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Austin R

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Isn't everything meaningless without faith in anything beyond this life?

Even if it is highly unlikely, shouldn't we all have some degree of faith in something more? What's the point of living life with no hope of something greater than the observable, physical world?

Topics: afterlife faith
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    Apr 17 2011: Let me put the question into the opposite direction... what is the point of life if we know for sure there is something greater than the observable physical world?

    What's the point of remaining in this world if you know you'll have an infinite life of happiness after you die? Why not kill all infants and fetuses in order to let them die without sin and let them go directly to heaven (at the price of you going to hell for killing, but that's just one person sacrificing himself for the greater good)? Assuming you have no sin yourself, why not die now by making someone kill you ('cause suicide is a sin itself)? What's the point of waiting?

    For me at least (I'm not saying this is a universal view anyone should have), the meaning of life is the struggle for your life to not be in vain, exactly because it is the only one you'll get. If anything, the lack of afterlife is a motivator for a better, more fully lived life, not a motivator against life.
    • Apr 17 2011: Me too.
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      Apr 17 2011: Well said!
    • Apr 17 2011: Good point. Though, there is a difference between knowing for certain and having faith. I'm pretty confident no one knows for sure whether or not there is afterlife. Killing babies would imply one has concrete knowledge of an afterlife.
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        Apr 18 2011: Yes, but ultimately, the truth is one. Either there is some form of afterlife (whether it's another life here or an eternity at another place is a separate question) or there isn't, and you need to have faith in whatever you think is the truth (since there's no way to prove either option). Your faith in turn will influence your behavior.

        For me at least, if there is infinite life of total happiness awaiting, that will be a reason for me to constantly suffer because I'll be depressed that I can never become as happy as I could be after death. If hell exists, that's also a reason for fear should you go there instead of heaven.... so... fear and/or depression... neither sounds like a good way of living, especially when it's not even certain if heaven and hell exist.

        Reincarnation is a separate matter, because it doesn't imply any infinite living, but just an infinite sequence of finite livings. I can imagine being happy with that though. The only problem I see is the assumption of previous lives that is inherit from this. It turns into a way of disregarding people who suffer today and ignoring the future generations. If you believe your soul will be part of the future generation, you'll wait until your soul is at the critical generation, and when you see someone suffering today, you'd assume he deserved it from being bad in a previous life as opposed to helping him.

        If you believe you have only one life and nothing after death, you make the most of it, including helping society, because that's the only thing left to look forward to - the dream of making heaven on Earth, ideally in your life time, or at least for future generations.
        • Apr 18 2011: What about the other side?
          The fact, that one's life may have implications on where one will go in the afterlife, can also motivate them to make the best impact in their life. Ånd, an individual who believes in no afterlife could just as easily be depressed and fearful by the thought of his inevitable fate.

          When you said,

          "If you believe you have only one life and nothing after death, you make the most of it, ..."

          I think this should be our goal, regardless of faith. :)
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          Apr 22 2011: Vasil...........Don't be depressed. The only reason I want an afterlife is kind of selfish. I love life and I don't want it to end. I don't know how happy I will be.
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        Apr 18 2011: It works as a carrot, but like any carrot, it becomes forced... think of it like getting homework.

        You'll typically don't like the task, but you'll do it anyway in the hope of getting a good grade (even if we assume you aren't worried for the bad grade that's imminent if you don't even make an effort). It technically works... you'll write your homework, and it will be of good enough quality for the good grade. You might even learn something from it.

        But what if grade is never a motivator? What about when you do your homework just because you want to do it... because the task fascinates you. Because you want to learn more.

        That's where I draw the distinction between "good for the sake of goodness" and "good for the sake of [something else]".
        • Apr 18 2011: I must note, I like your analogy.

          Though, just because one does "good for the sake of [something else]" he can still do "good for the sake of goodness". The two aren't mutually exclusive. People don't follow God solely because He says He is God. They follow Him also because He is all that is good. So, they aren't merely being good for the sake of God, but also for goodness sake.
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          Apr 22 2011: Vasil....Oh, I agree. My "carrot description" was for getting ahead for purposes of getting rewarded for what you should be doing anyhow.
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        Apr 19 2011: Yes, they aren't mutually exclusive... not even in the analogy... you could do your homework because it fascinates you while at the same time keeping in mind the good grade you'll get thanks to it.

        The problem arises when the thought of the grade takes precedence over the thought of learning.

        As Salman Khan suggests, our current idea of "grade as a snapshot of specific knowledge" is flawed, and we need to replace it with signs of mastery of specific knowledge, with them being acquirable in arbitrary time frames (OK, he didn't put it like that, but it boils down to just that).

        Similarly, I find the idea of "good for the sake of God" is flawed, even though as you say it's not mutually exclusive with the idea of "good for the sake of goodness". The analogy sort of breaks here though, because education in its current state is a multiple sequence of tests and homeworks at certain known times, and the same could be said for life vs. afterlife (one big test/homework in life).

        But with Khan's proposal, to map it back into the afterlife question, it would seem like... wait... it might just be the perfect mapping. We are born at arbitrary times, get arbitrary environment and the common end goal is goodness. If you map yourself as God/afterlife and your assignments/knowledge as humanity and the mastery of each assignment as goodness, Khan's system maps to the ultimate goodness, where each skill is not acquired because it leads to a grade for you, but because it contributes to the whole of your knowledge.
        • Apr 20 2011: I agree with you that it becomes a problem when the thought of the grade "takes precedence over the thought of learning". I also agree with Khan's assessment.

          The grade should not be a motivator, it should purely be a result. The fact that so many people have the opposite view, today, is detrimental to society.
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          May 15 2011: I love this line of thinking/feeling! I have gone through phases of believing in an afterlife, did not believe in an afterlife, then again believed in afterlife. No matter what I believed about an afterlife at any given time, my life was still an exploration, and I lived it with curiosity and intent to learn, which has caused my life to be a wonderful adventure.

          I agree with you Austin, that it could become a "problem when the thought of the grade takes precedence over the thought of learning". When we focus on the grade, or expectations of a particular afterlife, it sometimes distracts us from the moment, and we miss opportunities in the moment that may not look like opportunities to our logical mind. How we do something, is as important as what we do in life, to both our personal well being as well as to the whole. Are we living just to get points? Or, do we live to "contribute to the whole of your knowledge", as Vasil insightfully states? The pleasure of life for me, is contributing to my own knowledge, as well as making a contribution to the whole, so although I believe in an afterlife and reincarnation, it really doesn't matter as I live every moment.
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      Apr 20 2011: Vasil.................You cannot love others if you do not love yourself. I would not think of killing myself much less my children. Killing them woulf not be an act of love. That is a strange view.
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        Apr 20 2011: Who said anything about this not being a strange view :-D ? It IS a strange view indeed... my point exactly.

        If an infinite life at a happy place like heaven was the real deal, there wouldn't be any reason to stick to this life, other than the fear of going to hell because of your sins so far (you wouldn't know how God would judge you). But if you're already sinful, and knew for sure heaven existed, acting in the best interest of your children by killing them would suddenly turn into the best option.

        But again, that's only if we knew for a fact it was true. The reason there aren't any mass baby murderers is because we don't "know", we "have faith" instead.

        But to contrast that with the typical atheist view... knowing that what I believe was the truth wouldn't change me one bit... so what if my particles will scatter across gradually and I'd feel nothing because I never really had a "soul", but a "working brain" instead? That's not a reason not to enjoy life while I still have it.
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          Apr 21 2011: Vasil...............There was a widely reported case in Houston, Texas, of a mother killing five children and she was proven, after a long trial that she herself was victim of beliefs no reasonable person would ascribe to. She heard voices telling her that she should do this. Who knows how convoluted her thinking was ? I wonder why her brain did not set her straight ? Peace
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        Apr 21 2011: Wow... and to think I didn't knew of that (no, really), but was just throwing it around as "what if..." speculation. One more thing to add to my list on "bad things caused by fundamentalist beliefs". And a recent one too... most items on my list were from the renaissance downwards (when "heresy" was punishable by law), with the exception of the man who killed a doctor for doing abortions.

        "I wonder why her brain did not set her straight ?"
        Simple... there was no one like us around to even suggest to her that maybe (just maybe...) what she believes isn't the truth. Devoted Christians all around told her to have faith and with critical thinking abolished in order to acquire the beliefs on the first place, and in the absence of alternative ideas, true turned into an infallible absolute truth, hence she applied the logic I just outlined.

        If there was anyone to just raise the possibility of something else, the "truth" would've been downgraded to "faith" in her mind, hence she would not apply my logic, as any sane person.
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          Apr 21 2011: Vasil................I remember that her family was connected to a weird cult of some sort and she had one pregnancy right after another. There was depression involved and lack of proper treatment. Hey please don't lump Christians in one terrible category.... I consider myself PROGRESSIVE Christian. I follow the new covenant.....Love love and your neighbor as yourself. That is supreme in my life. No Marian cultishness and all the other stuff. My thing is reverence for life and nature. Peace
        • Apr 21 2011: "Devoted Christians all around told her to have faith and with critical thinking abolished"
          Why do assume that faith requires the abandonment of critical thinking?
          What, if any, logical contradictions do you think are inherent in belief in a deity?
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        Apr 21 2011: "Hey please don't lump Christians in one terrible category"
        I don't. See here
        http://www.ted.com/conversations/1463/if_these_guys_and_others_are.html?c=227664
        (why do many people keep thinking in binary? "Everything is either right or wrong"; "Everything is either True or False"; "Everyone is either Fundamentalist-Religious or non-religious", etc.; Why refuse the option of there being "best", "Unknown" and "harmless"?)

        It's likely she was the only fundamentalist in her area (fundamentalists are rare fortunately). The rest of the people around her (including the parts of the family not connected with the cult, neighbors, friends and/or co-workers or whatever) were probably not fundamentalists at all... maybe they were all also progressive too (which BTW as far as I'm concerned, if not bounded to creationism falls into the not-really Christian group, and if it is bound it is in the non-harmful Christian category). What I mean was that her fundamentalist, possibly cult cultivated (interesting pun here...) view was never questioned. You don't have to be a fundamentalist to not question it. Simply not presenting other possibilities is enough.

        "she had one pregnancy right after another. There was depression involved and lack of proper treatment."
        Can I get a link to an article/recording or something please? I'm starting to wonder if the cult was even a reason... could it be poverty? There was a similar case in Bulgaria, but the reason was not religious motivated, but was self-preservation motivated (uneducated woman, didn't had the money or insurance to get an abortion, a contraceptive or food for the baby; chose to kill the kid instead of giving it up for adoption... idiot).
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          Apr 21 2011: Vasil............You said devoted Christians (well I can tell you that not all devoted Christians are looney) I Googled Andrea Yates (that is her name) and you can get plenty of info there. Sorry I don't know how to post a link. Peace
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        Apr 21 2011: @Helen Hupe
        By "devoted Christians", I mean any Christian who falls into a group other than "not-really Christian", so having that said, yeah, not all devoted Christians are loony. I don't think that.

        @Jeremy Streich
        Critical thinking requires that you don't hold anything you take being true as the ultimate truth. That nothing is infallible. A critical thinker who believes in a God is not a Christian by definition, but agnostic at "best".
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          Apr 23 2011: Vasil.......Just one more thing that might shed some light on my position and that is that I do not believe in demiurges or hell.Peace
        • Apr 23 2011: Yes I agree Helen. I don't believe that Gandhi and people like him could possibly be sent to exist in eternal suffering.
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    May 2 2011: I was never a firm believer in anything beyond this life, but I tried to believe because I was taught to and it was the socially accepted thing to do growing up. I did this until I could not lie to myself anymore, then I slowly started coming to terms with the fact that there is absolutely nothing else after this life. I felt bad for not believing... It was tough and frightening at first (it's so much easier to believe and think that you have all the answers), But I am a lot happier today than I have ever been as far as that goes. I have learned that this is my only life, and I try to cherish every moment. Everything is more meaningful this way. Instead of worrying about a future that will never come, I focus on today and choose to be happy now.
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      May 2 2011: That's beautiful Jafia Camara. I think whether or not we believe in something beyond this life, cherishing every moment, focusing on today and the here and now is the most important thing:>)
      • May 3 2011: I agree with both of you, that we should live life to the fullest and seek as much joy and happiness out of this life as we possibly can, regardless of what the future holds. After all, nobody knows for sure!
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    Apr 27 2011: what change can a faith in something beyond this life can bring to this life.... even if we belive in something beyond this life or not, we gotta do what we have to do to move on in ths life. can a criminal caught could be set free beliving that GOD will punish him fr his deeds at some point of his life? (i ws just saying an example)... certainly NOT, we should do that... my point was... ther may or maynot be something beyond this life..but, but certainly it has nothing to do with this life. so why bother? we cant depend merely on a faith to move on in this life.. that simply doesnt make any change. even if there is some thing beyond this life... lets deal it after this life.
    • Apr 28 2011: today is doing and not result and tomorrow is result and not doing.
      by death the chance for doing any deed is finished.
      death is like sleep.
      can you do anything in sleep?
      after death there is no doing.
      just result.
      reward or punish.
      not any faith is accepted by God.
      lets say a saying about Satan.
      Satan was not angle and worshiped God 6000 years and grew up to can in level of angles.
      when God created Adam ordered all angels to pray him.
      all angels prayed Adam but Satan.
      God said Satan why you did not pray:
      Satan said:
      you created me from fire and him from soil.
      fire is better than soil, so I am better than him. so I not pray him.
      God said:
      http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/7:13
      before Satan go out from near of God said:
      let me worship you 6000 years but I do not pray human and then forgive me.
      God said:
      "I want worship as I want, not as how you want"
      any faith but the faith God wants has no meaning and has no value at Judgement day.
      if you want can have any faith. but faith without God is just doing some deeds with no value after death.
      God just accept deeds done just for him.
      God do not want any other in your heart but himself.
      God is alone and do not accept any partner. even in being beloved.
      best gift to God is a deed pure for God.
      some people take some food and at middle of night when all are asleep go to street and find hungry people and orphan child and put food for them while are asleep. and cover their face to not be known? do you know why?
      giving food to a poor while other looking is not for God and is for being respected (loving to be respected) in people and when others see that poor getting food that poor will have embarrassment in front of his family (making God unhappy for making one of his creatures bothered ).

      when some one do not eat all of his food and take care of poor and orphans living near his home just and just for God and not for anything also. then it is pure Love.
      Imam Ali: lest orphans sleep some night hungry and some night ful
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    Apr 23 2011: If there's an afterlife, then that makes life pretty meaningless if we're going to 'live' forever...

