

This is the website..for the course on the dualit.. between gauge fields and strings..delivered by Dr Carlos Núñez from Swansea University.

also note gauge fields and knots
plus gauge fields and string theory

In physics,..a gauge theory
is a type of field theory..in which the Lagrangian..is invariant
[lol]..in-varient]..under a continuous group of local transformations.

Both gauge invariance and diffeomorphism invariance
reflect a redundancy..in the description of the system.

The term gauge.refers to redundant degrees of freedom..in the Lagrangian.

The transformations between possible gauges,..called gauge transformations, form a Lie group..lol..which is referred to as the symmetry group..or the gauge group of the theory.*

Associated with any Lie group..is the Lie algebra of group generators...[lol]

For each group generator..there necessarily arises
a corresponding..vector field called the gauge field.

The field..has the property of being self-interacting
and equations of motion..that one obtains are said to be semilinear, as nonlinearities..are both with and without derivatives.

This means..that one can manage this theory..
only by perturbation theory,..with small nonlinearities.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perturbation_theory

Perturbation theory..comprises mathematical methods
that are used..to find an approximate*..solution to a problem which cannot be..solved..*exactly>>,..[DOUBLE LOL]

..<<by starting..from the exact solution..[of a related problem] Perturbation theory..is applicable if the problem at hand..can be formulated..by adding a "small" term*..to the mathematical description..of the exactly solvable problem.

Note that the transition between "upper" ("contravariant") and "lower" ("covariant") vector or tensor components..is trivial for a indice

gauge invariance)...When such a theory is quantized,
the quanta of the gauge fields..are called gauge bosons.

If the symmetry group..is non-commutative,[lol]
the gauge theory..is referred to as non-abelian,..the usual example being the Yang–Mills theory.

Yang–Mills theory..seeks to describe the behavior*
of elementary particles..using these non-Abelian Lie groups
and is at the core..of the unification of the Weak and Electromagnetic force (i.e. U(1) × SU(2))
Posted by one under god, Tuesday, 3 September 2013 10:01:29 AM
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.

Dear David,

.

« I’m sure that George, OUG, you and I all see beauty in this world, all can feel love in our hearts for something, all see our own abstractions, all try to understand the world and share our humanity in many ways.”
.

Yes, I do.

.

“I hope we all see beauty in mathematics, and we all know mathematics at some level or other.”
.

I see elementary mathematics as a tool and pure mathematics as a barrier to knowledge because I do not have access to it.

Nevertheless, the signs look quite nice but not as nice as those of music and Chinese which I don’t understand either.
.

“The fertilised ova from which we all come start their development in a geometric progression – 1,2,4,8,16.. cells.”
.

I thought you could not see any geometry in nature. Thanks. I’ll add it to my definition of pure mathematics.
.

"Mathematics is the language in which God has written the universe." – Galileo.
.

Galileo was a brilliant scientist but, in my opinion, a not so brilliant philosopher. I understand that mathematics is a tool which helps us to interpret the universe and that faith in God is not a prerequisite. According to George, mathematics is the language of physics.
.

(Continued) ...

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Tuesday, 3 September 2013 11:13:31 PM
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.

(Continued) ...

.

“G. H. Hardy, Daniel J. Cohen, George, et al.”
.

A major figure of Elizabethan England was Sir Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626) who is accredited with having invented the scientific method (of which empiricism is the central concept) based on induction which proved a formidable turbo-booster for the development of abstract thought, the thought process in which ideas are distanced from reality.

Bacon was a deeply religious person. He composed and published a collection of religious meditations and theological tracts and prayers. He described “love” as the force of the instinct of primal matter, "the natural motion of the atom", "the summary law of nature, that impulse of desire impressed by God upon the primary particles of matter which makes them come together, and which by repetition and multiplication produces all the variety of nature", "a thing which mortal thought may glance at, but can hardly take in".

It’s not surprising that the natural propensity of mathematicians for abstract thought leads some of them down the same religious path as that of Bacon.
.

“Since mathematics is a part of my life and I think death is oblivion there is no aftermath for me.”
.

To cite one of my favourite authors:

“The boundaries of life and death are not clearly marked. Life and death are dichotomies made by human beings. What does a clam know of aftermath?”

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Tuesday, 3 September 2013 11:16:53 PM
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Dear Banjo,

>> I don’t think any reasonable person would entertain the slightest doubt as to the existence of the physical reality … – even in the absence of “adequate models of physical reality …”.<<

This is what I meant when I wrote that it is a matter of belief shared by everybody that a reality, independent of how we perceive, imagine, model or explain it, exists. The exception are solipsists, and I agree that one can call them unreasonable.

>>This is the result of an analysis of nature independently of mankind.<<

Who is doing that analysis if not a member of mankind? Some speak of God’s perspective, but then you have to admit that there is a God, and that we can understand how He does His “analysis”.

>> I could discern signs of the application of geometry in nature … David does not.<<

I am sure he does “discern signs of the application” of mathematical concepts, only they are not to be seen as part of physical reality like, e.g. horses.

It is a deeper question of what entity actually exist: Horses (in distinction to fairies) do, so do quarks (in distinction to aether) and compact manifolds (in distinction to compact linear spaces), however these are different “kinds” of existence. You can touch a horse, you cannot touch a quark but it arises as a consequence of valid theories, and neither of these two kinds applies to manifolds or other mathematical concepts, although they can be useful in explaining physical reality.

>> pure mathematics is a product of the imagination <<

Some mathematicians will agree, some will not. It certainly is not part of physical reality.

>> except as regards the operations of additions and subtractions.<<
No except here, that is all part of mathematics like any other operations and relations.

>> It’s not surprising that the natural propensity of mathematicians for abstract thought leads some of them down the same religious path as that of Bacon.<<

I do not know about mathematicians but a higher percentage of specialists in physical sciences than in life sciences are theists.
Posted by George, Wednesday, 4 September 2013 12:50:55 AM
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.

Dear George,

.

Thanks for your comments which I find enlightening as always.
.

[>>This is the result of an analysis of nature independently of mankind.<<

Who is doing that analysis if not a member of mankind? ... ]
.

Yes, I’m afraid there’s no escaping that. Probably the best method would be to constitute a multidisciplinary team composed of reputable mathematicians/scientists, philosophers and others, with the objective of answering the following question:

“Do mathematics exist in nature independently of mankind. If so, how is this manifested?”

In the meantime, having no preconceived ideas or prejudices on the question, I am doing my best to answer the question myself, with your help and that of David and One Under God. I feel confident that the results will be of value.

Thanks to all three of you.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Wednesday, 4 September 2013 6:41:51 AM
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<<“Do mathematics exist in nature independently of mankind.
If so, how is this manifested?”>>

i came across a study..of ants once
that showed a mathematical ratio..that corresponded with increase in size

there are of course
the math ratios..exampled..in sunflower seed placement..in the seed head..and the shell formations etc..

it dosnt as much prove..
any real egzistance..of the math..[as such]..
as much show firmly..an ant..[regardless of size..is still..an ant]..and hasnt morphed into say..a termite

math..as such measures/weighs..gets numbers
then determines why..forms a theo-ry/..validates..
[via more weights measures etc]..determines its falsifiability..

becomes a proper science [ie has falsifiable thesis
that if refuted..nullify the claim to be called true science

evolution..isnt a science
cause it has no falsifiability
plus no change of genus..has ever been validated/verified
or even reported nor seen..let alone replicated*..[essential to validate any true science]..

a theo-wry
at best...it failed its test.

natural-selection=definitively..science didnt
survival of the fit-test=not science

genetics=science
mendelic ratio=science[ants]

mendelism alone..refutes taxonomic.classification..by looks like [phenotype]..
you can gather rocks.[fossils]..all you like..
but rocks cant validate genotype..

thus..rocks..are not..any true science proof*..for macro-evolution..[as in..species mutating..into a new genus...

which..evolution..needs..*to..validate
BEFORE claiNg itself..a science

event though..it claims some science method
its proof is pheno-type...not..faulsify-able...*gene-o-type
Posted by one under god, Wednesday, 4 September 2013 7:29:07 AM
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Dear Banjo,

Thank you for quoting me to contradict me. Like Whitman I contain multitudes.

Pure mathematics need not be a barrier to knowledge. Number theory is mainly pure mathematics although it does have some practical applications. I am sure you have sufficient background to read about it and appreciate the steps by which theorems in that field are solved even you may not be able to solve one of those theorems yourself. However, I think you well might be able to do so.

Try “Elements of Number Theory” by Vinogradov. Elementary mathematics is not merely a tool but has a background of interesting theory. Felix Klein wrote “Elementary Mathematics from an Advanced Standpoint” in German. It has been translated into English. Don’t sell yourself short, Banjo. I am sure you could have many happy hours with mathematics. It might be even better than the happy hours at the local bar. I think you are an intelligent man who would appreciate the world of mathematics.

Bacon was a deeply religious person. However, in the sixteenth century in which Bacon was born a person who was not openly a religious Christian would have been denied entrance to English universities. Religious restrictions still existed in Darwin’s time. The two universities in England namely Oxford and Cambridge, were under the Church of England and required students to sign the Thirty-nine Articles of the Anglican faith, so many English Non-conformists sent their children to the Scottish universities which had a better reputation in fields like medicine. Darwin could not in good conscience sign the 39 articles so he went to the University of Edinburgh.

If Bacon had been born in this century his religious views might have been quite different. Einstein would have been barred from universities in Christendom had he been born a few years earlier of Jewish parents.

In contrast the universities of the Islamic world were open to non-Muslims of any beliefs until the Muslim world entered their Dark Ages which they are still in.
Posted by david f, Wednesday, 4 September 2013 7:45:34 AM
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Dear George,

You mentioned that there was a higher percentage of theists among the physical scientists than among the life scientists. The balance may be in the process of being redressed. A friend who is a professor of zoology told me that about a fifth of his graduate students are creationists. They are conversant with Darwinism and pass tests citing Darwinian thought. However, they really believe in Creationism. and have chosen the field of zoology to spread their beliefs. I know that you do not have the naïve sort of theism that they have. Nevertheless, they add to the statistics.

Why do you think that there was a higher percentage of theists among the physical scientists than among the life scientists?

Perhaps the life scientists are in general more confined to reality. One can develop many theories regarding multiverses and string theory without any experimental data to confirm or refute their speculations. Particle physics creates entities which may or may not be imaginary.

Paul Erdös used to refer to God as the “Supreme Fascist.” I regard Paul as the supreme mathematician. I can’t see him spending time as we are on olo. He did have his fun moments. One of his antics was to read a menu in a restaurant and give the items the Hungarian pronunciation. Pineapple upside-down cake was a riot.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quark:

For some time, Gell-Mann was undecided on an actual spelling for the term he intended to coin, until he found the word quark in James Joyce's book Finnegans Wake:

Three quarks for Muster Mark!
Sure he has not got much of a bark
And sure any he has it's all beside the mark.
—James Joyce, Finnegans Wake

Quark rhymes with snark, and I feel there are overtones of Lewis Carroll’s “The Hunting of the Snark” in the name.

Dear OUG,

I am glad you are still with us. Graham Young allowed that thread concerning you to demonstrate his criteria for posters. I find your style somewhat Joycean and playful.
Posted by david f, Wednesday, 4 September 2013 9:16:14 AM
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thanks david
i just think..if were not having fun..why bother
if we cant see the joke..we risk becoming the joke..or worse..the joker..[trickster/prankster]

everything..in nature can be grasped
how..we say..the beasts evolved..[genus wise]..is as..yoki...did..it

god needs to know..sees the joke..
does what needs doing..and sees it is done..[nature/nurture]

gods evolution..is reflected in nature
[if god was first..a single cell..amoeba..
people forget HOW amazing..even..an..ameoba is

the issue of amoeba
an omnipresent little beast unchanged from the beginning]

in researching our ameba..i found only more about
how imposable evolution is

http://www.present-truth.org/3-Nature/Creation/creation-not-evolution-4.htm

<<..The common amoeba..is found..in fresh/water ponds>>

salty.water..not till later..
[needs biological-salts..from-life][launa/flora]
thus first life..[flora]..must?have..been in...alkaline/freshwater?

<<ameba..ranges in size..from an invisible microscopic animal.to one that reaches..a diameter of about half..a millimeter,..visible to the naked eye..as a tiny..white/speck.

Each ameba..is a little mass of gelatinous protoplasm,..containing many granules..and droplets...The protoplasm..is covered with a delicate*..cell membrane.

In many ways..this strange little creature..bears witness to its Creator.

(1)The Ameba..is gifted...with many Strange Abilities..for a Microscopic/Animal...

It..can crawl;
it can breathe..(though..it has no lungs..or gills);

it.can distinguish..inert particles..from the minute plants.and animals..on which it feeds;>>..

ok..first came plants..got it..[fixtures]
then..movement/fauna..[fungibles]

..<<..it can thrust out..
its jelly-like body..*at any point to lay hold..of its food;

it can digest..and absorb..its food;

though..it has no feet,
it crawls..by projecting.."pseudopods."

Such a..strange little creature..could not.."just happen.
"One cannot fail..to see..in these abilities..the Hand of the Creator.

The Ameba..moves around.by means of "Ameboid movement,"..projecting a "pseudopod"(..false foot).from any part..of its body...Because of this..it changes shape..when it moves..or engulfs food,

hence.its name.."ameba"
(derived from..a Greek word..meaning..."change").

The "legs"..of an ameba..are temporary,..and soon flow..back into its body,..when it stops moving..or completes the ingestion..of food particles.

This is totally different..from the muscular movements..of higher animals...Who designed it?

Moreover,.if the ameba is about to "swallow"..an active organism,
the pseudopods..are thrown out widely..and do not touch*.or irritate the pre..* before it has been surrounded;

but..when the ameba..is about to ingest..a quiescent object,such as a single algal cell,..the pseudopods surround the cell..very closely.

Apparently the ameba..can "think"
even though..it has no brain

so logus/logic..came
before..even..the first fauna/cell?
Posted by one under god, Wednesday, 4 September 2013 10:05:42 AM
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Dear Banjo,

>>“Do mathematics exist in nature independently of mankind. If so, how is this manifested?”<<

As I said, some mathematicians believe mathematics is independent some don’t, however they probably all agree that it is not “in nature”, if by nature you mean physical reality. Those who believe that mathematics is not merely a product of human imagination are called (mathematical) Platonists or realist (the distinction is subtle). I am not sure, how you would “manifest” this belief, except by pointing to the triangle of relations and enigmas in my article www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=14464.

I also thank you for a fruitful exchange of ideas and opinions that certainly enriched my way of looking at the things we discussed.
Posted by George, Wednesday, 4 September 2013 10:18:22 PM
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Dear david f,

>>They are conversant with Darwinism … However, they really believe in Creationism. <<

It depends on what you call “Creationism”: There is no way to falsify a belief that evolution is guided by a Creator in a way indiscernible by humans. "Intelligent designers" claim they can discern it.

>> Why do you think that there was a higher percentage of theists among the physical scientists than among the life scientists?<<

You are probably right that this is because a theoretical physicist, astronomer, cosmologist has to deal with concepts and models trying to explain the very nature of (physical) reality, hence may ponder beyond. Physics is closer to metaphysics than biology.

>> I can’t see (Erd&#337;s) spending time as we are on olo.<<

Neither could I in my “productive” (in maths) years, which - I suppose - Erd&#337;s was throughout his life. Actually, I have to thank the Communists that I became a mathematician, otherwise I probably would have ended up studying philosophy. Now I am grateful to you, Banjo and others on this OLO, for the opportunity to formulate my own thoughts on these abstract matters while receiving challenging feedbacks.

I had only one personal encounter with Erd&#337;s in Prague many decades ago, when I was assigned as his interpreter. My Hungarian at that time was better than my English. He apparently realised that, and continuously kept on switching from one language to the other.

This I wanted to ask your opinion about many times: Abelian group is a mathematical concept, quark is a physical concept, i.e. it refers to something that “exists” in the outside world. What about concepts like the Lagrangian (or Hamiltonian): is it more like Abelian groups (manifolds, vector fields, etc) or like quarks (electrons, energy, electromagnetic fields etc)?
Posted by George, Wednesday, 4 September 2013 10:25:55 PM
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Funny thing about Erd&#337;s. The Hungarian spelling of Erdös is with a "double stroke" rather than "double dot" on top of the "o", but the OLO text editor obviously did not get what I pasted from my UNICODE character viewer.
Posted by George, Wednesday, 4 September 2013 10:30:06 PM
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Dear George,

Speaking of Hungarian it is a gender neutral language. If Hungarians were the inventors of monotheism God would not be He. The sexism prevalent in the Abrahamic religions might not then exist.

Good night. I am off to the nuptial couch.
Posted by david f, Wednesday, 4 September 2013 11:06:58 PM
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Dear david f,

Hungarians make babies the same way as the ancient Jews or e.g. Americans, so they too had a word for “father” to model God on, if they wanted to. Nevertheless, it is a strange, non-Indo-European language: for instance, they do not have a word for “sister” - except as lánytestvér (verbatim girl-sibling) that I found in the dictionary but practically nobody uses. The word “növérem” means my older sister, and “hugom” my younger sister.

Good morning.
Posted by George, Thursday, 5 September 2013 1:05:52 AM
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george..option's from search for lagrangian dual
http://www.eng.newcastle.edu.au/eecs/cdsc/books/cce/Slides/Duality.pdf

for the rest of us
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagrangian
<<...In classical mechanics,..the natural form of the Lagrangian
is defined as the kinetic energy,..T,..of the system..*minus its potential energy,..V.[1] In symbols>>

<<..Simple example

The trajectory*..of a thrown ball
is characterized by the sum of..the Lagrangian values..at each time being a..(local) minimum.

The Lagrangian L..can be calculated at several instants of time t, and a graph of L..against t can be drawn...The area under the curve is the action.

Any different path..between the initial
and final positions leads to a larger action..than that chosen by nature...

*Nature chooses the smallest action
this is the Principle..of Least Action.>>

yet action..n0n the less

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duality_(optimization)
you probably already know..but its what i see me do

It has been suggested that Weak duality
and Strong duality be merged into this article. (Discuss)

<<Usually dual problem..refers to the Lagrangian dual problem but..

now we nailed down..*duality..

<<..In mathematical optimization theory,..duality means that optimization problems may be viewed from either of two perspectives,..the primal problem or the dual problem (the duality principle).

The solution to the dual problem provides..a lower bound to the solution..of the primal problem.[1] However in general the optimal values of the primal and dual problems need not be equal.

Their difference is called the duality gap. For convex optimization problems, the duality gap is zero under a constraint qualification condition.

Thus, a solution to the dual problem provides a bound on the value of the solution to the primal problem; when the problem is convex and satisfies a constraint qualification,..then the value of an optimal solution of the primal problem is given by the dual problem.

from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_optimization

<<..n mathematical optimization, the method of Lagrange multipliers (named after Joseph Louis Lagrange) is a strategy for finding the local maxima and minima of a function subject to equality constraints.

For instance (see Figure 1),consider the optimization problem>>
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagrange_multiplier
Posted by one under god, Thursday, 5 September 2013 5:09:23 AM
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what is form
what is function..of form

Abelian Function
An inverse function of an Abelian integral.
http://www.google.com.au/url?q=http://mathworld.wolfram.com/AbelianFunction.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abelian_variety

A complex torus of dimension g
is a torus of real dimension 2g
that carries the structure..of a complex manifold...>>.

[ie function/not form?

<<>.abelian variety is a projective algebraic variety that is also an algebraic group, i.e., has a group law that can be defined by regular functions.

An abelian variety can be defined by equations having coefficients in any field; the variety is then said to be defined over that field.

Such abelian varieties turn out to be exactly those complex tori that can be embedded into a complex projective space.

Historically the first abelian varieties to be studied were those defined over the field of complex numbers.>>

what are complex numbers [form or function]
derived or determinate..formative or informative

anyhow my mind hurts

<<Algebraic definition

Two equivalent definitions of abelian variety
over a general field k..are commonly in use:

* a connected and complete* algebraic group over k
* a connected and projective* algebraic group over k.

When the base is the field of complex numbers,*
these notions coincide with the previous definition.

Over all bases, elliptic curves
are abelian varieties of dimension 1.

