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Casey Christofaris

Owner, CS3 Inc

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Is evolution/religion/everything a self fulfilling prophecy?

What separates us from the rest of species? Recognition of self right? Some will want to argue that there are other species that can recognize self. But then you need to ask well do they recognize self do to our experiments and what we have defined as self recognition or is it innately in them? So is it that we recognize self because of them through evolution or do they recognize self do to us? A bird called the magpie is self aware using the mirror test. It’s easy now to look in a mirror and say yep that’s me, but it’s a million times harder to say that this is just a visual representation of trillions of moving, living, self-replicating entities.

This is the principles that I would like to use in defining self fulfilling prophecy:
Robert Merton's concept of the self-fulfilling prophecy stems from the Thomas theorem, which states that "If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences."[2] According to Thomas, people react not only to the situations they are in, but also, and often primarily, to the way they perceive the situations and to the meaning they assign to these perceptions. This causes people to have negative viewpoints. Therefore, their behavior is determined in part by their perception and the meaning they ascribe to the situations they are in, rather than by the situations themselves. Once people convince themselves that a situation really has a certain meaning, regardless of whether it actually does, they will take very real actions in consequence.

So we are just a bunch of self replicating entities that have evolved in to a self recognizing being. Will history keep repeating its "self"?

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    Oct 27 2012: Reading your question makes me think of the mystery of "emergence", which describes for example how a very complex system such as our consciousness can arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple objects and interactions such as our brain cells or genes. The colloquial expression is "The whole is greater than the sum of the parts", so we are not "just" trillions of moving, living, self-replicating entities. We are that, and what emerged from that.

    My view is this: Our self consciousness emerges out of our brains. Although Individual ants cooperate to form a functioning colony, and individual brain cells cooperate to form a functioning brain, those individual actors are not "aware" of the more complex systems that have emerged as a result of their individual actions. And the same goes for the inverse direction: The ant colony and our brains are not aware of their individual parts.

    We individual humans, in turn, are just like ants in a colony: Out of our collective actions, a culture and society emerges, that seemingly lives on its own, independent of any individual human. 19th century French sociologist Émile Durkheim was among the first to study society at large, as an emergent entity in its own right, as opposed to studying the individual actors in society. Concepts such as Richard Dawkin's meme seem to me to be a modern extension of this viewpoint.

    So I would lay out a progression of emergence from genes, to humans, to societies. I believe each layer is generally entirely unaware of the other, and operates independently from the others in terms of intentions and self-fulfilling prophesies.

    Finally, I would say that Darwin's concept of genetic evolution is not a self fulfilling prophesy because genes don't have the capacity for self awareness. Self awareness was something that emerged on a different level.
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      Oct 28 2012: I can't answer on your reaction by lack of a reply button.

      Your last conclusion that I supposedly didn't mean that memory can be an imprint of a chemical process wasn't right.

      To me memory is something by which we see in the past like archeologist reads from stones and the biologist reads from the genome and we individuals reads by moving the attention to past moments.
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        Nov 7 2012: Oh memory is much more and way more vast then realized although the way we have been using to read and store and replay this information is truly simple and amazing all at the same time. It works much like how information is stored on both record and cds. Its truly and amazing thing.
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      Nov 7 2012: Good day Danger,

      You are 100% correct in the idea of emergence and "The whole is greater than the sum of the parts". Which is just another way of saying E Pluribus Unum. However now that you are aware that your individual body parts are much like ants and not knowing that they are part of a larger whole. Once you acknowledged their individual existence you will become a higher aware being. Much of this process can be seen as the inward path or meditation. If you need more guidance on this let me know. But know that you know as a higher being that there are other beings in you that might not be aware of your existence. Acknowledge them but come with peace and grace and humility. Tell them you are sorry and that you would never of meant them harm had you been aware that they existed. As individual self beings

      Hope this makes sense I struggle with my written word. :)
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    Nov 19 2012: Circular argument:
    Any discussion in which one argues the conclusion as a premise; a discussion that makes a conclusion based on material that has already been assumed in the argument.

    Communication is a basic and almost standard component of many if not all species, any most can complete it without acknowledgment of the self.

    However that is beside the point Humans are simply and factually a lot more then “just a bunch of self-replicating entities that have evolved in to a self recognizing being"

    Interestingly wither we are describing laws of the universe or our unified perspective of the universe it is still the nature of our reality. And as for time, it is a relative.
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    Nov 8 2012: "This statement is true."
    (Even if it's false). It's a statement of absolute truth. It's self-consistent.
    "This statement is a lie." - this is a statement of an absolute lie. The statement lies about itself. It's contradicts itself.

    References to self are always fascinating. Want to say something "wise"? Say something circular:
    "Good judgment comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgment."
    "Say what you think, think what you say."
    "Do what you love. Love what you do."
    "Those who know don't tell. Those who tell don't know."
    "Do unto others what you would have them do to you."

    Want to say something funny? Say something circular:
    "Why do we have noses that run and feet that smell?"
    "Why do we drive in parkways and park in driveways?"

    Want to reveal the core of the controversy, reveal a lie or a hypocrisy? Apply a statement to the speaker or to itself:
    "Protect the rights of the unborn women."

    I do believe that cycles and circularity are at the core of our existence. If we don't see a cycle, most likely, we are not looking at the whole. How do these cycles start? They start from self.

    Free will (omnipotence) is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Determinism (omniscience) is a self-fulfilling prophecy. They seem to be mutually exclusive, but I think, they are one and the same.

    Great question.
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      Nov 8 2012: Good day Arkady,

      Yes, one can not exist with out the other. It can be seen as cause and effect. Or balance......ect. Light can not exist without dark, and dark can not exist with out light.

      https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ff4alm3y4z3uepn/ZB_awAS_5U#/

      You can not know joy without knowing pain. But does not mean you need to live in pain.
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        Nov 8 2012: Re: "...dark can not exist with out light..."

        What do you mean? Dark can ONLY exist without light. When there is light, it's not dark...

        Perhaps, even better way to say it that "there is no dark" or "dark does not exist". Just like "non-existence" does not exist. Existence IS a "self-fulfilling prophecy", if you want to put it that way :-).

        "The road up and the road down is one and the same road" -- Heraclitus

        The road is the only thing that exists. "Up" or "down" (direction) exist only in our head. The road itself goes both ways.
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          Nov 8 2012: If there was never light, and only dark, one could not gain a perspective of other all would be the same... and thats what needs to exist for one to exist. Is the other.

          Non-existence and existence, one can not exist without the other. Right so to understand the concept of one you also need to understand the concept of the other. So since everything is of the mind. I will define non-existence as everything before the recognition of self.

          So it not like the universe could not think (actually I am pretty sure I know how the universe has stored and used memory since the beginning of time) before much like how a slime mold can "think" but it wasn't until "man" that as beings we were able to self reflect. Which essentially created existence, for everything is of the mind

          Let me know if that doesn't make sense
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        Nov 8 2012: I get it :-). You are right. Everything is of the mind. Existence and non-existence are concepts. This dichotomy does not exist outside our head. This view, however is not to be confused with solipsism, because it does not deny existence of reality outside our mind.

        It doesn't make sense and it cannot. But I get it :-) Those who pride themselves to be reasonable, perhaps, will laugh at us and say that we are talking nonsense. And they will be right too :-)
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          Nov 9 2012: That is very true, but the best part is that there will always be someone that disagrees its human nature.

          One of my best friends who I consider to be intelligent, once tried to argue with me that oil was not toxic unless swallowed
    • Nov 8 2012: Hi, Arkady ,
      "I do believe that cycles and circularity are at the core of our existence. If we don't see a cycle, most likely, we are not looking at the whole. How do these cycles start? They start from self."

      I do love it, but i think, cycles are circling around the core of our existence; the core is Paradox. Paradox 'works' because it reconciles opposites, it presents symmetry which is broken. This implies that a paradox must transcend logic.

      Only in silence is the word,
      only in dark is light..

      There is no dance ... there is only the dance

      He who loses his life shall find it

      Center is everywhere.
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        Nov 8 2012: Well, I think, we are "on the same page". There is no way to say it without contradicting ourselves. This is why "those who know don't tell, and those who tell don't know".
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      Nov 8 2012: Good Day Mike,

      Yes the crux of communication is that when we ascribe labels to certain things, they take in that definition. Instead of realizing that it is just a word. Not an absolute

      Beautiful poem by the way
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    Nov 19 2012: I think so. Especially applicable to scientific method. It's not as objective as many people wish to believe..
  • Nov 19 2012: At all times in mans history, man makes reference to a God or gods in order to explain or bring an understanding to concepts that he,(man) did not posse. Eventually, given time, science focused on explaining the mystery of the unexplainable. As knowledge increased over time, so did understanding. What was once attributed to God is now known through science. My belief is, religion was the precursor to science. Religion tried to answer questions that man had, and when the answer was not available it was given over to the realm of God. We must have an evolutionary need to have answers, and God was the provider of those answers. I believe that man created God. We created a divine God to be the keeper of answers to mysteries we did not yet have.

    Gods have always existed because the answers to our questions have always existed, we just did not have the understanding at the time.

    God provided or became the answer without needing the understanding.



    Now rip this argument apart... Please
  • Nov 14 2012: Is everything a self fulfilling prophecy ?

