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Adel Bibi

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Can anyone prove the existence of a supernatural deity?

I think that any philosophical ideal that isn't governed by the laws of physics will never be proven. Therefore, I guess all gods are just delusion. Whenever a person believes in god, that is because he found his parents doing so. Which means all our beliefs are nothing but a geographical accident!

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    Dec 6 2012: Greetings Adel,

    I will try to be as clear as possible.

    Supernatural means "above/beyond the natural" - which can be taken two ways; A. beyond our understanding of nature and B. beyond nature in general.

    This is an important thing to note: 1. If we know there is knowledge beyond what we know as knowledge, this creates possible worlds where our knowledge is subject to change, even what we consider 'laws'. 2. If even our most profound and static laws are possible to be changed, then what can we know to be [objectively or absolutely] true?

    The fact we cannot prove a non-human deity to exist, may not be a reason a non-human deity could exist, but does not justify a reason for that it cannot. Therefore, the claim cannot be proven either way to be true or false by any amount of reasoning.

    "I think that any philosophical ideal that isn't governed by the laws of physics will never be proven."

    I find this statement troubling. The laws of physics cannot explain the psychological natures of a human mind. In fact, there is no mathematical schema in which to measure our ability to think.This is why psychology is considered a 'soft science'... so any philosophical ideal out of a soft science will never be proven? Hardly the case. I would revise your position of what can be proven or not.

    Now.. the core of the issue: Can a God/deity be proven to exist?

    Yes. But, depends on your definition of God.

    Abraham Maslow was a psychologist who investigated 'peak experience' or what Buddhist would call 'satori' - roughly; a moment in which an individual feels at one with the universe. This experience involves, usually, feeling an energy of all knowing and all accepting feelings. It can be argued these experiences are [mis]interpreted experiences of God.

    So, if God is this universal consciousness, then God does exist, as many have experienced satori (empirically even). Whether this cosmic consciousness is a deity, well that is up to how you want to define deity.
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      Dec 6 2012: and we dont know if this so called cosmic consciousness is just a local brain state.
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        Dec 6 2012: I do believe consciousness is a force that permeates the universe, and if some mistaken that experience to be God - well, that's an issue, but would also be evidence in their favor of theism.

        To add: I feel the emotions one experiences during their moments of God-thought are similar and comparable to those who have moments of the contrary; those who do not believe in God can feel the same feeling one does when they do in fact believe in a God.

        Although this feeling is achieved in two contrary manners, perhaps the fact we are able to achieve this metaphysical comfort (of a psychoactive state of mind) may also be evidence of a God, therefore why would we need to have this experience unless it granted some benefit of metaphysical awareness.

        Indeed it could be delusional, but we do not know yet - DMT may have answers. Check out the [cognitive] psychology of religion!
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          Dec 7 2012: Or your consciousness may reside as a product of your brain.

          What makes you think there is some consciousness outside of brains?
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        Dec 7 2012: Obey,

        If it were just my mind that had experience supraconsciousness, I would say yes to it just my consciousness enhanced by meditation. But many people have said to experienced Peak Experience or Satori and their experiences overlap to the point where empirical data can show the reoccurring supraconsciousness experience has similarities to everyone. The feelings are subjective, but when a lot of subjective experiences stack up, there must be something there. I also do not claim to understand cosmic consciousness, but believe it exist in some form.

        Check this out: http://supraconsciousnessnetwork.org/Home.htm

        Go browse through the keywords and enjoy having your mind blown...
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          Dec 8 2012: Hi Nicholas,

          I'm not surprised there are similarities. Our DNA, our brains, our cognitive processes are not that different.

          You put my hand in a flame, I will feel pain the same way as you. Must be magic.

          I meditate and get into a brain state and others do at church or whatever.

          We take acid or MDMA and we have similar experiences.

          You put people praying in an MRI and see their brain active in the same way. So our brain is part of it.

          You just can't prove this experience is linked to something outside our mind.

          I hope you can see that.

          Our minds and brains and the natural universe are amazing. And today our understanding and knowledge is pushing the limits of our monkey brains, mine anyway.

          Just thinking about being made of atoms, just thinking about what atoms are, what is outside the edge of the expanding universe etc. How does consciousness work, memory.

          I think the difficulty we have comprehending, the strangeness of the natural universe is why people insert magic. It provides a similar explanation or replaces I don't know with no actual proof.

          Our brains 100 Billion neurons with a 100 trillion connections. Every neuron made a complex cell, made from compounds and near countless atoms, and atoms made of x and y etc etc.

          Its strange. Its counter intuitive. Your explanation might be right. That would be a fluke, because there is no proof.

          I'm not arguing the experiences, I'm arguing about the interpretations of these. You might find some intuitive speculative explanation fits your world view. But it is still a position from ignorance.

          Like NDE, like alien abductions. People experienced something, but the interpretation are yet to be convincingly proven if you have reasonable skepticism and an open mind.
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        Dec 7 2012: "What makes you think there is some consciousness outside of brains?"

        What makes you think there isn't?

        Neither mind nor consciousness has been found in the brain, only physical activity associated with brain activity. We can find similar activity--reception activity--in a radio and television set when they're on, and we associate that activity with the processing of radio and television signals from a transmission source that will ultimately become sounds in one, and sounds and sights in another, and we do so without thinking that the sounds and sights originated within either radio or television.

        The brain, although a more complex receiver, is none the less, a receiver.
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          Dec 9 2012: Any evidence for the brain being a receiver.

          Anything physical indicative of it being a receiver?

          Or just more unsubstantiated speculation?

          Yet we have no evidence for consciousness or mind without brains.

          The only good thing about your argument is it is unverifiable.
          As the brain deteriorates, cognitive functions suffer, like dementia. It seems as the brain is damaged so is functionaluty as the biological source of mind, awareness, intelligence etc. I guess you can assert without proof that the receiver is damaged.
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        Dec 10 2012: Obey,

        The examples I will provide will not be suffice for you, because you already made up your mind.

        But... Ever walk into a room and felt a mood? Ever get a vibe that something was wrong with someone?

        Yes, your body can unconsciously be reading these things right? Well, what are they reading? Subtle signs? Faces? Postures? A variation of these things? Do you honestly believe your sub- and unconsciousness can actually know the mood or vibe is different because of little variables?

        We, all, off put energy... This energy is a not in of itself consciousness, but when received can form a consciousness. There are developing empirical test where they ask what people believe 'angry' and 'happy' energy looks like on a person and to draw the thoughts... when done a few hundred times they overlapped the results and found a striking consistency. Angry was crazy like fire, and happiness was not really near the head (I believe).

        There exist celestial energies... astrology is the oldest pseudoscience for a reason (what reason?). Well the fact there are energies that effect us, like the moon. A lot of farmers do not pick their crops during a certain cycle of the moon because the water is all in the roots, and not spread through the plant (less tasty plant).

        For any of this to be half way believable, you're going to have to look into it yourself to try and find the falsehoods. I hate the phrase "the burden of truth is..." because you have to want to entertain a thought before you can see it, especially if it is supranatural. Go keep reading the link I sent you. It's good stuff.
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      Dec 7 2012: @Nicholas Lukowiak,

      Excuse my English as it's not my first language.

      I'd like to set this clear. I don't believe that such "Absolute truth" can ever exist. Every thing is relative. This really makes my life miserable because there is exactly no basis by which I can set up my mind on any topic.
      But I think science is an exception here.

      Scientists couldn't SO FAR explain the fully behavior of our brain, we probably don't have a 1% understanding of the human brain. But if we went back to history, you will know that science has so far solved most of the problems and un-answered questions of the past.

      People in the dark ages in fact believed that god was responsible for people getting sick, until science came and discovered that there are micro living orgasms that is actually responsible for diseases.