In the early 1940s, Weil used the first definition
(over an arbitrary base field) but could not at first prove that it implied the second...Only in 1948 did he prove that complete algebraic groups can be embedded* into projective space]

no im lost
just trying to help..hoping wiser minds grasp..

cheers
Posted by one under god, Thursday, 5 September 2013 5:32:27 AM
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.

Dear David & One Under God,

.

“Don’t sell yourself short, Banjo. I am sure you could have many happy hours with mathematics.”
.

Thank you for your kind words of encouragement, David, and also for your reading suggestions which I am eager to discover.

As a matter of fact, I bought a book on the internet about a year ago that was supposed to teach me something about mathematics but it was well beyond my starting level. It was written in hieroglyphical code which, despite all my efforts, I was unable to decipher. Then I noticed in the introduction that the minimum requirement for beginners was “college level” which, as you know, is well above my modest bush primary school education.

I’ve looked for it but can’t find the book anywhere. I guess I must have tossed it in the rubbish bin.

The vivid description of that amazing “beast”, the ameba (amoeba), by One Under God, takes my mind back to the question of the beauty of mathematics in the context of our discussion on mathematics in nature.

It reminds me of all those imperfections of nature (the poorly designed circular forms of the sun and the moon, birds which don’t fly in straight lines, the approximate triangles and cones of mountain peaks, the irregular surfaces of the plains, the rugged cylindrical forms of tree trunks, the seas and oceans which don’t make waves, etc.).

As you point out, the mathematical models do not have all those imperfections of nature and only manage to reproduce them by application of the slice theorem in the sole domain of X-ray computed tomography.

Thanks to you and George, I am now beginning to realise the enormous consequences of what you have both been saying all along, that mathematics is quite incapable of producing a precise model of reality.

.

(Continued) ...

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Thursday, 5 September 2013 7:15:47 AM
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.

(Continued) ...

.

So it seems there are no such things as circles, straight lines, triangles, cones, flat surfaces, cylinders and waves ... in nature, independently of mankind. They are simply the fruit of the imagination of mankind. He has conceived them, designed them and produced them. Otherwise, they would not exist.

And so it is that we now have nearly perfectly flat plate-glass, uniformly round stainless steel balls and wheels, almost perfectly straight rods, finely calibrated triangles, cones and cylinders, as well as standardised tomatoes, apples, oranges, peaches, pears, plums, apricots, bananas, kiwis, pigs, chickens, eggs, flowers, etc.

In other words, so it is that we now have the world according to man, that almost perfect world, cohabitating with, and gradually replacing, that terribly imperfect world, the natural world.

And one may ask: mirror, mirror, on the wall, which is the more beautiful of all - nature or mankind’s mathematical models.

I guess we all have the right to have our own opinion on the subject – not that it makes any difference.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Thursday, 5 September 2013 7:32:02 AM
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Banjo wrote: “And one may ask: mirror, mirror, on the wall, which is the more beautiful of all - nature or mankind’s mathematical models.”

Dear Banjo,

Why make a hierarchy at all? Why not just enjoy the beauty of both. Do we ask: What is more beautiful, daffodils or Wordsworth’s poem about daffodils?

George wrote: “This I wanted to ask your opinion about many times: Abelian group is a mathematical concept, quark is a physical concept, i.e. it refers to something that “exists” in the outside world. What about concepts like the Lagrangian (or Hamiltonian): is it more like Abelian groups (manifolds, vector fields, etc) or like quarks (electrons, energy, electromagnetic fields etc)?”

Dear George,

I attack such questions by reducing them to simpler forms. The differential equation resulting from Newton’s Second Law is a mathematical concept. Motion is a physical concept. The answer seems to be that those concepts you question seem more like mathematical concepts to me.

Dear OUG,

Thank you for looking up that material.

I find a great beauty in simplicity. What is the essence? Can we reduce the complex to a simple form? That’s what we do when we see the complexities of nature as pure geometric figures. Do the simple forms do an adequate job of describing the territory considered? That depends on the purpose of our reductionism.

There is a beauty in order. There is a beauty in disorder. We can go from Mondrian to Pollock. Where is there more beauty? Do we have to ask where is there more beauty?

Robert Herrick. 1591–1674

Delight in Disorder

A SWEET disorder in the dress

Kindles in clothes a wantonness:
A lawn about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distraction:
An erring lace, which here and there
Enthrals the crimson stomacher:
A cuff neglectful, and thereby
Ribbands to flow confusedly:
A winning wave, deserving note,
In the tempestuous petticoat:
A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
I see a wild civility:
Do more bewitch me than when art
Is too precise in every part.
Posted by david f, Thursday, 5 September 2013 9:32:23 AM
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beauty..isnt..*IN..the eye..
BUT is..in the mind..*and the heart

[there is a reasoning..
behind the 4 chambers..in*..our heart affections
each giving their feedback..via the quality..of the hormone laden soup..it pumps in/out][many mathematical options..by facter of 4]

i heard previously..the heart has more
Elect-trick..activity/affect/feedback..than the brain

but lets..see in our minds..eye
..the inner workings of the*..eye...seeing.

<<..The optics of the eye.create an image..of the visual world on the retina,..which serves much the same function..as the film in a camera.

Light..striking the retina
initiates a cascade..of chemical and electrical *events..that ultimately trigger nerve impulses.

These impulses..are sent to various visual centres of the brain..through the fibres of the optic nerve...

from there they produce physical transfer chemicals
that then switch on/continues..other receptors..nerves..neurons..

on..into the brain..that the mind eventually 'sees/hears/smells feels..via body feedback loops..to our organs..including the brain..\

these release yet other adaptive/modifiers..some affecting the mind..others fight or flight..fear angst..nervousness and even..esp/etc..[or some such/like]

We found impaired time-based,.but undiminished event-based, prospective memory..among children with ASD.

Time-based and event-based prospective memory in autism spectrum disorder: the roles of executive function and theory of mind, and time-estimation.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23179340

In the ASD group,..time-based prospective memory performance was associated significantly with diminished theory of mind,..but not with diminished cognitive flexibility...

There was no evidence..that time-estimation ability..contributed to time-based prospective memory impairment in ASD.>>[memories]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_dysfunction

In psychology and neuroscience,..executive dysfunction,
or executive function deficit..is a disruption..to the efficacy of the executive functions,..
which is a group*..of cognitive processes*..that regulate,..control,..and manage other*..cognitive processes>>

<<Executive dysfunction..is not the same as dysexecutive syndrome,
a term coined by Alan Baddeley to describe a common pattern of dysfunction..*in executive functions,..such as deficiencies in planning,..abstract thinking,..flexibility..and behavioural control.

[This group of symptoms,..usually resulting from brain damage,
thus..tend to occur together.[4]

However,..the existence..of this/syndrome..is controversial.[5]>>

god bless freewill

There are...interacting environmental/factors..that also/have an influence..loves/hates et'al
Posted by one under god, Thursday, 5 September 2013 10:18:29 AM
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some more from..gone west
http://new-birth.net/booklet/Gone_West.pdf
relative..to seeing

“Do you have..light..and darkness here?”

H.J.L...“Not as you understand..the words,
for this is not*..a material world,..therefore
material light..has no place here...But there is a..kind of spiritual darkness...dependent on our beliefs

In Hell..it is utter
darkness,..for there is no belief.

As to what is here,..look, open your eyes—see.“

(Suddenly I perceived
we were in a kind of twilight..or soft evening light.)

“Here we do not perceive..so clearly..as those who do believe, therefore.we are in this
twilight.

But as we progress..the light[belief]..[surity]..becomes stronger.
The light,..if so you can call it,..is
within ourselves...

We must part now.”
(He began to fade..and grow indistinct,..then I was
alone.)>>..

that inner light..is what allows..our minds eye'.its seeing

..<<>.Is this enough..evi-dence?
My friends..would probably never believe..that I only half
believed,.and I hardly realized..that this was the case..myself.

But..it was due..to over-much
study of..heology...I lost,..or nearly
lost,..much of the substance..*for the shadow.>>

We..make it true..by our interpretations
of..what it is..we are EXPECTING..seeing>>

<<..God..is the light..in which I see.
.You cannot see..in darkness>>

<<..As you see him,..you will see yourself
...for in him..you will find yourself..or lose yourself.>>

<<..I have given everything I see...all the meaning
that it has for me.

... I am not alone..in experiencing
the effects..of my seeing...>>

remembering
that what we see..in another
..we are always seeing..in ourselves.>>

http://www.google.com.au/search?q=acim+seeing

Love or confusion
http://crackingtheenigma.blogspot.com.au/2011/11/case-of-colour-emotion-synaesthesia.html

In a second experiment,..Ramachandran et al
tested TK and 15 control subjects..on a Stroop interference test.

Participants were given words
printed in colour and..*had to say the colour of each word,..*ignoring what the word itself said.

In the classic version of the test,
the words are all themselves correct in colour/name.

In the congruent condition,
the word matches the colour..

ONLY..in the medium..UPON which.it's printed
:..not by true color word..[see link]

RED BLUE/YELLOW GREEN

In the..incongruent condition,
the word..and its colour..are mismatched

RED BLUE YELLOW GREEN

People are generally
faster.,.to name the ink colours
when the word matches the colour...Even though they're supposed to be ignoring what the word says,..they can't help..but read it,..and this affects..their response*..to the actual colour.
Posted by one under god, Thursday, 5 September 2013 1:38:37 PM
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George wrote: "It depends on what you call “Creationism”: There is no way to falsify a belief that evolution is guided by a Creator in a way indiscernible by humans. "Intelligent designers" claim they can discern it."

Dear George,

Their Creationism consists of a belief that the creation process described in Genesis is literally true,

It obviously cannot be literally true since there are two accounts, and they are contradictory.

GEN 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

GEN 2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

In one account God created man and woman together. In the other account woman came from man.

The second account apparently comes from Sumerian legend. From “History Begins at Sumer” p. 146:

“The Sumerian word for rib is ti (pronounced tee). The goddess created for the healing of Enki’s rib is called Nin-ti, “the lady of the rib.” But the Sumerian word ti also means “to make live,” The name Nin-ti may also mean “the lady who makes live,” as well as “the lady of the rib.” In Sumerian literature, therefore “the lady of the rib” came to be identified with “the lady who makes live” through what might be termed a play on words. It is this, one of the most ancient of literary puns, which was carried over and perpetuated in the Bible paradise story, although here, of course, it loses its validity, since the Hebrew word for “rib” and that for “who makes live” have nothing in common.
Posted by david f, Thursday, 5 September 2013 4:46:41 PM
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.

Dear David,

.

« Why make a hierarchy at all? Why not just enjoy the beauty of both. Do we ask: What is more beautiful, daffodils or Wordsworth’s poem about daffodils?”
.

I guess we do, albeit, unconsciously. When it comes to making love, for example, most people prefer the real thing rather than just reading about it. Some pleasure zones are more sensitive than others. As One Under God might put it, it comes down to a question of brain or “beast”.

But then there are people like me who are allergic to flowers. I’d take the poem. Flowers are poison to me.

Let me tell you about something that happened about 40 years ago. I was showing a highly-educated young American business executive and his charming young wife some of the sights of Paris. They sat in the back seat of the car and hardly said a word as I drove them passed some of Paris’s most elegantly sculptured quarried stone buildings dating back several centuries: the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Pantheon, the Sorbonne, Montparnasse, Montmartre, the Place des Vosges (Victor Hugo’s residence), etc. They didn’t utter a word during the whole trip until I drove to the outskirts of Paris to show them some of the modern sky-scrapers that had mushroomed-up in recent years.

They suddenly sat up in their seats with an effusion of admiration and delight. They were absolutely thrilled by what they saw and couldn’t stop thanking me. Their cameras flashed and I drove them back to their five star hotel on the Champs-Elysée.

As you can see, that event has remained deeply engraved in my mind.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Thursday, 5 September 2013 8:52:07 PM
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i recall..that just like..the quaran
the bible/stories were oral..in the beginning
that much..like the bible..they were amalgamated..into a book

never/the-less..i..mention..a rebuttal..
i found online..[for hopefully..educative/reason]

It is..said:.."In the first..creation account..the earth was first covered..with water..and land did not appear..until later...

In the second creation.account..there was no water.at first...The earth was dry land..and was later watered by a mist.">>..

im wondering..does that..
derive from..the same source..david?

<<..But the second verse set..does not say that.."there was no water..at first"..at all...It says that there was..no rain,.which is not quite..the same thing.

It is said,.."Genesis..2:18 makes it plain...that the animals had not been created yet..since Adam..is described as being alone."

"Alone"..simply means..without a suitable helpmate,..which is somewhat curious.given that we have no textual justification..for assuming..that God had left the scene.

It is said.. "Genesis chapter 1..states that creation
took a full week..-seven days,..evening and morning.

But..the second creation story.. beginning in 2:4,..says this:
'These are the generations..of the heavens..and of the earth..when they were created,..in the day that the Lord God...made the earth and the heavens.'

This verse says..'In the day' -that is,..one day, singular
-'that the Lord God..made the earth and the heavens.'..In short, while chapter 1..spreads the creation out over a week,..chapter 2 compresses it..*entirely into one day."

This asserts that.."in the day"
means..on one particular day..based solely on the singular form..of "day" within that phrase.

It is argued..that in the first case,..man and woman were created together,..while they were created separately..in the second.

it is simply a matter..of establishing the chronology:
the last phrase of Gen..1:27 refers to an event..that takes place chronologically..much later than the first phrase.

We need to keep in mind...that we do indeed agree..that there are two stories here;..but they are complementary..(just like dual creation accounts..in other ancient sources),

and each reflects..an intact unit of oral tradition...It is only when we read them..as logocentric moderns..that we see a problem:..The two stories originally were told independently.

http://www.tektonics.org/jedp/creationtwo.html

Collins [Coll.WAP]..points out that there are cases..of unmarked pluperfects..in the OT,..and that the specific verb..in question in this verse itself..often warrants a pluperfect translation.
Posted by one under god, Friday, 6 September 2013 6:11:07 AM
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anyhow..its all good
but more..related..from..same
http://www.tektonics.org/jedp/creationtwo.html

Furthermore,..another contributor observed:

Gen...2:19 begins with VaYYiTSeR;..the verb "YaTSaR"
in the imperfect..with a WAW consecutive. ..Waltke and O'Connor ("Introduction to the Syntax of Biblical Hebrew", pp. 544-546)..say that..:

:.."It..(imperfect with a WAW consecutive).shows in Hebrew meanings equivalent to those..of the suffix..(perfect) conjugation."

Earlier, on p.490,..they had already shown..that the suffix conjugation..can have a pluperfect meaning;
later, on p. 552,..they show that the imperfect..with a WAW consecutive..that can also have a pluperfect meaning>>

whatever that means

<,..More than this,..there are also..various "exceptions" which crop up in Hebrew grammar..where the waw consecutive is used.

Greenberg,..citing the grammar of Jouon,..notes[Gree.UE, 37, 168n] that the waw consecutive.."sometimes occurs..when there is no idea of succession"..

and..that there are places..where a pluperfect can be rendered..in accordance with a summarizing..or recapitulating use of the waw consecutive

This name..best expresses..the prevailing syntactical relation, for by WAW CONSECUTIVE..an action is always represented..as the direct,..or at least temporal CONSEQUENCE of a preceding action."

Thus,.they said,.."the Genesis 2 narrative ..literally takes the form of a series of clauses..WHICH OCCUR..IN A TEMPORALLY ORDERED SEQUENCE"

and..because the "Hebrew syntax..tells us that the actions..*performed in such a clause are '...the direct,..or at least temporal consequence..of a preceding action'

in reality..they had been made..prior to the creation of man
is so entirely apparent..from chapter one..as not to require explanation...But the reminder..that God had "molded" them makes obvious..His power to bring them..to man..and so is quite appropriately mentioned here.

It would not.. in our estimation.. be wrong to translate yatsar as a pluperfect..in this instance:..'He had molded.'>>

context..in one nears
the context..in the other
Posted by one under god, Friday, 6 September 2013 6:12:30 AM
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Dear david f,

>>The differential equation resulting from Newton’s Second Law is a mathematical concept. Motion is a physical concept. <<

Yes, this is like the difference between a vector field and gravitational or electromagnetic field.

>>The answer seems to be that those concepts … seem more like mathematical concepts to me.<<

Perhaps so. I, as a non-physicist, was just wondering. In relativity theories (both) one questions some of the basic assumptions of Newtonian physics, but still talks about the Lagrangian. Refreshing my memory from the Wikipedia entry that OUG likes to copy from: it starts with different physical contexts, and then gives a general mathematical concept that can be used as a model of it. This is perhaps something like the difference between the spacetime of general relativity and a pseudo-Riemannian manifold that models it. Except that in the case of Lagrangians one uses the same word for both meanings, mathematical and physical. [Apologies for using this OLO trying to answer my own question.]

>> Their Creationism consists of a belief that the creation process described in Genesis is literally true. It obviously cannot be literally true since there are two accounts, and they are contradictory.<<

I think we have been here already. Yours is the third meaning for “Creationism” - in distinction to the two I mentioned - as a verbatim reading of Genesis, wheren one might nitpick for contradictions. You will not find a scientist who is a Creationist in this, silly, meaning of the word. Besides, I think even in a court if two testimonies do not differ in slightest detail there arises the suspicion that one is a copy of the other.

Thanks for your interesting observation about Sumerian similarities. Obviously the author - or rather authors - of Genesis did not live in a historical vacuum and used metaphors available to then from other traditions. It is an insight which a 21st century Christian (or Jew) can live with, the same as the insight that God created man not in a single act from “the dust of the ground”, but through eons of evolution.
Posted by George, Friday, 6 September 2013 6:37:43 AM
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Dear Banjo,

That was a fascinating story. That reminds me of the time I was working for Remington Rand, and one of our staff was sent to Switzerland. Most of the rest of us were envious of him. The grub complained that, although the service in the hotel was elegant, he longed for a hamburger and coke. The cuisine was too exotic.

You may not be allergic to daffodils. Typically pretty flowers like daffodils are pollinated by insects or other pollen bearing organisms, and their pollen would not affect you. It is generally those wind pollinated plants like ragweed and the grasses which cause hay fever. Since wind-blown pollen is most prominent at the time that roses bloom hay fever has been called rose fever. It is a misnomer. Maybe you can enjoy the poem and the plant. Some people are allergic to pretty flowers, but to be sure you can be tested for allergies.

http://allergies.about.com/od/fa1/f/flowerallergy.htm

Dear George,

I have no argument with the view that evolution is an expression of the will of a Creator God. It is something I cannot disprove.

However, I was not giving an abstract definition of Creationism. My friend’s graduate students were not aiming to become scientists. Their aim was to get academic credentials and use them to promote to students their belief in the literal truth of the account of creation in Genesis.

http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/2000/10/wolfe.htm will direct you to an article on the push of fundamentalist Protestantism to gain intellectual stature. It gives a bit of the history of that fundamentalism with which you may not be familiar.
Posted by david f, Friday, 6 September 2013 10:15:12 AM
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never the less..did eve come from..a rib?
or adam..made the same way..via loki..doing things lokies do

but eve..if not from..the rib..
then..not the true eve?

it occurs to..me
does modeling..[as in political..focus groups/polling]
facter in..the personality-type..that takes illusion as fact..or indeed the type..that takes surveys?]

anyhow

more on..seeing..from
http://new-birth.net/booklet/Gone_West.pdf
H.J.L...Describes his Death

“I BECAME unconscious..and after a time recovered,.or so it seemed.
Indeed, my mind suddenly became clear,..but I began to feel a heavy weight....Gradually I realized that
this weight was slipping away from me,..or rather, I was sliding out from it,..as if someone
were drawing his hand..out from a wet glove.

Then I began to feel free at –one end, so to
speak, and then I began to see again.

“I saw*..once more.,the room and the people in it.
Then I was free! free!..I saw myself*..[body/shell..lying stretched out on the bed,
and from my mouth came,;;as it were,..a cord of light...It vibrated for a moment,..then snapped, and from my mouth came away. At that moment
someone said,.‘I think he has gone’

Or if..they did not say it,..they thought it.*!*

Then I realized..*what I looked like..for the first time.
How different..from what I had always seen*..in my looking-glass!

