This conversation is closed.

Big bang is out!,

Lets look at the big bang from a distance. Outer space!, if you were to explode a large planet or sun, what would the pieces look like? Sharp, jagged pieces of rocks and debris, right??? The planets in our solor system are round and not sharp or jagged. Why? God!! He is the intelligence that magnificantly designed our place of existance. Imagine living on a sharp, jagged rock, you would fall off every edge that you walked over to. Water would run off the edges etc.... I have blown up stuff as a kid and never saw a piece of material perfectly round after detonation. Agree? God, jesus and all we have been taught as a child exsist. I believed as a child in Santa, the Easter bunny, tooth fairy but learned that my parents were all of them. Why is it that so many people still believe in god and visit Rome every year and many religous sites if they did not believe in a supreme being? Life after death....sounds crazy I know, but this cant be the only stop before the end. Why go through life to learn, live, suffer and die just to be eaten by worms and be forgotton unless, " there is more to it!!" Please comment.

Closing Statement from Dave McManus

Well, now that all the college educated scientists put their opinions in, I will say this. Yes, there is science behind every origin or birth of a planet, person, animal or what have you, but behind science, there is god. God allowed the science to take place to start the b.b or any other birth of a gallaxy, person, star, planet etc....but when god meets each of you down the road, you better tell him that you were always believing in him, just trying to figure out how he did it.. He may laugh and he may push the down button, but god is the real scientist that has figured it all out. You college people that have spent years exhausting theories, may never know the real answer when it has been in front of your noses all along!! ;-)

  • Nov 11 2013: Somebody remarks that if i need a cause for the world ,why not a natural cause?......And also why don t I apply the causality principle to God.? And finally why do I suggest 1 God and not several Gods? 1) I mean that the alternate sequence of causes and effects describes our spacetime universe and that chain of causes can t continue eternally.Indeed ,something coming from infinity never reaches its destination.So,the universe has to have a beginning ,which is confirmed by the Big Bang.Our spacetime universe comes into being at the Big Bang.But now what causes it doesn t pertain to the same continuum of space and time.It is a creative transcendence that is not subject to the limitations of space and time.So,it doesn t need a cause.It is uncaused.It is.You can call it John or transcendence or GOD! It s NOT a natural cause as it operates outside our world and it s supernatural in the sense that it is omniscient,omnipotent........2) Why not several Gods? Because ,in reference to Occam s razor principle,it s simpler to postulate 1 God than several though ,if the multiverse theory is correct ,you can suggest 1 God for each universe but ,once again,with Occam in mind,I lean towards the creation of 1 universe.
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      Nov 11 2013: Why not a natural cause outside space and time.

      Big assumption that a universe creating agency is required.
      I'm not sure cause applies before time

      Big assumption a mind can exist with out a brain, without any matter or energy whatsoever
      occams razor is not evidence or proof of one creative agency.

      sure we generally look to avoid assuming extra complexity . But this principle is not proof of one god. could argue assuming a univerde creating agency is more co.plexity than a natural cause
      in the end we don't know the answer. .
      to assume agency is very speculative. it's just convenience to assume your cause doesn't need a cause.. it's actually the fallacy of special pleading.
      • Nov 11 2013: Natural causes and effects happen in our spacetime universe.By definition,a cause capable of creating a universe finetuned to be fertile is supernatural and owes nothing to chance;Indeed,scientists admit that such a complexity can t arise spontaneouly and to account for it ,scientists have to resort to the multiverse theory or to the creation of an infinite number of universes .Only ours would have hit the jackpot
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          Nov 11 2013: Your assertion that a supernatural agency that exists somehow outside time and space and is capable of making universes must exist and is the only explanation to explain the universe is is simply an assertion.

          Logically speaking this looks like an argument from ignorance.

          We have no way of verifying something outside space time, let alone a universe creator.

          If the the universe was created for life, it's a bit of a failure.

          99.99999999999999999999999% of it is inhospitable for life, even on this speck of planet 2/3 is water humans can not live on, and much is too cold or hot. And all animals live by eating other life. What a great plan.

          You might say that the universe is this way because your god concept wanted it this way. A nice circular argument.

          I suggest that as a species we don't have all the key points figured out down to t=0. We don't know. You can make assumptions that intuitively make sense for you, but that is not proof.

          Yes magic can be used to fill any gaps, disease, lightening, earthquakes, origins.

          I guess humans don't like doubt. We create explanations to fill the gaps. Science is based on doubting things, looking for evidence, not relying on intuitive explanations.

          A magic being unsupported by evidence may fill the gaps satisfactorily for you. After all magic can be used to plug any gap and no evidence is required.

          The physical constants, I guess we don't know why they are the way they are. However the more we understand the more it looks consistent with a universe that has net 0 energy and came from nothing. Certainly the physical constants are not evidence of god. Its just a question we have not answered and you plug with magic.

          I hope you can see the distinction between evidence and jumping to a conclusion based on magic.

          There may be universe creating beings, but there is no proof. Just speculation. What is intuitively satisfying for some, fails basic skepticism. And saying magic doesn't explain how anything happened

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          Nov 11 2013: Michel, I would add if there was compelling evidence for god beings I would believe.

          I just find it odd that an intuitive leap to magical gods to answer difficult questions is not obviously intellectually questionable.

          I guess we evolved to assume agency. I guess once we have formed god filled world views we look to fit reality to that world view, and vice versa.

          I would hope you can understand how some reasonably don't accept a magic god must have done it as reasonable answer not because there is evidence of gods or the gods doing anything, but because it makes intuitive sense to some, it fills the gaps, perhaps it fits their emotional beliefs.

          To me, trying to clinically look at this, trying to suspend my predispositions and simply apply basic skepticism, logic and reason, it honestly looks like the uncaused cause argument is riddled with cognitive bias and logical fallacies.

          I understand the physical constants, and questions of why the universe exists and is the way it is are baffling and on the surface saying a magic agency did it because it could and it wanted to may seem satisfying. Again we tend to assume agency when there is none (may of helped evolutionary survival I guess)

          But I hope you can see this just pushed the questions back. Why did the gods make it this way. How did it do it. Did it have to be this way? What is god? Where did they come from?

          From my perspective some modern god concepts look designed exactly to fill gaps like this. They are defined as being outside the reality we can test, but capable of making this reality. All powerful, all knowing, invisible. Magic. But in the end this no explanation of how they exist, how they do creation, how does their mind work without a brain etc.

          I hope you can see why asserting a magical being is the only answer is not a convincing argument and just pushes the questions back.

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          Nov 11 2013: My understanding is the multiverse hypothesis is based on string theory. Experts can correct me. Scientist haven't resorted to it to simply plug a gap. They have followed a line of scientific inquiry.

          Seems quite speculative to me, as is much at the cutting edge of science at any time.

          Why assume if there are near infinite universes this would be the only one where life with minds similar to ours or better would evolve?

          I'm happy with the position we don't know some things with reasonable confidence. Lets keep working on them.

          Others assert magic is the answer. We've heard this before, and magic wasn't the answer. In the end saying it was magic explains nothing. You need to explain how magic works.

          As far as we can tell everything we have reasonably figured out in the universe is explained by natural causes, not magic. Much that was attributed to magic, gods, spirits now has mundane explanations.

          I leave the door open to gods, goddesses, spirits, immortal souls, demons, elves, faerie, other dimensions, alien abductions, afterlives, ghosts, telepathy, speaking with the dead, but am not aware of any compelling evidence, so am not in a position to believe.

          Thanks for getting me thinking - ob
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      Nov 11 2013: Michel, there are several assumptions in your comments.
      1) you speculate about what was before the big bang. Thing is we have not the slightest idea.
      2) You say, space and time is limited to our universe, but again, we have no means to know that for certain. Our space/time might be unique, but couldn't it be embedded in another space/time continuum ?
      3) whether or not the birth of our universe had a cause is another thing we can't know.
      4) God, Occam's razor doesn't even apply here because there is not even a reason to assume the existence of God. Actually, if you want to apply Occam's razor, the conclusion should be that there is no god.
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    Nov 10 2013: why do we try to squeeze every scientific theory to fit well into our religious believes. Theories are based on supported hypothesis. Yet there is still allot we don't know and are uncertain of ! Unless we reveal every single fact about the universe then we should bother ourselves with this. I see no contradiction between believing in god as a creator and believing in the BBT. It might just be the way god let things happen !
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      Nov 10 2013: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
      Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." - Hamlet Act 1, scene 5, 159–167

      Joan Osborne - 'One Of Us'
    • Nov 10 2013: Nidaa,

      Some want to deal with uncertainty a certain way, and insist on their certainties being certain, rather than really based on what they choose to believe. This could be part of wanting absolute authoritative control over issues and the rights that conveys in particular cases. Curiously the authority is bound and has little control over issues, for they have to declare what happens to be or lose their authority. An math authority who claims that 2+2 = 5 quickly losses their authority status among those who know the truth of the matter. The thing is that with uncertainties it can be a bit complicated determining with certainty uncertain stuff, and it may not be needed.

      It can be relevant and useful to validate that what one thinks to be corresponds to what happens to be; then again it can be irrelevant and useless. What one thinks to be could involve what doesn't happen to be because its a delusion or a vision. Depending on which happens to be the case what one ought to do is different. Sometimes (when delusional) one better recognize what happens to be and validates that what one thinks corresponds to it (this is to understand what happens), sometimes (when visionary) it's the other way around, one ensures that what happens to be corresponds to what one thinks to be (like when constructing a building according to the vision the designer had) . Of course sometimes its a bit of a dance between the two. Thing is that the dance becomes a struggle when both want to lead all of the time according to their individual pace. To flow acting-reacting-andticipating moves is more fun.
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        Nov 10 2013: It is very clear what is certain and what is uncertain. And each should remain this way.
        • Nov 10 2013: indeed
          for those who know, its very clear which is which; still its worthwhile validating and/or ensuring that each remain the way they ought to be remain... we well now and always doing what ought to be done.
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      Nov 11 2013: Why add gods or goddesses to the explanation of there is no evidence of them existing.

      little gods might be responsiple for gravity or holding atoms together.

      You can assume invisible magical agency to just about anything.

      suggest we have progressed because we follow the evidence. If you want to believe in invisible agency perhaps within a culturally indoctrinatedtheistic frame work that contradicts other religious beliefs equally unsupported by evidence that is your choice.

      I personally find it strange people don't question the validity of their theistic beliefs when there are thousands, if not millions of contradictory supernatural beliefs.

      I guess the natural impulse to assume agency and cultural programming and social connection often outweigh reason and basing beliefs on evidence.
      • Nov 11 2013: Obey,

        I too find strange how scientists don't question the validity of their theistic beliefs in science and its ways especially when presented with evidence to the contradictory of their beliefs. consider that the god of science is chance evolution... I have observed how those who oppose the inquire into the truth generally fear and dislike what the truth may reveal... this applies to the scientific, the religious, the organizations, the states, the individuals. Those who truly know the truth welcome the inquiry into the truth for then everyone would learn of the truth...
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          Nov 11 2013: The majority of scientists I work with are not theistic.

          In a country where about70% have some religious beliefs.

          I guess there are explanations for why people believe our follow mostly cultural belief systems.
      • Nov 11 2013: Obey,

        I perceive that the notion I put forth was hardly noticed. Again consider the following notion : scientists believe in their methods and the data while refusing to recognize what they believe in or the fact that they believe in something. What I am stating is that each and every scientists be a theistic... because they satisfy what constitutes being a theists when one considers that the scientists god be their methods and the data.

        I posit that what one accepts as true boils down to what individuals choose to believe... I realize that scientist's stand will likely disagree with that; claiming that science accept as true what the experimental facts indicate. What they have not noticed is the underlying belief of believing in the experimental facts indicates something .

        I am working to show you how scientists believe, while refusing to recognize that they believe; what they believe is a bit of a separate issue... In a way your response and the rejection of what I am stating reaffirms what I am saying, Evidently to me you don't not see it before, now you may have seen it, will observe your response for an indication if you got the point I sought to convey or some other point... will let you know of what I perceive for your consideration...
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          Nov 11 2013: I guess I have a different definition of what a god or goddess is, what theism is, what science is.

          Science and religion involve humans that does not make science a religion.

          All humans hold believes, make assumptions about the universe, that doesn't make all these beliefs religious.

          Its a bit like saying all languages are English.

          I suggest what we believe is not quite a choice. I don't choose to believe the kettle is hot.

          I can't force myself to believe in this or that religion. I may be convinced. I may try to follow a religion. I may try to pray to this or that deity but in my heart I might still have doubts.

          We are humans. Humans tend to have beliefs about the universe. We look to confirm these beliefs, especially the deeply help foundational emotional based beliefs. We are uncomfortable with doubt.

          Science and skepticism seems to be the best method we have discovered to address our natural weaknesses and understand the nature of reality and make technology that works. I'm yet to hear of someone praying themselves to fly interstate. Whereas planes work. YEs it is down by humans, with bias but the need to rely on evidence generally comes through in the end.

          I guess I'm saying a belief based on evidence is not equal to a belief not supported by evidence. Both are beliefs but not all beliefs are equal in how reliably they conform to reality, or the confidence we might have in them based on the nature of the claim and supporting evidence.

          PErsonally I'm not sure I chose to reject my religion. EVentually I just came to realise the core tenents were not justified, just like all the other religions. I lost a lot of friends when I eventually came out, but I was not comfortable living a lie .

          Maybe I chose to question the claims, but I'm just intellectually curious. Maybe I was born more skeptical than others, or maybe my education trained me that way or both.

          Yes I prefer claims supported by evidence. Is there more reliable approach?
      • Nov 12 2013: Obey,

        I suggest ist a bit like saying all languages are model maps and someone insisting english isn't a model because it uses words rather than maps.

        Actually, you do choose to believe the kettle is hot...or cold... Some beliefs are harder to change than others still one can change what they believe to be, especially when they endeavor to ensure that their beliefs correspond to what actually happens to be... I like to say that humans are bound to believe while free to choose what to believe... chose wisely them beliefs you embrace for some may constrain and choke while some may embrace and allow you to do quite a bit...

        Some are so uncomfortable with uncertainty that they rather believe in 'whatever' than recognize and venture into the unknown. Then there are those who thinker with the unknown and break and smash things up just to see what they can find and even how destructive the stuff can be. Hopefully they will not end up blowing up the planet or contaminating with deadly stuff.

        At the end you ask: Is there more reliable approach? (you had just said "Yes I prefer claims supported by evidence").

        Yes there is a more reliable approach which involves reliance in perfect 100% valid claims ... I prefer these especially when 'evidence' is so prone to errors, omissions, distortions, misinterpretations.
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          Nov 13 2013: Is it a conscious choice to decide the kettle is hot after touching it.

          I guess their is the assumption that are senses are reliable.

          How Much is instinctual.

          I guess ants sense heat but don't make a conscious decision that something is hot.

          just thinking out loud but perhaps there are primal or unconscious beliefs and intellectual beliefs that may or may not overlap.

          e.g. someone may profess to believe in this or that good concept but in their heart have doubts.

          Or intuitively lean to agency and his while intellectually recognising these beliefs are suspect.

          I guess humans are subject to instinct and reason , conscious and unconscious. Perhaps different beliefs at different points on the various continuum s.

          still it's odd to think I chose not to believe in gods. Intellectually and socially I tried to believe but in my heart I had deep unwanted realisation Christianity and later all religions were most likely man made etc.
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    Nov 15 2013: Just to sum up some of the issues with asserting a god must be responsible for the origin of the universe, your generic uncaused cause.

    First to assume agency is required is essentially an argument from ignorance.

    second if you accept agency is required for the origin of the universe, then the agency and realm it exists in also needs to be explained. It is the fallacy of special pleading to assert the universe requires agency creation but he universe creating agency doesn't need a cause.

    it's another argument from ignorance to assert the agency be a single being. We actually know agency is required to design and create cars. However a car ids not designed and manufactured by a single agent. A car is not a universe, but there seems no sound reason or evidence I'm aware of to assume a singular agent.

    I suggest we have no compelling evidence that a mind can even exist outside of a brain or potentially a physical construct like a computer.

    we know very little about what can and can't exist outside time and space. Seems very speculative and convenient to simply assume a universe, creator exists outside of time and space.

    just like assuming an agency capable of causing disease, lightening, floods, tides, the diversityof life, etc must be the explanation for these phenomena.

    it's kind of circular to say the cause of A is an A creator, and then essentially attribute magical properties to explain why this agent can not be detected, and how it achieved the phenomena.

    interesting people don't usually dwell on how the universe, creator created the universe.

    Also some say how can something come from nothing.

    I note if the was a god in some magical realm then you assume a god could exist out side time and space why not the preconditions for the universe without agency. And how can a god make something from nothing. Magic?