    I think, yes.
    The distance between the observer and the observed is space; space is generatable from time. Remove time from the picture ( it's illusion ) and observer becomes the observed iow the prophet the prophecy and those who fulfill the prophecy are one.
    I don't know how it is happening , but it seems to be what is happening.
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      Nov 15 2012: Truth is I think I can explain why this is happening but its extremely hard to put in written word
      • Nov 16 2012: Thanks, Casey, you've said a lot with your question, which is the answer.
        I am not sure that ' why ? ' is distinguishable from 'how ? ' in this context, but i have the feeling that 'why ' has something to do with the biblical myth of the fall and ' free will '
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          Nov 19 2012: It was mans recognition of self that also allowed god to be self reflecting(funny term). From the beginning of time god as embodied in the light or sun. Spent years (although time did not exist) trying to figure out what was going on. And it opposite dark (which is also a god) dark's the one that told truth to adam and eve the truth to eat from the tree of life and to gain knowledge. when god lied and said it would kill them. Which created the fall of man. However the light has been storing information on the dark or celestial body's every since the big bag which is just another example of E pluribus unum. We all know that light stores information see fiber optics. So god used the peaks and valleys (gain perspective). As well as gaps and bumps to record information gained. Much like how a cd or record player stores memory. Once man became self reflective(funny term) god was able to pull that information forward and make sense of it all to man. In only seven days which god does not function in man time because it is arbitrary. Hope this makes sense
      • Nov 19 2012: Yes it does :)
        But ...
        ".. when god lied and said it would kill them"


        God does not lie , never, it's a kind of impossible condition for ' all probabilities' or 'all and any ' It was a 'worning ; knowledge based on separation , for every thing is what it is and what it is not. Good /evil, dark/light,... me/not me and here the ego was born . Ego creates illusion of separation from the Whole and pushes us into time, where we grow old and die, " thou shalt surely die " Awareness of death means awareness of time, it's ego that dies. " Only he who looses his life shall find it " It's not about death it's about awakening.


        It was mans recognition of self that also allowed god to be self reflecting.

        Yes, " Time is a theater of god's becoming " To know god , know thyself.

        From the beginning of time god as embodied in the light or sun.

        "When you are in the light, what will you do? On the day when you were one, you became two. But when you become two, what will you do?"

        It's from Gospel of Thomas. Here is the link, if you are not familiar with it already

        http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/maps/primary/gthomas.html

        Thanks for responding !
      • Nov 19 2012: In the time aspect, we are the BECOMING OF BEING, while in the `timeless' aspect, we are the BEING OF BECOMING.
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    Nov 8 2012: Hi Casey,
    As you observe self recognition does not define humans - language defines us.
    By the way - there are a lot of magpies where I live - they also have a simple language (about 20 words).

    By and large, we are "prophesy machines" we adapt our behaviour through a qualified form of "trial and error". This is the Bayesian learning method that is very apt for neural learning systems.

    When dealing with our physical environment, these "prophesies" are continually error-corrected through observation, however, in the social world, such correction is not always immediate - it is noisy and vulnerable to systemic error. Such systemic error can have large affects on resulting human behaviour - this error is the main part of "self-fulfilling prophesy". For instance, If I prophesy that my pet dog will start speaking in Hebrew on Christmas day, it won't happen - my dog is not part of the human error system. If I prophesy that i will win at the horse races next Saturday, then the outcome will be influenced by my attention to the dynamics of the race - both consciously and unconsciously - it has a better chance of being fulfilled.
    However, all perception has a margin of noise in it. There are observations of some of the dynamic you call self-fulfilling prophesy" in the physical domain. I suspect that this is a result of not properly understanding the physical domain .. that we will never eliminate that noise component.
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    Nov 8 2012: "We don't see things as they are. We see things as we are." -- Talmud

    I don't reply to your question. I reply to what I think the question is about. How can I know any better?

    Blessed are those who perceive what is and not what ought.
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    Nov 7 2012: Casey,
    I would argue your opening statement; recognition of self is not what separates us from other species. Recognition of mortality, and our ability to think on much higher levels makes us different.

    According to your argument, my life is an anomaly. I have made many choices in life, but they didn't lead to what I had expected. My ambition was to become an architect because my father was a master carpenter. I ended up as the control room supervisor of a city owned utility managing the operations of the electrical distribution system. When I left home, electricity was the last thing on my mind.

    I became a lighting designer for local community theater, not because I had any interest in theater, but because a friend of mine was into theater and I was just looking for something to do. I was encouraged to become a lighting designer by those who saw what potential I had.

    I became a licensed pilot, not because I had any interest in learning to fly, but because a coworker was looking for someone to study with and chose me because I had some insurance money after my first wife's death. We both went out looking for a flight school and I booked an introductory flight lesson. I got hooked. The coworker changed his mind and never fulfilled his desire.

    I became the aerospace education officer for Civil Air Patrol cadets, not because I had any interest in it, but because I was looking for a flying club and Civil Air Patrol was the only local event that resembled a club that flies. I went with no intention to return because I didn't like the military lifestyle, but I was impressed with the people who ran the program and stayed to see what might become of it. The cadet leader was in the Navy and was being transfered. I was asked if I would oversee the cadet program since I had a lot of patience with kids. I found their aerospace manuals easy to follow and informative so I gave it a try. In time it grew on me.
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      Nov 8 2012: Sounds like a Forrest Gump story :-). Sounds like my life too - not in details, but in the way we made our decisions. I think, that's how most of us live our lives. We encounter what seems like "random" events, "random" circumstances, "random" people. They catch onto some driving force within us, our past "random" experiences, our passion. And the passion grows and keeps feeding on itself, adding new experiences of the same kind to our life. I think, this is how hurricanes form, how manias and addictions develop. I also think, the same process is at the core of stock market, business, and economy in general. I also believe that the very same process was responsible for creation of the universe and life.
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        Nov 8 2012: Good Day Arkady,

        Its living in the moment, instead of behind a wall of protection that many people have built up in front of them. Which is not wrong but its not healthy either.
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          Nov 8 2012: "All we know is just another brick in the wall." -- Pink Floyd

          All past experiences and education create prejudice that stand in the way of perceiving things as they are or "live in the moment" as you put it.

          "You must unlearn what you have learned." -- Yoda.
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          Nov 11 2012: Casey sorry for coming up here to respond to your post way below, but as you know there is no reply button.
          You are absolutely right about TIME. God is inside time and space but is not part of it, or limited by it. Time and space are limits of the material world.

          --" “God was the Soul, Jesus was the body, making them One.”
          If this statement is true and we are also sons and daughters of god as was Jesus. Then this statement would also have to be true, “god is the soul, we are the body(physical reality), making god and us one” "--
          Not quite. We are not literally sons and daughters of God, but Jesus was. Mary was 'overshadowed' by the Holy Spirit. God caused her conception and birth, not Joseph. And, yes, God could be seen as the Soul of this physical universe (and heaven the spirit).
          Jesus' birth was prophesied from the beginning in Genesis. If enough of those are read, we should realize that Jesus is God on earth. Because Christians believe in three Gods, that does not really make Jesus Divine, which He (His Soul) was from His birth.
          If we separate God and Jesus we can come to the wrong conclusion that Jesus was here to make His angry Father happy. That is totally wrong.
          His Soul could make Him Divine through a long process of fighting evil throughout His whole life.
          The best we can do is become a celestial angel through a similar process (on our finite human level) throughout our life in this same world, again, by fighting evil and then doing good.

          At the end of your comment we seem to be saying the same thing. Following God in freedom (by using our free will) should be seen as total freedom. Those that like evil will say that God is trying to force us.. and take our freedom away (to do evil). That is a wrong impression. No one is forced to rob a bank or hate someone. It is always our choice.
          But doing good, for the right reason, is total freedom.

          The Swedenborgian approach to God and Jesus may help
          http://webhome.idirect.com/~abraam/studies/Who_is_Jesus.pdf
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        Nov 8 2012: Arkady,
        I was trained in nuclear physics. When you break everything down to its lowest form, it all becomes the same. How it evolves is similar to what you describe. Quantum fields become subatomic particles, which become atomic elements, which become molecular compounds, which become...

        They are all various levels all built on top of each other. They set the wheels of creativity in motion. They seem chaotic, and yet there is an order to them. We see the events as random, yet that is because we see only a small piece of a greater picture. It's like weather patterns. The more you understand the inputs, the more you can predict the result. Our lives are like trying to see a hurricane from the perspective of a single raindrop. We know where we've been, but we don't know all the factors that created the journey. We say it is by our own choice, but we only play the cards we are dealt. We seldom understand that we are not the dealer. The trick is to play the cards in a manner that will lead to the greatest good.
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          Nov 8 2012: Re: "They seem chaotic, and yet there is an order to them."

          CHAOS - "Complete disorder and confusion."
          It's interesting that there is a "chaos theory" which studies patterns and regularity arising from chaos. It's also interesting that this theory is applicable to nearly every field of knowledge - meteorology, economy, physics, astronomy, psychology, psychiatry, biology, aerodynamics, etc. It's interesting how completely random initial conditions develop in a very predictable and structured way.

          Humans like to find causes for everything. But when we get to the bottom of things, we find circularity: "If God created the universe, then who created God?" It's a silly argument that goes nowhere. Existence seems to cause itself. Time and space loose meaning without matter. So, the question, what existed "before" the universe appeared is meaningless. Time, space, and matter must have appeared simultaneously. What about God? I think, God IS existence itself. God can be metaphorically viewed as the force that creates order out of chaos.

