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How would you respond to this statement?

"I can accept the fact (or possibility) that beyond my beliefs and all beliefs of all other persons there is a vast reality not imaginable or comprehensible by humanity."

There are many superb opinions on TED; some seemingly from writers who are absolutely convinced their view is absolute. However, can any human being say with absolute certainty what is real? We know math works, but values and ideals?

And who can say for certain just how large is the Cosmos and say for sure what activities are real or say for certain what is not real beyond our collective knowledge of the Cosmos.

What say all?

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    Jan 10 2012: Mark, many on this site do not believe in God. Thats why i can handle it.
    Its not so much the beliefs i have anymore that interest me but the new ones to come.
    My beliefs are evolving. Of course a Christian's cannot.
    Of course thats the way i see it.
    • Jan 10 2012: Thanks Phillip. I do observe that many do not believe in God, at least the Mysterious One promoted by many religions. I believe it is good that your beliefs evolve!

      My take is that Christians' beliefs can evolve through thinking, prayer, learning more, experiencing nature, experiencing relations with others, listening carefully. As I see it, we are able to progress in our beliefs and then we pass on to the next life stage.

      Who can say that any human after Jesus achieved a high level understanding of God, the Cosmos and everything else? For humanity, what else is there after all reason is exhausted, but faith?

      I do suspect every human being eventually comes "face to face" with the Unknown and Mysterious one and it is the decisions that count most. What remains in a person's thoughts after total rejection of all possibility for relationship with the Mysterious One?

      This last question is directly related to the statement above.

      thanks for your kind input.
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    Jan 9 2012: Mark i think you're trying to validate your beliefs. Am i correct?
    • Jan 10 2012: Hello Phillip, Validate? Not sure on that one, but I know what I believe. I am interested in what others think. If you read the statement exactly for what it says, you may answer it according to what you believe to be true. I have found this TED site to be very interesting and very enlightening because I was (am) so naive about the broad range of possible beliefs. Taken together we humans seem to be very confused about what is true in the Cosmos, true about God (some don't believe in God), relationships of angels to man, of planets to other planets, management personnel of it all etc. There are thousands, millions of beliefs.

      The curiosity about what others believe continues.
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        Jan 10 2012: The Hindu sage says, and I with him/her: "There's one truth. One for everyone."

        And as you think of it, if that truth would be a table for instance no one could see it from the same perspective at the same moment. Everyone is at one point in their evolving and unique life. To know truth you have to know all perspectives from the one point that unites all.
        What we can do is to respect everyone to be one of the manifold expressions of the only being..
  • Jan 9 2012: I believe the courses of our lives are dependent on the numerous decisions we have to make everyday and so long as we are required to make decisions everyday, there needs to be a tool to help us decide what is right and what is wrong or what is best for us and the tool is "logic". Hence, in my opinion, everything can be reduced to numbers to allow us to determine which number is better for us. In other words, I am saying that values and ideals is no different as well. Then again, what are regarded as values and ideals today may not be tomorrow.

    As regards the question of whether we will know with certainty what is real, to my mind, we are just resources in a ecosystem that is evolving, just like a frog egg evolving into a tadpole. Ask each of the cell in the egg, what is the ultimate output of its work, it will not know; each cell does not even know which part of the tadpole it will end up becoming, let alone knowing that it will be part of the tadpole
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    Jan 8 2012: I can vouch for the certainty of reality as I perceive it and can say without a doubt that the rest does not matter, in other words, does not exist.

    I am also prepared to accept the possibility that it does.
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    Jan 7 2012: My answer is, is there is now(time,place,quantative measurements)and my acceptance of that truth( awakened consciousness).
    Next question?
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    Jan 7 2012: Wow, it's so a hard to answer... I was replying and then I deleted everything I wrote.
    I would like to say the reality is not fully comprehensible, yes, but a little part of it, I tend to believe, may be comprehensible; but that little part may give us wrong 'impression' about the whole and do not let us see the whole.
    There are filters in our minds which make a map of reality for us, but 'map is not territory' and the map is not that reality, but can't it be possible to restore some parts of reality from that map?..
    To my view, a very framing thing in our human world is a language. It may not let us see the reality; we think in language, we talk in language, and it's way not perfect, I mean languages; they are built on believes far from reality and how we may get closer and closer to the reality using the brain in high level or in much more percentage when we think in languages with their old and deep-rooted components?! Maybe maths is really THAT language for reality researches?..
    Another thing, could the whole reality be understood from the the smallest elements, the base of it? (Large Hadron Collider and others)
    You gave some questions; I answered none of them, plus, wrote almost off topic thoughts and gave you some extra questions which probably can't be answered, sorry!!
  • Jan 7 2012: I would respond with; "Does this statement have some kind of point besides sounding like a thinly veild attempt to angle-shoot 'science' into accepting religion* as a valid alternative way to build our view of the universe?"