    I note the we understand the more it looks like this universe is consistent with one that comes from nothing. Net energy of 0
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      Nov 15 2013: These and many other arguments should be enough to convince any rational thinking person that believing in a God is not different from believing in the existence of little green men from Mars or Shrek.
      Nevertheless, this irrational behavior is not limited to intellectually challenged folks but is also exhibited by otherwise intelligent people.
      Question, what causes people to believe something that makes no sense at all even after only superficial reflection on the topic ?
      But that's probably a topic for a new thread ;-)
    • Nov 15 2013: OBn1,

      You stole the words from my own mouth.
    • Nov 15 2013: Obey,

      I will respond wondering to who are you directing your post

      some issues related to the origin of the universe, - generic uncaused causes

      Is agency required as an essentially argument? Considering the notion that agency is required for the origin of the universe: considers that one thing not the other… this also applies to the next issue: Is it the fallacy of special pleading to assert the universe requires agency creation but he universe creating agency doesn't need a cause?

      When we assert the agency be a single being AND a single being is the agency... well that is quite logical. Just because some stuff require multiple actors does not mean all stuff require multiple actors. A singular agent may be all that the agency requires.

      Noticed the shift move to the mind and where it exists... some suggest specific locations to conjecture their case with the caveat that others have the burden of proof before accepting for consideration a different location.

      Back to the origin, if we know very little about what can and can't exist outside time and space it’s very speculative and convenient to simply assume some conjecture for a particular case with the caveat that others have the burden of proof before accepting for consideration a different case.

      Assuming an agency capable of causing disease, lightening, floods, tides, the diversity of life, etc must be, is what drives the quest for the explanation as to what causes these phenomena. It is a Non sequitur argument to hold that knowing that A causes something to happen will lead to not dwell on how A causes it to happen. Of course, saying it be so and it being so are distinctly different stuff. Some say all sorts of things to distract us from focusing on the key issues.

      how can this be?
      what can this be?
      What is it?
      Why is it?
      Where did it come from?
      If you assume consider and think ‘that’ then why not assume consider and think ‘this’? Well I suppose its...
      • Nov 16 2013: Esteban,

        The origin of the universe does not have to involve an "uncaused cause." Besides, why could there be no natural "uncaused causes," for example, in the form of some basic natural laws?

        Agency, if meant to be an intelligent being outside our reality, is a nonsensical proposition. Every intelligence we truly know about requires a physical form. Where would this intelligence proposed reside? Why should we consider such a thing so far removed from anything that we know?

        Yes, it is a fallacy of special pleading to propose that some agency, outside of this universe, and who created this universe, does not require a cause. If cause/effect goes beyond our universe, there would be no reason that an uncaused cause had to be right at the creation of our universe. If cause/effect is bounded to their universes then the uncaused causes would have to be right here, and reasonable thinking would lead us to think that such uncaused causes are some basic natural laws.

        If we know little about what can and can't exist outside of tie and space, then speculating intelligent magical beings is among the worst things we could so. It's mere fantasy.

        Assuming agency drives research, but assuming intelligent being agencies does not drive research.

        Nobody is trying to distract us from those questions. I'm a scientist. I do care about those questions. I have to work hard to get students to understand why those are important questions. I truly don't understand why would you think that we would not want you to think about how could something be, what could it be, what it is, why is it, where did it come from. I truly see no relationship between rejecting gods as "explanations" and whether we should or should not think about those questions. Something is very wrong about your thinking here.
        • Nov 16 2013: Entropy just a few seconds

          Why should there be a natural cause rather than some other cause?
          Why should we consider such thing? good question why consider what you'r claim vs what someone else's claim?

          As you said "IF cause/effect goes beyond our universe..." Big IF...
          Evidently IF this is true Then This is true
          Under the case you present Yea reasonable thinking would lead to what you said
          Under the a different case which would correspond to what Actually happened... who knows in such a case where reasonable thinking would lead to...

          Indeed If we know little about what can and can't exist outside of tie and space, then speculating about it this way or the other is a bit meaningless... anything could be right and wrong... of course whomever was actually right and got it right would be actually right and gotten it right... What drives research are individuals beings decisions that act and seek something ... got to post this
    • Nov 15 2013: ...for a similar reason as to why some insist on ‘this’ instead of ‘that’ being the case ; it could be because ‘that’ makes more sense to do. I would say wonder why one and why the other? Sure it may just be that there is no agency no meaning, no logic, we just happen by chance and one way or the other way its all the same. That being so why would someone insist on ‘this’ rather than ‘that’?

      how can a god make something from nothing? Well just ask Him…
      I note that the more one understands this universe the more one knows where it actually comes from. Holding its from nothing and just chance seem to have less of a chance to be right .
      • Nov 16 2013: Esteban,

        Why would it be either intelligent being or chance? Why can't there be many many other options. Do you really think that because atheists with a scientific bent reject the gods "explanation" (it does not explain anything, ever), they therefore think that the only option is chance? Do you think that what we describe as natural laws are pure chance for example?

        You build your case on the basis of a false dichotomy. Since it seems up to whatever we can imagine, I see no reason to have it at just one god, let alone at any specific god. Why not many gods? Why not transdimensional beings rather than gods? Why not stupid but powerful beings? Why not natural causes?

        If you think carefully, you will notice that chance alone has never been the proposition. If you think even more carefully you will notice that there's plenty of alternatives besides gods and pure chance, many of which would not have intelligent beings behind anything.
  • Oct 31 2013: I am pretty when the big bang ‘happened’ it didn’t send out planets and stars with everything on them instead it sent out large quantities of atoms which then over billions of years formed the planets we know today. I don’t know exactly how this happened but I suspect collisions and gravitational pull is what formed them.
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    Oct 29 2013: I'm not sure how well you understand the bbt.

    The bb, formation of stars etc is very different to blowing up stuff.

    You couldn't look at the big bang from a distance because space as we know it come into existence.

    There is no distance outside the space that expanded.

    Overall I'm not sure if you are serious and this is a muddled stream of thought reflecting a lack of understanding or making fun

    Also don't forget Gravity and why that force would cause matter to form spherical shapes.
  • Oct 26 2013: Your significance in this life will be in proportion to the significance you place, not on your self importance, but your involvement with your fellow humans and with what else nature, has afforded your passage, as brief as it may be. Gods and religions have no justifiable place in an intellectual arena, except to toy with those less gifted and subject them.
  • Oct 25 2013: Origins . Its all about origins.if you had amnesia I'm pretty sure you would try and put the puzzle of Where you came from back together.
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    Oct 24 2013: Dave, you make no sense so I'm not going into much detail.
    Just one thing though. Did you ever see molten iron ? Does that look jagged ?
    Does this hint help ? No rethink your comment about the sharp and jagged pieces you are visualizing after a sun explodes.
    Ah, and about the afterlife. Just because you think there must be something after life, doesn't mean that there is something. There is a difference between belief and fact.
    • Oct 24 2013: Please dont go in to detail. You would only confuse the topic. Im sure you dont believe in "god" or you had something to do with our exsistance and just not telling us because you seem very informative about our exsistance utilizing such small, but to the point sentences, but hey....thanks for the insight!!
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        Oct 24 2013: I'm glad I was able to help you ;-)
  • Oct 20 2013: Let s take stock of the situation.As soon as we come into this world we are confronted with insuperable mysteries that neither science nor philosophy can solve! Why is there something rather than nothing? how do life and consciousness emerge from inanimate matter? What s the point of emerging from this gigantic universe,of living a nanosecond to return to nothingness? Even Occam s razor principle fails to provide an answer.Indeed,it postulates simplicity,snccinctness,parsimony and urges us to select among conflicting hypothèses that which makes the fewest assumptions.This principle has been used successfully to justify uncertainty in quantum physics.Apparently,it doesn t work for our universe as we can logically assume that NOTHING is SIMPLER than SOMETHING! Something demands a creative act and a supernatural being.Hence the appeal of religions and the necessity of a god . Not being susceptible to the trappings and dogmas of religions which to me are nothing more than superstitions,I do believe in a GOD to account for our world.Our spacetime universe is ruled by causality and necessarily has a beginning however distant in time it might be..All scientists now think that our world was born 13.4 billion years ago in a BIG BANG.Could it happen by chance out of nothing?I don t think so.It required a primary cause that is uncaused and so eternal,and all powerful.It gave rise to the laws that explain the extraordinary finetuning of a universe climbing the ladder of ever increasing complexity.That being said,it doesn t solve puzzling enigmas such as the presence of EVIL.One explanation can be that to be free man may choose among several courses of actions.OBEsthat sometimes attend NDEs support this thesis as experiencers report a being of light asking them what they did with their life and showing them the conséquences of their actions!.Nevertheless,we can assume that,being all powerful,god could have created a free man choosing good!
    • Oct 20 2013: Fully agree with you Mike, the big question is why did God not create people that could only do good. Why did God create people in the first place?? We are not here just to be entertained and have a good time.

      We believe we were created with the means to return God's love, or to not return it, in freedom. Love can only exist and have value if applied and used in freedom.
      Humanity was created to become heavenly angels, so God (who is love itself) can love others outside of Himself, to become part of them and make them happy.

      The way that was done, creation, is just details. If anyone tries to impress others with 'this is how nature did it' I just see that as a way out to becoming spiritual. For whatever reason that road is taken, is not good and, to me, does not make sense.
      Maybe you don't mind me sharing with you this approach to creation. My expression is that God created the universe from His love. That approach shows many relationships, attractions, and parallels on many levels.
      The booklet is the 'story' of creation that I very much support, at least the part I understand :)
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        Oct 21 2013: Centuries ago men believed the earth to be a plane with the sun circling around it. If people were to see (at that time) a simple lighter would have cried "Magic" or "Miracle". The fact that one doesn't understand everything is not proof of god, it's just proof of inadequate culture.
        • Oct 21 2013: As you say:
          --"The fact that one doesn't understand everything is not proof of god,"--
          Neither is it dis-proof of God.

          One of the strongest points I tried to make is that any proof or evidence lessens our freedom of choice what to love.

          That's why there is not one single post anywhere on this site or on any single forum on this planet, that can proof or provide evidence of the existence or non-existence of God.

          'God protects our human freedom of choice, as the apple of His eye.' E. Swedenborg.
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        Oct 24 2013: Adriaan, it's not the non believer's job to dis-proof god but the believer's job to proof him.
        What would you think about somebody asking you to dis-proof the existence of the tooth fairy ?
        • Oct 24 2013: If you've read my posts it should be clear that you have nothing to worry about regarding proof.
        • Nov 4 2013: Why would it be the believer's job to prove to the non believer what the believer knows?

          If the non-believer chooses to reject the truth and not to believe the truth that the believer tells that's the non-believers business and responsibility. By the same line if someone chooses to believe a lie considering it as truth because 'someone' said it was true, well it's their business and responsibility. BTW the statements validity does not change because of the proof given... statements validity depends on the congruence between what is claimed and what is regardless of the fact that one can prove what is.

          Adriaan ... the poof or evidence or knowledge does little to our freedom to love for one can freely choose to embrace or reject the truth or something else.
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          Nov 11 2013: Et sure there is no moral imperative for believers to convince others about what they claim to know.

          just that people claim to know lot of things without compelling evidence. some claim to know Allah is real, or Jesus I s god, or Mormon god, or Moonie god, or the Hindu goods or nature spirits, ancestor spirits,. In the past people claim to know Zeus, Thor, maxim, or the great juju were real.

          I respect people's right to believe what they want. Just accept beliefs like these with no evidence, that can not all be correct all belong in the same. Basket.

          No argument you can believe what they want. I would argue that they really don't know if their interpretation of their experience is correct.

          Surely logic and reason indicates at best only one of the mutually exclusive beliefs could be correct.

          we can redirect the freedom to believe unreasonable beliefs but we don't have to respect these sorts of belief
        • Nov 12 2013: Obey,

          One does not have to respect nor embrace the truth nor the evidence... it is what it is... one chooses to embrace and respect what be or reject it... infinite upon infinite possibilities and just one better way ... one truth... those who get it right get it right .... the rest well they didn't get it right... though many believe they did...
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        Oct 25 2013: Adriaan, I don't worry about proof but the lack of it. The only thing I see in your posts are lots of assumptions that lack any scientific foundation.
        • Oct 25 2013: If you are looking for scientific foundation, great. There is an extremely detailed book about the relationship between our spirit and our body. E.g. how our spirit, as will and understanding, have a relationship which is, to the tiniest details, exactly like the interaction between our heart and lungs. Our digestive system is precisely as our way to except and manipulate information. And possibly reject it without even trying...
          The title is The Natural Basis of Spiritual Reality by Norman Berridge.

          Here is a link to a book that explains what the Tabernacle of Israel means. It is a detailed layout, including material and even colours and how items were placed and used, of the spiritual human mind. Our mind has three layers, and how they interact (if we activate them). There is even a reason behind the camping and marching order of the Israelites etc.

          Just saying "The Big Bang is out" does not mean much without some alternative. So if there was a creation, we should have some idea why and how. The literal words in the Bible don't do justice to that. However, their spiritual level do in every detail, literally word for word, The creation story has absolutely nothing to do with how humanity started. That story is an index or overview of the whole Bible. Which is entirely about our human, spiritual, start and development. Humanity and each individual is on its way from 'Egypt' to 'Canaan'.
          This is the first volume of 12 giving a word for word interpretation and explanation. For some this may all be proof there was no Big Bang.

          And questions are encouraged.
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        Oct 25 2013: Adriaan, the problem already starts with making the mind something like an organ. What we call mind is just the product of countless chemical reactions in out brain. The moment our brain stops working, no mind, no consciousness, no soul, nothing is left. It's really that simple.
        • Oct 26 2013: For the many millions of people that have had a Near Death or Out Of Body Experience, the reality is reverse. The mind is not a bodily organ, just as 'the Law' is not just letters.

          Our mind consists of our will and our understanding, and as said earlier, their relationship and interaction on the spiritual level is exactly the same as how our heart and our lungs interact.

          When you drive into a friend's driveway and he sees your car, when he says "There is Harald" does that mean you are your car??
          The way you see yourself and life, you're saying 'yes,' it's that simple.

          BTW death of the body is not going to change your mind. During his 29 years of daily spiritual experiences Swedenborg met several people that had died and were convinced they had not died. One he asked "then how come you are standing 2 feet of the ground??" The guy looked down and went nuts :)
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          Nov 11 2013: Ab I'm not aware of any evidence that proves nde or oobe aren't hallucinations..
          I understandthere is some testing underway but nothing conclusive yet.
          I have friends who claim to have had oobe while on drugs. I believe they had an experience but just a hallucination
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        Oct 26 2013: Adriaan, people believe what they like to believe. I just find it astonishing that apparently you and millions of others have no problem believing in afterlife, god and other esoteric stuff, but I assume that if somebody tells you he seriously believes in the tooth fairy, you'd think he's nuts.
        But et the end what is the difference ? In either cases we are talking about things that have no scientific foundation of any sort.
        Btw, there are explanations for OBEs without having to resort to the supernatural or spiritual.
        I don't understand your story about the car. The only thing I can say is that what you call the mind or consciousness are the results of chemical reactions in our brain.
        The human body is amazing in the way it works, but then, considering that evolution had billions of years for trial and error, it shouldn't surprise us that much.
        • Oct 26 2013: --"but I assume that if somebody tells you he seriously believes in the tooth fairy, you'd think he's nuts."--
          It would depend on the age of the talker. At a certain age ideas are used to make it easier for us to decide to behave properly.

          --"I don't understand your story about the car."--
          That does not surprise me at all. So if we change our mind, is that done by our neurons, the chemicals in our brain, or what?

          So you do not believe in a free will either.
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        Oct 26 2013: ok, I should have clarified that I was talking about adults. Thought that was obvious in the context.
        Now that this is clarified, can you tell me why a belief in god is considered something acceptable while believing in the tooth fairy (talking about adults) would be considered a bit weird ?
        Where do you draw the line ?
        A human organism doesn't function in a vacuum. We do whatever we do as a result of outside stimulus through our senses. Changing your mind is not a single activity but a series of brain processes that end with you changing your mind about something; And yes, all these processes are electrochemical in nature.
        About free will: it depends on how you define free will.
        I believe, and we demonstrate constantly that we can make free decisions. We choose what to eat, what to wear, where to work, what TV program we watch, etc.
        So in this sense we are free. But at the same time their are limits to our freedom. These limits are defined by laws of nature and the limits of our own organism.
        • Oct 26 2013: You see no difference between an entity that creates a universe, and the tooth fairy?? I guess not. I draw the line between what I consider is divine, and what is created by a finite person.

          You seem to believe that it all happens in the brain.. and call them "series of brain processes." What does start those processes and what is part of any of those processes??
          Again, and I'm glad you say we're free to choose, if we change our mind, what does the changing? The neurons, the wiring or what?
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          Nov 11 2013: Ab I guess the point is there is just as much evidence for the tooth fairy, Zeus, maduk, Bacchus, Odin, Allah, the 9000 universe creating demons of bunkum as there is for your universe creating god concept
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        Oct 26 2013: No, I don't see a difference. Both are products of imagination as far as I'm concerned.
        To make a claim credible, you have to show proof or at least evidence.
        Yes, everything does happen in the brain. Take out the brain and all bodily functions will cease.
        As I said, changing mind is not like pressing a button. You are changing your mind because you might have received (through your senses) information that brings you to a different kind of conclusion which leads to change of mind. So, on one hand you have external stimulus and on the other the internal processing of those stimuli. You can't say it happens in this neuron or that wiring as you can't say the engine of your car runs because of its cylinders or valves or injection. All components are necessary to make the system work.
        If you are interested in how the brain works I suggest you read some books about neuroscience.
        Pretty interesting stuff and a field growing rapidly.
        • Oct 27 2013: But in our cars we can say what changes when we back up, or causes a change in speed.
          But you have chosen to accept only the words of those that say "The brain does it all", while you can not say what it is.

