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The Forum > General Discussion > What is Life?

What is Life?

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In a conversation The other day someone brought up the topic of the difference between world views regarding science and religion. But the topic to break the ice between the two world views I think goes beyond just those two foundations.

So here is the question for anyone interested. Plus a follow up question, because I think it's needed to be asked to encourage us and keep us going.

By your views or discription what is life? And what makes it worth living? (Or has made it worth living)?
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 1:31:46 AM
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Not_Now.Soon,

It was me! It was me!

I can see what you are doing. You are trying to take the heat off OzSpen.

The question was directed to OzSpen and I invited him to debate the topic of LIFE.

And you have twisted the topic to make it look as if the topic is LIFE as a lived in experience instead of LIFE the biological entity.

So for anybody interested in putting forward a scientific or religious view of LIFE it is the biological LIFE under discussion, not the lived in experience LIFE because the latter is just a ploy by Not_Now.Soon to recruit converts to his religious agenda.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 9:37:26 AM
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PS I will start by repeating what I said the OzSpen: I see LIFE as a water-based feeder.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 9:41:55 AM
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Mr Opinion: "I see LIFE as a water-based feeder."

What is that meant to mean? Perhaps you could expand on this a bit so that simpletons like me could understand it.
Posted by thinkabit, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 9:49:13 AM
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Life is when you're not dead !
The meaning of life depends on your social status & the degree of freedom your oppressors afford you !
Posted by individual, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 9:53:37 AM
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Interesting question, What is Life.

For myself, I can't possibly explain it with any certainty. I tend to just go with the flow and don't waste my limited brain cells of unanswerable questions that philosopher types may flog themselves over.

But briefly, while I note the study of the evolution of our planet and life, it still leaves the question about how life started .

According to the religions, which I neither believe or rule out, they have offered some explanation and an effort to define our purpose.

Having said that I am only familiar with the Bible and New Testament, and am hardly that well versed. Pretty simple book really, as would be the case written so long ago.

What I do believe, given that life exists and its various life forms seek to prosper/survive from mammals to viruses, is that we humans have prime responsibility/ability to ensure that the balance stays right in terms of getting economic, social and environmental balance right.

While we operate as self-interested individuals (my belief), our life form can and will cooperate when it is in our interest to do so. The cavemen realised pretty early that cooperation was needed to hunt and survive.

And God, or any other unproven entity or claim, will have very little to do with our chances of success on very complex life issues, besides offering a nice message in terms of reminding us to be nice and help one another
Posted by Chris Lewis, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 10:00:03 AM
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To Opinion.

It was clear in the other discussion OzSpen wanted to continue on the topic he started that was barely discussed.

If you wanted the topic to continue in a respectful manner, you could have started the topic yourself with the phrasing and conditions you wanted presented for the topic.

As for me, I made life it's own didpscusdion, and added a second question to it. My reasoning (not that you want to know) is because of another few articles that go on the dance of being fed up with Covid madness, even to say that it is leading to higher suicide rates.

I don't know if that article had any studies or accurate infor to base that on, but regardless, I included the second question here for the reason of encouragement in the state of the world.

If you don't like it, once again, you could have started this topic on your own terms earlier. Deal with it.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 10:06:23 AM
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To Chris Lewis,

Looks like you've got a good chunk to consider on Life. But let's make it simplier. At least for now. How life began first assumes an answer of what life is.

For instance, is having a consciousness what it means to have life? If so what does that mean for those in a coma, or potentially unconscious for long periods of time. Is the earth alive? Or the sun alive? Depending on a person's view of what it means to be alive. It might be a textbook definition of the criteria for being alive (organic) versus being a non living substance (inorganic). On the other hand life could be a simple statement of not being dead, or a statement of having a soul, and having an awareness around you. Or something else entirely.

Just some thoughts to see if I can get your thought on what life means, or what it means to be alive.

As to the second question. What makes life worth living. Three things pop into mind. My wife, my cats, and God. The first two because during this time my wife and my cats are who I see everyday and keep me going. And the third, God has been there several times in my life to make it worth living. Guess I don't have a purpose greater then that then for what keeps me going, but if you know of a purpose in life for yourself. Then good on you.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 10:32:23 AM
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"Life is when you're not dead."

I like that Individual. Simple and streight to the point.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 10:33:16 AM
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For my first three decades, gave little thought about what made life worth living.

As a kid, just tried to make friends and fit in somehow. Ended up being class idiot in High School and wasted my school work years.

As a young adult, just worked in a factory, and lived for sports training, horse gambling, and having sex.

I was always a thinker though, and was interested in current affairs.

But in real terms, I had no purpose at all beyond my own gratification. I did not save, and lived for the day. Probably used a lot of people, although I was not conscious I was doing so until I was older.

I do not remember thinking about the purpose of life until my mid-30s. I just lived and survived with little support from anyone.

Longstanding Girlfriends and university study from my early 30s changed my life though.

As I have got older, I find I do think more the purpose of life.

I often wake up and remind myself you can lose your desire to live if you don't have a purpose.

So, now life is still simple, but different. I recognise I have failed to do much more to help others, something I would like to rectify more.

But, I still train hard at sport for masters competitions, albeit constantly dealing with injuries; I still gamble on the weekends, albeit, I don't risk my middle class wealth which I have built up with my mrs for the last 18 years; I write sport and politics articles, and love watching and listening to sport, movies, music and current affairs.

And, of course, bringing up my 11 year old daughter in her important high school years, is a major life aim. So far she is kicking goals, winning a part-scholarship to a Anglican school.

So life to me is about keeping busy with whatever legitimate purposes that turn you on, and trying to make a positive contribution to those you seek to interact with.
Posted by Chris Lewis, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 10:34:47 AM
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What is life? What is the meaning of life? I think just about everyone would have asked themselves the question, particularly when they are in their cups. What I KNOW , not just think, is that nobody has come up with answer, and nobody ever will. Except for individual, who states the obvious:).
Posted by ttbn, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 10:38:45 AM
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Individual,

I don't remember being oppressed by anyone.

All I remember, when young, was having life choice and picking bad ones.

In Australia, we are hardly oppressed.
Posted by Chris Lewis, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 10:49:24 AM
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Not Now Soon

Before coming to faith in Christ life to me was all about fitting in, eating, drinking and being merry. In many ways it was easy to fit in with the 'group think' however I never felt I belonged to it. Now life is about loving God and loving people which is much easier said than done. As one of only two in my extended family who have faith in Christ I hope to leave a legacy of hungering after truth rather than just accept the secular lies fed to them daily. After barely getting through school my 3 children are highly educated (dr's first class honors etc) and accomplished sportsman. Strangely enough I count it all rubbish if they miss out on eternal life. Life reconciled to my Creator after being such a wretch helps me appreciate daily all the blessings God has poured out on this nation and especially me and my family.
Posted by runner, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 11:20:31 AM
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thinkabit,

Think a bit. What is it that all life forms from the simplest bacteria to plants and to us humans all do in common? Don't we all spending our lives feeding?

Bacteria feed off the dead, plants make their own food, and we humans feed off other life that either make their own food or feed off those like us. We are all feeding.

And that's the reason I depict life as a feeder.

Water based because life originated in water. Some life is still tied to water; plants were the first to colonise land and adapted by making their own food from their physical environment; animals followed that could feed off the established plants; and then animals including us that could beed off both plants and animals.

And that's the reason I say water-based.

And what's driving this? Evolution, constantly surveying the environment and adapting life's cells to exist in the physical surrounds.

That's the way I see it.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 12:18:42 PM
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I like that Mr Opinion
Posted by Chris Lewis, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 12:43:11 PM
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Chris,

My typing is a bit sloppy and I should take the time to edit things before posting but I think the point I am making is clear that I present Life in a scientific view.

I have challenged OzSpen to give a religious view of Life and engage in a debate on the scientific v the religious perspective. I doubt if he will because he has too much to lose.

The offer goes to anybody wanting to give a definition of Life from a religious view.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 1:15:03 PM
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I don't believe there is any meaning to life, other than what you give it. I have always believed that you could do & be anything you wanted, if you wanted it enough, with the proviso that only those who have some ability will want to exceed, rather than enjoy an activity.

At school I was a pillar of society, a member of the football, cricket & debating teams, & CUO of the cadet core. I knew what I need to get a university scholarship, & did what was necessary.

After a couple of years I decided I did not want to be a General Motors engineer, & joined the Navy to learn to fly off aircraft carriers. There is nothing much to equal your first landing on an aircraft carrier. If you are a good pilot, you don't control a plane with your hands & feet, but with your feelings & mind. Sure your hands & feet are doing something, but you are unaware of it, you think what you want the plane to do, & it does it. You are flying & you feel it in your whole body. Once experienced you want more of that feeling of being part of something.

After an injury I cane out of the navy & went motor racing. Racing a car offered that same feeling of being part of something. After 6 years I won the Formula 1 feature race at Bathurst, & finish second in the Australian gold star series, our Formula One Championship. I was good, but others were better. I retired once I'd found this. I was happy to have got to my best.
Continued.
Posted by Hasbeen, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 1:20:24 PM
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Continued
I went sailing. Surfing a 40Ft yacht down a big ocean swell in a gale offers as much feeling as all the rest, I did 53,000 miles around the pacific in that yacht, & it was fantastic. Surfing a wave, or ghosting along in the light breezes of the doldrums are equally satisfying.

Then I met that woman. She was a great sailor, but wanted to be a mother, & started filling the boat up with kids. My eldest had sailed a few thousand miles by her first birthday. At 5 she wanted a pony, & a few years later I was back to horses my school boy love, & training show jumpers for that daughter. A little later the son was racing go carts. Now it was the feeling, a little nervous this one, of watching your kids show jumping & racing.

Yes for me life is all about feelings, rather than thinking. After all, we know the answer don't we? The hitchers Guide to the Galaxy told us the answer to the cosmos is 46. What more do you need?
Posted by Hasbeen, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 1:21:24 PM
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Did I just hear someone say:

"That's it! That's Life! I'm just a feeder? The meaning of Life is to be a feeder?"
Posted by Mr Opinion, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 1:22:55 PM
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Hasbeen,

And just when you were about to bring your fighter into land on the deck of the aircraft carrier you suddenly woke up and realised it wasn't a joy stick you had in your hand (well not the sort of joy stick one finds on a plane anyway.)
Posted by Mr Opinion, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 1:27:21 PM
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Misopinionated,

Do you mean either/or or do you perceive that some viewpoints may be somewhere in between ? As I understand it, Newton - as well as devising the Laws of Thermodynamics which apply more or less throughout the universe (or did until Einstein invented relativity) - was not just very religious but also believed in aspects of the occult. And alchemy too. Yes, I know, people are weird.

And many of us atheists and agnostics can have empathy with believers, to the extent that we can try (and maybe succeed) to see the world as believers may see it, to at least see where they are coming from, to try to get on the same (or a similar) page.

As you get older and move up from TAFE, and towards actual higher study, you may realise that there is more than either-or in the way people (perhaps most of us) think.

Joe

PS. Just kidding about Einstein inventing relativity, before anybody explodes with indignation and deep knowledge.
Posted by loudmouth2, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 1:29:41 PM
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"I don't believe there is any meaning to life, other than what you give it. I have always believed that you could do & be anything you wanted, if you wanted it enough, with the proviso that only those who have some ability will want to exceed, rather than enjoy an activity".

I like that a lot. Well said.
Posted by Chris Lewis, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 1:31:24 PM
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//Just kidding about Einstein inventing relativity, before anybody explodes with indignation and deep knowledge.//

//Newton - as well as devising the Laws of Thermodynamics//

Nice one, Joe. :)
Posted by Toni Lavis, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 1:51:44 PM
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All I remember, when young, was having life choice and picking bad ones.
Chris Lewis,
Well, I never chose to get robbed on several occasions & never chose to to be laid off work because of some idealists ruining the economy !
I never chose to gallivant around the Globe & bring back a decease either ! I never chose for an army of bureaucrats to put up hurdles around people !
Posted by individual, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 1:53:19 PM
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Nearly all living things share certain basic
characteristics. These characteristics include:

1) reproduction
2) growth
3) metabolism
4) movement
5) responsiveness
6) adaptation

Not every organism exhibits all these features
and even nonliving things may show some of them.
However, these characteristics as a group outline the
basic nature of living things.

The human life force seems at first sight to be purely
a matter of biology.

But the sequence of birth, childhood, maturity, old
age, and death is also a social one, for its length,
stages, challenges, and opportunities depend very much
on the society in which one lives.

How long we live for example is
strongly influenced by social as well as biological factors.

In modern industrialised societies we associate the idea
of death with the aged, but in traditional pre-industrialised
societies more people died in childhood than in old age.

Thanks to such social factors as modern medicine, improved
nutrition, and higher standards of sanitation, infectious
diseases such as smallpox, diphtheria and cholera no
longer kill more than half of all children before the age
of ten.

Every society imposes its own conceptions of a life course upon
the physical process of growing up and growing old.
Consequently the period from birth to death is arbitrarily
sliced up into a series of stages. Each offering distinctive
rights and responsibilities to the relevant age group.

The number, length, and content of these stages vary from
one society to another. But each society must socialise
its members into accepting and effectively performing
their changing roles of each stage in the sequence from early
childhood until death.
Posted by Foxy, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 1:56:15 PM
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LOUDmouth,

Congratulations! You almost understood what I have been saying.

Signed, your favourite Arts grad.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 2:22:26 PM
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Foxy,

I think you would make a great sociologist. I know you have done cultural studies and you definitely have a working knowledge of classical sociology viz Marx, Weber and Durkheim.

Your list of characteristics associated with LIFE all point to one thing: FEEDERS.

We're all, including plants, animals, viruses, etc., just a bunch of feeders.

I think it is a good definition and one that explains the presence of Life: Why are we here? Because we're feeders. It's that simple.

Haven't you wondered why Life regenerates at the onset of Spring? Why not the end of Autumn?

Why are we 60% water? Why are our tears salty?

But of course the advantage we humans have over other life forms who compete for food is as you have described above, CULTURE. So we have advanced beyond being mere feeders. But for how long?
Posted by Mr Opinion, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 2:44:02 PM
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NNS asked in his opening post what has made life
worth living?

Living has made life worth it.

The relationships I have created with members of
my family and the way I maintain and build
those relationships add meaning to my life.
Same goes for friends, neighbours, and others.

Helping is another factor in my life that is important
to me. Being able to lend a hand to people in need
however drastic or trivial it may be. Sometimes all
that's needed is being a good listener.

Working towards achieving goals - gives my life
meaning. As does growing, learning new things,
improving my knowledge. Also imagining new
possibilities finding humour and joy, playing with
my grand-children. Letting go of restraints.

And much much more.
Posted by Foxy, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 3:50:23 PM
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Well, my life compared to most herein, is essentially unremarkable. I've only ever had two occupations - the Military with two tours overseas; Malay/Thai Border, and South Vietnam. After my military days, I joined the police force and spent the next over 32 years in that job, with the pleasure of locking up several of NSW most dangerous criminals.

Now I'm nearly eighty, I await my call at the front door of God's waiting room. Is there any point in life? I dunno? I look at my friend and fellow contributor HASBEEN, and his very full life, and I wonder, did I miss out someone along the way?
Posted by o sung wu, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 4:34:47 PM
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Dear O Sung Wu,

You've had a remarkable life.

My wish is that you'd write a book about
what you went through both about your experiences
as a police officer and your war experiences.

I for one would gladly buy and read it.

Take care.
Stay safe.
Posted by Foxy, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 4:42:14 PM
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Hi there FOXY...

That's the nicest thing you've ever said to me. I'm too stunned at making any further comment about it, other than to again offer my sincerest thanks to you, for saying it. You and I have had some scrapes along the way in the past, but thankfully nothing too serious. My only regret, I wish I had at least quarter of your intellectual ability; You being so well-read and educated - And worldly if truth be known! As you've lived and worked in the USA for some years. Take care dear FOXY, and thank you once again. I hope your health has much improved since last we spoke, some seven or eight months ago and you were to take a break from The Forum.
Posted by o sung wu, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 5:02:47 PM
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Dear O Sung Wu,

I have learned so much from you on this forum.
We haven't agreed on things many times - bu
you've taught me to see things from a different
perspective. I look upon you as a friend. You've got
a big heart and you've always been there for me when
I needed support. Thank You for asking about my health.
It's a work in progress. But I don't give up easily.
And every time I'm knocked down - I get up again.
I refuse to be defeated. And so far so good.

Of course I've got great family support. Especially a
very patient husband. I also have the forum.
I don't know what I'd do without it. It keeps me going.
And is challenging at times which is good.

Take care
Stay safe.
Posted by Foxy, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 5:19:16 PM
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Yes, Foxy nothing like some mind stimulation.

