struggling, free lance

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What if, in a fine morning, you learn, "There's nothing called God"!

Gods exist from 'god knows how many millenniums'. And they come to mankind as virtual beings time to time: promising heaven and hell and with sets of instructions to be followed - differing according to the religions they propose. We all, except for a few, are so dependent on them for our everyday life - trying to find a purpose of our existence, some meaning of what we call life. History is full of wars to establish 'the true god'. And, as of today, there's no sign that this will come to an end any time soon. So, we are born with a specific religion as our birth right and we fight till death trying to do --- what....

What if, in a fine morning, you come to learn that there is actually no entity such as 'god'. That, the concept is no more necessary to live a nice life on this earth...

What might be the first thing in your mind...

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    Aug 6 2012: I told you so! I told you so! I... Told... You... So!

    I'm sorry, I couldn't resist. I can't believe no one said that yet.
  • Aug 3 2012: Good question, Faisal. First for the funny answer. "No god? What's for breakfast?" Now for the explanation to show that the funny answer is also the serious answer. Just because there would be no god(s) would not negate the fact that we should live a good, productive life (take productive in whatever way you want, I consider productive more in the idea of work or working toward something). The inexistence of god would also not change morality. Even though it will exist universally, as it already does, the interpretation of what is moral will still relatively shift not only from culture to culture, but person to person. The biggest difference would be that if there was no god(s), people would have to own up to the wrong that they do (war, subjugation of set demographics, slavery, etc) rather than blaming either divine or infernal inspiration.
    • Aug 8 2012: i'll make a comment on only one point: a non-existence may / will make people responsible for their own actions to themselves, a 'divinity' wont allow escape from reality and claim clear conscience.
      • Aug 9 2012: The first part is false. You are not just responsible to yourself, but also to the society you live in.

        The second part is also false. Lots of imagined divinities allowed, and even indulged in, all kinds of things.

        That a particular divinity would not allow escape from reality and claim clean conscience does not make divinities any more real.
        • Aug 18 2012: " You are not just responsible to yourself, but also to the society you live in."

          Absolutely - a collective participation seems far more 'divine' (a better use for this word) than any other imagined "divine being" (the distorted use of this word)
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        Aug 13 2012: Jonathan :

        Your logic is very faulty , it's not an wonder you seem to be an atheist !!!!

        Why is your logic so ? because :
        - you can't know if the existence of God change or not the morality ; maybe because of the existence of God we have now the morality we have , to say that "The inexistence of god would also not change morality" implies you know that the existence of God has no influence upon our morals , this is obviously not true . Even though you use the atheistic meaning of the word 'god' it's wrong to say that the existence of god had/has no influence upon our morals .

        - our morals depend on cultures , that's right but it isn't an argument as you seem to want to be for your idea that "The inexistence of god would also not change morality" because gods are also part of the cultures .
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      Aug 15 2012: Dear Jonathan,
      I totally agree that the inexistence of god would not change morality. We have proof, simply observing our world, that the belief in god has not encouraged or increased moral behavior. In fact, some behaviors under the guise of religion/god have caused a great deal of harm in our world.

      I also agree with you that the biggest difference may be that people might become more accountable and responsible for their behaviors, rather than blaming it on a god, and/or depending on a god to bail them out (confession) of immoral, inappropriate behaviors.

      Eduard (E G)
      Jonathan's logic is not faulty. You simply do not agree....try saying it that way. We've had plenty of years...centuries.... to witness the fact that a belief in a god DOES NOT necessarily change morals, and many times encourages behaviors that are abusive and violate the rights of others.
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        Aug 15 2012: Colleen :

        Jonathan logic is faulty and yours is so too :

        - if the belief in God encourages amoral behaviors (that's according to you) then wouldn't the inexistence of God make disappear this bad influence on people ? Then it changes the morality of the people .
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          Aug 15 2012: Eduard,
          Your comments are based on your thoughts, feelings, ideas, beliefs and opinions. My comments are based on my thoughts, feelings, ideas, beliefs and opinions. Neither are "faulty". We simply have different thoughts, feelings, ideas, beliefs and opinions about this topic. I will not go around with you in circles, as I have told you before.
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        Aug 16 2012: Yes , and your thoughts don't seem to be correct to me . It is not going in circles if you try to defend them .
      • Aug 18 2012: Thanks for clearing my was meant as religion. :-)

        Also you put well the perspective regarding beggars.

        Much love :-)
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    Aug 2 2012: Wishful thinking. That is the thinking that there is no God, and that humans will not be accountable for their actions here on earth.
    That morning of discovery that there is no God, will never come.
    • Aug 2 2012: I absolutly disagree with that statment. If there is an afterlife, who cares what your actions are here on Earth. If you can atone for your sins at the last minute and get into the good part of the afterlife vs where you really deserve to be then your actions here on earth become irrelevant.
      If there is no afterlife and you are responsible for the world and how it will be left to your children (therefore assuming there will be no rapture where the chosen are taken and the rest of us are left), then perhaps you will be a little more interested in the economy, society and your fellow man and the bloody environment
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      Aug 3 2012: Wishful thinking really? A mass murderer after his last meal of fried chicken and a coke can go down on his knees and repent and accept Jesus and hey presto bob's your uncle he's in heaven when he dies. Whereas the moral atheist or anyone of any other religion gets burned in a fiery hell for eternity for not bending their knee.
      Wishful thinking is the idea of heaven, eternal judgement, retribution. Only because it consoles people that in heaven they may meet their child who died in a car crash etc etc. This is why heaven was created in human minds, to account for everything wrong with this world, it would all be corrected in the next. The eternal fear of death some people have.
      Wishful thinking would be that Hitler is being burned alive right now, but he's not he's decomposed and you may have breathed in an atom which belonged to him.
      And I may concede that it is wishful thinking that there is no god to an extent. I certainly don't hope there is someone so cruel and capricious and mean and evil and incompetent and lazy and indifferent towards their creations.
      Anyway, I'd rather go to hell, I imagine it being a library full of books, with a big hearth and all the great thinkers of our time will be sitting their having a free open discussion on skepticism. That would be an eternity I wouldn't mind.
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      Aug 3 2012: Feyisayo,
      With all due respect, I do not believe in a god at this time, and I am very accountable and responsible for ALL my actions and how I live the life experience. I do not need the idea of a higher power watching over me to live with integrity. Is it God-like to believe that YOU have the "right" answer for all of us?
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        Aug 3 2012: Faisal,
        Although I do not believe in a god at this time, I do not label myself because I feel that to be limiting. I am always open to possibilities. I TOTALLY agree..."none can have right answers for all", which is why I like to travel the life experience open minded/open hearted:>)

        I would NEVER presume to "correct" you for being "wrong". That feels like taking the role of a righteous god, which I do not believe in!
        • Aug 3 2012: you don't want to label yourself, which may limit you - no arguments. temporary labeling might be required sometimes, else u may find yourself alone is your own circle (though that may not make much difference for you). i, myself, sometimes feel like to be alone in some cases. so, the labeling matter need not be discussed anymore. you r right on your own right.

          god, existent or not, is not required to differentiate between correct and wrong. humans, on their own, can do that always. but, human nature is such that those two words play major roles among interactions. some people will always act to keep those words balanced in a society (even if we can picture an atheist world some day in future).
    • Aug 3 2012: To Feyisayo, u seem to be a fortune teller, predicting tomorrow, today!

      Gordon answered you correctly.

      and to be honest with Stewart, all my life, thinking about god or something like that, i can only find myself at the crossroads of hells. cause every religion asserts that the followers of the othe religions will go to hell. so, i dont mind to go to hell. though, i'll still prey to 'god' that the hell contains a library at least. and about meeting the great thinkers, i'll surely follow the way to the worst of all hells, cause that's the place i'll probably find most of them.

      miss colleen, i'm an atheist too:, but never an accountant at all and responsible only when i think that i should be responsible for something -- i may have projected myself as someone little bit too careless, never mind pls. your last question can be posed to not only feyisayo, but to almost all believers alive on this beautiful planet we call earth - who surely will turn towards their own god to find an answer about the proper definition of 'right' and 'wrong' applicable for atheists and the like.

      thanks to all.
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        Aug 3 2012: Faisal,
        My previous comment was in response to your previous comment (which you deleted?), which started..."I'm an atheist too". As I stated above, I do not label myself because I believe labels to be limiting.

        We have the ability as evolving humans to know in our hearts what is "right" and what is "wrong" for each of us as individuals. We also have the ability to understand what adversly impacts others. We all have the ability to take in information and make choices for ourselves. Nobody has the right to decide what we "should" or "should not" believe. I get tired of some folks telling me that if I do not believe as they do I will go to hell. That is simply arrogant.
        • Aug 3 2012: sorry ma'am, the deletion was accidental, purely. however, the impact is not at all serious. i had to begin the answer again, cause i started wrongly.
          at present i label myself to be an atheist, limiting though, but required. and i'm not sure that i'd like to want to delete the label someday....

          ma'am, honestly, i'm on my way to a hell already. you'll find the reason if u kindly review the debate. its been discussed already. its not me alone, stewart gault is also with me.
          arrogance is an expression of a certain mental state. my friends from university called my arrogant often. but i'm not gonna go with those people that you find arrogant around u. the word 'believe' alone makes some people around you arrogant because of its differing perceptions among people.
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        Aug 3 2012: No problem about the deletion Faisal.....I thought it was probably accidental because you wrote the same thing in your next comment:>)

        You can, of course, use whatever label you choose for yourself. The only label I accept is "human". I am definitely in human form at the moment, and I accept that fact:>)

        Regarding your comment...."you don't want to label yourself, which may limit you - no arguments. temporary labeling might be required sometimes, else u may find yourself alone......"

        I don't mind being alone. Wherever I go, there I am, so it is best to be content with myself.....yes?

        I think/feel that to be one of the challenges with religious fundamentalists/extremists. They don't like to be alone, so they try to pull us into their belief system? When I observe someone trying to convince me that s/he is "right" about what s/he believes, it appears to me that they are insecure in their own beliefs. They may become so dependant on those beliefs that they cannot imagine a life without them? If s/he wakes up one morning and discovers there is no god, everything they have invested in is changed. That must be frightening, do you think so?

        I think/feel that if there IS a god, that will be interesting to find out. If there is no god, nothing is lost because my life does not revolve around god/no god.

        I have read all of the debate Faisal, and if you are going to hell, I guess I'm going with you as well! LOL:>)
        • Aug 3 2012: how about a broader label ma'am: 'animal'!

          i am a loner too, most of the time -- though i really enjoyed my uni life with groups of students all the time.

          yes, the believers r really insecure in their own beliefs. an example is: just think how many sects each religion has!

          ma'am, that morning will be 'hell breaking loose on earth', even atheists wont be able to avoid the fall.

          ok. i respect your interest of finding a 'god' remaining so elusive since creation of life till today....

          well ma'am, that makes us three...LOL
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        Aug 3 2012: Yes Faisal, I agree that we are part of the animal kingdom. You REALLY want me to have a label huh? LOL

        Nice to have balance...sometimes alone....sometimes with people.....I like balance:>)

        Thanks for respecting my ideas Faisal. I am not seeking a god....just open to the possibility. I respect your ideas as well:>)
    • Aug 4 2012: Feyisayo,
      Your thinking has his blessings.
      It is so good to know you.
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    Aug 1 2012: First, I would feel panic that my tether to reality had broken at the instant someone managed to prove a negative and thereby debased the laws of logic. Then I would come to my senses and realize the Universe is designed, controlled, and purposeful. Let God be true and every Man a liar.
    • Aug 1 2012: Well, if you see god that way - creating liars to keep praising him all the time...
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        Aug 1 2012: Not quite fair, Faisal.
        • Aug 2 2012: Wel, pls be kind enough to define 'fair' in context of my posting. thanks
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        Aug 1 2012: The idea behind the phrase is not that every Man is a liar, but that if someone must speak untruth it will be man, never God. Did you post the question only to mock those who disagree with you and to share thumbs-up with those who agree? That is not the spirit of TED conversations, Mr. Habib. We should seek truth together, sir. Thank you!
        • Aug 2 2012: Sir, it was not my intention to mock anyone or anything, it's a debate only, intended to seek the 'truth' together; same as your intention. but, if, the subject feels to anyone annoying or attacking personal beliefs -- it's a personal matter, and i don't disrespect anything personal to anyone.

          thanks to you sir.
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          Aug 3 2012: Faisal,
          You created an interesting topic, I have read all the comments as they were growing, and with all due respect, it seems to be your use of the word "liars" that might have taken the topic off track. That probably was not the best term to use:>(

          You actually DID honestly answer the topic question with your statement....
          "First, I would feel panic that my tether to reality had broken......."

          Then you wrote..."Let God be true and every Man a liar".

          It is obvious that we all have different thoughts, feelings, ideas, opinions and beliefs regarding this topic. It is interesting how many would like to criticize others, rather than actually answer the would this news impact YOU. I've noticed this happening whenever god comes into the question, here on TED, and that is unfortunate.
      • Aug 2 2012: Faisal, this shows how little you have been told about, or know about God.

        What if, in a fine morning, you learn, and it is proven to you, that God exists, would that turn your world upside down?

        However, don't worry one second. Neither fine mornings will and can exist. No one will ever be able to prove to you (and God will not) anything spiritual. Nothing whatsoever.
        If He would, why is there a Bible? or Koran? etc.
        • Aug 2 2012: True, i know little about god. but i avoid the idea of being 'told and learn' without judging the source first.

          until this morning, god exists; may be not for me but most of the people of the world. and the next morning with enough evidences of an existence i'd surly try to find a way out to converse with him/her personally: what took so long, so many dead bodies around the world and all other to find this perfect morning!

          Sorry, u seem to be a fortune teller to me (no pun intended): predicting the next morning today! and, not everything require hard evidences, so waiting for that wont be a good use of our very short span of life time.

          I'll ask u back your question: why a bible or a koran or a gita is required anyway? a complete set of instructions would be sufficient from the beginning, wouldn't it?
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        Aug 2 2012: You show contempt for my beliefs and you ridicule God by your statement, ". . . creating liars to keep praising him all the time" yet you say you do not disrespect anything personal to anyone? You may not have intended to mock anyone, but contempt and ridicule are elements of mocking. Perhaps you could reword your comment to remove those elements and better state your opinion. Thank you, sir.
        • Aug 2 2012: Sir, by that comment, i just presented what can be inferred from your post - it's not any kind of disrespect shown, no mocking or ridiculing...
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        Aug 2 2012: HAPPILY,Faisal,

        It starts with respect for another human being, and their beliefs are an intregal part of that and an understanding that this is a place for an extended hand, compassion and understanding. Without a personal comitment to such ideals this could dissove into a place no one wants to be.