          I rather believe in a system that can be explained, in detail, and has existed for thousands of years and makes sense. That we are just our brains and that micro-particles 'decide' our future, that does not make sense to me at all.
          BTW in your profile you say you're an Agnostic. You sound more like an Atheist.. You may have to change your neurons :)
          Any way it's been nice talking to you
          Have a nice weekend.
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        Oct 27 2013: The workings of a car a simple compared to a brain. If we knew everything we wouldn't need anymore scientific work done.
        Science is work in progress. Scientists don't just sit back on their laurels and accept what somebody said thousands of years ago.
        If that were so, people would still believe that the earth is flat and the sun revolving around the earth.
        I cannot detail all the physiological processes that happen in the brain, but there is abundant literature you can consult if you really have interest to learn.
        As to agnostic: agnostic means I don't know and open to receive new information and knowledge, adjusting my view of reality accordingly.
        Not knowing, is not the same as not existing, but as long as there is no evidence for the existence of something it's not worth to lose sleep over it.
        Maybe, somewhere unicorns actually exist. I'm open to this possibility. Just show me proof.
        The same is true for god and any other products of human imagination.
        You too, have a great weekend !
        • Nov 4 2013: Haraid

          With the beliefs you hold its going to be complicated for you to openly receive certain new information and knowledge with which to adjust your view of reality. Certain beliefs distort what is perceived to maintain said belief even when confronted with the evident truth (some still chose to reject it). I am almost certain you seen examples of this in others. The question will be if you will give up what you believe and do what ought to be done, or will maintain what you believe doing what ought to be done without appreciating it.

          Hoping that the following experience will help you... A while back I was in a dialogue to discover something based on something rather than the individuals beliefs preferences related to something. Given the situation and belief differences I had a plan to create a shared model that would then be used to show how a certain belief was reasonably untenable while an alternate belief was more reasonably acceptable. The idea was to then proceed to explore the implications of holding the alternate belief. To do this I resorted to a shared belief which we agreed upon. The thing was that this shared belief was linked to certain reasonably untenable belief so that its existence or 'inexistence' corresponded to this shared belief existence or 'inexistence'. For clarity sake the shared belief was 'the existence of identical copies of knowledge within separate minds'. To this day I prefer to think that 'identical copies' are inexistent, though I have managed to accept the notion of the existence of 'identical copies'. Unfortunately my counterpart in that dialogue could not accept this notion, I think it had to do with initial starting conditions. Realizing how difficult it has been to give up and accept this insignificant belief provided me with some appreciation for the challenges involved to give up and accepting other more significant beliefs.

          At that time I also learned to translate when someone who is wrong tell me I am wrong.
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        Nov 5 2013: Esteban, what you propose is called argumentum ad ignorantiam, (argument from ignorance), a typical logical fallacy.
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        Nov 5 2013: Funny, Esteban, it's exactly the other way around. I'm fighting against unfounded beliefs.
        Exactly because I try to avoid a world view that is based on blind faith in beliefs for which existence there is no evidence, I think I'm open to new information and knowledge.
        However, hearsay and anecdotal evidence are not enough.
        As to your story of the 2 identical copies of knowledge, I don't really know what to do with it.
        Why don't you believe that 2 identical copies in 2 different minds of the same piece of knowledge exist ?
        Take a simple example: The earth is round. This is knowledge and I'm pretty sure that it is identically for the vast majority of minds.
        If I misunderstood your point, please clarify.
        • Nov 5 2013: The notion of the copy being identical to the originals just seems plain wrong... the copy is the copy and the original is the original. Likewise the notion that what I think actually corresponds to what you think 'exactly' just seems plain wrong (unless we ensure thats the case).

          Harald do note that your position believes in something while denying it, it all boils down to what each choose to believe in. For example you seem to have considered that what I proposed is called 'argumentum ad ignorantiam' rather than being factual feedback for you to consider, process and integrate. Your response proves to me how 'With the beliefs you hold its going to be complicated for you to openly receive certain new information and knowledge with which to adjust your view of reality. Certain beliefs distort what is perceived to maintain said belief even when confronted with the evident truth (some still chose to reject it). I am almost certain you seen examples of this in others".

          Lets do an exercise of logically analyzing those statements.
          1- Have you seen examples of Certain beliefs distort what is perceived to maintain said belief even when confronted with the evident truth (some still chose to reject it).
          2- Do you concur that - Certain beliefs distort what is perceived to maintain said belief even when confronted with the evident truth (some still chose to reject it) - is a factual valid statement?
          3- I am letting you know that : With the beliefs you hold its going to be complicated for you to openly receive certain new information and knowledge with which to adjust your view of reality. As I said from your response it seems evident to me you have validated what I said (without appreciating it).

          Most likely your beliefs will lead you to argument and reject my comments rather than engage in an enriching dialogue... for the record I hope that you do engage in an enriching dialogue. Those who believe that they don't believe have the hardest time dealing with their beliefs.
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        Nov 5 2013: Esteban, ok let's see if I understand what you mean.
        Yes, a copy always is a copy hence it is not identical to the original. However, the information content is the same. For example. you copy a page from a book. Obviously the copy is physically different from the original page, but the informational content on the page didn't change.
        There is a definition for "argumentum ad ignorantam" and you asking me to prove the non existence of something is exactly what this fallacy is about. It's not something I have "chosen"
        If you claim something to be then it's you who has the burden of proof and not me having to disproof it.
        As to your questions:
        1) sure, happens all the time even in the scientific community
        2) yes again, you can call that bias
        3) Your comment clearly proves that you don't know what beliefs I hold. You don't even explain what exactly you are referring to. Specify.

        Your last paragraph is just a groundless assumption. Make a point and explain what you mean and I will engage. Just don't expect me to read your mind ;-)
        • Nov 6 2013: Harald,

          Just to clarify the informational content isn't the same thought both share similar arrangements that in principle enable the reproduction of identical ideas. Note that the physical stuff does not contain ideas its just an arrangement with a set code to recreate the ideas. Many consider words as conduits of meaning when they just are arrangements individuals use as maps to recreate meanings.

          (I did just realize that the "argumentum ad ignorantam" referred to the position you choose to hold, rather than apply to the position I held). The critical point here has to do with the burden of proof. You assert that if I claim something to be then it's me who has the burden of proof and not you having to disprove it. I simply state that if I claim something its up to you to investigate it or not to accept it or reject it, to validate it or not, to believe it or not, to prove it or to disprove it. What you choose to do with it is up to you and your responsibility and burden. We could get into wether it is my responsibility to convince you to change or your responsibility to convince yourself to change... In principle you would have to prove why you claim its my burden but that distracts us from focusing on the topic at hand.

          your claim "Your last paragraph is just a groundless assumption" seems quite evident to me to stem from what you hold to believe. From my side what I said is actually based on observations that lead me to consider something will happen. Your response provided some reaffirming evidence, though I am glad you choose to engage further into exploring the point I made. Does labeling it as 'a groundless assumption' facilitate rejecting my comment? does that label lead to engage in an exploratory enriching dialogue? I could have considered such notion as an insulting demeaning remark from you though I consider them produced by your beliefs to derail the interaction. With the belief you hold that I have the burden of proof to convince you...
        • Nov 6 2013: ... its going to be complicated for you to openly receive certain new information and knowledge with which to adjust your view of reality.

          I think I got your belief about the burden of proof in line with what you hold to believe. Validating one of the notions I considered you believed. Yes I did not explain which beliefs I was referring to and that wan't necessary to make the point. Hopefully this will suffice and lead to more enriching interchanges. BTW there are other beliefs and stories you seem to hold which can hinder seeing what be going on... I see that Adriaan sought to show you and from the interaction I saw its quite evident to me that the stories you hold didn't allow you to see what Adraan was telling you.Maybe now you will reconsider my first comment to you here... as feedback for you to reconsider what Adriaan stated using a different more open inquisitive attitude...
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      Nov 11 2013: if the universe needs a cause, Why not a natural cause?

      Why jump to some supernatural agency.

      if some supernatural agency was involved how do you know there is only one. Could be 17 or 17 billion working together.

      what caused these causal agents.

      seems fallacious to say a universe needs a cause but universe creators don't.

      If there were gods then there wasn't actually nothing.

      if a universe can't come from nothing how can gods make one from nothing.

      To sum up resorting to supernatural agency is akin to saying it was magic. And magic things can do anything. Resorting to magic explains nothing. You actually end up with more questions. Like how can a mind exist without a brain. How can a universe creator exist and there be nothing.
      • Nov 11 2013: Obey,

        It seems you are asking : why jump to this cause rather than that cause?
        How about because the cause be the cause... is it natural is it supernatural... it is what it is... regardless of the notions one would like to cultivate.

        You state : if some supernatural agency was involved how do you know there is only one...
        Well evidently because of the given premise in the conditional put forth ... agency implies just one... agencies implies more than one :-)

        I understand it seems fallacious to say certain things, though that does not change the facts involved. you said if a universe can't come from nothing how can gods make one from nothing... well they are gods and the universe would come from them. In principle they could create matter and anti-matter and produce two identical universes in slightly different phases such that each existed in parallel domains.

        With the right knowledge I am sure one can do just about anything ... some would call it magic some would called applied knowledge some would call it other things... yea we can end up with more questions... and science sort of tends to feed and work that way too... so shall we call science magic too?
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          Nov 11 2013: So basically your gods are defined as being able to do anything.

          mean while there is not a single shred of reliable evidence any gods or goddeses exist.

          in fact they are usually defined as being invisible most the time. Almost like they don't exist.

          I just don't find resorting to invisible magical gap filling agencies very convincing.

          Others do, and they are welcome to their contradictory mutually exclusive beliefs as long as they accept they are most likely wrong.
      • Nov 11 2013: Obey,

        Basically, some see the evidence that exists and ...
        - consider it as evidence 'for'
        - consider it as evidence 'anti'
        - consider it as not evidence (though it is evidence of)

        I will go out on a limb hoping that you will perceive the following in good light...

        To sort of reflect back at you what you said...

        Well, as long as you accept that you are most likely wrong, you are welcome to your contradictory mutually exclusive beliefs.

        Personally I would rather we focused on being right and mutually supportive inclusive believes that resort to seeing what is as it is even when it's invisible ...
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          Nov 12 2013: I guess there are observations and there are feelings and then there is the interpretation.

          I guess scientific explanations and general skepticism looks for evidence to support claims, and evidence against the claims.

          To me that seems more reliable and reasonable than jumping to conclusions or fitting the facts to billions of different religious or spiritual beliefs.

          I believe in invisible things. I can not see atoms or far away galaxies. I can not see gravity or electromagnetic forces. I can not even see light beyond the visible spectrum. But I believe in these based on evidence. Can you see all the different god concepts are not supported by this type of compelling evidence.

          What you are calling evidence is "my all powerful universe creating being that can not be tested" could fill these gaps. I guess we have a different definition of evidence.

          Invisible gods that create universes and invisible unicorns that provide gravity can not proven not to exist. They can be used to explain phenomena because its magic, and magic can do anything you want hypothetically. We are just a long way from proving they exist and the did what it is claimed they do.

          I'm interested in what is reasonably demonstrated to conform with reality, what is supported by evidence. While open to various supernatural explanations and beings, even beyond what humans have so far imagined, I try suspend belief until there is supporting evidence.

          I also accept different propositions have different levels of confidence and supporting evidence. Whatever is the cutting edge, the wave front of scientific understanding is more speculative than what is been supported by evidence and observation over decades.

          Just to clarify, your asserted god concept universe creator is one of many with no compelling evidence. They can not all be correct. At best one is correct. The odds are your specific god belief is wrong. Open to evidence that supports your version, but currently nothing compelling.
      • Nov 12 2013: Obey,

        We seem to have a different definition related to the validity of claims,
        ---You seem to uphold the validity of the claims depends on what can be proven by the evidence
        --- I uphold that the validity of the claims depends on what happens to be the validity of the claims.
        Under these conditions
        you will only hold true what you can validate to be true
        I will hold true what happens to be true

        Of course I am leaving aside the issue of how does one determine is something is true or false for thats a bit of a different issue (that has to do more with your position than mine) ...

        A simple example may illustrate the differences...
        lets say there is a tunnel with a sign that states "if you enter the tunnel you will not come out alive"
        Then as you approach the tunnel someone comes close and tell you 'that sign stated the truth. a person will try to deceive you into entering to find the truth and telling you that I hidden a treasure inside, never enter that place"
        a little bit latter another individuals comes close and tell you "if you enter the tunnel you will find out the truth. someone hid a treasure there and put up that sign to scare people away, sometime even approaches and tells people to never enter that place"

        Under the conditions above its likely you will seek to validate the truth only to discover it was true. Me I would likely walk away and forever live with the uncertainty if there was a treasure there or if I would had died there...

        Personally I prefer to live and discover other treasures
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    Oct 19 2013: As always I don't know where to start... so I'll just leave this link and hope that you can get some questions answered...
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    Lejan .

    • +1
    Oct 17 2013: 'Lets look at the big bang from a distance'

    This is good advice in any case ... :o)
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    Oct 17 2013: congratulations, you refuted the poplar metaphor used to describe the big bang. do you feel accomplished?
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    Oct 16 2013: Big bang or not, this is the earth-school, a fast-track environment where the 'grunt' of materiality offers opportunities to grow in consciousness and evolve.
    We can choose to dilly-dally 'til we die, or choose to take up the heroic journey to know ourselves more deeply. However God might be, you will only ever find out by looking within.
  • Oct 16 2013: Pray tell, if god created the universe, who created god?

    Or did god exist all along? In that case, couldn't we cut out the middle man and just have the universe exist all along in our theory? Occam's razor--no unnecessary assumptions.
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      Oct 20 2013: If God lives, as he tells us, in eternity, then He is eternal. Without beginning or end.
      The universe however exists in time. It therefore has a beginning & will have an end; very few scientists would now disagree with this position. At one time, it was assumed that the universe was eternal, because to think otherwise would lend credence to the biblical view. Science has, however, vindicated the biblical view.

      • Oct 21 2013: If we're going by scientific evidence now, the biblical view has some holes in it.
        Granted, science doesn't have much to say about god either way. Lack of evidence does not equate evidence of lack, but needless to say, is still a lack of evidence.
        Besides, how do you know god is eternal anyhow? He may well exist and be just as finite as the universe--we really don't have anything to go by here other than his word (which went through so many humans on the way, its may well be distorted beyond recognition assuming its divine in origin in the first place).

        Lets try this one for size then. Tell me all the reasons that you don't believe in all the other religions, and I'll tell you why I don't believe in yours.
        You have more than a billion Christians on the planet, but you also have a similar number of Muslims, Hindus, and a myriad other smaller religions numbering in "mere" millions, believing all sorts of contradictory things.
        They can't all possibly be right.

        Humans have a tenancy to explain away everything they don't properly understand with faith. People used to and occasionally still worship all sorts of odd things, from weather patterns (think of all those gods of thunder in ancient pantheons), animals, people that seemed greater than a human has right to be (kings used to declare themselves divine all the time, and people believed them), and even allied aircraft passing over stone age tribal societies in the pacific theater (though I do believe that last misconception has been cleared by now).
        I've personally come to accept that the "purpose/creation of the universe and life in general" is merely the last in a long list of things we can't explain, where spirituality and mysticism have taken the place of logic because logic simply has no answer, potentially because there isn't one to give.
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          Oct 22 2013: Let's consider this logically.
          Let's say we have 1000 different religions; there are a couple of possible explanations...
          1) There is an actual god in our corporate memory, but over the years of the telling, the truth has become distorted.
          2) 1000 diverse people came up with the idea of god spontaneously & persuaded others to join them.

          We have a couple of hundred tales of a worldwide flood, & of a guy who built a boat to save his relatives etc.
          1) There really was a worldwide flood, but over the years the story has been distorted.
          2) A couple of hundred diverse people came up independently with a fictitious flood story & persuaded others to believe them.

          The bible consists of the Old Testament (OT) & the NewTestament (NT). Jews accept the OT, Christians & Muslims accept both OT & NT. Hinduism, & most others have the same basic beliefs in a god, or gods of some sort. The bible is actually a library of 66 books, written by 40 odd authors over a couple on thousand years. In spite of this, it reads as one book in every detail. It gives the complete history of the planet, as seen through Jewish eyes, from it's creation, right through to it's demise & farther. It can be checked against historical records & present day circumstances & found to be accurate. It is not possible that mankind could have written this without assistance.
          This, of course, has little or nothing to do with the BB. But since you asked.

      • Oct 22 2013: You don't need 1000 different people to come up with concepts independently. 2-3 is plenty; then the rest are derivative. Ideas spread, even in a pre-industrial society, they just take longer is all. Gunpowder for example, was invented exactly once by accident, and a few hundred years later, it made its way from China to Europe.
        Religion spreads in much the same way, and changes along the way.