When I first wrote on OLO years ago, I was initially stunned by the comments, some I initially thought were a bit harsh.

But, I soon realised how great OLO was. As someone who likes to write opinion pieces, it is great to get critical feedback.

I know it improves you.

One of the first I took notice of was Hasbeen, who was both critical and fair
Posted by Chris Lewis, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 5:30:17 PM
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My Christian contribution

God is father

When God created the human species, He breathed into humans, the image of His spirit, and we gained spiritual life [Genesis 1: 27]. Note the text says and man became, indicating this happened after being created from natural chemistry. We were now not just another animal [cp Genesis 2: 20], because we gained a creative moral spirit that could identify, retain, and discern abstract difference. God’s spirit in us was to be the creative impact and moral quality of life we were to have while living [breathing]. It is the moral life of God in us. Our spirits came from God and to God it will return, either to a quality of life eternal or an everlasting separation because we failed to accept and live the righteousness of God. [Jesus said of those that wanted to murder him, “If God was your father ye would accept me” John 8: 42]. Why would we love Jesus? We would love him because of his moral purity. We were separated from God because of selfishness, and unless born again of His Spirit we continue to be separated [John 3: 3 - 13].

Our bodies are to be a dedicated place of worship, 1 Corinthians 3: 16, “We are the temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwells in us”.

The body is merely temporally formed from earth chemistry, borrowed from the earth, and continuously renewed by other plant and animal life. So, what is really us? It's the impact of our life lived [our spirit’s History]. God is father of all human spirits, including the spirit of Christ Jesus [Jesus said John 20: 17b, “I ascend unto my Father, and your father; my God and your God”]. 1 Corinthians 15: 47. The scripture gives contrast between the failed actions of Adam and the righteousness of Jesus who was the Christ [Romans 5: 14 and 1 Corinthians 15: 22, 45] In John 1: 1 Jesus is called the word, meaning the very expression of God; the righteous life coming out of the mind and heart of God.
Posted by Josephus, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 5:55:10 PM
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Genesis 2: 7, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living [spiritual] being”.
Job 33: 4, “The Spirit of God [YHWH]has made me, And the breath of the Almighty [my king] gives me life.
Ecclesiastes 12: 7, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it”
Genesis 6: 3, “And the Lord said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for he also is flesh: yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty years.”
Numbers 16: 22a ‘Then they fell on their faces, and said, "O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh."
Hebrews 12: 9, 10, “Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?
10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them,
but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.”
2 John 3, “Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love”.
__________________________________________________________________________________
Posted by Josephus, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 6:01:20 PM
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What is the image of God's spirit? What life was Adam son of God [Luke 3: 38] and we to live? To mention about the one who is the Son of the Father, we mean the one who has the spirit of the Father. Our spiritual life will reflect the father from whom our spirit comes. It was God’s purpose we all be His children. We as sons of God should express His character and values. The Lord Jesus Christ is spoken of as a son of the Father, because the spirit in him came from God, and unlike us as sinners, he in his life perfectly expressed the Character of God. Jesus always addressed God as Father, he said I and the Father are one. The Spirit in him was the spirit of the Father himself, even in his intimate prayers John 17: 1 – 26. He also taught us to address God as, “Our Father” Matthew 6: 9.

We, like Jesus need the Spirit of the Father to live godly lives. We had been separated by our sin and we needed reconciliation, this reconciliation happened by Jesus atoning his life for us bringing us back into union with God. Mark 10: 45 Even the son of man came not to be ministered unto but to give his life a ransom for many. There was always this hope as identified by Joel [2: 28] and again spoken of by Peter in Acts 2: 17 that the breath [life] of the Father himself would again live in us; and as Acts 2: 39 says it is to all who is called of God; both Jew, Gentile and Barbarian. The same spirit of the Father that was in Jesus would now dwell in each person reconciled to the Father. To be born of God we are convinced and recognise Jesus Spirit was the true expression of God, and by us appropriating him into our lives we are baptized into his spirit. We will then desire moral purity and worship who God is with creative ways to bless and serve others
Posted by Josephus, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 6:10:57 PM
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Hasbeen, did you race at sandown in that series during 1970s.

I was at 1977 sandown race. we, as kids, spoke to peter brock that day.
Posted by Chris Lewis, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 6:36:05 PM
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Dear Chris,

I love Hassie as well. He's another one I consider
a friend. And you're right. He's very fair.

Dear Josephus,

Thank You for sharing your thoughts on life so
beautifully with us.
Posted by Foxy, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 6:56:10 PM
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I only made it to Sandown for the 1968 F1 Gold Star race Chris. My gearbox overheated, caught fire & I was black flagged while leading. It was that failure that meant second rather than winning the championship. Of course others had similar failures during the year so it all comes out in the wash.

Uneventful life O Sung Wu, with 2 overseas tours of duty, when others were shooting at you.

I suppose you could have done something really exciting, like book keeping old mate. Actually I found the book keeping, or the budgeting & cash flow planning some of the most interesting part of running a company, so it can be exciting, but not as exciting as being shot at I'm sure.

Foxy I respect anyone with seriously held ideas of their own. They may be the opposite to mine, but that doesn't effect my respect for them.

It is those trying to push ideals they hold only for some advantage over others that get up my nose, & those who have no ideals at all.
Posted by Hasbeen, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 7:30:13 PM
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//And what makes it worth living?//

I believe you'll find the answer in the fantasy classic 'Conan the Barbarian'.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oo9buo9Mtos

Well spoken, buff Mathias Cormann. I mean, what beats 'de lamentation of der vimmen'?
Posted by Toni Lavis, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 7:30:47 PM
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What is life?

watching foreign correspondent and Indian guy just stated his 'life is worthless' as they (his family) are left to rot in slums with no assistance from govt as country closes down to coronavirus.

In the slums, one toilet per 80 people and 20 families share water pipe which only runs for an hour.
Posted by Chris Lewis, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 8:23:14 PM
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Hi HASBEEN...I couldn't imagine anything more hazardous than trying to land a Navy Aircraft on a 'pitching deck' on the old HMAS Melbourne! And that's the absolute truth ol' man!

And FOXY has always been a shared affection for us both, don't you think HASBEEN? Whereas you and I, are conservative, and FOXY is a bit to the 'Left'. But she's our FOXY, so look out anyone trying to hurt her, they'll need to contend with an ex-Navy aviator, and an old 'grunt'!
Posted by o sung wu, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 9:13:00 PM
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As to the question- What is Life?

I agree with many that life needs meaning and purpose- and the person needs to give it to themselves or get it from their culture.

Also your place in the universes hierarchy from the inside out.

Foxy seems to put it like this...
"The relationships I have created with members of my family and the way I maintain and build those relationships add meaning to my life.
Same goes for friends, neighbours, and others."

Maslow talked about another "the hierarchy of needs"- I've heard some with interesting and perhaps incorrect interpretations here.

The ideas of enlightenment luminary Emmanuel Kant and Arthur Schopenhauer's "Four Fold Root Of Sufficient Reason" seem to give a view of meaning and a dilineated relationship between the small and the large scale- between nature the individual to society.

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

Some have said that life doesn't have intrinsic meaning or purpose.

The social engineering efforts of social de-re-constructionists such as the communists perhaps don't help here.

Jordan Peterson has some interesting ideas on god as being a cultural representation of the ideal person or leader.

Philosophers talk about life and consciousness- Descartes said I think therefore I am. Roger Penrose in the Emperors New Mind wrote that the mind is a quantum computer.

Mr Opinion's views seem quite clinical- perhaps I need to read them again in case I've missed some of the meaning. Though I agree that many things relate to evolution- nature, nurture, and prismatic perspicacity- as Orwell recognised
Posted by Canem Malum, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 9:35:40 PM
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The brain our engine to perceive meaning- sorry to some that believe otherwise- has evolved from the worms brain stem or spinal cord, to the reptilian font and flight fight, to the mammilian brain and complex social structures, to the primate brain of some 8 million years ago, to early humans, to the awakening of the first large brained human that evolved 160,000 years ago, and on to human history.

As Paul Feyerabend says truth is existential not completely rational or empirical- but the doesn't mean that there can't be truth- this is one reason why cultural identity is valuable- if we are not to fall into nihilism- or communism.

Our very reality is built upon subjectivity and assertions but at some point this is all we have. This doesn't mean that Empiricism and Rationality is without value. If you take away meaning from someone in some ways you take away life and identity- I hope that people don't give up their personal meaning without good reason to themselves and their hierarchy- and allow themselves and their hierarchy to be replaced
Posted by Canem Malum, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 9:36:31 PM
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Toni The Barbarian- now that is amusing. Looking to "hear the lamentations of their women" hey Toni.
Posted by Canem Malum, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 9:40:15 PM
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//I see LIFE as a water-based feeder.//

I consider that to narrow a definition. Whilst it's hard to envisage life which doesn't have some sort of respiration/metabolism, there's no pressing reason that life would have to be water based if it developed on planets with different chemical environments to Earth. Water's really important role in sustaining life is basically as a solvent, and there are number of chemical substances that could do the same job - based on it's chemical properties, ammonia is a strong contender for solvent that might be able to support life on exoplanets.

This is, of course, all purely speculative. What is best in life? Speculating about the possibility of life on other planets... and how you might crush those lifeforms, see them driven before you, and hear de lamentation of der vimmen.
Posted by Toni Lavis, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 9:45:51 PM
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Organic life and chemistry are mediums for the expression of a greater purpose. There is a temporary unfolding in His Story, yet there is an eternal story. The individual human story is about eighty years + or - and during that life span every cell of the body has been renewed at least every twenty one years. So we are more than just a body, what do people talk about at funerals, is not the body, but the history. The persons contribution to others lives and society. Life is about serving others, supplying needs, building improvements for life, to raise the poor, weak, sick and oppressed. Luke 4: 18. A society that does that will prosper. It is those that are serving humanity in that field during this time we give praise too.
Posted by Josephus, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 10:17:52 PM
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Dear Not_Now.Soon,

Thank you for your profound questions. I keep appreciating your spirit of inquiry.

The question "What is life", is one of the most worthwhile to ask and contemplate on. Therefore please let it not discourage you when I tell you that it has no verbal answer.

For how can "Life" be described when you have no terms to use that are outside of life?! Can you even think of anything that is outside of life?

Yes, the dictionary has quite a number of definitions for the word 'Life', but these are only partial, only aspects of life rather than Life itself.

Biology for example is one such aspect - but many things in life are not biological.
Vigour is another - but many people's lives lack vigour.
The period of usefulness is another - but many things in life are past their use.
And so on...

Foxy mentioned "reproduction, growth, metabolism, movement, responsiveness and adaptation", yet decay and death are also parts of life. It is common to label what is desirable by us as "life" and the rest (like having to share one toilet between 80 people, as Chris Lewis noted), well, it's "not a life", but this is only colloquial: both are life!

As for "what makes it worth living?", since worthiness is part of life, since we cannot imagine any worthiness outside of life, this question is meaningless.

Some here tried to circumvent it by speaking of "meaning", but meaning only exists within the human mind, which is made of opposites. Certain aspects of life can be mentally considered "meaningful" only because other aspects are considered "meaningless", but as life contains all its aspects, it can have no meaning.

"In conclusion, all is heard, fear God and keep his commandments, for this all what man is about." [Ecclesiastes 12:13, my translation].
Posted by Yuyutsu, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 10:31:35 PM
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Life is what we experience from the moment we're born to the moment we die !
Why do we exist is probably a more apt question. Why do some people just cruise through life whilst far too many just have a miserable existence ?
Why are humans cursed with unlimited procreation ? But the most burning question for me is why are so many humans so stupid ?
Posted by individual, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 12:20:34 AM
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To ... Well everyone,

A lot of responses and thoughts since I posted this question. Thank You all for that. For those of you who have shared a piece of your lives in answering the question, thank you. On that note thank you, Chris Lewis, Runner, Hasbeen, Foxy, and O Sung Wu. It's always a pleasure to read about other people's lives and what they've been through, learned from, or been blessed with. All of it sounds like a life worth living.

To Ttbn,

you're right. Everyone seems like this question is close to their hearts and has been questioned in their lives. Especially when things are rough. However, I don't know that there is no answer to it though.

To Hasbeen,

you said, "I don't believe there is any meaning to life, other than what you give it." You've given a lot to your life. Well done.

To O Sung Wu.

It sounds like you've done a lot in life as well. Just doing one of those would be more then enough in my opinion. (Much more then I expect to accomplish in my life).

To Foxy.

I like your answers. Both of them to describe the scientific criteria defining life,mass well as the idea of life makes life worth living. Reminds me of Hasbeen's comment that you get what you put into it.

To Yuyutsu.

I think you and I agree. The search for God gives life meaning.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 8:04:51 AM
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To Individual.

Good point about living through what others have put you through. Life is not just our own choices to make it. The lower on the economic totem pole, the more this seems evident. Aa for your question, why do we exist. I don't know. I look forward to the promised time when the world will be made right and there won't be any more misery or suffering. It's one of my big hopes for the world. As many Christians hope this day will happen soon, that is my hope too. But even if it isn't in our lifetime, my hope is still in that future time. As for now, why do we exist, my best estimate is that our life is an example so that the rest of the universe and the rest of history knows what it's like to leave God and reject Him. That's just my best guess though. The truth is I don't know why we exist though. Or why some people live with plenty, and others can only scrape by.

To Runner and Josephus.

You've both brought your faith into your answer, and thank you both for that. Runner, I agree it's you that if we don't inherit eternal life, the rest of it no matter how good is still rubbish. Still it sounds like you've been blessed, so I'm happy for you there. As for your family, keep them in your prayers. I've heard it said that God's not done with us yet, so there's hope. Josephus, I agree with most of your answer before you wrote it. I still haven't given my answer but a few verses you've given already covered it, and then you continued and covered more. Awesome and thank you.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 8:08:55 AM
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Chris Lewis,

You said, "I often wake up and remind myself you can lose your desire to live if you don't have a purpose." And "So life to me is about keeping busy with whatever legitimate purposes that turn you on, and trying to make a positive contribution to those you seek to interact with."

But what you've written reminds me of Foxy's assessment of life makes life worth living. Both the people and relationships in it, as well as the experiences and the things studied and learned. Living for your daughter I think is a great purpose to be a main focus. Reminds me of a verse that God blesses people it's their children, as well as many other people I've encountered that make it known how important and how loved their children are in their lives. If you want more though (not that children aren't enough, but it sounds like you've found it important to find a purpose to strive for, perhaps many purposes so you keep on going) then I have one more for you if you can accept it. Live for God. What I mean is a bit of circular logic that feeds itself. Loving God is a great thing in a person's life to discover, but God also pointed to others and said if you've done this to the least of them, you've done it for me, as well as saying that if we love god then obey His commands. Most of those have to do with loving your neighbor, upholding justice, and turning from our own wrongs and sins. Yet these things feed each other. I've found that by loving God and focusing on Him, the rest seems easier. Easier to be patient and kind, while also easier to resist the common temptations I deal with. Hope that helps, if you're ever worried about losing your purposes.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 8:11:36 AM
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To Canum Malum.

You've put a lot of thought into the idea for purpose of life, and while I thank you for that, I guess I was asking for a more practical answer. Some people have stated a purpose or even a need for a purpose, and that's a fine answer for what makes life worth living. However I want to ask you for your thoughts on what makes life worth living. Is it family, and relationships? Is it satisfaction of living a full life and doing a job well done. Is it a purpose, any purpose, so that we don't drop into nihilistic downers and question our place in the world? Or do you think of a certain purpose, such as seeking God and finding Him. You've put a lot of thought into it, and I thank you for that interesting read. So I just want your answer in case that helps anyone else reading it, what helps you keep going and make it worth while to live on.

As for what is life. Another way to put it is what is alive, as opposed to what isn't alive. I've a bit more of a spiritual view then the views you've shared, so for me the question of things unseen also being alive and aware has entered into my thoughts. Angels and unseen forces, but also a quote that In Ephesians saying that people aren't the enemy, (flesh and blood aren't the enemy), but that we fight against spiritual forces. Give me the wondering thought of how alive is culture, or differing ways of thinking acting like opposing creatures, one against the other, or also how some philosophies work well side by side and are not tossing for dominance over the other. Just a strange idea that the ideas we hold as a group are bigger then the individuals who hold those ideas. (Consider the wars fought just between systems of communism or Democracy as an example of wearing ideas acting like a creature itself fighting another philosophical creature. Does that count as alive?)
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 8:14:09 AM
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To Opinion.

You've posed your thought and thankfully taken the riddle out of the phrasing by explaining what you meant. But since you've asked for a scientific view to be compared to a religious view, I would offer one distinction away from your description.

