TED Conversations

Jordan Reeves

TED-Ed Community Manager, TED Conferences

TEDCRED 500+

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In ten words or less, what is a question no one (yet) knows the answer to?

Is there life outside of our planet?

What's a bigger factor in our development: environment or genetics?

Is there any real truth, or is everything relative?

What will the earth be like in 100 years?

Topics: answers questions
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  • Dec 9 2011: What'll it take for the human consciousness to escape religion?
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      Dec 9 2011: Two things have been present since the beginning of man; religion (certain ritualistic behaviors are even exhibited in chimpanzees) and rational thought. I hold that they are fundamentally the same thing. The following is the first definition of religion according to www.dictionary.com:

      "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs."

      "A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe." Scientific study begins with the belief that all things can be objectively studied and rationally expressed (such as the cause, nature, and (perhaps through philosophy) the purpose of the universe). Just the belief that this is so; nothing more.

      In a similar way, religious folks consider the universe(and here we encounter the purpose of the second part of the definition) ". . . the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. "

      To cast off one, you must unshackle yourself from the other. Leave behind any notion of belief and the implication that there is either objective or subjective reasoning. That things are the way they are, and the universe just is, whatever that may be. And that whatever it is, it is NOT because the Universe is fundamentally objective or subjective.

      I think that's the only way to escape it, but ehhh, what do I know? I just work here.
      • Dec 9 2011: Another idea for you...

        Rational thought is an emergent system that sits on the edge of chaos as your finite self consciously collide with the infinite i.e. thought is the resultant of collision between the infinite with the finite. How we perceive 'the world' is based on our mental structures but we are always aware of the infinite, that which we cannot describe. Since, by definition rational though require things to be understandable or at least describable , we fail to cope with the true nature of the infinite and simply do our best to describe it..... this is religion.
        Religion and rational thought are intimately interwoven, religion takes over where rational thought cannot tread.
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          Dec 9 2011: Jan.....What you say is eloquent in all respects. I would just like to add, that I prefer to live with uncertainty and not knowing as opposed to having a stamped out answer for everything.
          That "God" made it all is OK with me, but I want to know how and why. In the meantime I adore the mystery.
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      Dec 9 2011: beleiving that you can do it for yourself. (8)
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      Dec 9 2011: critical thinking by all.
    • Dec 9 2011: Even if we found the "God Particle" who/what made it? You cannot begat something from nothing. Zero means Zero and there has never been zero everything so where did it come from?

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