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The bottom line is rooted in the physical and NOT in the spiritual.

The debate between those who hail spiritual existence as the source of the universe, hence promoting religious fervor for the faithful masses, and those who strip reality of the magic of faith, and submit to the dry, factual, scientific physical nature of reality, is generations old. This debate affects the majority of aspects of modern civilization, as its fallouts impact the path of our civilization's progress. Yet as evidence is gathered and compiled to prove AND EDUCATE about reality, it becomes evident that FAITH is secondary to KNOWLEDGE, and that SCIENCE precedes RELIGION, and that HOPE can and should be a matter of real prospect based on calculated input. Faith and ceremony as means for comforting and consoling, of easing the pain of troubled souls, and for organizing an orchestrated pattern of tradition, of imagining a supreme parent figure who bears the real responsibility in a divine form etc... All these are constructs of the human mind. The mind, however, is a contruct of chemical and physical building blocks. Can anyone prove otherwise, without resorting to faith?

Topics: religion science

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  • Jan 16 2012: By the way Stephen, To say that a thought can arise out of matter is also a construct. Have you or anyone else ever seen a thought coming out of anything material? ... could be pretty hard to "prove" that one...
    • Jan 17 2012: Yes I'm not the guy but there is evidence to suggest that your nervousness and sweating are due to chemicals trying to prepare you for mating when you are around the opposite sex, during adolescence. Notice that after your peak reproductive period, males no longer have the same drive nor (limb here) are we being bombarded with those same chemicals.

      We tend to look back at those awkward moments and label them as love. I think and we all prefer the fantasy over this scientific approach. (unless your mind is blown by the current scientific ideas like mine).
      • Jan 17 2012: Hello again Stephen,
        Sure there are a lot of chemical, hormones etc. etc within us. The chemicals are all "triggered" by a thought or an emotion or feeling. We can't say that I am excited when falling in a parachute "because" of the adrenaline that flows through my system. The adrenaline arises from the fact that my entire sense apparatus is saying to me...Hey man, this is crazy!! What the h*** am I doing here!! I'm falling at 200 kph.. am I nuts or something!?? The chemicals are in a sense the "carriers" of the emotion. The chemicals allow the manifestation of the emotion to take place and arise on the stage of your consciousness. Your thinking is saying... Hey, get me down from here! ... and at the same time saying ... man, what a rush! A person who does not experience the excitement of the jump will truly not have much adrenaline in his blood either. A well trained jumper or a blind person or blindfolded person or perhaps a baby. But the "conscious" experience of the jump is the initiator or the chemicals. The consciousness of the fear and excitement must come before the chemicals and not afterwards... and what is adrenalin then without a nervous system and the blood to incorporate it. The emotion of the excitement or fear is just as "real" as the substance is it not...??
        • Jan 17 2012: Hi Daniel

          I do enjoy a spirited journey into metaphysical questions but when science makes claims about anything, they support those claims with something they would call evidence.

          ""Sure there are a lot of chemical, hormones etc. etc within us. The chemicals are all "triggered" by a thought or an emotion or feeling""

          This claim is very debatable between leading scientists in the field. I don't think anyone of them has a conclusion about where thoughts come from.

          It is not often that Neanderthal man parachuted, but he did fall and when he fell, awareness of his predicament overcame him in the form of adrenalin. This adrenaline gave the Neanderthal an extra chance at survival.

          When in the fight or flight mode, we become hyper sensitive to what is happening around us. Also a benefit to help us survive.

          If you are camping and are attacked by a bear, this fight or flight response puts you into action before you have a complete understanding of what is going on.

          If you have to wait for your logical mind to come up with the correct course of action in a time like this, you are bear food.

          These hormones and chemicals (that are operating before our logical minds) are what has kept us alive for the 4.49999 billion years before man ever farted.

          yes both the fear and the chemicals are real, we just don't know what to make of that information yet.

          Reading your comment to Nehemia, It seems like the question "If a tree falls in the woods and none was there to hear it......"
    • Jan 29 2012: As I look back on your question, I see the obvious was overlooked. We are made of nothing more than material so yes I see ideas coming from material all the time.
      • Jan 29 2012: Stephen,
        The stone is material.
        The plant has something different than the stone. It is alive. It grows.
        The animal is different than the plant and the stone. The animal has feelings and desires. It breathes. It has consciousness.
        Mankind is different than the stone, the plant and the animal. We have the material element. We have the life element. We have feelings as well. What we have over and above these first three things is self-consciousness and thinking.
        One has to differentiate more specifically all the phenomena in the world. Visible and invisible.
        An idea cannot arise out of a stone. That which is alive... as the plant is... still does not have the ability to think and come up with new ideas. Animals, to some degree, have a primitive form for thinking but is on a very low more instinctive level compared with the human being.
        One might argue that the idea has arisen from the material world and "up" but I see it as the idea working from the "above" down. The world of ideas is not dependent upon the material for it's existence. Think closely about this. Ideas are free from the world of the sense. You, in your own mind can create new ideas that absolutely no one has ever, ever seen before. Things that have nothing to do with what we call "reality" around us. Have you ever seen a pink polka doted elephant? ...no... but you can imagine one... and people are coming up with totally new ideas all the time. By interacting your concepts of pink / polka doted / elephant... you "create" a new concept that has no physical representation in the material world... So your thinking is free... amazingly....incredibly .... astonishingly .. FREE
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        • Feb 1 2012: Thanks for the thumbs up Adriaan,
          Here is an interesting link for you. By the way, there has started an interesting discussion on NDE's just now. Check it out.

        • Feb 4 2012: Adriaan

          God? Spirits? I do not claim to know. The only one telling me about God is man and I absolutely do not trust a word that a man can say about a place he has never ever been.

          "Swedenborg had an argument one time with a man in the world of spirits."

          Really? Just because you want it to be true, does not make it so.

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