But was it I?
It looked so strange.

“But even as I looked..I was aware of an awful feeling..of cold.”>>..

EDIT[cold is soul/body..out of..the material/body heat

..<<<..It pierced me..through and through..
Nothing I can write..can give you any idea ..of that cold...The icy blast pierced me..as no earthly wind
ever did or can...*I was a naked soul,..no..[material]..body,..nothing to give me warmth.

I shuddered and..shivered like this..for many a seeming age.
“Suddenly it seemed to grow.. little less...AND..I was aware of..a presence.

How can I..describe him,..this glorious being?

Then..I could hardly grasp..any clear idea,..but having
since been..in his company constantly,*

.I can describe him..a little better...yet..
Even now he..seemed to change*..every moment...>>

[as his..thought forms react..
to changed in-puts..[key*..to/with..feedback../a..instant feedback-loop]

*continues
Posted by one under god, Friday, 6 September 2013 10:27:19 AM
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one/instant..I seem to..know..him well*

at/another..he..*changes...>>...
[as/his..mood/..thought's..change]..
..<<..and..I/can get..no..clear_idea..of his/face..or form.>>..

..<<He shimmers..and shines..and
flashes,..and seems..*as if..he were made/of..*fire.
His/robes,..his/face,..his/whole_form..is..as/if it..were *fire.>>..

*fire*..equals/passion
but..look deeper..

[..recall..the pillar/cloud]

well..let the/veil drop.
.he..IS* talking..about god*...!

no longer..hidden..in_a_cloud..
[yet..we..in_his_image..could..NOT*..see it..him
through..the mortal/veil]..senses.

[watch...the veil/lift]
via AN_ana-gram..

live*../..*evil../..vile*../..v*eil

or
eli*./..lie*../..i El../..eil*
of the..*eternal/immortal..light*..[*eil]..*

ie-
t'HE light..sustaining..life
/via logic/..to live..its inherent love
enjoined..MATERIAL/LIVING heirs..of..the light..[darkness]

yet el..found
even..within...the darkness..of hell.,.[beings as well]
yet 'he'..is..in/he'aven....yet..not in..passion

the flame..is not *of the light..
nor revealed..by the light..but..is*..THE TRUE only LIGHT*
sustaining us ALL..our living..[yet living..within all]..in the light

*,..back*
to..gone/west.....>>..

<<..Yet..that word..[fire]..
gives but..a faint idea,..nor would..*the word..'light'..be any nearer...

<<..All color,..too,..is here...
This..glorious one..is my..teacher.

[back/to..h.j.l..dying]

<<“Hardly..had I..perceived him*..>>

[Elohim../eli/hyme..[ps/alms him]],..

..<<..when..the whole room...in which I stood*..
..*and the people..who were there..seemed to..dissolve..and fade away.

Lo!..I was..*in the most exquisite
scenery imaginable...Every lovely/spot..I had ever/visited/was there, and..countless others..which..I had never/seen—.>>...

EDITED..

<<“‘Where am I?’..I thought,..and
no sooner..had the idea..*entered..[no LEFT].. my mind,>>..

[if indeed..one
can use..the word],..
.<<..than the..‘Shining One’..seemed to answer..>>

[esp/by*..thought transference]

EDIT

<<Know..that here comes...every thought..
which you have ever*..thought;..

soon also..you shall/know..that is so,..
to your..sorrow;..>>..[or joy]

<<and,..further,..here come..also..
the spiritual_form..of all that ever lived...

ALL..con-ceived/believed/lived/hoped
/pro-mised/fear-red/hated/despised/judged/or hurt/nurtured..etc

[lol..ie
all*..the words..ending..in..['d']

as..the past..becomes..
*the eternal/present*..of presences
[man..is not/ever*..2b..alone..as god/is alone..[all-one]>>..

..Thus/this..[our life in full]..is that
we fully..TRULY..*KNOW..for sure...*,cause..we lived it*..[with god as our witness]

this awareness..we call our lives..of which
we [each]..hold..*OUR very own..first_hand/witness..

*cause it happened..TO US*
not..told us..we lived..IT*..!
this/..thus..<<..is our Spirit World..[we]..built up..>>..

and by which..our UNi-verse..
is yet again..expanded*..as our perceived divisions..
[of our..divides/sepa-rated..[d's]..lol..lived/life's/realities]..
which..even now..*ever drives us..[and thus our..soul/space/universe]..*ever further apart..

lol...failing to see.our art..in that..bit part..
we *all..play..just by living..our ego's..in heart/loves/lusts/desperateness/relatedness/pretentiousness..lol....apart..

it..is all..just us..
justice of each...playing/living out..our part

..<<..and thus..it..[spiroit/world]..constantly increases...
All that lives,..no matter..how humble it be..
comes here*..*of itself...

All*..thought forms..of any fixed/obsessed thought..
or intended intent..pretension's..ALL..come here...?>>>....

fears/hopes/dreams/
thoughts/wills/wonts/do's/cants/donts etc etc
all the energy..we thought we lost..

*e..cannot be created..NOR DESTROYED*

so watch..where we put our E/chi
loki..didnt..thats why..were ARE here/now...hear?

oh eve..
is found..with_in..ever*..for'ever

for-ever*thyne..
what was mine..now is your's..
for-ever divine..by thy mum..[not the eve..yet..THE..*eve]

ape-logies..
appolo-geeze..

regards
loki
Posted by one under god, Friday, 6 September 2013 1:41:16 PM
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.

Dear David,

.

« You may not be allergic to daffodils. Typically pretty flowers like daffodils are pollinated by insects or other pollen bearing organisms, and their pollen would not affect you. It is generally those wind pollinated plants like ragweed and the grasses which cause hay fever.”
.

You’re right, David. Maybe daffodils are OK. I guess I’m just a little touchy because the last time I saw a beautiful bouquet of peonies on my mother-in-law’s mantelpiece, I made the mistake of plunging my face into them to inhale their fragrance.

Almost immediately my face swelled up like a red balloon and I could hardly breathe. It was not just hay fever. It nearly killed me.

One of my favourite painters is Pierre-Auguste Renoir. For years, I have been trying to buy a bouquet of flowers that resembles his paintings but have never quite succeeded. I have never found anything as beautiful as his paintings.

Whenever florists ask me what I want, I usually ask for a bouquet of flowers “à la Renoir”. That generally provokes a somewhat disconcerting look on their faces unless, exceptionally, the florist happens to be an artist. When that occurs, his or her face lightens up and becomes inspired. We then set about combining our efforts in an effort to match the master, hoping to achieve the unachievable. We never do but the exercise is always quite exalting :

http://imagecache5d.art.com/Crop/cropwm.jpg?img=-66-6637-BQUE100Z&x=0&y=0&w=1000&h=1000&size=2&maxw=1766&maxh=845&q=100

Of course, I like poetry too. Or should I say, the poetic style. But, compared to “the real thing”, it is only in the domain of painting that I feel that artists occasionally manage to succeed in surpassing real life - particularly some of the impressionists, but also a few expressionists and others such as El Greco in his “View of Toledo”, Cawén’s “The blind musician”, some of Chagall, Maleviche’s “Taking in the rye”, ...

“and then my heart with pleasure fills
and dances with the daffodils”

as Wordsworth says.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Friday, 6 September 2013 10:10:57 PM
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loki..was rather long-winded
and i coulda deleted his aside puns..but its all important

loki/eve
or loki/adam
or loki/god

further i came across this..old post

.http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/959229.html

[ignore the title]..go to the bible bit*#

from..An invention..called
'the Jewish people'
By Tom Segev

Israel's'Declaration_of_Independence'
states..that the Jewish people..arose in the Land of Israel..and..were exiled from its..'homeland'.

Wrong,
says the historian Shlomo-Zand...

There never was a'Jewish people',
only a Jewish-religion,and the exile also never happened..hence there was no return.

#*..Zand rejects most of the stories
of national-identity formation..*in the Bible,"*
including the exodus..from Egypt,and,the horrors of the conquest under Joshua...>>

now
even adam/eve?
oh..loki* you are the trickster

<<..It's all fiction and myth..that served
as an excuse for the establishment of the State of Israel,>>

or a great way to use the christ story..to..TRICK*..all of mankind
once we become UNCERTAIN..of one thing..what happens to the other things
Posted by one under god, Saturday, 7 September 2013 9:03:47 AM
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they..Guide me
by..goading me

noted/this..
*only by replying..a slur..on..another/topic

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pillar_of_Cloud

poem by John Henry Newman
"the Pillar..of/Cloud"..
turned into a hymn,..
see Lead,.Kindly Light...

A pillar of cloud
as one of..*the manifestations
of the presence..*of the God..of Israel/in the Torah.

According to Exodus,
the pillar..of cloud guided the Israelites..by day
during the Exodus..from Egypt>>

but what if exodus..didnt happen?

<<..The pillar of cloud..is traditionally paired..lol
..with the manifestation..of the divine presence by night..*
as the pillar of fire,*..which..provided light...so they "could travel..*by day..*or night".>>

or reveal/the unseen..
after death..removes the cloud..[veil/evil/un-veil]

*Exodus 13:21-22..By day
the Lord went..ahead of them..
in a pillar of cloud..to guide them on their way..
and by night..in a pillar of fire..to give them light,..
so that they could travel..by day..*or night.[life/death]

Neither..the pillar of cloud..by day
nor the pillar of fire..by night..*left its place..in front of..the people.>>

..key*..demons enter..from behind
angels..defend our backs

<<.*Numbers 14:14..And
they will tell..the inhabitants..of this*..land..about it.>>.!

..<<They have already heard
that you,..O LORD,..are with* these people
and that you, O Lord,..have been seen..face to face,..

that your cloud..stays over them,..and that you go..before them in a pillar of cloud..by day and a pillar of fire by night/dead.

*Deuteronomy 1:33
Who went in the way..before you,to search you out
a place to pitch your tents *in,..in fire by night,
to shew you by what way ye should go,..and in a cloud by day.>>

but see..the fire at death..ie/..night

* Psalms 99:7..In a pillar of cloud
He spoke to them;..they kept His testimonies..and the statute He gave them.

* Nehemiah 9:12 By day..you led them with a pillar of cloud,
and by night with a pillar of fire..to give them light on the way they were to take.>>

after death

* Nehemiah 9:19.."Because of your great compassion
you did not abandon them in the desert.>>>[

just deserts

<<..By day the pillar of cloud..did not cease to guide them*
on their path,>>.never/ever..>.

<<.nor the pillar of fire
by night to shine..*on the way they were to take.>>..

WhICH..we ALL take..in time*

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Pillar_of_Defense
Posted by one under god, Saturday, 7 September 2013 9:37:10 AM
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any feedback..?

THE MARK OF THE BEAST
THE SIX~POINTED STAR

to show the Jewish people
that the six-pointed star is the mark of the beast;
and that, with this understanding,..many will reject the mark when it comes.

Many Jews..and Christians have been deceived
by Jewish Kabbalists who would have them believe..that the six-pointed star..is a Jewish symbol.

*Nothing could be further from the truth.
*It is not a Jewish symbol,..but an occult symbol.

The six-pointed star..is a hexagram
-a curse mark -no matter what name it may have.

:the Star of David, Solomon's Seal,
Double Triangle, Shield of David, etc.

When the occult practitioner..puts a curse
on..some'one,..he uses the hexagram!

It is not our goal..to condemn the Jewish people,
but to condemn the six-pointed star, a curse mark.

It is not
a Jewish symbol..
but an occult symbol.*

SIX straight-lines
SIX points of intersection
Six ISOLATED fiefdoms..[small isolated/..benumbed] triangles..

*[surrounding a..HEX-ogram]

Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God
for Israel is,..that they might be saved.

WHY..the mark..?

please note
encryption..is broke*

http://rinf.com/alt-news/breaking-news/the-feds-pay-for-60-percent-of-tors-development-can-users-trust-it/66455/
http://rinf.com/alt-news/breaking-news/legal-loophole-us-offers-no-apologies-for-hacking-internet-encryptions/66492/

This week, we learned that the NSA h
ad managed to circumvent much of the encryption
that secures online financial transactions and other activities we take for granted on the Internet.

How? By inserting backdoor..
into the very commercial software designed to keep sensitive medical records.. bank files and other..ENCRYPTED*..information private..NOT ANY MORE*..who can we trust..only the personal/individual honorable promise..of future VALUE*

see recognised..as the value[..R4V..]
see strawmanlink

http://intellihub.com/2013/09/06/eff-lawsuit-forces-nsa-release-hundreds-pages-spying-documents/
http://rinf.com/alt-news/breaking-news/u-s-phone-snooping-goes-way-beyond-national-security/66414/

It is our hope that,..during the seven years
of the Great Tribulation,[where 2/3 rds willdie

the Lord will use this report*..
http://www.yourstrawman.com/

And I saw…them..that had gotten the victory over the beast,
And over his image and..over his mark…

..a zeal for God,
but not according to knowledge. (Rev. 10:1,2)

But ye have born the tabernacle
of your Moloch, and Chiun (Remphan) your images,
the STAR OF YOUR GOD, which ye made to yourselves. (Amos 5:26-27)

http://alethonews.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/us-congress-finds-overwhelming-public-opposition-to-force-in-syria/

http://investmentwatchblog.com/ellen-brown-trapped-in-a-web-of-debt-and-a-derivatives-time-bomb/
http://www.mybudget360.com/student-day-of-reckoning-jp-morgan-private-student-debt-student-loan-bubble/

http://www.activistpost.com/2013/09/questions-arise-as-to-defense.html
http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/aipac-is-a-grave-threat-to-world-peace.html

http://21stcenturywire.com/2013/09/06/footage-of-chemical-attack-on-aug-21st-in-syria-is-fraud/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAi9Y-Gf_-o

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3AStar_of_David
http://www.triumphpro.com/star-of-david.htm
The so-called “Star of David” is essentially a “hexagram,..

http://watch.pair.com/mark.htm
Posted by one under god, Saturday, 7 September 2013 6:07:07 PM
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Dear david f,

Thank for the link to the long article in The Atlantic Online. I only skimmed through it, but it seems that it conflates “literal truth”, as you call it, (of e.g. the Genesis) with moral, social or political conservatism.

The latter is a legitimate position - and when/if I read through the article more thoroughly, I am sure I will find positions that I could identify with.

The former is, if I may put it thus, not a Christian, certainly not a Catholic, problem but an American problem. In particular, the “doctrinal statement” of the Wheaton College (that I have never heard of before, so thanks):

“We believe that God has revealed Himself … in the Scriptures… and that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are verbally inspired by God and inerrant in the original writing, so that they are fully trustworthy and of supreme and final authority in all they say”.

This, is an absurd position to be held in 21st century as it seems to imply that the authority of the Bible is to be placed above the authority of contemporary cosmology, or science in general, in matters where science has earned its indisputable competence. This is seeing religion as ersatz-science, the Bible as an authoritative science textbook, which, as you might remember, I find to be one half of the problem of science vs religion, the other part being science masquerading as ersatz-religion (in the most general sense, including metaphysics).

So I share your outrage over the
>> aim to get academic credentials and use them to promote to students their belief in the literal truth of the account of creation in Genesis.<<
Posted by George, Saturday, 7 September 2013 6:15:44 PM
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Dear Banjo,

Your encounter with the peonies reminds me of the time I took my daughter to the Adirondacks. As a child I used to visit my grandparents in the Adirondacks. The conifer forests were a magical place. I walked on the forest floor covered with pine needles. Springy steps – pleasant odours – rays of sun slanting through the trees with the glitter of insects and dust motes. When my daughter was twelve I drove up to the Adirondacks and took her into the woods so she could share the magic. Her face swelled. Her eyes watered, and she had trouble breathing. I picked her up and carried her out. She recovered, but no more pine forests for her.

Dear George,

Part of the American problem is democracy. The Constitution was written by men influenced by the Enlightenment, and suffrage was limited. These men were separate from the Great Unwashed. However, as suffrage became extended to the general public the primitive religiosity of the Great Unwashed affected public policy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Awakening tells about the various religious revivals in the US.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burned-over_district tells about the area of the US where many of these religious movements arose. I was born and grew up just east of that district.

I find the history fascinating and have visited the remains of the Oneida Community mentioned in the second article.

http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamentalism describes the rejection of modernity beginning in the late nineteenth century by US Protestantism.

The Committee on Science, Space and Technology is a committee of the United States House of Representatives. One of its members is Paul Broun of Georgia.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/04/paul-broun-science-committee_n_2237394.html refers to an article on Paul Broun. In it is the following:

“Earlier this year, video leaked of the congressman explaining to a group of sportsmen gathered at a Georgia church that evolution and the big bang theory were "lies straight from the pit of Hell." He proceeded to state his belief that the earth was "about 9,000 years old" and "created in six days as we know them," according to the Bible.”

Such people are involved in deciding US science policy.
Posted by david f, Sunday, 8 September 2013 5:32:51 AM
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.

Dear David et al,

.

Roses ruddy and roses white,
What are the joys that my heart discloses?
Sitting alone in the fading light
Memories come to me here tonight
With the wonderful scent of the big red roses.
Memories come as the daylight fades
Down on the hearth where the firelight dozes;
Flicker and flutter the lights and shades,
And I see the face of a queen of maids
Whose memory comes with the scent of roses.

Visions arise of a scent of mirth,
And a ball-room belle who superbly poses --
A queenly woman of queenly worth,
And I am the happiest man on earth
With a single flower from a bunch of roses.

Only her memory lives tonight --
God in his wisdom her young life closes;
Over her grave may the turf be light,
Cover her coffin with roses white
She was always fond of the big white roses.

Such are the visions that fade away --
Man proposes and God disposes;
Look in the glass and I see today
Only an old man, worn and grey,
Bending his head to a bunch of roses.

http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/pierre-auguste-renoir#supersized-flower-painting-218998

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Sunday, 8 September 2013 5:39:26 AM
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in the spirit realm..flowers reveal..the emotions/reason/purpose that underpin its creation..[to a certain extent]..we have accorded meanings to them as well

http://www.google.com.au/search?q=flower+meanings

my..thought was if those with allergies
to..specific types..of flowers..could be a form..of divination[or clue]

i recall..the medium..j0hn edward
who states..that the colour of the roses..[impressed onto his mind..from the departed]..convey messages beyond the grave..to him

he says its his own...personalised way..of receiving the emotions/feeling/teachings and..l-earning's/mess-ages..
he claims to receive..from our beloved departed

[of course..freewill..is held sacrosanct..by those spirit realm's
thus elements of doubt..*must always remain...to balance adverse karmic correction

it is this that prevents me further researching
daffodils/pine needle blossum's etc

anyhow..the loki thing is out there!

i should..search-out the flower/spirit..issue..
i think..i came across..in..wanderer in the spirit lands

http://new-birth.net/booklet/Wanderer_a4.pdf

i will leave you with the opening prayer
[for karmic balance..[that durn/loki]

Oh, Star*
of Hope that shines to

Bless the Wanderer through
Life’s Wilderness!

Angels of Love—say
“Are ye come to lead
the Weary Wanderer home?”

anyhow i look forward..to wandering through..it all..yet again
ps the flower thing..happens early..in the text

anyhow..so genesis is a ,myth?
bible just tales?..loki
just others dreams?
Posted by one under god, Sunday, 8 September 2013 7:02:55 AM
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not sure if its funny or sad
but it led to..BIBLICAL ASTROLOGY*
http://www.biblenews1.com/astrology/handteeth.html
[meanings of body parts..mentioned..in the bible..and what was meant]

anyhow..this stood out

<<..God created the man and woman in the Garden
as witnesses in the Appeal Trial of Satan.>>

also reading

A WANDERER
IN THE
SPIRIT LANDS

By Franchezzo

http://new-birth.net/booklet/Wanderer_a4.pdf
about a rascal..that redeems himself..for love of one good woman
Posted by one under god, Sunday, 8 September 2013 3:51:32 PM
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http://new-birth.net/booklet/Wanderer_a4.pdf

<<..Chapter 6..Twilight Lands..Love's Gifts..The Valley of Selfishness..
The Country of Unrest..The Miser's Land..The Gambler's Lands...>>

<<..*there were..such things
as we had earned*..as the rewards of our labors.

edit..<<..a picture..of my love...It
seemed..more like a..reflection of her..in a mirror..than a mere..painted/image..

when I looked..intently at her..she would smile
back at me..in answer,..as though..her spirit was/conscious of my gaze,and when I wished..*very much to..know..what she was doing,..my picture..would change..and show me.>>..

sounds like a..future digital-photo frame
[but this..was written 1896]

<<..Since then..I have been shown..how this living
image..was thrown..upon the light..of the astral plane.and then projected..into its frame..in my room...but I..cannot explain it more

Another gift..from my darling was a white rose-bud,
which I had in..a small vase and which never seemed to fade or wither, but remained fresh and fragrant..and ever an emblem
of her love,..so that I called her..my white rose.