    I think it's those who think 'when we die we're dead' that find that life is TRULY meaningful!
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    Apr 18 2011: meaning less? someone else's life may seem meaningless to us if they have a totally different philosophy about life, from that of us. but they live according to them and they might be happy...in the end thats all matters... are u happy? talking about the life beyond the physical world and after life........ THE MORE U KNOW ABOUT THE PHISICAL WORLD..THE MORE U BELIVE IN A SUPREME POWER thats beyond our controle. the more u discover more u belive in god....most of the scientists are gud belivers of god...the knot of mistry in this physical wcorld cannot be untied by our little brains...so we r left with no optioo but to belive in a supreme power.
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    Apr 17 2011: Who is to say the anything beyond this life, is beyond this life. No one knows for sure. There is no proof of anything really, we have discussed that into oblivion (don't misunderstand, all good topics) so me question is to the Quantum Physicists is, 'Is life and the universe truly one thing and if so when we die do we simply relocate back into the universal soup and if so, are we not part of a greater thing all of the time" ?
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      Apr 17 2011: I think it's only cool, though, or satisfying at least, if we're still aware of our participation somehow. Making sure we decompose into the most helpful molecules possible doesn't really seem sufficient to give us a sense of 'meaning' for what to do with our lives. :-D
    • Apr 18 2011: Good point Lee. Hadn't thought about it that way before.
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      Apr 18 2011: "Is life and the universe truly one thing and if so when we die do we simply relocate back into the universal soup and if so, are we not part of a greater thing all of the time"
      Exactly the thing I believe. I still define my current form of existence (and more precisely, the sum of all particles that form it) as "me", but I don't define "me" as being something separate that is linked to the system, but rather, something which is part of the system, always was, and always will be... but at the same time recognize that "me" is going to exist only once.

      (damn this flawed terminology again...)
      • Apr 18 2011: I've always found this quote interesting.

        "We are a way for the Universe to know itself." Carl Sagan
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        Apr 18 2011: I agree with the only being (me) once. When we had children I was older 40 to be exact and my wife and I often said what if we would have had children earlier, the thing is though, they would not have been the same children. So we arrive at the point where we are at in time and space and it is a unique experience, but one which is the result of a developing universe which has existed for an infinite period of time, only to return to whence we came.
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      Apr 18 2011: I think there is something which share us (there is a proof) that there is something beyond life : our soul .
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        Apr 21 2011: and the proof is...
        • Apr 21 2011: if there is no soul then human is all material.
          material is not self-aware.
          if you are material so you are like a stone on land. is a stone aware of himself separated from materials around it?
          you are separate entity from other materials around you.
          why you can distinguish between yourself and materials around you?
          for example is a robot aware of himself?
          what is the self?
          self is soul.
          please think about yourself. what is this self?
          when you close your eyes and Imagine a big picture in your mind. where exist this picture? and who is looking at that picture by closed eyes?
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          Apr 23 2011: oh Matthieu (the new Matthieu) to understand that you think that is there no life after I 'die' ? The proof is that I have life now.......
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          Apr 23 2011: If the evidence for there being life after death is that you live now, then this conversation going on is proof that even if this conversation and all of its backups are deleted, the conversation will still continue going on "beyond the computer world". Can you agree with that?
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          Apr 24 2011: no, I can't agree with that, but I think that the situation is different when I talk about human life.
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          Apr 24 2011: OK... let's see other analogies... the fact that my computer is in the room I'm in is evidence that once my computer is out of the room, it would be somewhere else... and what if my computer was burned/chopped/whatever? Do you still call it "my computer" or is it now "the remains of my computer"? I think the latter, since "my computer" doesn't exist any longer. Unless you knew for sure what I have outside of my room, you can't prove that my computer is going to remain present as it was within my room.

          Even if we were to take as granted the notion of "soul" (which I don't, since there's no evidence for that either), we have no evidence that this soul will remain after our death.

          Feel free to believe what you want... claiming its true and you have proof is another matter though.
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          Apr 25 2011: hey Vasil, it's improper to try to make analogies because no analogy will share perfect what I want to say .......................... you can't compare with nothing what I call the life (you know our last conversation about morality ........ I should use here the idea of absolutism very much for supporting my view and you know..........)
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        Apr 21 2011: "if there is no soul then human is all material."
        What most atheists believe currently due to the lack of evidence for "soul", yes.

        "material is not self-aware."
        A cell is a living thing (well... by one definition). It is made of atoms. Individually, atoms are not self aware, are material, are not living, and yet we call the cell "life", and the sum of cells at one point becomes self aware (if you don't count the cell as "self aware").

        "if you are material so you are like a stone on land."
        That's a very narrow minded concept of "material". Water is material, and it's part of you (70% of you, if I'm not mistaken). Bones, meat, brains... all are material and are part of you. They all amount to 100% of you in material terms, and yet you - the sum of them - are self aware, and are "material" still.

        "why you can distinguish between yourself and materials around you?"
        A special material that is part of you, called a brain, takes light and interprets it into objects it can distinguish. This system is not without its flaws. See this TED Talk:
        http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html

        "for example is a robot aware of himself?"
        Define "aware of himself". "Maintaining information about its mechanics and position into the known space" - typically, yes. "Has software (written onto hardware BTW) that can make the hardware move in arbitrary ways depending on a set goal" - sort of. "Feels pain" - not programmed, but if we had the hardware and programmed it, it could.

        "what is the self?"
        IMHO - the sum of particles that your brain identifies as part of the system that is under its direct immediate control.

        "when you close your eyes and Imagine a big picture in your mind. where exist this picture?"
        My mind. My brain. Even with opened eyes, what I see is actually in my brain. It's just that it's based on external inputs as opposed to internal inputs.
        • Apr 21 2011: why cell is not self aware and sum of cells at one point becomes self aware?
          Water, Bones, meat, brains are also not self aware like stone.
          brain can process but can not Interpret. Interpreting and understanding is for soul.
          Brain is like a CPU. you mean a computer understand what is showing on its monitor? does the picture of a tree and picture of an apple showed on monitor have different meaning for a computer?
          Define "aware of himself": when you call yourself "me" and you understand you exist and you are separate of universe and you are aware of your body and your leg and can distinguish between yourself and what is not yourself. does a robot have an understanding of "me"?
          what you call IMHO is definition of your body. it does not cover the meaning of "me"
          what is in your brain is data and information. data and information without Interpret has no meaning. when you see a picture by closed eyes you see a picture. if you see a picture in your mind it needs a screen like monitor of PC to data be shown as a Image on it then we see it. we can not see the crude data stored as a Image before it become a Image on a screen. where is that screen?
          when your eye is open the Image exist in nature. but when your eye is closed where is that Image?
        • Apr 22 2011: finally even if no one can not prove soul exist (just by methods materialist scientists accept) , Indeed no one can prove soul not exist in any method.(materialist method or rational)
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        Apr 22 2011: "Brain is like a CPU"
        No. Brain is like a whole computer system, minus the input/output devices (which are instead the other organs around the brain that we have).

        "you mean a computer understand what is showing on its monitor? does the picture of a tree and picture of an apple showed on monitor have different meaning for a computer?"
        Sort of, yes, but only if explicitly programmed to do so (in the case of humans, we get our such programming while we're a fetus). The monitor doesn't understand what it gets - it just takes input in the form of a sequence of pixels to display and displays them (and does so at least 60 times per second). But the program that generated the pixel data actually stores information in regards to what a certain batch of pixels accounts to. When you click on the "Reply" link that's your computer "knowing" that this there is a "link" that triggers the opening of a comment box, "knows" based on the input that your mouse is over the link and you clicked, and therefore it carries out that action, eventually leading the monitor into displaying stuff.

        Also keep in mind that in the case of a monitor, we're talking about projection here and not input processing. Visual and audio input processing is still being improved on, but even that, when given to a computer or a brain is a sort of input.

        BTW, the monitor, as well as the computer in general, are perfect example of how something happens to exist when enough of something totally different is arranged... your computer stores only 1's and 0's onto a hardware, and yet they amount to a set of actions the hardware then performs to produce other 1's and 0's that eventually do something (like being input to a monitor). Each pixel is meaningless - it's just a single color, but mushed together they become a picture you can recognize.
        • Apr 23 2011: OK, brain is like computer. not important here.
          finally computer or robot is not aware of itself and aware of what show on monitor. because computer is just material.
          awareness is from soul.
          human=material(body)+soul
          body is a avatar controlled by soul.
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        Apr 23 2011: 'when you call yourself "me" and you understand you exist and you are separate of universe and you are aware of your body and your leg and can distinguish between yourself and what is not yourself. does a robot have an understanding of "me"?'
        By this definition, and as a computer guy, I can unambiguously, confidently and with evidence tell you absolutely YES.

        A computer maintains (i.e. stores, uses and adjusts) information about itself and its status. Though the hardware doesn't, the software written onto the hardware "knows" what is part of it (i.e. what's under its direct control and what not). Neither the software or hardware has any understanding of other entities though. It just knows there's "it" and something else which is not "it". When you press a key, the computer receives an electrical signal that it eventually turns into a number by the core programming (a.k.a. drivers) and then further carried out to other programs, some of which send signals to the monitor as part of the programming. Nothing more and nothing less. It doesn't know what caused the signals or why they formed the number, but knows its outside of its control and adjusts the rest of its information accordingly based on its programming and current state.

        And yet we can agree the computer doesn't have a soul.

        In the same way that a computer's software is written onto hardware (hard disk), our "mind" or "soul" is physically written onto our brains.

        BTW, the computer also doesn't take its software as a separate entity from itself, which is unlike what you're doing. I guess the moment they do is the moment movies like "Terminator" and "The Matrix" would become reality... or maybe once we introduce emotions. A computer doesn't have any emotions yet. The process involved in the human brain is too complex for us to program emotions, though Google is trying to program "regret" currently.
        • Apr 23 2011: "knows" is not "aware"
          human does not need to press any "key" to say anything about himself.
          when computer had "will" and "intend" and not saying anything by use of intend of human, then computer is aware.
          computer just process signals with pressing a key then say a reply while itself is not aware of what is saying.
          please not watch movie too much. I am not sure but some Muslim Movie specialist and analyzers say the movie "matrix" is made to make people atheist. they have long speech I not interested to watch. most famous of them in Iran is Dr. foad izadi
          http://www.aviny.com/clip/tv/raz/raz.aspx
          I do not know his speeches is available in English or not.
          I could not find a personal web for him. Dr. foad izadi has lived and studied many years in US and know US politics and also Hollywood very well.
          do you know for who is the most stock of Hollywood?
          media is controlling the think of people.
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        Apr 26 2011: 'human does not need to press any "key" to say anything about himself.'
        And a computer doesn't need a human in order to print anything about itself... assuming that's part of its programming as "talking" is to ours.

        'when computer had "will" and "intend" and not saying anything by use of intend of human, then computer is aware.'
        If it was programmed at its creation (same way we're programmed during pregnancy), it could do something without human push.

        'computer just process signals with pressing a key then say a reply while itself is not aware of what is saying.'
        A "key" or a mouse is just the standards computer's way of taking input. Our input is with our senses - eyes, ears, nose, skin. A computer can process those with camera, microphones and touch screens, but is simply not yet programmed to process those inputs in the way we do. Our programming is simply much more sophisticated than any software for OCR, speech recognition and other such things.

        Just as a computer processes those signals, so do we. We don't know exactly how are we processing them - we don't know our algorithm - but we know some sort of processing of inputs takes place in our brain and results with the brain sending signals to the rest of our body, same way a computer sends signals to a monitor, printer or something else.

        'I am not sure but some Muslim Movie specialist and analyzers say the movie "matrix" is made to make people atheist.'
        If you're going to let a piece of fiction change the course of your life... oh wait... nevermind.