          Determinism and free will, omniscience and omnipotence, chaos and order seem to be opposites, but they appear to be two sides of the same coin. When everything goes according to God's will, and God knows it, why would he want to change anything? God's "free will" seems to be predetermined by himself.
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        Nov 8 2012: Arkady,
        I believe that learning to control ourselves is the key to understanding religion. This is the spiritual path of Eastern philosophy, which would lead from the lower subconscious (the animal passions from which we evolved) to the upper subconscious or Christ (communion with the power through which the universe became manifest). It is this communion that allows us to understand where the flow goes, as you say.
        I have found the teachings of Eastern philosophy throughout the Judeo-Christian tradition, but nowhere in the Christian bible is it explained. A few examples;

        The Catholic Church talks of communion, but it doesn't differentiate between Jesus the man, and "the Christ" to which Jesus alluded to. Jesus call us to understand. It wasn't himself that he wanted us to believe in, it was in what he represented.

        The book of Exodus explains the arrangement of the tabernacle which contained the Holy of Holies. Only the arrangement is given, but no explanation as to why such an arrangement. Eastern philosophy explains the arrangement and what it means. The Holy of Holies is spiritual understanding (or the Christ), the veil in front of it being that which separates us from being able to understand. Only through meditation and prayer (or contemplation) could we find the path that leads beyond the veil.

        Some myths speak on similar lines. In these myths, it would require the slaying of the dragon to reach the treasure sought after (often synonymous with the Holy Grail). The dragon is the beast within (the animal which is still part of our psychological makeup) that must be overcome to see what lies beyond. Learning to control self was the first step of the spiritual journey. It all means the same thing but in different terms. In the gospels, it was Satan that Jesus had to overcome before he could begin his ministry. Revelation speaks of Satan as the dragon, the serpent, and the devil. They are all one and the same.
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          Nov 9 2012: Hello Roy,
          Just some points about the Tabernacle. It is now revealed in Jesus' Second Coming that this construct is a picture of our human, spiritual environment as it works, or can work.
          There are those that don't even go in and so stay natural. When we do enter we have two sections we can proceed into, the spiritual and the celestial. Each entrance is based on a decision we make in freedom and with rationality.

          In this book about the Tabernacle are countless references to Genesis and other places which are used to explain the human condition of free will and the reason for having that.

          http://sites.google.com/site/liveitupspiritually/home/source/The%20Tabernacle%20of%20Israel.pdf?attredirects=0

          Chapter 17 is all about the veils. When the Lord talks about knocking on our door, this is the partition He is talking about for us to open to go to the next stage.
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          Nov 9 2012: Roy, I find holy texts fascinating. I also think that religion is about controlling self and finding evil within ourselves. Unfortunately, it is often used to control others and finding evil within others. This is like weeding the gardens of your neighbors without asking them. When we do that, we neglect our own garden.

          Of course, when Genesis is taken as a story of literal creation of the universe, it fails basic reality checks. However, if taken as metaphoric description of our spiritual selves, it makes a lot of sense. I would say, "literalism" is a figure of speech. Our language is symbolic by nature.

          I also find the name of the Lord "YHWH", "I AM" or "I WILL BE" very symbolic. It is a reference to our self. Some people even find that the Tetragrammaton (YHWH) spelled vertically with Hebrew letters is a pictogram of a human being.
          http://www.yhwh.com/asimple.htm
          Whereas, the Jesus (Yahshua) spelled vertically with Hebrew letters YHSWH is a pictogram of a human being with a heart.

          I'm not sure if this symbolism was meant to be there or if this is someone trying to find more meaning than there is.
        • Nov 9 2012: Roy, I do believe that self-control is a part religion, but the core to eastern spirituality, involves achieving moksha (Hinduism) or nirvana (Buddism) for the majority of eastern religions - This is an attempt to be like God (or achieve His state) through prayer, meditation, physical self-control, etc.

          This is completely opposite to a Judeo-Christian worldview. In both Judaism and Christianity, the goal isn't about becoming like God (which is a tenant of a New Age philosophy), it's about having a relationship with God.

          For Judaism this relationship was governed (and still is today) through the Law, the Tabernacle (where God's presence resided) and blood sacrifice for the atonement for sin. For Christianity, the aforementioned conditions was dealt with through God coming to earth in the form of Jesus Christ as 100% God and 100% man to deal with the repercussion of sin, which is death, the subsequent Law and required atonement.

          When Jesus lived a sinless life and was put to death, the devil had no legal right to Him, so he took His life back at the resurrection and is alive eternally. Now all those (Jew and non-Jew) who believe in Jesus now have covenant relationship with God through Him, and with that comes purpose and blessing to a broken world.

          Answering Arkady's point on a literal Genesis - if Genesis isn't a literal creation, then the actual fall of man and separation from God due to our sinful nature, which took place in the garden of Eden, didn't happen, and if that didn't happen then the need for Jesus bridging the gap between mankind and God wouldn't be needed, which unhinges the whole of Christianity.

          The testament to Jesus' power through faith in Him makes Him very real, therefore making Genesis very literal. What I can say is that facts of this world can't speak for themselves, but the scientific framework and presuppositions it stands on, interprets the facts. I challenge you to look at www.answersingenesis.com for a biblical worldview.
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          Nov 10 2012: @Marvin
          I'm not sure what is meant by "very real" or "very literal"... I have problem with terms like "true believer" or "true atheist", "literal interpretation", or "natural". There is no meaning in these words.

          As I said, "literal interpretation" is a figure of speech. If we want to follow NT to the letter, we need to cut off our hands, pluck our eyes, and make ourselves eunuchs for the sake of kingdom of God :-).
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          Nov 10 2012: Hi Marvin, in my view, Christianity is lost because of taking Genesis, etc. literally. Text taken literally has no other level of meaning, and it is that other/higher meaning which makes it the Word of God.

          --"if Genesis isn't a literal creation, then the actual fall of man and separation from God due to our sinful nature, which took place in the garden of Eden, didn't happen, and if that didn't happen then the need for Jesus bridging the gap between mankind and God wouldn't be needed, which unhinges the whole of Christianity."--
          The first 10.5 chapters of Genesis were copied by Mozes from earlier Revelations and sacred text. These were written by people that knew spiritual reality and expressed them through earthly stories.
          Just because it did not happen in 7 days, does not mean God did not create the universe. The Creation Story has nothing to do with THAT creation. Who cares when or how long the creation of this universe took?? Have you ever applied that 7-day story into your life, as to how to live, what to do etc.?? Except maybe get involved in an argument about the existence of God?
          As is now explained in the Second Coming (hold on, don't fall off your chair :) that story is the creation of a spiritual person, from a natural (spiritually void) person. Each day is a stage which could take many years. But finally God can take a 'day' off because the person no longer has to be protected and guided away from evil.

          The first chapter of Genesis is, word for word, explained (spiritually) in this first volume. As Philip said to his brother Nathanael "Come and see"
          http://sites.google.com/site/liveitupspiritually/home/writings/Arcana%20Coelestia%2001.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1
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          Nov 13 2012: Hello Marvin,

          "The testament to Jesus' power through faith in Him makes Him very real, therefore making Genesis very literal."

          If this is true which I believe it to be true, then also this statement must be true. Anything that man has had faith in or belief of being real must also make said thing real. I will explain further and I hope it makes sense. So if everything is of the mind and man creates his reality, if at anytime enough (see 100 monkey theory) man worshiped or believed something to existed, from fiction to, mythology, to any form of religion then that thing is also true and also existed. Because of mans faith in said thing
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        Nov 8 2012: Ardady,
        I believe that God is the chaos of the primordial soup of quantum physics that is destined to become ordered. It fills the universe. It is everywhere and invisible. When we learn to understand it and follow its rules, then we see progress. When we determine to defy its principles, it leads to consequences. That is what is meant to follow God or not. The laws of nature can't be broken. But they can be utilized in ways that lead to greater things.
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        Nov 9 2012: Arkady thanks so much for this insight of the name YHWH etc. What you said seems to fit perfectly with how we see God and Jesus.
        God is the only and perfect Human. We are just images and likenesses, depending on how 'human' we make ourselves.

        Jesus was God's love 'embodied' on this planet. The only way God could control and change the power of evil in this world (and not hurt anyone except Himself) was by coming down to the level of evil. God was the Soul, Jesus was the body, making them One.

        It is obvious, when we look around us, that Jesus did not take our evil away. He levelled the 'playing field.' IOW restored our free will.

        --"I'm not sure if this symbolism was meant to be there or if this is someone trying to find more meaning than there is"--
        As finite beings we will never find or discover the total meaning of Revelation. There is so much 'room' between our truth and Divine Truth that we'll never go the distance :) We can only go by our interpretation and hope for the best. I think what we have through Swedenborg is only the tip of the tip of . . . of the iceberg.
        One image of infinity could be the amount of grains of sand that are not the same.
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          Nov 10 2012: Good day Adriaan,

          “Just because it did not happen in 7 days, does not mean God did not create the universe”
          What if I can explain in simple terms, but not simply since I have a hard time with my written word, on how god could create the observable universe as well as explain how it was also created by science using fractal coding, quantum physics, and “time” vs “gods time”. For god time did not and does not exist. Time is a manmade concept based on false assumptions and arbitrary units of measurements. Man created time by its rotation around the sun. We then broke it down even more by asserting that we rotate around the sun in a circle instead of an ellipse. Which is how all celestial object rotate around there sun. We can thank Kepler for this. Our existence can not and would not work without both science and religion. Also When god was creating the universe remember we still thought for a very long time afterwards that it was the sun that rotated around the earth.