      So, I believe if science can not understand the human brain, it will in the future.
      It's not because we don't have good answers about the human consciousness and how it may extend beyond our brain, we say "this is an indication that something is up there".

      Quantum mechanics teaches up how an electron due to the wave function can be in lots of places at once, as we are all made of subatomic particles, it's likely that one of the subatomic particles that make up our brain was actually outside our body and somehow interacted with another person's brain which causes "telepathic thought exchange". It may be the answer to the " super consciousness experience".

      All i'm trying to say that what you mentioned about weird and mind blowing facts about " super consciousness experience" could be explained by quantum mechanics and there are in facts lots of theories going on.

      As far as I see, science will manage to answer all the questions as long as the human race didn't actually extinct. :)
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        Dec 8 2012: "People in the dark ages in fact believed that god was responsible for people getting sick, until science came and discovered that there are micro living orgasms that is actually responsible for diseases."

        Actually, the jury is still out on this, not the part about God being responsible for disease, but that "micro living organisms" are "responsible."

        Witnessing the deterioration of the body after death, and the subsequent presence of maggots, we might assume that maggots caused the death of the body. The presence of "micro living organisms" suggests a disease within the body, but that presence alone cannot be said to have caused it, and neither can the absence of the organisms, nor the eradication of them, be said to have effected a cure.

        "So, I believe if science can not understand the human brain, it will in the future."

        It's not the "brain" that science has trouble "understanding," it's the mind and the consciousness that supposedly emanate from the brain, that perplex science, and has given rise to what is termed the mind-body dilemma, or the mind-body problem.

        Mind is so unlike matter that it boggles the mind that matter can produce that which is so unlike itself.

        From my vantage point, and my experience, science will never fully understand the relationship between mind and the brain with the assumption that brain gives rise to consciousness, rather than existing as a receiver of thoughts that originate outside the brain.

        "It may be the answer to the 'super consciousness experience'."

        A clever proposition, but it still doesn't answer all the questions associated with mind, such as the experiences associated with NDE's and prediction.

        It appears that science, and those who subscribe to it, have a difficult time theorizing a non-physical cause for the mysteries associated with the mind.

        Without a non-physical hypothesis, the dilemma between mind and matter, the brain and consciousness, will persist, and will forever evade the brightest of minds.
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        Dec 10 2012: What people believe is or may be God will also be discovered in the future by science, by your own thoughts... whether it is a neurological mechanism involved with joy and all-knowing... if God is an actual omni-being... if God is this conscious-force that permeates the universe... or two or three... until then... do not make claims you do not know, because the burden of proof is on you to claim no-God, just like it is for those who do claim God.

        Keep the question open, entertain all possibilities...
  • Dec 6 2012: Well one argument for a God is the First Mover argument. You of course must know Newton's 1st and 3rd laws, which govern all physical motion, and state that an object that is at rest stays at rest until an external force is applied to it, as well as that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

    So if you are moving right now it is because some force acted on you, and in order for whatever acted on you to have moved something must have acted on it, and so on indefinitely.

    These laws being found true for all physical things goes to show that if all objects were at rest at some point, then nothing would have ever moved and the universe would be completely still.

    The universe is on the contrary not still and full of constantly moving parts, so there must have been some variable (we can call it "x" for now) that acted on something else without itself being acted on; in other words the First Mover, which could not have possibly been a physical thing, because it violates the very first law of physics in that it moved without any external force being applied to it.

    This is a problem which has bothered physicists for centuries and still goes unanswered. Many highly intelligent people who have encountered this issue simply replace that "x" or First Mover variable with the word "God", and regardless of how strongly you may find your laws of physics to be, they have gotten no closer to answering this question then any Faith in a deity has, and until you can disprove a "First Mover" you will never be able to disprove a God.
    • Dec 6 2012: Forces don't need initial movement to begin acting: all you need to disprove that "first mover" argument is two magnets...
      • Dec 6 2012: A magnet is an object that has a magnetic field (magnetic field is that part of the electromagnetic field that exerts a force on a moving charge. A magnetic field can only be caused by another moving charge (i.e., by an electric current), and is thus reliant on that charge's initial movement. I'm no physicist, but Newton was, and it's going to be a pretty tough argument if you're trying to disprove his founding law of all physics.
        • Dec 6 2012: "A magnetic field can only be caused by another moving charge"

          Permanent magnets are caused by spin, which makes electrons behave like rotate charges (that you cannot slow down or accelerate, only reverse direction) even though they're point particles and thus cannot rotate, this has nothing to do with the macroscopic movements of the magnet itself. I am a physicist and I can tell you that if you wish you can switch the magnets for two electric charges (but harder to visualize) or two masses. You seem to know some of the terms but you lack understanding of the principles behind them. If you do not understand that forces can cause motion without there having been initial motion then you do not understand classical mechanics.
        • Dec 8 2012: False. Electrons and protons experience both repulsion and attractions that don't depend on them moving. Their charges do the repulsion/attraction. ANother example of a force is gravitation. So, forces that can start/stop movements are there. A conscious prime mover is not justified either way. Even supposing that there's a need for prime movers, they don't need to be conscious, or supernatural. They can be properties of reality (like the attraction.repulsion of charges in subatomic particles). It can also be that the natural/initial state of affairs is movement, thus making the idea of a prime mover unnecessary. Why would the natural state be firm and unmoved, rather than the other way around? Why should Newtonian laws of motion be applicable to all states of physical reality if these laws derive from our most proximal, thus limited, physical experience?

          So the prime mover idea requires us to buy into unwarranted assumptions.
      • Dec 6 2012: Well it sounds like the charges you refer to rely on the law of inertia, because they remain at a constant velocity forever, but in in order for these charges to be in motion they must be in response to some previous action a long time ago. If you could theoretically have an electron at rest then you could not get that electron to move or "spin" without imposing some initial force on it. It's great to hear from an actual physicist, but to be clear you are physicist who rejects Newton's First Law of Motion?
        • Dec 8 2012: "but in in order for these charges to be in motion they must be in response to some previous action a long time ago"

          Why? Why assume that they had to have been at rest initially?
      • Dec 8 2012: @Entropy Driven

        Your argument is the most logical I've heard so far, but still doesn't explain the cause of anything. Science is not aimed at simply answering "what?"; it has to also answer "How?". You seem to think that repulsion and attraction just happen, without cause and without explanation. This is completely unscientific, and although the causes of repulsion/attraction have not been found, a real physicist would never argue that the causes do not exist.

        Gravity is another problem that physicists have yet to answer. They have answered What?: a force that attracts a body towards any other physical body having mass, but not How? And the answer to that question is down a rabbit hole that physicts have been unable to reach for now.

        Gravity does bring up another interesting thought though, which is that if its force brings masses together and is found all throughout the universe, then what is the force which ever seperated these masses in the first place? The Big Bang? what caused that? and more importantly how?
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      Dec 6 2012: the question is whether you can prove a deity

      not disprove magical unverifiable fallacious human concepts or hypothesis

      Surely you can see the error in - everything needs a cause, except I'll invent a first cause that doesn't. Special pleading. Suggest we don't know much about before the big bang or whatever and to posit a deity is an argument from ignorance.
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        Dec 6 2012: "That is pretty weak proof."

        Why am I not surprised that you value your existence so little?

        "Suggest we don't know much about before the big bang or whatever and to posit a deity is an argument from ignorance."

        Frankly, science knows pathetically little about what occurred before the "big bang," as "ignorance" abounds as to our origin and that of the universe.

        Anything that has the appearance of facts or knowledge (from a scientific perspective) is so speculative, that the inference of a God, or a deity in the process is as valid as the scientific guesswork that often passes as profound insight.

        It's not!
      • Dec 7 2012: @ Obey I was simply stating that the physical laws which we agree on and employ in every aspect of physics cannot explain the origins of the universe we observe around us.