        'do you know for who is the most stock of Hollywood?
        media is controlling the think of people.'
        Influences, yes... and so does religion... and it is my hope that neither ends up controlling people in the literal sense, though some people are more gullible than others, so they're already controlled.
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          Apr 26 2011: Vasil,
          I agree with most of what you write, and believe that our brain is much like a computer.

          You say: "Just as a computer processes those signals, so do we. We don't know exactly how are we processing them..."
          You already answered this..."our input is with our senses..." I believe that we take in information with all our senses, and if we have an open heart/open mind, we evaluate different ideas (programs) and decide which program we will have running at any given time. Like a computer, our brain has many different channels (servers, soft ware, etc). If we only have one program, that is the one we will keep visiting over and over again.

          You're right in that our programming is more sophisticated, and it's also simple, in that it is information in - information out:>) Whatever information we program our mind with, will be how we live our lives. Yes? And if we're going to let any piece of information change our lives, it is a choice we make, based on the information we allow ourselves to take in?

          Many things influence us, as you say, and the only way an idea can control us, is if we give control to someone or something outside ourselves. I think sometimes people do this because in some respects it may feel easier not to have to think and feel for ourselves. However, I would not give up that part of the exploration, adventure and meaning of life for anything. That is a choice we all have:>)
        • Apr 27 2011: Dear Vasil Rangelov,
          "computer doesn't need a human in order to print anything about itself."
          how you say that?
          printing is result a programm (maybe windows) and program should be started at a time then can print later. so who starts windows? who turns on computer? computer itself decide to when turn on?
          do you need pressing any turn on button at morning to start your day?
          "heart/mind"
          what is their definitions? they are spiritual things.
          "If it was programmed at its creation"
          when is that time for computer? you turn off computer and it need you every day to turn it on again. turning on a computer is as Intend.
          "taking input" needs Intend. computer has not needed Intend itself to taking input.
          "A computer can process those with camera"
          yes, but first needs an Intend to get photo by camera, then process it.
          "much more sophisticated"
          does your wisdom accept a much more sophisticated programming without no programmer? it is rational? who is programmer of your body? is not its time to be friend by God?
          "We don't know exactly how are we processing them - we don't know our algorithm "
          why you deny what you do not know?
          is not it better to just deny you first know what is it.
          "piece of fiction change "
          it was not an evidence. just a point and I said I am not sure. but there is lots of round table about it. if Interested I can watch them and say here.
          I hope too no one control people not media and not religion. then people can hear all voices then think free and decide with open and clear mind.

          (I do not know how to be notified when some one send a reply on our comment without periodic checking. do you have a program for that?)
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      Apr 26 2011: I actually began to think that the saying 'live life to the fullest' was a bit silly in that when individuals start this quest it would then 'usually' involve partaking in activities that would expedite the end of life - ie binge drinking, smoking, drugs, rampant sexual encounters, excessive alcohol intake, excessive food intake (bad, ver unhealthy food at that).

      I thought that the saying would actually imply to live 'life' to its fullest, as in live it to its utmost capacity…not live its 'meaning' to it's fullest…but I guess we are programmed to generate meaning for everything…we just can't help ourselves…
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        Apr 26 2011: Hi M. Timothy,
        You're right...we all interpret things differently! For me, living life to the fullest means hiking, kayaking, skiing, biking, gardening, eating healthy delicious food from the garden, serving on government boards dealing with environmental issues, volunteering with social services agencies, etc.
        To me, living life to the fullest means being totally engaged in a healthy, productive life.

        Binge drinking, smoking, drugs, rampant sex, excessive alcohol and food are empty in my perception, rather than full. We CAN "help ourselves" by making choices regardless of what our previous programming was:>)
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          Apr 26 2011: Hi Colleen,

          I totally agree with you and in reading my reply above I thought to myself how judgemental I would have come across. I guess there is no way of concreting a definition to what 'living life to its fullest' actually entail...My interpretation to the idiom (which is pretty similar to your interpretation) isn't any more 'right' than the next average Joe. I think I was coming from a place of annoyance when I see individuals (especially younger people - which I admittedly once was and admittedly was once a willing participant in this youthful rampant behaviour) seemingly wasting away in what they believe - or rather have been made to believe - is 'living the good life'…

          I dont know…I think I'm being judgemental again...ha! :)
        • Apr 28 2011: both fullest and not fullest live have the same end: death
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        Apr 26 2011: M. Timothy,
        I didn't percieve you as judgemental, and it seemed like you had a different interpretation of living life to the fullest. I agree...each and every one of us will decide what a full life means to us. Glad to hear that you have changed your perception of full life:>) Sometimes we explore some practices that are not that benificial, and that's how we learn and grow:>)

        Again...I don't see you as judgemental...seems like you are pondering? Welcome to the pondering full life!!! :>)
  • Jul 21 2011: hey... i am Dedy i am from indonesi, i am one of the big fan of TED i like downloading TED' videos, i would like to comment the topic above... I am christian i do believe JESUS is the only way to the salvation, my faith is JESUS, my life is JESUS, my love is JESUS, i yearn to see him comes for the second time to usher all of his followers...once again i say JESUS is my faith GOD BLESS
  • Jul 15 2011: It all depends on your definition of meaningless and on your worldview in general. Some atheists insist that there is no meaning and that this is all we have. Some religious people believe that there is no point to this world beyond gaining entry to the afterlife. I am an agnostic so I am open to both arguments, but ultimately I judge this life on its own merit. I believe that this world has as much meaning as we wish it to. If we can enjoy this life, if we can be good to each other or cooperate to reach a greater goal, why can't that have its own worth? There are many examples of human ingenuity and of goodwill that is the result of the empathy that lets us relate to each other, and these are worthwhile things which better other people's lives. No overarching purpose is necessary for something to be fulfilling, and oftentimes the most enjoyable things in life are simple and surprising. There is no purpose to watching the sunset beyond the awe and enjoyment of the moment, and yet it is a calming and fulfilling thing to do. If you enjoy your life and appreciate what we have, then any afterlife there may be is just a bonus. Nothing is meaningless until we choose it to be, and the entirety of our lives is no different.
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    Jul 14 2011: "Isn't everything meaningless without faith in anything beyond this life?"

    No. If you live every moment like it is eternity, then you don't have a premise to believe in anything beyond this life. Philosophically, each moment is eternity because it is "always present, never gone or to come". In an eternity, meaning has no meaning. If this principle is applied to daily living, then you will live a worry-free life and have a terror-free death.

    Meanwhile, "knowledge" of a non-physical entity will bring serenity and spiritual satisfaction, nothing more. It will not promise betterment of conditions than now.
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      Jul 14 2011: Define spiritual satisfaction.
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        Jul 14 2011: Spiritual satisfaction means knowing that you know yourself for what you really are.
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    Jun 27 2011: Why should we have some degree of faith in something more?
    Why wouldn't there be a point of living without there being something else besides the physical world?
    What is wrong with the greatness of the observable physical world?
    Isn't everything meaningless if it is all about some huge all-powerful god to be worshipped in an afterlife?

    Meaning is a very individual, personal, issue. I don't find the idea of an afterlife worshiping a god meaningful at all. I do find the mere reality of my existence right here and now as meaningful in and of itself. So I make the best use of it I can. If there is an afterlife, well, we will deal with it however we can, if we can. If not, well, we are still here. What should we do? Lament that there might be nothing else, or live and find meaning in what we have?
    • Jun 28 2011: because:
      1- you not no way but dying
      2- you do not know what happens after life
      3- there is some evidences human is not only material like sleep dream deja vu hypnotism NDE ,...
      3- no one could prove nothing happens after death
      4- thee is some risky scenarios about after death.
      http://www.al-islam.org/gallery/kids/Books/unseen/title.htm
      http://www.al-islam.org/the-hereafter/
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        Jun 28 2011: SR,

        1. You missed the whole point about "meaning" being a very personal thing.
        2. I can't prove that nothing happens after death, but, most importantly, nobody has proven that something does. Again, that makes no difference in terms of meaning.
        3. Most religions have their "risks." Since all of them want exclusivity, there is no way to "play it safe."
        4. Your "arguments" are exactly the ones I hear from Christians. Thus, your religion is just as false and nonsensical.
        5. Nope, there is no evidence whatsoever that humans are anything else but 'material.'
        6. Again, what you said has nothing to do with what I asked.
        • Jun 30 2011: Dear Gabo,
          1- also my points are personal
          2- many proofs exist for existence of after death. please do not prejudice about all religions based on your Images about church.
          3- risk if for wisdom. even without religion wisdom accepts risk after death.
          4- similar. but not exact. please do not prejudice. today Christianity is an expired and out dated ad deviated religion.
          5- sleep dream, deja vu, seance, Intend, wisdom, NDE and many more
          6- you asked why faith? my reply: risk
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        Jun 30 2011: Hi SR,

        1. Fine.
        2. No proof exists for existence after death. All I have heard are pseudo-philosophical misinterpretations and emotions.
        3. Your perception of risk is from having accepted some religion as truth.
        4. I don't prejudice based on church, but on the philosophical and nonsensical claims of religions themselves. Using rhetorics and reading the Koran as if it were a horoscope does not prove the koran to be anything but a book of myths believed by adherents to the religion to be true. Christian creationists do the same. That's it. Both equally false, equally indefensible other than by rhetorical and pseudo-philosophical contortions.
        5. None of that proves that we are anything else besides material.
        6. OK, got it. I answered: there is no way to "play it safe."

        Best,
        --Gabo
        • Jul 2 2011: "2. No proof exists for existence after death. "
          proof exist but its more than 2000 char and I found people on TED are not interested long comments. but if you are interested I can show you references.

          at least consider this: no proof exist for disproving after death. and this is enough for a wise human.

          "3. Your perception of risk is from having accepted some religion as truth."
          independent of religion. no one can prove after death not exist. this is enough.
          for example sleep dream or deja vu or NDE or ... can show we are not only material

          "Koran as if it were a horoscope does not prove the koran to be anything but a book of myths believed by adherents to the religion to be true. "
          I can only recommend you reconsider this idea.
          http://www.ted.com/conversations/3789/proving_koran.html

          "Both equally false, "
          you are judging Koran based on today Christianity. they are different

          "5. None of that proves that we are anything else besides material."
          science do not know them still. how you say that?
  • Comment deleted

    • May 17 2011: I agree Evolution.
      but I disagree Evolution as a substitute of God.
      Evolution is a method of creation as a tool for God.
      if you cut a tree. you cut tree or saw cut tree?
      scientists see saw and do not see who controls saw.
      • Comment deleted

        • May 18 2011: God created world for human life. and world is made of material and material has some limitations like time, place, age, dimension,...
          so this limitation of entity of material, not limitation of God. for example we see time. but time is a creature of God and in view of God there is no time. time and tool is in view of us, not in view of God. we use world tool to understand as our mind. also there is no word to describe God. we should use words to communicate and in fact such words are not usable about God.

          "scientist need not see who controls the saw, when they themselves control it. "
          I mean laws of nature. for example gravity.
          Newton only discovered gravity. he does not control gravity. gravity exist by power of God and we only know how gravity works (physics)
      • Comment deleted

        • May 22 2011: "If you can't describe God then don't talk about God."
          we can describe God, but limited to our words. we can not know entity of God. we only can know God by its attributes: powerful,...

          "You defy your own logic."
          how? please explain.
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    Apr 26 2011: I just saw an interesting video related to this discussion... it basically suggests we can objectively prove there is no hell (at least not as described in the bible), EVEN if we assume living things have an eternal soul:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7ggUpyLSpc

    For everyone for whom the scientific stuff is too much (yes, we're at TED... I know, I know... but it has a lot of biological terminology in it, and that's a little too much for many, me included), the argument can basically be summed up to something like this:
    You feel pain with your body, and we have evidence of that in the form of medical trials with live people who don't feel pain when their nervous system is not working properly. This system dies with you and stays in our world, so even if the notion of soul is correct, that soul can't feel pain on its own.

    I should also add to that the only way for your soul to possibly feel pain after death is for it to get a new perfectly working body once it's in hell. But then we go onto something else... your body can adjust itself to ignore nervous system signals after a while, and there's evidence of that too. So, even if you DO get a new body for your soul in hell, and burn... you'll either have to get a new body every few minutes with each one burning (not exactly what the bible describes, is it?) or (if your body is healing with the burn or exposed at intervals letting it to heal only to be burned again) let your one body suffer for only the first few days, and spend the rest of eternity without feeling anything.

    Thoughts?

    P.S. The whole channel is awesome... "You mean I'll be able to dodge bullshit" and "in some children anal bleeding will occur" are just the best phrases of it :-D .
    • Apr 26 2011: Of course this makes sense but religious fundamentalists don't care about reason or reality. You can dis-prove the idea of any intervening gods with simple argument based on natural law(actually if there were intervening gods natural laws couldn't exist because they would be constantly being broken for miracles) but these people are deluded. Religious fundamentalism i a neurological disorder and should be widely treated like psychosis or schizophrenia.
      Actually if I'm not mistaken fervent fanaticism in this regard is technically considered a neurological disorder.
      • Apr 27 2011: Vasil,

        Very interesting video! I agree you cannot feel pain in the afterlife. Though, I have always thought of hell is a state of being, not a place (if there is a hell). This state of being may be characterized by spiritual anguish, and not necessarily physical pain.