I had so longed..for a flower.
I had so loved flowers..on earth and I had seen none..since I saw those my..darling put upon my grave...In this land there were no flowers. not even a leaf or blade of grass,..not a tree or
a shrub however stunted--

for the dry arid soil..of our selfishness
had no blossom..or green thing to give to
any one of us;

and it was..when I told her this..during one of the brief visits*..I used to..pay her,.and when..through her own hand..I was able to write short messages--it was,...

I say,..when I told her..that there was not
one fair thing for me..to look upon ..ave only the picture of herself,..that she asked that I might be given a
flower..from her,..and this white rosebud..was brought to my room by a spirit friend..and left for me to find..when I returned from earth and her.

Ah! you..who have so many flowers
that you do not value them enough

and leave them to wither unseen,
you can scarce realize..what joy this blossom brought to me
nor how I..have so treasured it..and her picture..and some loving words she once wrote to me,..that I have carried them
with me..from sphere to sphere..as I have risen,..and shall, I hope, treasure them evermore.
Posted by one under god, Sunday, 8 September 2013 7:57:24 PM
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http://new-birth.net/booklet/Life_in_the_World_Unseen.pdf

extract..p 55

<<>..A matter..that gives rise..to some perplexity
concerns the flowers..that we have in the spirit_world.

Some would ask:..why flowers?
What is their purpose..or significance?
Have they..symbolical meaning?..

EDIT

..<<Flowers are..given to the earth world..
to help to beautify it,..and for the..delight and..enjoyment of those..who behold them.

The fact..that they serve..other useful purposes.is an added reason..for/their existence...Flowers are essentially beautiful, *evolved..*from the Supreme Creative Mind,..given to us..as a
precious gift,*

showing us..in their colourings,..in their formations,
and in their perfumes..an infinitesimally..small expression.of that Great Mind*.

You have..this glory upon the earth-plane.
Are we..to be deprived of it..in the spirit world..because it is considered..that flowers are rather..earthy,..or..because no deep, abstruse meaning..can be assigned..to their existence?

We have..the most glorious flowers here,
some of them..like the old familiar cherished blooms.of the
earth-plane.. others known only to the spirit world,..but all alike are superb,..the perpetual joy..of all of us who..are surrounded with them.

They are divine creations,..each single flower
*breathing..the pure air of spirit,..and..upheld..by their Creator and by all of us..here in the love..that we shower upon them.

Had we no wish for/them—an impossible supposition!—
they would be swept away...And what should we have..in their stead?

Where,..otherwise,..would the great wealth..of colour
come from..which the flowers provide?

And it..is not..only the smaller growing flower.. that we have here.

There is no single..flowering tree or shrub..that the mind can recall that we do not possess,..flourishing in superabundance..and perfection,..as well as..those trees and shrubs..that are to be seen nowhere else..but in the spirit world.

They are..always in bloom,
they never fade..or die,..and their perfumes..are diffused into the air..where they act like a spiritual tonic upon us all...They are at one with us,..as we are with them.

When..we are first introduced..to the flowers
and trees..and all the luxuriance of spirit nature,..we
instantly*..perceive something*..that earthly nature/never seemed to possess,..and that is an inherent/intelligence..within all growing things.

Earthly flowers,..although living,
make..no immediate*personal/response..when one comes..into close touch with them.

edited

<<..They..are part of..the immense stream/of life
that flows..directly from Him,..and that*..flows through
every species..of botanic growth.

That stream..never ceases,..never falters,
and it is,..moreover,..continuously..>>

EDITED

have to..end..the quote
somewhere..
Posted by one under god, Sunday, 8 September 2013 8:29:26 PM
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Dear david f,

Thanks for the extensive info. America is certainly a land of extremes, in both directions. As an East European joke puts, if I may: During the Cold War the Soviet Union was behind all (or most) stupid and bad things, the USA behind the clever and good things. After the collapse of the former, America has to cater for both, the clever as well as the stupid, the good as well as the bad.

Of course, the Committee on Science, Space and Technology you mention was created after Sputnik 1 was launched in 1956 but Senator Paul Brown, with his views on the age of the Earth, was probably not yet around. Instead people who decided to finance NASA and the landing on the Moon, were around. Well, that is my outsider’s view.
Posted by George, Sunday, 8 September 2013 9:37:47 PM
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Dear George,

One of my favorite quotes is:

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
&#8213; Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

He was a Russian Orthodox Christian. Orthodox Christianity is not as infused with dualism as either Protestantism or Cathilicism.

Evil is not an outside force personified in a devil also Orthodoxy accepts the existence of a devil.

Solzhenitsyn's view is much like that of Judaism where the yetzer hatov, the spirit of good, and the yetzer hara, the spirit of evil, struggles within us.

I have already quoted it on this string, but I feel it applies to countries also. No country is either all good or all bad.

Recently finished 'Web of Lucifer'. It's a novel set in the Italy of Machiavelli and Cesare Borgia. The protagonist, an idealistic young Italian, serves and admires Borgia even though Borgia is a monster because he believes Borgia will unite Italy. The book was published in 1947 and although it doesn't explicitly make the analogy it made me think of the idealistic young Germans who served Hitler. One could serve Hitler thinking one was doing good.

Not only are good and evil entwined, but one can do evil with good motives or vice versa.
Posted by david f, Sunday, 8 September 2013 10:27:41 PM
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.

Dear David,

.

[ One of my favorite quotes is:

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

(&#8213; Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956)

He was a Russian Orthodox Christian. Orthodox Christianity is not as infused with dualism as either Protestantism or Cathilicism.

Evil is not an outside force personified in a devil also Orthodoxy accepts the existence of a devil.

Solzhenitsyn's view is much like that of Judaism where the yetzer hatov, the spirit of good, and the yetzer hara, the spirit of evil, struggles within us. ]

.

Orthodoxy’s conception of good and evil within each individual with god and the devil as external supernatural entities, seems to me to be exactly the same as that of all other Christian denominations.

Perhaps I have misunderstood what you are saying.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Monday, 9 September 2013 8:53:52 AM
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Dear Banjo,

I don't think it is the same. "The devil made me do it." would never be said if one believed that evil came from within.

If the devil made one do evil than one is not responsible for one's evil. If sins are forgiven by believing in some supernatural entity then one is also not responsible for one's evil.

Both belief in a devil who can force one to sin and a belief in an entity that can remove one's sins are ways of denying responsibility for wrongdoing.

I believe in neither God nor devil, but I believe we should neither excuse our wrongdoing nor evade our responsibility to try to make up for it.

One does not have to believe in any religious mumbojumbo for the latter belief. We feel better if we accept responsibility, and we acknowledge that we are part of society.
Posted by david f, Monday, 9 September 2013 9:31:22 AM
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edited
#God's provision..for us
for..the Angelic Conflict..is spelled out/in Eph.6:11-17.

examined..here
http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=15257&page=0

expanded surmised..here
http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=5995&page=0

might..is trite*

extract/from
http://www.versebyverse.org/doctrine/angel_con.html

# Man's creation..was to resolve..the Angelic Conflict..and answer the appeal..of Satan...Angels lived in the second heaven..with access to the third..for convocations, Job.1.

After..the revolt of Isa.14:12-14,..Satan set up his headquarters on the earth..and made a garbage dump out of it. It ended up being covered with ice and darkness.

In six days,..God (Holy Spirit) restored the earth..to perfect environment.and set up..*the volition test(Ps.8:35; Heb.2:7).

# Human..volition..was tested,
as was..angelic volition.

1.Angels began perfect..(innocent)..with free will.
Mankind also..began perfect..with free will.

2.Some went negative,..creating two categories.
[God..does not coerce/judge/condemnor censure..at any time...We are not/slave/robots.

#The..two tests..of man's volition.

1.Under..perfect/environment,
only one act..was forbidden..to Adam(Gen.2:17).[not eve]

2.The second..is..the need toscape-goat/blame other(Gen.3:15; Rom.5:12; 6:23).

# Man's..positive volition..in God's plan..
to have mankind..judge Satan's appeal..[as peers](Heb.1:4-14; cp. Lk.15:710).

gods..Angels cheer..when..an unbeliever..accepts Christ/grace/mercies...dittosatansd angels cheer..when we [like them]..'fall'

1...Angels observed..the incarnation..of Christ/love(Mt.4:11; 28:2; Lk.2:13;..Act.1:10;..1Tim.3:16).
2...Angels/ob-serve..believers..(1Cor.4:9; 6:3; 11:10; Eph.3:10; 1Tim.5:21; 1Pet.1:12).
3...Fallen angels..de-serve/..non-believers(Job.1:6; 2:13; Eph.6:12).

#..Results..of..the Angelic/Conflict for..dispensation.

1.Phase one,..salvation...
via atonement[at-one-meant]

We are..NOT*..higher..than angels/positionally
[one can ONLY..be judged..by a jury..of peers](Heb.2:7).

2..Phase two,..spiritual maturity.
We..can have..a tactical/victory..in the Angelic/Conflict.[but thus loose right..to judge]..

Any blessing..we..GIVE UNTO other,..in/the*..devil's-world
is..a tactical/victory...thatvoids..our duty..to bjudge

We..cannot receive*..blessing/without..1st/person-capacity..[standing](1Pet.1:7,8).
3...Phase three,eternity.[our gifted..life*..is eternal
that we stay/equal/peer[by the same measure]..We will/NOT..be/higher than..angels(Phil.3:21).

#..adam's initial/fall..gave the/rulership..of this/world..to Satan..(Gen.3;..Jn.12:31;..14:30;..16:11;..2Cor.4:4;..Eph.2:2)..but man's positive volition..can free him..from Satan's/dominion..while living in..Satan's kingdom(Gal.5:1).

# Questions..2b..answered..by the Angelic/Conflict.

1.Why..was man..created equally..in..his/image?
To resolve/the Angelic Conflict...via peers/equals

2.What is history.. An extension of,
and..*conclusion to,..the Angelic/Conflict.

3.Why sin?
Because angels..and man/have..volition.
God..is not/the..author of sin,..freewill..is,..Jam.1:13.

4...Why suffering?
God..is going to..remove this,[without.loosing..its teavhing..].but right/now..this is Satan's kingdom/school..and Satan..cannot handle his/own kingdom.*

The result..is EXTREEM..poverty/untold wealth,
deliberated intended poisoning/disease,..war, death,etc.
God's plan//[at-one-ment]..turns past/suffering..into ETERNAL/blessing.

[ritual/creed/cred]
Posted by one under god, Monday, 9 September 2013 10:00:11 AM
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Dear david f,

Yes, I also like the Solzhenitsyn quote (except that in my joke I used the milder “bad” rather than “evil” as the opposite of “good”).

You are right that there is a difference between Western (Yang?) and Eastern (Yin?) version of Christianity, for instance in that the Eastern version never had Reformation/Protestants, or more precisely, it absorbed them as an Orthodox apologist put it. The Yang-Yin dichtomy goes perhaps further. As I wrote once in reply to Yuyutsu:

> “The Western attitude is expressed by the words of Yahweh on Sinai: ‘You shall have no other gods before me; in the Bhagavad Gita the incarnate god Krishna says, ‘Whatever god a man worships, it is I who answer the prayer’” (Encyclopaedia Britannica).

I think these can be seen as two complementary ”models”, ways of seeing God, although it was the cultural adherents of the jealous Yahweh in the West (and their descendants to keep our atheist friends happy), rather than those of the all-embracing Eastern model, that brought us Enlightenment, modern science and technology that today we all profit from. <

On the other hand, the “spirit of good” and the “spirit” of evil “struggling within us” is something close to what is known also within Catholicism: the devil and the (guardian) angel respectively, sitting on YOUR two shoulders, the one tempting you to do bad things the angel telling you to resist the temptation and do good things.
Posted by George, Monday, 9 September 2013 7:00:44 PM
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Dear George,

The devil urging you to do evil things can be seen as something internal by reasonable people of many religions. Sophisticated religion can embrace reasonable explanations. I found the following on the net:

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Credo_quia_absurdum

"Credo quia absurdum is a Latin phrase of uncertain origin. It means "I believe because it is absurd" It is derived from a poorly remembered or misquoted passage in Tertullian's De Carne Christi defending the tenets of orthodox Christianity against docetism, which reads in the original Latin:

Crucifixus est Dei Filius, non pudet, quia pudendum est;et mortuus est Dei Filius, prorsus credibile est, quia ineptum est;et sepultus resurrexit, certum est, quia impossibile.— (De Carne Christi V,

4)"The Son of God was crucified: there is no shame, because it is shameful.And the Son of God died: it is wholly credible, because it is unsuitable.And, buried, He rose again: it is certain, because impossible."

The phrase does not express the Catholic Faith,[1] as explained by Pope Benedict XVI: "The Catholic Tradition, from the outset, rejected the so-called “fideism”, which is the desire to believe against reason. Credo quia absurdum (I believe because it is absurd) is not a formula that interprets the Catholic faith."[2]

The phrase is sometimes associated[3] with the doctrine of fideism, that is, "a system of philosophy or an attitude of mind, which, denying the power of unaided human reason to reach certitude, affirms that the fundamental act of human knowledge consists in an act of faith, and the supreme criterion of certitude is authority." (Catholic Encyclopedia). It has also been used, though often in different interpretations, by some existentialists."

Fundamentalists seem to be fideists.
Posted by david f, Monday, 9 September 2013 7:51:58 PM
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david you..must know..the law..
energy cant be created..nor destroyed..only change form/state

our LIVING*..mind/body..has electrical impulses
one second..there..the next not..where did the E..go?

for that matter where loki?
[i know you possably reject him
god and satan/oden..the lot..[right]..

how about other dimensions?
multi dimension..spirits?
esp..levi-tation..

david/quote..<<..Both belief in a devil..who can force one to sin
and a belief..in an entity..that can remove one's sins..are ways of denying responsibility..for wrongdoing...>>

wrong doing..[by who's measure?]

[recall..that you said ..good from ill..+..visa verso]

i believe..it truthfully is..
that we LET the wheat..grow with the tares..and separated..only at 'harvest'..[death]

<<I believe in neither God..nor devil,..>>

thats seems funny..to me..
how about god's..or a huge bio-organism
spirits?

*neither god/devil..<<but I believe..we should neither excuse our wrongdoing..nor evade our responsibility..to try to make up for it>>..

agreed

but again..what is right..and what is wrong
if we find out after we are dead..noone judges
truth is often..we dont know..the affects..of our works

i heard..of this woman..in her 70's..
who was arrested..for demanding the 5000 dollars..
her voices assured her..[at 13]..she would get..if she forgot about sex

she dies..finds out she likes it
finds out god dont care..one way..or the other
and goes to that place mentioned..in the adjutant pdf

good or bad?

lets say bad
because she suffered..in life

but
good now../
[sure..she is in hell..like a beast in heat..but..loving it*

<<..We feel better..if we accept responsibility,
and we acknowledge..that we are part of society.>

again true
we need to grow up..stop blaming/judging /hurting/fearing..others

but here..in'satans'..realm..a true society..[of like minds
/like loves..like hates]..is only a generalization

here societies..are subsumed..under the catch all..
of just society..or just..a society..for some..

yet in heaven..
or as outsiders would call it..hell
she is with in her own society..of like minds..true peers
via the nun's life..she lived..juxtaposed against the life she ALWAYS wanted to live..

but wanted the 5000..more.

[life is about sorting..the wheat from tare
/goat from sheep..[good from dangerous..the dumb from the even dumber..etc]..high from low..fast from slow

and im..as thick as it gets.
Posted by one under god, Monday, 9 September 2013 8:14:51 PM
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.

Dear David,

.

“ We feel better if we accept responsibility ...”
.

Perhaps that’s why some people accept responsibility for things they did not do. Jesus of Nazareth, for example – though the pleasure was short lived.

Others, the world’s political leaders, institutional religions, religious sects, and all sorts of social and economic hierarchies, impose or, accept (implicitly or contractually) to exercise total or partial monopoly on individual responsibility.

My understanding is that the possibility of assuming full responsibility for one’s own actions and decisions within a democratic environment is not an acceptable proposition for everybody, at all times, in all domains.

I suspect that most people see nothing to gain and everything to lose from accepting responsibility and are not interested in finding out if they feel better or worse if they did.

We generally prefer to deny responsibility (by lying), be absolved of it (by a priest), or transfer it to somebody else (Jesus, an insurer, etc.).

We may not be heroes, but, at least, we are not crazy, nor can we be accused of being mythomaniacs.

.

Re: the Catholic Encyclopaedia definition of fideism, “a system of philosophy or an attitude of mind, which, denying the power of unaided human reason to reach certitude, affirms that the fundamental act of human knowledge consists in an act of faith, and the supreme criterion of certitude is authority”:

The Catholic Church’s disparaging definition of fideism is understandable. Deists denied the need for any mediation between humanity and divinity in the form of the Church and dismissed the Church’s claimed mediation as self interested fraud, but a necessary evil in order to maintain social stability.

Fideism, on the other hand, is simply blind faith (belief where there is no material evidence, no circumstantial evidence and no credible eye witness) which the Catholic Church refuses to recognize as the true nature of its belief.

In my humble opinion, not only do religious fundamentalists seem to be fideists, as you suggest, but also deists and theists in their quasi-totality.

I regret the mechanism which prevents them from seeing clear.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Tuesday, 10 September 2013 2:53:09 AM
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Dear david f,

>>If the devil made one do evil than one is not responsible for one's evil.<<

This is the devil seen as a person like you and I, instead of a personified model of something supernatural. This is a common confusion. Like when people when talking about physics identify the model with the “origin” that the model (theory) is supposed to represent, and hopefully explain.

Admittedly, googling “the devil made me do it” will return over one million hits, whereas “the devil in me made me do it” will return only about 200,000 hits, although it is the latter that is usually meant - or supposed to mean - also by Christians.

>> If sins are forgiven by believing in some supernatural entity then one is also not responsible for one's evil.<<

Sins are never forgiven “by believing in” anything (at least not as Catholics understand it) but by expressing sincere remorse, contrition is the word here, and willingness to make amends when possible. Is a parent who forgives necessarily denying his/her offspring responsibility for the child’s wrongdoing?

>> We feel better if we accept responsibility, and we acknowledge that we are part of society.<<

No Christian I know would disagree with this.

As for "Credo quia absurdum” I have nothing to add.

The Wikipedia obviously refers to Benedict XVI's important Regensburg lecture, overshadowed by the unfortunate quote that outraged Muslim fanatics, but the core of which was an argument for an “inner rapprochement between Biblical faith and Greek philosophical inquiry”, against “positions which clearly approach those of Ibn Hazn and might even lead to the image of a capricious God, who is not even bound to truth and goodness. God's transcendence and otherness are so exalted that our reason, our sense of the true and good, are no longer an authentic mirror of God, whose deepest possibilities remain eternally unattainable and hidden behind his actual decisions.”

It was explicitly an affirmation of the Catholic position, “an encounter between genuine enlightenment and religion”, but implicitly also against Muslim interpretations of God as standing beyond and against reason.
Posted by George, Tuesday, 10 September 2013 6:53:59 AM
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Dear George,

I don't think it matters if we feel remorse for wrongdoing. It may ease our own mind, but if we do nothing to make up for it we are just as guilty.

We must try to be better in the area where we did wrong or make up to the one we have wronged. The first requires self-examination followed by action. The second requires specific action based upon what we did.

In our legal system criminals may get lighter sentences if they show remorse for their crimes. I think that is wrong. It puts a premium on dishonesty. A criminal may be honest enough not to show remorse if he or she doesn't feel it or duplicitous enough to feign remorse.