          “God was the Soul, Jesus was the body, making them One.”
          If this statement is true and we are also sons and daughters of god as was Jesus. Then this statement would also have to be true, “god is the soul, we are the body(physical reality), making god and us one”
          “we are all predestined for heaven, if it were up to God. But it is not, it is up to us, determined by, again, what we choose to love in freedom.”
          I am sorry this is simply not true completely; we create our concepts of heaven and hell here on earth. One could not understand the concept of either heaven or hell without understanding the concept of the other. And in that way one could choose to live in heaven and one could choose (use loosely here) their own personal hell lived out here on earth. If god did not give us free will of choice we would reject god simply because no free being wants to be enslaved. And we would be enslaved to gods will. The best part is that that god does not want to be our author; he wants us to live our lives.
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          Nov 10 2012: “No one is, or ever has been born to go to hell.”
          Now this I agree with absolutely however it is still personal choice. This is also way Jesus can down as the sacrificial lamb. Jesus came to stop men from worshiping god by sacrificing animals and man/women in god’s name. This did not show god’s grace this should man’s arrogates.
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        Nov 9 2012: Arkady,
        I believe that each soul was to derive meaning from religion according to their own walk on the spiritual path. I don't believe that there is only one meaning or that people find meaning that was not intended to be there. What one finds may not be intended for anyone else, but may be intended for the one finding it.

        As you have said, people use religion to control others and to find evil within others. Jesus spoke directly against this when he warned the people not to look for the mote in your neighbor's eye when you have a beam in your own. It is one of the great failures of religion.
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      Nov 8 2012: Good day Roy,

      It doesn't sound like your life is anomaly, it sounds like you live in the moment and let life direct your decisions instead of having blinders on to the world that is around you. Going with the flow is always better then trying to fit in a box.
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        Nov 8 2012: Casey,
        I do see myself as living in the moment. I choose to be a participant and not a spectator. Often I need a starting point and then I go with the flow.

        I see some people walking around like stray dogs. I often wonder whether they are capable of bettering their lives, or if they are simply less evolved in mind and spirit? Are we who we are because we were destined to be, or is it by choice? I think it's a little of both.
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          Nov 8 2012: Good day Roy,

          Yeah I agree, It is a little of both. I would suggest that the path that gets us to the lessons we need to learn are "predetermined" (use loosely). This can be seen as chaos theory, or cause and effect. However once we get to that lesson, then personal choice steps. Which can be seen as free will. Each individuals personal choice can lead to positive reactions or negative reactions. Its then our choice to learn from that lesson and what we choose to learn is what helps us get to the next lesson and then to our next personal choice.
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          Nov 8 2012: Controlling our internal reactions to external events and perception of external things, and also our internal desires is the key to controlling the world outside ourselves. Will power is, mostly, about controlling ourselves. I'm terrible at that.

          Understanding where the flow goes is necessary to "go with the flow". Otherwise, we may unknowingly go against the flow or "kick against the pricks", as the Bible puts it, only hurting ourselves. Or we may be carried somewhere we don't want to be.
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          Nov 9 2012: In our church we reject any notion of us being predestined to anything. Creation is for the reason to create a heaven from the human race and 'anywhere' we go depends on what we have decided to make our ruling love.

          We could say, however, that we are all predestined for heaven, if it were up to God. But it is not, it is up to us, determined by, again, what we choose to love in freedom.
          No one is, or ever has been born to go to hell.

          This article is all about what would happen if we had no free will.
          http://webhome.idirect.com/~abraam/studies/Freedom_No.pdf
  • Oct 31 2012: Am I the only guy here who never understands Casey's posts?

    To me his posts are so incosistent and he jumps from one topic on the next leaving holes in between the size of galaxies.

    Next to that many of the words are shorthanded / spelled wrong (I guess... at least... that's the only way I can make sense of it).
    For example with the line: But then you need to ask well do they recognize self do to our experiments and what we have defined as self recognition or is it innately in them?
    Does he mean: 'You could ask yourself: "do they recognize themselves due to our experiment or did we define recognition of onesself based upon our observations?".' (btw to me the later part of my line sounds really strange)

    I can't even begin to guess what the next line means: "So is it that we recognize self because of them through evolution or do they recognize self do to us?"
    I'm guessing that the last do should be due but the line still is a grand new level of "wtf's he talking about?".
    And I seem to find a hint in there that he is trying to summarize his above line in even worse english than before.

    But all in all to answer is final question "So we are just a bunch of self replicating entities that have evolved in to a self recognizing being." which, I know, is missing the '?' at the end....
    Yes we each are a highly dependant system of very symbiotic self replicating entities.
    Or in plain english: Yes we are a bunch of cells that work together.

    How does that have ANYTHING to do with evolution or self fulfilling prophecy??

    You have lost me once again Casey... Like your concept of math... It seems like history is reapeating it's "self"?
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      Nov 3 2012: I'm not sure whether I understand Casey's posts, but so far, I'm 2/2 in terms of having his questions lead me to some interesting thinking.
      • Nov 4 2012: well raising questions / giving rise to thought are nice attributes.
        However it gets so hard to discuss something when the start isn't clear. People will just interpret it in multiple ways which will lead to many different (non related) comments.

        You can assume the above post of mine to be a plea for a re-writing of the origional post (Casey's post) into a less ambiguous and more well defined question.
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          Nov 7 2012: I will work on this for you, Richard, and for everyone, I am working on finding someone who can edit my written word.

          Once again thank you for your patience
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      Nov 7 2012: Good day Richard,

      It is very hard for me to grasp my thoughts and then put them on page you are correct that my english is broken and that is 100% my fault and or the cookie cutter system that is american education. I never took school seriously looking back I was bored. At the time I would never never never thought I was bored because of me being smarter then the others and I still do not feel this way. Simple when I was a kid I just wanted to have fun and school was stopping me from doing that, I have talk with my grandma and she has offered to school me in english. (hope she doesn't bust out the ruler) However if I had to guess with our conversations you may have wanted to do that a couple times to me :). And I thank you for your patience.
      • Nov 7 2012: Hi Casey,

        Well the utmost important thing which you have to always abide by in an internet discussion is that text cannot be ambiguous (at least the meaning has to be 100% clear from the context when words are ambiguous).
        So what I always do when I post things is that I re-read them after having a small break. For instance when I start a conversation on here... I usualy first write it in some word editor (which has spelling control) and then I just re-read it once before I post it and I rewrite all lines that can be read in different ways.

        For instance the question in your post "Recognition of self right?" (especially due to the line-break in between which is put there by ted) could very easily be read like "Recognition of self-right?". Which then makes the question something completely different as right would suddenly indicate that it has to do with a form of 'law' (or fairness.. as in the way of "righteous").

        Also something which I find very usefull is that whenever you 'further explain' something in the same line that you ,'s to indicate where which area ends. When ,'s are not really obvious use (). In general it's best to use ,'s when you can keep on reading.
        This could be used in the line "But then you need to ask well do they recognize self do to our experiments and what we have defined as self recognition or is it innately in them?"
        Like: But then you need to ask "well do they recognize self, do to our experiments and what we have defined as self recognition, or is it innately in them?"

        Usually if you re-read something as if someone else wrote it you will notice these things... like "what does this word refer to" or "these 2 words don't go together" or similar things.
        Just use different words or add ,'s or () when you feel something is not clear.... it's the meaning of what you're trying to say that is important... not the way you say it. However how you say it must make sure that the other person gets the meaning.
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          Nov 8 2012: Yeah I should "proof" my thoughts before hitting submit. I will work on this
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    Oct 29 2012: I agree that our world view influences our behaviour, actions, and choices. I disagree that accepting evolution automatically traps us to repeat history more than any unstated alternatives I can think of.

    Are you proposing that if we accept we are evolved multi-cellular beings then this will lead to negative outcomes? This seems like a false dichotomy. Why would you think that?

    I note for most of history and probably prehistory the majority of homo sapiens were not aware we evolved. The history you are referring to is mostly the results of theists or polytheists.

    In your final sentences you ask are we “just” evolved multi-cellular self aware beings, doomed to repeat history. Some theists seem to think it is either believe in some gods or revert to some nihilistic meaningless barbaric life. This is a False dichotomy.

    Firstly, accepting that we evolved does not stop us from considering what improves the human condition. In fact it frees us from the worst excesses of backwards bronze and iron religious moralities. No need to give sexist, racist, tribal, homophobic , anti contraception religious dogmas special consideration.

    Secondly, accepting what the evidence indicates, that we evolved, does not diminish our humanity, it does not eliminate our understanding that conscious beings can suffer or thrive. We have the most amazing minds and deep experience we know of. We can question, and learn, and communicate and build like no other species.

    Thirdly, things have actually improved. I would argue part of this improvement relates to the establishment of secular democracies, modern human rights etc. We had the enlightenment. We have science helping us better understand ourselves and the universe.

    Yes we are still caught between instinct and reason, but in many places life has improved, even compared to a few centuries, or decades ago, depending where you live.

    We have a long way to go, but have come further than you might think.
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      Nov 7 2012: Good day Obey,

      Actually I am suggesting the opposite if we acknowledge that we are evolved multi-cellular beings we would become more and for lack of a better word that drives the point home we would become more enlightened. By become higher aware beings.