        Deaven,

        First, let me say I'm not a religious fundamentalist so please listen to what I have to say... Your premise "actually if there were intervening gods natural laws couldn't exist because they would be constantly being brokn for miracles" is not necessarily true. You assume they could no longer exist, while there is no substantiating evidence behind that assumption.
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          Apr 27 2011: "This state of being may be characterized by spiritual anguish, and not necessarily physical pain."
          Ah, yes... like a drug addict without his drug... yes... I suppose you have a point. AFAIK, that's not what the bible describes, but it's hell non the less, so yeah. If there's hell, it's more likely to be like that (assuming the notion of "soul" was correct).

          "You assume they could no longer exist, while there is no substantiating evidence behind that assumption."
          Woohoo!!! Now you're speaking my language ^_^ . "no substantiating evidence behind that assumption" is a phrase I wish hearing more often :-P .

          And I have to say I agree. If there is a God, his intervention wouldn't cause the demise of natural laws, assuming he takes care to restore them after his intervention.

          But of course, we're still taking the concept of God as granted in this case.
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          Apr 27 2011: Interesting video Vasil, and obviously good "substantiating evidence":>) I agree that the "fires of hell" may be a metaphor for eternal suffering, spiritual anguish,...whatever.
          I percieve my "self" to be a mass of energy, and energy probably wouldn't burn very well anyway:>)

          When I left the body after a near fatal injury 21 years ago, I saw the big picture "out there", and there wasn't any hell, suffering or anguish. How's that for "substantiating evidence behind an assumption"........LOL:>)

          You ask for thoughts Vasil...here's one more I want to share with you. You are most often coming from a scientific base of information, and I am about as right brain dominant as a person can be, and yet we often agree...I like that:>) Those are the kinds of things that give my life meaning here and now, regardless of what is in store for me later:>)
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          Apr 27 2011: In my experience Richard, there were no human characteristics, therefor, I did not see with the eyes, there was no above or behind, and the direction is limitless.
        • Apr 28 2011: Dear Colleen Steen,
          ""self" to be a mass of energy"
          can you explain this more?

          "I did not see with the eyes"
          you can not see air but breathing it every day.

          also about illusive near death experience:
          http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html?c=233512
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          Apr 28 2011: Correct S.R. "you can not see air but breathing it every day". Just as we cannot see energy, and we are using it every day. The near death experience may be illusive to you, but it is not to thousands of people. It is very common, when one experiences a trauma, to be medically/clinically, near to death, and it often influences the meaning of life for that person.
        • Apr 28 2011: Dear Colleen Steen,
          and some times little punishments are gifts from God to we remember him:
          http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/32:21

          the main Job of Satan is making human to forget his God.
          but God sends us reminders.
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          Apr 28 2011: A loving person, or loving god, does not punish us to remind us to remember him/her. That is abusive, and makes no sense. A god of love would not punish us to remind us of love.
          True love is demonstrated by showing love, not by punishment and fear.
        • Apr 28 2011: I do not know why you are so much sure that love of God involve all.
          do you have any contract with God that he do not punish anyone.
          "True love is demonstrated by showing love"
          if God not exist then nothing has meaning.
          but if God exist then if God is love all so why send accident and cancer and conflagration for his creatures?
          punishment is different of abusive.
          for example if mother punish child it means abusive?
          some mothers are pilot and some impolite. but both punish child
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          Apr 28 2011: S.R.
          You have said over and over again that your god is "pure love"..."all loving". If he is all loving, he would love all people. You have also said that he punishes those who deny him, and he only loves SOME people. I am getting information from you S.R. Ahmadi, and responding to YOUR comments.

          Punishment is sometimes NOT different than abuse. When one is being punished because he/she does not have the same beliefs as another person, that is abuse and control. And you are saying over and over again, that your god punishes and hates those who deny him.
        • May 2 2011: yes, some times.
          those who deny God are the same as who having belief other than beliefs God want.
          deny means having beliefs that have conflict with wisdom.
          wisdom is prophet of God to every human.
          alcohol is corrosive to wisdom.
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          May 2 2011: "those who deny God are the same as who having belief other than beliefs God want.
          deny means having beliefs that have conflict with wisdom.
          wisdom is prophet of God to every human."
          //does a back bend move like Neo*//
          Bull...ssssshhhhiiii....t.

          That's not you speaking, that's the Quran speaking. You don't believe that. The Quran believes that, because it's in its interest to keep your mind imprisoned.

          * http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhxbYTMNMxo
        • May 8 2011: Dear Vasil,
          "That's not you speaking, that's the Quran speaking. You don't believe that. The Quran believes that, because it's in its interest to keep your mind imprisoned."
          Quran is a book. how it can interest something? its God Interest appeared in Koran.
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          May 8 2011: Yes, the Quran (and the Bible also) is a book... it's JUST a book. Or rather, it SHOULD be JUST a book, in the same way that "The Matrix" is just a movie, "The last supper" is just a painting, "Tian Tan Buddha" is just a sculpture, "Black & White" is just a game, and "One of us" is just a song, despite all of them having religious relations (well... "The Matrix" doesn't really, but interpreted in certain ways you might say it does).

          And yet you take the Quran for something more... I think it's fair to suggest that if it IS something more, than it DOES have an interest (in the same way that The Matrix allegedly has an interest in turning you into an atheist). That it has a spirit if you will (call it "God" if you insist). A spirit which is speaking through you, hence my comment on you not believing this bullshit, but rather the Quran believing it and imprisoning your mind by hijacking it and not allowing it to think for itself.
        • Jun 7 2011: agree you about all but Koran.
          it it is not a regular book. because it is not written by any human.
          Quran said:
          http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/2:23
          can you find some one claimed can do it?
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          Jun 7 2011: @S.R.
          Err... we can produce surahs [1] for centuries now, even before the Koran was written I think... heck, the majority of Chinese are irreligious, and they produce these [2]... and there's plenty of them to go around in terms of witnesses. So... they're truthful? And inherently, there is no Allah? Or am I misinterpreting this passage?

          [1] Assuming the definition as in http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Surah, i.e. "a soft, twilled silk or rayon fabric."
          [2] http://www.alibaba.com/showroom/surah.html
        • Jun 9 2011: Dear Vasil Rangelov,
          each chapter of Koran is called a surah.
          what you showed on alibaba are art work using some sayings from Koran.
          it means you write a sura like Koran at the same level of poem beauty and same level of knowledge with no error and same as Koran in any aspect.
    • Apr 28 2011: Dear Vasil Rangelov,
      "let your one body suffer for only the first few days, and spend the rest of eternity without feeling anything."
      the movie maker is very clever or cheated from Koran.
      God replied to this video 1400 years ago:
      http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/4:56
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        May 2 2011: If the nervous system is the same, the argument above is still valid... your whole body will have to be replaced every time it burns. Not just your skin. The Quran is as invalid on this as the new testament bible.
        • May 2 2011: if you read exact it says when skin is roasted it is replaced.
          it means before body (and nervous system) burn, the body is renewed.
          the sensors of pain are in skin, so when skin burn, human no more sense pain. so immediately after skin burn it is renewed. not wait to hole body burn.
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          May 2 2011: That is not correct S.R.
          Pain sensors are throughout the whole body. Having worked in the health care field years ago, I witnessed many patients with severe burns all over the body who were in excruciating pain. In fact, burns are one of the most painful injuries. It is inaccurate and unkind to say "when skin burn, human no more sense pain".
        • May 2 2011: I think S.R. is just referring to the specific neurons which were burnt and died... Though I may be mistaken.
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          May 2 2011: You could be right Austin. I'm simply looking at the words: "the sensors of pain are in skin, so when skin burn, human no more sense pain". That is simply not true.
        • May 7 2011: Dear Colleen Steen,
          you are right.
          anyhow if Hell exist, God himself know what to do with burned skins or people. maybe send them to hospital some days and after intermission they come back to Hell.
          better to ask if Hell exist or not.
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          May 8 2011: S.R.
          You believe that hell exists...I do not. I agree to disagree.

          You speak often of your god, who hates, and will punish those who deny him. That feels threatening and frightening to me. I will never understand why you or your god need to threaten other people with eternal suffering in hell, which many of us do not believe in.
        • May 8 2011: Dear Colleen,
          "I will never understand why you or your god need to threaten other people with eternal suffering in hell, which many of us do not believe in."
          God not need. but God is Just and has promised to punish humans who disobey him. and God never change his promise. and has absolute power and do any thing Intend and is not responsible to any one.
          can I ask what kind of reason you accept for existing Hell? bible? Koran? rational? do you agree existence of God or not?
          agreeing with existence of Hell is based in existence of God and know God well.
          if we agree God exist then we ask this question that does he wants any thing from us?
          then we seek for true messages of God.
          if no God exist them Hell has no meaning and talking about Hell is just wasting time.
          please have a look at:
          http://www.ted.com/conversations/1599/who_is_god.html
          http://www.ted.com/conversations/2142/why_our_universe_has_laws_of_p.html
          http://www.ted.com/conversations/2328/is_koran_scientifically_a_mira.html
          http://www.ted.com/conversations/2414/who_fired_the_dynamite_of_big.html
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          May 8 2011: S.R.
          I do not accept hell...I have told you that several times. We do not agree, and I told you I agree to disagree. Yes, I agree that you are wasting your time.
        • May 9 2011: Dear Vasil,
          "it's JUST a book"
          Agree about all you said it's JUST a… but disagree about Koran.
          Koran is nut JUST a book.
          Can you prove Koran is just a book? Do you know who is its writer? Do you know its writer was unread man that could not write his own name?
        • May 9 2011: "Jesus told me not to believe anyone who comes after him."
          how and when he said you?
          do you accept Gospel of Barnabas to be true Gospel? if no why?
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barnabas
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Barnabas
          http://barnabas.net/
          please read it to know what Jesus (peace on him) said about next messenger after him. if you are real believer you should obey your messenger. please not read deviated bibles.

          why you say "God will punish cruelly"
          God punish in Just not cruelly. you have free will and can do good or bad and God help you in any way you select because one name of God is helper.
          if you by choice of yourself do an evil so you should accept its punish. its not cruel this is Just and Fair. why cruel?
          God loves but not all human equal. God loves who obey him and hates who disobey him.

          "I say, people had been living a healthy life pre-Islam era also."
          who you mean? yes some of them learned many things from prophets. but God always updated his religion with new information and knowledge and science and people who not accept new updated religion themselves pay the loss. not God.

          "I say Koran is a fiction."
          and proof?
          http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/2:89
          http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/2:39
          http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/3:11

          please read:
          http://goo.gl/JHMfb

          Koran is a live miracle in many aspects. scientific, poesy, rational,...
          its impossible to be from any human.

          also please look translation of replies of Koran for "I say Koran is a fiction.":
          http://tanzil.net/#search/root/%D9%83%D8%B0%D8%A8
        • May 10 2011: Dear Richard,
          "one can really understand the Quran other than Allah himself."
          Koran is message and knowledge from God to human and if human can not understand i, thent it will be useless. Koran is like a infinite table of food and all human are allowed to each how much can.

          ""Gospel of Barnabas" is dated to the late 16th century... "
          Thanks for your explain."
          Yes , Gospels of the New Testament are dated much earlier. That’s correct. But please not being old not mean necessarily original and nor deviated.
          Please read this:
          http://barnabas.net/how-the-gospel-of-barnabas-survived.html

          Being valid and not corrupted is more important than being earlier.

          Immediately after Jesus (PBUH), all bibles were collected from hand of people and all was dislimned (extirpated) and for many years Christians had no Holey book. and then some of apostles and religious leaders decided to make book and different versions of bible was written by them. then from all of them 4 best version of bible was selected and others were not confirmed by church. many of researchers believe and say the writers of that 4 bible were not direct pastel of Jesus (PBHU). and until year 170 nothing by name of bible existed. if you want to know more details about distortion of Bible please read this book from Maurice Bucaille:
          http://goo.gl/tLpLc
          not 100% of Bible is distorted. but not 100% of it is valid and original. it is partially distorted.

          About Gospel of Barnabas there are many debated and many replies not just this one Turkish words. Finally it is considered valid by church and other.
        • May 10 2011: Dear Richard,
          About compiling Koran, the conflict was about reading (pronunciation, recitation) of Koran. not about writing and text of Koran. there was not and is not any conflict even about one word of Koran all 1.5 Billion Muslims now and all Muslims at time of Uthman agree the text of Koran is exact the same as revelation. also Also Ali (peace on him) disagreed by burning Koran, but Uthman did not accept him and burned them. Koran was memorized in heart of many many Muslims and even burning of all written Korans could not deviate Koran. Uthman wanted to make standard pronunciation and if he wanted to change even one world of Koran sure all Muslims and religions leaders of them Indeed would disagree him very very serious.
        • May 11 2011: Dear Richard,
          after Jesus All Bibles collected fro people and for many years no one had any bible. and at year 170 4 new version of bible (not original) distributed in people and all today bibles are from those 4 bible. deviation of bible started from time of life of Jesus (peace on him) please research about these. those 4 bible are not original from their start. the original bibles were collected from people and many years people had no bible after Jesus (peace on him)
          the first and original Gospel of Barnabas is much earlier than 16th. some discovered copies are for 16th. it is mentioned in some historical documents. for example:
          "A "Gospel according to Barnabas" is mentioned in two early Christian lists of apocryphal works: the Latin Decretum Gelasianum[2] (6th century)"
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Barnabas#Origins
          there is many sayings about it. if you really want to know true about it you should do a research about it. Gospel of Barnabas book can not be found easy and amazingly is collected from market after publish in some countries.