Water is indeed where most life has part of it, or is still in it, but you can live for a few days without both food, and without water. Wouldn't it be both a scientific as well as a religous description to say that life is in the breath. You can't live without done kind of respiration. For us on land we have lungs or something similar to breath and exchange oxygen for the metabolic respiration that most cells need, or underwater fish have gills to have the same ability to breath and get oxygen. This is the scientific answer, but it also fits within Christianity where God gives the breath of life when he made Adam and Eve. Life is in the breath. Lose that and you don't have much time left to live.

Religiously speaking though there is more then one focus in life and living. There is the physical life, counted as everything between being born and dying. But also being alive in the spirit. That's about having God in us with the Holy Spirit, as well as the hope we Christians hold of living eternally after this life passes. So there you go. On top of both Runner's and Josephus's answers for a religious description of life, there is mine as well. Life is in the breath. More specifically, it is in the breath of God, who gives us all life.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 8:18:27 AM
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Not_Now.Soon, For me it is more than the search for God, but the life lived in God that has meaning. God is a purity and moral spirit, creative, humble giving blessing to the needs of others. Purpose comes from a core world view that values the human spirit made in the image of God and lives out those core values and attitudes.

So much of our Western culture places its highest values on thing external to the heart and mind of a person. While the external is there to contribute to the physical life, it is not the life. Care and love your children and educate them in the values of the spirit, they are the future.
Posted by Josephus, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 8:28:33 AM
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Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 8:14:09 AM

Question 1- To Canum Malum. You've put a lot of thought into the idea for purpose of life, and while I thank you for that, I guess I was asking for a more practical answer. Some people have stated a purpose or even a need for a purpose, and that's a fine answer for what makes life worth living.

Answer 1- Thought and Action/ Vision and Strength/ Meaning and Purpose- Simple answer- Well... I read what others say- the great ones- and try to see things through their eyes- to see if it has meaning for me and my hierarchy- Confucius scholars talk about the hierarchy as being individual, family, village, state, nation, world.

The meaning that you ascribe to things defines both yourself and your place in things- in the universe- but this is influenced by concentric circles moving out from yourself. In some ways your journey teaches much- but in the end you arrive at the beginning and realise that you have more questions than when you started- at first you think- what was the point- but then you look back and see that you are not the same person as in the previous cycle- but you are glad you made the journey.

A practical answer- Well I try to read a little everyday, to live simply be self sufficient and to grow, to contribute to those around me in a mutually supporting way- enlightened self interest, protect the vulnerable in my hierarchy- as you can't help everyone.


Question 2- However I want to ask you for your thoughts on what makes life worth living. Is it family, and relationships? Is it satisfaction of living a full life and doing a job well done. Is it a purpose, any purpose, so that we don't drop into nihilistic downers and question our place in the world?

Answer 2- Relationships and Achievements are important- Maslow's Hierarchy see link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs

Without meaning and purpose we're dead- we just don't know it yet. The universe needs to make sense.
Posted by Canem Malum, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 9:52:55 AM
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Question 3- Or do you think of a certain purpose, such as seeking God and finding Him. You've put a lot of thought into it, and I thank you for that interesting read. So I just want your answer in case that helps anyone else reading it, what helps you keep going and make it worth while to live on.

Answer 3- God well this can give meaning and purpose and it has cultural value. I don't claim to be an expert on God. I'm somewhat of a secular Christian. I am somewhat torn by this paradigm as perhaps you've surmised. My background is in the sciences but there are scientists that value the concept of God. Practically on a daily basis I would say I'm philosophical.

Question 4- As for what is life. Another way to put it is what is alive, as opposed to what isn't alive. I've a bit more of a spiritual view then the views you've shared, so for me the question of things unseen also being alive and aware has entered into my thoughts. Angels and unseen forces, but also a quote that In Ephesians saying that people aren't the enemy, (flesh and blood aren't the enemy), but that we fight against spiritual forces.

Answer 4- This sounds like "the biggest enemy is your own mind".
Posted by Canem Malum, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 9:54:01 AM
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Question 5- Give me the wondering thought of how alive is culture, or differing ways of thinking acting like opposing creatures, one against the other, or also how some philosophies work well side by side and are not tossing for dominance over the other. Just a strange idea that the ideas we hold as a group are bigger then the individuals who hold those ideas. (Consider the wars fought just between systems of communism or Democracy as an example of wearing ideas acting like a creature itself fighting another philosophical creature. Does that count as alive?)

Answer 5- Yes ideas and processes can take on a life of their own independent of the individuals that operate their levers- this is the type of thing that Stephen Wolfram discusses with Cellular Automata- that is not to say that these entities don't have a soul. But as for dominance- I believe that you have a greater duty to the ideas of your own culture than those of others- it's a sort of nihilism to deny your own culture- and nihilism to allow this cancer to develop within your house.
Posted by Canem Malum, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 9:54:46 AM
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There is a belief called Panpsychism that believes that the universe is conscious- if everything in the universe has the property of consciousness- and conscious properties interact- known as Property Interactionism- and these given that we don't really understand consciousness who are we to say that this isn't "reality"- then perhaps there is a God or God's. There are others that use Okham's Razor to good effect...
Posted by Canem Malum, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 9:59:58 AM
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Hasbeen,

That is interesting to hear about you running second at Sandown in the 1968 F1 Gold Star.

That means you are Chris Amon the Ferrari driver from New Zealand who passed away in 2016 aged 73.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 11:00:47 AM
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Mr Opinion, i think you misread what Hasbeen said.
Posted by Chris Lewis, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 11:10:37 AM
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What an amazing set of postings on the topic thus far.

So much to think about.

Thank You everyone.
Posted by Foxy, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 11:13:02 AM
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We need more discussions of this calibre.

Truly impressive from one and all.
Posted by Foxy, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 11:20:59 AM
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Chris,

He said at p.7 that he ran second in the 1968 Sandown F1 Gold Star Race.

That means he is (or sadly was) Chris Amon.

Will the real Chris Amon please stand up!
Posted by Mr Opinion, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 11:35:14 AM
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Mr Opinion,

I am pretty sure Hasbeen said he did not finish that race (engine blew), thus finishing 2nd in that year's championship.

Hasbeen can verify.
Posted by Chris Lewis, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 12:05:49 PM
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Thanks Chris, obviously Mr O doesn't read too well.

Due to a broken split pin a misalignment in the pinion caused the transaxel, [gearbox/diff], to overheat. This caused a fine mist of oil to be ejected from the breather onto the hot exhaust. This caught fire, & I was black flagged from the event.
Posted by Hasbeen, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 12:31:59 PM
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Mr Opinion sounds like you want to follow Hasbeen home for a cup of coffee?
Posted by Canem Malum, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 12:50:12 PM
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Hasbeen,

So when you said "It was that failure that meant second rather than winning the championship." you were saying you ran second in the 1968 F1 Gold Star Championship.

So that means you are Phil West the Brabham driver.

Do you mind if I call you Phil.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 12:59:47 PM
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I love sport, and appreciate excellence in all sports.

Coming 2nd in an Austalian motor racing championship is a tremendous feat. Car racing requires skill, guts and fitness.
Posted by Chris Lewis, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 1:36:58 PM
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Chris,

And now we get to call Hasbeen Phil.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 1:58:54 PM
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Canem Malum,

See you at Phil's for coffee!
Posted by Mr Opinion, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 2:55:59 PM
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Just as long as you don't call me late for lunch.
Posted by Hasbeen, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 3:26:25 PM
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Surely the more interesting question would be what causes humans in particular to give up on life?

Along with all other living things we are naturally driven by life; and living to eat, rest and procreate is part of that drive.

We however, to a greater degree than any other species, have a true sense of our own mortality, something which is undoubtedly highly confronting to many. We have adapted means to deal with the enormity of the realisation that our lives are finite and developing a religious sense is just one of those adaptions. There are many others.

We know there are circumstances where even though they are provided with adequate water and food some animals will die in captivity, essentially giving up on life. Humans are capable of doing the same. When emotional pressures among other things are too much people willingly take their own lives. Many who contemplate it speak of feeling trapped.

Living life doesn't really need a purpose, just the act of doing so is enough. However in the service of a religious or general metaphysical sensibility having a purpose is useful even if it is to challenge things that impinge on our ability to freely live our lives.

That our indigenous folk were highly tuned to the rhythms of the seasons and the life around them, which they relied so heavily on, would engender a heightened sense of connectedness to the natural world is completely understandable.

That a more formalised religious order was needed when societies gathered in greater numbers as they did in Europe doesn't mean it was superior, just that it better fitted the requirements.

Adhering to a formal religion should not be confused with finding a purpose in life even though it can be used that way. If it serves to lessen the stress of mortality then that is good enough.
Posted by SteeleRedux, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 4:47:27 PM
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yes, most people I know just go through he motions of life, making or trying to get money, and family.

probably too busy to think about having a purpose, at least until their elderly age or when they feel lonely
Posted by Chris Lewis, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 5:32:02 PM
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Not_Now.Soon,

Thanks for giving a religious view of LIFE (the biological entity).

Unfortunately the problem with your religious view is that it relies on God creating the Universe out of nothing and nothing is nothing and nothing cannot be used to create something.

The scientific view of LIFE is that it is a molecule(s) that is capable of changing itself. That is, it creates something (a molecule) out of something (atoms) that existed prior to the creation of LIFE.

As such there is a theoretical basis for the scientific view of LIFE but no theoretical basis for the religious view of LIFE. One can show the creation of LIFE scientifically but one cannot show the creation of LIFE religiously.

A person with a scientific view of LIFE (the biological entity) can support his view with evidence and theory. A person with a religious view of LIFE cannot support his view with evidence and theory. The religious view of LIFE is totally insupportable.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 6:04:53 PM
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Mr Opinion.

Nevertheless, religious faith is real and relevant to a question "what is life", because faith is a belief that motivates and comforts real people, no matter what you and I may believe about whether God is real or fictional.

It is an important part of life for many people.
Posted by Chris Lewis, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 6:12:36 PM
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Chris,

I am not debating the psychological aspects of a religious view of LIFE.

I am dealing with LIFE as a biochemical entity, as life forms whether bacteria, plants, fish, or humans.

Not_Now.Soon can only show that a religious view holds if God can create something from nothing but as everybody knows nothing is nothing and cannot be turned into something.

For a religious view of LIFE (the biological entity) to be accepted he needs to show from evidence or theory that something could be created from nothing, which of course he cannot do.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 6:21:44 PM
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Fair enough, but my take is that the thread was always focusing on both dimensions given we were asked about our lives as well.

In this sense, both the physical and metaphysical are relevant to the thread, so I don't see any failure even if one does not explain the physical.
Posted by Chris Lewis, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 6:27:49 PM
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Chris,

No, have a look at my comments to NNS on p.1.

He is trying to get OzSpen out of a difficult situation by deflecting the debate I proposed to OzSpen.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 6:32:06 PM
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My problem with life is that it is not a case of us all being born equal, nor can we all be equal in life. Imagine if we were all the same, we'd still be crawling around scrounging for nuts & berries !
My problem is that many people are making other peoples' lives a misery with blatant impunity !
Form religious leaders, to tribal leaders, for some reason there is a system of hierarchy. Where did this come from ? Do the majority of people actually need someone to stand over them ? I think they do ! It is obviously a matter of intelligence too. We need variety so as to function as a society & that's what separates us from the animals world.
Many humans have evolved to use intelligence whereas many are literally still animals !
Posted by individual, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 6:57:37 PM
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Individual,

I agree with the argument that some like to lead and achieve, others like to follow or jut live simply.

I think that thinkers can come from both groups.

As for your suggestion some are stupid, and the question why is that so, I think if you are not inquisitive about life you will be much more likely to stay mediocre (not meant to be offensive) in both, or either, the material or intellectual sense.

But inquisitive to me is both thinking and listening. They should be the ones that rise and succeed in leadership roles, assuming good enough intellect and desire, but too many ruthless a..holes actually do because they choose to play the game and undermine people and rivals along the way.
Posted by Chris Lewis, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 7:11:25 PM
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Dear SteeleRedux,

«We however, to a greater degree than any other species, have a true sense of our own mortality»

Yes we have such a sense of mortality, but it is a false sense, not a true sense.

There are conditions in life that are so undesirable that we refuse to call them "life". Being left without a body is often one of them; and for some, even being under a lock-down and not being able to leave home is also considered "not life". Nevertheless, life includes both conditions that we like and conditions that we hate, we cannot pick and choose.

---

Dear Mr. Opinion and Chris Lewis,

«Thanks for giving a religious view of LIFE (the biological entity).»

Biological-life is of the realm of science. Religion has no reason or ability to explain it, only science.

THE EXPERIENCE of having/being a biological-life, however, cannot not be explained scientifically: and this is where religious philosophy enters the picture.

Problems arise when people overstep their area of expertise: religious-leaders attempting to explain the existence of biological-life and scientists attempting to explain the experience of living as a biological-life-form.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 9:35:03 PM
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To Josephus.

You're right of course. Living for God, and having Him in our lives is better then just searching for Him. However I know that a huge part of Yuyutsu's perspective is to continue on a path towards God. Living for God to him (if I understand his position correctly) is part of the path for finding God. So on that point I agree with him. Nonetheless. You're right that to live with God is much better.

To Chris Lewis.

I wouldn't go so far as to say most people just go through the motions. I think most people think about their purpose in some way or another. If it's about day to day things like have a job and survive, then moves on to being happy at work, moving up in the career path, or alternatively acknowledging what they want, whether it's a relationship, a family, to travel, or to own a home. These things everyone thinks about. Regardless if they phrase it as a purpose or not. As for the going through the motions of life. The two things I can say about that is 1) people form habits (which are very convenient and helpful) and 2) people go through the motions when they aren't either struggling to get by, or are excited about where they are and what they are doing.

Be very cautious of rationalizations that start with "most people..." I've found these ones the the least likely rationals to be accurate, as well as the least likely to be tested before being accepted.

As for the point of this thread, thank you for understanding that I was addressing more then one thing with these questions. The physical and the metaphysical is one element just because of Opinion's challenge of religion versus science, but I also meant to include living life as well not just defining life. (I think I've explained my reasons why already for adding that component to the topic).
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Thursday, 21 May 2020 3:02:47 AM
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To Individual.

What you've said is part of my reasoning that concludes that we live in a broken world, and that we are a broken people. (Individually as well as a group). It is a reason to love get your neighbor, to turn the other cheek, care for those in suffering, those in prison, those how need justice. Even to do so for our enemies and those we compete with. Do this because the world is broken, and because people are broken, because there is a need to be the salt that preserves and sanctifies the world from rotting on it's own.

As for why, out side of acknowledging the state of the world and the need for compassion, I have no real answer. The depth of misery hurts my heart and there's no thinking past that.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Thursday, 21 May 2020 3:05:20 AM
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To SteekeRedux

What causes people to give up, and what can we do about it are two of the big questions in life that I'd like answers to more often then not. The second part for what makes life worth living was a round about way of trying to find answers for what we can do to fend off the behavior of giving up and choosing to die. What might have worked for other people might be good knowledge to have as a society so to better fight off suicide as a whole.

I think feeling trapped is a very good way of putting it. Might not always be the case for reasoning, but at least for me, I can relate to that answer.

As for the different religious or spiritual views that either we currently have, or our ancestors long long ago have, I would caution you against just giving an intellectual answer to dismiss them. Having a deeper connection to nature, versus having an organized religion in larger cities can be factored in fulfilling a need in one way or another. But that only makes sense if you don't actually hear from them and hear from their side of things. This is the problem I have with a lot of intellectualized answers for other people's behavior. To often it removes the search to see if the answer is correct, and instead just assumes that it is. It's better to hear from those who are being discussed to see if what they say fits the reasoning already hypothesized. For ancient cultures this requires more history, archeology to confirm anything, if anything can be confirmed. But for modern day populations, no matter the population, there is a much easier way to find out if the reasoning is accurate.

To Yuyutsu, Opinion and Canem Malum.

I have a response to what you guys have written so far, but I'm running out of post for the day. I'll have to wait until later to post my replies.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Thursday, 21 May 2020 3:11:56 AM
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Human life on earth began about 100,000 years ago. for the very earliest of our species infant mortality might have been as high as 50%, and life expectancy 10 years.

“Modern” Homo sapiens (that is, people who were roughly like we are now) first walked the Earth about 50,000 years ago. Since then, more than 108 billion members of our species have ever been born, according to estimates by Population Reference Bureau (PRB). Given the current global population of about 7.5 billion (based on our most recent estimate as of 2019), that means those of us currently alive represent about 7 percent of the total number of modern humans who have ever lived.

The great conundrums of the wheres and the whys of our existence is only relevant for less than about 10% of all humans that have ever breathed the air. For the rest it was like all animals, born, existed, died, nothing else. Most of our species has never given a thought to why they were here, gods, immortality, the after life, just eked out an existence, only to die and be forgotten.
Posted by Paul1405, Thursday, 21 May 2020 7:29:56 AM
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Dear NNS,

You write;

“I would caution you against just giving an intellectual answer to dismiss them.”