      If we realize that we are "The whole is greater than the sum of the parts", as well as E Pluribus Unum. And except these as truths whether you believe it or not. And acknowledge that we are just one small part of a greater system and yet at the same time that greater system. You can come to the understanding that we are all one. For the mind makes it real and everything including us is of the mind. We need to realize that our science takes just as much faith as religion/spirit does. And maybe even more so because with science we have all came to and except that no theory will ever be correct except that all theory's are correct, because the mind makes it real. And someone else mind makes it "not real" or not truth. And we subscribe to arbitrary units of measurements that we call conventions. Because if we didn't all agree to those conventions then none.....I mean none of this thing we call life would make any sense. But science needs to man up and remember that almost all knowledge gain has been based on arbitrary units of per-assumed assumptions.

      sorry if this does not make sense my thoughts are hard to express via written word.
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    Oct 26 2012: I've a lot of difficulty to understand what this is about.
    I see at least three questions and little coherence between them.

    Recognition of the self. right or wrong? I would think, wrong.
    As you say, many species can do that but only human beings converse with speech.
    To use speech one has to wrap the world in symbols first to be able to communicate these symbols that to each represent something somewhat different.
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      Oct 26 2012: Yeah and I promise you I don't have this fully figured out either which is why I need some other perspectives and some good devil's advocates.

      Which recognition of self are you referring to? So the cells/bacteria in our body's are basically saying this is me and the it divides and create a group of me's or I's. As well as developed a lexicon to talk to all of it I's but also they have a universal lexicon that can communicate between different groups of cells and bacteria as well as able to communicate on a whole. This is all happening in our bodies which is truly amazing! So we have a bunch of single celled organisms that are self replicating, but also have there own language or lexicon, as well as have a universal lexicon to be able to communicate as a whole and function as a whole. So if we are just a bunch of self replicating entities that have evolved into a self recognizing being. What does this imply. I personally want to make the leap to religion, and point to the beliefs of the mormon church. As also being a self fulfilling prophecy. Which I guess most religions are? I am sure this makes even less sense now. I am trying to figure out this too. but the core concept make sense. Sorry I also do not want to to feel that I am attacking your beliefs or anyone's. Because if you do see that the definition for self fulfilling prophecy is correct all beliefs are equally real.

      Check out this video
      http://www.ted.com/talks/bonnie_bassler_on_how_bacteria_communicate.html
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        Oct 27 2012: My take is that human beings are one of the many species that have self recognition.

        Self awareness you find with all species as you reckon that to survive there has to be a sense of the interior configuration and about the interaction with the environment whether knowingly or not.

        To have a knowing of this implies that there has to be a memory of past events that can be highlighted to see that old self and to compare the actual image of self with that one stored in memory.

        Unicellular beings communicate, all species communicate. Multi cellular organisms are built from forms of unicellular organisms that forms an operating system that communicates in a multiple fashion.

        Human beings are defined by the use of speech. With speech they first have to encode the world that they find in memory. They know by continuous comparison of actuality with memory. All that is fixed they call knowledge. What is actual they call experience. Knowledge can become stories as we put meaning and/or emotions to it. Reading from memory we bring those meanings and emotions into the present which will color the actual events we experience and compare.

        Religion is feeding stories into memory.
        • Oct 27 2012: Certainly speech is just one example of communications in general. Whales communicate through their songs which we recognize as being an constantly evolving social conversation.
          I have observed crows and magpies conversing amongst family members in a low converstaion that is different from their excited calls.
          Our speech is actually quit poor in comparison to whale speak, but then, I guess evolution didn't have much to start with either.
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          Oct 27 2012: I don't think unicellular beings would pass the mirror test! I interpreted the concept of self-awareness in the context of the mirror test, leading to an entirely different conclusion.

          Given your definition though, I would take issue with your assertion that "To have a knowing of this implies that there has to be a memory of past events..." If a single cell organism moves towards food, I don't think it does so because it has a memory of food. I believe such movement is built into its design and structure.

          I suppose I might agree with the idea that evolution remembers good design choices by tending to let only the fittest survive, which means that their structures will be "remembered" by virtue of being replicated, but I don't think that's what you meant by memory.
        • Nov 5 2012: I would argue that if humans truly recognized their own selves, they would not be so ready to destroy their fellow man. It is the arrogance of "I am better that you" that causes failures. It is simply false. You may have a different background and education but take an MBA and drop him in the Amazon with a bunch of Yano-Mami and see how self aware he is. Totally different circumstances can absolutely rock your world sufficiently to actually cause you to question your own self awareness. Another example: My own recent loss of use of my legs due to MS. Suddenly this big, strong outdoorsman is required by disease to remain in air conditioned conditions even when everyone else is freezing. Who and what I thought I was has come into question. What was real and what was merely a mistaken perception about myself and my abilities? How has change altered those perceptions, not only in my own awareness but in the awareness of others by whom I am surrounded? Which is the more accurate and better perception of self? And who, has the balls to state that they have for certain identified everything that IS self awareness? Am I making more sense than Casey?
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          Nov 7 2012: @ Gordon, I would would suggest that DNA is a very complex yet simple form of communication.

          @ Danger Unicellular being might not pass the mirror test but the most certainly know the difference between self and other.

          This is just one example of higher intelligent's with out a "brain"
          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/8982310/Intelligent-slime-able-to-navigate-its-way-out-of-maze.html

          I would suggest the this being would also have to be self aware to know how to navigate its self through a maze. Also this is just one example.

          @ Michael you are 100% correct on your assertions, those points are exactly the questions you should be asking your self. I would even take it farther and say that, if the mind makes it real then it is real. Making everything man has ever thought that into a self fulfilling prophecy. Because not matter what mental state you are in the mind makes it real. And who is to say that my reality is more "real" the your reality. You could interchange perspective for this as well.
    • Oct 31 2012: it seems like I am in good company... I never understand Casey either :(
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        Nov 7 2012: Sorry Richard I will do my best to convey my thoughts as best as possible into text.
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    Nov 20 2012: but music is just a reflection of self ~ Eminem
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    Nov 18 2012: Yes. Even the interpretation of a scientific or religious observation can be misleading. I also think that science and spirituality often don't realize the common ground in which they stand.
    • Nov 18 2012: Science and Spirituality are the two aspects of the same things. Some religions take the support of science to justify their principles. Though religious people say that they hate science , but the same people use science to justify their religious practices.
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        Nov 19 2012: The holy trinity of existence can be seen as, mans belief in god(all and any), mans belief in science, and gods belief in man.
  • Nov 18 2012: Everything including religion and evolution itself is subject to evolution. Even revelation is also subject of evolution.

    Prophecy and Prediction too is subject to evolution. Prophecy and Prediction is a spontaneous , slow and steady process. It has no independent existence.It is not a divine process. It depends on minimum of two factors;

    1. Input seed stimuli
    2. Ecosystem

    If suppose a stranger meets a kid and says "You will become a Scientist". Now, what he has done is he has actually planted the seed stimuli in the mind of the kid. Once the mind of the kid receives the seed stimuli,it get activated and starts to work spontaneously , slowly and steadily to make the kid a scientist.

    And now whatever the kid does , the parents of the kid too see him through the lens of Scientist. When he writes , they say he writes like a scientist, When he does something they say he behaves like a scientist.

    And when the relatives visit them , they tell the whole story to their relatives about the prediction the stranger has made about their kid. The relatives too then start perceiving the kid as scientist.

    This way the word spreads out into the ecosystem of the place where he lives.And now the ecosystem too moves in the direction to help the kid become a scientist.

    And finally one day the kid becomes a scientist , and the same stranger visits the home of the kid , and Proudly says see my prediction has come true.
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      Nov 19 2012: This is why marketing works the one with the most seeds wins, and becomes number one. IPlease notice this is a continuing theme in man. To be number one
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    Nov 18 2012: It seems a little arbitrary to pick on the attributes that make homo sapiens different from other species.

    You could pick a group of living creatures or anything and consider what makes it different from other lifeforms or whatever.

    The ability to fly unaided seperates flying creatures from everything else. We can not fly unaided.

    Some creatures have sonar. We don't.

    Homo sapiens seem to be derivative and have a lot in common with other primates, and do, decreasingly so with other mammals, with other vertibrae, with all animals, with all DNA based life etc

    Some compounds conduct electricity efficiently. We don't.

    Some animals can breathe water. We can not.

    You could pick millions of attributes that give distinct identity to millions of different things.

    Humans are different from other apes. Apes are different to some extent from monkeys.

    Picking what makes humans different is arbitrary.