        "Surely you can see the error in - everything needs a cause, except I'll invent a first cause that doesn't. Special pleading."

        The things we hold true can be of two types; either material or immaterial. The laws of physics apply to all material things and state that material things cannot move without an initial action, and as result cannot explain the origins of our universe. You misunderstood me, I am not inventing a first material thing which caused the first movement; that would be a fallacy. No material thing could have made the first movement, unless all that we know in physics is based off of fallacy. Therefore, the initial cause must have been immaterial and not subject to physical laws, and is as of now, incomprehensible to us. Your opinions on what that initial cause could be, or whether or not you call it "God" or "deity" are not of my concern. As for other's specific concepts on what that "God" or "deity" means to them personally; I make no attempt to disprove or prove any of them.
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      Dec 7 2012: @Vincent Moon,

      You proposed a very nice idea, although there is a small mistake.

      When you claim to have a first or "initail" cause for the forces to start by which you called "First Mover", you implicitly say there has been time before the big bang for the first mover to exist.
      This dilema takes us back to the causality problem? what caused the big bang to bang?

      The question is wrong in this case, because for events to happen there has to be a cause. While cause and effect only happnes in the correct order when there is time sperating betwee them (event, cause).
      When you have no time, that means you could simply have a (cause) then you have an (event), or you could simply have (a cause and effect at the exact moment).

      So there is no meaning for causality if you have no time. Therefore the universe doesn't actually need a first mover just like it doesn't need to have a cause. Then, the laws of Newton's mechanics can not be applied in our case.

      Excuse my English,
      • Dec 7 2012: Time is just a word we use to understand the specific order in which we experience events. Regardless of whether or not "time" existed as we know it, before the Big Bang, science would tell us that something (as in something physical) could not come from nothing, and therefore everything physical must have a cause. Even if the the "cause" and the "effect" were to exist simultaneously because of the lack of what we call "time", the latter effect would still be unable to exist without the former cause. Science will never be able to fully answer questions on how something (matter) came from nothing, so logically the answer to that question will come from somewhere else. God? perhaps.
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    Dec 3 2012: Science doesn't have to disprove anything.
    I think whoever claims something has to give the evidence. So, if science can't disprove something that doesn't make that thing true.
    As a wise man once said: "The lack of evidence is NOT evidence".

    Other than that, I'm a 100% with you!
    • Dec 3 2012: "So, if science can't disprove something that doesn't make that thing true."

      Which is exactly what I said: when you have an idea that cannot be disproven then that idea is unscientific and probably not true, so I think you misunderstood me.

      This will help you understand: http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/Dragon.htm
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        Dec 4 2012: I guess I miss spoke when I said "Other than that", all I did is pilling on what you've said earlier.
        I agree with all what you've said.

        The link you provided for Carl Sagan's dilemma was getting right to the point, love it!
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      Dec 4 2012: People often say absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

      But think about it.

      Having no compelling evidence to support a belief is not a strong case to believe it. Especially when making supernatural claims. Extra ordinary claims should have extra ordinary evidence. Not all the conflicting subjective rationales, the reliance on unproven human claims and writings.

      Anyone can see religions are human constructs. Usually started by men.

      Yahweh is god, is just as compelling as saying allah is god, or JEsus is god, or Vishnu, or that I have a ghost living in the shed and a dragon god in the garden. Unverifiable is not a strong case to believe.

      In our life, we can not really distinguish between what the universe would be like with or without these invisible gods. They are unnecessary complexity, arguments from ignorance.
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        Dec 4 2012: I couldn't agree more!
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    Dec 16 2012: I agree, nobody can prove the existence of a supernatural deity. What prompted you to ask the question?
  • Dec 13 2012: Agreed. While there may be a deity or more than one god, it is impossible to prove it, and doing so can prove detrimental. For those of you who have read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, remember how one can disprove the existence of God, by proving it with the Babel fish? God, if he exists, depends on faith, and if faith is not needed to accept him, he does not exist. Therefore, God cannot be proved nor disproved.
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    Dec 10 2012: I believe that there is nothing supernatural but only that which we do not understand..
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    Dec 10 2012: Wilbert, I'm curious if you are open or completely closed to the possibility that life just being a purely physical, biological phenomena?

    Can you imagine the possibility of a universe with life that did not involve magic?

    Or by your definition is life impossible without some magical life force?

    Do you agree with the biblical 6 days and < 10,000 year old universe or the scientific 13.7 billion years?

    Do you accept evolution? With or without magical intervention. Or do you believe humans and all life were pretty much created as is?

    Do you think it possible that purely physical brains could develop, and these evolve from reptilian, to mammalian, to human brains with our frontal neo cortex?

    Can you imagine a brain/mind such as we have is a possibility, without the mysticism. Could a purely biological machine develop that contains consciousness?

    I admit there could be a supernatural realm, just see no convincing evidence, just lots of speculation.

    Interested to hear if there could be an alternate universe to the one you imagine we inhabit, where life and mind could develop without the supernatural?
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      Dec 12 2012: "[A]re open or completely closed to the possibility that life just being a purely physical, biological phenomena?"

      Were you acquainted with the breadth of my total experiences with what you refer to as the "supernatural," you, too, wouldn't question the existence of a non-physical world.

      My experiences in this world preclude the "possibility" that I could concur with your view. For reason that you wouldn't understand and would deride if I revealed them, I hesitate to discuss these things in this forum, as it opens up that which I would rather keep closed.

      "Can you imagine the possibility of a universe with life that did not involve magic?"

      You use the word "magic" often, but it belittles what I believe and doesn't invite conversation as much as it repulses it.

      "Do you agree with the biblical 6 days and < 10,000 year old universe or the scientific 13.7 billion years?"

      The six days of creation, is not what it seems, as well as the Creation Stories (There are two.) which very few fully understand, or even partially understand. These stories are more accurate than you know, but in ways that aren't obvious to most.

      "Do you accept evolution? With or without magical intervention. Or do you believe humans and all life were pretty much created as is?"

      In terms of creation, the universe, including our world, wasn't created in "6 days" but in the Holy Moment of Now, since time doesn't really exist, and from our limited, human perspective, it took billions of years of evolution to bring us to this point--our current place in time.

      Our physical universe, including our physical bodies, are supported by a non-material, not-physical matrix. Socrates alluded to this and referred to it as "correspondence," the seen existing because of the unseen.

      "Do you think it possible that purely physical brains could develop."

      No. Such a possibility violates reality, a position that Dr. Alexander now holds: "Its the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profieth nothing.
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        Dec 13 2012: Hi Wilbert, I respect your discretion not to detail your experiences that make you absolutely certain life and the universe could not be something natural.

        Whether it be out of body experiences, NDE, hearing the voice of god etc, I don't deny the experience, just the interpretation.

        Sorry but I can not take your word on it. I need something more compelling before accepting various often contradictory supernatural claims.

        Dr Alexander may be largely correct, but it is not reasonably proven that his interpretation is correct..

        We agree on evolution I guess.

        Re magic, the word is perhaps provocative, but that is appropriate, virgin births, talking donkies, demons, angels, gods, afterlifes, spirits, they are akin to magic. Magic stuff exists and magic happens, we have no proof or understanding how etc. Magic.
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      Dec 12 2012: "I admit there could be a supernatural realm, just see no convincing evidence, just lots of speculation."

      Evidence abounds, and because it's so commonplace we dismiss it. Daily we enter the non-physical realm which we call the "supernatural realm." Our souls need the rest that come from being fully enveloped in its natural element.

      We dismiss this "realm" by calling it sleep and dreaming. There we create all kind of experiences to augment the experiences that we create here. In dreams--created constructs--cause and effect are often immediate. Here, in this world, because of the contrivance of time, cause and effect may take some time to develop.