        When some of my children went to live and work in Saudi Arabia for a time, they lived with respect for the people there. No one could have convinced my daughter for example. ( who worked at the embassy and stayed with her eldest brother and his wife) to belive that she was inferior to some of the poorly educated and or bigoted men she met there but she wore an abya that she had no belief in and conformed to customs beause it was polite. I did not go because if some mullah had tried to hit me with a stick for accidently exposing my ankle, my kids knew that I might have hit that man- who i consider a coward= back.and then, my boys would have felt compelled to live out their values and we might all have ended up in Chop Chop square for there you do not get to simply express your own opinion even if you are certain you are righter. That won;t happen here and that is partially or foudationally because we all believe in being reasonable and kind to one another. If you go, you live by their rules. We are guests after all.
        • Aug 2 2012: ok. you explained your point of being fair -- but how does it connect my posting! a personal commitment like believing in a 'god' does not compare with explaining fairness. fairness can be established without the need of a 'god'. its a human trait, evolving with civilization - lots of people r unfair throughout their lives and still pray to god for forgiveness: it may make you fell bad, but, that's hypocrisy. and pls don't take it personally, one should blame god for inclusion of that element in mankind cause it was he/her decision. if it is god who created human, then it's his/her responsibility to make sure i don't get any chance to cheat you by any means.
          when you live in another country / culture, you must show respect to their ways of living, there's no argument about that at all. but it doesn't mean that the country / culture you r living in is practicing human rights the right way (i don't intend to point to any specific country / culture by that remark).
          in africa, u still may find cannibals enjoying their lives, their way -- it doesn't make any sense at all, or does it!
      • Aug 2 2012: Faisal,
        --"I'll ask u back your question: why a bible or a koran or a gita is required anyway? a complete set of instructions would be sufficient from the beginning, wouldn't it?"--
        Would the 10 Commandments be enough of a set?? :)

        Why a Bible..? We need more than our own thoughts and emotions to determine who and what God is. We cannot construct Truth. That's why there is Revelation from the Source of life.

        We were not created with our smart mind just to follow strict instructions, to follow a thin line like a puppet.
        God created humans with a free will, so it is our choice to focus on, and like, either hell or heaven.

        All Revelation is encouraging us to do the right and the loving things, so these become part of our character. We were created so we would end-up in heaven so God can make us very, very happy to eternity. BUT only if we want to.

        For heaven, God needs two things to take place within us. Freedom and return.
        Without freedom, love is impossible, so no one is forced to go to either hell or heaven. The choice is ours, totally. Sometimes we have to force ourselves, in freedom!! to love God.
        Also, love needs to be returned (just like electricity) in order to work. If you loved someone who does not love you back, what good would your love do?? So God is asking us to return His love for us. Please!?!

        To maintain our freedom and keep us human, nothing spiritual can ever be physically proven because that would take our freedom away.
        This is another large story but 2000 years ago this human freedom was compromised by our evil side, and God came down to earth Himself to repair our human freedom, so we had the freedom of choice again.
        Questions are encouraged because we cannot love and obey what we do not know or understand. Afteral we are humans.
        • Aug 2 2012: we don't construct truth, we can only find them.
          what if i tell you that god makes us greedy with promise of heaven!? (pls don't take it personally). probably that greed, taught by the old, makes us greedy in this world too...for money, power etc.
          freedom is a practice, human in nature, and not needed to be learned from god. all animals also roam free in their own territories, don't they?
          questions will always be there, cause we still don't totally understand even our own earth. that doesn't mean we don't love earth or living in it.
          why should someone 'obey' some one else when he/she have free will, as long as that free will doesn't cause harm to others! Here, we must agree, we are all humans.
      • Aug 2 2012: --"what if i tell you that god makes us greedy with promise of heaven!? "--
        You can tell me anything.. but God does not make any human being anything. He just gives us the tools to be human. All we are is what WE choose to be. Otherwise He could send us to heaven or hell directly from birth.

        --"freedom isb a practice, human in nature, and not needed to be learned from god. all animals also roam free in their own territories, don't they?"--
        No they don't. All they have is instinct. They cannot love truth for truth's sake or love doing good for the sake of just doing good. (or love their enemies).

        Got to go, sorry
        Added, we had visitors.

        --"why should someone 'obey' some one else when he/she have free will, as long as that free will doesn't cause harm to others!"--
        To obey someone to do the right, or loving thing, means we can do good things with an unselfish motive and learn to love a life like that. (that is basically the whole process of raising children).
        Even if we do not physically harm others we may still harm ourselves. We are not going to heaven just because we never hurt anyone. We may not hurt someone because we're afraid to loose our job, our income, our prestige etc. If it is not based on a love for others, it is a selfish motive. And selfish people go to hell because they can only be 'happy' there.

        If you're interested, this is our concept of Life
        • Aug 4 2012: >> You can tell me anything.. but God does not make any human being anything.

          he/she put 'greed' in people, knowing that the 'design' of human being will make them vulnerable to the element in most of the cases - evident in human interactions. he/she makes only above average humans able to conquer 'greed'...

          >> all animals also roam free in their own territories, don't they?"--
          No they don't. All they have is instinct.

          we evolved from animals and still didn't lose the 'instinct', instead, we added some more to it -- in total we developed what we call 'free will'. by roaming free, i didn't mean that animal manifest free will, but they do roam 'free' in their own territory.

          for the visitor: raising children should make them able to decide on their own, with the best hope that they will use the learning process in a positive manner. there's no need to teach them to 'obey' without reasoning, that's slavery.

          god will decide about heaven or hell, based upon one's whole life. if he/she sees some selfish motive actually paved way for a greater good, that selfish guy deserves heaven too...

          thanks for the invitation, but no thanks.
      • Aug 5 2012: You call yourself an atheist and then you write this??
        --"he/she put 'greed' in people, knowing that the 'design' of human being will make them vulnerable to the element in most of the cases - evident in human interactions. he/she makes only above average humans able to conquer 'greed'... "--
        --"god will decide about.."--
        It is clear you do not know what atheists believe, or what humans can and cannot do (like add to our "instinct".. :) I find it amazing what you do believe, and what you decide not to believe.

        --"thanks for the invitation, but no thanks."--
        May I suggest you look for some philosophical books to read? Who knows, it may help.

        Have a great weekend
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      Aug 2 2012: I suggest you can prove negatives about as much as you can prove positive statements.

      Few statements whether positive or negative can be proven absolutely.
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        Aug 2 2012: I hear you, Obey. But doesn't proving that something does not exist require knowing EVERYTHING that does exist? Omniscience is not an attribute of mere mortals. As enticing as it is, proving something exists is an argument for another conversation. For now, just remove your shoe and kick a cement block with your bare foot. The excruciating pain and resulting medical bills prove the block exists! Kicking empty space does not prove cement blocks do not exist. Thank you!
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          Aug 2 2012: Hi Edward. I suggest it depends on the subject of the claim. Also on how you frame the claim.

          Most gods these days are invisible and immaterial. So can be neither proven or disproved.
          Same issues for ghosts, demons, fairies, angels and any other form of immaterial or elusive thing humans have dreamed up.

          But as the subject changes to something that can be more easily tested you can make prove or disprove negatives.

          I can not claim for sure that there are no Tasmanian tigers. There might be a few living in the bush.

          I'm more confident there are no T Rex's alive today on Earth. I could frame this to be more certain, because I can not see all of Earth. There are no T-Rexs in Central Sydney.

          Positives and negatives for mundane claims can be reasonably proven or disproved:
          I am not dead.
          If I kick the tire my foot will not go through it. It will not be pain free experience. (your example)
          I am not a US citizen.
          I do not have 6 arms.
          I will not float off into space if I let go of the chair
          There is no dog in my living room.

          All rely on our senses and interpretation, so are not absolute, but some can be demonstrated practically.

          In regards to framing making a claim more testable.

          I could probably claim there is no compelling physical evidence commonly available for that clearly demonstrates the existence of supernatural god X.

          I can not say prayer does not work because I don't know everything.

          I could probably claim prayer is no more effective than not praying for improved health outcomes after surgery in scientific studies.

          So depending on the claim you can prove a negative.

          Faisal, sorry for the sidetrack.
      • Aug 2 2012: To Obey: i posted a debate - not meaning i want / can prove anything....but if you can find something to prove in the whole debate, i'll give you the credit without any reservation... thanks.

        To Mr. Long: with reference to my comments to mr. obey, i'm not poised to prove anything, i don't feel that's required for me to do it this way. True, omniscience can't be an attribute of a mere mortal; cause science, in its every branch, has progressed so much that only specialists can tell 'something' about a specific subject.
        and sir, science has progressed so much that with some shoes you wont even feel that you really hit a concrete block very hard knowing you have really hit a concrete block -- what's the need for removing the shoe anyway! science gives us edges, to concur nature, to live with it in harmony and to go forward... in time and in conceptions and in....

        would you accept my thanks, sir!
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          Aug 2 2012: I accept your thanks and respond with an equally genuine "You're welcome!" The block kicking experiment does not permit any form of high tech block-kicking shoes, barefoot only! I see you are a loyal supporter of science and an Atheist. As such I would like to know your personal answer to the question you have posted. Thank you sir!
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    Aug 1 2012: I will hope to see a decline in bloodshed in the name of God.
    • Aug 1 2012: I agree, totally.
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        Lejan .

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        Aug 2 2012: And the crusade?

        Same church, same bible, same commandments than today, yet it didn't stop the bloodshed then!

        Religion has always seeked the nearness of political and financial power and still does. At times it even was one and the same and even today religions are quite influential on political processes.

        Irelands 'Troubles' was a 'bloody' example how religion and politics were still interwoven in modern times and many people lost their lives in the name of 'religion'.
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        Aug 3 2012: Politicians+ Religious leaders = Deadliest combination

        Discussion may happen who influences whom.........Jan-Brand above already mentioned that in post above.....

        In pre renaissance time even in Europe not only politics but every thing was under strong iron fist of the wars there were definitely caused by the same authority.
      • Aug 4 2012: Don, I do not intend to seem rude or insult you but you need to read into history a bit more. Yes I agree that it is people in government positions who create most wars, but religion has for all of human history been used to manipulate people. Here is a few examples.
        * The crusades were started when Alexis 1 of the Byzantine Empire feared that his empire would be conquered by the Arabs. So he called on his ally Pope Urban II. The Pope then used the fact that Jerusalem was under the rule of the muslim "infidels" to convince the monarchs and warlords of christian europe to invade the Arabian Empire and try to retake the "holy land". The monarchs and warlords used the same message to inspire soldiers to enlist and to get peasants to be compliant even though they were being oppressed.
        *More recently the KKK and many racist people in America baselessly used religion to justify their belief that they were more advanced and all around better than African Americans, the same tactic that was used by Adolf Hitler to justify the torture and massacre of millions of innocent civilians.

        In all of these instances religion (namely Christianity) was used as an excuse for terrible and evil actions. So yes religion is not the reason wars start, but without religion some in fact most bloodshed would not be tolerated and would have been brought to a halt faster than it actually was. That is what I think Salim meant by his comment.
      • Aug 4 2012: I agree that we decide whether or not to use religion to organize good and evil actions I was not branding religion as evil. I was just bringing up the point that religion has been used to justify universally evil acts throughout history.

        Now with that being said, you made the point that historians often have views on certain times in history that vary. While this is true, the same argument can be made about religion which you use in your argument. There are dozens of different faiths and within each religion there are different sects. Christianity is a perfect example, the interpretation of The Holy Bible from a Catholic point of view and an Unitarian point of view are vastly different. So in my opinion the "stories" ,as you put it, of historians should have as much weight in an argument as the religious writings of any faith, especially "stories" that are considered by most historians and archeologists to be fact.

        I also disagree with your statement that history does not "give us any instruction on how to solve todays problems." Take the marriage inequality in the USA as an example. Now you seem like a deeply religious person so you may disagree with me, but I think that marriage inequality is a great injustice and when I see the hate that radiates from people who are against marriage equality I can't help but be reminded of the hate that radiated from the racist Americans who opposed racial equality. So my arguement is that we can draw from history in instances like this to realize that those who are against marriage equality now, will probably be on the wrong side of history and will later be thought of as one of the things that the USA has to be deeply ashamed of, much like we are ashamed of the racist actions and demonstrations that took place in the mid-20th century.

        Finally, while I do have the deepest respect for my elders, I must ask that you show the same respect for me. Also, honoring your elders does not mean accepting everything they say as true.
  • Aug 18 2012: Going to add my small 2 cents.
    When something goes wrong in my life-I look in the mirror & point my finger at me. Same goes when things go right. Do I believe something(s) great created the whole universe & beyond? Yes! But no idea what or whom.
    My knowledge only goes so far, but I do try to use what I have with wisdom (it works once in awhile).
    Is there more after I kick the old bucket? My belief says I go to a higher plain- I hope so.
    I was born into the Methodist faith but after many years of searching became Buddhist.
    There are times when I want to tear up my human card & go live with the other animals in the woods because of what humans do to others in the name of religion.
    I will not live to see the many great changes that are coming but can only hope more compassion is on the world plate.
    Going to add the word "greed" here along with beggers.
    • Aug 18 2012: sir, thank you for the addition: greed with beggars. i hope someone else add some more to those two, there should be some more to add.
      a mirror in your mind will always get you the right picture on the spot. you don't have to worry about looking back and waste time.
      I don't find any necessity of an almighty for the creation we are in. as you turned to Buddhist from Methodist, and you still have the feeling of tearing up the human card, impossible anyway, it's better to go back to the necessity of religions in human progression. i hope i could pose my point correctly.
      we have a common point, we both feel that we have limited knowledge. wisdom is quality that only above average human can develop. because, u r wise only when other say/find you to act wisely.
      about living to see changes, i sometime wish that i was born after at least 100 yrs from now. life is so short and usually great changes take so long a time to flourish, so a birth after 100 yrs from now would certainly allowed me to read about those changes in history books and think forward. i wish to imagine, what changes will be found in history books 1000 yrs from now, but, i am an average human only with limited knowledge - stark reality.
      more compassion -- we can certainly hope, because, hopes give people will to fight to continue to live. but human nature, as we see, do have the power to destroy all hopes. So, time will tell the rest... we r playing our roles as we see fit for us, time will decide along with human collective intelligence, who'll succeed and who'll fail...
      i hope u didn't throw those 2 cents to water, but if u find it to be so, i am truly sorry.
      • Aug 18 2012: Putting my 2 cents in means: I am adding my opinion(s), for what ever they are worth.
        Being Buddhist, I have learned to show & feel more compassion for all living things. I have always felt compassion for wildlife, now I am "trying " to do same for humans. It can be hard at times, I will admit, mainly due in part as to the way humans not only treat each other, but the total disregard for other living things.
        But back to my 2 cents: If I threw them in water, it would make ripples, which would spread from shore to shore. And maybe, just maybe, make a difference.
        By the way: I am a female.
        • Aug 18 2012: those 2 cents are not worthless by any means, at least not to me.
          doing something for an animal is somewhat easy, but doing something for a human is very difficult most of the times, because of 'human nature'. (that includes "mainly due in part as to the way humans not only treat each other, but the total disregard for other living things" along with others.)

          well, ma'am, that ripple reached me, u rest assured.

          I am a male, remarked in response to your last comment, cause, i just considered u to be a 'person' in general.
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          Aug 19 2012: Dear Gale and Faisal,
          Your opinions are both worth a LOT, and I believe the ripples you create do indeed make a difference in our world:>)

          I agree that it is more enjoyable to love who and what appeares to be lovable, and it may be a challenge sometimes to love those who appear to NOT be lovable. How do we encourage and teach to show compassion to "all living things", if we do not walk our talk?

          I find it helpful to seperate the person from the behavior. My mom always taught me to love the person, hate the behavior. Underneath behaviors that may not be acceptable or useful in our world, there is a person who is very much like us. A person who maybe would like to love and be loved and doesn't know how. A person who experiences many of the same thoughts, feelings and emotions as we do. A person with whom we share this earth. If we do not reach out to that person, how is s/he ever going to know the difference between behaviors that are not acceptable or useful to our global society, and those that are?