Why on earth do you think I am dismissing them?

Look at the inventiveness, the passion, the literature, the art, the hyper emotional states we are able to achieve by elevating the simple drive to copulate into esoteric realms of breathtaking beauty.

We have done the same with coping with the knowledge of mortality. The great religious works including the various major religious texts stand as testament to that human ingenuity and creativity.

The great literary critic Harold Bloom spoke of the incredible period of religious creativity within the US which saw the development of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Christian Science, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Southern Baptist Convention.

It is interesting to contemplate what were the driving factors of that outpouring. A new land resonating with notions of a promised land, religious freedoms enshrined by founding fathers, and a frontier individualism leading to notions of a personal relationship with their version of God?

This is part of the human capacity which I certainly celebrate.

I also acknowledge that just as good people can be driven to dreadful crimes of passion in the service of their notions of unrequited love, religious folk follow the same impulses and are capable of horrendous crimes in the name of their particular faith.

It is all part of the human condition and as such should never be dismissed.
Posted by SteeleRedux, Thursday, 21 May 2020 11:01:52 AM
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To Yuyutsu and Opinion.

One of the points I am making with my perspective of a religious view is that it is not devoid of scientific understanding. Not in competition with science. Not an either/or kind of thing. I think Loudmouth made a similar observation.

Very good point Yuyutsu, that life include both the positive and the negative aspects of it. Would you care to comment on your thoughts on what makes life worth living in light of both the positive and the negitive spa specks of life?

As for this thread Onion, I've already responded to your first post. And again if you wanted to have this conversation on your terms you should have presented it on your own as it's own separate topic, instead of trying to force another discussion to this topic. Be a better man Opinion. That's all it would have taken. Instead I took your challenge (you made it to both me and OzSpen, as well as later to anyone with a religious view), and I made a topic based on that question. If you don't like it, then learn from it, and next time just start the topic yourself. (Again not trying to force the topic in another discussion, be better then that).

(Continued)
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Thursday, 21 May 2020 11:37:29 AM
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(Continued)

As for the problem of my religious views, isn't that a bit circular logic. You don't believe God is real so the problem with my views is that I acknowledge that He does? No, look at the views again. I am not removing scientific observation out of it. Instead I've said that life is from the breath, not from being a feeder or closely tied to water. That breathing is a stronger element to life then either of those. And I acknowledged that God is who started the cycle of breath from cellular respiration, to fish using gills, to us using our lungs. Life is more then bread and water, but every word from God (every breath of God?)

You might not like my reasoning that includes God, but can you refute it? Can you say that water and food is more important then breathing? Do you not acknowledge that breathing is considered a big part of some religions with the thoughts of medicine and meditation? It's not just a Christian idea that the breath is life. But it is a Christian conclusion that the breath of life comes from God. It's not disagreeing with scientific findings, but instead having some scientific findings reaffirm Christian study.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Thursday, 21 May 2020 11:38:52 AM
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To Canem Malum.

The way you talk about growth in cycles makes me wonder if you believe in reincarnation or something. If that's the case it kind of changes the perspective of life from a biological thing or a connection to God, to instead being a force in itself. Live due cone back. (At least as I understand the concepts.

As for those in your hierarchy, do you mean those in your community? I can't tell if you're talking about the Confucius hierarchy about family, village, state, world (and which ones are part of your hierarchy). Or if you mean those that you can reach; your peers, your neighbors, your family. Or if you mean it's a set of demographics like age group, economic status, race?

The practical answer sounds good. It's a good path for chugging on. Sometimes that's all we need, and it's good if we can be happy in that. Other times (at least for me) something comes up and shakes up your journey, and it's a struggle to make ends meet, or it's a struggle to keep pushing forward. I think everyone has those moments at some point in their life. For you what's helped you move past those and get back to living life? For example, for me it's been God (at one point in my life), my family (when I was in a dark place and pushing everyone away), and my wife (who helped me find hope again and finally get out of that dark place). I think the relationships part have pulled be out of some things to stay motivated and keep going. Hopefully you've never found a similar dark place in life, but I think everyone has at some point in their lives to one degree or another.

(Continued)
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Thursday, 21 May 2020 12:02:49 PM
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(Continued)

Regarding God. I recommend to look for Him. It's not just a cultural thing, or psychological thing. As you've found with your peers, it's not even a science versus religion thing. Josephus pointed out that living for God is not just a purpose kind of thing, something that motivates you. But it's deeper then that. Kind of like how relationships enrich our lives, the same is with having God. The times in my life where I felt like I was near God, He filled me up. The times I've tried to be close to Him or to follow His direction, I noticed a difference in my ability to be a better person compared to the times when I avoid God.

Regarding your answer to question 4. I think this is talking about other things then just your enemy and s your own thoughts. Think more our enemy is not flesh and blood, on the level of your answer to question #5. How do you fight an idea. Fight a culture of pride and arrogance packaged looking like a mix of hardship and enlightenment. Where caring for another is either a burden, or their burden is mocked, gossiped, or even celebrated because it serves them right. Your enemy is not flesh and blood, but unseen forces in heavenly realms that have some kind of authority in the world. Think of Panpsychism as both that the universe is potentially self aware, and also everything in it is also to one degree or another. Add that to a hierarchy of it's own and you might get my thoughts of unseen forces that are not yourself (your mind) but also have authority. Or if you want to start on something smaller, consider in Quantium physics, where just by observing that can change the outcome. Doesn't that sound like something self aware that acknowledges it's being watched? Again all of this can be fascinating on a scientific level, but I still recommend to look for God also. See if He's real, see if He's there. He's worth finding.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Thursday, 21 May 2020 12:03:52 PM
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The human species has always had a spiritual understanding of spiritual reality, take our ancient ancestors. However from a man called Adam 6,000 - 10,000 there emerged a more creative and moral human, Since then we have had persons from Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, Europe, Asia and Israel that have developed human philosophy and culture, at the same time we have persons from the areas that have devolved human culture into destructive paths. Every individual was to be in spirit free and equal, this is developed by education and practised values.
Posted by Josephus, Thursday, 21 May 2020 12:36:34 PM
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Not_Now.Soon,

So now everybody knows that God is an element of your religious view and that you cannot demonstrate the existence of God through either evidence or theory.

You only believe there is God and the God you believe in could not give rise to Life as a biological entity and thus create us because God cannot create something from nothingness.

Nothing is always nothing and cannot be made into something unless you want us to believe that God is some sort of super alchemist.

And the only way I or anyone can believe that is by discarding our scientific view of the world for a religious view of the world (like you have).
Posted by Mr Opinion, Thursday, 21 May 2020 12:42:09 PM
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Josephus,

What in God's name are you talking about?

Looks like you have been infected by the religious view of the world.

I think you and NNS should get tested and self-isolate for two weeks. Better still make that two millennia.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Thursday, 21 May 2020 1:08:03 PM
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Mr Opinion obviously you have been infected with an atheistic view of reality; that is nothing created all things. I happen to believe in a spiritual Creator, who created chemical order and life.

When Mr O can create DNA in a complex form from nothing your argument might be valid. You have to assume that all chemistry was eternal, when in fact all bio-chemistry has a life span.
Posted by Josephus, Thursday, 21 May 2020 1:54:11 PM
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Josephus,

What you just said is totally irrational and contradictory.

I have a scientific view of the world and you have a religious view of the world.

For me Life is a product of matter and energy contained within the Universe; for you Life was created by an all-caring, all-powerful, all-knowing God.

For you Life was created from nothingness by God. This is a religious view of the creation of Life.

But something cannot be created out of nothingness. I'll say that again in case you didn't get it: SOMETHING CANNOT BE CREATED OUT OF NOTHINGNESS.

So I challenge you, NNS, OzSpen and others with a religious view of the world to provide evidence or theory that shows that something can be created out of nothingness.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Thursday, 21 May 2020 2:14:44 PM
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To Steele Redux.

Sorry if I misunderstood what you were saying. Do you have any thoughts on what causes people to give up on living, or how to avoid that situation?

To Opinion.

Are you just now realizing my religious view acknowledges God? At what point should we question your perceptive abilities.

"Can not demonstrate God..." This is the wrong approach. God is not your servant to answer your beck and call. He does answer prayers though. A lot of times when He does so He does it His way. I've found time and time again that God is in charge. He can make the impossible possible.

As for creating something out of nothing. Surely you must have heard. God spoke and it came to be. I think there is more essence in His word then you realize. Doubt what I'm saying. That's fine, however I'm not alone in finding God able to do the impossible when we bring our needs to Him. All around the world there are people with similar findings. Do your own reasurch and search for God yourself before passing yourself as an expert in, well whatever you claim you're debating.

...another challenge for Christians? Considering this mock debate is the scale of your efforts and your motives, I'd rather keep the discussion about life, as the topic that I started. If you want another challenge start your own topic most for this merrygoround you want to start, under the farce of calling it a debate.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Thursday, 21 May 2020 2:46:38 PM
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Not_Now.Soon,

So according to your religious view of Life (the entity) God said "Abracadabra!" and Life (the entity) popped out of his hat, took one look at God and said "Mama!"

Of course, it all makes sense - To those like you with a religious view of the world.

But sorry to disappoint you because the description you give of God creating Life (the entity) is still based on God creating something out of nothingness and that is impossible because nothing is nothing and nothing can be made into something.

So the whole religious view that God created Life is insupportable given that something cannot be created from nothing.

But if you or anyone else can provide evidence or show theoretically that something (the entity Life) can be created from nothing then I will reconsider my position. How long do you need?
Posted by Mr Opinion, Thursday, 21 May 2020 3:06:30 PM
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PS

3rd paragraph in my post above above should read:

But sorry to disappoint you because the description you give of God creating Life (the entity) is still based on God creating something out of nothingness and that is impossible because nothing is nothing and nothing CANNOT be made into something.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Thursday, 21 May 2020 3:43:09 PM
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Dear NNS,

You ask;

“Do you have any thoughts on what causes people to give up on living, or how to avoid that situation?”

Sure, nothing radical as it happens quite infrequently relatively speaking. Let's start with an easy one.

It is interesting that in times of war the suicide rate seems to drop dramatically. The coming together of people to fight a common threat seems to shoulder aside thoughts of pushing the life eject button.

So the sense of community must be a factor. For instance universal health care engenders a sense of a system where all contribute to look after those whose illness means they struggle to support themselves. The markedly different suicide rates between the US and Canada are reflective of this aspect.

Therefore if we were intent on avoiding “that situation” so to speak then policies which promote community approaches to caring for people would be high on the list.
Posted by SteeleRedux, Thursday, 21 May 2020 4:10:00 PM
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Mr Opinion said- God creating Life (the entity) is still based on God creating something out of nothingness and that is impossible because nothing is nothing and nothing CANNOT be made into something.

Answer- Even atheist scientists such as Murray Gell-Mann talk of the emergent property of life- stuff created from nothing. I with the greatest respect disagree with Murray Gell-Mann on this issue. As I'm not convinced that real consciousness awareness- not AI- can emerge from nothing. This is why the property interactionism approach seems more feasible to me.

Have you heard about the Casimir Effect that is seen as evidence of Zero Point Energy- stuff created from nothing.

At the boundaries of our understanding there are some very interesting phenomena that question our understanding of reality.

There is an interesting physicist Lee Smolin- 1997. The Life of the Cosmos that has raised some interesting and infuriating questions about the nature of the universe. He's had some very interesting and heated discussions with Leonard Susskind about The Anthropic Principle. They are both great physicists.

Smolin says from memory that "life is the universes attempt to understand itself".

Clarke's Laws are interesting here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarke's_three_laws

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

Even Brian Greene's podcasts border on God's territory when he talks about Universal Inflation theory and Quantum Fields- and from memory creation of the universe from nothing.

Some though have said that when scientists talk about God they mean different things than the uninitiated.

Perhaps Rationalism and Empiricism can only take you so far- the rest is Existential Subjectivism
Posted by Canem Malum, Thursday, 21 May 2020 5:57:46 PM
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Jordan Peterson said some interesting things...

1. "God is an internal representation of the ideal leader"

- which makes me think- there may be some insights that are only apparent through internal self reflection not scientific external rigor- these may be verifiable over time using external methods- in this case despite it's fallacies the only way to quantify the probability is by "equating possibility with probability" perhaps.

2. "Humans needs values but these create hierarchies and hierarchies create inequality"

- it seems that inequality is unavoidable in society. I'm sure that some subtlty is required here. I often think of the times of the parish communities in Britain before Henry VIII took the parish lands in the 1500's and gave them to the landed gentry. Where land was held by primogeniture- there wasn't a need for unemployment benefits for there to be equality- if you worked the land you lived- if you had too many children you died- you had land you lived within your means- it was equal for everyone. This wasn't so called democracy. It seems only with mass culture and the city states that inequality came.

John Locke- Father of Liberal Democracy talked about the so called modern state of nature and freedom. It seems he has done more for inequality than most. The problems come when you give up your power to the state. Because you never get it back.

Ironically I believe it is possible to have a modern state of freedom- and relative equality - despite the US Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union's example to the contrary- but as with everything requires sacrifice, forebearance, and self sufficiency
Posted by Canem Malum, Thursday, 21 May 2020 6:30:54 PM
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Canem Malum,

Nothing = Nothing

What I think people who say the universe could have come from nothing are actually telling you that they don't know what the Universe came from so they just say it was nothing = something they cannot identify. In other words they don't have an answer but don't want to look stupid by saying they don't have an answer so why not say something like nothing but two nothings don't make a something. How does that sound?

PS Are you aware that science cannot discover the origin of the Universe? This can be proven using philosophy. (And don't even bother about looking for it in religion unless you are content to stop thinking full stop!)
Posted by Mr Opinion, Thursday, 21 May 2020 6:36:57 PM
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Mr Opinion- We could call this the Julie Andrews view. ;)
Posted by Canem Malum, Thursday, 21 May 2020 7:03:37 PM
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Mr Opinion- Take a look at Bell's Theorem- It'll blow your mind.
Posted by Canem Malum, Thursday, 21 May 2020 7:08:03 PM
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Canem Malum,

It's things like that that makes me feel good about being a sociologist :)
Posted by Mr Opinion, Thursday, 21 May 2020 7:57:58 PM
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Mr Opinion: Are you absolutely sure that something cannot come from nothing?

Here's two atheists explaining the problem with that claim, when the claim is taken as an extreme absolute:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDmQINlntJ4

The discussion start at about the 9:45min mark - but the crux of the explanation is at 14:40 to 16mins. The whole discussion from the 9:45min to the end is really entertaining.
Posted by thinkabit, Thursday, 21 May 2020 8:49:46 PM
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Dear Not_Now.Soon,

«Would you care to comment on your thoughts on what makes life worth living in light of both the positive and the negitive spa specks of life?»

Well, I did not mention "positive" and "negative", but "desirable" and "undesirable".

The question whether life is worth living does not arise because we have no choice but to be living. It is a mistake to believe that killing our body can stop us from living. Within this constraint of forever having to live, what we can, if we choose to make the necessary efforts, is to live a more pleasant life, a more successful life, a more righteous life, and ultimately, a life free of limitations, in God, with God, as God.

---

Regarding the discussion on God's creation, the reality is much more subtle and would require a careful long study, but to begin with, it is silly to base the truth of how the world came about, on the loosely-translated English word, "created".

The meaning of the word 'Bara' of Genesis 1:1, commonly translated as "created", is being disputed among scholars (http://www.academia.edu/34944151/Separation_and_Creation_in_Genesis_1_and_Psalm_104_A_Continuation_of_the_Discussion_of_the_Verb_%D7%91%D7%A8%D7%90). I shall not attempt to conclude that dispute, but it seems to me that 'Bara' is more along the line of "carved out", or "cleared out, leaving space for", thus "In the beginning, God carved out the heavens and the earth" or "In the beginning, God cleared out a space wherein the heavens and the earth could appear".

Regardless, what God actually "did" cannot be reduced to the actions of man. The bible may give us practical, human-palatable explanations, but we cannot hope for words to be able to describe the relationship between God and the world's coming about, any more than an ant trying to understand the philosophical meaning of what I type on a keyboard she walks on.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Friday, 22 May 2020 12:19:24 AM
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.

What is life ?

Here are my thoughts on the question :

Superstition and religious dogma aside, the most plausible explanation of the genesis of life appears to have been provided by the ancient Greek philosopher, Democritus (460 BC – 370 BC) who is reported to have observed that “Everything in the universe is the fruit of chance and necessity”.