      For me, the time between cause and effect can be almost immediate, which is why I must tread carefully.

      "Interested to hear if there could be an alternate universe to the one you imagine we inhabit, where life and mind could develop without the supernatural?"

      Using your definition of "supernatural," all is supernatural, which means that nothing is, as what we refer to as the "supernatural" is preeminently natural.

      As Dr. Alexander was told, and my experiences bear out, there are an infinite number of universes, and realities, and worlds, and worlds within worlds--and no end to smallness as there's no end to bigness.

      I wish that you could see what I see, and experience what I experience, but alas, we're all subject to our beliefs, here and in what we term the afterlife--which indeed it is--as life never ends.
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        Dec 14 2012: We have seem to have av different understanding of what constitutes evidence or is required to prove these sorts of claims.

        I remember a conversation with a theist, who suggested the evidence for a creator was creation.

        If you can't see how circular that is, how that does not suffice for many of us......

        Stating the evidence for a particular subjective interpretation is other related subjective interpretations doesn't work. It does not demonstrate your claim to be correct.

        Let's pick dreaming and sleeping. Your assert this is evidence for what I consider supernatural because you assert we have spirits, and they get tired and need to connect to the asserted spiritual realm.

        All you are showing is some internal consistency in your beliefs. How is one unverifiable claim proven by another? Its not.

        How do you demonstrate your interpretation is correct. We sleep, we dream, is not proof.

        Again I guess we just have very different standards for verifying these sorts of claims.
  • Dec 8 2012: That which is mind created ...is in an action called "belief" of a God or anything else ....is mind created (you can say geographical / or cultural accident etc etc) therefore temporary / temporarily / existing for as long as that mind is active and believes it.

    Proofs are alway objective because they require objective/dualistic/ mind "thinking" .....Absolute Truth/Source itself ( that which so many religions call "God") requires no proof ...it is not an "Ideal" ..... it is the source of all / it is not Dualistic (therefore cannot 'know' self) but without it existence / thought / experience / etc would not arise.

    So as the old song goes......You can say what it is by saying want it is not......iow The process of negation.
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    Dec 7 2012: "Is your view of god managing every aspect of what I consider naturasl forces and processes."

    God is One. Directly or indirectly, God is behind all causes and effects, but not all causes and effects are rooted in reality. Some are illusions.

    "How do you know there are gods."

    Because we fit the general description of "gods": invincible, all-knowing, and don't die.

    "How do you know there are gods ...That they made the universe"

    Because we're still doing so: We are creation machines, creating universes and realities with every thought, with every desire, with ever imagining.

    "Why is the bible a valid reference for supernatural claims."

    Because of the validity of its instructions, which many are proving in their personal experiences, from day to day.

    "Do you know what the authors meant by firmament and lights."

    Yes, as well as the whole text dealing with creation (the Creation Story), not only Chapter One, but Two, as well. It's not what you think it is, but this is not the proper forum for a full exegesis of what the text is saying and what it means.

    "Do you think they knew our sun is a star etc."

    The author knew more than your scientists are willing to admit, despite their supposed superior methods, and their focus on empiricism.

    "I guess I don't agree with your starting premise of god, creation etc."

    You can start at any point in the narrative, but it still won't obviate the obvious: At some point, we have to acknowledge A Beginning--"In the Beginning God."

    Actually, it's inescapable, and science will always founder under its own weight, unless it factors in a deity, and that dreaded "intelligent design."

    "I don't agree with your assumption of some transcendent realm etc."

    It's not my "assumption." Our whole world exists as a "transcendental realm," and that ream has added immeasurably to our life and our lifestyle. What can be more "transcendental" than math, and how it has transformed our current society--indeed our world?
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      Dec 8 2012: Hi Wilbert,

      Thanks for taking the time to respond.

      I acknowledge we don't have all the answers. Injecting a magical god into this is an argument from ignorance.

      I also point out that you pick and choose what has a beginning and what doesn't. That is the logical fallacy of special pleading.

      Some might say time started with the big bang. So before that is irrelevant. Assuming agency is involved again is just speculation

      I agree math is real, and demonstrable. Spirit and mystical realms, no proof, just speculation.

      Do you know who wrote Genesis? Got the authors name? If so you are doing better than biblical scholars.

      Do you also support killing homosexuals and people who work on the sabbath. Up for animal sacrifice? Are you impressed with the endorsement of slavery and genocide in the bible? Not very enlightened. Rather brutal bronze/iron age.

      Again, did they know our sun is a star?

      Nothing in genesis that the people of the time would not invent. Not that different in many respects from other conflicting mythologies.

      Science has done fine looking for natural explanations. IF there is something supernatural it is losing ground to natural explanations, and remains in the areas we are ignorant and able to speculate wildly.

      You are starting with a falalciious argument to assume a creator.

      You throw in human cognitive experiences that could and most likely are completely natural and not linked to supernatural. If they are no one can prove it. And make your own intuitive connections with no real proof. While others make other intuitive connections.

      Your certainty astounds me.

      Your wild assertions and baseless claims are a bit sad if you can not see how weak these poisitons are and that an ounce of skepticism and they fail.

      So other than the uncaused cause, subjective mystical experiences, doubtful texts, any real proof. Anything convincing, or is the fallacious and subjective all you have?
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        Dec 8 2012: I leave you with this final response: A neurosurgeon, Eben Alexander, wrote a book entitled, "Proof of Heaven," after a Near Death Experience (NDE). He called it a "neurosurgeon's journey into the afterlife."

        More here: http://www.amazon.com/Proof-Heaven-Neurosurgeons-Journey-Afterlife/dp/1451695195/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355005227&sr=8-1&keywords=proof+of+heaven+by+eben+alexander

        An accompanying description of the book, reads as follow:

        Thousands of people have had near-death experiences, but scientists have argued that they are impossible. Dr. Eben Alexander was one of those scientists. A highly trained neurosurgeon, Alexander knew that NDEs feel real, but are simply fantasies produced by brains under extreme stress.

        "Then, Dr. Alexander’s own brain was attacked by a rare illness. The part of the brain that controls thought and emotion—and in essence makes us human—shut down completely. For seven days he lay in a coma. Then, as his doctors considered stopping treatment, Alexander’s eyes popped open. He had come back.

        "Alexander’s recovery is a medical miracle. But the real miracle of his story lies elsewhere. While his body lay in coma, Alexander journeyed beyond this world and encountered an angelic being who guided him into the deepest realms of super-physical existence. There he met, and spoke with, the Divine source of the universe itself."

        We know the courage it must have taken for this neurosurgeon to deviate from the accepted norm of his profession, and to face the ensuing skepticism and derision that greeted his discussion of an "afterlife," notwithstanding the circumstances that prompted that discussion.

        "Your certainty astounds me."

        If so, then the "certainty" with which Dr. Alexander writes will blow your mind.
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        Dec 9 2012: Dr. Alexander remonstrated thus, about those who summarily dismisses the possiblity of an "extended consciousness," without giving it a fair hearing:

        "Like many other scientific skeptics, I refused to even review the data relevant to the questions concerning these phenomena. I prejudged the data, and those providing it, because my limited perspective failed to provide the foggiest notion of how such things might actually happen. Those who assert that there is no evidence for phenomena indicative of extended consciousness, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, are willfully ignorant. They believe they know the truth without needing to look at the facts. For those still stuck in the trap of scientific skepticism, I recommend the book Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century, published in 2007. The evidence for out-of-body consciousness is well presented in this rigorous scientific analysis. Irreducible Mind is a landmark opus from a highly reputable group, the Division of Perceptual Studies....

        Alexander III M.D., Eben (2012-10-23). Proof of Heaven (p. 153). Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
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          Dec 9 2012: I don't doubt these experiences. I have discussed with family member who had one. Just like feelings of being connected to a god or religious type visions or visions while having a stroke, or imagining you are ta
          Talking to Jesus or powers etc, you can prove they are not just brain based experiences.