          One reason I do not believe our world would be in chaos if we discovered there is no god, is I think/feel it may cause people to recognize each other, rather than depend on their very own god and religious dogma for guidence and protection.

          Too many times, in our world, chaos and destruction has been done in the name of a god. Too many times, we (humans) seperate ourselves in the name of a god. I find it continually interesting that religious enthusiasts/extremists/fundamentalists say we are all one, and their god is loving, just before they kill people and destroy our earth in the name of their god.

          As Shane insightfully said in another can we look forward to a heavenly experience in the next event, if we cannot create that here and now?
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    Aug 3 2012: Good morning Don Wesley. Yes you are right and there is more to it. Thank you for not being silent and getting your message out in the appropriate forum for discussion as it will resonate but as you said sometimes the message gets lost in the echoes. I too am deeply inspired by all the sources that Einstein quoted and I remember his other quote. A genius is someone with a very narrow focus. It is in the application of the knowledge we already have that we will find the answers for what ails us. Finding the appropriate forum and vocabulary is really tiring but with appropriate energy, persistence and metaphors we will find the answers in the community voice. You are a star. You are a guiding light and don't you forget it.
    • Aug 3 2012: Hello elizabeth,
      my comment for you is simple. you have found your guiding light, that really feels good, cause so many of us are looking for a light for so long a time. I must congratulate Don for his actions and everything else.
    • Aug 4 2012: You are so right Elizabeth.
      Don is truly a "guiding light."
      And you have revealed your wisdom.
  • Comment deleted

    • Aug 2 2012: hi don, i feel honored that you joined the debate.
      a belief should never be a laughing matter, that's ok, as long as someone can't prove it to be so....
      about that special morning, i have already commented before, may be you didn't follow the whole conversation. so, for you again, your quoted statement proves you to be a fortune teller (no pun intended), which, probably your religion doesn't approve as the right path to follow.

      i'm an atheist already. so, thanking you for your kind references, i'd like not to follow the links, cause, all of the religions existing in this world can direct one to so many references; references that talk about that specific religion only, producing nothing but that age old question: 'who's right then!?'
      • Comment deleted

        • Aug 3 2012: thanks, but no thanks. i'm not one that seeks empathy or compassion. the word struggling in my profile encompasses many other elements along with difficulty -- which make the words 'empathy / compassion' useless for me, thanks for your kindness though.
          reaching perfection is an asymptotic curve, so i always set a limit to it, as necessary.
          parts combining into 'whole' is something not to be missed. fact is, not all possible 'whole's can stun with beauty, except for a very few. rare, because of its own nature.
          learning and becoming skilled is a powerful way, but limiting it to get 'stunned with beauty' only might not be the appropriate way of employing the power it holds. there r so many ways to employ the power to make so many things work the right way, the only condition is trying to be as scientific as possible - that alone can make feel best at creation or a regular work day; without needing supervision of any 'supernatural'.
          u r always welcome to disturb me or feel uncomfortable about being an atheist, it wont make any difference at all, never. and sometimes most uncomfortable ways are needed to accomplish something important, such as, a war fare, logical or otherwise. so, being comfortable is the least important factor when one decides to make a contribution really worth doing so...
          a businessman thinks in terms of profit / loss rather than salary; though i'm not a business man yet and i have served a long time for 'salary', i prefer to think in terms of profit / loss.
          not all of us want to do good. instead, there r a very few who really want to do good by heart. most of us (average human being) sell the idea of being 'good' for some reason, which, in most cases, is money. there r other things also for which people barter the image of being 'good'.
          i'm sorry, i don't really want to be seen as doing good, as long as my logic says i'm not harming others for my personal benefits.
          ' be seen as doing good' - pure hypocrisy most people employ to cover 'bad'...
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      Lejan .

      • +1
      Aug 2 2012: Beauty, Don, lies in the eyes of the beholder, only.
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      Lejan .

      • +2
      Aug 2 2012: Don, I do not consider myself wise, I do not believe in 'the truth' and also I do not believe in a devil.

      It is my freedom to choose the way of communication and if you don't like it, that's fine with me, as this is your freedom.

      Different from you I would not give anyone a comment on his or hers writing style or written approach on a topic, as you did, because this is pretentious and could be taken as an insult. And actually, that's what it is.

      At times I like a 'playful' use of words and Faisal's debate headline almost pushed me into this virtual breakfast scenery by this beautiful picture of a 'fine morning'. Is this to blame? I don't think so. It may not be liked by all readers, but this can not be my problem. Faisal himself joined into this picture and both of us exchanged our arguments and views in a positive way.

      As no one is forcing anyone here to read through all comments, the solution to comments you don't like is quite simple - just skip them.

      If I have offend your feelings on the topic of 'God' by framing my comment within a context which seems absurd to you (and i do not consider breakfast absurd) I can only say, that this was not my intention and I think if you read my lines again, you may understand what I mean by saying so.
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          Lejan .

          • +1
          Aug 3 2012: Hello Don.

          There is no doubt on my side that none of us is perfect and usually I am the first in the row to proof this statement right on a daily basis.

          Also I appreciate feedback on my comments and as long as it is about my arguments, there is no need for anyone to tread careful on them. On the contraty, as I am already used to face harsh resistance from many sides which helps me to think even deeper into a subject.

          But to me there is a difference of beeing harsh on my arguments and of 'getting personal'.

          This is a line which I allow only a few and very close people to cross, and I think this is the same to all of us.

          By what I read and therefore know about you, Don, I was already aware that the topic of god is of high importance to you. And I respect that as I respect any open minded believer.

          But I do not, I can not honor your request to tread carefully on your beliefs if I am talking about the subject of god to other people than you. This would be censorship at its worst and I do not think that this was your wish or intention in your request.

          So if I talk to Faisal or anybody else on this discussion forum about god or religion, it is not on me to watch your sentiments, it is on you only if you choose to follow this conversation or if you choose to join in.

          If we ever meet on this topic again, the only thing I can do is trying not to cross your line and to get personal on your believes. But being agnostic, especially this topic proofed itself very tricky in the past to get a sense for those lines, so you may better stay away from me on this one.

          And yes, I was assuming that your comment was not intended to insult me, and it didn't, but marking my ground became necessary.


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    Aug 2 2012: Buddhists believe in the God inside of us; Hindus have many Gods; Christians, Jews and Muslims have the same God but different prophets; Australia's aboriginese believe in Dreamtime stories; Elvis Presley and Justin Bieber are worshiped by some whereas physicists believe in the Theory of Everything.

    Within their believe systems these groups all have Gods that perfectly fit their needs and aspirations. Clearly, you can't expect a Christian to pray to Buddha or a Muslim to Elvis Presley: God's are right with their context; even the absence of God in Atheism works perfectly.

    But, the atheist God, i.e. the non-God, doesn't work for Christians or Jews and trying to convince them of this will lead to discord. Neither will a Muslim accept the Dreamtime snake of creation. Why would you want to prove that your non-God is better? How will this enhance the lifes of of people that are perfectly happy in their society where they have their own philosophy of life that provides them with social guidance and aspiration?

    The wars over Jerusalem were/are fought by people that want to protect or take back part of their cultural identity, including religious identity. Interestingly, Jews, Muslims and Christians may disagree about many things but they all agree that they have the same God and the same ancestry (Abraham).

    I agree that religions have divided and still divide people to the point of violence. Other social differentiatiors such as race, wealth, geolocation, political belief system etc etc also divide people to the point of war. I simply don't see how the removal of God will change any of that and therefore why an atheist would want to evangelize his belief in the absense of God to save humanity?
    • Aug 2 2012: 'evangelize' - that's a religious term. an atheist need not evangelize anything...

      a 'non-existence' of a supernatural being may give mankind new ways to think about how the world should be about race, wealth etc. in future.

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    Aug 2 2012: If you are a believer, God exists and that fine morning will never occur. If you lose your beliefs, or never had them, God will never have existed for you and it is not likely to be a fine morning when you find out. The question of God's existence is so ill-defined that it won't be settled for a good while, and not here. I tend to agree with Edward Long that only existence of anything can be demonstrated and not the opposite.

    Perhaps a more fundamental question than "does God exist", is, "does God exist for you?". This is a question that billions of people ask themselves and many struggle with the answer. The proposition "there is nothing called God" shows that you are one of them and any one responding to you, has asked this question before.
    • Aug 2 2012: for a believer to predict future is 'probably' not the right path religions advise, so, a fine morning will never occur may not be a right approach for a believer to his/her religion.
      i'm not a believer and am not waiting for that morning...'god doesn't exist for me'. but u see, an ill-defined existence has left so many battle scars in human history and promises more with more ferocity... settlement - required or not, when and where, is entirely a matter of collective human intelligence.
      if existence can't be proven then it is all right to take for granted that non-existence is possible also.
      the proposition i posted is not new, i agree, but there has to be an answer: when and where to find it is answered in the previous paragraph. the matter is not that whether the question has been asked before or how many times; what matters is, whether it's time to find an answer...
      an answer is required, u may agree or not: it's already been too long a time mankind has been pursuing it, fought over it and vow to continue to keep fighting...
      how do u see the future then....
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        Aug 2 2012: The thing is, that I don't think that the specific answer matters to humanity as a whole. After 10'000 years of humans trying to work out what God is, they have come up with many answers that work for different societies. That fact alone makes God real to those societies, in the same way that the color red means aggression to some and prosperity to others. Can I prove that other than through statistics? No. Should I? No.

        Is it time to find an answer to the "is there a God?" question? Of course and billions of people have done so and they have different conclusions and they are all correct. An atheist who "knows" that there is no God has come to that conclusion after asking a number of hard questions. The Christian who believes in Christ went through exactly the same process.

        Linking violence to the existence of God is a surprising link. People who commit violence in the name of their deity do so because some other human told them to do so. ALL violence originates with individuals who have the power to unleash it. As an atheist, you know that. Removing God one fine morning won't change that. People simply go to war in the name of democracy, science, water or whatever subject will rally them because all wars and human strife are about power. Humanity is responsible for its own mess.
        • Aug 2 2012: you have made your point, a specific god makes a specific society work, within themselves; but the concept of 'god' is not enough for the humanity as a whole - societies continue fighting to establish that 'their god' is right. and colors do mean different concepts in different places, but the concept of 'god' does mean the same for every society, someone to abide by with the promise of an everlasting heaven (it can manifest itself in any form depending on religious beliefs). do u feel like presenting some statistics on that matter!
          not all conclusions can be correct, satisfying maybe, depending on a person's belief and life. A christian, a muslim, a jew, a hindu and an atheist and all others -- all have their own conclusions, but as said earlier, not all can be correct; else, referring to your figure, it wont have taken 10000 years to reach a common point and end violence in the name of god.
          how many wars have been waged to claim jerusalem only! the link is surprising, obviously, isn't it? i wont ask you to spend time researching history to find similar wars around the world.
          humanity invented the concept of god, to explain its own mess - power, money etc. just fueled those. a non-existence of 'god' will make mankind try thinking of new ways to explain the mess they create in the name of progress of civilization - they may come out with solutions that will eventually redesign the world and thus abolish 'war' from future dictionaries.
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    Aug 1 2012: To me nothing, I'd be happy cause I'd have got something right but nothing would have changed for me.
    But for others this would be the worst news they could ever hear. This belief gives people hope that there's a reason for everything, from pain and suffering to rainbows and galaxies. But the main core of their belief is the fear of death, many deny this fact but the largest part of religion is the immortality offered by it. It gives hope that there may be something else to death, that they may be reunited with loved ones etc etc. So to some people this news would probably ruin their lives.
    O and after reading a few posts further down I'd instantly start campaigning that the religious stop the evil they do, from banning contraception to forced circumcisions and repressing women and homosexuals.
    • Aug 2 2012: i'd be happy too...

      you r right about the others. but honestly, i don't want to ruin anything. though, ironically, life's like that...

      I wish i could be as active as you are, i would really give me the pleasure of doing something worth doing.
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    Lejan .

    • +2
    Aug 1 2012: Could you hand me over the marmelade, please...

    After the breakfast I would then look at the evidence which was able to prove the nonexistence of god and would consider what took it so long to be found.
    • Aug 1 2012: Ok, here is your marmalade, finish breakfast first...

      evidences gather over time, not meaning that you wont hear another "Eureka" ever....
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        Lejan .

        • +1
        Aug 1 2012: Thanks for the jam jar.

        On a fine morning I actually expect a 'Eureka' moment. So far I have not seen any verifiable evidence neither for the nonexistence nor for the existence of any 'god'.

        So whatever I learn on that very morning must be quite new and pretty convincing.
        • Aug 1 2012: you r welcome.
          So do i. true, so far there is/are no verifiable evidence(s). question remains though, why then all those wars will be allowed anyway! and, all the politics, money, brains etc. behind those?
          existence produced dead bodies, all over the world, till today...
          non-existence...! can it prove to be something else a little bit different?

          We keep learning, every moment - new or otherwise. convincing requires a lot of reasoning though...
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        Aug 1 2012: In our virtual breakfast, do you like some coffee? ;o)

        I absolutely agree with you, Faisal, that all the violence we see and face ever since could disprove the existence of a 'god' as many religions project him, her or it. Nature itself is violent, even without humans and the whole Universe is mostly violent for life as we know it.

        But even though if it is as it seems, the whole mess does not prove the nonexistence of a god at all.
        Because if it would by this argument, it would imply that a 'god' or 'creator' had to create a 'happy paradise' only if he, she or it does its 'magic', but why should that be?

        To me this condition would have the same origin as the hope and the believe in a 'good god' itself and therefore does not count in my eyes as a valid proof in this matter.

        I do not believe in a god but I can't disproof him, her or it either by what I see around me and whatever I think of. But that's ok and doesn't bother me at all... coffee? :o)
        • Aug 1 2012: a cup of tea is the norm in Bangladesh, but one coffee is ok anyway.

          >>I absolutely agree with you, Faisal, that all the violence we see and face ever since could disprove the existence of a 'god' as many religions project him, her or it.
          == no arguments...

          >> Nature itself is violent, even without humans and the whole Universe is mostly violent for life as we know it.
          == Nature provided us with earth, didn't it? with promise of more earth like planets humans one day may reach and inhabit.

          >>But even though if it is as it seems, the whole mess does not prove the nonexistence of a god at all.
          == the mess doesn't prove an existence either.

          >>Because if it would by this argument, it would imply that a 'god' or 'creator' had to create a 'happy paradise' only if he, she or it does its 'magic', but why should that be?
          ==magic or not, the creator (if any) created happy paradises where u reach only after death -- the only condition being, follow instructions provided, no matter where you find yourself, a slum or a palace. very easy for some and impossible for some else. and the answer to 'why should that be' can be something like this (u may disagree): it's a human invention in order to gain superiority over others in a society, such as the ancient priests of earlier civilizations who dictated even the ruler(s). more examples are on the pages of the evolution of human civilization.

          >>To me this condition would have the same origin as the hope and the believe in a 'good god' itself and therefore does not count in my eyes as a valid proof in this matter.
          ==it's back to square one again, a supernatural existence determining destiny: 'good' or 'bad', it's about god again....