Jacques Monod, the French biologist, a 1965 Nobel Prize winner, later accredited and developed that theory in his book “Le hasard et la nécessité” (Chance and Necessity) published in 1970. From this, it is deduced that “Life is a spontaneous, evolutive, sensitive and reproductive process triggered by the fortuitous encounter of complementary elements of matter and energy in a favourable environment”.

Chance in this context should be understood as meaning a “random variable” and necessity an “inevitable” event.

Free will is a functional advantage developed by nature. It is autonomy, the autonomy of the individual. Its acquisition and development are progressive. It is an evolutive mode of functioning. It has been evolving ever since the apparition of life on earth of which human beings are by far the most advanced form. We have long surpassed all other forms of life and all other animal species in terms of autonomy and continue to make progress, generation after generation.

Though there may be important differences in the rate of development of autonomy among individuals due to all the variables that contribute to its evolution, progress is nevertheless achieved during the lifetime of each individual. Beneficial mutations and experiences continue to accumulate over time, multiplying and diversifying choice patterns to an ever greater degree of complexity until the individual is no longer held to obey any particular predetermined course of behaviour, gaining in the autonomy we call free will.

In my view, we haven't yet come up with a better explanation of life than that proposed by Democratus 2,500 years ago.

But, who knows, perhaps somebody will think of something, one of these days – before we join the dinosaurs and become extinct !

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Friday, 22 May 2020 11:35:03 PM
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To Opinion,

Look at the link that Thinkabit posted. It has an interesting standpoint. That we've never encountered anything that could be considered "nothing". Including emply space ther's still something in it. So to test if something couldn't come from nothing is as of now an unconfirmed because we've never seen anything that can truely be identified as nothingness.

This point isn't the point I would use. Because God does some amazing stuff. But it is worth considering. If God is the only thing before everything else is made, then what is created is created out of what God has available. Himself. With God anything is possible. He can create anything. He can be the source of life, and life isn't created out of nothing, it came from God.

To Steele Redux.

I like that idea. It should be an easy and practice approach to place in our culture. The idea that we are in this together, and that we aren't alone. Thanks for that.

To Banjo Paterson

Do you have any examples or theories of an inevitable event? I think that is possibly the strongest point for life occurring without God, but I don't think it's looked into as much. Is there anything that we can determine is inevitable?
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Saturday, 23 May 2020 3:48:09 AM
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Human life is defined by imagination, ideas, initiative, desires, wisdom and understanding. All these are quantitative and can be defined: but do they exist in the physical, not really we only observe them in the outcomes. Does mathematical formulas exist in reality or are they ways humans understand reality.

Does water freeze at zero or 23 degrees? Is the sum of the internal angles of a square a rectangle and a circle 360 degrees? Not in reality; we have made it so to understand the world. Does the Earth have 360 degrees longitude and latitude? Can we prove such exists, not really. It is our way of understanding the world.

Can we prove there is a periodic table in chemistry, no not without a base understanding of maths. I had stay with me a young man from west Papua, in their native language they only had words for one two three. Though he had gained degrees in Indonesian university. While he was with me we worked on developing words for mathematical ideas based on those three words. For which he produced a teaching method for his tribal language.

Because the human mind has designed an understanding of order in the universe he has gained an understanding of the spiritual creation that is behind the Universe. Though there is also chaos, and hell; there is also order, beauty, design. The fact that the human mind can perceive and create using the design of things created, we recognise the Earth is not just chaos but designed. To have design there must be a designer greater than the human mind and spirit.
Posted by Josephus, Saturday, 23 May 2020 4:43:59 AM
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//and life isn't created out of nothing//

I don't think anybody has suggested that it was. Clearly, Earth-based lifeforms were - and continue to be - made from the available matter on Earth. We're all made from basically the same stuff, from bananas to polar bears. The main elements can be remembered with a simple mnemonic: CHONPS. That's carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorous and sulphur. Other elements play vital biological roles, eg. sodium, potassium, iron and calcium.
Posted by Toni Lavis, Saturday, 23 May 2020 7:36:56 AM
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Genesis 1 in Hebrew attributes three things directly to God. 1. The creation of the universe of chemistry, matter, space and chronology. 2. The spark of life. 3. The human spirit. All other things emerged out of the existing chemistry. The English translates the text as, "let the Seas", or "let the Earth", or "let the air", things already in existence.
Posted by Josephus, Saturday, 23 May 2020 9:41:25 AM
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Everyone has missed the point I was trying to make about LIFE the entity.

My question is What is it? We know it is a cell or bunch of cells and it has a myriad of forms. If if evolves from water then that tells us that it likely to be found across the Universe because water fills the Universe. But what actually is it? What is its purpose?

I think it is a FEEDER.

All life whether microbes, plants, human, etc., seems to do is spend its time feeding. This seems to be the common denominator for all Life.

Does anybody know of anything other than feeding that could be classified as common denominator for Life?

Please, no more BS God stuff telling us a supernatural being runs around turning nothings into somethings. NOTHING = NOTHING. Stop looking for the easy way out! You will end up like OzSpen or Not_Now.Soon who wake up every morning telling themselves "Why I'm brilliant! I'll invent some story about some dude who pulls somethings out of a hat of nothings. And if anyone disagrees with me I will just hit them with a whole bunch of plagiarised Biblical quotes."
Posted by Mr Opinion, Saturday, 23 May 2020 10:28:51 AM
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Mr O,

The fact that sociolcultural evolution has generally
meant secularization in the past does not mean that
this must necessarily be so now and in the future.

What we've seen in part has been a growing religious
diversity reflecting increasing individualism and
diversity of our societies. Particularly in times of
uncertainty and rapid social change, people often
look back as they have done in the past to religious
values to stabilize and revitalize their culture.

We have seen - that the need for religion has
reasserted itself most powerfully in precisely those
societies that have become the most industrialized, and
materialistic.

For many years, it was widely felt that as science
progressively provided rational explanations for the
mysteries of the universe, religion would have less and
less of a role to play and would even totally disappear
unmasked as nothing more than superstition.

But there are gaps in our understanding that science
can never fill. On the ultimate important questions -
of the meaning and purpose of life and the nature of
morality.

Few people of modern societies would utterly deny the
possibility of some higher power in the universe, some
supernatural, transcendental realm that lies beyond the
boundaries of ordinary experience, and in this
fundamental sense religion is probably here to stay.
Posted by Foxy, Saturday, 23 May 2020 10:46:30 AM
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Foxy,

All you have just said is that some people have a scientific view of the world and some have a religious view of the world. We already know that.

The question I am pursuing is What is Life the entity? Is there a common characteristic that is shared by all Life? I'm saying all life forms are feeders. Can you think of anything other than that?
Posted by Mr Opinion, Saturday, 23 May 2020 11:24:44 AM
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Mr, O! Wrong again! The opposite of religion is not science but atheism. Science gives religion support, that there is order and moral law in the universe. That you prefer to see everything as random chaos and chance is not a scientific view of reality; because religion sees order and design.
Posted by Josephus, Saturday, 23 May 2020 11:37:46 AM
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Josephus,

You forgot to add your usual half a page of quotes from the Bible. You don't want people to get the idea that you cannot think for yourself, do you?
Posted by Mr Opinion, Saturday, 23 May 2020 11:47:13 AM
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Mr O,

Speaking from a biological point of view - "Life
is an entity with the ability to adapt to its environment."

The following link explains further:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/vchamary/2019/03/27/what-is-life/#74974c021c77
Posted by Foxy, Saturday, 23 May 2020 12:39:07 PM
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//water fills the Universe//

Nope.

//What is its purpose?

I think it is a FEEDER.//

That's not a purpose.

//All life whether microbes, plants, human, etc., seems to do is spend its time feeding.//

Yeah, I dunno about you but I do a lot more with my time than shovel food into my mouth every waking hour of the day. I'm guessing you drive a mobility scooter, Mr Obese.
Posted by Toni Lavis, Saturday, 23 May 2020 12:44:12 PM
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What is its purpose?
Well, it definitely shouldn't be about having to tolerate so many morons !
Posted by individual, Saturday, 23 May 2020 1:13:26 PM
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Foxy,

I really hate when people give their answer as "Here's an article, you can read all about what I know." It's like the person who repays a debt by saying "Joe owes me $20, you can get it off him."

I know Life adapts to environmental changes. Isn't that why Life has genes, to send messages to the cells about what's outside so that the cells can mutate in response to any changes that might stand in the way of survival?

What I am saying is that the role of Life is to feed. And it does this in all sorts of ways. But the common feature is that they all feed.

Do you or anyone else know of any other feature that all Life has in common, principally one that serves a specific purpose for the entity itself?
Posted by Mr Opinion, Saturday, 23 May 2020 1:26:12 PM
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I'll try again with the link. It gives a
good summation from a biological point of view:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jvchamary/2019/03/27/what-is-life/#4d3ba9d71c77
Posted by Foxy, Saturday, 23 May 2020 1:26:45 PM
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Mr O,

Why don't you instead of asking questions continually
allow yourself to open up your mind and actually take
notice of the references being given in an attempt to
answer some of the relevant questions being asked.

You just may learn something. What you like or do not like
is irrelevant. You need to respect the views of others if
you want them to return in kind.
Posted by Foxy, Saturday, 23 May 2020 1:30:56 PM
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Foxy,

I'm looking for answers, not empathy.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Saturday, 23 May 2020 1:47:24 PM
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Mr O,

In that case read the link being provided.
Posted by Foxy, Saturday, 23 May 2020 1:50:34 PM
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Foxy,

Thanks, it covers my areas of interest.

I like my idea of seeing all life as a feeder. I think I should give it a scientific name. How does 'Fred' sound?

I like Tony Lavis' comment at p.20: Ergo sum edo. Move aside Descartes, Tony is now the new father of epistemology.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Saturday, 23 May 2020 2:51:44 PM
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'What I am saying is that the role of Life is to feed'

If you don't mind me asking Mr O are you obese? You seem more obsessed with eating then what seems normal.
Posted by runner, Saturday, 23 May 2020 3:16:33 PM
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//Ergo sum edo.//

Nope, you've left a bit out. I'm pretty sure what you were trying to say was something along the lines of (excusing my poor grammar) 'edo ergo sum obesum' (you eat therefore you're a big fatty-boombah with more rolls than a Vietnamese bakery).

If it's the meaning of life you're after: in the Latin, XLII ergo sum. QED.
Posted by Toni Lavis, Saturday, 23 May 2020 4:05:52 PM
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Mr Opinion- Defining life as feeders is an interesting perspective and covers many of life's attributes. The tree of life can be seen as containing three groups of lifeforms- Plants that consume light, nutrients, water; prokaryotic and eukaryotic cellular organisms that eat other organisms; organisms that eat chemicals like sulphur. As Mr Opinion has said all of life need an energy source. Yes this seems to be a legitimate basic lense through which to understand the deeper meaning of what life is- and from a scientific point of view it's often good to start with a basic assumption and work upwards from there.

Perhaps it is a little basic to define holistic "human life" but it's a good start to the question was "What is life?"
Posted by Canem Malum, Saturday, 23 May 2020 5:38:54 PM
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Canem Malum,

It is one way of looking at what Life is and what Life is doing in the Universe.

The answer to the meaning of Life could be as simple as Life is all about eating stuff.

It might even turn out that the Universe itself is a feeder, with all of its bits and pieces gobbling up each other. Black holes might just be big galactic feeders.

Might make a good movie too. ALIEN: Feeders That Came To Earth.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Saturday, 23 May 2020 6:09:51 PM
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//The answer to the meaning of Life could be as simple as Life is all about eating stuff.//

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhbHTjMLN5c
Posted by Toni Lavis, Saturday, 23 May 2020 7:49:09 PM
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As we've just seen, eating stuff is only one facet to the meaning of life. I find this facet more interesting:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzVHjg3AqIQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDBjsFAyiwA

Especially the French ticklers
Posted by Toni Lavis, Saturday, 23 May 2020 8:23:59 PM
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To Opinion.

You've asked for a religous explaination. Somehow thinking this will be a debate. I've told you how parts of the bible and observations about the world (and about science) coincide and contribute to one another. Now I'll go past that and allow biblical answers to speak for themselves.

In Mathew Jesus fasts for 40 days, and near the end of that fast, He is tempted by Satan. In that chapter Jesus replies to the first temptation be quoting Deuteromony 8:3. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but from every word that comes from God."

This is two part on the subject of life being feeders.

1) It's not about being a feeder when you consider fasting. Amazingly studies have showing some health benefits to fasting. Including helping against diseases like cancer, Alzheimer's, diabetes; potentially increasing your lifespan, and helping reduce weight without losing muscle mass. This site shows 10 benefits from intermittent fasting that have been studied.
http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-health-benefits-of-intermittent-fasting#section6

This second site shows there's still some controversy on some of the benifits of fasting, however on other elements the webmd article seems to agree that there are uncontested benefits of fasting. There are some people that are recommended to not fast though, which the article covers at the end.
http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/is_fasting_healthy#4

2) The second thing is that according to at least Christianity (I can't sleek for other religions) these verses give the point that we live by God's word, and that both relying on God, as well and following His teachings and His commands are part of the point of being human.

Take what you want from this information. But at least from a Christian perspective. Life is not about feeding. Fasting can be healthy with several medical benefits, backed by scientific studies. But also fasting has a reputation of being practiced by most religions across the world, for thousands of years. There is likely a reason for this. One of those articles I referenced that it's likely that mankind is made to fast.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Sunday, 24 May 2020 2:05:35 AM
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.

Dear Not_Now.Soon,

.

Commenting on the theory of Democritus that “everything in the universe is the fruit of chance and necessity” (chance meaning a “random variable” and necessity an “inevitable” event) you ask :

« Do you have any examples or theories of an inevitable event? I think that is possibly the strongest point for life occurring without God, but I don't think it's looked into as much. Is there anything that we can determine is inevitable? »
.

Apart from abiogenesis, the theory of the spontaneous chemical reaction of non-living matter that is posited to have produced the first living cells, there is, of course, at the other end of the spectrum, death, which, in the present state of our scientific knowledge, is an inevitable event.

How chemical evolution led to the appearance of self-replicating polynucleotides has not been determined, but significant progress has been made. Future scientific production of artificial life forms is not to be excluded.

In a similar vein, various so-called non-compatible chemical substances react spontaneously and inevitably when they come into contact with each other, e.g., contact between vinegar and baking soda will inevitably cause an explosion. Here are some more examples :

http://www.thoughtco.com/dangerous-chemical-incompatibilities-602404
.

There are numerous other examples in nature such as the cycles of day and night, the seasons, the climate, gravity, ageing, cosmic evolution, etc.

Also, much of what we do not do (but should) and much of what we do (but shouldn’t) have consequences that are inevitable events.

We may ask if the current Coronavirus pandemic was the result of a chain of spontaneous reactions that was triggered by an inevitable event. Even if, theoretically, its emergence could have been avoided, it was not. It became an inevitable event.

If scientists succeed in creating life from non-living matter, Democritus’ theory that “everything in the universe is the fruit of chance and necessity” will have acquired solid credibility.

But don’t worry, NNS, the god hypothesis will still survive. It’s solidly entrenched in the minds of the faithful.

It will exist as long as mankind exists :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=aVZEQ-44K_Q

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Sunday, 24 May 2020 7:09:41 AM
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Not_Now.Soon,

It looks like you have really lost the plot.

The only evidence or theoretical basis you can put forward for a religious view of Life (the entity) is that you have an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-caring God who turns nothingness into something.

Your argument is insupportable simply because nothing is nothing and nothing cannot be made into something.

Your God is like Bullwinkle from the 'Rocky and Bullwinkle' show: "Watch me pull a Something out of my hat. Oops! Wrong hat!"

If I was you I would find a cosy little church somewhere on the edge of the world and lock myself up for LIFE.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Sunday, 24 May 2020 10:05:00 AM
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//If I was you I would find a cosy little church somewhere on the edge of the world//

The edge of the world? Look out people, we have a flat-Earther amongst us.
Posted by Toni Lavis, Sunday, 24 May 2020 10:19:31 AM
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FINAL SCORE: Science 1 / Religion 0
Posted by Mr Opinion, Sunday, 24 May 2020 4:51:18 PM
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//FINAL SCORE: Science 1 / Religion 0//

Sorry, flat-Earthers are disqualified from refereeing on science vs. religion matches because of their inherent bias against science. And because they're appallingly stupid. A re-match will need to be held with a competent umpire before the result can be declared.
Posted by Toni Lavis, Sunday, 24 May 2020 5:54:44 PM
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To Banjo Paterson.

As far as I can tell, life isn't an inevitable event. As for death. That seems more like a type of an event. We are only born one way, but we can die several ways from an accident, a sickness, or old age. It's inevitable because how it happens covers several different kinds of events. Life as I understand it doesn't happen that way.