        As for the Bible, its full of self-contradictions. Its pretty much inevitable with something written by so many authors over so long. It describes plenty of historical events, but like most historical sources of the period, accuracy of the events described is far from fool proof. It also depicts events we pretty much know for certain didn't happen, like the great flood of which there is no geographical or genetic evidence (its something that'll leave quite a trace).
        I was forced to take a few too many Bible studies classes in grade school, albeit from a more secular standpoint. The amount of hoops you have to jump through to settle some of the self-contradictions is staggering.

        Its also full of things that are quite obviously influenced by other contemporary middle eastern myths. Its not the only religion to feature a great flood, or in the new testament's case, virgin birth. Again, ideas spread.

        Honestly, if I was a divine figure and wanted to have text written which will be recognizably true to future generations, I'd have just stuck a very specific (vague prophesy is useless prophesy) bit of physics there the humans of the era had no business knowing, like "nothing travels faster than the speed of light", or "magnetism is a result of the movement of electrically charged particles". Now that's irrefutable right there, but no religion has anything quite up to those standards. Instead, all we have is evidence that in a court of law will be counted off as "circumstantial".
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          Oct 23 2013: We have millions of creatures drowned & entombed in silt deposits that traverse continents. In many places so much living material is gathered together as to give us oil & coal fields. The fossils tell us that the whole thing was over quickly enough to preserve, in many cases, even the soft tissue. There are sediments in Europe that match perfectly with those in Canada. A worldwide flood catastophy seems to me to be the most obvious cause. What would you expect to see if a flood had occurred that would be different?
          The Jews are back in Israel after centuries being spread throughout the world exactly as prophecied. Nothing fuzzy about that.
          Sorry about Sunday School; didn't do me much good either.

  • Oct 16 2013: Planets aren't, of course, round. They're jagged. The roundness is an illusion created by the existence of atmospheres and distance. But the fact that you have never seen something explode into round pieces hardly qualifies as evidence of what might happen at a cosmic level over billions of years. If God had made this world more jagged, would He not also have made it possible for HIs beings to inhabit it?

    If you're going to believe in God, why not believe in the possibility that He made the universe logical, and that he gave human beings some ability to decipher the logic of that universe and develop reasoned explanations for how it all works? Theories about the origins of the universe or the evolution of life do not disprove or deny the existence of God because God is not subject to proof.

    You seem to believe in something which you call God. You suggest that that God is an intelligence. All right. So then why not see intelligence as something God has shared with us and honor those who use their intelligence to ask questions about God's universe and develop theories about how it all works?

    What else do you believe about this God to which you refer? I suspect that there is no quality you can grant to God which is incompatible with scientific discovery. On the other hand, some scientific discovery may contradict or challenge religious scripture. Is that what you object to? That science texts differ from religious texts? But of course they do. They are asking different questions for different purposes to arrive at different answers. Is it not possible that the God you believe has influenced both, is speaking through both?
    As for your final question, consider this: Do you believe that all living things have a soul? If not, then do other living things simply live, suffer and die without purpose? If they do have souls, then what is the purpose in their existence? Either way, why should we suppose that we are different from them
  • Nov 16 2013: Entropy,

    The clock is ticking ... When reading your first paragraph in essence I agree with the caveat that we could replace 'Science' and 'scientists' with 'Religion" 'beliefs" 'believers' faithful'... of course having to do so in an appropriate fashion to get it right according to what be right...

    We agree in that "They just sit and wait for one more opportunity to make their ridiculous assertions against ________ that they don't like because it conflicts with their beliefs, oblivious to their obvious limitations and inadequacies to critique such _______(matters)___".

    Entropy, you as a scientists ACTUALLY DO BELIEVE in these scientific methods...
    .... that is why you consider yourself a scientist....
    ....In theory you claim one thing and in practice you demonstrate another thing ....
    .... question is will you now change what you think about reality to match reality or do something else...

    A bit after kindergarden I learned about integrals and infinitesimal increments as one approaches the limit...
    If it takes one second to travel half the distance left to reach full understanding ...
    ..... its impossible for the scientists to actually get there for there will always be an infinitesimal increment a next step... that requires a leap of faith to cross. Yea for all practical purposes the scientists may well be right there, they from the scientific stand just can't truly say that they are right there.... for the are almost there while still needed some small distance to travel... Of course as I sort of said above --- some of this applies to believers too...

    Remember the metaphor of seeing with two eyes views. The depth of vision comes from appropriately integrating both views... when one only has one view its practically impossible to perceive depth... the depth of understanding comes from appropriately integrating ALL senses (all views, and doing so appropriately, keeping what ought to be kept, twisting the twisted to make it straight and a bit more)!
  • Nov 15 2013: The clock is ticking ... soon the conversation will close... so in the last hours left here... shall we draw some shared conclusions from what each learned here... has there been and changes in what individuals choose to hold to believe? has there been turnarounds? or more appropriately what has each learned and valued from this conversation...
    • Nov 16 2013: Nothing. I just found again that some people believe that their kindergarden misunderstanding of some scientific proposition is enough to dismiss the scientific proposition. This despite people working on the sciences involved have studied the stuff much longer and better than kindergarden misunderstandings. I learned that some other people would come and talk about hydrogen and physical laws as pseudo learned in middle school, and misapply them to dismiss the same science, despite knowing that scientists who work on that should know those laws quite well, well enough that they would notice if their scientific propositions had such basic flaws. I always keep asking how so? Why do they think that their kindergarden misunderstandings are enough to trump authentic scientific endeavours? But they will never explain this to me. They just sit and wait for one more opportunity to make their ridiculous assertions against sciences that they don't like because it conflicts with their beliefs, oblivious to their obvious limitations and inadequacies to critique such sciences.

      As per gods, I did not enter that discussion, but what was discussed was very old nonsense. No Esteban. I, as a scientist, don't just "believe" in these scientific methods. There is a huge difference between understanding why and how reality has to be objective, and just believing that there's some omni-whatever magical being.
      • Nov 16 2013: Entropy,

        The clock is ticking ... When reading your first paragraph in essence I agree with the caveat that we could replace 'Science' and 'scientists' with 'Religion" 'beliefs" 'believers' faithful'... of course having to do so in an appropriate fashion to get it right according to what be right...

        We agree in that "They just sit and wait for one more opportunity to make their ridiculous assertions against ________ that they don't like because it conflicts with their beliefs, oblivious to their obvious limitations and inadequacies to critique such _______(matters)___".

        Entropy, you as a scientists ACTUALLY DO BELIEVE in these scientific methods...
        .... that is why you consider yourself a scientist....
        ....In theory you claim one thing and in practice you demonstrate another thing ....
        .... question is will you now change what you think about reality to match reality or do something else...

        A bit after kindergarden I learned about integrals and infinitesimal increments as one approaches the limit...
        If it takes one second to travel half the distance left to reach full understanding ...
        ..... its impossible for the scientists to actually get there for there will always be an infinitesimal increment a next step... that requires a leap of faith to cross. Yea for all practical purposes the scientists may well be right there, they from the scientific stand just can't truly say that they are right there.... for the are almost there while still needed some small distance to travel... Of course as I sort of said above --- some of this applies to believers too...

        Remember the metaphor of seeing with two eyes views. The depth of vision comes from appropriately integrating both views... when one only has one view its practically impossible to perceive depth... the depth of understanding comes from appropriately integrating ALL senses (all views, and doing so appropriately, keeping what ought to be kept, twisting the twisted to make it straight and a bit more)!
  • Nov 15 2013: Your explanation shows a clear misunderstanding of physics. The laws of gravity explain why planets and stars are round and not jagged as well as why water does not "fall off" earth. Your argument is not very convincing. People believe in God to give meaning to their lives.
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    Nov 14 2013: Hi et, it was getting crowded below.

    yes I tend to look for evidence and proof for these sorts of claims. It's kind of why science works whereas intuitive explanations shaped by culture often get it wrong.

    I'm okay if you believe praying cures people, and your god concept is doing the healing.

    just like I'm okay if adults believe in witchdoctors, homeopathy, or praying to other supernatural concepts.

    My concern kicks in if these beliefs result in harm, especially say avoiding medical treatment or denying children medical treatment.

    but believe what you want in principle. I guess my standard to believe a claim is a bit more robust than yours. People believe in all sorts of things using the approach you see applying here. offerings to god and spirits resulting in good harvests, astrology, support for homosexuality causing hurricanes or school shootings.

    Just hope you realise the issues with this approach and don't expect everyone to have the same lax approach to intuitive beliefs subject to cognitive dissonance.

    do people ever get better in the same way when not praying to your god concept. Does prayer heal ak amputeess. In most situations where people pray I guess people are not healed. do you consider these questions.

    if I said to you astrology works because sometimes rate events predicted in my horoscope occur would you believe the position of the planet's and stars and my birth day impact my future. Same approach as yours. If a sick person goes to the witchdoctor and takes a potion and recovers then witchdoctory is valid right.

    I suggest we have made the greatest strides understanding the universe. and ourselves by telling on evidence not intuitive beliefs.
    • Nov 14 2013: Obey,

      I just had a sort of conversational epiphany into my practices which I hope will have good repercussions. (

      Yea I know that feeling of being crowded down below... glad you put the conversation response up here.

      Believe it or not, I too look for evidence and proof for many sort of claims. At other times I find more useful to relax a bit and just explore and observe. I wonder if we did a chart with science vs intuition 'wrongs' and 'rights' what would we observe?

      I share your concern related to some beliefs resulting in harm. In fact I am quite concerned over making believe that beliefs don't influence what happens. It seems to me that there is ample evidence (which some choose to deny) that what one believes does influence what happens.

      I certainly wonder, if your standard to believe a claim is a bit more robust than mine; as you said: "People believe in all sorts of things using the approach you see applying here". For what it is worth I seen you rationalize away information that would produce a cognitive dissonance in your belief structure rather than consider it. If you want I will raise a flag next time I see that happening, at this time I don't feel like going on a goose chase though when I see one I can point it out. I have also observed the framing bias of particular notion you use and how it biases your statements. I have sought to share a couple of understandings with you though it seems certain belief systems react and block the info.

      I suggest we have made the greatest strides understanding the universe and ourselves by individuals who believe something and pursue their dreams intuitions and yes investigate stuff. The depth of vision comes from appropriately integrating both views... when you only have one view its practically impossible to perceive depth... the depth of understanding comes from appropriately integrating ALL senses (corporeal incorporeal ++).
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        Nov 14 2013: I guess it is a general human weakness that we select information and interpret it to fit our world views. That is where critical thinking and scepticism come in.

        I definitely think there is a place for intuitive connections. But something more is required if you want to confirm these intuitions.

        I'm not sure exactly what evidence you are referring to in this last comment. If it s the medical miracles by gods, I guess spontaneous remission happens occasionally, whether people pray or not. Why can one person's immune system fight off cancer and another one not. I just think we are along way from proving a god is behind these events. Then when you look at the full picture, what about the 99% that pay and don't heal. Why don't we see eye out limbs regenerate. Most these so called miracles seem to relate to the black box of immune responses out similar. Are all rare events for which we may not have a full understanding of miracles.

        Sure in every day life I don't walk and seeing the holy spirit or nature shorts or the great ju ju behind every thing but when people make claims I try to look at them open mind in this context. The fallacies in most creationist arguments ate obvious often. Even Christians sometimes admit this.

        i try to apply the same critical thinking to other issues, not just gods and goddeses

        any way I acknowledge not all my statement s are without bias. Hopefully my points are fair.

        we probably have a different vie of in corporeal. What some refer to as spirit is probably just mind to me.

        I meditateand explore different mind states. I was a born again Christian speaking in tongues( still can oddly enough) casting out demons and healing people. Our minds are amazing. Just dreaming at night is amazing. Wakung up at3am with a solution to a problem. Exploring other mind states.. the drift into sleep. Cool.

        just weary of all the conflicting intuitive and religious explanations. I guess you don't believe them all ie you are not Muslim or buddhist
        • Nov 14 2013: Obey,

          Oh I just have to... I have to ... well not really... it's more like I want to... I want to do... Just can't resist that precious opportunity ... You said "what about the 99% that pay and don't heal". Well give them a full refund... oh wait isn't it kind of convenient ... doctors can't do that... or wouldn't want to... Yea I realize you likely meant 'pray' rather than 'pay'...

          Based on the evidence one does not have to guess one can be certain that it is a general human trait that we select information and interpret it ... many a times to fit our world views! That is where communication becomes critical... in order to see the world through someone else's view (well its actually our view of their view which may or may not actually correspond to their view but at least here we can as them: hey from what you see that I see am I seeing what you see). BTW critical thinking and skepticism may themselves be delusional conspirators to keep us under the illusion that what we think to be corresponds to what be.

          The evidence I was referring was along the lines that in your responses I do not see that you actually perceive understand what I state. Sure you claim you are open though from the my perception of the evidence I see something else. Maybe this will strike a cord and you will notice this taking place yourself... For example I have stated something along the lines " when what happens to be depends on what one believes to be then ..." Notice that to have a different experience one must have a different belief... I have also stated something similar to : that what scientists claim as evidence ultimately depends on what they believe to be" This is a fact given scientists believe that their evidence is evidence...

          I like to consider the word 'fair' denotes : For All Involved Results... and you got it right I don't believe them all... some are delusional notions...I also don't reject them all... some are right notions... keep those...
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        Nov 14 2013: Hi et

        I'm not sure if you are referring to what is really happening depending on your beliefs and perception of what is happening.

        when the dervish spins until he feels in touch with god I accept the experience is profound, I just don't know if his interpretation on the experience is correct.

        I would suggest our beliefs about reality don't always match the under lying reality.

        it's a bit tricky because if you go live in a cave a visualise a god being, the visualisation exists in sense, and our minds may even unconsciously personify it.

        are talking about perceptions of reality feeling real, the experience and how it is framed as connecting to a god is the experience whether a god exists outside of the mind experience or not.

        or are you saying believing something makes it true.

        or that belief can change physical reality. If I believe god can make me fly one day I will be able to fly.

        Pay pray oops.
        • Nov 15 2013: Hi

          Indeed "our beliefs about reality don't always match the underlying reality"; what I am also saying is that "our beliefs about reality can may and does change physical reality; how much it changes it well that would depend on the actual underlying reality changes on a case by case case.

          Again a new opportunity... Oh I just have to... I have to ... well not really... it's more like I want to... I want to do... Just can't resist that precious opportunity ... You said "...always match the under lying reality". I imagine you meant "underlying"... then again maybe its a freudian slip, 'one of those thoughts guided by the super-ego and the rules of correct behavior'. ( I realize that the quote is actually a bit out of context, though the point I am making here is mostly about one word that was written as two)...

          For consideration : In principle if one actually fully believed 'one could walk on water' then one could! Unfortunately the only way to test that would be to actually fully believed; which wouldn't require to test it out and seeking to test it out implicitly introduces doubts... Even just doing it may lead some to wonder how can this be and whoosh down into the water they go. Of course those who know and can do stuff may be unable to show the incredulous ... for the last believe it's impossible and so it is impossible ( at least to show them... still those who know and can do stuff, wouldn't require to show what they can do, some may even be able to cloak what they do). As I said this is something for consideration a kind of logical exercise
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        Nov 15 2013: I would add that that just because we all are prone to cognitive bias that does not mean all claims have equal weight, or are equally precise in explaining what is really going on.

        i suggest critical thinking and evidence help differentiate between claims and beliefs.
        • Nov 15 2013: Obey,

          Indeed the veracity of claims can vary depending on the claim and what is really going on. Some claims are true and some claims aren't.

          You appear to me to be suggesting that :
          critical thinking and evidence help differentiate between
          claims and a certain kind of claim

          At first I thought it sounded like differentiating between H20 and steam ... and I wanted to raise a flag stating: 'Hey how are you going to do that?" Then I considering under a certain interpretation one could differentiating between water and steam (even-though steam is water in vapor so its can be a bit odd what it means to differentiate the two)
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        Nov 15 2013: Auto correct and editing on android phone is a pain.
        • Nov 15 2013: How can we determine and differentiate between:
          Why it happen from why we think it happen

          - be aware it happened
          - changes does comes in waves

          At one time I used spelling corrector and picked 'witch' rather than 'which' 'wether' rather than 'whether' or 'weather' (may have even used the replace all option...) The professor LOL, commended the use of the speller and suggested that we pick the right words ... LOL
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    Nov 12 2013: One thing that puzzles me. I understand about the Red Shift seems to indicate that the universe is expanding. So we reverse extrapolate & the universe comes together. Ok so far, but why must it come from a singularity; why not a tighter universe? The early models, memory serving, we're not a singularity but various diameters

    Genesis 1:1 NIV
    [1] In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

    Genesis 1:16 NIV
    [16] God made two great lights---the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.

    Isaiah 40:22 NIV
    [22] He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.

    He made the earth, he made the stars, then he stretched them out. What's wrong with that ?

    The bb is closer than the previous 'Eternal Universe' hypothesis . Close, but no cigar; yet!