          >>I do not believe in a god but I can't disproof him, her or it either by what I see around me and whatever I think of. But that's ok and doesn't bother me at all... coffee? :o)
          ==I don't believe in one either. there's no point in proof or disproof: can't state the point due to lack of answering space
        • Aug 10 2012: I feel you guys are traped in a diplaced notion that the world's natural state is chaos. Just to straighten this item: chaos is a matter of perception. Like garbage, one man's chaos is another mans paradise. (If you object, then why would anarchists love anarchy so much?)

          It seems to me that we only find nature to be "violent" because we can't tailor it to our personal tastes. Nature is 'x', we would perfer it to be 'y'. In the resistance nature provides during this transistion 'x to y', we find pain and suffering. Think of literally moving a mountain. As reasonably understood by seismology and shifting of techtonic plates, nature "willed" Mount Everest to be located in Tibet; but, I want a beauitful view of the Indian Ocean from Everst's peak. I hire countless men with shovels and excavators to begin the transplant. How many people do you think will be injured or die in this process?

          In response to "There's no point in proof or disproof": no offense is intended by this, but simply because one can't prove something is or is not true today does not deem it an unworthy endeavor. If this was the modus operandi of the day, we would still be gathering around Stonehenge dressed in pelts wolf-fang necklaces.
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      Aug 3 2012: Hello again Jan-Bernd Pauli:>)
      I LOVE the way you addressed this topic with honesty, a light heart, and open mind:>) I totally agree with you....I would move into the day with the intent and ability to look at new information:>)

      "Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly"
      (Scottish saying)

      Some of the god-fearing folks in the crowd might take a look at this lovely little Scottish saying:>)
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        Lejan .

        • +1
        Aug 3 2012: Good morning Colleen!

        It is nice to have you joining our littel and virtual breakfast. So what do you like, virtual tea or coffee? :o)

        Well, that's life I guess, that even the finest morning meal shared in between an atheist and an agnostic turnes out heavy on the topic of god due to interruption from outside the table... :o)

        So thank you for your friendly support and protection as it is truly appreciated on this treacherous minefield of faith.

        The Scots seem to have a true saying for those who believe in angles and beeing an romantic agnostic, I prefer a more true spirit of mother nature herself, I go for fairies instead... :o)

        But as it is with the bible so it is with all good sayings, they can only make a difference if their meaning get perceived and not just repeated. And repetition never was a sign to me of internalization - on the contrary ... :o)
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          Aug 3 2012: Good Morning Jan-Bernd Pauli :>)

          Thank you...nice to be here, and I like both coffee and tea:>)

          Yes, it IS indeed unfortunate that some folks cannot see the beauty in an atheist and agnostic having a virtual breakfast discussion, or how that discussion is on topic. Yes, I agree...that is life.

          'Tis all a preference of thought my dear man....fairies, angels, leprechauns, little people, etc. They all reside in my gardens, under the protection of Mother Nature:>) All lovely, in my humble perception....just like coffee and tea:>)

          Totally agree...any good saying is ONLY as good as our ability to use it for the purpose of making a difference in our "self" and our world:>)
    • Aug 17 2012: i used to know you as Ja-Brand Pauli from Germany. suddenly, the name changed. did u change 'yourself' too?

      however, i'd like to send u an email about something i find 'interesting'. do u have a personal email address? my one is

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        Aug 17 2012: I hope I changed too! :o)
        • Aug 17 2012: well, that sounds different, but i'm not sure which way you changed....

          i'll be interested to know about that change, if u please...
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        Aug 17 2012: Just rephrasing Bertolt Brecht here, meaning, that anything is, and better should be, in continuous flow ...

        My profile I just changed for privacy reasons, as I misunderstood its initial settings and became aware of it later. So nothing dramatical... :o)
        • Aug 17 2012: well, hello, Mr. Bertolt Brecht, nice to meet u at last, provided, u r not already ready to become another one soon. i am not sure what u meant by 'that anything is, and better should be, in continuous flow ...', but, (never mind if it feels irrelevant), as i think, everything that has a start has an end too. and, after the start, till end, it is alright to be in a continuous flow, though reality may not allow one to accept that fact in all environment(s). i hope i could present my point, 'reality' makes people decide between whether to go with the flow or try otherwise. as an example, say, you r swimming in an unknown river and suddenly u realize that there's a waterfall ahead, would u prefer to continue, or, decide to avoid it in time before it's too late?
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        Aug 17 2012: .
        Hmm, I will be already another one tomorrow, but let's don't get into this any deeper...

        Meanwhile I am awaiting your email. :o)
        • Aug 18 2012: ok, as u wish. u r a free man and u can choose to be anyone at anytime, free will in action. no prob from me.

          i didn't get your personal mail address yet cause, my yahoo inbox suddenly stopped receiving new mails. though there should be some mails there by now. (it's not that yahoo isn't working, but the fact is that my add is being treated with 'special' care)

          so, i guess my gmail add will produce the same result too. so, let's try something here. how about, if i say to u that, i found out (after working 12 years with some US institutions such as CIA and may be even Pentagon) that the 'democracy' US is practicing and 'preaching' all around the world to be the best, is actually based on some superstitious conceptions along with some ' science' that actually supports those 'superstitions'! at this point, i must say that, i don't have anything solid in my hand to prove this but experiences of being involved in the last 2 elections (indirectly though) and already included in the coming one, which, already blocked access to my own sites, cause contents may prove to be to 'sensitive' in nature for the election (there r more in it, but i'm trying to be cautious in a public debate)! well, this can be told in public that my experience tells me that, the blind race/war for power at that level even ignores science, let alone others, though US has the best scientists of the world in their stock. and, suddenly, even those scientists may also be ready to defend that flawed 'democracy'. sad but true.
          u don't believe me, right? I can guess that. cause, i experienced it myself, and i can tell u this much that from the beginning of this debate, till now, if you find me to be able to think logically, then u will also believe what i just said in the above para can prove to be logical too (just as a reminder, i'm working with US for the last 12 yrs). and many, many US citizens (including scientists) r also aware of the fact, but they r just defending their country, naturally...
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        Aug 18 2012: A long, long time ago I stopped to believe in the value system of western democracies, especially on global scale, and therefore there is not much in terms of political misuse I would have trouble to imagine.

        Since the term 'conspiracy theories' has become a common and quickly used argument against critical voices and thinking, one can see in which direction the 'game' has changed. Before this it was named 'investigative journalism', but even without this denigration, the professionalism and independence in this filed is declining.

        Science often choses to remain silent in political affairs, as the leash of budgeting and funding is short anyway and often hold and controlled by those in power. So I do not expect much of resistance of those who would risk their careers if they would speak up their true minds.

        All domestic and foreign policy is about power, retention of power and national interests and by this and its nature it is vulnerable against corruption, megalomania and questionable intentions.

        Different as it is in dictatorships, any sinister political motivation within democracies has to be very clever in hiding its true intention and to sell it for the good of the people instead. Therefore it becomes so difficult for the people to understand the true agenda of their very own countries, as information get more and more shattered, distorted, negated, covered or simply faked.

        Isn't it interesting that so called 'free nations' have so much trouble to embrace the idea of websites such as WikiLeaks?

        Who ever came about to learn about the true power of information will know what I am pointing at.

        The decline of freedom will always come with good intentions and brightly labeled!

        For your country one example would be the PATRIOT Act, and for mine there are similar others.

        It is on us, the people, not to allow things to go out of control and to finally stand for our democratic beliefs in our very own freedom! This includes our governments and economy.
        • Aug 19 2012: ok, before starting this reply, i confirmed that, u r still from germany.
          didn't germans got hitler to his position and warred under him till destruction, i must point out it here that, some tried to kill him too while the war was raging. well, germany is considered to be a western nation too, by us from BD. so, r u confident on your political system and democracy, though, i believe, it is different to some extent than US democracy!
          'conspiracy theories' were used against moon landing too. so, 'conspiracy theory' is not what i prefer to choose to use here. and about journalism, i prefer the term 'yellow journalism' over all others.
          a scientist, who finds him/her in such 'paradox', should device a way out, they r scientists anyway, and they know how to do that. it is matter of intention only. in US, politics allow budget for scientific research and politicians use those research results to keep them silent -- 'paradox', isn't it! well, its a matter of intention again.
          >> All domestic and foreign policy is about power, retention of power and national interests... it has been such from the beginning, resulting brit rule, two world wars, cold war days, and now as i see "a US style colonialism"... well i guess it will continue as it is as long as.....
          monarchy, democracy or dictatorship, they're producing the same results, over and over again -- a blind pursuit for world domination. US democracy invented WMD when they needed oil, and they found allies too. and still US is acting with allies to decide who can develop a nuke and who can't... 'freedom', defined as suitable.
          i won't discuss bd here, cause, it's a totally different story from outside and from inside. as an example, a murder will usually get investigated in your country, but, in bd, is is very easy to overlook/bury even murder of a 'journalist family' without any investigation at all.

          science should lead people to that point. so, is there any point of pursuing science knowing what is going to be the result!
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        Aug 20 2012: I used to be confident in German democracy, once, yet there are alarming tendencies going on here too, since the 9/11 terrorism hype and the melt down of the financial market within the EU. So when it comes to voting, I do my very best to prevent the worst from happening and keep my mind awake on each major decisions made. In need I also take my right for protest, to send my signals of disagreement wherever necessary.

        I am concerned about the freedom of press in my country, which on international scale was ranked on place 16 in 2011/12 only by the 'Reporters without Borders' organisation.,1043.html

        In 2002 Germany was on rank 7, still not among the best, yet better, so something negative has happened since, as those happenings do not occur without purpose!!

        This got to change for a better again, as independent information is one of the core values of any democracy!

        Scientists are also just people and not all of them are willing to risk their careers for their political believes. Of course it is only a matter of personal intention, and I agree with you on that. By this it becomes even more important, that governmental funding on scientific projects was to control by a most independent jury, to avoid or at least minimize favoritism and suppression.

        By mistake I took you as an US citizen and missed the fact that you are from Bangladesh. Sorry for that. By this the US PATRIOT Act does not apply for you of course.

        The downside of western democracies is, that most of them are lacking the resources they need to keep their high standard of living. By this and the immanent need of growth in their economies, they seem to have no choice but to act on double-standards in international affairs. I am not justifying, I am stating facts.

        And as long as this selfish interference on global scale does not stop, we won't enter a time in which the people of nations help each other, especially those which are suppressed.
        • Aug 22 2012: >>And as long as this selfish interference on global scale does not stop....

          who's leading that, man! My answer is, it's USA. and you, western nations, prefer to ally with US knowing all those. In one of my earlier post, ms colleen found me to be blaming one or two, which of course i disagreed with. if it is to blame, the blame goes to the 'developed world' as a whole. They r doing nothing, but, being 'selfish', as they see fit for themselves, cleverly hidden inside an well crafted intention of promoting 'democracy' and 'development' world wide. referencing to your comment: you have to keep your 'high standard of living' ensured, no matter what happens to the rest of the world. well, so, the world world is going to be the same in future too, no matter how you choose your leader (be it a monarch/president/dictator or whatever). it's a matter of 'intention' again, man. 'people' first, who has to grow 'intention' of not being selfish: then leaders, who can make changes, will come out of them automatically. I am sorry to place the example of hitler here again, man (nothing personal pls).

          by the way, u dont need a PATRIOT act in bangladesh at all: if u r in power, u r allowed to do anything and everything, no one will even speak out. and journalism here -- well, you'll need a whole new definition to understand that. we better not go any deeper.... waste of time anyway.
  • Aug 18 2012: The man in the mirror message references the - self before blaming others. If we all did that we'd all be more accountable for our chaotic world.

    Your question on can we move the moon - Archimedes said, give me a place to stand and I'll move the Earth. So he was referring leverage. Do you have a place where I could stand to move that moon?
    • Aug 19 2012: i agree, self before blaming others -- but, often, finding 'self' poses to be very difficult depending on the environment and other elements.

      ok, i'll try to pose another point here, recently nanotechnology has become a very important field of research. but to what measure of 'nano' humans r able to investigate! doesn't matter, cause, we r using it anyway, and still pursuing to find the limit. so, if i can give you a place to move the moon along with the leverage u need,would u really want/need to move it!

      chasing perfection is somewhat like an chasing an asymptotic curve. the universe we live in, may allow perfections sometimes, depending on coincidences/uncertainties play their role in right time. humans alone probably lack that ability. else, you would've found abundance of 'perfect' examples all around.

      all that matters is how you want to spend your time, chasing money, power, perfection, limit.. the list goes on...
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        Aug 19 2012: Faisal,
        I suggest that finding "self" does not depend on the environment or other elements. We simply need to look at our "self", as Shane suggests...look in the willing to look at our "self" from a different perspective. And be willing to "stand" in a way to give ourselves leverage (strength, determination, resolve?) to "move" whatever we are trying to "move" in ourselves?

        We can sincerely, honestly evaluate ourselves and make changes in ourselves regardless of the external environment. There is no limit to how much or how little we can explore ourselves and my humble perception:>)

        To stay with your topic..."What if, in a fine morning, you learn, "There's nothing called God"!

        Some people may not be concerned or impacted at all, some folks may evaluate and adjust, and some people may feel totally lost if s/he has been dependant on a god for happiness, contentment, comfort, or life purpose.
        • Aug 19 2012: ma'am, i won't argue with your opinion about finding self. but my real life experience suggests, that, sometimes one may find him/her in situations making it impossible to have a grasp about the total picture even, let alone look for 'self'. so, as discussed earlier, having a mirror in mind will produce automatic feedback about your performance while working on the fly and not waste time to look at 'self'. i'm not claiming that i have that kind of a mirror in my mind already, but, that's the concept i gathered from the real life experiences i mentioned above. and 'possible' application of the concept may support your next comment too>> We can sincerely, honestly evaluate ourselves and make changes in ourselves regardless of the external environment.
          I'll be humble also, to disagree about 'limit' -- little may be possible, but as a human being, we do have limitations to 'how much' we are able to explore ourselves and change accordingly (requires more explanation, i feel, but, space is short). to be brief, it may take a life time for some one only to find the highest limit, and even die before finding it: making changes will remain unfinished in that case. So, a simultaneous process of exploring and making changes accordingly may produce the best result. which, again turns my attention to having a mirror in mind, i'm not sure though you'll agree -- doesn't matter much, does it?

          your last para, may not be comprehensive (nothing personal, ma'am), but, enough to present a rough picture of that possible/impossible morning.

          thanks anyway.
  • Aug 18 2012: Faisal I think the answer most are looking lies in nature. Nature is a beautiful existence, it has more wisdom to share than any single 'authority' who imagine and tell. It's unfathomable, it's endless and infinite and peaceful in its own right...or should I say rite?