If scientists create life from no living matter, that would give the idea more credit that it could happen out of chance. Possibly if the conditions were right, then life would have just happened and chance would be a smaller variable. However until such a finding is made, I have to go with what I see. Life is fragile and needs protecting to survive. Often needs protecting before the new life is even born or hatched.

As for the God hypothesis. I'm not worried, because He isn't a hypothesis.

To Yuyutsu,

Sometimes your perspective shocks me. You're views on suicide and the value of protecting life are so different from mine, because it sounds like a key you don't think it should be protected or even be a concern.

As for the interpretation in Genesis. In the book of Job when God finally responded to Job, some of what He said makes it clear that He had a more personal involvement in shaping the world and making the creatures in it, then just to make space for it. As for the bible its of. I hold it as reliable. If God ever has a hand in saying something to us, then it's worth listening to and relying on
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Sunday, 24 May 2020 7:26:13 PM
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To Opinion.

" Lost the plot," "final score?"

Are these your gifted debate skills at work? Just throwing more assertions out there when I've countered your points on water feeders with both scientific views and religious views?

"The only evidence or theoretical basis you can put forward for a religious view of Life (the entity) is that you have an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-caring God,"

Ignoring the fact that you're ignoring what else I have said (possibly because you can't counter it or refute it); if all I have is God as my evidence, then I have more then enough evidence as a whole. God isn't a theory, or a hypothesis.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Sunday, 24 May 2020 7:26:41 PM
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//Life is fragile and needs protecting to survive.//

Oh yeah? Tell that to Deinococcus radiodurans, a bacteria that can survive cold, dehydration, vacuum, acid... and being zapped with 500,000 rad. That's a lot of radiation, dude. You and I would die if we got hit with a 1000 rad.
Posted by Toni Lavis, Sunday, 24 May 2020 7:53:31 PM
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Not_Now.Soon: You say, "If scientists create life from no living matter, that would give the idea more credit that it could happen out of chance."

It might surprise you but depending on how you define "living" this had been done! Way back in the 1950's even.

In the early 50's Thomas King and Robert Briggs preformed a nuclear transplantation of a frog egg cell and very soon after work was extended by the Nobel prize winner the John Gurdon. Basically they cloned frogs. Further development of this sort of science led to the creation of first cloned mammal "Dolly the Sheep" which you may have heard of.

In the initial nuclear transplantation experiments, a nucleus from one mature frog cell was taken and inserted into an enucleated egg cell (ie. an egg that had its nucleus removed). Now, many would say that neither a nucleus nor a cell missing its nucleus can be said to be "living". Thus these experiments created life when they combined the two.

But what you may find even more surprising is in the last ten years the first synthetic bacterial species, Mycoplasma laboratorium, was created by using a completely mad-made chromosome (but they used the existing machinery of another bacterial cell to create the first instance of the new species). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycoplasma_laboratorium and also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_biology#Synthetic_life
Posted by thinkabit, Sunday, 24 May 2020 8:33:11 PM
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Mr Opinion: The scientific method, besides its foundational assumptions, only deals with that that can be measured/observed in the "natural world"* and it doesn't have anything to say about anything outside this. Hence, in the commonly held view, science cannot say anything about the notion of "nothing". The video I linked to previously explains the main problem with the concept of "nothing" clearly.

I should mention though that I was actually quite surprised that you used the "nothing comes from nothing" statement in an argument against the existence of god. Because this claim very often forms the starting premise for many arguemnts, going back a very, very long time, that theists use to prove god. This is why in the video that I linked to the atheists are arguing against the absolute truth of this claim.

*[PS: I personally have a non-standard differing view of the distinction between the natural and supernatural from that of many scientists.]
Posted by thinkabit, Sunday, 24 May 2020 9:01:10 PM
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.

Dear Not_Now.Soon ,

.

You wrote :

« If scientists create life from no living matter, that would give the idea more credit that it could happen out of chance. Possibly if the conditions were right, then life would have just happened and chance would be a smaller variable. However until such a finding is made, I have to go with what I see »
.

Naturally, I share your scepticism of Democritus’ hypothesis of the genesis of life. Until such time as scientists succeed in replicating the posited natural process of the creation of life from non-living matter, I too consider that we should reserve our judgment.

However, it seems somewhat paradoxical that, at the same time, you declare :

« As for the God hypothesis. I'm not worried, because He isn't a hypothesis »

I interpret this to mean that you consider that God’s existence is an established fact. If so, you are obviously applying double standards, NNS : a sceptical attitude towards scientific hypotheses and a credulous attitude towards religious dogma.

From my point of view, that is an inconsistent worldview to say the least. I instinctively apply a cautiously empirical attitude to all postulated theories of whatever nature and do my best to avoid succumbing to any so-called “confirmation bias”.

But please forgive me if I misjudge you, NNS. Perhaps, like Hans Vaihinger, you are simply proceeding “as if” what is theoretically known to be false is true.

Whatever the case, there is very little chance that you or I will ever know how life came about. It is estimated that it took about three hundred million years to develop on earth. Even if our most brilliant scientists take only a tenth of that time, they still have a long way to go.

In the meantime, you can dream on, NNS ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yq4KA0mUnC8

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Monday, 25 May 2020 1:07:29 AM
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To Thinkabit.

Although that is a very interesting point. That we have crossed the threshold of being able to clone, and to influence DNA before or even after a creature is born. However, I don't think it counts very far if we have to use an integral part of the reproductive system in order to clone as a statement that we've created life out of nonliving material. Even considering DNA manipulation, I don't see that as an element that just occurs and then creates the cell around it. As best as I can tell DNA is a fragile piece of our build that it needs to be in a cell to survive and to do the job of being read by RNA which is then used to make the molecules that are the building blocks of a cell.

This is a version of which came first the chicken or the egg. Did the cell come first which could house and protect the DNA that is the blueprint of the cell? Or did the DNA come first unprotected and just happen to survive the hostile conditions of the earth long enough to create the components in the cell to protect it.

The only thing that makes sense to me is that both came at the same time. Anything less then this and either the DNA is lost and destroyed, or the cell doesn't grow and doesn't reproduce.

If scientists can clone or can create life in environments that aren't a sterile lab away from outside influence, then life might have been able to begin on it's own through chance if the conditions are right. That kind of environmental beginning might have to be studied in space though. A vacuumed environment might be the closest lab like setting outside of a lab that is not influenced by the chaotic beginnings of the earth.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Monday, 25 May 2020 3:06:46 AM
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To Banjo Paterson.

When you are confronted by two things. One that is theoretical (you haven't seen it yet but you've been taught about it), while the other is something you've seen, or something you've witnessed. That isn't paradoxical to count the one you've seen as reliable, but the other one as unconfirmed is it?

I get the worry about confirmation bias, but at some point you have to follow the evidence and the clues where they lead. If there is a bias to following that evidence trail, so be it. It is better to follow where the evidence goes, then to not seek the truth in order to not be biased.

I hope you understand. Here's another example though just to clarify it all. A child when they learn about love, it starts probably with the example of their parents. That is what they've seen and what they know is reliable. Though there are undoubtedly other theories of how love works and how relationships should be, those are unconfirmed until they are tested to see if they are just as reliable as the person's parents (who may have a positive relationship, or a negative relationship).

I'm not saying that scientific theories are all without merit, or that I hold reservations out for them while accepting religious doctrine in my religious upbringing that is also untested. What I'm saying is that the existence of God has been confirmed several times in my life. Most of them through the interaction of prayer. He's not a theory or a hypothesis.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Monday, 25 May 2020 3:08:05 AM
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//What I'm saying is that the existence of God has been confirmed several times in my life. Most of them through the interaction of prayer.//

OK, I've prayed to Thor - since he's the God of atmospheric precipitation when he's not appearing in Marvel movies - for a bit of rain for the parts of Australia that remain drought affected. If they get some rain at some point in the future, I can take that as more confirmatory evidence for the existence of Thor, right?
Posted by Toni Lavis, Monday, 25 May 2020 6:53:51 AM
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Not_Now.Soon: You've just moved the goal posts. You originally said that it would be sufficient for you to consider the possibility of a chance creation of life if non-living things could be brought together to form life. So I detailed that this has already been done. To repeat: if the case of the frog experiment in the 1950's a non-living cell nucleus was combined with a non-living eukaryotic cell that has had its nucleus removed. (The nucleus of an eukaryotic cell is a membrane bound organelle which contains its DNA along with other stuff. The other stuff helps physically arrange the large scale shape of the DNA and also helps with the reading of the DNA). And more recently in the last ten years a completely man-made novel chromosome (ie: a long strand of DNA) of a new synthetic species was combined with a bacterial cell with its DNA removed. (A bacterium dosen't have its DNA compartmentalised and stored in a nucleus but rather it just sort of floats around in the cell- this is actually one the of defining differences between a prokaryote and a eukaryote)

Now you can't argue that two separate things have been added together. Also you can't sensibly argue whether the result was a living thing since the resulting cells went on to reproduce (and in the case of the frog experiment it developed into a new tadpole). Both these two claims have been demonstrated/observed.

What you may argue is whether a cell without its DNA is alive or not (for example a mature red blood cell has lost/removed its nucleus along with other stuff so is it alive?). However, once the DNA material is removed most of the internal functioning of a cell comes to an abrupt halt so according to many definitions of life it wouldn't be considered a living thing. Eg: it certainly can't reproduce.

-continued below ---
Posted by thinkabit, Monday, 25 May 2020 11:45:12 AM
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-- from above --

So therefore, if you except that a cell without its DNA is non-living then we have conclusively demostrated that we can create life from non-living components.

But now you've arbitrarily and restrospectively changed your position so that now it is a requirement that for anything to be considered a life form it must be made from non-biological derived components and not in a lab. Well, you are allowed you to have your own peculiar definition of life but most scientists (and even people in general) would find that a rather restrictive definition. It seems that you have deliberately restricted the definition so that no-matter what humans are able to do, they will never have created life. In other words, your previous reply to me indicates that you have already biased yourself so much that you will never allow the possibility that life maybe something which can be created by a human.
Posted by thinkabit, Monday, 25 May 2020 11:50:25 AM
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in previous post: "if you except that a cell without its DNA"

should obviously be

"if you accept that a cell without its DNA"
Posted by thinkabit, Monday, 25 May 2020 11:52:31 AM
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To Thinkabit.

I'm sorry if you feel that I was changing the goal post. I'm not changing the goal posts but I'll try to clear up what I meant.

Origionally I said to Banjo Paterson regarding the theories of biogenesis:

"If scientists create life from no living matter, that would give the idea more credit that it could happen out of chance. Possibly if the conditions were right, then life would have just happened and chance would be a smaller variable. However until such a finding is made, I have to go with what I see. Life is fragile and needs protecting to survive. Often needs protecting before the new life is even born or hatched."

The context of this is about how life started on earth. Not whether life can be duplicated through cloning, or through DNA manipulation in a lab setting. Whether we has crossed that threshold of being able to clone, or to change DNA to make something that was not it's original DNA, was not my concern, nor is it something that I see an issue with recognizing that we've done. We started insulin treatments a long time ago using pigs, to harvested the insulin drugs needed. If I remember correctly this also included gene manipulation at one time. That I have no problem with. What I have doubts about is that these inserting one DNA into another host cell would happen on it's own. A cell needs something to create it. Blood cells though have no DNA, and are formed in bone marrow. Which I assume is under the prevision of the body's direction and probably has DNA in the mix. Red blood cells don't reproduce on their own. The crux of the issue is making a cell body to house the DNA in. If a cell body can be made without being a byproduct of a already living creature, then that material (living or nonliving) gives a better chance of it being able to occur in the beginning stages of earth. As of now I don't see that happening.

(Continued)
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Monday, 25 May 2020 1:26:32 PM
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The process within cloning, while being a fascinating point, does not demonstrate something that would occur in a lifeless world before life began on earth.

Call it changing the goal posts if you want. But the point is about how life began on earth. Not how it can be manipulated in today's world. If life can be stared through nonliving material (that isn't a byproduct of something already alive) then this could give a small chance to the argument that this occured in Earth's history. If the conditions that made said life in a lab could be duplicated on a massive sustainable scale at Earth's beginnings, then this could possibly be considered not a momentary chance occurance that likely got snuffed out before having a second generation. But instead if it matched the theorized state the world was in that life was made in a lab, then it might go to the point of Banjo Paterson's perspective of life being an inevitable event.

That is where the goal post is. That is where it was before as well. Sorry if it was not clear before.

On the other hand one theory is that the components for life started in space from asteroids falling to earth. With that in mind, I've included the possibility that experiments in space could be an enviornment to test hypothesizes of life starting on earth
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Monday, 25 May 2020 1:27:18 PM
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Dear Not_Now.Soon,

«Sometimes your perspective shocks me. You're views on suicide and the value of protecting life are so different from mine, because it sounds like a key you don't think it should be protected or even be a concern.»

You seem to have gravely misunderstood me. I presume that you are referring to me writing: "It is a mistake to believe that killing our body can stop us from living."

Yes, life does not end with the demise of our body, but this DOES NOT imply that it is OK to kill our body - it is [in normal circumstances] a grave sin to do so!

While there is no reason for concern about a body as such, we SHOULD be concerned about the well-being of the indweller of the body. While losing a body is not fatal for our soul, it is still a setback which hurts and should be avoided.

«As for the interpretation in Genesis. In the book of Job when God finally responded to Job, some of what He said makes it clear that He had a more personal involvement in shaping the world and making the creatures in it, then just to make space for it.»

Of course, nothing can be done or even conceived outside of God.
However, the human mind cannot fathom how that "happens". You mentioned for example "personal involvement", which is a convenient but futile human attempt at understanding/visualising, because God is not a person.

Note also, that even while God had a more "personal involvement", this does not mean that it all had to be described in Genesis 1:1.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Monday, 25 May 2020 2:26:36 PM
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Toni, I was interested in your prayer for rain. Can I tell you of my nephews year 5 class at a Blue mountains religious school. At the beginning of the year it was believed that no respectful rain would fall before May 2020 and this concerned the children in the class who had been through severe bush fires. They spent a day praying for rain; within two days they witnessed 200 mm of drenching rain. Do you think they believed in a God who answers prayer over the climate experts claims.

http://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/no-rain-until-may-forecasters-warn-that-there-will-be-no-significant-rainfall-for-six-months-as-experts-warn-of-worst-bushfire-season-ever/ar-AAK004U

http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2020/01/bom-one-month-ago-no-rain-until-april.html

http://www.advanceaustralia.org.au/bureau_of_meteorology_s_dec_forecast_of_no_rain_til_may

http://www.weatherzone.com.au/news/wet-start-to-2020-in-the-blue-mountains-/531275

Ben Domensino, Monday March 16, 2020 - 15:11 EDT
Parts of the Blue Mountains in NSW are having their wettest start to a year in 44 years.

As of 9am on Monday, Katoomba had received 920.1mm of rain since the beginning of 2020. This is the site's highest running total to this point in the year since 1976 and their sixth highest on record, with data available back to 1886.

Elsewhere in the mountains, Mount Boyce's year-to-date total of 741mm is its highest in records dating back to 1995, while Faulconbridge's 780.8mm beats records going back to at least 1986.

The bulk of this year's rain fell during February as a deep and slow-moving low pressure trough caused widespread rain in eastern NSW. Katoomba's 701mm during the month was its highest for February total since 1956. It was also the site's fourth highest monthly total on record for any time of the year.

Impressively, parts of the Blue Mountains have already seen more rain this year than they did throughout all of 2019. Mount Boyce's 741mm for the year-to-date trumps last year's annual total of 710mm.
Posted by Josephus, Monday, 25 May 2020 7:08:37 PM
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//Toni, I was interested in your prayer for rain.//

Yeah, so I prayed for rain this morning, and it's been absolutely pissing down in Newcastle for most of the day. Technically, Newcastle is not one of the drought affected areas that I asked Thor to shower with his benevolence. But praying for rain, only to have it bucket down outside my window all day? I would say that this is definitely a sign from Thor. Either that or a classic east coast low. But I'm going with the Thor explanation... atmospheric pressure can't answer prayers.
Posted by Toni Lavis, Monday, 25 May 2020 7:43:05 PM
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.

Dear Not_Now.Soon,

.

You wrote :

« What I'm saying is that the existence of God has been confirmed several times in my life. Most of them through the interaction of prayer »
.

Like Toni Lavis, I’m having difficulty understanding how that can be NNS. Either you’ve said too much or not enough.

If you want us to understand how you could possibly have had confirmation of the existence of God several times in your life – “most of them through the interaction of prayer” – then it would be necessary for you to give us a detailed account of exactly what happened, how it happened, in what circumstances, and what proof you have.

But if you don’t want to do that, then there’s no point in even mentioning it.