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      Nov 12 2013: Hey Pete,
      Genesis gets it all wrong.
      1) The universe is about 14 billion years old while the earth is only about 4.5 billion.
      So putting the creation of earth and the heavens as the # 1 step is simply not supported by science
      2) Moon and sun didn't come into existence at the same time. The sun is older than the moon.
      As to the stars, it's a constant coming and going. The starts are not a fixed factor in the universe. So, again, Genesis makes no sense.
      3) as to Isaaiah 40:22: why would god create the vast universe and then just micromanage our tiny spec called earth ? Makes not much sense either.
      The Big Bang theory is not something some guy just came up with. There is science behind this theory and so far that's the best one we have to explain the beginning of the universe.
      Does that mean it's 100 % correct ? Not necessarily, but until somebody can provide a better theory and support it with sufficient evidence, that's what we got.
      Assuming a supernatural being as alternative ha no scientific merit.
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        Nov 13 2013: Hi Harald.
        You make bold assertions about ages etc. No doubt you got them from the 2013 copy of Origins Science for Dummies. Of course, if you'd used the 1013 copy your numbers would be entirely different. Then again the 3013 copy may be closer to the mark.
        The hard fact is that there is NO accurate scientific way of assessing such time spans. What you have is faith in scientists. I put my faith in the bible. It has never been revised, & remains reliable. It changes lives.
        If it is what it says it is, then it is the only eyewitness account on the planet.

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          Nov 13 2013: Peter, Peter, we already had this discussion so many times. The age of the universe is based on evidence.
          The evidence that make scientists come up with the universe's approx. age is the rate of expansion of galaxies away from us.
          On the other hand, there is ZERO evidence for any supernatural beings, whether one calls them gods or goblins.
          Sticking with books that are thousands of years old is precisely the problem the faithful faces. If science never would revise its concepts we probably would still live in caves, believe in a flat earth and burn witches on the stake.
          Thing is, that our knowledge evolves. No sane person would base his view of physics on a several thousand year old physics book. Why ? I suppose the answer is obvious, isn't it ?
        • Nov 13 2013: Peter,

          You make bold assertion: The hard fact is that there is NO accurate scientific way of assessing such time spans.

          The hard fact is that we just don't know for sure... this or that.
          As you sort of pointed out : What we have is faith in what we believe in.
          Scientists believe in science while generally rejecting this fact while demanding that one prove it to them.
          You claim to put your faith in the Bible claiming it has never been revised ... how do you know that for sure?
          Personally I put my faith in God, while seeking to do what ought to be done according to what God would do.


          Sticking to the truth of the matter is the only way to know the truth of the matter, be it one second be it an eternity the truth remains being the truth. If one needs to revise ones concepts that just means that ones concepts where in fact wrong. What is a bit paradoxical to me is how scientists keep saying 'now we got the truth of the matter','now we got the truth of the matter' ,'now we got the truth of the matter' while constantly changing and revising what they got! I suppose they still have to learn and incorporate some lessons from the past history.
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          Nov 14 2013: Esteban, science is a work in progress. Serious scientists will always be open to change in their theories and as our knowledge increases our theories might as well.
          For example, the age of the universe is an estimate based on available evidence. This number might be off to one side or the other, but in the big scheme of things that doesn't really make much of a difference.
          I think a process that allows for corrections is much more credible than rules written in stone (such as holy books). As Pete correctly mentioned, the bible didn't change (unless there were mistakes in the translation which is quite likely) since it was written. How credible can that be ?
          Religions believe they already know the truth, hence the stopped searching for it.
          Science on the other hand knows that there are still a lot of unknowns and keeps searching for the truth, constantly improving on our understanding of nature.
          This is the fundamental difference between science and religion.
          No, Esteban, in our modern society there is no room for superstition and beliefs in the supernatural. Those are relics from the dark ages which, hopefully we can overcome some day.
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          Nov 14 2013: You can actually calculate a value for the age of the universe in several different ways. It's one of the most interesting probems in physics that the answers vary. They are however all in the 10+ billion year range.
        • Nov 14 2013: Harald,

          I have found that
          Those who know the truth welcome the inquiry into the truth, the others tend to dismiss the claims with all sort of demeaning statements. At least religion acknowledges that certain truths they know are based on what they believe to be... on the other scientists generally reject the notion that what they know is actually based on what they believe to be...

          If you hold the belief that you cant influence what happens with your beliefs... then what do you think is going to be the influence of your beliefs? ..Argue for your limitation and they will become your limitations...
        • Nov 15 2013: Peter and guys,

          Asimov had an excellent take on the "science continues to change" issue:

          Highly recommended.
        • Nov 15 2013: Entropy,

          I am reading the linked article... and decided to come write this quick response before continuing to read it...

          It said: "The basic trouble, you see, is that people think that 'right' and 'wrong' are absolute...".
          Actually the basic trouble is that some see right as wrong and wrong as right and claim that truth isn't absolute that it's relative.

          The astute thinker will realize the humorous punt and how when (someone who is wrong) claims that (somebody who is right) is wrong... well that confirms the fact somebody is right and someone is wrong. Sometimes one needs to translate from one belief language is use to another to understand what is actually being said. The astute thinker will also recognize how people that think 'right' and 'wrong' are absolute... will get it right or get it wrong.... some will choose to accept what is as what is and correct what needs correcting and some will resort to other actions...

          Ok now will continue to read the article as it dives into fuzziness and see what sense I can make of someone who claims "I don't think that's so." and somehow manages to write something they don't think...I see it as a kind of humorous ironic logical self-defeating argument...
        • Nov 16 2013: Entropy,

          Completed reading the article...

          Isaac Asimov stated: “what I want to know is how wrong are they?
          Are they always wrong to the same degree”?

          Why is that? What I want to know is how right something be? Incidentally that implies to what degree does ‘the model’ correspond to ‘the original’?

          Isaac Asimov stated: “It seems to me that right and wrong are fuzzy concepts, and I will devote this essay to an explanation of why I think so”.

          Well looking at his essay reveals a different story as most of it is devoted to explain some small refinements in relation to the different notions that have been used to describe the earth… with what seemed to me an underlying focus to justify and continue propagating the folly of his chosen beliefs in a bit of a condescending style.

          It seems to me that right and wrong are clear concepts; it is just that some individuals accept that fact and some reject it.

          Living in a mental and physical world of absolute rights and wrongs, may involve imagining lots of things… some of it may include erroneous notions including theories that are wrong… some of it may include appropriate notions including theories that are right… the thing is: one can know to what degree something be right (or wrong) based on what actually happens to be. Thus I see that while claiming one thing, Isaac relied upon and absolute reality to which scientist sought to approach (ironically without ever recognizing it).

          To conclude this exercise I would like to point out that some choose to focus on whats right, some choose to focus on whats wrong, then some choose to focus on what to do with the absolute reality they live in consciously taking actions to change what needs changing and produce benefits for themselves and others. In other words consider what each is doing to make this place a better place ... one small refinement at a time with each thought word feeling action dream etc one chooses to give their life to.

          Smile :-)
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        Nov 14 2013: Harald
        If my old book is written by the creator of the universe, then it does indeed trump "evolving science books". Folks who study it are convinced that it is so complex & interwoven, not to mention prophetic, that human authorship is a non-starter. We are not talking fairy stories, but hard nosed academics, & ordinary Joes alike who are convinced it's origin is what we would call supernatural. The fact that so many try to belittle such a literary masterpiece only serves to fulfil yet more of it's content.
        You are basing your theory on red shifted light, while at the same time admitting that next years science books may prove you wrong. Why should I buy into that ?

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          Nov 14 2013: Peter, the bible was written by people over a period of hundreds of years.
          Even if there were a god, he has no body so he obviously couldn't write, but I suppose that's only a minor detail in this fairy tale.
          As I sad, science is not static. At some time, people believed in a flat earth. Eventually, science proved this belief wrong. The same is true for many other phenomena in nature. That's why science keeps studying and revising our knowledge.
          But frankly, I find you kind of hypocritical. On one hand you distrust science but on the other hand you use and benefit from achievements that were obtained through scientific inquiry.
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          Nov 15 2013: Peter,


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        Nov 14 2013: Hi Esteban

        "You claim to put your faith in the Bible claiming it has never been revised ... how do you know that for sure?
        Personally I put my faith in God, while seeking to do what ought to be done according to what God would do."

        The bible has a long history, well documented. Most translators go back to early manuscripts which are well authenticated. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls only confirmed the wisdom of this. No other book ever written is anything like as well documented.

        I am interested in where your concept of god comes from, & how you know which actions he approves of ?

        • Nov 15 2013: Peter,

          I was just basically pointing out toward the first commandment ... God above all else... including oneself... I was also pointing to how for someone to understand the word of God and which actions He approves of, one ought to understand the word of God as God would do... The question "how do you know that for sure?" implicitly addresses the original temptation involving being able to tell good from bad ( what is true from what isn't true). To me its quite evident I cant tell them apart and still I must choose between the alternatives... The hard fact is that we just don't know for sure... this or that. Do note that whether that hard fact is in fact a true hard fact or something else ... we just don't know for sure... depends on what is, it is or it isn't. What we have is faith in what we believe in. My faith rest upon God. Do note that when I state 'my faith' I mean the fate I happen to have thanks to the grace of God.

          Some place rest upon other things... how does one know one's interpretation and perception of what one reads corresponds to the original intent? I seen how many misinterpret what I stated (as I am sure I have misinterpreted what other have stated). I also seen how some refuse to validate what they think to be with what happens to be often certain they got it right... when the truth of the matter is that they think they got it right... and that is quite different from the original intent. One ought to validate things with the author of things accord to the authors satisfaction... until the author confirms one got it as intended...

          Ultimately if boils down to faith in what we believe in,,, science believes in their experimental results, some believe in their interpretations of stuff... me I have faith in God... if you want to use a different name have faith in the sustainable-desirable-congruent with life ways. Note how only God is actually sustainable-desirable-congruent with life ways. Love, truth, beauty, peace, wisdom do pass to...
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          Nov 17 2013: Actually every book for which we know the authors is a step up from the books in the bible.

          and all that wisdom, talking donkeys human sacrifice, instructions to kill adulterers homosexuals, Sabbath breakers, unruly children, rules for slavery.

          Awesome compilation
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      Nov 12 2013: I assume one great light is the sun. I note the bible fails to recognise the sun is just the closest star .

      I note no air or space craft have spotted the throne above the circle of the earth. Is it invisible?
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        Nov 13 2013: Hi Obey,
        Just like old days. Two things,
        1) why would the bible tell us that our sun is just a star? The bible is for saving souls, not recording interesting facts.
        2) we're not entirely sure whether our sun is just another star.

        Your point about the throne is frivolous .

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          Nov 13 2013: Hi

          1 are you accepting the bible may be incorrect in some matters of science?

          2 would you accept we can be reasonably confident out sun is just another star?

          3 it wasnt meant to be frivolous. The iron age authors may well have believed God was in the clouds looking down on them like they are grasshoppers. Just like some Muslims believe their prophet flew a winged horse to heaven.

          seems to me only the new testament is about salvation.

          most the ot seems to be about yhwhs arrangement with the Hebrew tribes.
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        Nov 14 2013: Hi Obey
        I don't think the bible is wrong regarding science. It isn't a science book as such, but when it mentions science it's on the mark. The sun is our sun, no reason to explain the difference, or similarity to stars. All stars are not the same come to that.
        I don't know if our sun is just another star, nobody does. There are theories of all sorts out there.
        The OT is mostly about Jesus, from when he created the universe, 'till he rose from the dead. There is lots of historical stuff right enough. That allows us to test the truth of it by subsequent events, archeology etc.
        I think you can take God sitting above the circle of the earth as metaphor, He is omnipresent after all.

    • Nov 13 2013: Guys, guys, come on! Of curse science is getting closer. Next thing we will know is that the stars are but little holes in that extended tent that we continue to mistake for space and other suns and extra-solar-system planets, and such nonsense that science has mislead us to believe. It's just a tent! We will know soon enough. We will also get to know that our planet is flat (a disc at times, a square other times), and that it has foundations. That it does not move one bit. It's firm, didn't you know?

      These science guys and gals so wrong and all they had to do is read the Bible.
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        Nov 13 2013: Hi Entropy,
        You seem to be a mine of useless information.

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          Nov 13 2013: lol, that is funny coming from somebody who obtains hi wisdom from a thousands of years old tale.
        • Nov 13 2013: Harald,

          independent of the veracity and to who it relates too...
          ... I agree, that is funny... well at least to me...
          "(x) seem to be a mine of useless information".

          Information is information whether it is useful to a particular endeavor or not is a whole different matter... its curious how some project what they hold within...
        • Nov 15 2013: My ironymeter broke because of an overload ...

        • Nov 15 2013: Entropy

          so what kind of meter can handle that kind of a load...

          edited a word meager was intended as meter
  • Nov 12 2013: I ve just been reading the latest comments.Of course,there can be no evidence about the hypothesesI put forward.I wouldn t be here sweating blood to snag arguments that hold water! But joking apart ,my line of reasoning is as follows 1) there is something 2) this something hasn t existed for ever because it s a spacetime one so that,however distant in the past,it might have occured,it had to begin or you could always push back its birth so that it would never reach its destination.Moreover,we do have proof of this beginning : THE BIG BANG,14.8 light years ago that gave rise to matter,space and time +very stringent laws as the recipe to govern this universe.We now know that these laws finetuning the universe for an ever increasing complexity and the emergence of life ,are so precise that the slightest change would have produced a short lived universe and wouldn t have spawn life Therefore,the nagging question is now:What or Who caused the BIG BANG ? I discount out of hand the answer NOTHING! How the heck,can something emerge from nothing.By definition,nothing will always engender nothing!...So that there has to have a CAUSE and this Cause has to be endowed with supernatural powers. It s omniscient,omnipotent and totally good but i won t expatiate on this third attribute which is very controvertial.This cause is not subject to the constraints of space and time though it created them for our universe.This cause is supernatural in the sense that it transcends everything! If you refuse such an entity for the creation of our world,who or what do you suggest instead? chance? but chance means it can t be defined and doesn t obey laws.It isn t a creative entity and once again the world has to have a beginning as it can t be eternal.
    • Nov 12 2013: Michel,

      Two comments:
      - 'that has to happen' involves a violation of free will determination. Why does it have to happen?
      - BTW 'chance' could lead to this particular case when every possible possibility be considered

      I hold to believe that this particular case happen because of an initial free will determination that involved additional free will determinations.
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        Nov 13 2013: The comment around chance is interesting. Do we know. with confidence that any other universe in terms of physical constants, is possible?

        It's impossible to talk meaningfully about probabilities is we know. nothing about the set of possibilities.

        Also when it comes to nature there are almost incomprehensible odds. The oddsthat one sperm and egg result in us is very low. Your parents have a million children and none would be identical genetically. Yet here we are.

        The probably the sandwich I'm reading contains these particular combination of atoms is astronomically small. Yet here it is.

        so to ask what is the chance the united would look like this without agency involved is perplexing.

        then again I could ask what is the chance a magical being or committee design a universe exactly this way.
        • Nov 13 2013: "It's impossible to talk meaningfully about probabilities if we know. nothing about the set of possibilities."

          The again when one knows nothing one assigns equal probabilities to each possibility ... and with infinite upon infinite possibilities the chances of one of them happening are nil, yet here we are and every day many coincidences do happen that further make this reality less and less likely while evidently still being
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      Nov 12 2013: I note you say the physical constants are fine tuned for life. It may just semantics, but the wording implies some purposeful fine tuning with objective of being suitable for life. It does come across as having some bias towards assuming design for life.

      I suggest the physical constants are such that we have a relatively long lived universe. Life has managed to evolve in this universe at least on one planet.

      to assume this is a universe perfectly designed for life is a big call. Try living in the 99.999999999% that would kill you almost instantly. Also no life we know of in the first few billion years. And unlikely to have much life for the trillion or so as the universe approaches heat death.

      I don't know why the constants are the way they are. I cause an all powerful creator could have made the universe more hospital to life.

      when it comes to what caused the bb, that is where we differ. You seem to have some assumptionsabout what is possible and what isn't. I suggest that it is a big call to rule out an explanation that doesn't involve agency.

      before space time energy and matter does my head in. Does before mean anything then. does cause apply before time.

      the universe wasn't always this way. I suggest it's a bit early to assume agency is the only valid explanation.

      what is supernatural. and what is natural before the physical constants, before time and space is also stretching the meaning of words.

      I don't know if the universe could have formed without agency any other way. You don't know if a creator could have created the universe any other way too I guess.

      in the end I find the leap to agency may be due in part to our evolutionary tendency to assume agency even where there is nine as far as we know. You believe it necessary. I can see how you get there but don't agree your assumptions are necessary.

      I suggest we don't know enough to make a call.

      And again resorting to magic to answer questions is usually found to be unreliable.
      • Nov 12 2013: Obey,

        You in sort of said : It may just be semantics, but notice what the wording implies...

        my friend, that cuts both ways.. why did you choose to call it 'magic' rather than 'divine intervention'?

        you sort of asked : Does before mean anything then... (before space time energy and matter does my head in).

        Well if you mean before space time energy and matter does before mean anything? Well that's sort of asking something along the lines of does the meaning of before exist before the existence of before...

        If by (before space time energy and matter does my head in) you mean before you die then sure before one dies there is a before which connotes one's life from conception to finality...
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          Nov 13 2013: I understand magic in general or general supernatural propositions are option people consider.

          a divine intervention by gods is a subset of this.

          no evidence, of magic, let alone magical gods, let alone one god , let alone a particular theistic god.