There is a catharsis in confession and having a representative of some supernatural entity absolve you of sin. However, I think it is a denial of responsibility. You have to try to actually do something to make up for wrongdoing.

In the above I have implicitly equated sin with wrongdoing. Wrongdoing is what our conscience tells us is wrong, and sin is defined by some external entity.

The Berrigan brothers, activist priests, poured blood on draft files as a protest against the Vietnamese War. Routinely judges during that period gave heavy sentences to protestors who committed crimes in protest and did not show remorse. The court demanded repentance for what the accused felt were justified acts.

During the period when Catholics were not supposed to eat meat on Friday doing so was a sin. Disobedience to an arbitrary injunction where no harm is caused by the act is something I don’t think should be a sin.
Posted by david f, Tuesday, 10 September 2013 7:56:02 AM
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continued

The account in Genesis of Adam and Eve eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil points out the arbitrariness of obedience to religious dictums. They were punished for the sin of disobedience. However, until they had eaten the fruit how would they have knowledge of good and evil or right and wrong. We do not punish children for crimes when we assume they are too young to appreciate the wrongness of their acts. Yet God punished the two innocents.

In my opinion the Bible is essentially evil in the arbitrary nature of the blind, senseless obedience it demands
Posted by david f, Tuesday, 10 September 2013 7:57:18 AM
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davidf/quote..<<..You have to try to..actually do something*..to make up for..wrongdoing.>>

in gone west..this essential*..karmic correction/balancing is a constant theme..[for example..it reports..the rspca..was a deliberate corrective act..

[it was inspired,..by a renowned 'scientist..
the discovery..[made in hell]..of the real suffering..by lab animals
..

inflicted..specifically by experimentation/vivisecting
beasts in labs..resulted in him..'inspiring'..those of like mindset..to establish..rspca

<<Wrong doing..is what our conscience tells..us is wrong,..>>

agreed..but..if our mind..tells itself..*it feels guilty
that allows the like minds..[..spirit's]..to inspire further guilt redemptive act..

based on a faulty/faulse implied
FEELING of guilt..where guilt shouldn't be due*
like sex guilt/blame shame..more of the same..will return 7 fold..[jesus]

some are expert at making others feel..guilty
yet again..though..imust agree..there is self guilt
[that grace mercyallows toforgive]..ie self hurt[not a sinm]

and true..sin
<<..sin is defined by..some external entity...>>
and that done..unto..*not for..other.

ignorance is bliss
..<<..knowledge of Good and Evil..points out the arbitrariness of obedience to religious dictums...They were punished..for the sin of disobedience.>>..

THE SAMEas the fallen angels did..before them
after god created adam..to judge..the fallen..WHO TOO..must have beengiven..ONE simple copmmand

what was the one little thing god asked of the angels

that did cause the fall?..of stan/half of the angels
[lookto loki for clues..sssshhh

<<..However, until they had eaten..the fruit>>

ie acted upon
their own..sinfull..free willful nature
..<<..how would they..>>..JUDGE SATAN..etal..

as equals/peers..
without the SURE KNOWING..of what sin*..consists of..

what quantifies..
definitively..as a sin...*,..?
Posted by one under god, Tuesday, 10 September 2013 9:15:50 AM
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ie..to..<<..have knowledge of good and evil..or JUST..right and wrong.>>

yes its a fine line
wrong..for who?

yes we lost our innocence,,but..look at what we got..
a truellly wise soloman like..[good/god..gracefull by works/deed..

all loving/sustaining..*all the living
sustaining to live..even..the most vile beast
[according to its wants/needs..nature..not gods true nurture]

ALLOWING us via FREEWIL..to judge ourselves..
freewill to condemn..our=self..by throwing stones at others..
[ie satans minions..the/fallen..who said L..we are born of the fire..adam mere clay..

how dare you allow him..
to *judge we versus thee

bow down before equals?
why..[the pope washes feet dont he?]

serve god..by serving all*..other
whoshall lead you..will serve you

who is not srerving
isnt deseving?

<<We do not punish children>>

ahhmen
..im presuming
your rejecting sitting on the jury?

ok your excused*

<<..for crimes>>..when we now KNOW*
..they WERE both innocent.. angelnnocents..adam/eve..innocent

<<..too young to appreciate the wrongness of their acts.
Yet God punished..the two innocents.>>..plus half the fallen angels

by allowing us to chose
we find lord..you were most fair
thus satans assertions..seem reasonable

[father..your too much...of a nice guy..at heart..
[all heart]..but we wont tell..if you dont.

In my opinion the Bible is essentially evil in the arbitrary nature of the blind, senseless obedience it demands
Posted by one under god, Tuesday, 10 September 2013 9:16:05 AM
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Banjo wrote: “Perhaps that’s why some people accept responsibility for things they did not do. Jesus of Nazareth, for example – though the pleasure was short lived.”

We are responsible for our sins or wrongdoing. For us or anybody else to take responsibility for what we didn’t do is just plain nutty. Jesus or any other entity cannot take on our guilt nor can we take on any other entity’s guilt.

The evil in the Bible continues in the New Testament. An arbitrary God who commands his follower to murder his son in the Jewish Bible in the New Testament subjects his own son to torture for sins he didn’t commit.

As I said the Bible is an evil book. If there is a God it cannot be the arbitrary, sadistic one described in the Bible.

One can partially ameliorate the evil of the Bible by relying on tradition and interpretation as Catholic and non-fundamentalist Jewish, Protestant and Orthodox clerics have done, but it still has its evil presence.

I also regret the mechanism which prevents them from seeing clear.

Banjo also wrote: “I suspect that most people see nothing to gain and everything to lose from accepting responsibility and are not interested in finding out if they feel better or worse if they did.”

Banjo, you may well be right. I think the ethical systems derived from most religions which incorporate mechanisms for freeing us from responsibility for our wrongdoings should be replaced by something better which would encourage us to take responsibility.
Posted by david f, Tuesday, 10 September 2013 9:41:54 AM
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Dear David f,

I think you are mixing here a couple of things, Catholic practice of confession (called now reconciliation), questions of guilt, moral, psychological and legal (not the same thing), “punishment” as penance in the confessional and as sentence in a court, nitpicking the Adam and Eve Bible story.

>>It may ease our own mind, but if we do nothing to make up for it we are just as guilty.<<

Firstly, note that I compared confession and absolution not with legal procedures in a court, but with the relation between a loving parent having to forgive and/or punish his/her own child.

Secondly, I made it explicit, that reconciliation does not end with contrition, you get a penance to do: at least to say some prayers, or go and ask forgiveness from the person you harmed, or - when the sin is actually a crime - absolution can be usually obtained only after the sinner has reported himself to the police.

Legally, in the court, punishment is called sentence, and is based on evidence; during reconciliation it is called penance, and is based on what you confess and how sincere your act of contrition is - no evidence possible here, only faith that God knows if you lied or cheated. This reflects also on the difference between guilt that only God i.e. his representative, can absolve you from, and guilt for which only the court, i.e. its representative (the judge) can assign you an appropriate punishment.

When I was a child my father explained the difference to me thus: if you decide to stab in order to kill your neighbor, but are clumsy, slip or what, and the neighbor escapes, without him or anybody noticing your intention, you are not guilty before any worldly court, because there is no evidence. But you are guilty before God, you sinned in your mind which He can read. (And there is a third, the psychological, meaning of guilt that I am not going into.)
(ctd)
Posted by George, Tuesday, 10 September 2013 9:52:18 AM
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(ctd)

>>Disobedience to an arbitrary injunction where no harm is caused by the act is something I don’t think should be a sin.<<

For Catholics sin is decided by the Magistrate, and if it is just a minor matter of discipline (like abstinence from meat), it is actually irrelevant whether outsiders see it as such or not. In matters more serious one still has to distinguish between sin (going against how the Church sees God’s will and the wellbeing of the society) and crime (going against the wellbeing of the society for which there is a general consent dependent on the zeitgeist and culture). Here conscience comes into play.

As far as conscience is concerned, it also depends whether it clashes with a legal system (the Berigan brothers’ conscience obviously did) or, in case of a Catholic, with the moral teaching of the Church (which in case of Berigan brothers was not as explicit as it became with many Catholic dissident theologians).

As for Adam and Eve, here I don’t see any relevance to the Catholic practice of confession; after all it is part of not only the whole Christian, but also Jewish tradition (and probably also Muslim). I do not understand: A dog does not have “the knowledge of Good and Evil” but you still can punish him for disobedience.

>>In my opinion the Bible is essentially evil in the arbitrary nature of the blind, senseless obedience it demands<<

That is your opinion, however, returning the metaphor of parent and child, an obedience in certain matters that for a five year old seems “blind and senseless” might not seem so when he grows up. Part of the reason why the unknowable God is modeled as a Father, and we as his children, is that things he demands might look for us sometimes as "blind and senseless". That is not the problem, The problem is, whether we can understand Him, directly or through mediators (prophets, theologians, for Catholics the Magisterium).

You made me write on topics that I am not very much at home with. But thanks.
Posted by George, Tuesday, 10 September 2013 9:56:11 AM
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george/quote..<<..A dog..does not/have..“the knowledge..of Good/Evil”..but..you still..*can punish him..for disobedience.>>

yes we can...punish*
but really..the dog..has long/forgotten

and two seconds later..will return-love for love
persistent punishment..forces the dog..away from doing..things..*of the dog..

but dog..can never be god

never the/less..earlier on..in my travails..
i pictured..god..LIKE a HUGE living/loving puppy..so..innately/loving forgiving..yet..will crush the-unwary.

next..i pictured god..
as ALPHA../...negative alpha
[supreme good..plus supremely evil..[yin tang]..

both..were wrong..of course

next..i came closer..by this time
many were leading us..towards god/being..the sun*
[yet..all the suns..in the earthy/heaven disclaim..*[proclaim]....that

anyhow..by this time..
i was sur.. god was good..[just good..ALL GOOD]
and i wished to see her..and..as the light..is key..anyhow*

i looked..at the sun
intently..with love..[open pupils]..
anyhow..i saw the sun..become blue..and look..
much like a massive engorged..[nursing]..nipple..with the life/juice [light/photons]..emitting..[light]..sustaining all living

saw..that each sun..radiated..the fathers light..[milk]
[this was..at the time of statues..'drinking' milk..in in india'

[and..the time of the ross kelly/letter 1996..to the prince/and his [and elanes]..performing of time travel..[under lord chronos]..as well as..his fatima letter

but i
drift off/topic

david..>>In my opinion the Bible is essentially evil in the arbitrary nature of the blind, senseless obedience it demands<<..

yes..but see..its karmicly..*..BALANCED
*both good..and evil..can find comfort..in the words
[each..according to their want]..

[but those..who KNOW..god is light love*
life logic/grace/mercy..

they..*NOW the vile..cant be..'of' god
[ie..not good=not of god=thus of men..hearing negative/voices]

so yes..generally speaking..i would agree..
but when we find ..he good as gold..in any* holy text..
we learn more..about our true father/love/light logus/life etc

ps the koran..teaches much..too
much come from..on high..and much from..down low

i have found good/bad
in so many texts..but such..is
*as it must be..in satans realm

they*..were written..all by good beings,..as much as bad
but karmic balancing...is always present..[in this realm]

in..everything we*..[in
this realm].. write/say..think desire to do

george...<<..Part of..the reason..why the unknowable God
is modeled..as a Father,>>..is that life*..can only come from life

and life
needs matriarchal nurture
by its very nature..[to further absolve [loki?]
Posted by one under god, Tuesday, 10 September 2013 6:07:50 PM
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George wrote: “When I was a child my father explained the difference to me thus: if you decide to stab in order to kill your neighbor, but are clumsy, slip or what, and the neighbor escapes, without him or anybody noticing your intention, you are not guilty before any worldly court, because there is no evidence. But you are guilty before God, you sinned in your mind which He can read. (And there is a third, the psychological, meaning of guilt that I am not going into.)”

Dear George,

I do not recognise intent as wrongdoing or sin even if the action was aborted through accident in the hypothetical case which you cited of intending to stab your neighbour and not being effective in that act.

The fact that your neighbour was unharmed and did not know of your intent makes you guilty of nothing in my opinion. You can recognise your potential for doing wrong and try to curb your impulses in the future, but I think you are not guilty of anything at all. I think the concept of being guilty because you thought of doing evil but didn’t do it for some reason is neurotic.

I read St. Augustine’s confessions in which he described his guilt as stealing pears from an orchard as a teenager. He also broke with a woman with whom he had a child as being a Christian meant to him being celibate. He managed to foist the insanity of Original Sin on Christianity - the idea that people are born in sin. He was one sick, brilliant, neurotic puppy. Some of his ruminations were fascinating.

Sometimes sanity shines through. There is a story of two monks at the banks of a stream with a woman who also wanted to cross. The three of them crossed with one of the monks carrying the woman. After some time one monk said, “Our order forbids touching women, but you carried one across the stream.” “I put her down at the bank. You should, too.”

http://www.neh.gov/humanities/2013/septemberoctober/feature/why-spinoza-was-excommunicated tells of a God I might accept
Posted by david f, Tuesday, 10 September 2013 8:07:28 PM
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.

Dear David & George,

.

« The evil in the Bible continues in the New Testament. An arbitrary God who commands his follower to murder his son in the Jewish Bible in the New Testament subjects his own son to torture for sins he didn’t commit.

As I said the Bible is an evil book. If there is a God it cannot be the arbitrary, sadistic one described in the Bible.”

.

In the Judeo-Christian context, evil is anything which is contrary to the character of God. In Islam it is considered that everything derives from Allah.

Evil, therefore, does not appear to be the most appropriate term to describe either the bible or the quran.

There is, however, a good case for considering certain passages of both books as offensive to common decency and accepted standards of morality (“contra bonos mores”).

Legal action could be brought against any media published today containing an incitement to murder, torture or hatred. If such action were upheld by the court, a restraining order could be issued to prevent publication or have it withdrawn from circulation until the incriminated passages were deleted.

There is ample evidence of such incitement as, for example, the nine crusades of the middle ages plus those of the 14th and 15th centuries as well as the more recent terrorist actions perpetrated by fundamentalist Christians and Muslims around the world (including the Norwegian, Anders Breivik who identified himself as a Christian crusader).

However, despite all this evidence, I doubt that any tribunal would have the courage to take such a decision as to declare either the bible or the quran as “contra bonos mores”. If it did, the political pressure would be such that the decision would either be overturned by a court of appeal or simply never executed.

But, as George’s father seems to have taught him when he was a little boy: legality is one thing and morality is another.

Amusingly, it seem that bible possession was even once banned by the Catholic church, considered as not suitable for everyone :

http://www.aloha.net/~mikesch/banned.htm

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Tuesday, 10 September 2013 11:59:36 PM
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bannjo..adds much to the conversation..[i feel we all are]

banji/quote..<<..In the Judeo-Christian context,..evil is anything which is contrary..to the character of God.>>

true at its essence..but sadly..
creed..that says the whole book[s]..is from god..
but..[which plainly is more wishful thinking..than falsifiable fact]

god CANNOT take sides..
[who would you chose]..which..of your children..to accept pain..as their due..?..and which to gainsa.. some implied eternal..glory for gore?

no-one..here..im sure
before god..[lol..under god]..
we are all equally..second..only to god

<<..In Islam..it is considered
that everything..*derives from Allah.>>

so much..involves context..
http://www.answering-islam.org/Authors/Fisher/Topical/ch14.htm

context..is everything..
[in ITS..present living/live moment..*not ours
eg...[what specifically..precedes..the quoted line..and what its proceed]..

eg..when mosus begged satan..
to be allowed to walk with him..then judged him harshly
errant-ly*
http://islam101.net/real-tales/238-three-strange-events-when-moses-met-khadir.html

hence
i agree..<<Evil,therefore,..does not appear to be..the most appropriate term..to describe either the bible..or the quran.>>

karma?
balance?

<<There is, however,..a good case..
for considering certain passages of both books..as offensive to common decency..and accepted standards of morality..>>

often..in fully explaining
the more words used..the more chance of error..slipping through the cracks

holding *words..MORE sacred..than life..
[is clearly bias..thus/[beyond god]
which insults..the living love
[good/god]

the life giver..must have a clear separation..from say a life taker
who..saw the words inspired..written/preserved..isnt clear..
but by what fruits..the words produce

[only god..can give and sustain life..
but sadly men..subvert life..to preserve the word

the wrongness comes...when the words..bear ill fruit

there is the maker..and its fruit/product
this is clearly..a product..
but the title says read me
http://www.seventhfam.com/temple/books/black_man/blk55.htm

THE MAKING OF DEVIL..isnt even proper english [yeah i should talk]..
;}
[so translation error..
cant be ruled out..from its first words]
Posted by one under god, Wednesday, 11 September 2013 6:41:15 AM
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Dear david f,

Please understand, that I was just trying to EXPLAIN the Catholic practice of personal confessions, not to convince you about its potential usefulness to non-Catholics, not to mention convert you. Here in Germany the confessionals are empty but in the house next to where I live there are four psychotherapists, apparently offering the psychological service the confessionals used to. Only time will tell, whether this is an improvement on them or only a plastic replica.

>> I think the concept of being guilty because you thought of doing evil but didn’t do it for some reason is neurotic.<<

I agree that it is neurotic to feel guilty in the face of a God you do not believe in. It follows, I think logically, from you not believing in God who can read your mind, that you cannot feel responsible to anybody about intents that only you are aware of.

Nevertheless, I think even without God there are things also contemporary post-Christian society condemns (and would like you to feel guilty about), like racism, antisemitism, homophobia etc even if it only POTENTIALLY can lead to “wrongdoings”, i.e. actions harmful to the society (agitation, incitement).

Dear Banjo,

>>There is, however, a good case for considering certain passages of both books as offensive to common decency and accepted standards of morality (“contra bonos mores”).<<

Books written thousands of years ago condemned as “offensive to common decency standards” of the post Christian West of the 21st century? Something like using the authority of such ancient book to condemn those 21st century scientists who claim the Earth is older than 9000 years, only in reverse.

>>But, as George’s father seems to have taught him when he was a little boy: legality is one thing and morality is another.<<

I don’t know were my father comes into it, but the difference is obvious even to “little boys”: Driving in Australia on the right hand side is illegal but not immoral; in Nazi Germany denouncing a Jew to the authorities was immoral by all standards, but certainly not illegal.
Posted by George, Wednesday, 11 September 2013 7:01:39 AM
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Dear Banjo,

The term, Judeo-Christian, is questionable. The Christian religion centres around the worship of Jesus. The Jewish religion does not in any manner regard Jesus or the New Testament as connected with their religion. Although Judaism and Islam do not share any scriptures they have much more in common. They both are monotheists with no other divine figure. They have similar dietary laws and have no formal hierarchy. They both are more concerned with practice than belief – orthopraxy over orthodoxy. To the best of my knowledge the term Judeo-Islamic is not used, but it makes much more sense than Judeo-Christian.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judeo-Christian Judeo-Christian as commonly used is a political rather than a theological term and was formulated as a term used in the cultural wars in the US.

There is no reason that one should accept a religious definition of evil if one does not subscribe to a religion. “Profoundly immoral and malevolent” is a definition of evil. Of course a book in itself is not evil, but a book can advocate evil. Blind, unquestioning submission to authority, slaughter on the command of an imaginary entity and stifling of human curiosity and questioning in meeting the demands of faith, all found in the Bible, are, as far as I am concerned, profoundly immoral and malevolent. I think evil is a most appropriate term to describe much of what the Bible teaches. In my opinion following the Bible is inconsistent with living a moral life.

In addition the Bible is contradictory within itself from the beginning. The two accounts of creation are incompatible. We regard the Greek, Roman, Norse, Japanese and other old legends as attempts to explain the world in which those peoples lived. They are neither guides to conduct, scientific texts nor histories although they contain beauty and wisdom in the midst of fantasy. It is reasonable to regard the Bible and the Qur’an as well as the sacred books of all religions in the same way that we regard other legendary material.
Posted by david f, Wednesday, 11 September 2013 8:28:32 AM
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Dear George,

I realise you are explaining not trying to convert. However, if one explains a view that one holds it is difficult to put away the hope that the other person might be brought to have the same point of view that you have. I recognise having those feelings within myself, and I may be projecting them onto you.