    The greatest discovery in nature is discovering our small part in this infinite, yet recognize the big role we play in it and how our decision could affect or comply. This is where we begin to loose ego. We are just a drop in the ocean comparatively speaking. Science confirms this on so many levels. We can find it through a telescope, a microscope and even within our own minds and we continue to glean that no side is too big or too small and neither can we confirm that we are in the middle. It's a collective, and absolutum that makes it all possible.
    • Aug 18 2012: Shane you are very right. Humans are the only ones on this planet with egos. And as much as I'd like to say I have divorced myself from that issue- I can't. It still creeps in at times.
      There is so much we can learn from nature but most have turned away, only to realized too late that we have made a big Oops.
      Do other animals believe in a God figure? No idea! But my first guess would be - No!
      I feel that if all peoples woke up & learned there wasn't a "God", there would be chaos. Folks would then have to come to terms that they had no one, or thing, to blame or thank for what goes on in their lives. Far more people would end their existence then not.
      Believe me when I say, it's not easy looking in a mirror for the first time & blaming self for what has happened in your life.
      • Aug 18 2012: Spoken like a sage :-)

        It reminds me of that song of Michael Jackson - Man in the Mirror

        "I'm Starting With The Man In The Mirror
        I'm Asking Him To Change His Ways
        And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer
        If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place"

        • Aug 18 2012: Shane: i'm not sure which answer u r referring to, cause, i've been replying to so many postings. sorry for that.
          >> peaceful in its own right:: is it supposed to be so, but again, 'reality' differs and that makes differences.
          next para: do we really play big role! can we alter moons orbit as we want? may be that should be enough to shred 'ego'. yes we r just a drop in an ocean, and science is right about that. >> no side is too big or too small and neither can we confirm that we are in the middle:: i'm not sure about the 'side's u r referring to, so, any comment about being in the 'middle' may prove me / my logic wrong. your last sentence may be about your own perception, but, it does have logic in it.

          gale:: shredding ego is no easy thing to do, so, u r not a failure still. animals can't possibly 'conjure' a concept of god because of their biological limits.
          in that possible/impossible morning 'chaos' will only start... where it will lead us to, time can answer only. as i have already commented in this discussion, a mirror in one's mind won't need a physical one. well, i agree, it may not be easy the first time, for all, but many people do get born with 'gifts', don't they!

          Shane again:: i'd like to ask MJ what message he really tried to covey and to whom! it's not enough for MJ only to covey they message to him only, cause there r 7 billion people in this world and one will need most of them together with him "If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place", and i'm sure that conveying such messages to the required amount of people is not yet possible, considering, the present world we live in. but, anyway, the message he conveyed to him should not be avoided by a concerned person. the message is 'right' in its own right.
  • Aug 10 2012: If we suddenly discovered there was no God, I don't think anything would change. One thing many people forget is that Jozeph Stalin was an atheist. He was much worse than Hitler with double the kill count. (The US called it the Cold War, but change your perspective to Poland, Georgia, the Stans, etc. and the war suddenly became excruiating.)

    Sadly, with our without God people are still people. With all our faults, ambitions and economical motivators, nothing will change. God has been maniuplated by charismatic people to move others to action. Whether to tithe or go to war, (it might begin to sound like "demcracy" in the US) it was not God who casued these things, it was man's manipulation of "what God wants for us" that causes us trouble. We are responsible for our societies suffering because it is us as a collective that turns a blind eye toward other's pain, not God.

    Is God necessary to live a nice life on earth? That depends on what and who you think God is. I am Catholic and I believe God to be everything: He is all knowing, all powerful, and all good, I am even willing to throw out all knowing and all powerful, but all good is quintessential. Forget the qualification of "nice": LIFE, period would not be possible without God. Whether it is nice, good, bad, miserable is dependant on you and the society in which you live, how you respond to that society, and what you do to help that society become what you believe it should be.

    Saying God is the root of pain is like a religious sinner saying "The devil made me do it". It is not a valid defence as you still have the will to act.
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      Aug 12 2012: Interesting comment.

      All the atheists I know support freedom of religion. The non belief in gods does not automatically lead to suppressing religion, persecution, or mass murder.

      I wonder if the same can be said for nearly 2000 years of antisemitism in the catholic church. I suggest most religious suppression has been by one religion or denomination on another.

      I see nothing that points to the existence of any gods or goddesses, let alone one belief system being correct.

      Too me religions and all the gods are human constructs. If I woke up one morning and all the religions had finally shrivelled up and died I guess there would be one less thing to divide us. But agree humans are humans and would still help and harm others.

      If I step inside the bubble for a second, is your view that god is all good, just an assumption, a premise, or something supported by evidence or even the bible?

      If you believe god is good by definition and that everything god does or said must be good even if it seems bad, well we have no basis for discussion on the point as this is a circular nonsense.

      If you consider the god described in the bible I don't see how you can claim this imagined being is all good. This god threw a hissy fit when Adam ate from the tree and this original sin flows to all of us. This god is claimed to have committed global genicide in the flood, picked one tribe over all others and helped them destroy other tribes, requires animal or blood sacrifice, endorses slavery, sexism, and murder for homosexuality, adultery, and working on the sabbath, killed thousands with plagues, ordered millions killed, and will send you to eternal torture if you do not obey.christianity tries to dress this up with love, but it is not good. This god is worse than there worst human.

      How do you rationalise that that catholic god is good?
      • Aug 18 2012: Obey,

        Atheism, is already headed down the path of becoming its own religion. Please watch the Ted video Atheism 2.0.

        It's adopting religious practices and it's only a matter of time it before it begins it's own form of "conversion" because atheist believe the world will be better place if we all have the se ideology. And who object will be persecuted.. It a circle. All this has happened before and it will happen again (and in less time, I theorize).

        My point is not so much about religion as much as it is about the development of ideologies. Atheism will eventually be guilty of the same atrocities of all major world religions. Why? Because nothing has changed in the development of the ideology. There will come a point that disention will be punishable by death.

        I cannot explain to you why I believe God is good because your understanding of the Bible is already wrong. No educated Theologian believes humanity began from two people. I have many objections to
        the statements you made in your last paragraph because some of your understanding is misguided and you obviously have not studied scripture. You cannot claim to have mastery over the subject inasmuch as I, an accountant, can opine on molecular biology.

        Finally, it is not religion that divides us, it's politicians that feed off division to make a mint that exacerbate it. You'll find more religions in themselves are tolerant, it is leaders who thrive off conflict (like a good theatrical performance) that cause us to be enemies.
    • Aug 17 2012: kevin, i hope you've got your answers from obey.

      i'd like to add here that, science, till the present day, have enough physical evidences that human beings evolved with time, as an example, i can refer to neanderthals (u'll find other such examples in anthropology), which is enough to prove that there were no adam or eve from heaven to earth. else, all human fossils found till today, would have something common that certainly would have established by now that human race started from adam and eve.

      in general u r a christian first, then a catholic, and u also have many other sects among christians, such as protestants and others. well, u sure have prove that jesus/god himself produced so many versions of bible (pls excuse my limited knowledge on Christianity). those versions of bible are nothing but creations/additions of certain individuals at suitable position to provide improvisations as they saw fit.
      in ref to your last comment, an atheist will always find himself/herself responsible for own actions. so, devil/god actually live in human mind, and that's all. human mind makes a person do what he/she is doing. god/devil has no place in there. will to act, is also a result of the same evolution process that human went through physically.
  • Aug 9 2012: Well, it was not a fine morning, but a sudden realization that I no longer believed that such thing as "God" was there. But by then my concept of "God" had already changed dramatically. But the question is "what if." In my case, nothing, it just was so. As somebody else said below, what's for breakfast?
    • Aug 9 2012: it's midnight here, gabo. breakfast, can be decided about after waking up from sleep.

      most of the people of this world will find differences in that (probable / improbable) particular morning: so many, that ,as already discussed, all hell will break lose on plant earth. no one, i repeat, no one will be avoid the fall. would u like to see something like that?

      no, u will react, cause simply the environment around you -- world full of 'beleivers' will make you act. cause its not an atheist world and that morning will probably the worst for of the believers. the whole world will simply 'stop' working. and that 'stop' will start something.... chaos, destruction etc. etc. etc. ........
      • Aug 9 2012: You seem now to be asking what if everybody one fine morning realized that there is no gods. Kind of at the same time.

        If so, not for a second do I think that most people would be of the unreasonable religious mind that without gods everything is permissible (if this is what you mean by hell breaks lose). I think that there would be all kinds of reactions, that most would go within a few hours from panic to relief, often with a few other emotions in-between. That in the end, all would mostly go back to business as usual. That for most it would be, no gods, ok, what's for breakfast?
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        Aug 12 2012: I was only joking with my "I told you so!" comment... but honestly... if you want answers to that question, turn to a happy atheist, or agnostic. That's what most people will do "How do you deal with the fact that you've thought there is no god your entire life?"

        It's not a hard question to answer. We still don't know why exactly things exist, rather than not. As a human being, you get to decide, how you value things that exist. As something that exists, with no causal evidence that I necessarily should... I can't help, but feel lucky, and think that existence is a rare and wonderful thing.
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          Aug 15 2012: David,
          That feels like the underlying question. As a human being, how do we value the life experience? Do we value holding onto and focusing on a belief in a god, heaven, hell, afterlife, dogma, and controlling factors? Do we function as humans based on that belief? OR, do we treasure, and become fully engaged in being human?

          Seems like an easy question for me too. I am fully present and engaged in the adventure of being human whether or not there is a god! What's for breakfast?
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    Aug 3 2012: Dear Faisal,
    When I first saw your discussion, I more discussions about god....they usually lead to testy arguments!!! LOL:>) Your discussion is not really about god, however, it is about chooses to join the conversation......yes? "On a fine morning, YOU learn there's nothing called God"

    So, in answer to your question, nothing would change about that day. I live life with integrity, compassion, empathy, respect, humor, joy and unconditional love, to the best of my ability in each and every moment. I do not need a higher power overseeing my actions/reactions throughout the life experience.

    That being said, I had an NDE/OBE (near death experience) years ago, which provided me with information. I do not need other people to believe the information, nor do I try to convince anyone that my belief is truth. As I was in the spirit/energy form, outside the body, I did not meet a god, nor was I aware of any heaven or hell. So, at this point, with the information I have, I do not believe there is a god. However, I am not totally closed to the possibility either. Some folks say I'm "on the fence"..."unwilling to make a committment one way or the other"....etc. etc. That is THAT PERSON'S perception.

    In my mind and heart, there could be a god "out there" somewhere, and I do not believe so at this time. On one level, I believe I already have evidence that there is no god, and I am also open to possibilities if I get new information. Neither possibility changes the way I live my life HERE and NOW.

    Thanks for the very creative question, which if looked at carefully, askes us to question ourselves, rather than defend preconceived beliefs:>)
    • Aug 3 2012: Well, miss, a discussion about god is usually never-ending, as always, which will be the same until someone has a hard evidence in hand. so, why wasting time on the topic, u may ask me -- (for your ears only) any hard evidence is really not required because a virtual being will always be virtual.
      i feel something will change on that morning, because, we live in a world with a very few atheists. so, when believers find the morning, everything around u will change, and, consequently we will change too.
      your nde/obe gave u the clue you needed. but not all of the people will get that chance - some clue for them is necessary to leave behind an idea they pursued all their life...
      i'm sorry, i can't support u about being partially open about a possibility of a an existence: it may some day take you to a very confusing state of mind which may also ruin your personal idea about how to live a life on earth and...
      >> Neither possibility changes the way I live my life HERE and NOW.
      that stance totally negates my comment in the earlier para.

      your thanks is accepted with the best gratitude. thank you too ma'am.
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        Aug 3 2012: Faisal,
        I agree...a discussion about god is usually never-ending, which is why I like the way you framed your question. It is not as much about god, as how the belief/idea of god impacts people....well done:>)

        I am not looking for your support for my beliefs Faisal. As I said in my previous comment, I do not need someone looking over me, to make my own decisions and choices regarding the way I navigate the life experience:>)

        You say my beliefs may some day take me to a "very confusing state"? Are you now becoming the fortune teller, as you have judged others to be? LOL:>)

        I really LIKE what I believe. I LOVE having an open mind and heart and being fully present HERE and NOW.
        • Aug 3 2012: ma'am, so many thanks for praising my debate and its content.

          well, you r on your own and that give me more confidence about my own life and thoughts. i, too, don't need anyone for decisions about my life and its cliches.

          no, ma'am, i'm not trying to be a fortune teller (thanks for the comment anyway. it will surely help me keep my interpretations justified about the opinions of others - one to one). all i'm trying to say is that if you look at a glass that's half full and half empty, and decide to check both the conditions practically, u may waste your time only. i tried that myself and at the end the result is zero, sorry, negative - i only wasted my time.

          an open mind is what all of us should strive for. but 'openness' may bring in serious trouble if we are not careful enough. i.e. there's no need to be open to everything, it is not worth doing so (u may disagree, and i don't mind that).
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        Aug 3 2012: My pleasure Faisal,
        When there is a mention of god, some folks go into you know what I mean?

        When we are clear and confident in ourselves, it gives others the confidence as well. Thanks for mentioning that Faisal. I don't need to convince YOU of anything, and you don't need to convince ME of anything. That allows us to have a conversation and connect with each other rather than seperate.....yes?

        I simply reflected back to you regarding "fortune-teller". I agree with you, that it is not practical to accuse others of something we are doing ourselves:>)

        I do not perceive looking at different sides (glass half full/glass half empty) as a waste of time, although I respect your perception. I LIKE looking at things from different perspectives...that's simply my own preference. If you have decided that it is a waste of time, that is your preference:>)

        I have never found an open mind to bring "trouble". We have the ability as evolving humans to take in a LOT of information. We also have the ability to sift through information to decide how we act/react, make choices and decisions based on the information we take in. How can that be "trouble"? I don't understand.
        • Aug 3 2012: thanks ma'am. yes i know auto-pilot: u r welcome to Bangladesh to see practical demonstrations everywhere u go.

          yes ma'am.

          (half/full glass) well ma'am, it's not about my preference, i was actually referring to my own life experiences. i also like different perceptions / perspectives as long as those remain interesting and meaningful. but, being a human only, i made mistakes - carelessly. and, u know something, i'm still a careless.

          actually, while using the term 'open mind', i included the info processing mechanisms automatically into it. so, i said, not everything should be encountered with an open mind. does that make some sense...!!
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        Aug 3 2012: Faisal,
        No, honestly, I do not understand how, why or when it would NOT be beneficial to have an open mind. Can you give me an example?