          I say magic to back things up to the first point of difference rather than jumping to a more specific form of magic, or supernatural force.

          also saying magic reinforces that the actions of s are essentially magical. Unexplained. impossible for us mere mortals

          in fantasy fiction there is elemental magic and clerical magic calling upon the magical powers of deities.

          if seem to be invoking gods with magical powers.

          also on not assuming creation or some process with agency is conclusively the case. Just insufficient evidence or reason to assume magic of any variety including magical gods,

          in other areas I try to be neutral. Universe or cosmos is more neural than creation. And does not exclude the possibility of creators.
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          Nov 13 2013: Regarding , does become the big bang have meaning etc I'm just pointing out we are at the limits of our language and comprehension. To talk about casual agents become time began is odd . Then to presume agency is the only possibility seems a bold assertion given the subject matter
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      Nov 12 2013: if you want to call everything outside our before time space supernatural, fine.

      however you have not demonstrate your premise that the bb must be the result of agency outside time space.

      in fact you have no evidence, of a God, let alone evidence that shows a god created the universe. You just seem to assert this is the only possible explanation. Perhaps you have god like knowledge the test of us don't. This is probably a key point of difference we are not going to close.

      you must know more about what is possible and what isn't before space time, better than our leading physicists.

      I suggest we as a species may not know enough about the physics pre big bang to make a call that agency was required .

      secondly if you allow for other dimensions where agency exists there are infinite options not just one god
      • Nov 12 2013: Obey,

        I like to say there are infinite possibilities with one best alternative to choose...

        I will also like to point out that you are making a call when you suggest we should not make a call.
        Its a bit like holding that choosing not to choose isn't a choice
        Not responding is actually a kind of response...
        To respond or not to respond isn't the question, the question be how to respond!
        Each be responsible for what they do (and not do).
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          Nov 13 2013: To put it another way there is nothing that indicates gods involved in the origin of the universe. Etc
          there is insufficient evidence to support a claim that gods were involved.

          that is why I suggest it is too early to make a call.

          the origins of the universe is one of the cutting edge parts of science I'm more open to supernatural possibilities compared to say lightening or disease.

          I think we can have more confidence that gods are not active in the weather or disease because we understand more. Not100% but closer to it.
      • Nov 13 2013: Obey,

        To put it another way some currently believe and claim that there is nothing that indicates God involved in the origin of the universe.

        How do you actually know as a fact that there is nothing?
        There might be something out there that indicates God involved in the origin of the universe which we have not found.

        you walked around the issue of the calls you made somehow not being calls
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          Nov 14 2013: There is no evidence I'm aware of that demonstrates gods created the universe..

          if there is I'm not aware any being found.

          perhaps I should say sufficient or reasonable evidence as some may refer to this or that book, or personal revelations, that indicate this or that god of goddess or supernatural story is evidence. Although these methods contradict each purge and don't seem to be reliable methods.

          I'm not saying we will never find evidence. If the creators of the universe. wanted us to be aware of them on a reliable way they could have.

          Personally a diestic approach seems a better fit with reality than a theistic one, although there is insufficient evidence asset this time of any gods of any generic type being involved.
      • Nov 14 2013: Obey,

        My intent was to point something out in your statements for you to consider as evidence.
        I realize that you hold the position you expressed with "There is no evidence I'm aware of ..."
        Evidently that is different from the expression "there is nothing that indicates..."

        I trust that the following statement will be graciously perceived in the humorous tone I intend and will provide food for thought. --- the following is intended as a humorous punt ----
        perhaps a more accurate statement would be along the lines that there isn't sufficient or reasonable evidence to satisfy you.
        Back to the response...

        Of course perhaps this reality involves an exercise/experiment of individual freedom that certain being employes to let us learn about making choices under the influence of apparently equal choices, a bit of uncertainty infinite good and bad possibilities ... and just one right answer

        Chose right: get it right, think right is right,
        chose wrong: get it wrong, think right is wrong and wrong is right,

        Everyone ends up in the right place... some see it as 'it is' and love it in joy... some see it as 'it is not' and hate it in disgust... everyone states its a wonderful place because it is a wonderful place (it is just some think what is and some think what it is not)

        The "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"... to choose under uncertainty between apparently equal choices involves always making the right choice regardless of knowing it right or knowing it wrong. Remember Its not about who be right or who be wrong, its about what be right. Its not about who tell the truth and who lies nor if the lie is about the road or the answer is about knowing with certainty the direction to take and taking it with confidence... Friend or foe either way get them to actually help you learn the way to go and go... in dew time each will know the truth some will embrace it and some may delay a bit more (ok maybe an eternity or two). Their choice
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          Nov 14 2013: Hi et

          we may be starting to go soon circles.

          I guess you consider you chain of thought regarding the origin of the universe as evidence or at least an argument for a supernatural god. Whereas I don't accept some of your premises.

          Sure absence of evidence is not proof something does not exist. But it's a very weak position compared to having positive evidence.

          Zeus, Bacchus, maduk, thor and the invisible pink unicorn are in the same position as Yahweh, Allah, vishnu, Mormon Jesus, christain heaven, Muslim paradise, nivrvana, vahalla, Isis, etc. The lack of evidence that they exist is not proof they don't but it doesnt really help prove they do exist
      • Nov 14 2013: Obey,

        You guessed wrong :-) (That was me basically providing you some factual information ).

        I realize that you choose not to accept certain of my premises and choose to maintain some of your premises. Also note that neither premises have positive definitive evidence. Note how you insist on proof something to hold while lacking proof of what you choose to hold. Employing an association fallacy reflects a very weak position, though I am certain you hold that it helps your argumentation.

        That was me basically providing you some factual information :-).
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      Nov 12 2013: 1) Apparently in quantum physics, creation ex nihillo is possible, hence no cause would be needed nor would there have to be something before the universe came into being.
      2) the universe is about 14.8 billion years old not 14.8 light years as you mentioned in your post.
      3) "We now know that these laws finetuning"
      This seems to be a logical fallacy to me. Just because it seems that everything is fine tuned doesn't mean it is. It's much more likely that the particles we have are just the survivors. All other particles that might have been created during the big bang got eventually eradicated It's like life on earth. Some organisms made it others not.......for a number of reasons.
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      Nov 13 2013: Aren't you proposing a god made something from nothing also.

      by the way +1 -1 =0
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    Nov 12 2013: A couple of people below assert their god concept caused the bb, or is the only explanation for the origin and nature of the universe.

    how do you know this is the truth?

    In the past we didn't understand rainbows, earthquakes, disease, the diversity of life, the motion of planets, chemical transformations, epilepsy etc. Gods and spirits were deemed the answer to our ignorance.
    • Nov 12 2013: Obey,

      Its curious how some individuals will claim not to know what caused the bb while at the same time insisting that it just can't be that God is behind it... Maybe the explanation involves more than what's apparent. In the present there are miraculous events that scientists don't understand nor can explain and still they refuse the testimony individuals witnesses give seeking to consider all sort of alternate propositions. I realize how individuals can distort and give flawed testimony, for multiple reasons. The scientific community is rocked now and then to find out this or that scientists doctored their research results. In some cases performing costly interventions that have equal or worst results than less invasive holistic alternate treatments, yet the latter are ostracized from acceptable health care. Yea there are lots of quacks everywhere but that doesn't mean we should dismiss everyone everywhere.

      What follows probably should be placed within the what is reality conversation... still would like to mention it here... If beliefs individuals have have an effect on reality then scientists convincing individuals that they have no effect rob away the effect individuals have, dew to the fact they now believe that their beliefs have no effect and thus it be so their beliefs have no effect (until they change their beliefs again stating wait a second, what I believe does have an effect on reality and I better be consciously aware of what it is I choose to believe in.) Doctors are often mystified by how that patient who was supposed to die actually lived and recovered 100% often dew to their attitude and determination to just do it. Each is responsible for what they do (and not do) be it in thought, feeling, action, and other sublet ways.
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        Nov 12 2013: I'm not saying it couldn't be some beings in some other dimension. or universe might be the equivalent of a high school project for a race of beings beyond our comprehension. Call them gods if you wish.

        to clarify my key point is there is no good reason to jump to god being the cause, and no evidence, of gods existing.

        People do recover from illness. Again why assume this is supernatural. Growing a limb back might be even more inexplicable, but that doesn't happen

        beliefs impact behaviour, maybe even s state of mind, and this may impact health as per the placebo effect I guess. However studies of prayer show it fails.

        I suggest it would be better to understand if briefs have a health impact greater than the placebo impact so we can try understand what is happening and harness it more effectively.

        I wonder if these miracles happen equally for believers and non religious types.

        is there really harm in asking for proof and getting reliable data , and getting a proper understanding.

        I'm not sure. Maybe peoples delusions enrich there lives. If they don't want there delusions challenged they should stay away from science and logic and train and skepticism perhaps.
        • Nov 12 2013: Obey,

          Let me see if I understand your key point:
          - Because there is no good reason
          - we should do A rather than that B
          - unless there is a good reason to do B rather than A

          People do recover from illness... sometimes thanks to divine intervention and sometimes because of natural processes.

          Indeed "beliefs impact behaviour, maybe even s state of mind, and this may impact health as per the placebo effect".

          BTW what you stated reminds me of a something I read in 'Addictive thinking, the art of self-deception" by Abraham J Twerski M.D. (Apr 30, 1997). It was something along the lines " I am certain of... I suppose". "I can quit any time, maybe". It has to do with being certainly uncertain rather than just dealing with uncertainty a certain way.

          The fact that "studies of prayer show it fails" shows that "studies of prayer show it fails" maybe there was something in the study process that made it to fail, maybe the skepticism beliefs altered the result, maybe getting a proper understanding involves a different approach.

          Some understand that beliefs and sometimes briefs do have a health impact. BTW I find rather curious on multiple levels the suggestion that it would be better to understand If A has a health impact greater than the A impact on health. Please observe how trying to do something differs from doing something. FWIIW some to understand that beliefs impact behaviors, mindsets and health and do harness it more effectively.I do hold that there really is harm in asking for proof and getting reliable data especially for certain stuff. In relationship to getting proper understanding on stuff I hold that that can be accomplished in multiple ways and the key point involves getting proper understanding

          I found that scientists and skeptics among the ones who don't want nor accept there (delusional) practices challenged while insisting everyone follow such ways.
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        Nov 13 2013: I suggest you're yet to prove what you call medical miracles are the result of divine intervention.

        Are you suggesting prayer may not work when it is being scientifically studied? What a perverse deity if that is the case. that just leaves us with it works.. when it works.. and it's gods will when it doesn't. That doesn't suffice for me and I'd classic cognitive bias .

        I guess I try to base beliefs or positions on evidence that meets a certain standard, not my friend prayed for a promotion and got one.

        First find out if there is a significant effect beyond coincidence, second to confirm the cause as proposed.

        others are happy to be less skeptical which may be why we have millions of different supernatural beliefs.
        • Nov 13 2013: Obey,

          You seem fixed set on 'prove it', 'prove it' while refusing to consider that beliefs to have an effect on what takes place as has been evidenced and experienced by many an individual.

          Yes I am suggesting that if you believe you cant do it you just might find out that you can't do it. I am also suggesting that in a reality where beliefs in part determine what happens not believing or believing that what one believes doesn't determine what happens creates a self-fulfilling prophecy ...
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    Nov 10 2013: Perhaps each sun and planet, and we creatures upon them, as pebbles in the ocean or the stream, rounded through time, are equal parts of God.
    • Nov 10 2013: Perhaps the notion of being equal parts of God keeps us from playing our part with God.
      recognize and do what ought to be done,
      choose the absolute better possibly rather than one of the alternatives
      Yea, they all seem equal; it's just that one seems to be real because it be real
      make sure to pick the real one because it be the real one, do that independent of what it may look like.
      and the rest will be seem at it is possibilities that remain as possibilities as it ought to be

      Hint: if one thinks to be god then what does that do with one's relationship to the real one?


      Perhaps the idea of being equal parts of God stems from:
      - a creature wanting to be the creator, rather than with the creator.
      - a drop of water wanting to be the ocean, rather than in the ocean
      - the stream wanting to be the flow, rather than flowing with the flow (still in the same place)
      - a moment wanting to be the eternal, rather than persisting with, in, and throughout eternity
      - a possibility that ought to remain as a possibility wanting to be made real by...
      ... making the real unreal and the unreal real;
      without recognizing that they are, and ought to be a possibility
      - inaction wanting to act, and not acting out their part of inaction by remain still

      Perhaps that idea stems from 'something' wanting to be 'someone', and 'someone without a buddy nor body' wanting to be 'with a body and a buddy'; or seeking that 'someone with a body and a buddy' do something to become like them rather than being someone with a buddy independent of having a body or not.

      like a muscle hurts when exercised my head hurts now, still one ought to exercise to remain strong
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        Nov 11 2013: ...or perhaps the idea of being separate from God stems from a reluctance to assume full and absolute responsibility for one's own thoughts and actions.
        • Nov 11 2013: ... and perhaps the idea of being separate from God stems from
          ------ a choice to shift from 1- your will vs my will, into 2- whatever be the best alternative
          ( that is let us each choose the will of God; the best alternative, whichever that happens to be)
          It could also be framed as
          ------ a choice to shift from 1- what you say is vs what I say is, into 2- whatever be.

          I heard several individuals express the idea " 'That' stems from a reluctance to assume full and absolute responsibility for one's own thoughts and actions". I realize each shares what they carry; often telling others what they ought to recognize in themselves. The way I see it the experience that results in a dialogue involves several parts, there is what one said, there is what the other heard and there is what was shared. That you mentioned: " ...a reluctance to assume full and absolute responsibility for one's own thoughts and actions" to me reflects what you need to observe in yourself. Claiming each is responsible for one's actions can lead into wondering about what part each holds and each assuming full and absolute responsibly for one's own thoughts, actions, feelings, beliefs including choices of words one uses. (just to clarify the point here I deliberately chose certain words as you chose certain words can you see which ones of your words I replaced?) Why would I use the word 'reluctance' that you used when I prefer to cultivate 'clarity' 'understanding' 'responsibility'? Do notice the three words I chose to use in that sentence to atone for using the one you used.

          Of course maybe the idea of being separate from God stems from being separate from God; and wanting to be a part of God without recognizing God being God may reflect an attitude towards God... being with God can make that separation from God irrelevant...

          Those already with God and partakers

          a reluctance to assume full and absolute responsibility for one's own thoughts and actions
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      Nov 11 2013: I don't understand what you mean. Can you expand?
      • Nov 11 2013: I wonder if you are asking don or me... if me then succinctly put seeking to be an equal part of God in a way seeks to usurp the place of God rather than just recognizing one's singular importance...
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          Nov 11 2013: Thanks et.

          Who is seeking to usurp the place of gods?

          To me the thousands of different god concepts are most likely created by humans. As far as we know there is no compelling evidence for any.

          However I see myself as a human, a mammal with the most complex and powerful minds we know to exist. With all the strengths and weaknesses that entails. I strive to lead a good life.

          Not being convinced of any god concept is not usurping god. Just like not believing in invisible unicorns or nature spirits is not usurping anything. But I guess it means we have to look to ourselves rather than cultural god concepts and associated dogmas like what to eat and who to kill and how to beat slaves.
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        Nov 11 2013: I am suggesting here that we are all fashioned from the same 'clay'; suns, planets, stones, beings (human and otherwise) and God (or lesser gods). Physically, with the exception of God(s) perhaps, we are comprised of the same elements and share some of the same history in time and space. It may be that our cosmos is a sub-atomic particle on one of God's eyelashes, as we are supposed to be made in his own image, and our relentless search for God's truth may, in fact, be our compulsion to understand our own nature.
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          Nov 11 2013: Yes, according to science we are made from star stuff. Amazing.
      • Nov 11 2013: Obey,

        I think that the thousands of different god concepts are most likely created by someone to complicate the choice of choosing the right one. Looking to ourselves when we ought to be looking to God in a way does place ourselves in the place of God; we take the place of God when we ought to be looking at God.

        The thing with dogmas is that they require to be laid down by 'an authority with true authority' which involves stating the actual truth as truth; and sometimes individuals in a position claim to actually tell the truth while claiming something else. Some references to dogma seek to establish as incontrovertibly true something to be accepted until one realizes its veracity given its actual veracity. (and as in the first thought of this message... some individuals resort to create different claims while claiming them to be dogmas for multiple reasons including to complicate recognizing the right ones as right ones).


        I was suggesting that a part of a cell in a body while being part of it isn't it; and the compulsion to understand itself and it's relationship to the cell and the being that the cell is part of seems distant from the notion of 'equal parts of God'. Then there is the whole issue of the whole actually being more than the sum of the parts... of course each ones singular uniqueness both distinguish them from everyone else while also uniting them to everyone else by including them in the set of the singular unique. I just wanted to point to the distinction between a creature and one's Creator especially when endowed with certain of The Creator's capacities... to create, to love, to appreciate beauty, to choose... Keep in mind we can choose the better way or some other way (note how that hardly means we can change what be the better way). In more mundane ways, stuff happens and we choose which direction to take...
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          Nov 11 2013: Hi ET, not sure if your beliefs lean toward Christian sects that believe in a devil or Satan that is going around deceiving people.