    Other animals use tools. We are just better. Other animals use sound communication. We are just better. Yet we are hopeless in the water and air, above or below certain temperatures where other life thrives.
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      Nov 19 2012: Check this out on its importance of self reflection

      It was mans recognition of self that also allowed god to be self reflecting(funny term). From the beginning of time god as embodied in the light or sun. Spent years (although time did not exist) trying to figure out what was going on. And it opposite dark (which is also a god) dark's the one that told truth to adam and eve the truth to eat from the tree of life and to gain knowledge. when god lied and said it would kill them. Which created the fall of man. However the light has been storing information on the dark or celestial body's every since the big bag which is just another example of E pluribus unum. We all know that light stores information see fiber optics. So god used the peaks and valleys (gain perspective). As well as gaps and bumps to record information gained. Much like how a cd or record player stores memory. Once man became self reflective(funny term) god was able to pull that information forward and make sense of it all to man. In only seven days which god does not function in man time because it is arbitrary. Hope this makes sense....... also one could not exist with out the other
  • Nov 17 2012: Who said there is a god? There's no proof of such a thing
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      Nov 19 2012: Check this out on its importance of self reflection

      It was mans recognition of self that also allowed god to be self reflecting(funny term). From the beginning of time god as embodied in the light or sun. Spent years (although time did not exist) trying to figure out what was going on. And it opposite dark (which is also a god) dark's the one that told truth to adam and eve the truth to eat from the tree of life and to gain knowledge. when god lied and said it would kill them. Which created the fall of man. However the light has been storing information on the dark or celestial body's every since the big bag which is just another example of E pluribus unum. We all know that light stores information see fiber optics. So god used the peaks and valleys (gain perspective). As well as gaps and bumps to record information gained. Much like how a cd or record player stores memory. Once man became self reflective(funny term) god was able to pull that information forward and make sense of it all to man. In only seven days which god does not function in man time because it is arbitrary. Hope this makes sense....... also one could not exist with out the other
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    Nov 17 2012: With discussions like these it makes me feel like we're all on a chaos wheel. Without working together to find a truth beyond blind faith on both sides of the coin religion and science. we will always be stuck where we are. I would like to point out that "created in Gods image is just that, potentially created from the imagination of God, not the we are created in Gods exact image which seems to be the thought. First off NO ONE knows what God looks like, could be male, female, asexual, or just an entity of energy. It has never been stated or clarified. Anyone who says they know what God is, then those people MUST be God and you should be making changes. I would argue that there are people that do not have self recognition because there are quite a few people who act, pretend, or try and believe they are someone other then themselves. Which case makes some people no better then animals. Just my beginning thought.
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      Nov 19 2012: Check this out on its importance of self reflection

      It was mans recognition of self that also allowed god to be self reflecting(funny term). From the beginning of time god as embodied in the light or sun. Spent years (although time did not exist) trying to figure out what was going on. And it opposite dark (which is also a god) dark's the one that told truth to adam and eve the truth to eat from the tree of life and to gain knowledge. when god lied and said it would kill them. Which created the fall of man. However the light has been storing information on the dark or celestial body's every since the big bag which is just another example of E pluribus unum. We all know that light stores information see fiber optics. So god used the peaks and valleys (gain perspective). As well as gaps and bumps to record information gained. Much like how a cd or record player stores memory. Once man became self reflective(funny term) god was able to pull that information forward and make sense of it all to man. In only seven days which god does not function in man time because it is arbitrary. Hope this makes sense....... also one could not exist with out the other
  • Nov 17 2012: Are animals self aware? Yes, why?

    I dislike it when people say that we are not part of our planet. Same goes for when they distance humans from ‘animals’. We act as if we deserve this planet more than any other species, that we think of ourselves as ‘gods’ simply because of our abilities (and beliefs).

    Well, we are animals and we are part of this planet and part of nature. Everything we have ever made has come from the earth, everything we are made of comes from the earth. Our species evolved and continues to evolve. Everything we call manmade is a natural thing, a natural process because we are natural therefore what we do is natural. So yes, we are self aware and we are an animal, so animals are self aware. And its not possible or even right for us to determine what other animals are self aware or not because we simply cannot know, at least right now.

    No we are not a self fulfilling prophecy. Unless we allow ourselves to be. Evolution is always marching forward, and so are we.
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      Nov 19 2012: Check this out on its importance of self reflection

      It was mans recognition of self that also allowed god to be self reflecting(funny term). From the beginning of time god as embodied in the light or sun. Spent years (although time did not exist) trying to figure out what was going on. And it opposite dark (which is also a god) dark's the one that told truth to adam and eve the truth to eat from the tree of life and to gain knowledge. when god lied and said it would kill them. Which created the fall of man. However the light has been storing information on the dark or celestial body's every since the big bag which is just another example of E pluribus unum. We all know that light stores information see fiber optics. So god used the peaks and valleys (gain perspective). As well as gaps and bumps to record information gained. Much like how a cd or record player stores memory. Once man became self reflective(funny term) god was able to pull that information forward and make sense of it all to man. In only seven days which god does not function in man time because it is arbitrary. Hope this makes sense....... also one could not exist with out the other
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    Nov 17 2012: I would think that describing the human race as a bunch of" bunch of self-replicating entities that have evolved in to a self-recognizing being" is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    If other animals had the motivation to question and comprehend what we are even talking about or trying to create or develop new ideas concerning the structure of reality, and our individual perspective of reality then I would agree with you however that is not the case.
    The brain is capable of creation, discovery and spirituality above all other animals on this planet, not simply the recognizing of "self".
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      Nov 17 2012: What are you trying to say?
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      Nov 17 2012: But man would not be created in gods image without the recognition of self
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        Nov 17 2012: Let alone the fact you are using a circular argument of the existence of god.

        I am arguing that there is a lot more then the acknowledgment of self that distinguishes us from other species. Proof of which is this very conversation.
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          Nov 17 2012: All arguments are circular in nature, as well as most conversations. For an arguments to not be circular one needs to either agree to disagree. Come to gain the others perspective as truth whether they believe it to be or not. Or one needs to win the argument. Otherwise the argument will never end.

          Everything is a circle.

          Actually the most advance form of communication on earth is DNA, for its conversation is what created you and I, and is allowing to have this conversation, with what is a digital representation of 1 and 0; otherwise know as binary code. So really it not our communication that separates us from the rest. Because all species communicate
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        Nov 17 2012: And circular arguments are based off of assumptions, such as the assumptions you made that god exists and that the bible is the true doctrine of god.

        Me saying that Humans (unlike any other animal on this planet) have the ability to create and express themselves threw artwork, inventions and discoveries (and many other unique actions and aspects) is no assumption, and therefore it is no circular argument.

        This conversation's context is the proof, not that we are having a conversation.
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          Nov 19 2012: All thoughts are assumptions, everything is arbitrary. We needed a started point. Look at our measure of time it is based on the assumption that we rotate around the sun in a circle not an ellipse. Which we once considered as a god. That rotated around us. Also based on assumptions.

          Yes when you define communication that way I agree it is one of our greatest attributes. However without the recognition of self and of other we would never be able to tell what is "paintbrush"

          Yes this conversation is proof that both we are communicating and so did or has or continue to communicate is our DNA
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      Nov 18 2012: So what. Other animal species might develop cognative abilities closer to humans over time.

      Just because we are the first we know of, so what.

      Other species have developed other capabilities humans don't have.

      We share more in common with other animals, especially the great apes, and mammals then separates us.

      Immune systems, a bi/symetrical body - 2 eyes, 2 ears, 2 testes, 2 ovaries, redundancy built in. 4 limbs like most other vertibrae, similar skeletons, digestive systems, senses, oxygenating blood.

      You can focus on the differences of any species or group. Some can breathe water. Some have sonar. Some have superior vision or smell or hearing to us.

      So what if humans have evolved to have some cognitive functions superior to other species?

      You can say humans can do this or that. I can say a dog or a fish can do other things we can not. Heck there are even bacteria that can with stand hundreds of degrees and extreme pressure. A lump of rock can support more weight than a human - so what. A dog can run faster. So what? Human consciousness is not the be all and end all. A star is a huge nuclear reaction that emits light. Humans are not much good at emmiting light. In fact we wouldn't be here but for stars that created the heavier elements we are made of. Stars died so that we may exist. Along with all other life on earth.

      DNA is not communication. There is no sender and receiver. Its a bunch of compounds that behave according to the physical laws. We can perceive patterns, but it is just stuff. You could say an empty or full box is a binary code. H2O is a code, but its just water.
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        Nov 19 2012: Obey if dna is not communication the how does a sperm tell an egg how to grow/evolve you? Because is birth was not evolution on a fundamental level. then we would just grow into a bigger sperm or egg.


        Check this out on its importance of self reflection

        It was mans recognition of self that also allowed god to be self reflecting(funny term). From the beginning of time god as embodied in the light or sun. Spent years (although time did not exist) trying to figure out what was going on. And it opposite dark (which is also a god) dark's the one that told truth to adam and eve the truth to eat from the tree of life and to gain knowledge. when god lied and said it would kill them. Which created the fall of man. However the light has been storing information on the dark or celestial body's every since the big bag which is just another example of E pluribus unum. We all know that light stores information see fiber optics. So god used the peaks and valleys (gain perspective). As well as gaps and bumps to record information gained. Much like how a cd or record player stores memory. Once man became self reflective(funny term) god was able to pull that information forward and make sense of it all to man. In only seven days which god does not function in man time because it is arbitrary. Hope this makes sense....... also one could not exist with out the other
      • Nov 19 2012: Hi, Obey !
        "DNA is not communication."
        It is . DNA is the most powerful transmitter of intelligent data.It is clearly a double helix, and all DNA molecules in every living plant and animal are structured in exactly the same way. DNA represents the highest order, it means everything is 'in tune' with every other thing.
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    Nov 15 2012: Just because that bird can recognize himself in a mirror doesn't mean he's aware of being or existing, just like most predators may know how to kill a prey efficiently but at the same time not be aware of the logic or the science behind the importance of the veins around the neck in order for any living thing to live.

    Animals other than humans are not aware of many things but they can understand the environment they live in to some extent. They are kind of practical creatures.
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      Nov 19 2012: That is correct, we created the idea of how to tell we are self reflecting(funny term). Other attributes also help us get to were we are are much like communication and the ability to manipulate our surroundings
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    Nov 15 2012: GOD is just DOG looking in the mirror...........

    John Lennon sings about it in Imagine. It's easy if you try. .

    Is there 'free will' or is life 'deterministic'?