          Koran was kept safe from deviation by memorizing from time of Muhammad (peace on him) he was teacher and people memorizing it. at least 140 person memorized Koran full and all the same with no difference and all learned under teach and control of prophet and also Aisha was one of them. othman was at the same time of prophet. othman only made standard reading (pronunciation) and text (writing) of Koran was serious controlled by people memorized Koran. also the number of conflicts in pronunciation of Koran was very very limited and not noticeable.
        • May 11 2011: the noticeable differences in pronunciation of Koran is not more than 3 or 4 minor case is all the Koran. max. about pronunciation of max one letter difference that are not so important in meaning
          also not all copies was burned. Othman ordered all copies conflicting by standard copy should be burned and sent that order to all provinces but not all people obeyed his order. for example Ali (peace on him) did not care about it and kept his own copy of Koran.

          about Yemen copy or any other copy there is no difference in text and writing there is difference in reading method.
          please look at Arabic text of Koran there is many small symbols above or under words of Koran. the difference is in them. not in words.
          http://corpus.quran.com/
          only one case difference is in an extra letter (و). differences are not important in meaning of Koran. there is no doubt in text Koran in all version more than 99.999%
          Koran has 77437 word and difference in few (max 4) letter is not so important.
          also there is different method in counting words of Koran but the text is the same.
        • May 12 2011: Dear Richard,
          yes there are differences. but only in reading method. not in text.

          "including complete sentences!"
          it is a big lie. whats that sentence?
        • May 12 2011: Hi Iqbal,
          "Mohammad is from a false God and a big liar. Jesus is the true God."
          first know what difference of God and prophet then speak of them.

          "-- Is there any evidence of God’s punishment first of all?"
          if you accept God, then evidence is in Torah and Bible and Koran.
          if not accept God please first read:
          http://www.ted.com/conversations/2142/why_our_universe_has_laws_of_p.html

          God is not my assumption. please read above link.

          "You are very ignorant about Mohammad’s sex life."
          I asked you read my comments here about that lie about sex by a small daughter:
          http://www.ted.com/conversations/2328/is_koran_scientifically_a_mira.html
          you repeat a false claim.

          "There is no God"
          proof?

          "Religion is the destruction of life"
          what is your definition of religion?

          " Islam is a deviated religion."
          proof?

          "divides human into super, normal, and sub."
          yes the only things make humans better in view of God is piety. not money, not race, not any other thing.

          "-- Definitely not your Allah."
          so who is it?

          "He is a psycho ."
          not only psycho makes evil.
        • May 12 2011: "Its not a lie. Do not close your eyes to the truth"
          OK, please show evidence and proof. please do not collect doubts from Internet and copy here. there is more than 500,000 doubt and lie about Islam and all replied. but you should spend time and read them and then conclude. please first research and know some thing well then say about it. this is not way of finding truth. you only collect doubts and do not seek for reply for doubts.


          show one of that changes.( two sentence before and after change in Koran)
          please do not copy links.
          please write one change in Koran with valid evidence.
          cancelled verse is not change. God himself cancelled some verses.
        • May 15 2011: Dear Iqbal,
          "Ahmadi where are you?"
          Iran.

          "I want to understand Koran"
          study and ask question to understand.
          God said how to learn any knowledge including Koran:
          http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/2:282
          "And fear Allah. And Allah teaches you."
          this is secret of learning.
          do you know what is real fearing God?
          it is here:
          http://www.al-islam.org/nahj/193.htm
          http://makarem.ir/persian/library/?bi=179&itg=23&s=im (click on book)
          also this is a good software for researching in Koran:
          www.zekr.org
          and a good commentary of Koran is here:
          www.makarem.ir

          "Muhammad's marriage with so many women is Allah wanted him so and not to enjoy?"
          each of his marriage is different and each has special reason and philosophy. most of them were old women (except Aisha) and some was political and some for teaching. please first know the Arab society at 1400 years ago and the role of marriage in relations of Arab tribes and do not compare it by your Image of marriage.
          for example:
          in a war Muslims had some Captive and Muslims had not good manner with them and not respected them and Muhammad (peace on him) many times told Muslims respect them and give them good food and cloth and,... they are humans like you but they do not know what they are doing. but Muslims did not hear prophet. finally prophet married by one old Captive woman and because God had been said in Koran:
          http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/33:6
          Muslims respected wives of prophet and so then they learned to respect Captives.
          actually any marriage of prophet was a lesson and a tool for unity of Muslims. near all wives of prophet were old widow and it is injustice to say his marriages was for enjoy.
          Indeed a normal man needs marriage. but one is enough for enjoy and prophet has one wife (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khadijah_bint_Khuwaylid) she was 40 and marred prophet when he was 25. and she was his only wife until she died and then prophet marriages other wives. if it was for enjoy why he did not so when he was young?
        • May 15 2011: about your news like:
          Osama is not a Muslim. do not believe any thing you see in TV or news. he is or was only a fantoccini:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamophobia

          "What is the problem with Islam?"
          no problem. problem is with people do not know real Islam. Muhammad (peace and greeting of God on him) said:
          after me my people (Muslims) become72 branch, but only one of them are on true way.

          "why u always say "peace on him"
          sorry, its for translate. prophet said whenever you say the name of any prophet of God or Imam say after his name. the better translate is:
          "the salute and greeting of God on him"
          we say it only for who is selected and assigned by God to guide people:
          http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/2:30
          God at any time has at least one successive authority in earth.
          at one time he was Adam, then, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Ali, Hasan, Husayn, .... and now 12th Imam Mahdi (peace on them all) who will come in near future.
          Husayn is well known in India:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Husayn_ibn_Ali
          Husayn is blood of God and 12th Imam with Jesus (peace on them) will revenge the blood of Husayn from his killers. who know Husayn and cry for him and know really why he was killed, will enter Heaven.

          "Mohammad said Jesus had not risen"
          this is not true:
          http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/3:55
          http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/4:157

          "not son of God "
          yes Jesus (peace on him) was not son of God and if it is said that only metaphor and should not be taken by word:
          http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/3:59 he is like Adam with no father.

          truth about Jesus (peace on him):
          http://tanzil.net/#search/quran/%D8%B9%DB%8C%D8%B3%DB%8C

          "if I draw Mohammed's picture then"
          its drawing with respect has no problem. but with disparagement and satirize has problems.

          talk me. I am happy to talk.
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          May 8 2011: "Are you dreaming my friend? or are you making fun of God?"
          If that's the case, I'm going to laugh my ass off like never before, and reevaluate every single thing he ever said.
        • May 9 2011: Dear Iqbal nazir,
          I not dream. I say according Koran. and Koran is clear message of God.
          can you prove Koran is not from God?
          for example can you prove is any way that Koran is written by a human?
          if yes, then OK I make fun with you.
          but if you could not so please cry for yourself instead of fun.

          Islam has many formulas for any aspect of life including food. and at any time any food can be matched by those formula. not need to Koran mention name of all foods during history. formula is enough. for example one simple formula exist for birds that animals that have no extra finger on their crus should not be eaten and are harmful for human. also for fish or any other kind of food.
      • Comment deleted

        • May 9 2011: please do not judge about concept of save in Islam by your Image of save.
      • Comment deleted

        • May 10 2011: Dear Iqbal nazir,
          "not to believe anyone who comes after him" is different of "Be on the watch for false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inside they are cruel wolves"

          "I think it is a reference to Prophet Mohammed."
          please do not think and make sure by research.if at least 1% Prophet Mohammed (peace on him) is not "sheep’s clothing, but inside they are cruel wolves" then how you want to reply Jesus (peace on him) and God at at Judgement day when Jesus (peace on him) ask you:
          """why you said such ugly thing about my brother Muhammad with no research?"""

          the "sheep’s clothing, but inside they are cruel wolves" are fake prophets. real prophet has miracle.

          "A God who justifies can’t exist."
          why?

          "God must love everyone including those who do not accept him. "
          you command God or God command you?
          you are more powerful than Allah (God)?

          "world’s main problem is caused by religion"
          its made by Satan: Greed,...
          with or without religion problems exist. this is plan of God in creating world.
          please read here:
          http://goo.gl/jcLRq

          you do not know what is real religion.

          "A God who updates his knowledge can’t exist."
          who said God updates his knowledge?
          God updates his religion sent for humans.

          "Koran is still a book of fiction. "
          proof?

          "If I want to believe then I need proof"
          http://goo.gl/OiDBn
          http://www.quranmiracles.com/
        • May 10 2011: "A book which basically ask you to submit, can’t be considered a book of miracle. "
          what is problem of submission?

          please first accept this facts:
          1- you are not free
          2- you are in jail of time
          3- you are in jail of place
          4- you are in jail of body
          5- you can not escape death
          6- your power is less than power of death.
          7- you can not escape guard of Hell
          8- you can not do not eat food of God
          9-you can not Go out or Kingdom of God
          10- you can not find a place God not see you
          11-power of God is more than power of death

          so the only way to kill death and become free is to have the power of God. and be friend of God.

          do you know what is the secret to be free:
          a good servant has potency to became free.
          good servant means submission

          the meaning of word Islam is submission.
      • Comment deleted

        • May 10 2011: Hi Iqbal nazir,
          "Yes Muhammad is a false phophet because he said Jesus is a Prophet and not son of God."
          how this prove he is false?

          "because at least the punishment would be less severe for not believing him."
          how? is there any evidence?

          "After death if you find out the real God is not Allah how are you going to reply?"
          before death I do enough research to find true God. and not base my life on some "if"

          "Yes Muhammad is ugly because in his old age he wanted to have sex with a baby. "
          this is lie. please do not say what you do not know.
          this doubt is replied here:
          http://www.ted.com/conversations/2328/is_koran_scientifically_a_mira.html
          please read.
          "I judge by person’s character, Jesus for example."
          please know his character more. there is tons of information about his character and you only stick to a lie?

          "You don’t know the real God."
          what is real God?
          also please read here:
          http://www.ted.com/conversations/1599/who_is_god.html

          "If God update his religion that means his knowledge is also growing which can’t be unless someone(super God) controls him."
          No, it means according to human development and new needs of human and change of context of human society there is new religion needed for new life.
          religion is instructions for life. OK? so when life changes so religion should be changes. also a deviated religion is not usable.

          "If you can make your God appear in front of me then I ‘ll become a Muslim."
          God is already appear in front of you. only you should open your eyes. but God is not material to can be seen by eye of head. so you can see God by eye of heart (rational and by your eye of sprite)
          any creature in Nature is a sign of God and is saying:"I have a creator". just you should open your ear of wisdom.

          "Submission creates division."
          please explain.
        • May 10 2011: "God is dead already my friend. "
          so who is enforcer of laws of physics?
          http://www.ted.com/conversations/2142/why_our_universe_has_laws_of_p.html

          some one had a guest behind the closed door and did not want to have guest so said to guest: no one is in home!
          my friend your existence and your breathing and your typing depends of God. if God is dead so why you are alive? your life is from God. its like that a TV has its images from electricity power plant. if power plant is off, TV is immediately off.
          why you exist?
          can nothing become thing with no cause?

          "If God made everything, evil is also his creation. The responsibility lies with us to destroy such a evil god."
          yes, evil is creature of God. you have not such power to destroy God. death is the smallest guard of God. if you want to destroy God you should go level by level and God is the final level. first level is death. first destroy it. you are so small against God that not need to God have any small worry about you. when you destroyed death then say such big word of mouth. its like that a baby mosquito say: I want to destroy elephant!
          please think and understand what you say. death is in ambuscade and is waiting to hunt you.
        • May 10 2011: S.R.,
          The term "law" is just used to describe the properties we observe in the Universe, they are not necessarily laws that must be constantly enforced. However, I do believe that the properties do need an original cause. I do not think random and uncaused properties just spontaneously appear. So, I do agree the Universe indeed has a creator, or at the least a causal entity of some sort.
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          May 11 2011: yes because with the holy Koran there is no place for mistakes like in bible there is so many books but in Koran is only one book and if all the books are lost we have a 10 years old kid who memorize the holy book and i think its amazing that GOD or i might say ALLAH if you believe in one god they will be the same but if you don't let me say Allah bless us with Arabic Koran because Arabic are the most Communication language that ever or will be exist and also because Arabic people are blessed as you can see all the prophet the world know today are Arabic or at least from Arabic land not just because of the middle east is in the middle of the globe and that way the light of Koran or bible or Torah will spray from the middle to all the globe but maybe because we are the only listeners
      • Comment deleted

        • May 15 2011: Hello Iqbal,
          "As it says in Koran that the world is flat"
          its not true and replied here
          http://www.ted.com/conversations/2328/is_koran_scientifically_a_mira.html

          "middle east "
          it means middle between east (Asia, china, India,...) and west (EU and America)

          "Arabic language is the most communicable language?"
          who said this? for what time?