          Any proof of god someone who requires reasonable evidence might accept?

          None so far in this conversation.

          By the way I have an open mind to , even the existence of gods and goddesses, just I accept we don't know whether just misinterpreting experiences. We van not confirm the supernatural explanation.
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        Dec 9 2012: "I have discussed with family member who had one."

        Was the "family member" a neuroscientist?

        "I know there will be people who will seek to invalidate my experience anyhow, and many who will discount it out of court, because of a refusal to believe that what I underwent could possibly be “scientific”— could possibly by anything more than a crazy, feverish dream. But I know better. And both for the sake of those here on earth and those I met beyond this realm, I see it as my duty— both as a scientist and hence a seeker of truth, and as a doctor devoted to helping people— to make it known to as many people as I can that what I underwent is true, and real, and of stunning importance. Not just to me, but to all of us. Not only was my journey about love, but it was also about who we are and how connected we all are— the very meaning of all existence. I learned who I was up there, and when I came back, I realized that the last broken strands of who I am down here were sewn up. You are loved.


        "So here I am. I’m still a scientist, I’m still a doctor, and as such I have two essential duties: to honor truth and to help heal. That means telling my story. A story that as time passes I feel certain happened for a reason. Not because I’m anyone special. It’s just that with me, two events occurred in unison and concurrence, and together they break the back of the last efforts of reductive science to tell the world that the material realm is all that exists, and that consciousness, or spirit— yours and mine— is not the great and central mystery of the universe.

        "I’m living proof."

        Alexander III M.D., Eben (2012-10-23). Proof of Heaven (p. 171). Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
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          Dec 10 2012: Hi Wilbert, after her NDE my aunty believes there is an afterlife, but concedes she does not know for certain.

          Just like dreams or hallucinations feel real, I don't doubt the doctors experience, but this is not proof of life after death.

          If a person claims they awoke and saw and felt the weight of small demons dancing around on their legs, I'm open to accepting they had the experience, that it felt real. Its another thing to claim with certainty it was demons and not a hallucination.

          How do you tell the difference between an hallucination and really experiencing something supernatural?
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        Dec 10 2012: "Just like dreams or hallucinations feel real, I don't doubt the doctors experience."

        Here's my point: Dr. Alexander isn't just any doctor: He's a neuroscientist, one steeped in the science, and one aware of the supposed connection between mind and brain and consciousness and mind. From that vantage point--his training and his professional knowledge--he knew that it was "impossible" for his brain, and therefore his mind, to experience anything under his medical condition, a bacterial meningitis-caused coma, be it hallucinations or what have you.

        Dr. Alexander is preeminently qualified to speak about the events of his illness, experientially, and as a scientist who's acquainted with the applicable literature and the limits of the brain, as it relates to consciousness.

        This is why his experience--albeit as anecdotal as mine--carries the indisputable weight that it does: he's not a layperson, but a scientist, one in possession of the current knowledge that surrounds the events of his medical condition, and his coma-related experiences.

        Unlike my experiences, his experiences cannot be dismissed as easily--or shouldn't be--as he brings to his experiences the perspective of a doctor, a scientist, and one who wasn't necessarily a believer in a deity before his experience, but who has, since his experience, embraced what many in his field thought was impossible--God and an "extended consciousness.".

        Sure, you can still dismiss his experience as "hallucinations," but that's an easy and dismissive way not to exam the data or the findings he's brought to the fore--offering up, as he does, new insights into the matter of brain and consciousness, insights that challenge our current views of reality, and our current views of the afterlife.
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          Dec 10 2012: I do put more weight on the opinion of a neuroscientist.

          I disagree it is indisputable.

          Also, the opinions of other scientists also count, even if they have not had an NDE.

          And my own basic understanding and experience do not find anything that rules out a natural explanation.

          you need to be careful with arguments from authority.

          Suggest the question is open.

          Even if there is some supernatural spirit that exists beyond death we don't know if it is hallucinating. Maybe all the spirits are just a spiritual hallucination. How do we know if they are the spirits of other beings or just a spirit dreaming. No way to verify it.
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        Dec 11 2012: "you need to be careful with arguments from authority."

        A caveat without a reason.

        Disagree with his "authority" or not, but his "argument" and his opinion carry more force, and more weight than yours or mine: Our expertness and knowledge in the field of neuroscience doesn't begin to compare.

        "Also, the opinions of other scientists also count."

        And Dr. Alexander has given their "opinion" full consideration, which a perusal of his book would have revealed.

        Further, neuroscientists and others--most of them, actually--would be loathe to support his position, even if they were inclined to do so, for fear of being ostracized by their respective scientific communities, and found guilty of committing scientific heresy.

        The biggest impediment to scientific breakthroughs come not from those on the outside, but from those within the scientific community--too often compelled to conform to the groupthink that governs their scientific pursuits, eclipsing their willingness to deviate from the norm, or to present hypotheses that would raise collective eyebrows.

        "I have had waking dreams."

        Lucid dreams or lucid dreaming is not the same as an NDE. Not even close. And neither is a "lucid dream" the same as an OOBE.

        "Suggest the question is open."

        Open for now, for some, but the door on the question is quickly closing, now that one so qualified as Dr. Alexander has come forward with his experience and his renewed focus on the subject from his current perspective--a perspective from a respected scientist and teacher who's convinced that "extended consciousness" exists, a position that he wouldn't have considered even remotely, before his bacterial meningitis-induced coma that almost ended his life, and the "weight," yes the "weight," that his position as a neuroscientist lends both to his argument, and to penetrating the layered walls that heretofore surrounded the brain-mind dilemma.
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    Dec 5 2012: .
    @Obey 1.....

    I was thinking of the twin slit experiment where it appears that the photon (or electron) chose which slit to pass through or knew that the slits were being modified, thus changed its behaviors. (The spooky at a distance part)
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      Dec 10 2012: A lot of what we have discovered and have reasonably scientifically verified is spooky, counter intuitive etc. Especially the last few hundred years.

      Atoms, sub atomic particles. Billions of galaxies each with billions of stars.

      Go back a 100 years or so and the only known galaxy was the milkyway. The others were called nebulae, the telescopes were not good enough to make out the details.

      Go back a few hundred more years and the sun was not a star, and we though it rotated the earth.

      Disease being the result of microscopic bacteria and viruses.

      Plate tectonics. To think solid land is kind of floating.

      The DNA linking all living things, showing we are cousins.

      The amazing discoveries about our minds/brains etc.

      How do we conceptualise matter and energy?

      It is amazing, and I'm sure we will find more strangeness. Stretching my poor primate brain that evolved to deal with things that it could eat or harm it.

      I guess I just draw the line different to others in terms of where the speculation and intuitive leaps and intuition without evidence.

      I see people projecting and interpreting old mystical stuff through the lens of 21st understanding, without understanding that people thousands of years ago, even hundreds, even today in the Amazon or PNG where they still kill witches have a completely different world view.
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    Dec 4 2012: No
  • Dec 4 2012: we can argue forever - unless we have a definition of what we're talking about. cause i'm talking about God/deity haveing "x" definition in my mind, someone has "y" definition and other person can have "z" or "m" definition. and we all call him/it god
    basis on that definition we can discuss
    eg: "god is that which is above all laws of physics" - that means he probably has no personality - because as we know it personality is developed by brain cells, hormones & such
    and so on

    personaly i think it's imossible for al all powerful - all knowing - being with personality to exist (as we most know God should be) & that religion is dependant on where you are born
  • Dec 4 2012: Science has no way to measure the supernatural. Science has been developed to discover the mysteries of the universe, but there is no way to properly test certain things and this is an accepted fact in many scientific communities. Supernatural events may not be testable at the moment, but there is still the possibility that some day we may be able to track the power of prayer or something else supernatural. Both you and I have no way of developing proof for the existence of non-existence of certain supernatural entities so it falls on us to pick what we believe or do not believe. There are many things we know exist, but have not yet discovered such as how to measure where tornadoes develop. Someday we will find a way to measure these things utilizing science, but to this point we are stuck theorizing.
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    Dec 4 2012: You've got a contradiction in terms in your question. Something that qualifies as supernatural does not exist in reality, does it?
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      Dec 4 2012: Well, what believers say is that god can show his face and contact with people in reality even if he/she does not exist in reality.