If it is so personal, and if you are the only person in the world to have exclusive right of access to “confirmation” – not just once, but “several times” – that God really does exist, then you are an extremely privileged person indeed.

I’m sure the High Priests of all the Christian denominations, the Imams, Mollahs and Ayatollahs of Islam as well as the Chief Rabbis of Judaism would all have liked to have been informed.

It’s amazing that God should single you out among the seven billion people on earth to make a revelation of such magnitude. How long have you kept it secret ? Why did you not announce it immediately to the rest of the world ?

Why should he choose you rather than all the suffering and the needy, the hundreds of millions of innocent people massacred by ruthless tyrants down the ages : Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol-Pot and the like ?

Many of those poor, innocent victims must have been sincere in their faith. Many must have placed their trust in God. Many must have prayed with all their heart, pleaded as Jesus pleaded on the cross …

Torture, massacre, famine, thirst … men, women and children … prayed and prayed … with all their heart.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Tuesday, 26 May 2020 6:29:37 AM
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Banjo Paterson, You are cynical!
Ask twenty ten and eleven year old children I mentioned in my last post, if God confirmed their prayers? The department of meteorology were predicting another four months till May 2020, of drought and fire which created great anxiety for these children, whose homes were threatened by fires, they decided as a class to pray. Was their prayer answered and their anxiety turned to praise?

People are praying all the time and getting answers and insights and directions. God is both transcendent, beyond our comprehension, and imminent, is close to our desires and thoughts.
Posted by Josephus, Tuesday, 26 May 2020 7:28:24 AM
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Toni Lavis,

Long live Deinococcus radiodurans!

It will probably outlive us all. In fact one writer once described us humans as a taxi cab for bacteria.

And the final score will always be science 1 / religion 0.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Tuesday, 26 May 2020 7:39:40 AM
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//Banjo Paterson, You are cynical!//

You know what's really cynical? Getting small children to pray for rain two days before rain arrives when two day forecasts are readily available and highly accurate. Some some might consider that an underhanded trick, but you've gotta admit it's a very clever way of convincing credulous children - and apparently at least one credulous grown man - that there is a God who will answer their prayers.

I can't help but be reminded of the tale of Christopher Columbus and the eclipse. On 30 June 1503, Christopher Columbus beached his two last caravels and was stranded in Jamaica. Initially, the native peoples (Arawak Indians) welcomed the castaways, providing them with food and shelter, but as the days dragged into weeks, tensions mounted. Finally, after Columbus and his men had been stranded for more than six months, the Arawaks halted the food supply.

Columbus requested a meeting the Arawak leader, and told him that God was angry with the local people's treatment of Columbus and his men. Therefore, he was about to provide a clear sign of his displeasure: three nights hence, he would all but obliterate the rising full moon, making it appear "inflamed with wrath," which would signify the evils that would soon be inflicted upon all of them. When a blood red moon appeared in the sky on the appointed evening, the Arawaks were terrified. Columbus' son Ferdinand wrote that the Arawaks "with great howling and lamentation they came running from every direction to the ships, laden with provisions, praying the Admiral to intercede by all means with God on their behalf; that he might not visit his wrath upon them".
Posted by Toni Lavis, Tuesday, 26 May 2020 9:38:16 AM
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But of course, God had nothing to do with it. It was a trick; Columbus had an almanac accurately predicting lunar eclipses and cleverly used that knowledge to his advantage. It's a good story.

Who wants to bet that Josephus' newphew's teacher had a BOM website accurately predicting rain and cleverly used that knowledge to their advantage?

Oh, and Josephus, before you protest 'but the BOM said it wouldn't rain': I'm afraid that's nonsense. Climate forecasts and long-term forecasts are not the same as short-term weather forecasts, which these days are highly accurate. And that rain was definitely predicted. When I'm not stood down due to pandemics, I work as an outdoor guide at a school camp in north-west Sydney, fairly close to the Blue Mountains. Given the nature of the work, we're very much at the mercy of the weather so we pay close attention to forecasts. I remember that particularly wet Monday in mid-March... and I remember that it was predicted in the short term forecast.
Posted by Toni Lavis, Tuesday, 26 May 2020 9:39:48 AM
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Toni Lavis: I'm delighted to here about your personal account of the power of Thor. Praise be to Thor!

Like you I can also relate a personal account of the power an interventionist God. I personally am a disciple of the goddess Freyja. A few months ago when the corona virus became a thing, I was very worried that it might get me. So I decided to pray to Freyja for protection. I was very sincere in my supplication and very devoted. I prayed so much that I even refused to go out, instead I just preyed all the time. Even if someone came to the door I refused to greet them because it would be a diversion from my plea for deliverance from the virus. And now, here we are on the other side of the pandemic and I'm still alive. I really feel that if it wasn't for Freyja then surely I would have died, I just know that it was her that saved me.
Posted by thinkabit, Tuesday, 26 May 2020 10:29:18 AM
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//I personally am a disciple of the goddess Freyja.//

Good for you, thinkabit. Unlike our flat-Earther friend Mr. Obese and his ilk, I'm not personally bothered by which God(s) you place your faith in. Unless it's Loki or Set, those guys are just dicks.

Just don't present me with a hypothesis with no predictive power, offer up only undetailed anecdote as supporting evidence for your empty hypothesis, claim that your hypothesis is not only unfalsified but conclusively proven and then proudly announce 'Look, I just done proved something with Science!', or I might have to be sarcastic at you.

Frankly, it's a mystery to me why some people feel that God is a concept that requires proof. I reckon Lord Vader would find their lack of faith disturbing.
Posted by Toni Lavis, Tuesday, 26 May 2020 1:03:00 PM
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.

Dear Josephus,

.

You wrote :

« People are praying all the time and getting answers and insights and directions. God is both transcendent, beyond our comprehension, and imminent, is close to our desires and thoughts »
.

There’s no doubt about it, Josephus, religion captures the imagination of billions of people around the world. As you say, many of them are “praying all the time and getting answers and insights and directions”.

But that does not mean that there really is a god in the sense of some sort of transcendental being, as you suggest.

The state of calm and serenity that prayer produces in many of those who practise it regularly, is conducive, like yoga, to peaceful meditation and rational thought. It helps put things in perspective and see them differently. It opens the mind to unexplored possibilities and solutions.

Faith in God can be a saving grace as proved to be the case in the tragic earthquake that struck Haiti without warning in 2010.

People were trapped under tons of concrete and rubble. No one ever heard them. Nobody came to their rescue.

A few rare victims were saved, in extremis, long after the rescue operations were officially abandoned, and all hope was lost. Most of them attributed their remarkable survival and ultimate rescue to their unwavering faith in god.

It was their faith that helped them to wait patiently in the assurance that somehow, they would be saved. It protected them from panic, stress, fear, anguish, despair, and depression. It gave them strength to resist pain, discomfort, heat, cold, claustrophobia, isolation, thirst, and hunger. It helped them support their dirty, suffocating prisons, for nearly two weeks, never knowing if it was day or night.

It was their faith that helped them to survive, not god. It was a team of trained and experienced rescue operators, not religion, that extracted them from under those tons of concrete and rubble.

Finally, as James indicated in the bible, they were saved not by faith alone, but also by actions – those of the specialist rescue operators !

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Tuesday, 26 May 2020 11:09:26 PM
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To Banjo Paterson.

What I‘ve found is no uncommon thing. Josephus points this out that people all over the world have found God through prayer. There are other ways to either find Him or hint at Him being there. Outside of prayer I mean.

Consider that for a moment or two before replying. There are a lot of stories and testimonies about God. Some are impressive and awe inspiring, others not as impressive except to add to an already high statistic of observations of God helping, intervening, or otherwise giving an answer to a prayer.

There are two types theories I've come across to dismiss those kinds of observations. Both fail in considering the number of people making the observations. The first is that the people are crazy, or had a moment of craziness. The mind was playing tricks on them, or they were under the influence of some kind of delusion for whatever reason. This theory dismisses that the large number of people are all unable to think clearly and assess the situation as well as the person dismissing their account can. It's faulty logic because it assumes superiority to the situation and to reasoning that they were not there for to thousands of people throughout the world and throughout history. The second theory is a conspiracy of lies. People made it up. To gain fame, recognition, or to fool the masses into believing their religion. The problem with this theory again goes to the number of accounts, but also to the position those people are in. They occur in any walks of life, not just higher ups in the church.

(Continued)
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Thursday, 28 May 2020 1:08:08 AM
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(Continued)

Your example of those surviver's in Haiti, fits under the first category of mass dismissing. The surviver's lasted because they had unwavering faith that kept them calm for two weeks. But all of this is a side effect of the faith's calming effect. A trick of the mind under stress or something. I somehow believe that God's presence was there with them helping them be calm, more then I believe they survived with unwavering faith, after everyone above ground, gave up hope of finding anyone else alive.

As for me. I've given a few testimonies on OLO before. The conversations went as well as you could have guessed I suppose. The responses were either mock and ridicule "oh really, yeah I prayed to Thor." Or they gave an explanation to say why things happened the way they did. Including the idea that I willed myself to have more energy while tired on the road, and just credited it to the awesomeness of the brain, instead of a quick answer to a just as quick prayer. Or I was accused as lying, and was demanded to have an answer why I was so special to get an answer, while millions of others die everyday without an answer. (The answer is that I'm not that special. It's fairly common occurrence that someone has an experience with God at some point in their lives).

Nonetheless, if you are interested, since I haven't relayed that much info in this discussion on God being confirmed on more then one occasion. I'll give you a few occasions that He was there for me. Once again, I maintain what I've found when I say I've found God is not that uncommon. In fact the way I see it, if I can find Him. Then so can you. So can anyone else here. I'm not special.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Thursday, 28 May 2020 1:11:01 AM
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To Banjo Paterson

The first experience I'll share occurred when I was a kid. At that time I was not Christian. I grew up in a family where my mom is Christian, and my dad is Baha'i. Both religions believe in God, and believe it to be the he same God, (not Thor, or some other random name out there), but the same way that Jewish, Christian and Islamic all believe they believe in the same God, that is also the same way with Baha'i as well. I say this because I had a foundation that God was real from both parents, but not from a specific religion. That search came later.

Either way, at this time I was depressed and wanted to be done. So I prayed for God to end my life. His response was not a "yes," but it was a response. That moment (almost before I ended my prayer) there was a peace and love felt. The best description I can give it is like a mom or a dad hugging their child and making them feel better. Except that this was a stronger sense of peace.

(Continued)
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Thursday, 28 May 2020 1:46:18 AM
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(Continued)

Please don't give an explanation to say how meditative prayers are, or that I wasn't that depressed, and this wasn't an observable change. I've heard the rationales here on OLO. And all I want to say on this is don't waste your time and mine to insult me that way. I am of sound mind, observant, and aware of my surroundings. The explanations people give to actual claims when people give their testimony don't fit the situation. I'm not here to debate this or any other event and watch as people insult my ability to be aware and reasonable by saying what's wrong with me. I'm give
I got you this example because you wanted more information.

I have since then prayed and noticed an emotional response, that I wonder and think "is that from God?" Some of those I question because I know myself, and I don't want to assume what God is saying, when it could be that it's something I am hoping, something I am worrying about, or it's something that I've though about and using God as an excuse to do what I'd already decided to do beforehand. Yes those are things I worry about andI think they keep me at a distance from being closer to God because I'm not sure what is from Him and what isn't unless it's a shown in a dramatic way, or unless it's in the bible. Nonetheless, this event was not like those, and was an intense feeling of peace and comfort. This is one of the times there is no question that it came from God. Other emotional responses I've had no question that they were from God though as well.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Thursday, 28 May 2020 1:46:46 AM
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To Banjo Paterson.

A second event I'll share, happened when I was coming home from a wedding. It was a friend of my brother's who had gotten married, so our family was invited as a whole to come attend the wedding, and celebrate afterwards. The location though was a ways from home, and when I left it was late and I was tired. Driving home I got worried about driving safely, because I wasn't aware how tired I was until I started driving. At that point though, I was already on the road, nowhere to pull off yet, and no phone. So I thought a very quick prayer that was basically a call for help. Immediately after that quick "help me God" thought I felt awake. Very awake. I made it home and went to bed, but I couldn't go to sleep for another half hour or so after I came home. The answer to this prayer was a physical change. An observable change that I know isn't some mind trick, or the power of the mind kind of thing. This is the second time in my life that I'm aware of, where God answered a prayer with a physical change in me. Something I could feel, not with emotions, but with my senses. The first time was enough for me to be aware that God can do this, and that was a realization on it's own. However this event I share for your benefit, so that you can know what God can do if He wants to. After this happened I was grateful and surprised how God answered the prayer, but not surprised that He could answer it this way.

(Continued)
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Thursday, 28 May 2020 2:29:59 AM
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Once again I ask you to not try and debate or offer an explanation to explain this away. This kind of answer though rarer then other prayer responses, still happened, and the explanations I've heard debated here on OLO, have been desperate attempts for a reason, and quite frankly were insulting. I'd rather not go into that again. I'd rather you believed or disbelieved my accounts without a debate.

However I will say this. I know my limitations, and my faults. I know that I have nothing special about me, nor something to show a worthiness of God's attention. Therefore my thought as I've said before is that if I can find God then so can anyone else. It would be easier to try to find God on your own then to debate how someone else has found God. That way you can see on your own instead of offer shallow explanations for events you weren't there for. If you find Him, great. If not, then at least you tried. My advise for this though is to treat God with at least the same respect as you would a stranger you see on the street. The reasoning is that if you wouldn't go up to a stranger and say to them "prove to me your a good person," or "prove to me you exist," nor put them on the spot as some kind of experiment; then don't treat God in the same manner. Give Him at least the same respect you'd give a guy you greet on the road of life, even if you've never met them before. But with God go ahead and talk to Him. Share your thoughts, your worries. Your hopes, or anything else. The bible encourages people to pray at all times, and pray for all things. So you can bring anything to God in prayer.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Thursday, 28 May 2020 2:30:38 AM
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To Banjo Paterson.

I've given you two examples of prayers having an answer. And for me being there for these and a few others, these are enough to show that God is real. He is not a theory, nor a hypothesis. However, I also let you know that people can find God (or clues of Him), through other means besides prayer. I've already given some thoughts on that matter in this discussion with observations of the world around us. Studying the life that is here, it's complexity, and how well everything has a place, as well as life being sustained instead of falling apart and becoming extinct.

That said, I'll give you one more observation. Not a prayer, nor a view of the world. Just an observation on my life. I'm not a saint or a scholar. Not remarkably gifted, nor someone who gone through great hardships that deserves God's attention and grace. Nothing I've done can be said that I've earned a special place with God. Nonetheless I can tell you based on when I've gotten into some of the things I'm not proud of (and things I won't share here), they were also things I was ashamed of and tried to distance myself from God as well.

(Continued)
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Thursday, 28 May 2020 3:02:17 AM
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(Continued)

The idea was to not pray, not ask for forgiveness, not ask for help. And from being ashamed I'd not approach God until I could get myself out of that habit, and cleaned myself up. The result was a strange observation. When I was trying to be close to God, I was a better person then when I tried on my own efforts to be a good person. One is that I never got away from the thing I was trying to quit. I'd be good for a little while but then fall right back into it. (It's not drugs but it is an addictive habit). The second thing I noticed is that while I struggled to make myself a better person, the struggle was harder on other fronts then just the issue I was dealing with. I got agitated easier, lost patience, and had a shorter fuse.

By no means can I say I am a perfect person when I try to have God in my life more. But I am a better person when I do. It is not as hard to be forgiving, or patient, or understanding, when I ask for God in my life, and ask for His forgiveness and help for my issues. But when I've tried to do so without God, it's like a computer game setting where you have normal or easy difficult setting, then going to hard mode. Not having God puts life in the difficult setting.

I'm telling you this because this is an observation about God, and His effect on my life without it being about praying. There are other observable things to point to God, even if you don't have an answer to a prayer.

As for the thing I was dealing with. I never got over it on my own. But every time I brought it to God when it was a temptation or an ongoing issue. He's helped me with it. And the temptation wasn't there as often nor as strong, when I tried to stay close to God.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Thursday, 28 May 2020 3:06:02 AM
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//The first is that the people are crazy, or had a moment of craziness. The mind was playing tricks on them, or they were under the influence of some kind of delusion for whatever reason.//

//The second theory is a conspiracy of lies. People made it up.//

Remarkably similar to C.S. Lewis' false trilemma, and just as dodgy an argument I'm afraid. You are failing to take into account other possible explanations outside of your arbitrary limitations of 'Liar, Lunatic or Lord'. I believe you reject those other possible explanations because you have assumed their (in)validity, which begs the question.
Posted by Toni Lavis, Thursday, 28 May 2020 7:29:11 AM
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//The responses were either mock and ridicule "oh really, yeah I prayed to Thor."//

I fail to see what is ridiculous about praying to Thor. He's a God, surely it is reasonable to pray to Him? If someone prays to a different God to you, do you think they do that to mock and ridicule you?