Apparently there is a closure in the Catholic confession which does not exist in psychoanalysis. I once spent an hour with an analyst on the request of a girlfriend. At the conclusion of our session he asked me if I would see him again. I told him that he had not said what he would try to do, had offered no comment on my words, had not said how long I would be seeing him or given any criterion for a successful treatment. Therefore I saw no reason for seeing him again. I have never been to a Catholic confessional, but I have heard that the priest describes a penance and may offer some words of advice. He may even be a more sympathetic listener than the analyst I visited.

You wrote: “Books written thousands of years ago condemned as “offensive to common decency standards” of the post Christian West of the 21st century?”

If one is expected to take those books seriously than it is appropriate to apply current standards. I contend that the Bible should be treated like other ancient legendary material.

I don’t think one should feel guilty about having feelings of ‘racism, antisemitism, homophobia etc’. Suppose a person had intense feelings of doing evil but wished to be regarded well by his or her community. That person would act in such a way as to show consideration and caring to other people and would never even voice the feelings that he or she had in mind. That person’s acts would be completely inconsistent with what he or she would like to do if he or she felt free to do it. I would consider that individual a good person. Would you?
Posted by david f, Wednesday, 11 September 2013 9:08:19 AM
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i have been delving*..into..the secret/sacred/texts
but note mess-age..is addressed..to you all*..[us all/et'al]

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/lbob/

specifically..

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/lbob/lbob17.htm

<<.. I am full of joy,..
hoping that..the..rather to he saved;[you find truth]
in as/much as..I truly see*..a[the]..spirit infused..*into you*.. from the pure fountain..[of/life spirit..emanating..]..of God:

4.Having this persuasion,..
and..by being fully convinced..thereof,
because..that since I have begun to speak..unto you,..
I have had a more than ordinary..good success....*in the way of..the law..of the/Lord..which is..*in..>>

<<..in...>>-[fused also..with/in..
our beloved/brother]..<<Christ.>>

5..For which cause/brethren,
I also think..verily..that..I love you..above my own soul:

.because..&that [within thee*..as well*]
there-in*..dweleth*...the greatness..of faith and charity,..
as also the hope..of that life..*which is to come>>.
http://new-birth.net/booklet/Life_in_the_World_Unseen.pdf
http://new-birth.net/booklet/Gone_West.pdf
http://new-birth.net/booklet/Wanderer_a4.pdf

6...Wherefore
considering/this,
that..if I shall take care*..to communicate to you
a part of..what I have received,..it shall turn..to my reward,>>

karma?

<<..that..I have served..such good/souls;
..I gave diligence..to write..in a few words..unto you;..
*that..<<WE*>>..together*..with your faith/knowledge..also that we may be perfect...TOGETHER*

7..There are therefore..three..[11]..things..ordained..by the Lord;..

the hope..of life;..
the beginning..and the completion..of it...>>

into..eternity

<<8..For the Lord..hath both declared unto us,
by the prophets..those things that..are past;
and opened to us..*the beginnings of those..that are to come.

9..Wherefore.. it will behoove us,
1 as he has spoken,..to come 2 more holily, and nearer to his altar.

10..I therefore,..not as a teacher, but as one 3 of you,
will endeavor to lay before..you a few things by which you may, on 4 many accounts,..become the more joyful.

That God has..abolished the legal sacrifices
to introduce..the spiritual righteousness..of the Gospel.

SEEING then
the days are exceeding evil,
and the adversary has got the power of this present..world we ought to give the more diligence..to inquire into the righteous judgments of the Lord.

2..Now the assistants of our faith..are fear and patience;
our fellow-combatants,..long-suffering and continence.

3..Whilst these remain pure..in what relates unto the Lord*,
wisdom,..and understanding,..and science,.and knowledge,

*..rejoice together/with them.

4..For God has manifested..to us
*..by all the prophets,..that he has no occasion for our sacrifices, or burnt-offerings, or oblations:

saying thus;
To what purpose is the multitude..of your sacrifices unto me,..saith the Lord.>>

ahhh men ..eh
Posted by one under god, Wednesday, 11 September 2013 9:46:02 AM
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from

gone west
http://new-birth.net/booklet/Gone_West.pdf

<<..All that is put down here is for a reason;
it’s all planned out; and if you don’t at first see the reason, why,

be patient,..
and you will learn. — THE OFFICER.”
__________
The officer then spoke.

He said, “I have been down to the very bottommost depth of Hell, impelled largely by
that intangible thing — a strong personality. Like a burning fire it drives one on the path
one has chosen, and for me there was no hope until that path had been trod.

He said, “I have been down to the very bottommost depth of Hell, impelled largely by
that intangible thing — a strong personality. Like a burning fire it drives one on the path
one has chosen, and for me there was no hope until that path had been trod.

“The personality made evil by an evil life remains evil after death, and the more
probably will it go to the logical conclusion which its evil deeds naturally setup.
“You say, ‘To know all is to forgive all,’ and he who has been to the bottom of Hell
may yet rise to the top, and the knowledge so acquired will be of far more value to
himself and the world in general than the lesser knowledge acquired by a feebler soul who
did no great evil and very little good.”
Being asked whether a soul could ever become annihilated by persistent refusal to
repent, he said, “It is obvious that a man could not be punished indefinitely for what took
place in a finite period. You mean therefore for faults committed after death, which is
infinity? “
Being answered “Yes,” he replied, “What is the soul? “
Mr. K. replied, “A part of God.”
He answered, “Precisely. How, then, can God annihilate even a part of Himself?
Sooner or later a soul will turn to God, but it may be countless ages before that happens.”
He then ceased.
Posted by one under god, Wednesday, 11 September 2013 1:07:44 PM
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from/davids..spinoza/link
http://www.neh.gov/humanities/2013/septemberoctober/feature/why-spinoza-was-excommunicated

<<..If..we think..that God..is like us,

ie..an agent..[who/acts..for the sake/of ends]..
and who,..by issuing/commands,..makes known..his expectations..and punishes those..who do-not obey,..[only THEN}..we..will be dominated*..by the/passions..of hope..and fear:>>

<<..hope..for eternal/reward...and..fear..of eternal/punishment.>>

for some..the so-called..punishment..
fels more..like a reward..[eventually]
death..where is..thy sting?

<<..This>>..if true..<<will,..in turn,lea/ us.toward submission/to ecclesiastic-authorities...who claim to know..what God/wants...

The resulting/life..is one/of..“bondage”—psychological,..moral,religious,social,and political/enslavement—as opposed to..the liberating/life of reason.>>

true again

<<..What might/have..especially bothered/Spinoza’s/contemporary coreligionists..was his/claim..that there is..*no theological..or metaphysical..or even moral/sense..>>..

wrong

..<<..*in..which/the Jews..are God’s/“chosen people,”..[oh]
in..part/because Spinoza’s..God....does not..(cannot)/choose anything!>>

why?

what..is choosing*..to create?
judge-angels../mate/with loki/..satans trial/..job/adam/eve..etc?

<<..All human/beings..are a part.of Nature..[gods/nurture]
in..exactly the same/way,..and..thus there/is..nothing/special..or distinctive..about the/Jewish people>>

that dont apply..TOALLPEOPLE
ewho..is not..a child..of the fat-her.

no-one/special..<<..other than..the particular/set..of laws they follow.>>..faith//hopes/dreams?

lol..little wonder/

quote..<<..There/is..no evidence..
that Spinoza/sought..any kind-of pardon,>>..lol

<<It/is true..edited..[that]..divin/“favor”;
but..this..just/means_that,..aided/by their..*own efforts,..
Nature..*seemed to bring..good/things their way...However,>>.

<<..Spinoza argues,..with the..Jewish/kingdom..long gone..
and its people scattered..all over the world,..there is no longer anything special..in which..the/Jewish people/..may take special pride..or see..as their divine vocation.>>

position/position/position
re-build it..we willcome

<<..“.he reduces..to a single/moral maxim
:;;Love your fellow human beings..and treat them/with justice..and charity.

This is all..that/is essential..to the.“true religion.”
Everything else..is just superstition./GREED?CREED?RITE?ritual

<<>.Perhaps the most..*deleterious>>
but not wrong..<<superstition of all..is the belief in the immortality..of the soul...Like the notion..of a providential God,..the idea that/a person..will experience a postmortem/existence in some..world-to-come..is a part of..all three Abrahamic religions.>>

yes absolutely
i see no proof refuting anything?

<<..While there is,..of course,
much diversity..among the major faiths..about what exactly happens..to a person when he dies,>>

correct

<</and while Judaism,..at least,
generally..does not make/the belief in immortality..*a necessary tenet..of the faith,..*the eternal fate of the soul..was of the utmost importance..to the great majority..of Spinoza’s contemporaries,>>

<<..and this..is what he found..so troubling.>>

big/clue right..there

<<..In his view,>>.
ie his opinion/not proof

<<..a robust/doctrine..of personal/immortality,
like..the eschatology..that accompanies it,..only strengthens/those harmful_passions..that undermine..the life of reason.>>

yes...THE CHURCH FATHERS..THOUGHT SO..TOO
dont mean..either..*was right/or wrong..its opinion

,*<He is..showing that..while there is,*
in..*a sense,..an eternal*..part/of..the human-mind..[lol]..!

*<<..that..remains/after..a person’s..death—
namely,the knowledge..and ideas..that..she/has acquired..in/this lifetime>>

agreed

<<—there is nothing..personal..about it>>..

rubbish..IT HAPPEND..to you!

<<..When you are dead,..Spinoza is saying,..you are dead.>>

and im saying..we cant..prove it
evidence/..proofs..the opposite..posit
Posted by one under god, Wednesday, 11 September 2013 7:58:59 PM
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.

Dear George,

.

You wrote:

[ “But, as George’s father seems to have taught him when he was a little boy: legality is one thing and morality is another.”

I don’t know were my father comes into it, ... ]

.

I was referring to the following passage you wrote to David where you explain your father’s teachings in relation to legality and morality:

“ When I was a child my father explained the difference to me thus: ... you are not guilty before any worldly court ... But you are guilty before God ... ”

.

Dear David,

.

“The term, Judeo-Christian, is questionable ... ”.
.

All amalgamations and short-cuts are questionable. In my opinion, all three Abrahamic religions have much in common, as they do with many other religions.

But my comments were made in the specific context of the so-called “holy scriptures”, wherein the Christian bible distinguishes itself from the scriptures of the other two religions by being the only one to incorporate some of the scriptures of one of the other two, the Jewish (Hebrew) bible, in what is known as the old testament.

It was in this specific context that I employed the term Judeo-Christian.

.

Dear David, George and One Under God,

.

Re: incitement to murder, torture or hatred etc. in the bible and the quran :
.

The fact that it has been going on for nearly two thousand years is no excuse, in my opinion. It is about time it ceased. Better late than never. Malicious incitement has no place in religion. It nurtures fanaticism, cruelty and destruction and gangrenes society.

The problem is it is so deep-rooted in the very heart of the “holy scriptures” that there is a maximum risk of death in any surgical operation undertaken to eliminate it.

My guess is that you and I would be prepared to take that risk, David, but I doubt that George would, even though it may be in his and all our best interests.

I don’t know what One Under God’s position would be. I’ll ask him.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Wednesday, 11 September 2013 11:11:20 PM
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Dear Banjo,

Malicious incitement has every place in religion. Nothing unites believers as well as hatred of the unbeliever. This is often done while proclaiming love of the unbeliever in seeking to correct the unbeliever of error. It is at the heart of the missionary religions and present in the non-missionary religions.

The New Testament condemns non-Christians

Corinthians 16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O Lord, come!

Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

No tolerance allowed. It doesn’t seem fair to proclaim people accursed who follow the religion or lack of religion of their parents as most non-Christians do.

The Book of Joshua in the Jewish Bible recounts a tale of divinely ordered genocide.

Joshua 6:2 And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.

Divine genocide includes not only humans but also livestock.

Joshua 6:21 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.

The Bible is a book which advocates intolerance and genocide.

I was in Morocco and was informed by a blond, blue-eyed Moroccan that Christians and Jews were going to hell. What is now Morocco was once occupied by the Vandals, a Germanic tribe. Possibly my informant was a descendent.

Islam has been described as a ‘religion of the sword’, but it seems that all Abrahamic religions deserve that sobriquet.
Posted by david f, Thursday, 12 September 2013 3:24:30 AM
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Dear david f,

>> I have heard that the priest describes a penance and may offer some words of advice. He may even be a more sympathetic listener than the analyst I visited.<<

This is what a classical “father confessor” was supposed to be, although I suppose it assumes he was psychologically skilled (most were not) and intellectually above the “poor soul” seeking consolation. My grandmother had to bring up four children during WW I while her husband was on the front in Galicia. She said the only consolation and support she could get was from her confessor, a Jesuit priest.

>>If one is expected to take those books seriously than it is appropriate to apply current standards.<<

I think you can take a text seriously while still respecting the historical/cultural context in which it was written. As for applying “current standards” we used to joke that Newton would not pass our first year course on calculus (he would know nothing about the epsilon-delta approach), nevertheless we “took seriously” his contribution to mathematics and physics.

You may be right, I should not have used the word “guilty” for bad intentions when there is no God to judge. “Having intense feelings” about something you should not do, nevertheless acting contrary to those feelings is classically called resisting temptation. Like a pedophile who has “intense feelings” for certian wrongdoings nevertheless resists them.

However, my example with the intended murderer who stumbled was not about “feelings of doing evil”, but an actual decision, an intent, which failed for reasons outside his control.

As I said, ethics, psychology or moral philosophy are indeed not my territory, but thanks again for making me try to find my way in it.
Posted by George, Thursday, 12 September 2013 3:40:59 AM
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Dear Banjo,

>>I was referring to … where you explain your father’s teachings in relation to legality and morality<<

Sorry, but that was about the difference between being seen as guilty by a court as opposed to by God. Morality is only indirectly related here.

>>My guess is that you and I would be prepared to take that risk, David, but I doubt that George would, even though it may be in his and all our best interests. <<

Take a risk doing what “surgical operation? On the Bible or Koran that would make you happy? What would be the purpose of it, and even so, are you sure it will make generations to come in thousands of years happier about it than you are now about the originals?

Or did you mean creating plastic replicas of traditional religions where you rooted out all the parts that fanatics of all generation could refer to in justifying their fanaticism often leading to all sorts of “evil deeds”? Something like artificial plants or lawn, free of all dirt and need to maintain? Or something the first little pig in my story http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=2909&page=0#66836 thought he could do?
Posted by George, Thursday, 12 September 2013 3:44:33 AM
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George wrote: “I think you can take a text seriously while still respecting the historical/cultural context in which it was written. As for applying “current standards” we used to joke that Newton would not pass our first year course on calculus (he would know nothing about the epsilon-delta approach), nevertheless we “took seriously” his contribution to mathematics and physics.”

Dear George,

I referred not to science which builds on the work of its predecessors but morality and emotion. We can assume that people in the ancient world had much the same emotions and sense of right and wrong that we have in the present day. I have been at Delphi where the ancient temples of the oracles have been preserved. There were many inscriptions that proclaimed the fact that various individuals had freed their slaves. Apparently to free a slave was considered a virtue. However, the Bible accepts slavery, and Paul enjoins the slave to serve the master faithfully. In that respect biblical morality was lacking compared to the non-biblical morality displayed at Delphi.

The pagan world did not display the intolerance towards those who had other gods that is incorporated in Scripture. Some date the beginning of the Dark Ages to the murder of Hypatia by a Christian mob. Hypatia was a pagan philosopher, mathematician, astronomer and teacher. She refused to become a Christian and her teaching violated the injunction of Paul.

KJV 1 Timothy 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

The pagan world of Alexandria allowed a woman to teach. The injunctions of Paul were immoral according to present standards and according to the pagan standards of that time and place.

“The Closing of the Western Mind” by Charles Freeman describes how the advent of Christianity destroyed the spirit of inquiry extant in the pagan world and brought about the Dark Ages.

Chinese classical philosophy developed before the Bible specifies seven emotions – joy, anger, grief, fear, love, hate, desire. That hasn’t changed.
Posted by david f, Thursday, 12 September 2013 4:40:48 AM
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Dear david f,

Thanks for the info, but I think we have been through this before. Not all historians interpret Western history - and Christianity in particular - the way you and Freeman prefer, neither do all historians interpret them in the way I am more happy with. I think most historians will agree that the development of no lasting cultural achievement or idea, including Christianity, was ever “linear”, meaning “monotonely increasing” (forgive my math jargon) towards a betterment that we today see as the ideal. You will always have ups and downs.

As for slavery, just a random search in Wikipedia will give you “Slavery becomes prevalent at the very moment when Solon establishes the basis for Athenian democracy." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_ancient_Greece). Nevertheless, ancient Greece is valued as the cradle of democracy, something we view today as positive (that the post-Christian West wants to export to the whole world not unlike their precursors who were exporting the ideas of Christendom). And democracy is not about “science which builds on the work of its predecessors”. (Besides, I think early Christians were not against slavery but against maltreatment of slaves; some were freed but many of them becoming Christians themselves like their masters did not want to leave them. Christianity, especially in those times, was about "love your neighbour" not about "fight for human rights", a slogan that would probably be incomprehensible to them. But then, I am not a historian.)

We already had here the notion of the jealous (or intolerant) God of the Abrahamic religions, especially Christianity and Islam, compared to the more “tolerant” Eastern models, a notion well articulated in the EB quote:

“The Western attitude is expressed by the words of Yahweh on Sinai: ‘You shall have no other gods before me; in the Bhagavad Gita the incarnate god Krishna says, ‘Whatever god a man worships, it is I who answer the prayer’”.

On the other hand, Arnold Toynbee speaks of the models of "God being a self-sacrificing love" and a "jealous God" having their roots in "nature-worshiping" and "man-worshiping" respectively, also within the Judaic group of religions.
Posted by George, Thursday, 12 September 2013 7:37:17 AM
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.

Dear George,

.

You wrote:

[The three little pigs:

After they learned their lesson, and all built their houses from bricks, they wanted to have some beautiful flowers in their gardens. So they went to a nursery and bought some plants. The first pig liked the flower, but not the rest, so she plucked its head and placed it on the ground in her garden. The second pig kept the flower and the stem but threw away the roots with the dirt they came in, because they were not as pretty as the flower. The third pig was wiser, she realised that the beautiful flower cannot survive for long without its roots. She planted the whole lot, mixing its dirt that clung to its roots with the soil of her own garden, etc.]

.

I hope you don’t mind if I add an epilogue to that interesting sequel you wrote to the fable of the three little pigs. It’s not long. It goes like this:

Observing this, the big bad wolf, who was furious at having burnt his bottom when the third little pig pulled his tail causing him to fall down the chimney into the cauldron of boiling water, secretly planted weeds in the third little pig’s garden at night so they would choke his beautiful flower.

Now the three little pigs were good little Christians and were absolutely convinced that the weeds had been sent by God. They tendered to them with the same loving care as the beautiful flower, not daring to raise a hand to prevent even the most insignificant and ugliest of weeds from entangling its lethal shoots around the delicate blossom in an intricate maze.

The weeds grew stronger and the once beautiful flower waned and withered until it finally died. The three little pigs became sad and forlorn, grew old and ill and were finally buried, one by one, in the garden where the flower once bloomed, never understanding why God had sent them such wicked weeds which they had faithfully protected and cared for as long as they lived.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Thursday, 12 September 2013 8:41:02 AM
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BANJO/QUOTE..<<..fanaticism,..cruelty
and..destruction..and gangrenes society.>>

fanaticism..[the zeal..for] the extreme
how extreme..removing others words/thought..from the books?

how long..before we decide..
all the prophecy..has lapsed..

[i think..the church..like the book says..
no prophecies..or that ALL prophecy..is from demons.

[thing is
its..part..of the creed..
[along with..belief..in miracles and such]
i love my wife dearly..but i dont like....blah blah..