          "Sanskrit, the mother of all languages?"
          yes, it was Iran language for a while many years before.
      • Comment deleted

        • May 15 2011: Hello Iqbal,
          I did not say God justify.
          I said God punish and reward in Just. it means if some one do an evil deed and God not punish him then God is not Just. or if some one do a good deed and God not reward him then God is not Just. I mean justice.
          if you do a crime and go to law court, then what will a Just Judge will say you?
          he say you no problem I love you, go home? or send you in Jail?
          this is meaning of punishing in Just.
          God created human and gifted him Wisdom and free will among all animals and because of Wisdom the Just God send to Heaven and Hell.
          http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/99:7
          http://tanzil.net/#search/quran/%D9%85%D8%AB%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%84
      • Comment deleted

        • May 16 2011: Hello Iqbal,
          "All the laws including sharia law are made by human "
          Koran do not include this. can you prove this about Koran? Koran is not written by any human.
          "God need not punish or rewards for good or evil, for in the eye of God there is no good, no evil."
          yes God do not need. but God is absolute power and Just and does not change his sayings.
          and problem is this:
          http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/32.13
          http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/38.85

          not all punish is for need. if a judge punish it is for need of judge? or it is necessary for the justice of judge?
      • Comment deleted

        • May 16 2011: Hello Iqbal,
          please do not think and talk rational and by valid evidence.
          yes you are roght but for sending message to world the only way is not jumping of a boat. he sent letter to all empires of world immediate after he was selected by God as messenger:
          letters still exist in museums:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad%27s_letters_to_the_Heads-of-State
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muqawqis

          please read some history.
          different emperors had different reaction to letter of prophet. some kissed it and accepted it and some wrapped it and started war against prophet of God and in all wars of prophet with soldiers always fewer ( 1 to 10 usually) always prophet won by power of God.
          this is the result of fighting by God:
          http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/9:32
      • Comment deleted

        • May 17 2011: "Only human has the ability to write fiction"
          please show a fiction in Koran.
          can you prove Koran is fiction?
          has all in Koran is history or scientific facts (example: http://www.quranmiracles.com/) or moral instructions or instructions for life or describing after death life.
          only say describing after death life can be named fiction and you can not prove they are fiction. how you want to prove they are fiction? do you have you seen the after death life? or do you have any evidence that after death happens any thing other than Koran descriptions? then OK Koran is fiction.

          "God never said anything"
          Koran is all sayings of God. all Arab Arab poets from 1400 years ago to now say we could not say one sentence like Koan. many tried but finally all said we can not. they say Koran is peom but is not poem.
          please find a writer claiming:"I can write a sentence like Koran"

          the greatest Arab poets are submitted against Koran. if some one know Arabic language well then understand it is impossible to Koran be from human. but simple people do not understand this.

          at least for you it is possible to Koran be from God. please do enough research about Koran and make yourself sure that if Koran is from human or not.

          "http://agniveer.com/1985/why-did-god-create-us/"
          many doubts there. but reply to some:
          God said 3 reason for creating human in Koran and one is main and one is to human worship God.
          the only possible reason for worship is not need of God. but this linke assume t it is.
          God does not have any need to human worship. but worship has many bebnefits for human.
          worship is like home work.
          does a teaachr need to home works of students? or students need it for its benefits (knowledge)?
        • May 17 2011: "in case of God, it is He Himself who decides which student would be born intelligent and who shall be dumb"
          knowing future has no conflict with test of human with free will and wisdom. if you can predict the weather it does not mean you control it. are humans are born in equal wisdom and free will and all are free to do goods or evils. are not you free to select your deeds?

          "GOD NEVER CREATED US"
          so who created us?

          "Creation and destruction of soul is NOT the scope of work of God."
          so why our soul exist? any existence need a cause. can nothing become thing with no cause?

          "just as God is beginningless and endless, so are we."
          this is only a claim. evidence?

          " We have existed along with God always and shall continue to do so."
          evidence? so why we die? who decide we born and die?

          "God does what He is doing today. God is managing us."
          so who created us and nature?

          "God did not create the root cause of the world and universe. The root cause – called Nature (Prakriti) – was always present and shall remain forever."
          nature itself is included in universe. what is cause of existence of nature?

          "Nature (Prakriti) – was always present and shall remain forever"
          this is only a claim. evidence? is it possible a material has no start? can material have no age? this has conflict with science. earth has 4.5 billion years old and universe near 15 billion.
          what is cause of existence of universe? and why nature has laws of physics?

          the main question to this link is that: who created nature? can nature exist with no cause? is nature God? if nature has no creator so it is God. and so there is 2 God. then why 2 God has no war? and why they are in peace with each other? any God should send us its messengers. why we have no messenger from nature?(if nature is God)
          also who is creator of soul? why soul exist? can some thing exist with no cause?
        • May 17 2011: "Are you aware of democratic system, legislative council etc... You seems a nice bloke but living in a wrong place."
          what is the relation of this reply to question? you mean in democratic system there is no punish?

          "God need not select a messenger to send his word thru letters. Your god is using old technology. His knowledge is limited."
          you make decision for God? God send message in any way wants. God decided to make world as you see (mix of good and evil with wisdom and free will and send messengers). do you have problem with God? God is not responsible to any one.
          God has no limit in technology. but people of that time had no tech for receiving it. letter in a time that paper was not invented yet was the highest tech.

          "Did you ever hear of Nadi Astrology?"
          no, but this is not special ability. many can do this in most countries. I know the method of it. but such works is banned by Koran and Islam and has punish from God, so we do not it. also communicate with dead people. such works is by communicating by some creatures like humans living around earth. we can not see them. they are called Jinn and Satan is from Jinn:
          http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/18:50
          at current time there are 3 main type of live creatures: humans, angels, Jinns.
          angels are all wisdom with no free will.
          human is wisdom and free will.
          Jinns are wisdom and free will like humans, but they are not material and have no limit in space and time and see future and take news for human or can send letters of prophet in a moment to other place (the tech you wanted).
          prophets of God are for both human and Jinn. and in Koran always audience is human and Jinn. before Muhammad (peace on him) Jinns had power on human and could bother humans(bogey) but because God loves Muhammad (peace on him) very very much and do not love any thing more than Muhammad (peace on him) from the time of him to know God cancelled the power of Jinn on human as a gift to humans. God created all universe because of him.
        • May 17 2011: "Nadi Astrology"
          God created world for testing human and made human in world with wisdom and free will to human itself find and pray God. and predicting future has conflict with free will.
          God does not want any thing that interferer normal situation of world (evil+good+wisdom+free will).
          but as people have free will only in world life then they can do any deed and God does not stop them. but this has punish from God. God is patient.

          "why are joking about your prophet, S.R? what did he win? He is a dead man."
          he is not dead. the life of his body finished. but he is still live and helping and guiding believers of God.
          also please read history of his life. can you find a war he not won? even with few friends and armor against huge military.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_career_of_Muhammad

          please note that after prophet some people could get power with cheating people and using threading people and fake advertise and and changing think of people and they used power of Muslim soldiers to make empires and enjoy and satisfy their greed.
          prophet before death collected people and introduced his right successor selected by God:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadith_of_the_pond_of_Khumm
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadith_of_the_two_weighty_things
          http://www.al-islam.org/ghadir/

          but some people waiting for an opportunity to get power used all their money and power and cheats and could get power and right successor (who had absolute knowledge of every thing from God) had no way unless sitting in home and replying questions of people. some of his sayings is in this book:
          http://www.al-islam.org/nahj/

          please distinguish between battles at life of Muhammad (peace on him) and wars by emperors of Islamic countries after prophet.
      • Comment deleted

        • May 17 2011: "Allah! La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He)"
          how this show Koran is fiction?

          about that link please write here only one evidence showing Koran is fiction. before that please define fiction.

          "for science in Vedas"
          I do not know Vedas but I prefer to use most updated religion. also Koran has no conflict with science. does vidas have no conflict with science? or some is and some is not compatible with science?
          usually old holy books from God are deviated (I do not know vidas is from God or made by human). but Koran has special protect of God against deviation.

          "Why would I (or anyone for that matter) refer Koran for moral instruction? We have Geek, Chinese , Christian and Indian sources."
          morals with no reward from God has no value. only some respect in this world.
          the moral valuable because of reaching Heaven. moral for some respect in life of world and then no reward after death has no value. God does not accept any kind of moral. God only accept moral said by himself (the best source for it available today and not deviated is Koran)

          "--> What exactly Koran say about after death? and with proof plz."
          replied here:
          http://www.ted.com/conversations/815/the_end_of_the_world.html
          there is also two book for that.
          and proof is that Koran is miracle and so what says is truth.

          "Duh! Give me a sura in Koran which can’t said by others."
          all of Koran.
          you give me only one Arab poet during 1400 years ago claiming can say only one verse like Koran.

          "Mohammad wanted to control people"
          no, he could not do so. he had many many wars with Arabs and Arabs were free.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_career_of_Muhammad
          why he has so many war with Arabs. most of Arabs were his enemy, but all Arab poets were defeated and are defeat by Koran.

          "I don't blame those poor poets."
          please do not say any thing about Arab poets before knowing them.
          you suppose thy are poor then blame them.
        • May 17 2011: who is writer of Upanishad?
          a human or God?

          also better to use most updated message of God. its like updating antivirus and we have common great enemy: Satan

          what is Hindu Gods?
          please first prove it is possible there exist more than one God.
          if there was more than one God Indeed there was war between God and all of them send us messengers. why our universe is so calm with no war of Gods?
          there is only one God.
          the forgives all mistakes except praying more than one God.
          http://tanzil.net/#search/quran/%D8%B4%D8%B1%DA%A9
          making partner for God is the most hated evil deed in view of God.
      • Comment deleted

        • May 17 2011: "Does god created human because he feels lonely"
          I wrote about why God created human here:
          http://www.ted.com/conversations/1599/who_is_god.html
          please read them first.
          the main reason is God Intended to be known. and test and pray are derivative reasons.
          all test and pray is finally for that God be known by human. if is impossible that animals or angels know God well.
          for knowing God free will and wisdom and a world mixed with good and evil is needed.
          God is absolute knowledge and not need improving knowledge.

          "If you can predict the weather it does not mean you can overtake God and his knowledge. God need not worry about that."
          I mean if God can predict you, this do not have any conflict with your free will. they are two separate things and no conflict.

          "I guess I answered this before. Here one more time"
          you reply question by question.
          if you want answer, it is Allah, Allah created every thing including nature and soul and any thing.
          you showed this link and I want to show this link has mistakes. so it should can reply who/what created us? it claims [GOD NEVER CREATED US] and I disagree this.

          "It could be any God except Allah."
          among all Gods I heard only Allah can be real God. each other have problems/disadvantages/weak/disabilities/made by human/ or other problems that show they can not be real God. a God should be absolute power and create universe and nature and all things. a statue created by human can not be God. God is creator of human, not human is creator of God.

          "If that is the case then existence of God needs a cause and what is this cause anyway?"
          this has only one exception and it is God.

          "--> I think it talks about many death and births endlessly."
          ok, is there any evidence we have many death and births endlessly? only one solid evidence. then I agree.
          Koran strongly disagree this and say each human only have one life in world and then return to God and go to Heaven or Hell according rules of Koran.
        • May 17 2011: "Siva is the destruction and Brahma is the creation. Plz never question about Hindu gods. They are the real gods."
          you can ask how many questions about Allah. 40 question or 400 or more.
          I respect you but why I should never ask question about Hindu gods?
          Allah created every thing.
          maybe Brahma is a metaphor for creation power of God.
          we call them names of God:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_God_in_Islam

          more than one God is impossible.
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      • Comment deleted

        • May 17 2011: Koran strongly says God has no son and Jesus (peace on him) was created with no father like Adam:
          http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/3:59

          I believe it is deviation in bible that he is son of God. but IF in original bible (bible of before death of Jesus (peace on him)) is said that he is son of God then Indeed it is metaphor.

          "Similarly i consider Mohammad being a prophet of God also a metaphor."
          why you say that?
          he was a real human and real prophet of God. why he is metaphor? 1.5 billion Muslim in world consider him a real human and a real prophet of God. and you say he is metaphor? do you have any evidence for that?

          "I just don’t like the cruel part (like punishment, killing infidels etc..) of Koran"
          I hate punishment too.
          but please reply me do we have other option against God? we are forced to be alive and we are forced to die. we can kill our body, but we can not kill our soul. our soul will have a new body at judgement day after death and at the end of world all death humans of history will become alive and each human will have a balance sheet of deeds in his neck and will be calculated and will go to Heaven or Hell:
          http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/17:13

          can you escape death?
          if no so you are not free.

          "I think it is better to get rid of those suras for the good of whole humanity."
          No, it is escaping from problem. but escaping from problem does not solve it. while you can not escape death pleas do not say that.
          better is to obey God and be free at Heaven.
          do you know what is the secret of becoming free?
          ***a good servant has potency to become free.***

          if you love God, God loves you and who is beloved of God becomes like God. when God Intend any thing say to it "Be" and it becomes and you say be and becomes.

          when a human enters Heaven receives a letter:

          "from who is eternal and never die to who is eternal and never die,
          when I Intend some thing I say to it be and it becomes. and when you want some thing say to it be and it becomes."
    • Comment deleted

      • May 19 2011: "The “HE” is a fictional character."
        Please explain "He".