        I might have to end soon....guests coming for dinner...I'll get back to you later:>)
        • Aug 4 2012: ok. if u allow everything with an 'open mind', the way i described it, it may destroy the 'open mind' process. an example here wont be sufficient because the concept of having an 'open mind' differs between u and me.

          so, if u like, we can further discuss 'open mind' that may produce a level and mutual platform to base discussions on.

          of course we should not expect that we surly will be able to reach a common point though. but with every explanations possible, the concept of having an 'open mind' in a human should be respected without any reservation.
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        Aug 4 2012: Hi Faisal,
        To me, having an open mind simply means a willingness to explore all available information regarding any topic. I like looking at issues from many different perspectives, and I am not expecting always to reach a common point, although that is enjoyable when it happens, and I am open to some common ground on which to build a conversation:>)
        • Aug 8 2012: well, ma'am - you can have an open mind as well as you can have a closed/partially closed, or other types of mind(s). the way you defined open mind is perfectly alright. a willingness to explore all available info. i'd like to present my concept with a few additions. for me, it's a mechanism, something that process input(s) for certain output(s). (what i do with those output(s) is a different matter though). so, i have an open mind and other types of minds also. an info in front of me usually gets a primary treatment whether to put it to an 'open mind' state or any other state of mind. there r more in it. but i'll try to be brief. referring to our previous discussions, i proposed that not everything should be treated with an 'open mind' and then we started discussing the concept of 'open mind'. my point of that remark is that, for me, if i put wrong info to my 'open mind', it may harm the processing mechanism. in that case, the 'output' i get will have 'weakness' inherent in it, which, when required, will certainly prove to be less effective / useless. and about perspectives: the primary treatment i talked about earlier, usually contain the element of judging an info / situation from as many possible perspectives an environment may allow.

          so, i think, we already have at least one enjoyable common point: the 'willingness to explore'; it may be something like, someone knocking your door and you go and open the door to see "who!'. rest, depend on a lot of things, such as, mental makeup, attitude towards the unknown etc. etc.

          anyway, we r in a conversation on a level ground already, (we have at least one common point). the 'imperfections' life poses on walking the level ground are somewhat like 'food for thoughts'. and as the conversation progresses, we can always think of leveling the ground in front of us as required.

          i am really 'very', 'very' sorry that i was away from the debate and answered you when you may be no more interested about it anymore. I' sorry.
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        Aug 15 2012: Faisal,
        Yes, I agree...we can have a mind that is open or closed on different levels. In my perception, information is information....neither "right" nor "wrong" until I accept or reject the information. Then it may be "right" or "wrong" for me, while still "right" or "wrong" for another person, as s/he chooses. I try to be brief as well:>)

        I believe you are right! We have at least one enjoyable common point: the willingness to explore. My perception is that I was on level ground when I entered the conversation:>)

        Well, I missed you when you were away, and it is ok...I will survive. Welcome back:>)
        • Aug 17 2012: ma'am, thanks for sharing the common point, i hope we'll find some more if we continue to discuss.

          by the way, do u have a personal email address? I'd like to send you an email about something 'interesting', and may be discuss about whether it really is 'interesting' to talk about. FYI, my address is,
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        Aug 17 2012: Dear Faisal,
        Sharing common points is my pleasure:>)

        I am happy to have an extended conversation, and I prefer to use the TED e-mail system.
        Thank you:>)
        • Aug 17 2012: well, ma'am, i respect your decision. but in that case i decide to not to discuss what i intended to discuss, cause i just don't want to be public about it right now. a lot people, including some 'unknown visitors' are interested in this debate, 'reason', unknown.

          we can continue as we were, forgetting about my proposal. i dont mind. i hope u don't too.

          referring to your earlier comment, i too assumed a level ground when we started the conversation, so, first, 'a willingness to explore' and then, 'assuming we started on a level ground'... i feel good about the way the conversation is progressing...

          thanks for your thoughtful remarks.

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        Aug 18 2012: Dear Faisal,
        I respect your decision as well:>)

        Yes, we have in common, a willingness to explore and we are on a level ground with the exploration. I also feel good about that. We have many more commonalities, in my humble perception. We all drink the same water, breath the same air, we experience and share many of the same emotions, and we all share the earth space.

        One challenge with believing in one god or another, is that in defending their god and the dogma produced by the religion that promotes that god, we are often destroying each other and the earth that sustains us. So, if I woke up one fine morning to the news that there was no god, it would be interesting to observe people as they asked the question....what do we do now?
        • Aug 18 2012: well, ma'am, i really can't express my reaction to 'humble' in words, but, it matters to me very much personally and positively of course. yes, sure, suddenly, we have so many commonalities between us. feels even better.
          u sure remember cold war days better than me, somehow, those days were worse than the days passed within two world wars. because the whole world could go to dust within seconds, and the world wars only killed some 'millions' may be! now, if u ask me to explain the role of religions in getting people to wars -- it is 'religions', the root cause; then come others, such as world domination or other things.
          i think some people, few may be in numbers, r already thinking abt that, what we do now. cause that morning may not break suddenly around they whole world, but some people are already observing it dawning and at the same time thinking. so, when that morning breaks to the most of the people waking up from sleep only, there will be some answers, i hope. well, don't pls place me to pose as a fortune teller. because, atheists are growing in numbers, slowly may be, as science progresses and only time will tell, when that morning will appear as morning already to people who r still sleeping. as an example, i think the word 'atheist' got included in dictionaries long after the word 'believer'.
          so, back to, what do we do now... it will be really interesting to observe who runs after whom to find answers. there will be so many people with so many questions, differing in types, origins etc., but, finding answers within time will prove to be crucial, because, that awful confusion(s) may give rise to war anyway, world wide. people will need food, but that special 'conjecture' may stop the world working. So, i've got something interesting in my mind now, 'will people run for food first or answers first?' everyone will be busy with own problems, some will run for food some will run after answers -- utter confusion....
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      Aug 3 2012: Don,
      With all due respect, the topic is about YOU...and YOUR reaction.

      The question: "What if, in a fine morning, YOU learn, "There's nothing called God"! Gods exist from 'god knows how many millenniums'. And they come to mankind as virtual beings time to time: promising heaven and hell and with sets of instructions to be followed - differing according to the religions they propose. WE all, except for a few, are so dependent on them for OUR everyday life - trying to find a purpose of OUR existence, some meaning of what WE call life...... So, WE are born with a specific religion as our birth right and WE fight till death trying to do --- what....

      What if, in a fine morning, YOU come to learn that there is actually no entity such as 'god'. That, the concept is no more necessary to live a nice life on this earth...

      What might be the first thing in YOUR mind..."

      The topic, as presented, is neither religion OR god Don, except in how it might impact YOU. The facilitator asks about YOU and YOUR reaction. Again, with all due respect Don, it is YOU who is moving the topic question from YOU and YOUR reaction, to god and the devil.
    • Aug 3 2012: hi Don, I hope you got your answer from miss colleen. Thank you miss colleen, again.
  • Aug 2 2012: There are plenty of things called God that I wish where not. We use this title for spiritual reasons as well as trying to conceive things we are not yet equipped to understand. I believe in everlasting consciousness is that God?
    • Aug 2 2012: Consciousness isn't defined properly yet, according to present day science. But, that probably wont require any element called 'god'.
      yes, we need this concept of 'god' trying to conceive things we don't yet understand, you r right.
      • Aug 2 2012: The Book Quantum Philosophy has a clear difinition of consciousness
        • Aug 2 2012: Does that book contain (pls excuse my ignorance) that, the definition of consciousness include an element of the presence of a supernatural being?
      • Aug 3 2012: It states consciousness is equal to the natural. I guess supernatural is a point of view. Consciousness is extremely super because nothing compares to it and it is extremely natural because it is that which occurs in existence. If you are asking if consciousness is built from particles and waves, I would think not. What do you think?
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    Aug 1 2012: MAYBE
  • Aug 1 2012: Faisal,
    What if we had a bad morning? People sometimes rise from bed and are grouchy! So what is it about a fine morning that is needed to discover there is no god?

    If science and its material aspects of reality are the sole sum and substance for proving or disproving a god, then you may assume you never will solve the dilemma. But, if you accept that finding God is in the experience of a human being, then you will find evidence in the many varied experiences of billions of people who believe something of a person or entity beyond human.

    Another question could be: "What if, in a fine morning, you have a spiritual experience that affirms for you there is a God-----who cares about me?"

    Despite all the naysaying and denials of anyone, no one can take away from me or any other person the fact of experience in relating to God. No bragging here; just the facts of realities of relating beyond the realm of formulas, theories, computer calculations and scientific procedure.

    Through our long planetary history man has struggled with questions, perhaps similar to yours. This parent God has revealed self in many ways and we cannot say how and when new revelation will manifest. Our planetary religions are the result of man's understandings and beliefs and it would be wise for us all to accept a concept we call progress. We will see progress in time. A lot more could be said.

    Taking a break for now.
    • Aug 1 2012: ok, i'll wait for your full post...
  • Aug 19 2012: I know what's for breakfast! PIZZA.
    Painting a picture? Well I am an artist, which should ans. a lot of questions. LOL
    Timing was off when I got the Mohawk- my head got too cold for winter. LOL
    I wear a black fedora with a brightly colored parrot feather on it too.
    I don't like to conform unless it's for the greater good. And there has been very little of that around here.
    I am also a wee bit out spoken. Another LOL for the record.
    • Aug 22 2012: >>> Neither Colleen nor I live under a "dome". We are not responsible for the rest of the worlds troubles but we do care about what is going on there. Colleen & I have looked in the mirror & seen who is at fault & suggest you do the same. I add to this from ms Collen "I have been "out of the dome" many times Faisal...." -- i hope you see that, there is a 'difference' there.
      I don't know what u got as responses from your mirrors, but i have already discussed 'mirror' already in this debate earlier, and i'll ask u to kindly review that. my mirror responses differently to me, depending in what situation/environment i find myself in -- 'reality' again, gale.
      you prefer changing your hair color, and i prefer it to be as it is, still, i and you do share something common, willingness to be 'ourselves' and intention to bringing in differences.
      you'd prefer pizza for breakfast, but my 'reality' says, some people will even try finding out some 'grass' to eat. 'reality' again, gale.
      So, as long as we can't realize 'reality', that it differs -- from people to people, culture to culture, country to country and then find out a definition that applies to 'all' in general: neither can we detect 'greater good' nor can we 'conform' :-(
  • Aug 19 2012: Believe me Colleen, I certainly put out the effort to understand folks & try to accept the way they do or say things, but what I get back from my efforts is usually backstabbing & ridicule. I live in a small southern town where most of the folks still have a mind set in the 1800s. If you were born here, as well as your parents, all things are great but woe to those who aren't. Blacks are not allowed in most of the white churches and if you have lots of cash you can buy a spot on city council. Get the picture? The people who are close to me are not from this town nor agree with the folks who do live here.
    Taking what "I" know of human nature: Without someone or thing to follow or blame stuff on most humans will be lost & those who take advantage will exploit this. It would be a real mess for sure.
    Shane is right! I'll add an old adage: Hell is here on earth (so why not try & make it into a heaven?)
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      Aug 19 2012: Hi Gale,
      I'm sure you do understand and accept too:>) I'm sure you know that backstabbing and ridicule are all some people know. Heck, when I started commenting on TED 3 years ago, I was criticized and ridiculed for being too "sweet" and "surgery"! People did not believe that I was/am simply being "ME"...LOL:>)

      I even got e-mails through the TED system telling me that I wasn't "real"...I was fake...some folks called me "passive aggressive", abusive!!! Yeah....the same people were calling me "too sugery" and "abusive" at the same time!!! That only told me that people are confused about themselves, so they are confused about others as well. I am persistant:>)

      Our communities sound similar in some ways....I'm in a small northern town, mostly populated by people whose families have lived here for a couple hundred years. I am personally responsible for breaking up conflict of interest issues with people serving on our local governing boards, and my life was threatened in the process....yeah.....I get the picture! All those who had blatant conflicts of interest who were serving on the governing boards, are no longer serving themselves on those boards....they are gone....I am persistant:>)

      I totally agree....let's make earth into a heaven....let us continue to be persistant my friend:>)
      • Aug 19 2012: Gale and ms Colleen, u r both from us, and u seem to share the same ideas. well, the advantage u have as birth right, can make u agree to give it a try to make it a heaven on earth. I agree with that.

        i'll place an 'irrelevant' comment here: from my point of view from Bangladesh, u r already in a heaven on earth: at least my from the experience / opinion i gather from my friends (from bd of course, but living and working in US for a long time). So, just guess: out of that secured dome u live in, most people of the world (excluding the developed world) experiencing 'hell on earth'. as an example, most of the general people of bd cant even manage one meal a day, usually. u can also think about Ethiopian people. and there r so many. So, I'll humbly ask both of you to come out of that dome, see the world for yourself, and then decide about being persistent. somehow, i am sure that, you both will realize that it is not only US that deserves to be a heaven on earth. compared to the total population on earth, u r only a few in numbers, and the 'heaven' u live in, is actually responsible for 'hell on earth' for the rest of the world. never mind pls if that remark hurts your pride. but i'm talking about reality -- 'stark reality' and nothing else....
        • Aug 19 2012: Neither Colleen nor I live under a "dome". We are not responsible for the rest of the worlds troubles but we do care about what is going on there. Colleen & I have looked in the mirror & seen who is at fault & suggest you do the same.
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          Aug 19 2012: Hello again Faisal,
          Gale and I do seem to share many of the same ideas, and I agree with you Faisal, that we have an advantage because of where we live.

          Your comment is not "irrelevant", in my perception Faisal. I understand how the US can be considered a heavan on earth, when looked at from other parts of our world.

          I have been "out of the dome" many times Faisal, and have witnessed many people in remote parts of our world with no clean drinking water, not enough food or shelter. Yes, I am still going to be persistant Faisal. The last time I checked, I have no influence with world leaders. I DO however, have influence in my little part of the world, so this is where I can make a difference.

          I believe our world could be a heaven on earth, and it takes each and every one of us to create that. Your remark does not hurt me Faisal, because to a certain extent, it is true. The USA consumes WAY MORE than our share of resources. It may not make any difference to you Faisal, but I personally, live very frugally, conservatively, and mindfully aware. Thankfully, my parents taught me to restore, renovate, reuse, and recycle 60+ years ago... before it was a popular or necessary concept. I live my life that way, and I also teach many others to do the same. I personally do not feel responsible for the "hell on earth" that some people are living, and I also accept responsibility as a member of the USA community. I am not proud of the fact that we, as a whole, use so much of the worlds resources.

          I am also talking about reality Faisal......nothing else. You don't need to blame one or two people, as you have attempted to do here, because of the actions of millions. I understand your anger, and do not feel personally blamed:>)
      • Aug 19 2012: I will continue to be me & the "persistence" that goes along with that. Some of the names I get called, I won't repeat here, but one thing they all do agree on: I care! They may not like the colors I sometimes put in my grey hair (fushia), nor it's cut (Had a Mohawk last year), nor the bike I ride (mt. type), nor the fedora I wear on my head, nor my life style, but they agree I care. And NOT just on a local level. I am just trying to get a little bit of "better" in the area I live in and hope others are trying to do the same. And maybe, just maybe it spreads around the globe.
        One person can't do that, but all working together can.
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          Aug 19 2012: That's interesting get called names, and people also agree that you do care. I am called names too, and in the end, people often say......"but.....she walks her talk". That is one motivator for persistence. I've seen that persistence works.........EVENTUALLY!

          With my effort to clean up the conflict of interest issue for example, I was called all kinds of things and as I said, my life was threatened and my property damaged for quite awhile. Some folks quietly said......"nice job and we don't want to be "out there" doing that". It took about 10 years for many people in the community to realize what was going on. Or maybe they were all in denial because they were benefiting from the conflict of interests!?!?!?

          You are painting a very interesting picture of yourself my friend.....fushia mohawk huh? Sounds intriguing! Mine is only plain gray......OH......white/silver.....sound more interesting?
          I also rode a mt. bike for awhile, but traded it in for a road bike when I started riding with a group....I was working way too hard with the mt. bike!