It was an argument from analogy, NNS, attempting to demonstrate that praying for something which can occur by random chance without requiring divine intercession, and then if it does occur, concluding that it was necessarily the work of a higher power, is not a valid argument. The identity of the God in question was irrelevant, I just happen to like Thor; would you still consider it mockery if I had prayed to the Hindu God Indra? Or the Rainbow Serpent?
Posted by Toni Lavis, Thursday, 28 May 2020 7:56:22 AM
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The Children's return to class on the Blue Mountains was Tuesday, 28th January, 2020 when they prayed for rain, because of the choking smoke and fires. Katoomba received 701mm during the month of February and it was highest for February total since 1956. It was also the Katoomba's fourth highest monthly total on record for any time of the year. There was no manipulation of the children it was their initiative. Being in tune with the creation is important. Tony there was no prospect of rain promised by the Climate News activists, whom they were hearing on the news as fires were reported.
Posted by Josephus, Thursday, 28 May 2020 5:12:45 PM
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//The Children's return to class on the Blue Mountains was Tuesday, 28th January, 2020 when they prayed for rain, because of the choking smoke and fires. Katoomba received 701mm during the month of February and it was highest for February total since 1956. It was also the Katoomba's fourth highest monthly total on record for any time of the year.//

Sorry, my mistake. I assumed since you specifically quoted the article dated March 16, you were referring to the rain on that day - and it was very wet that day. Although it was wetter back in February; work was flooded out for a few days. Once again, this rain was forecast a few days out: big rain events like that are bloody hard not to see coming.

//Tony there was no prospect of rain promised by the Climate News activists//

Right, and what about the prospect of rain promised by the weather forecast? You know, this sort of thing:

http://www.bom.gov.au/nsw/forecasts/newcastle.shtml
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gs58kIWyrA

Where they tell you what the weather is doing for next few days. And don't mention climate change at all. Because it isn't in any way relevant, so I don't know why you keep trying to drag it into the discussion. Do you think I'm incapable of recognising an obvious red herring?
Posted by Toni Lavis, Thursday, 28 May 2020 6:01:27 PM
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Dear Josephus,

Good on the kids in Katoomba. Pity the prayers of the kids in Bourke and Dubbo were not answered in the same fashion but perhaps they weren't as worthy. Who know the mysterious ways of the Lord.
Posted by SteeleRedux, Thursday, 28 May 2020 7:31:47 PM
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To Toni.

I've had conversations that I've shared my testimony. From what I've seen of those conversations though is at least one person who wants to prove me wrong on experiences I've seen first hand, while they didn't. From those long and exhausting conversations, what I've learned is that nothing I say will matter in the conversation from that point on. I can say how their explanations are don't fit the situations they are trying to rationalize away, and they can say right back, "prove it." "If I'm wrong, then prove it." Or the conversation can go to a worse turn and I don't have to defend my experience but I have to defend myself. Either I am called a lier, or I have to defend my ability to have rational and sane observations. Crazy may or may not be used at this time, but a lapse of judgement, a trick of the brain, or a mental illness are the common hurdles to jump over and jump through. Enough that I have to prove my own ability to know the world around me, and to speak truthfully.

This isn't about hearing criticisms. I've heard them. They don't fit the situations. This is about finding a practical approach to my testimony whenever it would come up. That approach is that they can look for God also. If I can find Him then so can they. This takes away from the very insulting conversation that would follow of trying to prove me as a lier or dumber then a box of rocks.

If you don't believe me, or want to find out if what I say has any value to it, then look for God on your own. That saves both me and the other person time and can actually give results or at least resolve the issue. It's a practical solution. Meanwhile, if what I say is true, then it can be looked at for any gems for finding God, or for hope and inspiration on the quest of finding God.

(Continued)
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Friday, 29 May 2020 2:17:45 AM
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(Continued)

As for praying to Thor. If you believe in Thor, then it is not ridicule. If you don't believe in Thor, then praying to him as a comparison to praying to God, is ridicule. You can use a Hindu god instead if you like, but the same rule applies. If you don't believe in them, you use it as a means to counter prayers of those who do believe in God. Then that is also ridicule.

My examples were not examples of the type of prayers you used when you joke only said you prayed for rain. There are prayers that are answered that do not fit with your views of the results of praying. The children praying for rain do fit your explanation, but they also fit mine as well. That God does answer prayers. After all if He can answer prayers in a way that is undoubtedly from God, He can also answer them by just making it rain and not have to flaunt His power. There was a prayer, and the prayer was answered. It's possible that God is responsible for this, especially when God is real anyways.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Friday, 29 May 2020 2:18:26 AM
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.

Dear Not_Now.Soon,

.

Thank you for those details of the social and religious influences that determined your world-view.

I hope your family has now settled into Australia and managed to adapt to the “Australian way of life” and become accepted. It’s no easy task and can take a very long time, several generations.

Happily, the “White Australia Policy” that came into force with federation in 1901 began to be progressively dismantled after the second world war (as from 1949), was finalised with the passing of the Racial Discrimination Act in 1975.

Racism was legal in Australia for three-quarters of a century. And, in fact, our Constitution, which is the supreme law of the nation, still contains two racial sections that continue to remain in force :

• Section 51(xxvi), commonly called "the race power", is the subsection of Section 51 of the Constitution of Australia granting the Australian Commonwealth the power to make special laws for people of any race.

• Section 25 is a provision of the Constitution of Australia headed "Provision as to races disqualified from voting’. It states that ‘For the purposes of the last section, if by the law of any State all persons of any race are disqualified from voting at elections for the more numerous House of the Parliament of the State, then, in reckoning the number of the people of the State or of the Commonwealth, persons of that race resident in that State shall not be counted."

Prior to 1975, life was not easy for people (particularly “non-white” people) immigrating to Australia. Though racism was gradually diminishing, it was not until 1975 with the influx of non-European migration in large numbers that mentalities began to change significantly. Today, we are a country that is defined, in part, by our diverse multicultural nature and character.

So much for the social influences.

The motor for religious influence, of course, is inheritance. We inherit our beliefs. Islam will, inevitably, dethrone Christianity and become the world’s leading religion by 2050. Muslims have slightly higher fertility rates than Christians and death rates about 20% lower.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Friday, 29 May 2020 4:54:19 AM
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SteeleRedux,
The children at Bourke etc were not faced by loosing their homes by fires. However Jesus said, it rains on the just and the unjust alike.
For Toni,
There was no prediction in January that the Blue Mountains would receive record rainfall for February.
Remember the mantra that Warragamba Dam would never be full again, so the Desalination plant was again being prepared for use.

Flannery said in 2007:
Over the past 50 years southern Australia has lost about 20 per cent of its rainfall, and one cause is almost certainly global warming. Similar losses have been experienced in eastern Australia, and although the science is less certain it is probable that global warming is behind these losses too. But by far the most dangerous trend is the decline in the flow of Australian rivers: it has fallen by around 70 per cent in recent decades, so dams no longer fill even when it does rain

I note that the ABC and SBS want to again promote Climate activists agenda again for next summer
Posted by Josephus, Friday, 29 May 2020 6:49:54 AM
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i do not know where you think the water of the Blue Mountains runs to?

Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery in 2005 said: “But since 1998 particularly, we’ve seen just drought, drought, drought, and particularly regions like Sydney and the Warragamba catchment – if you look at the Warragamba catchment figures, since ‘98, the water has been in virtual freefall, and they’ve got about two years of supply left, but something will need to change in order to see the catchment start accumulating water again…. So when the models start confirming what you’re observing on the ground, then there’s some fairly strong basis for believing that we’re understanding what’s causing these weather shifts and these rainfall declines, and they do seem to be of a permanent nature…” :
Posted by Josephus, Friday, 29 May 2020 6:53:52 AM
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Josephus,

So, in your "Half-Wit's Guide to God", when something happens, it means that someone has prayed for it ? All manner of events happen because someone's prayed for them ?

So who, amongst your flock, prayed for Covid-19 ? For the typhoons that have hit the Philippines and India/Bangla Desh ? For our bush-fires ?

Or do bad things happen, outside of god's control, while all of the good things that happen are because of god's will ? Devils and gods have about the same powers ?

Hmmmm. ....... need to tweek that analysis ......

Until then, I'll stick with the probability that neither gods nor devils actually exist - that much of what happens in the world is up to us. We're alone: us and nature. Scary, but exciting :)

And surely, if there IS a god of some sort, he/she/it wouldn't mind anybody thinking like that, using their own initiative. He/she/it is probably sick and tired of wiping people's backsides for them, after six thousand years.

Joe
Posted by loudmouth2, Friday, 29 May 2020 2:11:53 PM
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//They spent a day praying for rain; within two days they witnessed 200 mm of drenching rain.//

That's what you said at the start of the week, Josephus. Within two days. Two day forecasts are highly accurate.
Posted by Toni Lavis, Saturday, 30 May 2020 6:50:42 AM
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//Either I am called a lier, or I have to defend my ability to have rational and sane observations.//

The veracity of your observations is not what is in issue, NNS. It's the manner in which you draw conclusions from those observations, then claim those conclusions are valid even though the underlying reasoning is unsound, that is the issue. Please note that employing unsound reasoning implies that you are neither a lunatic nor a liar, and speaks in no way to your character. It just means you've employed unsound reasoning and your conclusions cannot be accepted as necessarily true.

//If you believe in Thor, then it is not ridicule. If you don't believe in Thor, then praying to him as a comparison to praying to God, is ridicule.//

If using prayer as evidence for a God only works if you start by assuming the existence of God, the evidentiary power of prayer drops to zero and you are begging the question.

I'm starting to wonder if your persistent question begging isn't your own form of ridicule.
Posted by Toni Lavis, Saturday, 30 May 2020 7:31:42 AM
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Life is how you live and it. And it is worth living if your making the most of it every second.
Posted by Oscilloscope, Sunday, 31 May 2020 1:58:26 AM
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To Banjo Paterson.

Thank you for your kind response. Sorry if I was bitter or defensive from the start. I've had a similar conversation a while ago on OLO that went on very badly. My family and I are doing well. I hope you and yours are also. I'm sorry to report that I'm not actually Australian. I hope that doesn't bother you too much. There are a lot of views on this site that deal with similar subjects that are in the US. That and I've become interested in what a lot of you guys have to say.

(Continued)
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Monday, 1 June 2020 1:34:57 AM
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(Continued)

As for inheritance being the reason for religious influence. I don't think that's a bad thing, nor is it the only factor for why someone is influenced by a religion or believes in it. Parents should influence their children, in all matters of life. From how to see the world, how to behave, dealing with life, as well as anything that comes from their religion. It's my opinion that parents (usually) try to put the best things they have to offer into their children. That would include their faith and other world views that they hold as true. But it's only an influence, it's not the deciding factor. Best as I can tell, my 2 brothers don't believe in any religion. They both might have their views of God, or something out there like God, but not in any one's religion. The same can be said for me. I am glad for what my dad taught me through his faith. His religious influence was enough to appreciate the Baha'i Faith and the Baha'i community in that area, even after I made a decision that it wasn't from God. I'm not afraid of Christianity being dethroned. I don't think it will happen. In fact from what I've heard, though Christianity doesn't seem to have too much growth in western societies, it does have a lot of growth in other parts of the world. Also I'm not seeing that it's shrinking either in western society. Just that occasionally those who disagree with Christianity grow louder, or become more influential in politics at times. But the number of Christians when you talk to people about their beliefs seems to be around the same ratio as before.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Monday, 1 June 2020 1:35:34 AM
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To Oscilloscope,

I like what you said but how do you apply it in action.

<<Life is how you live and it. And it is worth living if your making the most of it every second.>>

For instance what do you tell some one who's lost their job during Covid actions and is really worried about making ends meet? Or alternatively, what do you if you are that person?
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Monday, 1 June 2020 1:42:04 AM
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To Toni.

If you wanted to gauge Thor's ability to answer prayers, then pray to Thor to see what you can. It has no influence on whether there is any merit from Hindu prayers, Christian prayers, or new age philosophy to train you mind to think positively and life with be successful. If on the other hand, if you pray to Thor (when he's not in a marvel movie as you've pointed out, apparently with no ridicule) with no intention to see if there is an answer from him, but instead as a counter point to Christian prayers or Hindu prayer, then there is no sound reasoning behind this. It is ridicule.

(Continued)
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Monday, 1 June 2020 1:48:44 AM
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(Continued)

As for the rationale of my conclusions being in error. I'll say the same thing I said to Banjo Paterson.

<<It would be easier to try to find God on your own then to debate how someone else has found God. That way you can see on your own instead of offer shallow explanations for events you weren't there for.>>

I'm not asking someone to agree with just because I say something is this way or that way, any more then they should expect me to believe them based on them saying so. However I do have two positions on this topic that should be worth noting.

1) you can investigate on your own and come to your own conclusions. (t's not something you need a college degree or special training to have the tools necessary to look for God). But instead if I can do it and find God then so can anyone else.

2) people disagree with each other all the time on any subject matter. However the person who knows what they say is accurate should not have to silence their perspective just because someone else is unconvinced and isn't in a position to become convinced. Speak the truth without resistance is a better approach in my opinion, then only speak the defensibly argued truth. Not everyone is a good debater, but their views, observations, and reasoning might be worth considering if they stand by their position in spite of someone else arguing well against their position. The aspect worth considering is, "why didn't they change? is there a chance they are stubborn and too proud to admit to being wrong. Or is it because they are right, even if they don't debate it any more?" From this outlook standing by what you know is right, is it's own defense in light of whatever else is said about it.

(Continued)
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Monday, 1 June 2020 2:01:17 AM
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(Continued)

As for me, I'm not going to debate what I know or how I know it regarding how I know that God exists. I've followed that rabbit hole before, and if is not worth my time or efforts to do it again. It's still true that He does exist, and it's true that you can find Him with some investigation. (I am willing to help in that search, or give ideas on how to look). However, it's not worth my time to try and debate about my life's observations, to someone (or someones) who don't acknowledge where their own perspectives are weak, or are even ridicule. I'm not going to spin my wheels on that again unless I know at least that I'm talking to someone reasonable. Either believe my accounts, consider them as possible, or don't believe them. I'm not going to debate with you that I am a good witness of my own life.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Monday, 1 June 2020 2:03:21 AM
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//I'm not going to debate with you that I am a good witness of my own life.//

I haven't said that you aren't. What I said was this:

//The veracity of your observations is not what is in issue, NNS.//

But it bears repeating: your observations are fine. I don't think they are falsehoods or the product of a deranged mind.

The reasoning you apply to those observations is unsound. You like to beg the question, and don't seem to understand why that is problematic. Here's everybody's favourite logician to explain it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_fOyxk7DdU

The more you know...

Your conclusions are questionable. Any conclusion based on petitio principii is questionable - not false, just questionable. We can't use circular reasoning to establish any reliable conclusion. As Spock points out, his crewman's conclusion - that Kirk is the best captain - may well be true (and yeah, it is, of course Kirk was the best captain). But if it is true (which it is), it's true in spite of the dodgy reasoning, not because of it - and its veracity doesn't render the dodgy reasoning sound, that's still dodgy.
Posted by Toni Lavis, Monday, 1 June 2020 7:29:03 AM
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//Not everyone is a good debater, but their views, observations, and reasoning might be worth considering if they stand by their position in spite of someone else arguing well against their position.//

That's not how logic works, NNS. If somebody employs some dodgy reasoning and comes to the conclusion that, say, you can square the circle, then clings steadfastly to their reasoning and conclusion even after the errors in their 'proof' have been pointed out, it doesn't make them less erroneous.

//The aspect worth considering is, "why didn't they change? is there a chance they are stubborn and too proud to admit to being wrong. Or is it because they are right, even if they don't debate it any more?"//

Again, not how logic works. It's not about how stubborn, or proud, or convicted, or honest, or whatever somebody is. In fact, character has no bearing whatsoever on the logical validity of an argument because the identity of somebody making an argument has no bearing on it's validity. The logic is either right or wrong. That's it.

If our circle-squarer from before cannot be convinced that their 'proof' is wrong, we don't go 'Oh, well, maybe he was right and we'll have to toss out two thousand years of established mathematics and go back to the drawing board'.... we go 'That guy doesn't really understand maths properly'.
Posted by Toni Lavis, Monday, 1 June 2020 7:29:42 AM
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//However, it's not worth my time to try and debate about my life's observations, to someone (or someones) who don't acknowledge where their own perspectives are weak//

Sorry, may I ask where you think I've employed unsound reasoning?
Posted by Toni Lavis, Monday, 1 June 2020 7:51:36 AM
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