        According your definition of fiction can you prove Koran is fiction?

        OK thanks. I want to do a research about Vedas and perhaps translate them as a book for use in Iran. if I found them from God.

        "For ex when the earth was believed to be flat, Koran had no problem with that."
        Koran does not change the understanding of Muslims change. Usually Muslims are lazy people and do not enough research in Koran. But this do not mean Koran had people. Koran has many secrets and is not easy and clear and detailed (but first level is clear and simple) and needs research for discovering scientific facts from it. Can you show an error in Koran?

        Koran is not changed from 14000 years ago. It includes knowledge of past and future. But understanding of people change. If you learn Arabic you know no one has changed Koran words. But commentaries of Koran change every year.

        "Plz list out those deviated holy books."
        Like Torah and Bible. All holy books are deviated or un amiable today.

        Yes I am interested in respectful rewards . But God is better then rewards of Heaven. If you have God you have all.

        "Would you plz list out some here."
        That long. At least please look this:
        http://www.al-islam.org/gallery/kids/Books/unseen/title.htm
        Or more detailed:
        http://www.al-islam.org/the-hereafter/

        "except those evil suras are"
        What sura or ayah you mean? You have evidence or they are evil by your think?

        "Yes how can he?"
        How can what? Prophet did not pay any wage to any soldier. They came to war for satisfaction of God. God said: I punish them by your hand:
        http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/9:14
        Please do not prejudice about "them". They are who ensured about truth then denied truth. "them" are special defined people. Not all who are not Muslims. Non-Muslims are respected and welcomed to talk in Islam.

        "I’m just saying had
      • May 19 2011: "I’m just saying had they known literature, religions of others they would have praised even more than Koran."
        Yes 100%. They had many famous poem competitions also. Many books and scientists from other countries and religions came to Arabia for discuss and Muslims was going to all countries for learning sciences. Please study this. All famous religions was known by them well.

        (please wait for rest of my comments. I am going to a short travel)
      • May 21 2011: before Koran Arabs has famous poets and after Koran not all poets praise of Koran.
        they wanted to compete Koran but could not. if you have a Arab friend please ask about beauty of Koran.

        "In short the whole book of Koran."
        so you do not know Koran. have you read it all?

        "and compare them with Koran.
        in my opinion Koran is not fiction at all. please show one evidence for your claim.

        "You obviously left out Koran from the list."
        why? evidence?

        "if you believe in me i 'll make the earth a heaven for everyone including believers and non-believers"
        now at least one believer can be found in earth. so why each is not heaven for all?

        "I would like to hear from someone who returned earth after death."
        this is impossible. after death there is no opportunity for backing to world.
        http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/23:99

        "[Surah 4:89"
        how you translate Koran?
        please first read the correct translate:
        http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/4:89
        killing has many rules in Koran and not all non-Muslims should be killed.
        do you consider that verse satanic? why?

        "this is what you said "no, he could not do so." "
        prophet do not wanted to control people. he "Guided" people and some believed him and some did not believe him and some started war with him and wanted to kill him.
      • May 23 2011: I do not reject Vedas. but first i should make sure it is not changed/deviated during history.
        Vedas are off-topic here. please come here:
        http://www.ted.com/conversations/3062/are_vedas_from_god_like_torah.html

        "-->what is your evidence against Bible & Tora?"
        they are deviated partially. please see here:
        http://www.ted.com/conversations/815/the_end_of_the_world.html
        but some more original versions of them exist but not in hand of people.

        "-->Heard about Somalia and its hunger? heard about middle east and killing? heard about Pakistan and suicide bombers?"
        yes heard. and God is looking them.

        "-->then don't talk about heaven and hell."
        backing to world (life in earth) is possible. but Going to Hell or Heaven is possible. they are not called world. world means life in earth. Heaven and Hell are not in our material universe. they are very bigger than our universe. only the width of one garden of one believer is as long as all the universe:
        http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/3:133
        http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/57:21

        earth, world, material universe, universe are each different of other.

        "-->this site can't be relied upon. it is a propaganda site. "
        so please any reliable text of Koran you have.

        "--> yes killing is a Satan's forte. "
        even if God want you kill some one? so judges who order execution are Satan?

        "God is pure love."
        if so then why such God is looking his people have cancer/HIV/disasters,....? this is really loving them?

        "look at the middle eastern countries now."
        yes. what is the relation of middle eastern countries now and prophet? you mean eastern countries are really doing instructions of prophets?
    • Comment deleted

      • May 21 2011: "real Gods."
        do you think more than one God is possible?
        this is out of topic here. please continue this topic here:
        http://www.ted.com/conversations/3023/is_more_than_one_god_possible.html

        "Updating Antivirus is required for small computers"
        God (Allah) does not need any update.
        we as humans need updating religion (antivirus) against a big enemy: Satan.
        Satan is updating cheats every day for sending human to Hell.

        "So we need more than one God"
        what is the relation? we need father and mother for creating a child. why two God? you mean Mather and father are two God?

        "A God who send a messenger is a weakling"
        you mean God does not send messenger? so who sends holy books like bible, vedas,...?
        how God sends message?

        "You assume a lot about God."
        do you agree or disagree them?

        "If that is the case he should have appeared in front of all humans."
        in that case all humans would be destroyed. first God is not material to can be seen by eye of head. and by eye of wisdom, no eye can see God. for example can you see sun direct? like sun no one can see God. human has not capacity to see God direct.
        Knowing God is not only seeing it. for example if you see a book or some one do you know it?
        the level of knowledge or power of some one how can be known by only seeing him?

        "You keep contracting yourself. Some time you say you need an updated religion."
        I mean humans need updating religion because era/life/tech/human change. not God need change.
        God changes religion because needs of human to religion changes in time.

        "God is all knowing. He doesn't have to predict."
        I agree you. I mean God knows future and past.

        "Allah is created by Brahma."
        evidence? who created Brahma?
      • May 23 2011: "-->yes possible."
        http://www.ted.com/conversations/3023/is_more_than_one_god_possible.html

        "-->not correct. God (except Allah) does not need any update."
        God and Allah are the same. different language.

        "-->The first human was created by their father and mother, the God couple. A single God can't do that."
        this is if you amuse God is human. human is male and female. but God is not human or animal.
        God does not need any thing for creating human. you mean God is human and make sex for creating human?
        so all fathers are god?

        "God send messages thru dreams. Heard about Muhammad and his dreams? "
        what you mean?

        "No one will be dead just by seeing him."
        no one has such ability to see God direct. example is looking at sun.

        ">true. thats why i'm saying Koran is a fiction. If one can't see God because of the level of power and knowledge, one can't write a book about God's plan either."
        we can not not know God as it is. but we can know God as we can.

        God is knowable but not 100%.

        "there is no one absolute final religion."
        so please say why God did not send any more religion after Islam?

        "-->Good point. but he(God) made a mistake by creating us. he should have kept himself with his wife."
        God is merciful and if did not create us he was not merciful.
        God is alone and not have any wife or child.
        http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/112:1

        "Brahma is the first cause."
        if Brahma is really the first cause so Brahma and Allah are one with two name.
    • Comment deleted

      • May 21 2011: “ok, is there any evidence we have many death and births endlessly?”
        please show your evidence.

        "Because they are the real god. Would you question your dad of your existence?"
        why real God should not be asked? does real God fear?
        if have question about existence I ask from my father or other.

        "Only one God is also impossible."
        why?

        "Would you plz explain more?"
        I mean is it possible a material (nature) have no start? science says the age of nature is 14 Billions years:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang
        so how you say nature is stateless?
        also wisdom says it is impossible to history be startless. finally one time nature started.

        "Koran is the proof."
        please show the verse you mean.
        www.tanzil.net

        "It doesn’t even sound like any syllable Allah. "
        it is not needed to a word in different languages be like. they can be different. for example potato is same in all languages? meaning is important. not spell.

        By the way Sanskrit is the language of God/s.
        at different times God selected different languages and final was Arabic.

        "I hope you understand what I’m trying to say."
        what you try to say?

        "Sharia laws are created by primitive people."
        about Islam they are all extracted from Koran and each religion law (sharia law) is from one or more verse of Koran. and Koran is not from human.

        "This is a slave mentality. "
        yes, evidence is simple: death. can you escape death? if no so you are slave.

        "You will never grow."
        why? what is relation of slave think and grow? a slave can grow if Lord encourage and reward growing of slave.

        "video message"
        how much is age of video?
        at 1400 years ago there was no video. Koran is not message for only us. it is for all humans from 1400 years ago until end day of world. so it for past of us and us and future of us. and God selected this media for messaging. message is important. not how it is sent. usually sender decide about it.

        "But when the religion itself is bad'
        evidence?
        Islam=Koran
      • May 23 2011: "--> please show me the evidence otherwise."
        first infinite birth or death is impossible rationally.
        second Koran says that. and Koran is not a simple book. we accepted Koran is from God and not changed by many proofs.

        "Real God is real and no questioning required. simple."
        but I have doubt about your real God.

        "--> two gods are needed to create a powerless God, Allah."
        Gods are humans or animals and need sex to create?
        for example you create a new idea in your mind from nothing before it. do you have two male and female mind? our mind has power of creating. but idea. not material. creating is from nothing. production is from raw material.

        "-->No God."
        so what?

        "-->i'm not talking about physical growth."
        me too. if lord want a slave grow spiritually?



        Allah is not human/animal/material. male and female is for materials.

        "correct. your point, Allah is the first cause. my point, Brahma is the first cause."
        OK, so we have no debate. one thing with two name. better to know it more.

        "--> when was Koran written?"
        near 1400 years ago by some followers of prophet. the prophet himself was unread and could not write even his own name. suddenly at age of 40 he was in a cave for yearly mediation (before anything existed in the name of Islam) and heard some amazing voices:
        http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/96:1
        he said: I can not. again voice said:
        http://tanzil.net/#trans/en.sahih/96:1
        and Muhammad started saying verses of Koran from memory.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad
        prophet only said Koran from revelations he heard or entered in his mind. and many people around him memorized or wrote it.

        "-->God is not a potato. "
        I mean name of one thing in different languages is not necessarily the same.

        "-->I read this statement whenever i want to have a good laugh rolling on the floor."
        I mean holy books like Torah/Bible/Koran and Vedas (if it is from God, I have not researched it yet) and other holy books from God.
        are not them in different languages?
      • May 23 2011: "-->correct. but what is holding HIM to drop videos now?"
        what you mean? Koran was the final drop (revelation) of God.
        if you mean Osams videos they are not from God.


        "But when the religion itself is bad' evidence?"
        -->Koran.
        this is claim again. what is evidence?
    • Comment deleted

      • May 21 2011: "You are making fun of your God again."
        why? this is rational. why fun.
        for example you can cut your hand. but you do not want. then you are making fun?
        being able and not doing is not fun. Indeed there is a reason for not doing.

        "Because there is no Allah."
        and proof?

        "Why you make assumption about God?"
        one reason is death. can you escape angel of death?

        "When there is a flaw in the system"
        what flaw you mean?
        but at that case also solving is better.

        "so we can have a happy life as long we live here."
        yes. but when no conflict with satisfaction of God. if satisfying God has conflict with loving neighbor then what? I do not prefer neighbor against Hell.

        "It is that so simple huh?"
        yes, that for absolute power and knowledge.

        "Such a God can also say let there be a no fight, no disease, no death."
        yes can. but if want. and about this world he does not want. if so then human would be animal and
        free will would exist. this is plan of God that human have free will. and human (Satan) make war.

        "Nope, not for me. You must be living in a magic land. "
        it is for Heaven.
        also here you can create Idea in your mind in such way. but do not can create material in such way. but in Heaven it is possible.
      • May 23 2011: "-->God is not human."
        yes, I mean if God can do some thing should do it? there are many things God can do but do not want to do them.

        "--> Oh Allah the the only one please appear in front of me now. Ooops. he didn't show up."
        if you could look direct to sun you can look to God direct. this is only a sample and God is not comparable with sun. you can not look God direct. only can know God some by attributed of God.

        also not seeing does not mean not exist. you do not see air. show me air in front of me to I believe air exist.

        "--> your point is God exists because of our death."
        No, death is a reason for that we are not free.

        "so if you make assumption"
        i do not make assumption. I am rational and not need making assumption. I only accept anything is rational. and what I say is from Koran. and I accepted Koran is from God and not changed by many rational proofs. then I use Koran as a base and help for my knowledge and wisdom.
        but I agree there are many religions based on human made assumptions.

        "--> God is all loving and kind. but he is also a tyrant. "
        God is both loving and punisher. but not cruel. God is punisher for who disobey him and loving for who obey him. also God is merciful equal to all humans (obeying or disobeying). for example God gives food/hand/eye/air/water,... equal to all humans. this is merciful.

        "-->God doesn't need to be satisfied. he is not a human."
        yes. but we need to satisfy God to we can escape fire of Hell. satisfy means obeying God.

        "-->so you know what does he want and not want?"
        yes I know according to message of God (Koran)

        " but why God want and doesn't want anything?"
        God wants many things and does not want many things. for example God wanted to create human.
        and God does not want peace in all the world. because God created world and human because God Intended to be known. and God can be known by attributes (powerful, merciful,....) and such attributes only can be known only where goods/evils/free will exist.
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    Apr 21 2011: Religion likes to offer solutions to problems that it creates in the first place. Just like there is no point in offering redemption through Jesus Christ as there was no inherited original sin (the idea in itself that someone is responsible for the crimes of their ancestors is completely preposterous to start with), there is also no need for life to have any sort of divinely ordained meaning.