          So, if one fine morning, we wake up and find out there is no god, none of this will change for us huh? I can't help but ask the question another commenter asked early in the conversation.....what's for breakfast? LOL:>)
        • Aug 22 2012: Ms. Colleen:: I'm not angry, about anyone or anything. Humbly, i don't even blame one or two. I agree that it's about actions of millions. but, ma'am this world population is around 7 billion. So, actions of only a few millions cant put the rest into peril. you're not the one to be blamed. during WMD, US had many allies too. and in future, i expect it to be the same again. by commenting on being persistent, i tried to put forward to you this, that, spending your life for the 'small' community wont make any difference at all to the rest of the world, provided you do feel that you should give it a try to get out of that 'small' community and think about the 'world community'. I agree, you don't have any influence on the leaders, but you do vote for them, don't you? so, you do have your choice, and a free will and an honest intention to make a difference -- and u have an added advantage too, that u r a US citizen by birth. So, if u r able to make a difference in your community, then u certainly can be a part of those who wants a difference world wide. there r many like you in this world limiting themselves to their own communities, its about being out in the open together and start making the difference. to be brief, referencing to your earlier comment, 'exploring', and not limiting 'self' within own world only. So, I'll add Gales last comment here "One person can't do that, but all working together can."
          Gale: I prefer to be myself too, and i'm going to be persistent about that too. The differences u, ms colleen and i probably can make, by being persistent to be ourselves, on our own -- may be negligible, even undetectable; can become a 'DIFFERENCE' world wide; it's a matter of someone taking the lead to assemble those with intentions to bring in a difference. And, gale, about names -- anyone can decide anything about you, what's the point wasting time noticing those, so many things to do, and life is short. answering space is limiting me here, 'reality' -- what else!
  • Aug 19 2012: id, ego ans super-ego -- 'human psyche' consists, according to freud. so, ego ruling a human being is not unnatural. it's up to the 'specific' human in question, whether to let ego rule or try something else.

    because, you brought the subject of chasing perfection: consciousness is not defined yet properly, so, it's better to exclude it from here. but awareness is a matter of realization of the environment one finds him/her in...

    so, let's ask a 'true' scientist: is he/she aware of what he/she is doing! aware enough about the possible result of the pursuit! or, he/she plans to leave a legacy of another nobel prize! a question remains, in that case, should we leave science and waste our time for something else? again, it's a matter of intention of the 'specific' person involved.

    as i see it, science should progress / or should be allowed to progress. a scientific experimentation / evaluation should be the base of the structure we plan to build. in that case, we'll always have an option to go back and check when we find something is going wrong.

    and, 'perfection' is a result of pursuit, add to it the role of coincidences/uncertainties: just because of the fact that the universe we live in allows humans that much ability only and we can never exclude the role of uncertainties/coincidences from our 'reality'.
  • Aug 19 2012: Well even if the leverage and standpoint were there, I'd choose not to move it as it could have a damaging effect to an entire planet - earth in this case. Therefore ones conscious intent is imperative towards choice, and should be accountable at the time of choice. Of course if ego ruled my consciousness then I'd move the moon and gain fame and soon after gain blame. So there appears to be a price attached to ego. Thus chasing perfection should be towards ones awareness or consciousness as some call it, rather than trying to perfect elsewhere
  • Aug 18 2012: Not to worry I don't feel any of it rude, I welcome all expressions and vents.

    To clear the consultation part - I meant it stink because we DON'T consult, we don't agree if we tried. This particularly pointed at religions who are up in arms with each other. Examples - Burma crisis, Israel and Palestine and more.

    To clear APATHY - it is the submission of ones Will that causes societies the loss they experiencing. When 'smarter' ones note the - laid back attitude - they endevour to lead people for their own gain and corruption becomes prevalent . They know that very few, if any, would stand up for justice and march for freedom, therefore they take society for granted. This is what apathy is - it is an unresponsive people that I'm referring to. If people were responsive we wouldn't have such great degeneracy. I'm not saying poverty is the poor man's fault but I'm saying they have the POWER TO CHANGE their situation - if they begin to respond.

    The question is - where does apathy reside, and where/what brought it into existence?
    We are so comfortable allowing podium teachers to decide our fate, and when we hear a few in the crowd complaining, we shy away from standing for the same ideals, especially if they are intended to help us. We are too QUIET when we should be LOUD and to damn loud when we should quiet - listen.

    Bottomline is - the seekers for unity in diversity have a very difficult task on their hands, because of - PRIDE amongst those they hope to unite.
  • Aug 18 2012: Yes, we are all only humans and without the benefit of omniscience; however, I do not agree that lacking such perfect faculty null-and-voids the endeavor of understanding God. God made us in His image and likeness, even if He is fictitious, (which I highly doubt for personal reasons I'll disclose soon), wouldn't you rather aim or life and behavior at perfection than anything less?

    When I said Catholicism came first, I meant as opposed to Protestantism. I correct myself, Historically, other religions came first the origins of which we may never know (what of Neanderthals or our direct ancestors in their nomadic/"caveman" age) ; however, there is an interesting progression leading into Jesus Christ: I allude specifically to Socrates, without him and Aristotle, some of the Philosophies/teachings of Jesus would never have caught on with the Gentiles. It is an interesting set-up.

    Now here comes my cornerstone, my reason I believe in God. Without this simple fact, I would become atheist.

    You speak of religion as a whole and many gods. I want to address what they all have in common (except for one, I know you saw that coming, hehe), namely each god has a name. I don't know many, but even reckoning all the way to the Mesopotamians, their god's had names. One common belief that to a certain extent remains today is that when you know the name of something or someone, you can call upon it to perform favors or bend it to your will. This was a strong belief in Ancient Egypt.

    Moses was raised as an Egyptian and would have held the same belief. So when he was met with the burning bush, quite frankly he had no interest in listening to it, that is to return to Egypt. He tried all that he could to evade the demands of this phenomenon. But ultimately the fire called God won. Why? The last question Moses asks of the immolation is "Whom shall I say sent me?" This was a trick. Moses believed, if he knew the name of the entity before him, he could control it. (Continued...)
    • Aug 18 2012: well, ok. in order to make myself clear, i didn't start the debate to help turn anyone to an atheist. becoming an atheist is about reasoning, trying to be scientific at the core. that's all can that be said at this moment...

      u r welcome to continue.....
  • Aug 18 2012: Oh! Dear God, when will that fine morning dawn...thy kingdom come already! Lol

    Seriously I feel it's time people realized that ONE entity simply cannot be responsible for an infinitely well orchestrated universe. It's absolutely impossible that an all powerful, almighty, all knowing exists within a SINGLE entity's 'celestial' brain. By assuming that it implies perfection beyond perfect. If creation were the project of a creator (singular) then according to this 'logic' all creation should be perfect without behavioral issues. Is it not religion that teaches we were created in the likeness of God/Allah?
    Why could'nt the 'moral' data just be downloaded into the hearts of humanity then?

    Well it's not that simple because it's not that SIMPLE. Instead - Its a complicated network of the 'collective' participation.

    Monotheistic theory is - Their is no gods/deities but God. How does one define the paradox and the god appellation? The theory suggests we should support one and leave out the hierarchical concept. And it implies that God is a title which probably means creator. But what if the theory is - Their is no god except Creation. This suggests no appellations, no hierarchies but instead implies all individuals and life forms collectively make up creation. Thus saying we have a responsibility towards nature and each other and so forth because we all in this together - no one above another - the result, no religious wars andi religious skeptics.

    As current logic suggests, based on the god concept, it would be that god gets the fame as well as the blame, right? We can't assume he only gets the fame while religions tell us we get the blame, because we can argue we did not ask to be created therefore why the 'hell' punish us.

    Humanity should do what they are capable of doing - self determination and self responsibility WITHOUT being coerced by some 'higher power'

    Their is no god(s) but Creation - the total sum, the absolutum
    • Aug 18 2012: LOl, in response to your first sentence.
      Next para:: u r absolutely right in your reasoning. and none can possibly answer the last question.
      ok, 'collective participation': it can be an an ans to your last question, but an almighty could possibly make that happen too, at least, the as term 'almighty' may suggest, literally. so, there's no almighty out there really.
      i won't make comment on monotheistic theory cause u answered it already. but the theory u r suggesting, may not be comprehensive, but, close: because creation is not about individuals and life only, it may even contain 'multiverses' (as physics suggests in some theories) in it. and the result of your suggested theory can prove to be true, i'd like to add here, that it certainly has a very good probability of becoming a reality, with some exceptions included in it, naturally.
      right again: we didn't asked to be created. but, even if we've asked to get created, who would ask for a life of a beggar!! that life is hell on earth anyway, isn't it?
      i agree, absolutely.
      all i'm concerned with is that, it is a creation, and for me, no 'god' is necessary for that.
      absolutum is latin, as i just learned from dictionary -- thanks for that.
      • Aug 18 2012: Regarding beggars and hell.
        No disrespect to any believers of religions, but I have to point out that regions have turned mankind into beggars, so to speak and if we scrutinize it we could assimilate it to the hell scenario. The term 'religous skeptics' only applies to religous people and not atheist or agnostics. Im assuming you Muslim, so would define it with the Surah Kaffirun which says - you worship that which you want and I worship that which I want, to you your belief and to me mine...or something on that grounds. What it's really defining is the religous skeptics, bar none.

        Is it wise that people, who subscribe to a 'godly' God, see him/her as One, yet don't subscribe to each other's wisdom, considering many claim all came from God? I thing with much cogitation we will learn its far from sage to have religous skeptiscm. Religions may have helped once but now they hurt us. We are divided because of religious skeptiscm and it continues to evolve into more divisions. This is not natural as in harmonious. As we consciously evolve we discover the ills in our paradigm and then to realize the difficulty in changing what we once subscribed to. It means we are growing, evolving individually.

        Most regions teach of hereafter, so I have to ask - what about here and now? How are we to achieve 'heaven' there when we fail to create a a peaceful paradigm here and now? It's about here and now and we don't have tape capacity to be certain it will exist beyond here. I'm not saying life ends here.

        As for multiverses - there are an infinite amount, beyond comprehension and may not even be part of this collective we exist in. Therefore our social actions may not affect those. The problem is not out there, but instead down here. The collective I speak of is us, this humanity consciousness, and not beyond our solar system or universe or spiritual planes. Our focus should be us....for now. We can deal with the next part when we arrive there with new challenges.
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          Aug 18 2012: Interesting comment Shane..."regions have turned mankind into beggars..." (I assume the word is supposed to be religions, rather than regions?)

          This is true in many respects because some religious beliefs tell us we are supposed to suffer on this earth to have a better spot in heaven. God fearing enthusiasts are often "begging" for forgiveness for their actions, which can be resolved very easily simply with confession. I believe an enthusiastic belief in a god often absolves people from accountability/responsibility...or so they think.

          You have effectively touched on the idea of being "all one", which some religious beliefs advocate. As a person born into a catholic environment, they tried to convince me that we are "all one", EXCEPT for those "other" people who were NOT catholic....they were going to hell!!! Didn't make sense to me even as a little child. How can it make sense to ANYONE...only if they are embracing/accepting dogma without thinking or feeling for themselves.

          I agree with you that as we consciously evolve, we discover the ills in our paradigm, and I also agree that it is difficult to change. As thinking, feeling, evolving humans, however, I believe the change is in process.

          I totally agree with you...."what about here and now"? Good question...."how do we achieve heaven, when we fail to create a peaceful paradigm here and now"? God fearing folks may tell you that we are "supposed" to suffer and struggle (beg) here on earth to have a better spot in the arms of the creator in "his" heaven in the afterlife.

          I do not believe "life" ends here. I had an NDE/OBE which gave me information. What I experienced, however, is nothing like what is taught with religious dogma. I agree that there are multiverses....way beyond what we can imagine as humans.

          Agree...WE are the "collective" in human form.....Our focus should and could be US.....for now. I LOVE it..."we can deal with the next part when we arrive there with new challenges!
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          Aug 18 2012: Colleen I guess most regions and religions teach.....
        • Aug 18 2012: ok. a 'life' similar to a 'hell' on earth -- a beggar's is only one example. a 'rich' person may find that life too depending on how he/she decides it to be. i should've placed an example here, but don't the feel needed to continue. (to be honest, hell/heaven on earth can be found among humans in present days.)
          well, i'll be differing about atheists and agnostics: atheists are confirmed, and agnostics are 'sort' of confused. but both can be excluded from the term 'religious skeptics', as u described.
          sorry, i don't even remember that sura, cause its been so long i'm an atheist, forgetting those r natural. but, the meaning inside, as u described, may define that too, provided, you got the total meaning of the sura within that unfinished line. and of course, context matters. I don't think religions turned humans to beggars, cause beggars can be of different forms and from different levels of society. as an example, I'm from Bangladesh, and the image of Bangladesh to the whole world is synonymous to 'beggars', in most cases. i don't think the religious people of bd want to be treated as beggars, but that's a 'reality' anyway. and you'll find lots of people in bd with so much money, that, with honest intentions, could make a difference. (it's really a too complex matter to describe within such a short space). 'reality' is the same again, Bangladesh, as a whole, are bunch of beggars to the developed/rich world.
          religions helped, only those, who found themselves in places to manipulate it; and it still does help those. religions evolved in a fashion to get more diverse with time, inherent in nature, inherited from their origins. so, natural, but not harmonious. harmony won't allow so many wars/conflicts in history. 'some' people evolve and find 'ills', not all; 'some' even avoid that process for the sake of their personal interests. shortage of space wont allow me to finish here, sorry....
      • Aug 18 2012: Faisal I think Colleen describe what I meant by beggars. I really was not referring to riches, although since you brought that up a word describes best the term beggar - APATHY.

        Humanity fails to recognize that when organized institutions administer their moral codes they actually don't think for themselves anymore. It's sad to witness the intolerances acted out by religious people against those who 'supposedly' don't fit within the codes of conduct. What conduct and who decides these things?
        We as a society should collectively consult for the betterment of all without having to hurt anyone. Can we do this? thus far, No. Because we lack awareness. We don't prudentially discern before we threaten a people WE THINK are tainting our pride. Frankly we stink at consultation, and all we ready to is act like war mongerers. This is the reality of a perfect hell, and we alone created this paradigm.

        Speaking of BD, look at our world, we have 6,8 odd billion people and 4,5 odd people face dire poverty. Why? Can we only blame our governing bodies? No because we so caught up in apathy that we don't know when to clamor for the betterment of all. Here's the real question, who brought mankind to the apathetic state it's in?

        Reference to religious skeptiscm

        The surah Kafirun - means unbeliever and therefor it describes religious skeptics and does not speak of atheist or agnostics, as you can read in the verses.
        • Aug 18 2012: Shane:: well, i can agree with u about what 'beggars' mean to us, referring to ms colleen's comments. but, i will disagree about apathy, it's 'reality' that matters. to be clear about 'reality', it is the environment a person finds himself/herself, differing between even two persons in the same environment, just because both of them have their 'own' perceptions of the environment (which of course develop from their own life experiences and others).
          next para: the conducts r usually derived from the 'specific' religion's guidance/instructions and decision makers come out from the groups with advantage of manipulating it as they see fit.
          next para:: we may 'stink' at 'consultation' at this moment (referring to your argument), but that does not mean a 'consultation' can only produce 'stink'. yes, we created this paradigm, and since 'we' created it, we can also modify it.
          Bd is a totally different matter unless u r in it physically and experience its ways. it's not apathy that's applicable for bd, it's something else, as an example, corruption added with so many others.
          considering the whole world (4.5 billion facing dire poverty), 'selfishness' is the root cause. add to it: greed, power etc. -- mankind is apathetic, no wonder.
          thanks for providing the references: but i don't find any interest to explore those, cause i think i've already done that. and i find no point to go back and find again that i have wasted my time for old things, when i can invest my time trying to find something new.

          sorry, if that above para feels rude or otherwise.
  • Aug 18 2012: Faisal, I want to thank you for your honesty. But I have objections.

    Firstly, it is obvious your knowledge of the Bible is limited since no educated Theologian actually believes humanity started from two people. Recall after Cain killed Able he ran away from Adam and Eve to another CITY! We're the couple running out at night and building civilizations and generations of people at night? Nope, they were already there...