[yet still i love her..
still..i find/her fruits..[good]..sweet..
still..value..the other..great things..that make-up..the total/whole person..[only partly holy]

i suppose..its the big/picture
i suppose..like this topic/loosely says..

duality/karma/balance..
see_no-evil

about..even a beast..knowing..its masters voice
lovers..arnt convinced..by violence..but instinctively.repulsed
know/the source..of good=inspired..of love..[revealed..by grace/mercy..

evil's..a sign..PROOF/of mans/freewill
we can see..more clearly..now..in hindsight

but..the words..a
re only preserved..because of fanatics

where the cut/off point..between cruelty..
and its finality..[ending..or the glory..in avoiding..doing the cruel/destructive things..?

gangerous societies
and fanatics justify..by taking away*[censure]
just like..the books edited out of the story already ..

..[that this fanatic..]
seems intent..of restoring..*back into
the whole story..plus the koran]..inspired from the highest/vile to the higher good..

BY EQUAL MEASURE

[karmic balance/yin-yang]..
its just one/of gods rules
[every action..has an/equal..and opposing..re action]

<<The problem..is..it is so deep-rooted
in the very heart of the “holy scriptures”>>

proving gods karmic balance law..applies to..all equally
[surely in this too..there is a sign..for any thinking man

problematic/deeply/rooted/heart of scriptures
[un-holy in part]..BUT..as balanced..by design..
as freewill..can allow

<<..that there is..a maximum/risk..of death
in/any surgical operation..undertaken to eliminate it.>>

the book's reveal..
god has tried..your remedy..many times..look at..what/that achieved..in the end?

secrets/censure..even wholesale murder*
what has any of it..changed..that karma..hasnt instantly restored?

or simple..has repentance corrected..permantly?

much..good is done..because of
our will to correct..[zealously].
what we feel..our due..of our past guilt..

god rejoices
when..we see/hear/think/say/and seek to do..no evil
but he knows..the flesh..is weak..

we fall..we get up..
we fall..and try to stay up..longer this time
but we arnt machines..[like loki nor god..the deep/thought machination]

the ultimate/EVEr..thinking
loner/lordly/loki like..thought..via life*..light/love logic..
as like..neurons/bits..living out our own*..karmic balance between good/vile]..

[betwixt..real/imagined..implied/lied..
of god..or for/..of mice and them..[men]

the middle/way/ta0
not wholly..mortal flesh/..nor dead..
but..not yet..eternal spirit/living..till..we chose/
where*..our wants..need/us to be...to be..[to be seen 2b..free]
Posted by one under god, Thursday, 12 September 2013 9:01:53 AM
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Dear George,

I appreciate your math jargon. That is a part of the language which is largely devoid of ambiguity. I also appreciate the sort of language with which one can make poetry.

We have been through this before. I guess we both enjoy the joust or we wouldn’t repeat it. I’m sure I would like you if I ever met you.

One can make what one will of Christianity or any other religion. In “The Arrogance of Faith” Wood tells how Christianity was used to justify slavery in the antebellum southern United States. Yet John Brown and William Wilberforce were dedicated Christians who found in their religion inspiration to oppose slavery.

I can find some wonderful quotes in Christianity. I particularly like, Matthew 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them and Matthew 7:3 (KJV) And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

We probably disagree on what those fruits are. I find the fruits of Christianity more bad than good. However, I think it very good advice to avoid being judgmental and to confront one’s own failings.

Religious wars are not restricted to the monotheistic religions. The current conflict in Sri Lanka seems to be driven by the Buddhist clergy in their desire to suppress the Hindu Tamils. However, the religious wars of Christianity and Islam seem to me of much greater degree.

Democracy has changed through the years. Athenian democracy which excluded women, slaves and those of foreign ancestry would be currently unacceptable. John Keane finds the cradle of democracy much earlier than Athens. You might find his book, “The Life and Death of Democracy” most interesting.

Dear Banjo,

Thanks for the porcine fable. I have sent it to my wife.
Posted by david f, Thursday, 12 September 2013 9:29:18 AM
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the three pigs..CHOSE..to build according to..their being
[yet even as pigs,,by being either pigs or pork..dont communicate easy..nor read..nor talk..

so of course them*[pigglets]..TRYING..
striving to be huh?man..did decide to build houses..like what adam got

anyhow we know the straw bail..didnt catch fire
we know the wood..was good..we know the brick..likely was stone

never the less.the story unfolded..for man
long after even the pigs forgot

anyhow..you informed us..they wanted a garden
but pigs being pigs..disected their fellow 'being'..according as their want

the first lazy..one
pulling off the head..[who built of loose straw]

the wood cutter cut it off..at the root..
but the gold digging brick builder..he got the lot

anyhow..being pigs all
they planted..the living..[ignoring] the seemingly DEAD..weed seeds

they did as they saw men do
watered the blooming lot

well..the DEAD flower stems/head's..turned into great compost
and some flower seeds fell upon..fertilized dirt

the living plant..died of..concrete poisoning
and its seeds fell..upon stony-ground..yet eventually the weed seed broke though

im told that this fable is true

its much longer of course..in the spirit realm
because..there the pigs..didnt all live at the same time/place
the story reflects our evolution..from the ignorant..into grace..

but im told..
the last words not written..in just their evolution

next come.. via the holy text..*the animal farm
and the pigs..yet further..r-evolution..unending

not the intended ending?
here is my leg..im bending..leg pulling defending

the moral..is..
it aint over till we ALL..stop trying

jonah..they
et..the whole whale tail
which of the tales dont have a lesson

the rhyme of the rosy
to the primate..of the rosery

or of a sinfull pie-man..meeting *simple simon

or alice..looking behind the curtain
of this so im told..they are certain
or the stoner/un-morphed grub..sitting in his mush-room..all alone

yet at one
with..him all alone too..yet amused endlessly..by his own loki

within..*

*vetting the expressing
of the mind-flux/flow..as it passes on..to..
the next number..one sun..[with/in..ALl..with-in everyone]
Posted by one under god, Thursday, 12 September 2013 10:19:46 AM
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.

Calling One Under God …

.

come in One Under God …

do you read me?

over !

bingo partisan to won udder goat

don’t you need me?

oh/dear !

malicious in/cite/ment..NO PLACE.. in religion

nurtures fanatic/ism..cruelty/destruction..gangrene/s society

problem..deep-rooted in the very heart of..“wholy script(y)ures”

maximum/risk/DEATH..gotcha?

surgical..operation to ELIMINATE..IT !

MY GUESS: da..vid and I t/ake

wrist(twist)...ist..fist..risky/frisky/whisky

not geo/rge..gorge..oh/no..no/go

get..it one/odour?

whata/bout..jew?

wonder/good..wonder/bra..wander/here..wander/there..rwanda/everywhere

yes/or/no

how long..before you decide..

all the prophecy..still alive..

ELIMINATE it or DIE with it...?

that is the question

Bango/Mango QUOTE:

“if you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself...”

have faith..take care..beware ..no/hair

you/r their !

“I should have been a pair of ragged/claws

scuttling across the floors of

silent seas”

time for tea...

oh/wear/in..out !

.

Bongo Platypus ...

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Friday, 13 September 2013 12:36:42 AM
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Dear Banjo,

Touché!

Nevertheless,

>>planted weeds in the third little pig’s garden<<

So it was the wise “Christian” pig, not the silly not-caring-for-tradition-only-for-its-pleasant-outgrowths pigs who were worth the wolf’s (devil’s) attention, since he knew the other two pigs will anyhow not grow anything lasting.

Obviously, my parable should have said explicitly that the gardener-pig was wise enough not only to know that his plant needed its roots to grow, but also to distinguish it from weeds, whether or not planted maliciously.

Perhaps Jesus knew of your epilogue, since he warned explicitly: “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted (through the gardener-pig), shall be rooted up” (Matthew 15:13). This rooting up could also mean a long process throughout history that we all participate, or should participate, in.
Posted by George, Friday, 13 September 2013 3:25:28 AM
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Dear david f,

>> I guess we both enjoy the joust or we wouldn’t repeat it. I’m sure I would like you if I ever met you.<<

Thanks for the compliment which I sincerely reciprocate, although I do not see our encounter as “jousting” but - at least for me - as a way to widen my own worldview by incorporating into it alternative possibilities as an antithesis leading to synthesis - a less rigid adherence to my original position.

The problem with some participants on this OLO, is that they see any opinion inspired by an opposite worldview as an argument which they must defend their position against. This can be difficult if they cannot understand what the opponent said/wrote, so derision and ridicule is their only way to respond.

>> Christianity was used to justify slavery<<

As you know, some people used Darwinism - or social Darwinism - to justify racism and nazism. I do not think you can blame Christianity or Darwinism for their misuses.

>> However, I think it very good advice to avoid being judgmental and to confront one’s own failings.<<

This is something that is - or should be - built into any religion - Christian or not, Western or Eastern.

>> Athenian democracy which excluded women, slaves and those of foreign ancestry would be currently unacceptable.<<

Our culture has not only Greek but also Judaic roots, with a huge Christian content (and some Muslim injections), so also the concept of democracy, out of its Greek roots, evolved on this wider basis.

>>John Keane finds the cradle of democracy much earlier than Athens.<<

Maybe so, but the Greeks were the first to “market it” (like Apple were not the inventors of the mouse, only the first to bring it to the computing public). Anyhow, thanks for the book. A very quick check of the Preface on amazon.com brought me to this quote that I can endorse without reading the book:

“The belief that democracy is or could be a universal Western value, a gift of Europe to the world, dies hard”.
Posted by George, Friday, 13 September 2013 6:06:10 AM
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George wrote: “As you know, some people used Darwinism - or social Darwinism - to justify racism and nazism. I do not think you can blame Christianity or Darwinism for their misuses.”

Here we differ. Both Christianity and Darwinism have been used to justify horrible things. However, I don’t think Christianity or the other monotheistic religions have been misused. The intolerance in monotheism is explicitly expressed in the Decalogue. “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.” Why shouldn’t one have the freedom to have any god or no god if one wishes? That terrible commandment has been used (not misused) to justify war, oppression and persecution of non-Christians and Christians of different opinions. There would be nothing wrong in that commandment if those who chose to follow it did not try to put it on others.

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

The above is the source of great evil.

I prefer the philosophy of Thomas Jefferson.

But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
-Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

One can also appreciate Clough’s take on the Decalogue:

Arthur Hugh Clough (1819-1861)

The Latest Decalogue

Thou shalt have one God only; who
Would tax himself to worship two?
God's image nowhere shalt thou see,
Save haply in the currency:
Swear not at all; since for thy curse
Thine enemy is not the worse:
At church on Sunday to attend
Will help to keep the world thy friend:
Honor thy parents; that is, all
From whom promotion may befall:
Thou shalt not kill; but needst not strive
Officiously to keep alive:
Adultery it is not fit
Or safe, for women, to commit:
Thou shalt not steal; an empty feat,
When 'tis so lucrative to cheat:
False witness not to bear be strict;
And cautious, ere you contradict.
Thou shalt not covet; but tradition
Sanctions the keenest competition.

continued
Posted by david f, Friday, 13 September 2013 7:54:00 AM
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banjo..you have been..one of the..steadfast
along with george..and david..who have kept this/thread interesting

my..job..as ani-mouse..
was to be..as i said

..<<..by his own loki

within..*>>..

you sort/of..found your own..loki
with-in..but arnt vetting..so maybe karmic/venting ?

oug<<..*vetting the expressing
of the mind-flux/flow..as it passes on..to..
the next number..one sun..>>>

ok..a bit obscure..but
who isnt..*number one..[in gods eyes]

so..what i tried..to put into one post..[here]

eventually..became two..
then two more..[here]
veto/me
http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=5995&page=0

but you..seem to/be
reacting to/the..4 in
peters arty piece..here
http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=15467&page=0

wheni say chist..immeaning the chist sprit..within all

you..<<[with/in..ALl..
that you..with-in everyone]

<<..Calling One Under God …
come in One Under God …
do you read me?
over..!..>>

when i read that..
i think..oh...its from banjo..the sen-sible one

but as i read on..
i..note you left out
filtering loki logic..from who knows what

here let me have a go
but recall..its by trying too hard
..to clearly indicate..what is..quote

here is what igot

partisan
to won udder goat
don’t you need me?>>..

oh/dear..banjo
we need many more like..[the old]..you

,,>>malicious in/cite/ment..>>..

there is no malice..in this site..
intended or meant

i agree..incitement
has..<<NO PLACE..in religion>>.

i agree..it..<<nurtures
<<fanatic/ism..cruelty/destruction..>>..
creating a ..<<..gangrene/s society>>

yes..its a
..<<problem..deep-rooted..
in the very heart of..“wholy script's..>>..

we wont/ever know..<<(y)>>..
yet time heals all wounds....<<..cures”>>..all

<<maximum/risk/..of DEATH..>>

death where is thy sting
let loki spring..the ..<<gotcha>>

?

a fine radical thought..
that indicates..you visited the hospital..[ingone west]

<<..surgical..operation to ELIMINATE.IT..!>>

recall they said..its just routine
Posted by one under god, Friday, 13 September 2013 8:23:40 AM
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<<MY GUESS:....da..vid and I t/ake>>

ohh..i note your having..no space bar either
plus unable to see..the smaller script..

ps the following..is as i typed it..

now i will try correct it..
to try to make it..more comprehensible
when..i try..to edit..the channeled gibberish..into what more closly resembles logic

AS..WAS WROTE

psthe following..isa as ityped it..first
then i willcorreect it..totry tocomprehend
when.youtrytomake make mmy jibberish..the channeled gibberish..intologic

i note below..again..
you have the same handicap

<<wrist(twist)...ist..fist..risky/frisky/whisky>>
and some insistent..<<fisty/feisty..risky/frisky/whisky>>...demons

<<not george..gorge..oh/no..no/go>>

me neither

<<get..it one/odour?
whata/bout..jew?>>

yes
im heading..into the casim../gorge..

not george

<<wonder/good..>>

thankyou

<<wonder/bra..>>
too good by half

<<wander/here..wander/there..>>

yes

<<rwanda/everywhere>>

no

<<yes/or/no..how long..before you decide..>>
instantly..live time all the time

wander/there
wander/here

<<..all the prophecy..still alive..>>

no..it expired..
the second..it was made known

<<ELIMINATE it or DIE with it...?>>

no..its a valid way..
to..try to reason out..or plan..for what..may occur next?

<<that is the question

Bango/Mango QUOTE:

“if you lead..your life..the right way,
the karma..will take care of itself...”>>

agreed

when you..<<have faith..take care..
beware in the end..we got ..no/hair>>..

<<you are there..!>>

thus not here.
here hear..not there

<<“I should/have..grown..a pair of ragged/claws
and be scuttling..across the floors of..silent seas”>>

funny you sound
much like those..with satan..at the fall

many..built
our own earthy bodies
but got..the scale wrong
as the beasts..of many fold design..
extinct and living..reveal..to this day

<<time for tea...

oh/we are/in..

out !
Bongo Platypus ...>>

cheers bingo..keep..smiling

imlaghingmuguts out
Posted by one under god, Friday, 13 September 2013 8:24:02 AM
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Continued

George cited: “The belief that democracy is or could be a universal Western value, a gift of Europe to the world, dies hard”.

It is a source of great conflict to try to export one’s political system to the world. Unfortunately the democratic nations have been pervaded by the Christian missionary impulse. The evil goes back to Matthew 28:19.

George wrote: “Maybe so, but the Greeks were the first to “market it” (like Apple were not the inventors of the mouse, only the first to bring it to the computing public).”

Actually the Greeks did not market democracy. It was effectively marketed by the English educational system of which the founding fathers of the US were also a product.

History as interpreted by the English educational system saw a linear tradition extending from the Greeks, Romans and flowering in the British Empire and the American Commonweal. This tradition saw the export of these ‘noble’ values in its mission to civilize the civilize the world.

The British and the Americans both saw themselves as heirs to the traditions of classical civilization.

http://www.hist.cam.ac.uk/prospective-undergrads/virtual-classroom/secondary-source-exercises/sources-whig tells of the Whig view of history which is a similar development.

Public monuments such as the Jefferson memorial modeled after the Pantheon of Rome in Washington, DC were built in the classical tradition.

Actually our culture is the product of many other influences.

Algorithm, algebra, apogee, perigee, alembic, zenith and nadir are some of the words in mathematics, chemistry and astronomy which show the influence of the Islamic world on our culture.

John Hobson in "The Eastern Origins of Western Civilisation" regards western civilisation as an offshoot of developments in Africa and Asia. The Chinese had the seed drill 2,200 years before it got to Sicily, printing with movable type in Korea 400 years before Gutenberg, blast furnaces in China 1,700 years before they were in Europe etc.

Before the nineteenth century Europe acknowledged that debt. However, in the nineteenth century Weber, a capitalist historian, and Marx, an anti-capitalist historian, denied the debt to Asia and Africa and saw the east as characterised by 'oriental despotism.
Posted by david f, Friday, 13 September 2013 8:32:34 AM
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Mathew/28/ atheist/commentary
http://atheism.about.com/od/biblegospelofmark/a/dating.htm

http://atheism.about.com/od/biblegospelofmark/a/mark12d.htm

<<..Mark was written..in an environment
where Roman rule..was a constant presence...There are many clear signs that Mark..
*has gone to great lengths..to absolve Romans of the responsibility..for Jesus’ death — even to the point of painting Pontius Pilate..as a weak, indecisive leader rather than the brutal tyrant..that everyone knew him to be.>>

my point..in quoting this..is to point out
that first written..by say matthew..ENDING..at 28;27..

<<..[now i have told you]>>

but also notice..the later edit..by same auther
at 28;10..

..<<..JESUS said;,,edit
<<..go tell my brothers*..>>

GO TELL..my..BROTHERS

now lets examin..the OTHER word..[diciple]

first/used in 28;12..
by the..elders..met with priests
to fake/up things..via saul/paul

[the word..THEY used..was disciples..
NOT the word..jesus used.."brothers*..[28;10]

ok

back to the athiest link

<<..Instead of the Romans,
Mark’s author.,.lays the blame with the Jews —
primarily the leaders..but also to the rest of the people..to a certain* degree.>>

most certainly

<<..This would have made things much easier for his audience. Had the Romans discovered a religious movement focused upon a political revolutionary executed for crimes against the state, they would have clamped down much harder than they already were doing.>>

or rather paul/saul..*was doing
hushing up the christ..still living..[in spirit]
watching/karma..as saul..by turning brothers into...disciples

its basic balance
dualism..to allow freewill

see gone west
or 30 years among the dead pdf's

<<..As it was,
a religious movement..
focused upon on obscure Jewish prophet
who broke a few irrelevant Jewish laws thus..could be largely ignored..when there weren’t direct orders..from Rome to increase the pressure.>>

because saul..
[christs mortal-enemy]..was on..the job*

creating creed*..by creating disciples*..
WHERE clearly..christ..only had...BRR-other..ie brothers*

no bother brother
Posted by one under god, Friday, 13 September 2013 9:34:08 AM
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anyhow..recall..the officer
here he commits the mortal sin

recall..he took over his enemies body
did many vile things to it..and the story continues
from his feelings..at knowing..his foe is sentenced..to death
[and BY..being filled with hatred..[dying angry]..he is thus sure..to join..him soon..

but..the officer/writes it best

<<..“Now my joy..was almost complete;..*>>

except for..karma

<<..but gradually..various/things..intervened to mar it.

He still..vowed his innocence..though
it made..no difference..*to his ultimate/fate.

Further,..his wife,..who,..in spite of,,his genuine faults,..loved him still,..and of course knew..him well,..believed him..when he declared that..he had no recollection..of all his various..misdeeds;..

she accepted..the/view
that..he had been..temporarily....insane.

“This..had the effect..of softening
his rebellious..spirit,..which at first
seemed..likely to..drag him down..at the moment..of death..*and make him join us.

The prison/chaplain..also believed him..and consoled him,
despite&..all I could do..to prevent it...In short,..when we
gathered..*at the execution,.*expecting..an angry..and revengeful
spirit..

who would be..compelled
to/join us,..and over whom..I..have control.

by having..a stronger personality,..could dominate,..
we found..quite a band..of spirits of/light..who*
surrounded him..with a guard and kept us at bay
and took him away..whither we knew not.

These events..took place..in the United States.
“Suddenly..I became aware.,.
of the fact..that a change..was taking place..*in me.

My..psychic [asytral-soul]..body
seemed..to be slipping..away..from me,
and..strive as I would.. I could not hold on/to..it.