    Your answers reveal your word view. Pay attention.
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      Nov 19 2012: IIs this the real life?
      Is this just fantasy?
      Caught in a landslide,
      No escape from reality.
      Open your eyes, Look up to the skies and see,
      I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy,
      Because I'm easy come, easy go, Little high, little low,
      Any way the wind blows doesn't really matter to me, to me.


      Life is both predetermined and free will, the haphazardness that gets us from life lessons learned is predetermined this can be seen as chaos theory. Our free will exist in personal choice.
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    Nov 11 2012: Hi Casey, as you said in your opening remarks,
    ""According to Thomas, people react not only to the situations they are in, but also, and often primarily, to the way they perceive the situations and to the meaning they assign to these perceptions."

    That reaction can indeed be negative, but certainly does not have to be.
    I'd like to think we have free will. That does not mean we can determine what happens to us, but we do have the freedom to decide how to react to whatever happens to us. We can accidentally hit our thumb with a hammer, but that does not mean we are forced to swear.

    We are in total freedom to spiritually 'shape' ourselves, and be responsible for the outcome. That is what life is ali about and thus why we are here (to determine our own eternity).
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      Nov 13 2012: Good Day Adriaan,

      “there are three Persons in God, each of whom is God, and yet there are not three Gods but one. claims to understand this; it is admitted on all sides that this is incomprehensible - a mystery, a Divine mystery, and must remain so in this life.”

      Actually I have answered this question and can prove not only how 3 can be one but that we are all one. Check out my ted conversation, oddly enough when I started with the ted conversation it was not my intent to answer this question. http://www.ted.com/conversations/13925/is_our_math_wrong_is_it_our_a.html

      "it is true that we will never understand everything about God, because He is Infinite and we are finite."

      This statement is not completely true, although is is true that God is infinite and we are finite. That is only as how you define what you are trying to define. Yes as humans we are finite as far as the body is concerned, but we are infinite as far as the mind not the brain is concerned. The mind/soul exist in the infinite.

      "That is what life is ali about and thus why we are here (to determine our own eternity)."
      We can not define our eternity, while still perceiving that we live in the finite. If god created the earth, and man created time, then the earth should be just as infinite as god is, unless man or god destroy's it.
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        Nov 13 2012: Hello Casey, I am not really that interested in what you can 'proof'.
        When God says He is One, I do not see the option for a human being to interpret that as 'I am three Gods'
        Even three seperate cars are not one car.
        The, to us, correct interpretation of how God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit relate is that they are three aspects of One God. Just as we have a soul/spirit, a body and an influence on the world around us. Three aspects can make one, as three colors can make one color.
        When Jesus is asked to put in a good word for us with God, we see them as two different entities.

        I am sorry but there is nothing ours that is infinite. We are totally finite and can only comprehend Divine Truth as a dog can understand human thought. We are born. Having a beginning of body and spirit means we are not infinite. If we think we are, we don't know what infinity is and means.

        God created the universe and thus time. We used the appearance of time to apply it to life.

        God did not create the universe out of Himself, this is how we see it. But keep it coming I'd love to talk about it more
        http://sites.google.com/site/liveitupspiritually/home/source/Creation_Odhner.pdf?attredirects=0
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          Nov 14 2012: Good Day Adriaan,

          If you read that ted conversation, you will realize that not only is 3 cars not one, but that there is no such thing that is "Car". Car is just an idea of completion of thoughts and or in this case parts as well. So I guess if you look at your self are you; 10 trillion self recognizing/replicating beings or are you one being? See Bonnie Bassler for more clarification on this idea. This is in my opinion a great example of how many can be one. E pluribus unum.

          I promise to read as much of that link that you sent if you promise to read as much of my link as well. Although I will read yours even is you do not read mine.

          Also please do not feel like I am attacking you or your beliefs. I will get back to you after reading your link on creation. On my thoughts of how both creation and evolution. "created this universe"
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          Nov 14 2012: Also I don't know what your views of evolution are, but if you look at how a human is created from birth to conception. Check out this video

          http://www.ted.com/talks/alexander_tsiaras_conception_to_birth_visualized.html
          and
          http://www.ted.com/talks/david_bolinsky_animates_a_cell.html

          I can not see how the creation of a child from seed to adult is not evolution happening on a very fundamental level. You start out with what was a sperm and an egg and over the course of time evolve to what is considered the most advanced being of all time. How is this not evolution on a fundamental level?

          Plus if you look at one explanation science uses of how life started here on earth it is oddly similar to a sperm, landing on a egg. Or a comet crashing here on earth.
        • Nov 14 2012: Hi, Adriaan,
          It's really interesting, Wallace had probably said the most powerful thing that’d been said in the 19th Century :
          A Necessary Unity....and it was not a Deity.
          Wallace :
          "The action of this principle is exactly like that of the centrifugal governor of the steam engine, which checks and corrects any irregularities almost before they become evident .."
          Very different from Darwin's ' trial and error' approach and echoes somehow with Sheldrake's 'Morphic field'.
          Thanks for the link !
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          Nov 18 2012: Its funny to see people arguing about the trinity, when there is nothing to prove any type of god or goddess actually manifests in reality.

          In regards to the development of the Christian triune god, it seems to have been made up after the death of a Jewish religious teacher, who probably did exist, but was just a human.
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          Nov 19 2012: Good Day Obey,

          It gets much better then that. I can tell you the holy trinity of existence. Or why we exist, mans belief in god, mans belief in science, and gods belief in man. That is what allows this reality if you would like to call it to exist. It is our ability to self reflect (funny term) that makes man special.
      • Nov 14 2012: Casey ,
        so, the evolution is not pushed from the past, as it is considered to be , but pulled towards the future, right ? Past and future becomes purely conventional here as it should be.
        It is similar to what Rupert Sheldrake is saying , check out here
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpudgs9ZTfg&feature=related
        Hope you'll enjoy the video ! :)
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          Nov 14 2012: Hi Natasha, it is a great talk and presentation!
          Allow me here to present a paper that includes (in part three) views, and similarities between Dr Sheldrake and Swedenborg. Maybe they are using different words but havng the same meaning. I understand Dr Sheldrake has also given lectures at the Swedenborg Hall in London.

          http://www.swedenborgstudy.com/articles/science-math/mrc90.html

          and I'm still enjoying the video too
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        Nov 14 2012: Hi Casey. Thanks for your links (the first one I have on my profile as well)
        It almost seems just a play of words, and not that very helpful at that. It maybe a high number of parts that make a car or a human body, but it is the use that is performed which makes it what we call it. Whether it is 10 trillion parts does not make any difference, since no body is the same as another any way.
        Besides that, and more importantly, we are not our body. It is not important what we wear, drive or sit next to. Nothing of that makes us the person (spirit) we are, and nothing of that lives forever from now on. Our spirit does go on forever (from now on) and how we have used or applied our body during this life only shapes that spirit. Our (spiritual) 'shape' after the body dies is determined by what we love. How many parts our physical body had is of absolutely no importance whatsoever.
        We have decided to call a car "a car" because now we can get around better and faster than 500 years ago. Now our life would be very different if we have a car or not. Now we can exchange ideas about cars, decide which one is best for out situation etc. When we talk about cars, we are no talking about 'nothing.' This almost seems more a play of words than a useful exchange. A three your old can talk to you about a car.. are you going to tell that kid 'cars do not exist?' :)

        "On my thoughts of how both creation and evolution. "created this universe""
        Sounds great to me. I do believe that science and religion should very much go together. But that each should know their limits. Just because science cannot 'proof' anything spiritual, that does not mean a spiritual world does not exist. And a spiritual interpretation of the Bible leaves more room for science to say how old humanity is.

        My view on evolution is that it is not growth and development of one species. I think it is meant as a method that a crawling animal becomes a fish. But then, I see evolution is a process, not a 'creation' of life.
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    Nov 9 2012: In answering Marvin Welby-Solomon's reply to me;

    He claims that Eastern philosophy was to be like God, and the Judeo-Christian tradition is to have a relationship with God. he also says that if Genesis is not literally true, then the actual fall and separation from God never happened.

    This is a closed minded viewpoint. If Genesis is not literally true, it doesn't imply that none of it happened. I don't believe that Adam and Eve are two people, I believe that they represent an entire culture. The fall into sin by one couple, or the fall into sin by an entire culture, is two different levels of the same event. One is simple, the other is a whole lot more complex.

    As to being like God or having a relationship with God, they may not be the same, but they are not all that different either. Jesus is referred to as the son of God. He says that "I and the father are one". He also says that those who believe in him, he would give them the power to become "sons of God". There are implications here for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.

    Putting this in context to the topic, people see the teachings of religion as real, having real consequences. The trouble is that not all people see it the same and act on it, often in irrational or condemning ways. They make their viewpoint real for themselves and try to make it real for everyone else.
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      Nov 11 2012: Yes Roy, couldn't agree with you more. If we take things literally, should we see God as someone who punishes many millions of people because one stole a fruit??
      And how about the difference between Gen. 2:9 and 3:4? Should we accept the fact that this serpent is not only able to talk, but can also move trees?

      This is how Swedenborgians interpret Adam and Eve, it may help to put some sense to it all. Seems to me that the whole Bible is about consequences and nothing else. In fact the ball is so much in our court that Jesus would not even heal a blind man without asking him first if he wanted to be healed.