      Even if god didn't exist, believers tend to prove him by showing off the beauty of the universe and how all the physical constants are finely tuned for our existence.
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    Dec 3 2012: Even the sciences like physics proceed from first principles that are unprovable, just like religion, philosophy, and mathematics.

    • Dec 3 2012: They can however be disproven and that's what matters.
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        Dec 3 2012: I should have been more clear, sorry. First principles can neither be proven, nor disproven. Anything that could be disproven would hardly be a first principle.
        • Dec 4 2012: I'm pretty sure at least some axioms in mathematics and physics could be disproven through observation of the opposite. For example the discovery of a path between two points that's shorter than a straight line between those points, or an observed violation of conservation of momentum.
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          Dec 4 2012: Saying something is a first principle because it can't be dis proven is a relative say. Because we might not have enough understanding for the universe nor technology that will allow us to disprove the principle. So the idea of "First Principles" are only valid for certain time until new science is developed in a way that shapes our understanding to the universe which will disprove that principle.

          Do you think that at any time before 1940's people were ever able to disprove the so called collar y "One thing can not exist in two places at once?"
        • Dec 4 2012: False. First principles can be so evident that trying to prove them wrong is contradictory. Supernatural deities are not first principles, their are conceptually very complex, and thus not first principles.
  • Dec 3 2012: "Prove" is subjective.

    What proof would you accept?

    Be careful of the word delusion. A couple centuries ago the concept of an automobile, telephone, or microwave oven would have been considered a delusion. Today, it may seem inconceivable that anyone will ever prove the existence of a supernatural deity Tomorrow, that deity might be sitting at your dining table, explaining to you all of your actual delusions.

    IMO, it is delusional to believe that our puny senses are adequate to understand the universe (or multiverse). There is certainly no particular reason to believe so.

    It is important to understand the limits of our knowledge.
    • Dec 3 2012: ""Prove" is subjective"

      That's quasi-philosophical nonsense. Some opinions are more rational than others and when you've disproven something you've come closer to figuring out how the universe actually works, no matter how many billions politicians and their spindoctors will spend to convince you otherwise.
      • Dec 4 2012: Not nonsense. Proof requires a level of evidence. Among different individuals, that level varies.

        Some people look around at the world and everything they see, touch and hear is evidence that god exists. For these people, the level of evidence required for proof is very low.

        For other people, an argument containing only words, with no empirical support is sufficient.

        For some people, no amount of evidence of any kind is sufficient.

        For most of us, a one-on-one conversation with god would convince us of her existence, but it would not provide empirical proof acceptable to others.

        Still others hear and read the many subjective experiences that indicate the existence of spiritual entities, and that is sufficient proof.

        My question was not intended as rhetorical.

        What proof would you accept?
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          Dec 5 2012: "For most of us, a one-on-one conversation with god would convince us of her existence, but it would not provide empirical proof acceptable to others."

          True. But you are aware that many are having this "one-on-one conversation" with deity, but are reticent to talk about it for fear of derision, and having their sanity called into question?
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          Dec 6 2012: Hi Wilbert, many Christians are walking around talking to what they imagine as god all the time. They may also claim god talks to them.

          Suggest you need more than that.

          Its a good question on what would be sufficient evidence to prove the existence of any gods or goddesses. If they are smart I'm sure they could work it out, far better than relying on the usual methods of revelation and authority humans rely on.

          If a quran appeared the size of the moon orbiting earth, that might be a start rather than a human going into a cave and coming out out with paper and ink or golden tablets no one sees and translation stones. Backed by religious mind state experience. So human. So mundane.
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      Dec 3 2012: "Prove" is empirical, it demands evidence, so the challenge here is to provide empirical evidence for the claim that a god/supernatural deity exists. There is no mention in the question of the extent of restrictions to our ability to sense or understand anything beyond providing evidence….
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        Dec 5 2012: "the challenge here is to provide empirical evidence for the claim that a god/supernatural deity exists."

        Are not your life and your mind sufficient "empirical evidence" to tip the scales in favor of a "god/supernatural deity"?

        Science is as perplexed about the source of both (mind and life), not unlike its perplexity around God, the mystery of which is only rivaled by Life and Mind.
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          Dec 5 2012: to your question…..no….to your statement concerning science…….that is neither an argument or accurate…..

          so far, no one here or to my knowledge anywhere has presented any evidence to support the claim that a supernatural deity/god exists, if you claim it does….prove it
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        Dec 5 2012: "no one here or to my knowledge anywhere has presented any evidence to support the claim that a supernatural deity/god exists, if you claim it does….prove it."

        You are my proof.
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          Dec 5 2012: and yet your only evidence that I exist are the words posted here...
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          Dec 6 2012: That is pretty weak proof.
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        Dec 5 2012: "and yet your only evidence that I exist are the words posted here..."

        If it's good enough for you, it's good enough for me.
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      Dec 4 2012: Barry, if I come across convincing proof, I will believe.

      Are you admitting currently there is no proof for any gods or goddesses?

      I tend to agree with Adel, that currently it is most likely all beliefs in a deity are misguided. The firmer and more specific the belief, the more delusion. Looser concepts such as deistic rather than theistic are less delusional., but still; unproven.

      Just simple reason indicates that all the contradictory t religious belief systems can not be all correct.

      So if there are gods, all those who have incorrect beliefs are delusional or at least mistaken.

      In fact chances are it is just as likely if beings such as gods existed we have not imagined anything close to their true nature.

      It is just as likely that there are a billion invisible gods sitting on my desktop as any other human created beliefs involving invisible intangible beings.
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      Dec 4 2012: This is the problem we're all facing. We don't really know the boundaries of science. Science could allow us in the future to travel to other parallel universes. This idea is way more harder to perceive and accept than the idea of god.
      This is way I can't deny nor accept god, but for the soon future I won't. Just like how the Romans won't believe that a device such as a TV will ever exist.
    • Dec 4 2012: Be careful with the word delusion? With that philosophy we would have to accept all kinds of charlatanry and never be able to advance in knowledge.
      • Dec 5 2012: IMO, The word charlatanry is more accurate than delusional when describing beliefs that have no empirical evidence to support them.
  • Dec 3 2012: "Can anyone prove the existence of a supernatural deity?"

    No, not unless said supernatural being decides to show itself, but more importantly you can't disprove the existence of supernatural beings, this means you can't perform any sensible research, making it unscientific to even try and irrational to believe in such things.

    "Whenever a person believes in god, that is because he found his parents doing so. Which means all our beliefs are nothing but a geographical accident!"

    Yes, that's very much true. Even if there was a god only one (or zero) religion can be right (because different religions contradict each other), but there exist many and they are grouped geographically, the only explanation for this is that people choose their religion based on the religion of people around them, I guss any god should be pissed that most of its followers only follow it out of social convenience.

    P.S. I don't want to scare you, but as someone living in Jordan, wouldn't you want to be a little more anonymous when criticizing religion?
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      Dec 3 2012: Just noticed your last comment!
      No worries there, although my society will hate it. The new ideology has actual freedom which started to float in on our world. :)
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    Dec 3 2012: Oh okay, I wasn't sure what that meant. So do you deny the fact that there was this "intent"?
  • Dec 3 2012: srry but wat is dis prinal or primal or promal existence????
  • Dec 3 2012: hey all dis is such a topic that can never be stopped........such topics attracts endless converstaions......but yes it is intersting to know others views on it......
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    Dec 3 2012: Excuse my English as it's not my first speaking language.

