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Everything posted by romansh

  1. Yes belief is like that. Until it fades. Welcome again.
  2. Welcome fuzzy ... and I must admit I like the concepts of fuzziness and chaos. I transitioned to atheism/agnosticism in my mid twenties and haven't looked back. Having said that I never was a strong believer. For awhile I looked at God as a loving God, but there was too much evidence against that. Anyway, glad to share a path with you for a while. I live in Canada and find the politics in the USA completely bewildering, makes our nonsense seem sane rom
  3. Could the world be other than what it is? The universe is unfolding and our actions are part of that unfolding. This is all part of the free will debate. And a quote by Joseph Campbell: You yourself are participating in evil, or you are not alive. Whatever you do is evil to someone. This is one of the ironies of creation. I'm not suggesting Campbell believed in evil, but that seeing the world through the lens of good and evil (better and worse) is where the mistake is made. Genesis 3:22 gives us a clue to this point of view, if we are inclined that way.
  4. Is this true for the metaphorists as well? Or are they OK to make up their interpretations as they go along?
  5. Well ... if we define God in some substantial way or with properties we can interact with, then we could argue we can disprove the well defined God. For example the "God is Love" brigade, would seem to imply God is fairly limited, unless we delve into some heavy semantic shell game. Now of course some people will point out quite accurately (I think) science is not in the proof business. But disproof, is slightly different. Take the Morley Michelson experiment for luminiferous ether or do we still need to consider the concept of phlogiston as a viable prospect. I think when "metals" get h
  6. My question is, what are the reasons I should care? It's not as though the Bible is some oracle I need to decipher?
  7. I get it ... Me thinking of the chair as red benefits me more than the chair. But I am not sure how ignoring the illusory nature of forgiveness or the chair being red is of an 'ultimate' benefit. Would not "understanding there is nothing to forgive" be of benefit as well? To think of forgiveness as a benefit, one would have to think that there is some sort of independent good or not good floating around. Think of Alan Watts' Chinese farmer story here. Maybe?
  8. The strange thing ... in a no free will universe there is nothing to forgive. Actions that seem to require forgiveness are like objects that are red. And the irony is ... Christianity as practiced by many is a really judgemental religion. Even here ... some actions have been judged as requiring forgiveness?
  9. Oh I would. A lack of consciousness is not even dependent on no brain activity. A well administered general anesthetic goes a long to demonstrating this fact.
  10. Meaning? Things have meaning in the same way as my kitchen chair is red. A longer explanation available on request. Death ... I am not expecting an afterlife. So I am attached at the moment to the experience I (perhaps we) call life. This universe is a zero sum enterprise, perhaps even a negative sum. I have been lucky, I have had more than my share of what this universe has to offer, so I am happy to hang on a bit longer. At some point I may have my fill of more than my share. So non existence may seem attractive at that point. I don't think suicide or euthanasia should be stigmat
  11. The sixth and seventh letters have been published ... debating whether there is "new" knowledge in art and literature. I wonder if art and literature can be thought of as a proxy for religion? Are The Methods Used By Science The Only Ways Of Knowing? (letter.wiki)
  12. So what is the attraction of looking at these ancient texts? Physics describes the behaviour of the universe: thermodynamics, relativity, quantum phenomena gives us insights into how the universe ticks. Quantum phenomena link the infinitesimally small to the unimaginably large cosmos. It shows the universe is all interconnected. We certainly don't have all the answers or certainty for that matter, but that is OK. Chemistry describes to us how the building blocks of life come together, how biochemistry shapes us. How chemical patterns over time have evolved to form life. It shows we
  13. I think you know my position well Paul. Why would someone look to a two thousand year old world view to live life by? Surely, there are more current sources. The ancients do not have a monopoly on truth, never mind unchanging truth. I would argue our understanding of evolution and the resulting interconnectedness of life and the inanimate 'should' give us pause to give a momentary sense of awe.
  14. John, I replied to you on this topic in the science and religion thread on March 14th
  15. Welcome Anona Hope you find what you are looking for here. If you would like a view from a very secular and devout agnostic, I am happy to provide mine. Welcome
  16. The fifth letter has been posted, Jerry's rebuttal of Adam's fourth (second) .... I must admit Jerry dismantles Adam's points nicely - at least for me. Elsewhere Jerry suggests the series number may increase by two to eight letters.
  17. Click on yourself top right hand corner Account settings Notification settings Mentions and My Content Highlight email That should do it
  18. Adam Gopnik ... posted his second letter in the series of six. I found he misrepresents science. I get where he is coming from but he very carefully skirts around the issue.
  19. North America and then expand into South America ... then rest of the world. The Americas were relatively easy to defend.
  20. Yeah ... that reminds of my late friend when we played Risk as kids and Yakutsk was some desolate part of north eastern Asia.
  21. Yeah Paul Yours is bigger than mine too.
  22. Here is the third letter of the planned six. I am not sure what Jerry Coyne can add from a scientific point of view. Andrew Gopnik did not really give him a lot to discuss or rebut in Andrew's first letter. I suppose it could be argued that spirituality is not the same as art and literature. But then spirituality seems to be something that is purely in the eye of the beholder. Apparently it is something that goes beyond human experience a term for me which is close to beyond comprehension and is a little bit like arm waving.
  23. I was reading about the simulation hypothesis and came across this I have a general comment about the difference between religion and science. Take an example from Christian faith, like Jesus healing the blind and lame. It’s a religious story, but not because it’s impossible to heal blind and lame people. One day we might well be able to do that. It’s a religious story because it doesn’t explain how the healing supposedly happens. The whole point is that the believers take it on faith. In science, in contrast, we require explanations for how something works. Sabine I find quite inter
  24. Well Adam's reply did not sway me. He brings up the point that a book might bring up the same conclusion a scientific study. Fair enough, what if the two disagreed, what if we brought to the table different studies or different books that did not share the same conclusion? Where do we go from there? While I was awaiting Adam's first reply to "other ways of knowing", I thought the concept might be useful to "educate" those who are not swayed by scientific evidence. For example for those who are not swayed to be free will skeptics, I could point to Kurt Vonnegut's classic Slaughterhous
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