          Or it could just be religions are cultural constructs that build on the weaknesses or misfirings of our cognative processes, to assume agency, to hallucinate, to have different mind states, to have dreams. I've had religious and non religious personal experiences. The experiences seem quite similar across different religions or via meditation or drugs or simple dreams etc.

          It seems reasonable to look to ourselves and not gods, goddesses, or spirits to appease when there is no evidence or sound reason to believe in any of them.

          It's like your telling me to look to invisible unicorns or follow the conflicting teachings of this or that prophet of this or that god or goddess concept.

          What gets me is all the people with conflicting beliefs that believe they have the truth from a genuine authority, and no proof, or compelling evidence to support this. They usually come down to faith propositions, beliefs not supported by evidence, emotional responses, psychological and cognitive experiences informed by cultural indoctrination or study etc.

          How do you know you beliefs about all this are correct. Do you believe in some old religious scriptures, a particular interpretation of these, backed by some feeling about the presence of god?

          Does god speak to you?

          How do you know your beliefs are true?
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          Nov 12 2013: A number of eminent current thinkers, including physicist David Bohm and neurophysiologist Karl Pribram, believe that the universe itself may be a giant hologram. The interesting, and for this discussion, pertinent aspect of a hologram is that each distinct portion of the hologram does contain the whole.

          This new model of reality, this new vision, gives us not only a new perspective on our cosmos, but also on the relationship of the individual to the whole, and perhaps to God.
      • Nov 12 2013: Obey,

        I will work my way from the end to the beginning of your response questions and then comment...

        o:How do you know your beliefs are true?
        ++Implicitly you consider that I know my beliefs are true... fact is I have no way of knowing for myself if my beliefs are true or false. 'My stand' does not depend on being right or wrong, either way it remains. A particular example may clarify this point, My stand is to learn the truth, If I am right I learn something true about myself, if I am wrong I learn something true about myself, either way I learn something true about myself... and in many occasions I learn about what is right regardless of confirming of disconfirming something I thought to know.

        o:Does god speak to you?
        ++Again I have no way of knowing for myself if 'the person speaking to me' is just 'the person specking to me' or is God speaking to me through them (even without them knowing it) or if such a person is God himself. Would you recognize God if/when He contacts you? How would you know?

        o: How do you know you beliefs about all this are correct. Do you believe in some old religious scriptures, a particular interpretation of these, backed by some feeling about the presence of god?
        ++Again implicitly you consider that I know my beliefs are correct... the fact is I hedge my beliefs so that the choices I make are the best alternative regardless of being right or being wrong ... Yes, I do believe in some old religious scriptures, yes a particular interpretation of these, though I would have to say that they are basically backed by a certain rational evaluation process of events, data, circumstances and additional stuff... Succinctly put ensuring that what one thinks to be does corresponds to what happens to be.

        My beliefs do not lean towards Christian sects. I am Catholic. You might consider that to be a Christian sect and might have all sort of misconceptions of what I actually believe based on what you associate to Catholics.
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          Nov 12 2013: Thanks et.

          appreciate you are not claiming to be certain.

          it helps when you start to define your theistic background toothe are so many different beliefs related to gods and the supernatural it helps to narrow it down.

          I understand a bit about Catholicism, but far from an expert. I expect their would still be some diversity in detailed beliefs in the billion who are part of that church.

          my working hypothesis is that what some refer to as divine revelation may just be the natural workings of our mind on some extreme state. I don't know. I do know that there many conflicting revelations. Now I understand your view on that better. Sir it could be the devil or maybe the good are just having fun, or the messages aren't clear, or they are hallucinations.

          I understand the catholic church largely accepts the science around evolution. Which is positive.

          for many who consider themselves Christian I guess. tiger believe in the resurrection and gospels, even though they tend to contradict each other etc. Personally I'm not convinced there was a resurrection. And even if there was out doesn't make all the other claims true.

          But I support freedom of religion
      • Nov 12 2013: Obey and Don

        note that the holograph notion implies that by changing oneself one changes the universe and by changing the universe one changes oneself...

        Obey sure it may just be 'that' to be the case just as just may be that that is that and the case is the case. (it may just be that the case be the case because the case happens to be the case ..)
  • Nov 7 2013: There is an interesting blog, from where I copied the following:

    --"1) Science does not know what was going on just before the Big Bang explosion. The Laws of physics (as we know them) simply break down in the essential singularity—out of which the entire universe was generated.

    2) Science does not really know what is going on at the quantum level. The mathematics work fine but finding a connection between quantum weirdness (uncertainty) and the classical world of macroscopic measurement still eludes scientists.

    3) Scientists embrace the idea that the universe is unified yet they are unable to unify the two pillars of modern physics—General Relativity Theory and Quantum Theory.

    4) In spite of Hawking’s claim that the law of gravity explains the spontaneous creation of the universe out of nothing, scientists really don’t have a handle on gravitational order or the thermodynamics of gravitating systems to grow structure spontaneously. It seems that somehow an explosive force overcame the unimaginable force of gravity in the singularity, but after that, the two forces became wedded to each other just enough to create the all the coherent structures and rational order of the universe."--

    The Big Bang had a spiritual origin, just as every single thing we see come about, this very moment, originates from a plan or method that was 'created' by a mental/spiritual concept.

    Basically God extended His Infinite love and wisdom 'away from Himself.' This way He created a spiritual world. This spiritual world made it possible for God to extent His love and wisdom to an even more external (away from Himself) level and so create a finite/physical world.
    In our world we have a 'representation' of the Divine which we call the sun. From that sun we get light and heat, which are the physical expressions of the spiritual love and wisdom.

    Every motion and thought is based on using this love and wisdom. Love in our will and wisdom in our understanding. Also relates to male/female
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      Nov 8 2013: Mr. Adriaan,

      Speaking Geometrically if reality were to be represented by a circle Science have found out let's say an octagon. Science doesn't have all the answers, the practicality,use & usefulness of Theories is their ability to make predictions that mankind can apply,leverage upon, but not the dogmatic "truth"(Science is falsifiable,Religion is not) .
      That said, (Science has boundaries) does not immediately and by default makes the ID hypothesis "The Answer". Creationism source is supernatural revelation;Science source is the Scientific Method (not perfect, but the best tool available). To place god at the boundary of Science (god of the gaps) it's a time ticker, for it will be a matter of time until the gaps are filled, leaving less & less "places" for the god hypothesis go to. The mystery, the uncertainty of not knowing is , to me the appeal of Science.
      Is the BBT "the TRUTH" about the origins of our Universe? Well , is as of this very red hot second is the best consensus of scientists, and the evidence points that is (for now) the best answer to fit observable data. It's the Octagon , not the Circle.
      Many scientists are religious (and many are not!) , even in the observatory or Lab scientist disagree more or less as we do here in TED.The difference is that both religious or not scientists agree on the "Method" or approach to learn about the Universe.This approach is one of using observations to test theories. And when a theory has been tested as much as the BBT, with each test reconfirming its validity, then we believe that it is likely true -- at least more true than those theories which have failed the observational tests..
      Religion is cool with Science until it collides with Darwin or BBT, that make the Universe impersonal and purposeless, or Earth and Humanity eccentric in the great scheme of things-but that is another debate-.

      • Nov 9 2013: Hi Carlos, thanks for your response. I am a firm believer that science and my religion can be unified, over time. The difference between the two is that science is all about this world, my religion is all about the next, or spiritual, world.
        I'd like to think that science is here to make life more comfortable and efficient. My religion is here to make this life more loving and the transition to the next more manageable.

        Science can built us the best house possible, but only love can make it a home.

        What I should explain is that with "my religion" I mean the Swedenborgian religion. I fully support it and, kind of, know what it is all about. If I did not think it was the best (for me), I'd be in the other one that I would regard as the best. This is also called The Second Coming, and I think, for good reasons.
        There is even this connection in Hawaii:

        Since I believe religion is important, I also believe that science is important. After all they are from the same Source and Swedenborg was a famous scientist before his spiritual eyes were opened. Science was always important to him.

        Thanks again for your response
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          Nov 11 2013: Seems like there is a lack of evidence or a sound reason to believe in spiritual worlds.

          not sure if you are equating love with supernaturalism.

          no reason why love needs magic to exist.

          we are not even the only social mammals to show affection or grieve.
      • Nov 10 2013: Carlos

        Liked what you said :(Science is falsifiable,Religion is not)
        "To place god at the boundary of Science (god of the gaps) it's a time ticker, for it will be a matter of time until the gaps are filled, leaving less & less "places" for the god hypothesis go to".

        At that time the hypothesis of God will finally become recognized and understood God will be recognized by science being ... science will recognize the circle rather than continue its approximation with a multifaceted polygon closely approximating the circle. As you sort of said it's a time ticker and considering that (Science is falsifiable,Religion is not) which do you think will be falsified?

        I also like how you said "Then we believe that it is likely true -- "

        Knowing the truth involves knowing the truth... wether it is likely true or not, hardly matters, especially when one knows the truth. Notice that the proof of the claim does not change the validity of the claim. what is right is right and what is wrong is wrong.

        I think science is on the path of disbelief till the last moment and even then doubt a bit more before believing
        while religion is on the path of belief until proof otherwise and even then question the disbelief a bit more.
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      Nov 10 2013: The first four points you take from the blog are well accepted, I believe, by scientists. It is common, though, that those not truly well-versed in science believe that scientists claim to more comprehensive understandings than they have or who believe that science (often described as "new") has established things that it has not.

      Your claim that you present after those four points does not necessarily follow, though, of course, many people of faith share your belief in it.
      • Nov 11 2013: Thanks Fritzie, I appreciate what you wrote.
        What I meant to express with the somewhat short point
        "The Big Bang had a spiritual origin, just as every single thing we see come about, this very moment, originates from a plan or method that was 'created' by a mental/spiritual concept."

        is that IMO the creation of the universe had a spiritual origin, just as any painting created by a painter, was created by that painter's love for painting and his wisdom of how to paint. That painting was not created by his hands, or by any of his neurons or any of his brain cells.

        I'm not saying there was no brain activity. There obviously was brain activity, but that is, I think, how the mind 'communicates with the body.
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          Nov 11 2013: I understood that that was the meaning of your claim.
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          Nov 11 2013: That's a big claim with no supporting evidence.

          a painting is a very different category to a universe

          your claim is similar to saying gods cause lightening and disease and earthquakes and eclipses etc
      • Nov 11 2013: Hi Obey, and you know you're save. As I've said before, it is not possible to prove anything spiritual on the natural level. No one will be forced to believe anything they'd rather not.

        "a painting is a very different category to a universe"
        It obviously is, so is the difference between infinite and finite. As an image and likeness of God we can, on our level, create things from matter already here.

        God did indeed create the universe and the laws of nature in that universe. Everything was "good, very good" after creation. Until humans created hell, and hell expresses itself in the bad effects of nature and also in human behaviour. All the good things are expressions of heaven, all the bad stuff is an expression of hell. IOW every situation here is the effect of a spiritual cause. We can save, or kill someone with water, fire, etc..
        That was my claim, and I'm sticking to it :)
        • Nov 11 2013: Adriaan,

          Would like to share an idea that helped me to understand a bit better something related to heaven and hell. The saved see the truth of the matter an enjoy the good life... the deceived don't see the truth of the matter nor enjoy the good life...

          I now consider that everyone goes to a place where only good happens and everyone does good ... some love and enjoy it; then some hate and detest it. We are given a time to choose to love or to hate... well its more like we are given a time to choose what to Love... some choose love and love Love or Love love and some choose hate and hate Love or Love hate... one is win-win where one always win (even when one may seem to lose one wins), the other is win-lose where one always loses (even when one may seem to win one loses).

          I also believe we are here to make this place a better place and its about time each did what each ought to do once and for all.
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          Nov 11 2013: No, you believe your concept of god created the universe and associated dogmas.

          You can assert you have the truth, but you are yet to provide compelling evidence as to the validity of your claims, or even to make your claims slightly more convincing than thousands and millions of contradictory claims reliant on personal revelations, religious feelings, intuition etc.

          If you started with "I believe" and ended with compelling evidence for why you believe we might be closer to being on the same page.
        • Nov 12 2013: Obey,

          Providing compelling evidence as to the validity of the claims I assert will hardly change the validity of the claims. Likewise making my claims slightly more convincing will hardly change the validity of the claims. The validity of the claims depends on what is claimed, what happens to be, and the congruence that exists between the two.

          I am not sure what you said 'no'... are you disagreeing with the notion that "we are here to make this place a better place and its about time each did what each ought to do once and for all."
      • Nov 11 2013: Hi Esteban, yes, I agree with you, if you're saying that "we are given a time [here] to choose what to Love" because that's indeed what free choice is all about.

        So after death we 'go' where our love is. If we have come to love ourself and so dominate, control and manipulate others, then we go to a 'place' where that is considered 'good' based on 'truth'. While, of course that is based on evil and falsity.

        You may like this book. It starts of with the processes we go through right after death. No one punishes us, except us. No one tells us where to go, except us.

        "we are here to make this place a better place" Exactly!!
        • Nov 11 2013: Adriaan,

          Actually what I am saying is that after death we 'go' to one place...
          ... the good see it as good
          ... the bad see it as bad

          Just imagine the irony ... for the deceived : being in a wonderful place without being able to enjoy it! or being in a wonderful place and just hating it! yikes!

          It would be akin to the richest man in the world who can't get access to enjoy those riches... sure they walk well dressed and in perfect health while feeling in rags and without any health ... they give their riches to other without any satisfaction in such an act, in fact they feel constantly cheated in such acts.
          They see themselves as a homeless vagabond without any values, nor friends, nor anything to feel good or be joyful... though they possess everything, nothing fills them and they are unable to appreciate its wonder. Yea a accepting a single thought on their part could change it all, still they refuse such a thought every time .

          I like to believe that we die, as we live... in other words what we do now kind of determines what we will choose to do then... What makes some believe that if given a different opportunity they will choose differently than they choose now? Of course we can always choose to change the point is what make us think that we will choose to change later if we refuse to change now? especially if each act reinforces that kind of action in the future? Each step, each thought, each feeling advances us in a particular direction, question is where are we heading with this next step we take?
        • Nov 12 2013: thanks for the book reference...
      • Nov 12 2013: Esteban, I'd like to think this physical world exists so we can learn what to love, by the minute. So that when we die, we live in the condition that we did chose here.

        To me that makes sense when seeing God as a God of love. He's giving us the best possible eternity we want. I would not like being in the same 'place' with those that love evil. That's what the present situation is, that's why we keep our doors locked and download updates.

        And then you seem to say the same thing
        "in other words what we do now kind of determines what we will choose to do then..."
        • Nov 12 2013: Adriaan,

          I sense that there is a critical distinction that was sort of left out. That place will be a place where only good things can be done, shared, experienced. The good guys will freely chose to do good... the bad buys will be forced to do good... so you see everyone will behave nice, internally some will experience joy and love while the others will be unable to experience these emotions. The present situation is different...
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      Nov 11 2013: From my perspective you have identified a gap in our knowledge or understanding and injected spiritual magic.

      any evidence for your god hypothesis or is this based on ignorance or some authority and there personal revelation like so many other mutually exclusive supernatural explanations.
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      Nov 13 2013: To summarise , we haven't fight everything out and you can use gods to fill in the gaps
  • Nov 7 2013: hello friend, i appriciate you for bringing out an imperative topic.

    i think life is not just all we go through there should be some thing before this and something after this.

    and after all life is not just what we know its root are out of exploration from mans reach.

    for example just think of a computer game which we humans have created and which is exactly a virtual world.

    could a characted in that video game can come out and explore who its creators are.
    quite impossible rght.

    life is to live and not to explore answers that are out of our reach, so please enjoy your only life you are holding now.

    all the best.
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    Oct 22 2013: hmmm...


    Jagged is smooth to the jagged people.

    I like that goats like to leap on the top of old Volkswagens - they think they are rocks .. and they are probably more right than Hitler.

    Big money for the winner of the bang thing - you can get funding for 17 kilometre tunnels full of science-junk- and start whole countries in the name of science.

    None of it makes food for our kids.

    Big bang?

    Yeah - in your pants if you are lucky.

    Are you lucky enough to require a 17 kilometre tunnel full of techno-junk to get off?
    Does that kinda make you misogynist?

    Luck is a con-job to exploit those who do not know how to make their own. (zatoichi)
  • Oct 20 2013: The big bang is more sound than any other explanation. There is proof beyond a doubt that we are the universe in chemical composition from most abundant elements on down the list. Why would you ever question without thorough study on the subject matter. With overwhelming evidence pointing towards a big bang event is it that makes you think differently?
  • Oct 20 2013: Stars explode and live on as elements essential for the creation of planets with jagged rock , that you can fall off of and eventually and consequently, life.
  • Oct 20 2013: That's because when the universe began there was no rock to be jagged. To get rock you need stars, correct?
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    Oct 20 2013: Actually physics explains the shape of the planets quite well, all one has to do is to study :) There are a few ways to prove mathematically that god(s) do exist, but it's a pointless exercise because to believers there is no need of proof... they just believe :) Believing, having faith, is antithetic to scientific thinking, that's why this has alway been, it is and it will always be a totally pointless debate :)
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      Nov 11 2013: Can you point me to the mathematical pros of god?