    Here's a quote by Douglas Adams that sums up what I think:
    "Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?"

    Here's another one by Richard Dawkins:
    "People sometimes say, there must be more than just this world, than just this life, but how much more do you want? We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because theyre never going to be born. The number of people that could be here in my place outnumber the sand grains of sahara. If you think about all the different ways our genes could be permuted you and i are quite grotesquely lucky to be here, the number of events that had to happen in order for you to exist, in order for me to exist. We are privilaged to be alive and we should make the most of our time on this world."

    It's sad you can't even recognise how lucky you are. Yes, death is a really unpleasant idea, but making up some deity in the hopes to ultimately cheat it doesn't work. Maybe consider getting cryogenically frozen?
    • Apr 21 2011: Cannot say I agree with everything you state, but good points nevertheless. Though I must note, I fully recognize how lucky I am. I am aware that there is an infinite amount of people who aren't born simply because of probability. I'm grateful to be alive, and I think about this almost everyday.

      My question is primarily focused on the transience of life, not on life itself. When I said "Isn't everything meaningless?" I meant to imply "...after everything is said and done." If nothing in existence is everlasting, then there is only temporary significance in existing.

      Here is my proof:

      Life is meaningful while we live.
      There is no meaning while we do not exist.
      Any finite number when contrasted to infinity is virtually zero.
      The ratio for which we do exist ('x' time) compared to when we do not (infinite time) is 'x' (a finite number) to infinity.

      Therefore, life is essentially meaningless.

      EDIT: There is no meaning when no life exists.
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        Apr 21 2011: "There is no meaning while we do not exist."
        That's where you're wrong.

        Every scientist/politician/artist... every historical person you can think of... their life has a meaning even though they do not exist any longer. It has a meaning because their achievements have shaped our society and in turn give meaning to our lives in one way or another. Because we remember them and what they did. Even the bad ones... like Hitler, Napoleon and Sadam Husein, giving us good examples of how we should NOT treat others, are people who's meaning of life has transcended life itself, even though that life is no longer.

        So... everything IN life is meaningless after death, but life itself is not meaningless even after death.
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          Apr 21 2011: Matthieu,
          YES! A garden is beautiful no matter what!!!:>)

          Austin,
          If you believe life is meaningless, that is a choice you make regarding how you live your life, and it is the reality you create for yourself. You don't need to wait for someone else to tell you it is meaningless or meaningful. Make your own choices to make life what you want it to be.

          Vasil,
          I agree with you that we contribute to the meaning of life all the time, and when we are gone, we may leave something behind. We touch each others lives all the time in small or very significant ways. As you have mentioned Vasil, even those we think of as not so good, have left their marks on the world, and it is meaningful if only as a way for us to learn how NOT to treat others.
        • Apr 21 2011: @Vasil

          Sorry, I was unclear. "we" = "all life"

          If you do not believe in a higher power: There must have been an infinite regression of time before our Universe came into being, correct? And isn't it a popular theory that the Universe goes through cycles of imploding and exploding? So, when the Universe implodes or life in it ends one way or another, there is no more meaning. Hence, there is no meaning when no life exists.
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          Apr 21 2011: Austin,
          Perhaps that is a good argument for living in the here and now with meaning?

          The question: "Isn't everything meaningless without faith in anything beyond this life?" Whether or not one lives a life dependant on something in the after life doesn't really matter, does it? Whatever gives meaning to our lives, wherever the motivation comes from, is important. How we give our lives meaning is a choice.
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        Apr 21 2011: The idea of the universe going through cycles of imploding and exploding is currently as plausible as the big bang theory, except the big bang theory suggests time started at the big bang, without cause. Many neo-theists/not-really-Chrtians put God as being nothing more than the cause of the big bang, saying God was without cause... to me, that's ridiculous, because we're still arriving at something we claim had no start, we're just needlessly pushing it one step beyond the testable.

        But even if the cycles of explosion/implosion was the truth, there's still the possibility of there being other universes or of us working around the laws of the universe in order to preserve ourselves. Once upon a time, the thought of something on Earth going to the sun or moon was considered impossible and "other planets" sounded as abstract as "other universes" sounds today. Not anymore. Who's to say humanity won't one day be able to do what is currently unimaginable and will remain such in our life time?
        • Apr 21 2011: @Colleen
          I can agree with that.

          @Vasil
          If humans can actually create some way to survive the whole Universe imploding, then you are right. I see that as virtually impossible, but there is no way of knowing for sure.

          I know this is going off on a tangent but... Vasil, what is your personal opinion of how the Universe began? I am curious.
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        Apr 21 2011: What does it matter if life has no meaning after your dead? Enjoy it. Life is without meaning even while you're alive!
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          Apr 22 2011: Hi Matthieu:>)
          I'm a little confused by your statement: "What does it matter if life has no meaning after your dead? Enjoy it. Life is without meaning even while you're alive".

          You believe that life has no meaning after we're dead, and it has no meaning while we're alive? That's a choice you make and I respect your choice.

          You also say "enjoy it". For me, the enjoyment of life gives it meaning. Doesn't it for you?
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        Apr 22 2011: Ok I'll be more specific. It has no universal meaning or purpose. Only the meaning that one gives to their own life which is down to each individual.
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          Apr 22 2011: I think we agree:>) You do not believe life has universal meaning or purpose.
          Only the meaning that one gives to their own life which is down to each individual.

          I respect your belief that life does not have universal meaning or purpose.
          I also respect those who share the idea that life DOES have universal meaning and purpose.
          So, we agree that it comes down to each individual to choose what he/she believes:>)
          It seems that there is no one concrete answer to the question.
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        Apr 22 2011: @Austin
        "I know this is going off on a tangent but... Vasil, what is your personal opinion of how the Universe began? I am curious."
        The current scientific theories about the origin of the universe are so numerous and mind boggling, IMHO more so than any religious claim, that it's next to impossible to say "IMHO, that's the one".

        The big bang sounds like the most plausible to me for now, but if there was further evidence supporting the implosion/explosion cycle, I suppose that would make sense too if this cycle once had a start at some point along this "pendulum". It's hard for me to imagine something without a start, though I can imagine it with no end. When you draw a circle, you're always starting at a point, even though eventually you're reaching that same starting point.

        There's also the various multi-verse theories that if true will just compound the problem further. Once upon a time, people asked "How did our world/planet came to be? Are there others?", now we ask "How did our universe came to be? Are there others?". If we live in a multi-verse of some sort, we'll start asking "How did the multi-verse we live in came to be? Are there others?".
        • Apr 22 2011: The diversity of theories does make it hard to choose! I think the big bang is the most plausible.

          ""How did our universe came to be? Are there others?". If we live in a multi-verse of some sort, we'll start asking "How did the multi-verse we live in came to be? Are there others?"."

          Who knows... one day we may come to the conclusion that anything that can exist, does exist, meaning that all possibilities are also realities. Why should we constrain reality to a finite amount of events? To assume our Universe is the only one is massively restricted thinking. :) (my two cents)
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        Apr 22 2011: "one day we may come to the conclusion that anything that can exist, does exist, meaning that all possibilities are also realities."
        That's just one of the many multi-verse theories.

        BTW, theories other than the big bang are always supersets of it... as far as the big bang itself is concerned, there's too much evidence to not consider it True. Here's a video that sums up the evidence (if not for anything, you'll enjoy the cosmic visuals; I know I did):
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PqJ2eEzD3o
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    Apr 19 2011: This life is really important. The time we have can be spent transforming the here and now. We should all feel a sense of duty for future generations to inherit a better world. I sincerely believe that if most people considered their actions and motivations and aligned these with a goal of improving the world as we now know it we could begin to see an exponential growth in the state of civilization. So, in the final analysis my faith rests in the hope that humanity evolves society to achieve something that might look like heaven on earth.
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    Apr 17 2011: i myself can't grasp the observable universe. so i definitely can't imagine anything greater than that.
    • Apr 23 2011: the size of universe is to we know size of power of its creator and we understand we can not understand.
      when a human understand do not understand, growth of his Sprite starts and starts looking for some one who understands.
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    Jul 21 2011: I'm sorry to say that any person who thinks that everything is meaningless without faith in anything beyond this life is highly deluded. People need to break out of this indoctrination of faith, religion and superstition and realize once and for all that everything is deeply meaningful without any faith or religion or god.
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    Jul 8 2011: I believe that everything is meaningless in this life, if there is no purpose for everything to be.
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      Jul 14 2011: I think you should reconsider your use of the word "everything." Could something be meaningful in this life if there were no purpose for a couple of things? What about no purpose for a few things? What about no purpose for several things? What about no purpose for many things? What about no purpose for most things? What if only you had a purpose?
  • Jul 2 2011: Yes, it is meaningless

    That's hard to coop with, isn't it.

    And that's why we believe in afterlife, religion, etc.
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  • May 19 2011: Isn't everything meaningless without faith?

    Could that be the question?

    I'm not quite sure....
    Lately, "observable, physical world"
    seems so... OK, to me....

    And I can see that "physical" and
    "observable" doesn't seem to be
    synonyms...

    Law of electric charge conservation
    is observable but not physical. Law
    of gravity is observable but not
    physical. And they are all real,
    aren't they?

    Isn't that peculiar?
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    May 18 2011: We have removed several comments from this thread of the Conversation for being off-topic. While we welcome differing opinions, we ask you to engage in respectful discussions and refrain from posting off-topic comments.

    Thank You,

    TED Conversations Admin
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    May 14 2011: Hi Austin
    What you think about achieving "Nirvana" that means getting rid of greed, hatred & delusion , instead of greed for heaven or fear of hell?
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    May 1 2011: Depends on individual belief structure, perspective and purpose of life. I feel anyone should be free to take any path without endangering others life or making it hell.
  • Apr 28 2011: I think it isn't.

    I think what all people need is to have a purpose in life but not necessary faith. People find purpose in different things like science, religion, family, experience, relationships, competition etc.

    In terms of being part of something big, aren't we part of the greatest thing we ever know which is our Universe?
    • Apr 28 2011: Dear Zdenek Smith,
      universe is just a huge material and if we consider ourself just material, yes we are part of this huge materiel like stone, water soil,..
      but we are aware of ourself and can distinguish between ourself and materials around us. so we have a independent identity that can not be material. if we be just material so we can not distinguish between ourself and materials around us. like a stone. do you think does a stone understand an independent self for itself? and can understand itself is not part of material?
      human=body+soul
      death=soul leaving body
      • Apr 30 2011: Hello S.R. Ahmadi,

        Do you really know what the Universe is? Is it just a "huge material"? I doubt it. We do not really know what Universe is (unless you assume that what you know about it and what you see is all there is to it).

        I think our brain capacity is not yet able to fully comprehend the Universe and its magic and secrets.

        Also, there are most likely other civilizations and that is exciting to think about it.
        • May 1 2011: Hello and peace of God on you Zdenek Smith,
          yes our mind is smaller than can understand what is and how big is universe.
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    Apr 23 2011: What is reality?
    Reality - "is the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or may be thought to be. In a wider definition, reality includes everything that is and has been, whether or not it is observable or comprehensible. A still more broad definition includes everything that has existed, exists, or will exist, not just in the mind, or even more broadly also including what is only in the mind." (Wikipedia)

    If fundamentalist believed God was reality, that would be a hard argument to perform. However this is not the case. God started from literature/spoken oral stories and came off of the pages/words into a belief system called religion, that is the reality of the major religions.

    What is beyond life? It simply cannot be heaven/hell that would mean there really is, as Sky had said, infinite life. Life ends so new life can begin that is nature. Nature is the only absolution we understand as human beings. What is beyond life is more life, your lineage, your legacies, your continuing history, and you exist forever through the lessons you made apparent to be of value. Want to live forever, In term of thoughts? Be an Aristotle, a Descartes, a Bob Marley, a Jesus, etc. Want to live forever physically? Transhumanism is an ideology focused on doing that.

    What is faith? "Faith is the confident belief or trust in the truth or trustworthiness of a person, concept or thing." (I love wikipedia)

    My faith is in "lessons of love and their benefits". (Refer to updated talk of "What is love?") Faith should NOT be where you focus/create your thoughts, but what inspires them. I hope when I die that my ideas would be taken and reused to help benefit others, that is more valuable to me than being warm and safe on a cushy cloud looking down at people making mistakes over and over and over again.
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      Sky F

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      Apr 23 2011: What's with the question format? Hahaha.
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        Apr 23 2011: Somewhat inspired by you, why I used it was because Austin Rogers is a good kid who lives in a world surrounded by fundamentalism. I been in that world. How I left it was due to someone speaking faith with fact.

        You cannot change someones mind if they are not accepting of you first. This is what education has taught me the most.

        Edited:I still don't see what is funny dude, dictate.
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    Apr 23 2011: Austin.......Good.........I donot see God as punisher but as lover
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    Apr 22 2011: Vasil...Depends on what measurement you use ? To me not everything is material but I do agree you have a point. Peace