    Creationism, if you'll notice comes mostly from extremists, not educated individuals. I implore you to speak with a Jesuit priest.

    In general, you are correct, but not really. Historically, Christianity came first, but Catholcism only became a sect once Protestestants needed to differentiate themselves after the revolution of the 16th century.. Recall "catholos" means "universal" in ancient Greek. Nothing mor

    Finally, the Bible is not like the Koran, (which I assume you might be more familiar with, please excuse me if I err), but God did not write it, He inspired it by allowing humans to experience His love and grace. Sadly, it can be subject to human influence.. Like, did you know the world ends twice in the Bible? (There's a reason for that...)

    Finally, please pardon error, I'm typing on a smart-phone. Tedious at best.
    • Aug 18 2012: thanks to you to for the recognition.
      yes, my knowledge is limited, not only about bible/christianity but i believe in all other sectors as well. cause 'Omniscience', as some one referred earlier in this debate, can be a manifestation of 'god' only, and i'm an average human.
      >> Historically, Christianity came first:: u r wrong about that, judaism came first, if we limit ourselves in those three religions only. considering, 'religion' as a whole, none can possibly confirm which religion came first. so, its better be no more on religions, if that means to you that only judaism, cristianity and islam are only religions that r being practiced around the world.
      u guessed right abt me, i have a muslim background, though i am an atheist now. so, koran, bible, gita or whatever is all the same for me, human inventions, as required.
      so, lets get to a broader arena, 'religion' as a whole. how many 'god's did greeks have! lets also consider that some people considered sun as 'god', some considered others... does that make sense that 'religion' as practiced (beginning possibly with the evolution of human intelligence till today) can really prove 'which' religion is right! it will never resolve the issue. not until (referring to your quote about the ending of world) the world really ends by some means, and at that very moment, only one religion may prove to be right about it, which will be of no use anymore anyway, cause the world is destroyed already and there'll be none left to follow the religion that proved to be right till end.
      well, back to your ref: if 'god' really inspired humans to write bible/koran/whatever, why did he keep changing them with time, inspiring different cultures to write different 'holy' books -- intentionally creating diversions! does that imply that he intended to keep busy humans fighting each other to a certain destruction! does that mean that 'god' by himself is 'benevolent'! i guess not. lot more can be discussed but TED space allows this much...
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    Aug 13 2012: "What if, in a fine morning, you come to learn that there is actually no entity such as 'god'. That, the concept is no more necessary to live a nice life on this earth..."

    It is not the same thing to learn that there is no such thing as 'god' with the idea that without the concept of 'god' you can live a nice life on earth .
    To learn that there is no such thing like God is impossible ; you can live without the concept of God a nice life , it depends on what you mean by nice ; to live without the concept of 'god' it's not the same thing with to live without God .

    What's in your mind do not value too much when it comes about entities like God .... this is what creates wars : the idea that what is in our mind is really important , this is also the very idea on which rest the entire atheism .
    • Aug 17 2012: >> to live without the concept of 'god' it's not the same thing with to live without God . --- true, having/not having that concept in mind makes a lot of differences, literally.
  • Aug 9 2012: Mr. Habib

    On the onset, thank you for the advice, I'd think about it.
    There's this interesting point in your response which makes me wonder - " by the term 'god' i mean an almighty who created this whole mess we r in." Now if your words are to be believed; this mess (as you chose to describe it) was created by someone, then the natural curiosity arises - Who created the creator ??

    I presume, you'd ask me post a debate for this too!

    Misled Are we, or simply Ignorant !
    • Aug 9 2012: i dont think i tried to advise u about anything in reply of ur posting' but, if u can find something in it -- up to you.

      a simple concept of non-existence can resolve a lot of things, i'm not sure i could explain it in any better manner.

      deciding to post anything is nothing uncommon, a debate is also about posing a concept to discuss about. u r free to post anything u like, cause i may not join / otherwise depending on many things. so, its up to u again.

      we r both. leaders may take up the chance to mislead., and some people never learns... just doesn't lean; may be it works that way for the person.

      about 'ignorance': someone commented (sorry no evidence in hand) that 'ignorance is bliss!'
      • Aug 9 2012: Wishfully Ignoring the crux of the conversation, it is indeed a BLISS!
        The question remains; Who created the mess and who created the creator of the mess?
        • Aug 9 2012: wishfully - no.

          you r going back to find someone, named, 'creator'. .....
      • Aug 9 2012: now that things are making sense, lets go back to my first comment - : The answer is case sensitive to the core; entirely depends on what one actually means by "GOD"
        If "Godliness" means to be Humane! I guess, it shouldn't affect us one bit, whether he's out there or not!
        After all we are Human, aren't we!

        I never want to search the creator, My question was, when u say that an almighty created all this mess, then who created him, which means its meaning less to look out for the never ending chain.
        I don't want him to be what I am. It shouldn't affect us one bit, whether he is out there or not.
        • Aug 17 2012: the term 'god' generally refers to an almighty who created where we find ourselves, all religions have their own god but, the concept is the same anyway, an almighty out there somewhere. and i am an atheist. so, by using the term 'god' i actually tried to represent the general belief of almost all of the humans. i hope i'm clear to u now about why i made that remark.
          godliness can just be an expression of the state of mind a human can have, and i believe it to be so. it may affect us depending on the person one encountering is in that mood or not.
          my own search was over along time ago, cause my parents/teachers/others helped me grow up with that belief in my mind 'implanted'. so, i had to reason it out of my mind by myself as unnecessary.
          i too need/want no god to be what i am. but it does matter to most of the people on earth, so, referring to the topic of the debate, it may affect us in that possible/impossible morning; and i think it will affect all of us very much just because of the fact that very few people r atheists.
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      Aug 13 2012: Vijay :

      "Now if your words are to be believed; this mess (as you chose to describe it) was created by someone, then the natural curiosity arises - Who created the creator ?? "

      It is nothing natural in having that curiosity : if God created the world do not means He has to be created by somebody else too . Maybe He lives eternally , maybe He came from nothing , maybe none of these , maybe , maybe....... .
    • Aug 18 2012: Imagination created the creator. Imagination is a powerful thing as we can see.
  • Aug 8 2012: The answer is case sensitive to the core; entirely depends on what one actually means by "GOD"
    If "Godliness" means to be Humane! I guess, it shouldn't affect us one bit, whether he's out there or not!
    After all we are Human, aren't we!
    • Aug 8 2012: i'll ask you to kindly post a debate on the concept of 'what one actually means by 'god''. because there was a time when people considered 'sun', a god. examples of those are abundant. by the term 'god' i mean an almighty who created this whole mess we r in.

      'godliness' - humane or not, depends on the respective person.

      and, i agree with u, we all r human.
      • Aug 18 2012: There are myriad explanations why societies referred to suns as gods. The same way they rendered to angels with wings and celestial beings visiting them on clouds. The ancient astronaut theories covers that quite well. All scriptures point to the same thing theories that the AA theorist suggest.

        I'm not saying they have the answer, I'm just stating they make more sense if we compare theories.
        • Aug 18 2012: i'd like to ask from you some details about AA theories, pls excuse my limited knowledge.

      • Aug 18 2012: Regarding the AA theories. Their are believers who claim human beings from other planets arrived here on earth and assisted mankind in their devolpement. As a result the earth people, less advanced at the time, mistakenly thought of them and wosrshiped them as gods and angels. Now it's a tricky theory because some claim the ancients carried myths which is mere stories. But the fact that ancient artifacts can support the theory has some merit. They go as far as pointing out scriptures who spoke of these visitors - the Vedas, the Quran, The Bible, Sanskrit and others.

        The winged angels could be early man's description of people who fly and the arriving on clouds could be that to. As well as buraq which describes a zeppelin of some sort.

        To get an idea
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    Aug 4 2012: This is a question I hope I never have to answer.
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    Aug 4 2012: Need to chose my words more carefully. It is not about forgiving or forgetting, far from it. Physical disfigurement of women is totally unacceptable in any context. What I was suggesting was if makes you very angry then be grateful for the anger because at least it means you have not been conditioned to find the abuse of women acceptable. Then use the anger in a constructive way by not taking on someone else's ideas about what constitutes acceptable female behaviour and appearance. A society that represses women and hides them away loses so much. A society that conditions women to attack other women who step out of line needs a big light shone on it and needs to be asked by the world, what is it about ? Usually it is something to do with being afraid of the woman's creativity in the form of the ability to give birth. Often it is about projection of one person's fears onto another person who is different and in societies where women are effectively silenced, it is the rest of us who need to champion them.
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    Aug 3 2012: Faisal Habib and others think gratitude. Think of every horrible thing that has ever happened to you then say thank you, move past the anger and the pain and the hatred, look for the gift. I sincerely believe that Moslem and Jew ad Christian should be co-operating and not fighting. Unfortunately it is down to the women to get the message across because the men seem to have had their heads turned with the toys of war. Ultimately you need to look at who is gaining by providing the weaponry. What is in it for them. Keep talking, do not be silenced it is very important for the globe to make sure resources are allocated fairly. People will always travel, always trade but do we want hell on earth or heaven on earth. Despite the best efforts of the Chinese we are not leaving this planet any time soon. We all want love and peace not war and hate. It is there in all our spiritual texts and in the stories we tell our children when the weather turns nasty or the crops fail. We are a rainbow globe so we must allocate resources fairly, it is in the balance and the input of women is needed because women will always sacrifice everything for the children.
    • Aug 3 2012: horrible things happen in life and inevitably - not meaning that gratitude is a word to be exempted from dictionary. instead, that word makes possible for mankind to avoid mutual extinction. and with this reference eventually comes 'thank you'. the spirit of conquering 'horrible'.
      there are many religions other than judaism, christianity and islam interacting with each other. so those three r not the only factors need resolving for a harmonious world. rather, its a very narrow approach of looking into the problems associated with religions. you could be more clarifying about the word gift, but from the context of your posting 'the gift' may not be appreciated by all religions.
      now, the matter is about women about whom i have very limited knowledge, so, i'll just skip this part of the discussion.
      in my opinion, both men and women can work together and create a balanced world...
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      Aug 3 2012: You can forgive and move on if you want, I on the other hand will not forgive or hold the hands of someone for peace's sake who cuts of their children's genitalia, or who throws battery acid in their daughter's face for being raped, or who would rather kill a muslim than allow them to leave the islamic faith. I will not hold hands with those who openly scare children with hell, who indoctrinate them with lies and breed a culture of ignorance and fake humility.
      They are my enemies, and their crimes can not be forgiven.
      • Aug 3 2012: latest update, stewart, miss colleen is also with us towards hell...

        well man, crime is well defined but present day laws to deal with it arose from religions mostly and since crime will be there as long as humans are there, what do u think should / can / will be a suitable means to deal with it?

        forgiveness is quality u will find mostly in people having superior types of mentality compared to even above average humans.... and, honestly, i consider myself as an average human. but, personally, i try to avoid enmity as much possible -- ironically, enmity may not consider to choose the same.
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          Aug 3 2012: Most crimes as we call them were condemned long long before religion came along. Religion is basically where a group of people who could actually write, wrote down a bunch of moral codes they thought were right and then made them unarguable by saying god gave them these morals and told them to put it in a book.
          So modern day we deal with crime and immorality on the basis that what is good in the world has a positive effect on the well being of others and bad has a negative effect. Then we judge severity by judging how negatively an action affect someone or more than one person's lives and create a punishment we deem to be acceptable and that justice is served.
          And if we forgive too much or too easily you abandon your common sense
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          Aug 3 2012: are so funny....or maybe not!!!

          Re: "latest update, stewart, miss colleen is also with us towards hell..."
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    Aug 2 2012: No change for me
    • Aug 2 2012: that, i'm not quite sure i'm right, may mean you r an atheist already.
      or, u really don't care about religion at all.....

      pls correct me if i'm wrong
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        Aug 3 2012: I don't have a belief in any gods or goddesses.
        • Aug 3 2012: does that mean that u r willing to go to hell with me an stewart!

          heaven or hell, we can find it on this planet, can't we? and before death!
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        Aug 3 2012: I would be pretty upset if there was a hell. What sort of monster tortures conscious beings for eternity for whatever reason.

        Sounds like a big stick to me thought up by humans for recruiting and control purposes.

        Hell sounds infinitely worse than anything real life could throw at us. At worse you can only suffer one lifetime on earth. Some believe there is a divine dictator that will punish some for eternity. And they have the nerve to say this being is all loving. Which is actually the opposite of how I would define something that tortures others for eternity.. Omni malevolent is a better description.
        • Aug 3 2012: you r right about the 'big stick', obey.

          omni malevolent - well described.

          do u find any relation between religions and paradox...! a 'stupid question?'
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    Aug 1 2012: I guess nothing.The day will still go on i hope lol.
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    Aug 1 2012: If that ever happens to you, you must really know why you personally stand for whatever you stand for. It should always have been the two of you together in this thing anyway. You have to be in agreement and if your God or your beloved is no longer around you have to know who you are in the process and why what you believe is utterly right for you whether you have a partner in it or not. And you better hope that you have treated human beings with decency.
    • Aug 2 2012: I am sorry, i am not waiting for that morning, i am already over with the matter. so, i know what i stand for, 'you dont need a god to live a nice life on this planet.'. And, thus, there is no point for any kind of agreement.

      about someone beloved / partner, 'you r born alone and will die alone; in the mean time, associations you make with people depends only on what do u do for each other'.

      you may think of some lessons for me about decency, cause i can't really be sure that i am decent as long as someone i am interacting with treats me that way.
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        Aug 2 2012: How lame is this! No, I answered your question and now i do not accept .because at no time accorded you the priveledge of deciding of whether or not my answer fit your circumstance. How lame is this! You set the premise of one fine morning, sir.
        • Aug 2 2012: Well, miss, u r free to set any premise and proceed...

          i don't expect everyone to accept my answers: free will is a human characteristic.

          circumstances, for u and me differ so much, depending on so many things -- innumerable, u can say.

          i'm not the decision maker here, only posted a debate --

          But, don't u think a (group of informed) decision maker(s) can resolve what is lame and what's not!

          sorry, if that feels rude...
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        Aug 2 2012: As the person who starts the debate it should be understood that you set the perameters of it. You cannot whine if people challenge your decision to change the foundation. I shall not post further on this thread as I now know and do not care for the tactic. Free will in action.
        • Aug 2 2012: you have a rating of 200+, i have a 0. i find myself dare enough to argue your point of view.

          i did set the parameters, but you just didn't accept it. so, an option was also offered. you still don't accept it.

          free will in action, ma'am.
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    Aug 1 2012: "I guess I'll take quantum consciousness."
    • Aug 1 2012: "Quantum Consciousness" -- a great definition, i must agree. though i'd like ask you to kindly explain the matter a little more, if you dont mind.
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        Aug 1 2012: Quantum consciousness is the transitory superstition for those who need a soft landing into the age or reason.
        It's a medieval afterglow.
        Or a little science diluted in a lot of bullshit to be injected in an organism immune to reality.
        • Aug 1 2012: consciousness itself is not defined properly yet....and superstition is evident in all religions, be it at the age of reason or anarchy.
          If you categorize 'quantum' as medieval.... an afterglow is indeed required.
          reality differs, from place to place.. so it is not even defined properly according to the 21st century standards...little science is quite a good reasoning though.
        • Aug 1 2012: Thank you, Gerald, for this input to this conversation. Happy Today.