    I mentioned that people are most probable to have the same faith as their parents. Well, basically all religious parents raise their children according to what they believe based on the vales they've extracted from their faith.
    Children have to build their faith from their own, parents only teach their children how to think any thing other than that is like poising their child's critical thinking.

    Regarding the "geographical accident", you are most probable to be a Muslim if you were born in the middle east, and you're most probable to be a Hindu if you were born in India, and you're most probable to be a Christian if you were born in Fatican, and this goes on for all religions.

    My last comment is about the laws of physics.
    If "GOD" by definition is a deity where no laws of physics can be applied to him, no basic idea where to start when we wnat to prove god by science. This has proven that studying "GOD" by physics and the laws of nature is impossible.

    So, the idea of god, is the same as believing in ghosts, souls, flying spegatii. These are the consequences of any idea that is not governed by the laws of nature. We can't study it. We can't predict it, We can't put it under experimental tests.

    Doesn't that make it a delusion?
    On last thing, how could you prove that the flying spegatii monster doesn't exist if someone claimed!

    All that and we didn't even talk about the biological view which is the human brain.

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      Dec 3 2012: The laws of physics cannot be applied to your conscience either, but that is very obviously there....
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      Dec 3 2012: Being indoctrinated at the very earliest stages of the socio-psychological development of a child to believe something, even when no empirical evidence exists to support the belief, is in effect brainwashing, and yes, the main reason most people believe in god today.

      However, I have witnessed flying spegatii first hand, it usually occurs at supper time and has a tendancy to stick to the fridge….no really...
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      Dec 3 2012: "This has proven that studying "GOD" by physics and the laws of nature is impossible."

      All Laws--to the extent that they're real--are a result of Spirit, and are never "natural" in the sense that they're physical or material.

      In the physical universe we're using so-called laws that have been compromised by our material consciousness, forcing us to perceive all things as material, and then calling such laws universal, when they only apply to our physical universe, and have no impact on God who is the real "force of nature."
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      Dec 4 2012: Agree most religious beliefs reflect the time and the place you live in, what you have been exposed to. These may follow orthodox lines or evolve into something more individual, less consistent with the dogma of one religious sect or another.

      Suggest avoiding statements in English that are absolute e.g. All X are Y.

      Agree beliefs without evidence are speculative, whether popular or not.

      Personally, my view is modern science has worked best when focusing on natural explanations.
      Most places where a god or intelligent designer is posited are just arguments from ignorance.
      No germ theory in the past so gods caused plagues. Lightening.
      Today, the immune system looks complex, bacterial flagellum etc. So some posit they are irreducibly complex so some agency must have made it magically. Then we look some more and work out they are reducible.

      I'm comfortable with not knowing how life started, admitting my ignorance, rather than injecting gods into the gap.

      So is it possible to prove an invisible, intangible deity? Its difficult, especially if non interventionist. If interventionist then we might see its fingerprints more often, but we don't even see that.

      If you define a god concept as powerful and invisible you can use it to explain everything the way it is, except where it clashes with dogma, in which case you need to reinterpret or ignore.

      Wilbert our shared view through our senses and technology describe the universe seem to be all we have to describe reality, the cosmos.

      You can speculate about spirit etc, but you can not show it exists. let alone is responsible for gravitational constants etc
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        Dec 5 2012: "If you define a god concept as powerful and invisible you can use it to explain everything the way it is."

        The most important things for humans are things that they can't see (that are "invisible"): we can't see life; we can't see mind (or consciousness, or awareness); we can't see an idea; we can't see a concept; we can't see love; we can't see fear.

        Yet, we can see these things manifested, and we can manipulate them. But to suggest that God--the Source of all that is--must hew to a different line, must somehow show Herself in ways that are different from life, mind, ideas, concepts, and love, because we won't tolerate an "invisible" deity, belies our most cherished ideals, and makes God of less importance that our most treasured concepts.

        "You can speculate about spirit etc, but you can not show it exists."

        Why do I need to "speculate" about these things, when life and mind are my evidence and my witnesses. I posit: Life and Mind, two of our finer human attributes, remain--even now, despite one scientific study after the other--as mysterious as is God.

        I ask: Does life exist? Does mind exist? Can we source either of them in a physical body? No, we can't. And the answer is obvious: They can't be sourced where they don't reside. These God attributes reside with God Herself, outside of the physical universe.
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          Dec 5 2012: I agree there seem to be minds. There seems to be life.
          Both of these could be subject to much discussion and debate.
          we,d start by defining both, and probably argue over the definitions.

          We have no evidence I'm aware of for minds outside of brains.
          While we don't have a complete understanding of mind and consciousness I don't see any reason to invoke magic. Why couldn't a physical brain control body processes, interpret senses, thoughts etc?

          Why leap to mysticism out of ignorance. Why connect mind and life to the word god?

          Suggest we don't know how the mind works. We do know it relies on a brain as far as we know.

          I haven't seen any proof for your speculation the mind is independent of physical brain. At best unverifiable.

          A thought is not physical, but it requires a brain. Chemical processes, neurons firing.

          If your brain is damaged your cognitive abilities are too.
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        Dec 5 2012: "We have no evidence I'm aware of for minds outside of brains."

        Stalemate! And too: We have no evidence of minds inside brains, as we can't find them there, although we can see evidence of the mind working, or consciousness expressed.

        "Why leap to mysticism out of ignorance."

        Those are your words, not mine. For now, Life and Mind are cloaked in mystery. They're mysterious because they can't be sourced in physicality.

        "A thought is not physical, but it requires a brain."

        With our current understanding, that's true. But no more true than radio and television require sets and receivers to detect radio/television signals in order to play. And too: we can see evidence within these sets of the signals being used--and not once do we presume that the signals emanated from within the sets, as we do consciousness expressed through brains.

        "Wy couldn't a physical brain control body processes, interpret senses, thoughts etc?"

        Because a "physical brain" doesn't have the wherewithal to do that.

        "If your brain is damaged your cognitive abilities are too."

        I reiterate: damage any receiver, brain included, and you compromise the quality of the reception.
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          Dec 6 2012: You don't know if the physical brain is just a receiver. No reason not to think it is the source.

          Again a argument from ignorance.
  • Dec 3 2012: dieties and all is a very vast subject and to understand this one has to come out of the laws of physics and others....whatever r der.....every subject on earth has a meaning, some relation and ofcourse history no matter how long back the history is......if billions of people r worshipping, putting there faith in an unseen figure then there has to be some reason and reality....as nothing is without reason...
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      Dec 4 2012: Mona, I agree there are reasons people believe(d) in Yahwah, Allah, ghosts, aliens, Vishnu, Thor, Zeus, Maduk, El, reincarnation etc.

      Can all the conflicting beliefs be correct. No.

      At best one is correct, or many are partially correct.

      How can you tell if you are not basing your analysis on evidence.

      Popularity does not make some thing true or correct.

      In the past most may have believe the earth was stationary and the sun moved across the sky, rather than earth rotating.

      I suggest the reasons for religion relate more to fear of death, explaining the universe out pf ignorance, social and cultural dynamics, and our cognitive processes such as assuming agency, susceptibility to hallucinating, subservience to hierachy etc.
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        Dec 6 2012: "You don't know if the physical brain is just a receiver. No reason not to think it is the source."

        Wrong again. To be sure, anecdotal evidence, borne from a plethora of experience, not sufficient to convince skeptics such as yourself--but the "brain is just a receiver," and the body an "avatar," existing because another body gives it life, an existence through which it interacts in a realm that's unnatural to itself (our physical, material realm), as did Jake Sully on the planet Pandora.