    * Could also be new age, homeopathy or something else, because the $510 sound-therapy cd I'm selling as a cure for cancer just can't be ruled out as not working by "tests", "data" or any other "scientific method" because science is just one point of view and contains inconsistencies somewhere somehow that I'm not interested in explaining!

    But the statement sounds quite true. I.e there are colors we can't see and soundfrequencies that you lose the ability to hear with age (there are some cellphone apps that produce the sound. Very popular in schools). That there are other things that exists that we don't really know about yet or things that our body don't percieve as sensory input does not sound that far fetched.
    Althought the "not imaginable or comprehensible" part is not something that I'll just accept straight off with the reason "forever is a long time" and "perhaps the world just isn't 'that' complex and wonderfull".

    Then there's also the philosophical "if space is x size, what's beyond that" type questions which will probably never get one definite answer that just everyone finds so compelling that the question won't be asked again, etc.
    • Jan 9 2012: Yes, Pontus, it is thinly veiled, but religion is your choice. So far I don't see absolute evidence from science that nothing else exists outside our collective knowledge. Frankly, I can't give credit to any concept or teaching that all religions (combined) know of all outside of science.

      I was wondering what people really think. Also, no one is required to address the question, but I think eventually everyone on earth encounters something similar to this statement or situation. The statement is really very personal for anyone and therefore could be addressed only in private thoughts.

      I am not into evangelism or anything like that. Just open mindedness. I think we benefit when challenged!
  • Jan 7 2012: I can accept that.

    It's been that way since the beginning, whenever that was.
    I do believe however, and yes, maybe a bit fervently, that humans have been visited for many years by life from outside our atmosphere. Perhaps, or I guess they must, have come from outside our solar system and maybe even our galaxy.
    They were asked two important questions. Are there others? The answer: Yes
    Is there a God? The answer: No, just more highly evolved life that is in touch with power beyond what we know or are capable of here on earth.
    I kinda go along with Descartes (I think it was him), who stated, and paraphrased by me, that two things are not really debatable. One is your existence and the other is your conscious experiences.

    We cannot prove them and no one can really disprove them, although people try.

    I am now re-evaluating the first one: our existence. Or, some people's existence. With so much artificial intelligence in the world today, especially in the highly propagandized and brainwashed minds of Americans, who are being turned into mental robots, it may now be possible to believe those so brainwashed no longer exist, although they are walking around in corporate suits, transvesti-sized religious gowns, military uniforms, police, and in your friendly neighborhood swat team uniforms.
    The reality most believe in, is not really their reality at all, for they have never been able to create one of their own. The one most believe in is the reality of those in power, the financial elite and others. It is not their reality because they never really had one of their own. Sounds strange I know, but think about it. Is this really the kind of reality we want or would create if we were not slaves to someone elses reality? I think not.

    I don't think anyone would agree with me at all. In fact, I haven't found anyone yet who does! They seem so locked into a belief in one that isn't even theirs, that it boggles my mind. Just a simple reality here seems impossible to most to fathom
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    Jan 7 2012: Big questions.
    After my opinion, reality, truth and absolutes are words.
    Words are used to describe to each other the world we experience.
    The world we share is known by our senses and what we make out of it all. Our senses are more or less similar because of our common history that shaped them. That’s why we agree on the words and can understand and use language.
    Would some of us had an electrical organ, sonar view or vision into the ultra violet spectrum it wouldn’t be that easy anymore.

    Thus, language tells us much more about what we are then it can say anything about the matter that it describes. To know size of the cosmos it is measured against our body to start with feet and thumbs. In reality there isn’t such a thing because if everything in existence would half in size on a given moment nothing would change and not even if it happened a million times. Maybe the Planck length is the limit and maybe it is the only reality.

    Following this short exercise I can see our reality as being not real but our way of experiencing our world. The only thing real is the only thing that doesn’t change and that’s our sense of being that we share with everything in existence, all that appear to us in a ever new way as a stage on which we play.
    • Jan 10 2012: Big questions indeed. Not wise to take them lightly, but ones we all could address in the stride of life as have time and interest to consider.

      Thanks for your input. It is gratifying to see many varying perspectives here.