“‘Where..am I going?..I cried
to the evil/guide..who haunted me.

“‘To Hell,’..he replied;
‘don’t you..think it’s time?’

“‘But..you said..that by doing
these things..I should keep..nourishing this psychic body?’

“‘For a time,.I said;
and so you did...Anyway,..you are leaving it..now.’

“‘What is this..other body
in which..I am clothed?’..I cried despairingly.

“‘Your spiritual body,”..he answered,
‘and in it..you will really..begin to suffer.’
“And as he spoke..I realized..how he gloated over me.

How I loathed him!..But it was..so,..
and i..was..in Hell..and not yet..at the bottom.
That,..alas!..was still to come.

But I have..written enough.tonight.

“There is a warning ..in almost
every line..of this,..so do not think
these revelations are..*unnecessary.

Study them..and think them over.
TEST them..

Mr.L.will now take control..to close.
“Good-bye..for the present. —THE OFFICER.”
Posted by one under god, Friday, 13 September 2013 3:35:05 PM
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.

Dear One Under God,

.

Thank you for that enlightening insight to your character, personality and individuality as revealed by the forum dedicated to you here on OLO entitled (incorrectly) “Veto Under One God”, which received the specific approval (for publication and debate) of Graham Young:

http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=5995&page=0

I was not aware you were such a star on OLO. The case must be quite unique.

Like many of the participants on this forum, it seems, I too sensed that I should take a step in your direction in order to get to know you a little better. Hence my somewhat gauche attempt to speak your language.

I may not have succeeded in entering your world but, at least, I got a glimpse of it and the little I saw was quite fascinating.

.

I am also grateful for your clear response to my questions which I note as follows:

[ ,,>>malicious in/cite/ment..>>..

there is no malice..in this site..
intended or meant

i agree..incitement
has..<<NO PLACE..in religion>>.

i agree..it..<<nurtures
<<fanatic/ism..cruelty/destruction..>>..
creating a ..<<..gangrene/s society>>

yes..its a
..<<problem..deep-rooted..
in the very heart of..“wholy script's..>>.. ]

I value your opinion as I do that of David and George, which are, respectively:

David f:

“Malicious incitement has every place in religion. Nothing unites believers as well as hatred of the unbeliever. This is often done while proclaiming love of the unbeliever in seeking to correct the unbeliever of error. It is at the heart of the missionary religions and present in the non-missionary religions.”

George:

“Perhaps Jesus knew of your epilogue, since he warned explicitly: “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted (through the gardener-pig), shall be rooted up” (Matthew 15:13). This rooting up could also mean a long process throughout history that we all participate, or should participate, in.”

.

(Continued) ...

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Saturday, 14 September 2013 12:00:08 AM
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.

(Continued) ...

.

These opinions were in relation to mine which I expressed initially as:

[ Re: incitement to murder, torture or hatred etc. in the bible and the quran :

The fact that it has been going on for nearly two thousand years is no excuse, in my opinion. It is about time it ceased. Better late than never. Malicious incitement has no place in religion. It nurtures fanaticism, cruelty and destruction and gangrenes society.

The problem is it is so deep-rooted in the very heart of the “holy scriptures” that there is a maximum risk of death in any surgical operation undertaken to eliminate it.” ]

Which I later illustrated in my epilogue to the parable George wrote as a sequel to the fable of the three little pigs:

http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=15257#267429

.

Perhaps I am mistaking my desires for reality, but I can’t help feeling it is possible that our four individual opinions could be interpreted as converging towards something resembling a consensus ... whether fact or faith based.

And so the curtain falls:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTJZHxdviKA

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Saturday, 14 September 2013 12:15:57 AM
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Dear david f,

>>However, I don’t think Christianity or the other monotheistic religions have been misused.<<

I suspect one could similarly find something in Darwinism that could be interpreted as necessarily leading to racism.

With atheism it is not so easy, since there is no “sacred book” of atheism, but heaps of arguments have been written claiming that the Communist (and to a lesser extent also Nazi) atrocities are due to the absence of the idea of a “loving God watching over you”. This in spite of the fact, that for many Christians and Muslim this idea was (and unfortunately still is) impotent since it was overshadowed by the model of a jealous God, easily succumbing to intolerant models (see my Toynbee quote).

Bad things were done in the name of Christianity by people who claimed to be Christians. Today no Christian will deny that. However, when some time ago I wrote here (from my own experience) about the bad things done in the name of atheism by people who claimed to be atheists I received a number of outraged replies in the sense that the Communists did not have the right to call themselves atheist because the good atheists disagreed with what the bad people calling themselves atheists did in the name of atheism.

So much for the imbalance in accepting honestly that bad things were committed by SOME believers in (the Abrahamic model of) God as well as by SOME of those who had no God to believe in.

Another thing is “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.” This is just what is referred to as the jealous God (or model of God). The quote from EB does not compare it with having many gods, but with quoting Krishna as saying he will not punish you for praying to the false god (or false model of God) but will simply overlook your mistake, and answer your prayers himself.

(ctd)
Posted by George, Saturday, 14 September 2013 5:56:29 AM
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(ctd)

That is a “bird’s eye view” at the difference, and you rightfully pointed out, that conflicts between religions exist also in the East.

An Australian citizen could also be told (archaically) “Though shall not pay income tax to any other authority before ATO”. Or a parent telling his/her child not to trust strangers. There are many situations where “de gustibus non est disputandum” does not hold.

I agree with the Jefferson quote since he does not claim to be God or have any direct responsibility for his neighbour.

>>Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations <<

Well, I was sort of proud that I was “teaching all (engineering students coming from East Asian) nations” mathematics and thus indirectly “baptizing” them into our Western culture, since I shared the conviction that it was good for them. Perhaps this is what Jesus and his followers thought.

You don’t seem to challenge my agreement with the Keane quote. I agree that “marketing” was not the right word to express the entry of the idea of democracy into what became Western culture. Also I do not think Gutenberg copied the idea of printing with movable type from the Koreans (unless you can prove me wrong). The same about blast furnaces in China. And algorithm, algebra etc that we inherited from Arabs was developed into heights of sophistication and usefulness, whereas they remained stale in their culture of origin.

For Christendom, Judaism was an essential part of its roots as well as its development into what it is now, whereas Islamic influence was, as I put it, just an injection from the outside. I suppose one could trace Christian (and Judaic) influence also in the Islamic world, but it was not so essential for their development into what that world is now, “five minutes” before a total globalization of our planet.
Posted by George, Saturday, 14 September 2013 6:00:27 AM
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dear banjo..thank you..for your kind/words
i also..need thank olo/grayham..for the..only friends..i could claim to have regular contact with

i..have always been..the outsider..
[you know..that kid..that was at school.one day
gone the next..[i often see..these school reunions..thinking..i could..easily go to one every 4 weeks

but even..that would involve..too much travel-time..as after beginning school in oz..4 schools in 3 years..my parents then returned home[to netherlands..where i did 3 years of education..in 4 more schools[in dutch]

we came back,,i commenced high school.[in english]...but having
missed..the important..informative..early years..[where my peers learned the vowels..etc]..only completed 4 years...in five schools..before..giving formal education a miss

anyhow..in time..i found books..a comfort..reading them..
till i found a word..i didnt grasp..then looking it up..in a dictionary..reading re;reading it again/again..till i could..SEE..what the words union..was saying..in toto

i couldnt care less..about the spelling..
as long as i had..the right meaning

in time i discovered..thesaurus..and most recently..spell check function..my seeing has...grown.....yet man is no island..*knowing obli-gates us...[ob-lie-gees?..us]..

groan..
anyhow..where some..see the words spelling..i prefer to know why
that word..was used..not the other one..[take for eg-sample..your vidio's words

<<Off comes,the make up>>
where..did the auther..get..that line from
did it inspirer the clown..or some clown..inspire..the first

<<Off comes..the clown's disguise>>
and we see the real adjenda
<<The curtain's fallin'
The music softly dies.>>

some thing has ended
without really knowing why
yet without bitterness

<<But I hope your smilin'>>

so..it was the clown..or dropping some pre-tense
that shut things down..chased this other away
[i dun it many times]

<<As you're filin' out the door
As they say in this biz
That's all there is... there isn't anymore.

We've shared a moment
And as the moment ends
I got a funny feelin'
We're parting now as friends.>>

i hate endings..
especially..when good threads die

im missing

<<Your cheers and laughter will linger after
They've torn down these dusty walls

If I had this to do again
And the evening were new again
I would spend it with you again>>

But now the curtain falls.

Your cheers..and laughter..
will linger on ever after

[linger on for so long..
as a joy..in my mind..as if made into..song]
Posted by one under god, Saturday, 14 September 2013 8:45:54 AM
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They've torn down these dusty walls
People say I was made for this

Nothin' else would I trade..for this
And just think..we DONT..get paid for this.

[thankgod..the versing is over]

here is more..i soon post at the veto thread
cause..im driven..to finish something

ps..we only see..our own greatness
once we see greatness,in other.,.

true/greatness..is what we chose todo..,or not do
with the gifts..we already got*..others words are real for me
for me..life is a constant barter of powers..here expressed in-words

[my only value system..is words]
s/words wounded me..so i examined..what the words really meant
rather than assuming..they knew their meanings too[path of least pain]

but here i am..talking of me again
this is my task..i gave myself today

inspired..by this line
.This idea is worth applying ..to our
understanding..of the baptismal formula.

the short reply?

<<Requiring anything..in addition to..faith i
n Jesus Christ..for salvation is a works-based..or authoritarian dependency../paternalistic form of salvation.

To add anything to the gospel
is to say that Jesus' death on the cross
was not sufficient..to purchase our salvation...>>

YET

as if scape goating..hasnt been refuted..
by christs return..[proving no judgment day..[nor resection day..]

just the eternal promise..[more shall be a given]

jesus said..that ye see me do..
you will do greater*..

WITNESS the proof....resections*

http://new-birth.net/booklet/Gone_West.pdf
http://new-birth.net/booklet/Life_in_the_World_Unseen.pdf

ps..jesus did write stuff too..[a course in miracles]
which i..occasionally..make comment upon
http://www.celestinevision.com/celestine/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3337&sid=7d03b0b5151b51611b684494ce008f9c
my latest..point..[re acim]..was the course..says revise..then dont talk..of the whole lessons revision
http://www.celestinevision.com/celestine/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3711&sid=7d03b0b5151b51611b684494ce008f9c
anyhow..my life has been in..trying to figure out..
what the heck..is being said..in what context

i see myself as the joke../others as the joker
thing is who..who knows..who cares..there are things that need explaining

here is that next step?

http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=15467&page=0
Posted by one under god, Saturday, 14 September 2013 8:46:33 AM
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George wrote: With atheism it is not so easy, since there is no “sacred book” of atheism, but heaps of arguments have been written claiming that the Communist (and to a lesser extent also Nazi) atrocities are due to the absence of the idea of a “loving God watching over you”. This in spite of the fact, that for many Christians and Muslim this idea was (and unfortunately still is) impotent since it was overshadowed by the model of a jealous God, easily succumbing to intolerant models (see my Toynbee quote).

Dear George,

I see both Communism and Nazism as coming from Christianity. Both are essentially millenarian philosophies. Of course millenarianism is found in other places besides Christianity, but the particular variety of it in both Communism and Nazism proceeds from Joachim of Fiore by way of Hegel. I think I’ve gone into detail on this matter before.

To me a much more important difference than that between monotheistic belief and atheism is that between faith and doubt or between skepticism and faith. A Communist or Nazi may have as much faith and devotion to their ideology as does a religious monotheist. A much more important difference is also whether one’s religion or ideology can override common decency or humanity.

I used to belong to the Humanist Society of Queensland. I left it because one of the member approved of the Chinese persecution of Christians, and most of the other members agreed with him. I rejoined the society some years later when that element had left. The Chinese persecution of Christians did not seem too different to me from the Inquisition’s persecution of heretics or the Nazi persecution of Jews. All three persecutions had the common element of disregarding the humanity of the persecuted.

To me an enemy of humanity is faith in one’s rightness or possibly even faith in general. A sincere faith in atheism and a sincere will to put it on other people is to me as noxious as a sincere faith in Christianity and a sincere will to put it on other people.

Missionaries. Ugh!
Posted by david f, Saturday, 14 September 2013 10:46:45 AM
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Angels..are..gods/presence...
his..servants..of service..to..life.

They..are often..assigned/earthly..life-long missions.
[but usually..only..on call/or..by sign..or design]

At..all times..they bring
a..messages..seeking..to awake..humanity...

Seldom..does the..*presence..of an..inactive/bored/rejected angel..stay..on the material/plane..[in Earthly..entangled-energy fields]..for very long.

our evil/thoughts..alone..drain..their energetic/being
with good thoughts..chasing bad/angels away..
as much as bad..drives the good away

What..you may think..of as..a guardian/angel
is not..truly..likely to/be..the only one angelic form...
often they play..tag..as..our emitting..of..*mixed emotions drives..away..one[or the other]

There are..many such..beautiful..beings..that
come and go..through..*your lifetime...all equally as..unseen..as the demons..and angels..we often..do..entertain..unawares

You will..always/have access,..to the presence..
of the Angelic Kingdom...A thought..sent out..will always*..bring the immediate presence....of an angelic/being...

according as..what
its believing..your really needing

This..is why..so often..Archangel-Michael..has
said..‘we send the angels out..and the.. come back to us..and they say..what are we to do?..Humanity..doesn’t ask..specifically..for our help.’

Angels..are always here
the moment..you ask..for help...
but/not for..utter selfish..material/reason

They..can clear..obstacles..for you...in the moment
but cant..over-rule..ignorance/stupidity

Know..that their purpose..to do so
is..limited..to that..they can do..

[think who is..to loose
their/cash..so you can get..*cash..]

they CANT..defy..the law..of reason/logic..nor karma

and..that it is..your divine/right
to ask*..for that help...but have you even tried..to?

Angels..also often/times..can change..the vibrational/energy field..that is..around you.[not..he one..you created]

The..vibrational/field..that surrounds you
is..created mainly..by your physical..emotions..attracting..like thinking..[only you..can will 2change..your own thinking].

Your emotions..are the greatest..and first line of offence as much as defense[of your ego system... Emotions are germane..to your perceptions of gods universe..and to humanity.

You..created them*..to determine..your present reality

if/you are safe..Other vibrational/form..find your emotive/emmisions to be..fascinating[energizing]..even though..they.[or rather..their karmic-balance]..often seek..to control..and limit

your true-power...
free-choice..for good..
[or..to be..fair..or foul]

Angels..do not have..obvious/emotions..
they=..have learned..not to judge[anyone]

trusting..that gods..inherent good..in time
will..develop..its intended-fruit..even in..the most revile-able

They..are not..subject..to that vibration.
but..innately affected..by it.
http://new-birth.net/booklet/30_years_among_the_dead.PDF

.many..love song..that..isnt discordant..
yet..others rejoice in it..for angels come..of many/form..and function..serving according as/to..their want/need..even creed..in deed

"He,..of the/Spirit..of love/grace/mercy
(Angel)..of truth...will..guide you..into all truth;..for He shall not speak of Himself;..

but..[speak]..
whatsoever..He shall..hear,..
that shall/He speak:..(John 16:13).

The Angels..being..closely associated..with/inspiration..
the Comforter-Angel..now largely achieves..His aims through..the written word..He has inspired...

"Things to come"
were shown us..by..the Comforter

The Comforter..was to make known
everything..that was made knowable..to Him

my comforters..revealed/unveiled..much

http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=15257&page=0
you all..thank/you
Posted by one under god, Saturday, 14 September 2013 10:54:31 AM
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George wrote: “Well, I was sort of proud that I was “teaching all (engineering students coming from East Asian) nations” mathematics and thus indirectly “baptizing” them into our Western culture, since I shared the conviction that it was good for them. Perhaps this is what Jesus and his followers thought.”

Dear George,

You can be justly proud. However, you had not gone to them. They had come to you. There’s a tremendous difference between impressing your faith or ideas on others and their deciding to learn from you.

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

There is nothing explicit or implied in the above about leaving others alone if they do not want to come to you. Your teaching doesn’t seem at all what Jesus and his followers thought.

Even if you had set up universities in foreign countries it would still be optional whether people would attend.

The Christian mob who murdered Hypatia showed no respect for her right to maintain her beliefs. Unfortunately, the missionary impulse has often gone from expounding one’s beliefs to murdering those who do not wish to accept them. Martin Luther was initially friendly to Jews. When they did not become Lutherans he made diatribes against them which the Nazis printed in their newspapers.

I have headed technical groups. Those who solved problems in those groups used the scientific method to do so. However, I am not going to a tribal village as missionaries do and tell the villagers they must accept and use the scientific method.

I have been bugged by missionaries. JWs and Mormons come to my door. Even a relative who has become a fundamentalist Christian wanted me to ‘hear the words of Christ.’ I think they are following Matthew 28:19.

I do not wish missionaries harm, but I find them noxious. However, they seem to be in the spirit of Jesus and many of his followers.
Posted by david f, Saturday, 14 September 2013 11:38:38 AM
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Dear david f,

I wrote “heaps of arguments have been written claiming that the Communist (and to a lesser extent also Nazi) atrocities are due to the absence of the idea of a 'loving God watching over you'". I did not quote any such arguments even less defend them. The same for arguments that Nazism was a by-product of social of Darwinism. You, on the other hand, “see both Communism and Nazism as coming from Christianity” and elaborate on that opinion. These are all different opinions, interpretations of history and I think they are all legitimate: you see an object better if it is illuminated from more directions. And - for the x-th time - I am not a historian to adjudicate about the relative weight of these different perspectives.

I have read carefully what you wrote about faith, Christianity and ateism. I appreciate your sincerity and am not going to take it sentence by sentence to give an alternative opinion/argument, since you surely know they exist.

Nevertheless, a superficial reaction to that quoted statement of yours would be that of course they came from Christianity (and not from Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism etc) since they are both products, or rather excrements, of our Western civilization which for over a millennium was developing under the guidance - you might prefer spell - of Christianity.

(ctd)
Posted by George, Sunday, 15 September 2013 6:00:49 AM
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(ctd)

>>However, you had not gone to them. They had come to you.<<

You are right, I did not recruit them to come to study in Australia, that was the job of others. There are many ways of “going and teaching” adults or children, in our century or in the past centuries. Western doctors still go to Africa to teach about health etc.

As for Catholics, there are not many Western missionaries left going to what used to be colonies; Africa etc have their own, native born, local hierarchies. Actually, these former missionary lands send “missionaries”, i.e. priests, to Western countries. In my parish in Melbourne there was one from Philippines, here in Cologne one from India.

However, you are right that the Church must stop taking verbatim the “teaching all nations” which was possible while the Christian teacher was in many respects above the natives: missionaries acted also as doctors, builders, carpenters, legal advisers etc. With contemporary atheists the question is not of “teaching” them but of entering with them in a mutually rewarding dialogue (and “evangelize” only when asked for by “seekers”). Benedict XVI encountered in this way only some atheist intellectuals, Francis is trying to dialoque with all atheists, although this requires good will on both sides (see e.g. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/the-pope/10302850/Pope-Francis-reaches-out-to-atheists-and-agnostics.html).
Posted by George, Sunday, 15 September 2013 6:04:22 AM
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extracted..from..george..'link
http://www.repubblica.it/cultura/2013/09/11/news/sintesi_lettera_bergoglio-66283390/?ref=HREA-1

at topic
http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=15257&page=0

popes full letter*

http://www.repubblica.it/cultura/2013/09/11/news/sintesi_lettera_bergoglio-66283390/?ref=HREA-1

please note..the..key..word is trust*
[atheist association says..]

<<.."What interests non-believers..
is certainly not 'forgiveness'..from an entity...*whose existence..we do not trust.">>

can we indeed TRUST*..in..forgiveness?
can we trust..associations/newspaper?
can we trust..the pope/church..people claiming toSPEAK..for them..or you?

<<..The Pope wrote:

"The question..for those..who do not believe in God
is to follow..their own conscience.>>..

or the crowd/fashion/peers?

i would tend to agree..because
god does..lie with*in...us all..sustaining...each of us our lives

and
we each*..have our own..parts to play out..in the book...of life

w