        "Again a argument from ignorance."

        Not "ignorance," experience. There's a difference.
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          Dec 7 2012: Is this personal experience sufficient evidence?

          How do you know your interpretation is correct.

          How do know much of anything about all this. How it works.

          Aren't you speculating on the explanation for your experience.

          What makes your interpretation any more robust than opinion

          What makes you right and the Christians wrong, the Buddhists wrong etc.

          How do you know you are right.

          How is it different to me stating my dreams create another universe. My spirit is eternal and has always existed. That there is a spiritual brain, made of spiritual
          Neurons etc. There are astral and etheric realms etc.
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        Dec 7 2012: "Is this personal experience sufficient evidence?"

        Perhaps not for you, but it's compelling enough for me to believe in its authenticity.

        "How do you know your interpretation is correct."

        How does one "know" anything, if not that we compare and contrast it with current and previous experience? Any aspect of reality and experience can be called into question, and often is. No two realities are the same, just as total consensus is impossible, as no two can reach the same conclusion, or the same place, using the same criteria--similar criteria, but not identical.

        "How do know much of anything about all this. How it works."

        The same way you "know" anything about "anything," because it's a part of your experience. You experienced it. You observed it. You experimented with it. From that involvement, you determined "how it works."

        "Aren't you speculating on the explanation for your experience."

        No more than others--those who have "experienced" NDE's, or telepathy, or precognition, or, for that matter, those who have fallen in love, or have answered a calling to sacrifice themselves for a greater good.

        "What makes your interpretation any more robust than opinion."

        Not all "opinions" are formed as a result of experience, but are oftentimes the result of a capitulation to a trusted authority, or a surrender to a popular view.

        From my vantage point, what you cite as "opinion" is for me unimpeachable facts, a firmness derived from replicable experimentation--my own, of course--conducted over many years.

        "What makes you right and the Christians wrong, the Buddhists wrong etc."

        I don't make others wrong: They can choose to believe whatever they wish. I simply present my evidence, and allow others to agree or disagree. Whether they agree or not is their business. In that I have no preference.

        "How do you know you are right."

        In the same way that I know anything. The answers are becoming circular.

        "How is it different"?

        Not. Stranger things have happened!
  • Dec 3 2012: first i would like to react to the line that a person believing in god is mainly because of his parents....believing in god is an individual outlook and desire....there are various things where u dont look up at ur elders but just do or believe based on ur trust and beliefs...we have various holy books and others sacred granths which proves that god is not a dilusion..it is just we can never see god.....but there is some power given the form of god which is actually the creator of evrything
  • Dec 3 2012: and actualy... if we define "supernatural" being as a being "above" the laws of physics = we are constrained by the KNOWN laws of physics.
    Therefore we can postulate there can be beings more advanced than us (aliens) that can be above our known laws of physics, but constrained by a superior set of laws of physics - unknown to us (yet. or forever)

    So... at this point - for us those beings would seem to be be "supernatural" (as per the definition above) - but NOT GODS/DEITYS (because are not "all powerful", imortal, etc. just seem like that to us at this point, if we take into consideration our known set of limits - which they surpass)

    just like a "being who lives for 1000 years, flies with his fiery magic cape & wields thunder" would be a god to a human person in the year 1000 BC - but which can be a regular human with cool gadgets in a few generations - if science advances continue at this rate
  • Dec 3 2012: The existence of God cannot be proven because it is purely based on faith. The existence of which cannot be proved by myself or anyone in this conversation(probably). But what I can tell you is that people who believe in God can put their hopes, their dreams, their problems into the arms of the supernatural power they believe in and will be more peaceful when compared to how they themselves will be without their faith or "supernatural deity".
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      Dec 3 2012: I disagree why can't it be proven?
      • Dec 3 2012: well it cant be proven at all it only thru holy books u can find about the existence but proving in reality is no chance.....and if u strongly disagree then tell how it can be proven......what is that formula to prove it???
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          Dec 3 2012: There's no formula. It's simple. What was the initial cause of everything? What caused the world, the Big Bang theory, and the multiverse? Before there was a universe we say there was nothing. So what caused there to be something?
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          Dec 4 2012: Louis you have only proven you do not know what caused the cosmos.

          And in ignorance you claim magic.

          And you dont know how this magic did it or why the magic exists. In fact no direct evidence of it existing or its nature -just speculation.

          Hence, with no compelling evidence for gods and their nature, humans invent thousands of contradictory supernatural explanations.
      • Dec 3 2012: agreed to what u said but dis doesn't prove the existence......existence of god is just a belief and faith....u cannot really see him nd mark his existence .......in this present era existence of god is restricted to belief, faith,sacred books ...thats it....nothing more than this.....existence till date has been proved only n only thru the holy books.....apart from this there is no other way one can prove as no one has ever seen god....
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          Dec 3 2012: Did I not just prove that there has to be a primal cause to the universe? And do you understand why that Prinal Existence has to be one and can not be two? Because if there are two entities then there has to be a cause that created both of them. And this primal existence can't be physical in any way because if it was physical it would be bound by the laws of physics and there would have to be a cause to that. So this Promal Existence has to be one and can't be physical. Do you agree that logically there is no possible alternative?
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          Dec 4 2012: Louis you are in speculation territory.

          Logical fallacies:
          Multiple Arguments from ignorance
          Special pleading

          This is not a proof of god, it just proves you can invent a flawed argument to support your view.


          There is no reason for there being one eternal intangible god concept rather than 5 or a billion. All with the same special pleading that they did not need a cause.

          It is just as easy to say the natural precursor conditions to the current origins of the universe have always existed.

          Why do you get to define some agency as not having a beginning - this is special pleading.

          You are saying there was nothing. Nothing in the physics sense, or philosophical absence of everything.

          Then special pleading that a special something can exist when there is nothing. Nonsense.

          Your agency is outside reality. It is effectively not real. It is just a fallacious mental construct.

          The alternatives include:
          - we don't know what came before the big bang, and may never know
          - time did not exist before the universe did back to the big bang.
          - Before big bang may be incomprehensible to our monkey brains that evolved to make sense of mid sized life on earth.
          - something has always existed, even nothing, no matter, no space, is something else

          You proved nothing unless you ignore or the fallacies.
  • Dec 3 2012: Well, just for the heck of it, yeah.

    If a Supernatural Deity really did exist, then only A Supernatural Deity could prove it by presenting itself to humanity, and proving itself to everyone on the planet.

    Has it happened? Nope. Been a long time now since humans were first told One was coming back.
    Been a long time since humans were told or read that One existed to begin with.

    And yep, the story, the Deity, the facts and conditions surrounding One, all vary around the world, with different ideas, marching orders, codes, and submissive positions of respect, honor and obedience.

    So that right there would point to there being more than One, all-knowing, all-powerful and all-loving One.

    But for humans to practice all-knowing one another, all-loving one another and all-sharing one another would certainly be all-powerful for one another.

    A few years ago, actually over 5 now, I met someone who asked me if I knew what god was? Being a person who doesn't believe in such a thing, I was ready to respond but thought to myself that I didn't need to exert my ego in that manner and why not just listen? So I did.

    He told me, and I understood in an explosive flash, like a firework exploding in my consciousness, exactly what he meant. It wasn't what most would think but it made perfect sense but the experience of spontaneous understanding was more important and meaningful to me.

    He then got in my face, in a friendly fashion, and told me never to reveal what he had just told me to another person.
    I promised I wouldn't and I haven't.

    Can I prove it? Nope. Do I have to? Nope.

    Actually in one way, the Laws of Physics sort of fit the description of something that is all powerful, everywhere and ever present. And there is practically knowledge of all things somewhere within the laws of physics, just waiting to be discovered. Could be wrong though.