      Seems odd there are supposed proofs of gods but no actual compelling evidence.
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    Oct 19 2013: To believe in god one doesn't need any evidence , logic or reasoning ......
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      Oct 19 2013: Yes, things like evidence and logic and reasoning just makes it hard to believe in god, better to just stay ignorant and not question too much...
      Besides, why do now what you have an eternity to do later... and when you die you can just go up to god and ask all these questions to his face... So it's better to wait with the questions until you're dead...
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        Oct 20 2013: I am not sure why people take that hard way....?
        Aren't they confident enough with their belief ?
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      Nov 11 2013: Isn't that a prerequisite, no evidence, no sound reason etc?
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    Oct 19 2013: I'm still counting on my fingers, waiting for the Big Noise that'll help us figure out how far away it happened.
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    Oct 19 2013: I don't care I still think it is funny.
  • Oct 19 2013: That depends on why the "planet" explode. If the exploding planet is more like the sun, then its "content" is not cold solids, but molten lava like or even gas like. Then when it rotates in its orbit, it naturally becomes a round planet due to the spinning rotation as well as the gravitational pull from its center.
    Is our sun more liquid than more solid?
  • Oct 18 2013: Dave,

    I would think that many scientists are working on this kind of stuff, whether there was a big bang or not, far more intelligent people than myself. I would think that if there was a flaw as nonsensical as the one you present here, then they would know. I would therefore think that, since they're quite serious about their work, maybe, just maybe, I do not properly understand what the big bang is about. But that's just me.
  • Oct 17 2013: There is also another theory that the apparent expansion of our universe is due to the fact that we are in the event horizon of a 4d black hole and the universe is sphagettifying. Which would leave us with no big bang
  • Oct 17 2013: not to believe them.

    4. Why is it that so many people still believe in god and visit Rome every year and many religious sites if they did not believe in a supreme being?

    Atheism is the fastest growing "religion" or better stated, "belief system" in the world. Religion is hard to get rid of because it is ingrained in society. Only the US and a handful of other countries don't have a state religion, most do. England is the church of England, France, Spain, Italy are catholic etc. for thousands of years we believed in the roman and Greek and Norse gods it took a long time and bloody wars to switch to monotheism.

    People are pattern seeking creatures that want to see something like god because they would rather have a wrong answer than no answer at all.

    People go to Rome to see the history, experience the people, see the architecture etc. even if you're not religious it is a beautiful place with great things to experience. Very few are paying homage. think of the Asians that are Buddhist that visit Rome.

    5. Life after death....sounds crazy

    yes it does, very crazy. enough said, although i do wish that one were true, but i'd rather be reincarnated than go to heaven or hell.
  • Oct 17 2013: Couldn't really tell if you are pro or anti god, but i will go through and answer your post point by point.

    1. you say "if you were to explode a large planet or sun, what would the pieces look like? Sharp, jagged pieces of rocks and debris, right??? The planets in our solor system are round and not sharp or jagged."

    This is a logical fallacy known as a false analagy. True that if you exploded a planet the pieces would be jagged but if you explode a sun it would not be jagged because it is made of plasma. Alternatively, if the explosion was immense enough the planet (were assuming a rocky planet like earth) could in fact be molten and cool unjagged.

    2. you say, "I have blown up stuff as a kid and never saw a piece of material perfectly round after detonation."

    Those pieces do not have enough mass to become round, nor do they have enough time. Planets are round because A) they are massive, B) because they are not solid static objects as we can see on earth in the form of earthquakes. If you put a whole bunch of jagged pieces (around the mass of earth) in space, the pieces would gravitationally attract and eventually form into a oblate spheroid. By the way the earth is very jagged, look at the Himalayas and Andes and every other mountain range, however even if you had a giant pyramid with the mass of the earth, you wouldn't fall off if you stepped over to the next face because you are so small compared to the massive object.

    3. you say, "God, jesus and all we have been taught as a child exsist."

    Only just over 1 billion people are christians, that is self reported. Out of that there are those who are only sunday christians, and non true believers. It depends on the definition used, I could be christian by birth because my parents were christian but I could now be an atheist (and i am). Only 3 billion believe in the Judeo/christian god (jews, christians, muslims) Only children believe in the easter bunny becuase their parents lied to them and they had no reason
  • Oct 17 2013: Hi Dave, I do agree with you that just because the universe is expanding, that does not proof there was an explosion. Existence is constant creation.

    But yes, there is indeed "more to it!"
    Wouldn't it be great if we had proof of why we are here and where we are going? What would be a normal human reaction if we were given that kind of information? We would fight it with all the strength we had, and try our utmost to change things to OUR way of thinking.

    Part of the reason for our reaction is that we are beings of love. Everything we do, to the smallest detail, is caused by a love we have. And as we develop and grow up from birth, we have many loves and affections.
    But the only way we can acquire and develop any love is in freedom. No love can exist unless in freedom. So that's why, on the spiritual level there is no proof, no force of any kind, to make us do one thing or another.
    In case you'd like to read more about it, no pressure :) this is about the afterlife..
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    Oct 17 2013: There are plenty of jagged chunks of rock in space. We call them asteroids. Rocks that are big enough so that their own gravity crushes them into a sphere are called planets. If you make a pile of bricks one on top of the other, how high can you build it? Until the weight of the pile crushes the brick at the bottom. That's why all the tallest mountains on Earth are all about the same height.
  • Oct 16 2013: If we assume there is a God and we assume that God is the Biblical God, and we also assume he created the universe. If we accept all this 3 statements as true, then your statement is both heretic and ignorant. It is heretic because you are implicitly claiming that your knowledge of the universe is equal or greater than God's, which obviously is wrong in more than one scence, and not only that, you are also implying that you know the reasons and methods of God, in a clear tone of superiority, as if God was an object you could analyze and control. You statement is ignorant because it implies the "Big Bang" was a chemical explosion which is at all lights wrong, it is also ignorant because you say all celestial objects are perfectly round which is obviously incorrect, or don't you have eyes to see the mountains.
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    Oct 16 2013: I don't think anything is out.....I think we just need to be open to a lot of possibilities.
    I believe there is a Creator. But I also know that I do not fully understand everything there is to know about Creation.
    I am looking forward to learning a lot more in the future........I can't wait!!!
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    Adam G

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    Oct 16 2013: As someone said some time ago... We don't know a millionth of one percent about anything.
    True is that we are and probably will always be not knowing everything, we are living in 21 century and we think we are very modern, with all that great technology, knowing all our history all the way to the Big bang still thinking that there was nothing before that... What's the true ? No one knows.
    Good we are still looking for the true true, whatever that may be.

    I don't know if God designed us, the universe and everything I don't think so unless he designed us to think like that.

    Anyway -

    - Why not existence of perfectly round things after explosion are proof of God designing everything ?
    - Life is very simple for nature and maybe only we think because of our evolved brain that there is more to it ?

    Interesting Discussion and I think that what philosopher tried to answer since ancient times...

    The big bang itself, I don't think such thing actually happened but you never know...

    My comment about After life from

    As there is no correct answer for this, everyone will give you their own point of view. That depend on lots of things. At some point we probably will find the true true about afterlife, hope so.

    My point of view is that when you die it will be like falling asleep, for you it will be just minutes, maybe hours, for those alive, might be days, years, millennia and then you will live again, maybe as a person, child, where you wont remember much as you probably don't at the moment, [what's your earliest memory?] or maybe as some other creature, maybe on the other planet.

    The true is, I don't know, but that what I think will happen.

    I think important thing is to remember that we will all die at some point, Memento Mori.
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    Oct 16 2013: The people who believe in God do believe in a supreme being. Some people who visit religious sites may be believers and some may only appreciate them for their historical importance, architecture, artwork, and so forth.
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    Oct 16 2013: You got it Dave. The Big Bang is a silly idea. Hydrogen doesn't collapse into stars planets, or anything else; it spreads out as fast as it can. Certainly it looks like the universe started off smaller, but not at zero.
    If God were real, don't you think he would have given us some means of knowing him?
    What could that means be ?

    • Oct 17 2013: Well,
      if we are made in his image and likeness, then how we know him is through the law of expansion.
      I shall call that law, The Peter Law.
      As it expands, it gets larger and longer and further reaching into the future, for more,
      before there is once more a Big Bang and then the ever-coming retraction back to nothingness.
      ( ' ' )
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        Oct 22 2013: fractal?

        I like that.

        Irregular fractals are unknowable chaotics .. that's infinite enough for me :)
    • Oct 18 2013: Depends on how much hydrogen we're talking about. If there's enough the gravitation would take over. Well understood by physicists. But people with little knowledge think that they know better. Go figure.
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        Oct 19 2013: "Supernovae add enriching elements to space clouds of dust and gas, further interstellar diversity, and produce a shock wave that compresses clouds of gas to aid new star formation."

        Physicists seem to think that supernovae are needed to compress the gas. Never heard one explain how a critical mass of hydrogen could do it by gravity alone. Maybe you can point me in the right direction ?

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          Oct 20 2013: Peter,
          Let me say this, matter in the universe is created by the big bang, but not in the form that we see today. First, there is very strong evidence that most of the matter in the Universe is in the form of unseen or dark matter - matter that (at least so far) cannot be seen by standard astronomical methods, but whose presence can be inferred because it influences the Universe gravitationally. The nature of this dark matter is one of the most important unsolved problems in science. Second,when the universe was first created, essentially all matter was in the form of two elements- hydrogen and helium. Their relative abundance (by weight) was 75% hydrogen and 25% helium. (This means that for every He nucleus there were 12 H nuclei/protons) They were not evenly distributed throughout space. This is critical, because this uneven distribution allowed gravity to act in the areas of higher concentration to initiate the "clumping" of matter. If everything were evenly spread out, nothing would have happened, for each atom would have been attracted evenly from all directions, and would have remained where it was relative to neighboring atoms. As a result of slight discrepancies in the distribution of matter, gravity was able to initiate the collapse of huge volumes of H and He into more concentrated areas of gas. These areas eventually would evolve to form galaxies. Within these areas, there was a second level of more concentrated clumping of H and He that would form stars, where the higher mass elements would be created. Also be aware that part of the energy of the BB turned in to the Higgs field and when the Universe began to cool particles acquired mass from the Higgs field, slowed down and began to bunch up to form composite particles and, eventually, atoms.which gave rise to molecules--> chemistry--> Life.
          Check Nucleosyntehsis theory -since 1920- Eddington,Bethe,-1946 F Hoyle- -1960 Fowler,Alastair and others
        • Oct 20 2013: That stars can start being formed via a supernova explosion does not mean that they are necessary to start star formation. Hydrogen formed in quite dense clouds after atom formation was possible (after the universe was cold enough for atoms to exist). That would be quite the compressed form. Also, because hydrogen (and helium and other elements that formed at the beginning) did not form uniformly, then some parts had a lot more than other parts of the universe, enough to collapse under their own weight into stars.

          Google around if you wish. Someone has given you links (I think it was Jimmy Strobl), but you were unable to read it and understand it. It seemed more like you would search for a little paragraph, misinterpret it, and jump into conclusions without reading the whole thing. If you don't have the patience to read and understand the science, I see no way in which anybody will convince you. So I just make the point that ignorance does not trump knowledge. That your middle school physics does not trump that of astrophysicists. If other people are authentically interested they should be able to find explanations about how gravitation works and how lots and lots and lots of hydrogen won't behave like the little amounts we can have here on Earth. That with enough quantities we cannot ignore gravitational effects.

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        Oct 20 2013: It is very easy to claim superior knowledge. However there are 'experts" on both sides of this argument. For me it is a matter of faith.
        We are asked to believe in Dark Matter/Energy/Flow etc. This is all assumed to exist in order to make current gravity calculations work out.
        We are asked to believe in the Ort Cloud. This to explain the existence of Short Life comets we see flying by.
        We are asked to believe in Multiverses. This in order to explain the conditions we have suitable for life which are impossibly unlikely by normal means of calculation.
        If you believe these things, then you are more likely to have your scientific endeavours funded. Personally, I have no such axe to grind, & I chose to doubt.

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          Oct 20 2013: Peter,
          I make no claim to any"superior" knowledge-?-no mental ivory tower here-.BB is like a hammer in a toolbox-it gets used a lot- because it works, until someone invents a "better hammer". Now if to you faith is a cornerstone then it's settled, there shouldn't be a need for trying to debate scientific theories for you have scripture and your interpretation of them-I can respect the fact that you honestly believe in god as a creator.
          As for Science the data is available for study-to anyone with interest in it-(no conspiracy). And you don't have to take any scientist's word for it. If you think someone is being dishonest, double check. The nature of science is that every claim is tested by hundreds, or thousands of scientists all over the world; all trying to disprove every claim.
          I like that you choose to doubt, perhaps you may also want to question your core beliefs as well and, with the same animus.

        • Oct 22 2013: No Peter, there are experts on science's side and snake-oil salesmen on yours. Sorry to bring these news to you.

          You make the mistake of thinking of gas behaviour as "repulsion" between atoms. What keeps the gas molecules expanding when in small quantities is kinetic energy. Gravitation on the other hand is collective in the sense that a huge quantity of hydrogen can deform the space/time continuum and thus each atom feels the attraction of the whole thing. They will collapse until the temperature/kinetic energy equals the gravitational "pressure." This is what the proper equations for each, the kinetic energy and the gravitational effects predict. Nothing mysterious about it. Physicists can learn this early in the BSc.

          Dark matter is a inference from measurable gravitational effects. If you prefer to think that such effects are gods, then that's all right. But I don't see a reason to do that myself or a reason for authentic scientists to do that.

          The Oort cloud only explains short-lived comets that run in orbits that don't follow the plane of our solar system. There's many other short-lived comets that come from observable clouds but run mostly within the plane of the solar system. Scientists infer the Oort cloud because they can observe how the observable ones "lose" their alignment with the distance from the sun (gravitation and centrifugal force explain the plane, while departure from the plane is explained by the distance from the heavier bodies of the solar system), so that the observable clouds would continue into the darkness makes sense because of the eccentricity of those orbits, the fact that out-of-plane comets are still appearing around, and the presence of the observable clouds. Nothing evil about it. Just proper math, data, and observations.

          Multiverses? Well, there's data that makes sense if there's multiverses. But this is much newer and I have no informed opinion about it. However, I trust scientists first, snake-oil salesmen never.

        • Oct 22 2013: Again, if the big bang theory's problem was something that infantile I'm sure that a lot more scientists would reject it. Mainly physicists.

          Are you really convinced that physicists would not know if there was such a basic kindergarden-level "problem" with their theories? I mean, really?

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        Oct 21 2013: Hi Carlos,
        I like the hammer analogy. Yes, theoretically the whole BB theory is open to refutation by a superior theory. Same with evolution etc. Christianity however is seen as cast in stone. Immune to new discoveries; a belief system. When push comes to shove, however, folks will stand by the BB just as I would stand by Christ. To question the scientific dogma of the day brings derision on one's head.
        I continually check my beliefs, I do my best to keep abreast of the latest pertinent information. I am very aware that as a human being, I am only scratching the surface. To me Christianity is the most likely scenario; given all the information at my disposal.
        I do not call in to question the intelligence of BB proponents, they are entitled to their beliefs, & I am sure they have thought it through. However there is a religious fervour attached to many of these theories that would put Billy Graham to shame, that makes me wonder just who is the zealot.
        This is a general observation, & not to you personally. More of the Dawkins school, you get my drift.

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          Oct 22 2013: Peter,
          If you take a gander at the Michelson-Morley experiment (1887) you will see a display of the status quo in Physics of the time Vs. the results of MM. You see in those days ether was the "hammer" that gave a medium for EMR and Gravity propagation (action at a distance). Imagine when MM failed again & again to detect ether wind , no matter how it was rotated or revised it yielded the same results-no evidence for the motion bias that the scientific community was looking for.Now folks like Fitzgerald & Lorentz came up with some elegant answers,tools to be of great use later on (Fitzgerald-Lorentz contraction), but the point is that the Scientific establishment of the 1900s fought tooth & nail to hold on to the ether concept. It took 20 years or so, ( and Prof. Einstein) for the Scientific establishment to abandon old concept of ether as a mechanical medium for propagation (now replaced by: Relativity & Quantum Theory).
          To me the amazing thing here is the process that unfolds, that is - the Paradigm shift between two world views (ether-no ether) and how science proceeds via a "revolution" and overthrows a dominant theory by another(until replaced), Imagine, not the same premises , not the same facts or the same standards-what is true in one is totally irrelevant in the other,or it doesn't exists at all, Its a new reality a new language.Everything is explained in books, but Do folks get the meaning?
          So yes, scientists -as human beings- can fall prey to their own devices as the old folks did in the 1900s -very true- but as evidence mounts, well- is like the morning sun it can't covered with the hand and thus can't be denied.
          I don't believe in Science (Moore's Paradox) -You can't believe in something and know it at the same time, To me Science has the Scientific Method and EDP(engineering design process), that will keep all the swans white until a black one is found.
          I think that religion will evolve as the scientific paradigms shifts.
          Thanks, Pete.