      We can all go to hell, if we wanted to :) in fact many... oh never mind. Have a good weekend
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    Nov 8 2012: Am I the only one who finds this to not be revealling much on what it is we wish our experiences to be...Have we spent so long passively memorizing theories given a chance to design change,we just say what already is...Is there no personal driver within our intellect that wants to reveal alternative routes witin this community...seems many have observations...but is that it,we just state the hard won obvious and we are done. Yes little truism litter our mind minefield....but I know this is not the best for our shared worldIf you speak from the heart.we may get out of this philosophical lockdown.
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      Nov 8 2012: Good day Carolyn,

      We are the personal drive, personal choice is the only free will we have, it is this personal choice that can not be measured. We are the multiverse. And we can get out of this philosophical lock down, but is going to take the largest lets agree to disagree conversations ever. Debates can be ended, but see it more as a dance of words then an argument of mind.

      I hope this helps, let me know if I need to better explain my words
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        Nov 8 2012: Im nervous to reply to replies,I hope to not get my personal feathers in the way as we collectively agree on a goal of our musings. What if we label opnions to be snap shot photos of our experience,investigative study...Therefore we avoid a deadend black and white trap of agree/disagree...it is just our research photo. Dance is a good metaphour for our process..which will go on indefinetly....But how about a goal,a reason for our photo journal...what about intentionally aiming our work to produce an effect...How about the word,harmony...Lets say we arecurrently on a selfullfilling ship led by the concept competition...It may just look identical to our current experience.But,what if like musicians a good product is when harmony is the goal...how would speech sound,what does athletics look like if harmony is the driver...If reality is part of our own construct then there is pliability in this fabric. When I imply it seems you want change,if you dont say from the heart"nope everythings fine" I will then ask you to describe your nirvana...because Ipersonally I would like to think better,braver,ect.. I strongly want there to be a point to this debate,because How we think affects everyone and Im not ok with my script for my life being plagerized off of some default below grade quality just because its the one I read in school,newspapers or its the biggest bully of all the concepts.
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          Nov 8 2012: Good day Carolyn,

          Never be afraid to say what is on your mind. I promise you I am not here to try to attack you or your beliefs. Unfortunately we have to have something similar to the agree to disagree argument.(I am certainly not suggesting that this is the only way or path, just a way a path.)

          I never like to talk in absolutes but it almost has to be a black and white conversation/debate. Because that is one of the longest debates since the "beginning of time". Much like this, which came first the chicken or the egg? The universe has been having the same argument/conversation; which came first light? or Darkness? The interesting thing is that neither of them can exist with out the other, you cant have creation with out destruction. This argument can be seen throughout history as black/white, red/blue, us/them, positive/negative. However as far as intent in the end process is peace, which can be seen as harmony. The interesting thing about perspective and peace is that one's definition of what is peaceful will never be seen the same way. I personally think that going out to shoot a gun is very peaceful, but many could/would see this as violence. So it about finding peace/harmony as defined in the individual.
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      Nov 8 2012: Carolyn, you perceive this debate to be a philosophical lock down. You perceive that Casey wants our experiences to be different from what they are. But that's the point. There is no lock down unless we perceive it. Instead of experiencing our own expectations of reality (what it should be in the future based on what it was in the past), we should experience reality as it is NOW.

      Here are two wonderful TED talks on this issue. Some people find Dan Dennett's talk disappointing and irritating - but that's only because it does not fulfill expectations of these people which is the point of his talk.

      http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_dennett_on_our_consciousness.html

      And here is another talk suggesting to stay "in the moment":
      http://www.ted.com/talks/matt_killingsworth_want_to_be_happier_stay_in_the_moment.html

      Now, to the question, what our life "should be". The answer is in what our life "is" - a cycle or a combination of intertwining cycles. What I seek in life is to understand what these cycles are and keep them flowing without interruptions - blood, oxygen, nutrients through my body; balanced income and expenses in my financial life - hoarding is bad, debt is worse; mutual care in relationships; balanced rest and exhaustion. Balance is harmony. We should not deliberately strive to be something we are not. We should always remember to return to our "self". To me, that's the formula for happiness. Life for the life's sake.

      I love the phrase from "The Lorax" movie: "A tree falls in the way it leans. Be careful which way you lean."
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    Nov 8 2012: I love deep abstract thought,and this is some of the loftiest. I am going to assume we are pro change,somewhat hoping evolution points to facts that support our "goal". Though no one has said it,Im guessing we are wanting to retrieve lost knowledge,and meanings that were exceptional regardless,of their placement in history. It is heavily implied,there is a loss and a tragedy upcoming due to this missing truisms,....I love this debate...but tell me what are the compasses of truth ....because if you say it..if you speak it it is no longer archived..but current. As for history...whose version is the one we are enveloped in....african,native american? Say it, tell me whose script I am trapped within...This History I am doomed to repeat ,is not the best version...but do you have knowledge of a culture that had better ideas...Tell me...and these words you speak thoughfully with intent ,and caring,and d justice,and harmony,and truth and reciprocity are no longer unrepresented,they are as real as the thoughts you reload into our collective psyche with the words you type. The spell we are under(I am calling it that for many reasons) is so loosely bound,it is only your collective beliefs and speech that empowers this story. Within the question,is the answer...You are currently participating in perpetuating what you seek to be free of....unless of course this is fun for you...but not everyone is having fun as we debate ,while rarely able to disentangle ourselves,and others from the very real fallout of false prophecy.
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      Nov 8 2012: Good day Carolyn,

      I am not sure I can fully explain all your questions via written word. However check out this ted conversation that might help make sense of the physical world that is constructed around you.

      http://www.ted.com/conversations/13925/is_our_math_wrong_is_it_our_a.html


      I will start with that the only truth is perspective. Then ask how do you if you are a god become all-knowing? This can only be achieved through the gaining of knowledge which is just perspective. We are trapped in the circle of debate, because we seek what can not be seek'd but must be understood. That there are no absolutes; none. Light can not exist with out the dark and dark can not exist without the light. One can not exist without the other. Its balance

      https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ff4alm3y4z3uepn/ZB_awAS_5U#/

      We gain knowledge by asking questions, which leads to more questions. We talk in circles because we are all taking about the same thing but not perceiving the other persons perspective as truth, just as your perspective is truth for you. For the everything is of the mind and the mind makes it real. The best part is we can end the debates simply by trying to understand the "others" perspective. You don't have to agree with it or except it as your new truth. One just needs to realize simply that it is truth.
  • Nov 5 2012: So your point is that acceptance of evolution (as a biological concept) is subject to being a self fulfilling prophecy (a social concept - Robert Merton) which results in ultimate outcomes that are injurious because there is a price to be paid for subscribing to something that is false (evolution).

    I have no problem with the social concept. It makes sense. Some of us have learned of this insight the hard way, usually as we age and look back more objectively about something we believed about someone or some thing and realized we were wrong. That belief had a price because it caused adjustments in our subsequent behavior which initiated a self fulfilling prophecy and all the result of believing something that was untrue.

    Obviously this self fulfilling prophecy can be applied to other world views. For example, a better question from my point of view would be...

    Is religion a self fulfilling prophecy?

    I like this question even more than yours, especially since there are so many different religions available in which to subscribe. They can't all be right can they?
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      Nov 7 2012: Good day Dan,

      I would suggest that if everything is of the mind and the mind makes it real, then not only is religion self fulfilling but so is everything else. And I do mean everything
      • Nov 8 2012: Hi Casey,

        Oops, I misinterpreted your question in the text and got going on my own self fulfilling prophecy.

        This may be too esoteric for me.
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          Nov 8 2012: Good day Dan,

          I don't know sounds like you got it, its just really hard to wrap the brain around :)
  • Nov 5 2012: Everyone may come from different backgrounds but that doesn't mean we make decisions on certain just based on instincts.

    1 People do change, we are no longer children who believe in such fables as Boogie man, and aren't scared of what's under the bed.
    2 Not everyone believes in the same religion in which the were raised, People grow up deciding there own values and moral belief's ( Some people choose to be atheist and not believe in religion, but belief in the philosophy.)
    3. That despite certain familiar historical anomalies occur that doesn't mean that people's ides didn't change. Come on now a lot women from other countries have right's, and being less subjected to the idea of inferiority. Slavery is now viewed as immoral.
  • Nov 5 2012: Ok I'm gonna disagree buddy.

    because there are 3 basic aspects that describe a person's life history.
    1. Then families status: meaning did the person come from: Rich, poor, middle class. And which country.
    2. How they were raised: who taught them how to live, who inspired them, who or what they were raised to believe. Everyone in there life that has touched and/or effected them.
    3. The environment they lived in: was it a productive prominent, was it in the ghetto, was there a transition from a bad environment to good or the reverse. What were the different cultural aspects of the different places the person lived.
    4. Is CHOICE.
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      Nov 7 2012: Good day Kenya,

      I am always a fan of devils advocate. However you hit it on the head that life is full of choices and it is only personal choice that creates the idea of free will. Your point #2 is in reference to chaos theory where everything is connected and then that points to cause and effect. In your #2 this is where we have no free will, it just leads us to the next lesson that we need to learn, but then our personal choice steps in and that is free will. However it is these very choices that create the self fulfilling prophecy. You project your personal future out by saying I am going to be a lawyer growing up. The lesson that you take to get to this result is a matter of personal choices whether you realize it or not and the only way you will not be a lawyer is if you choose for one reason or another to stop making that choice. And sometime that choice to change from not becoming a lawyer is not always in your hands.

      I hope this made sense and I am sorry if it did not. I struggle with my written word