What would it take you to be convinced God existed?

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Zero

Originally posted by Royce
Zero, I have used reason and logic to support my conviction that God exists and created the universe though not in the way shown in the christiasn Bible, Genisis. There is in my mind literally and figuretively mountains of evidence that this is so. None of this evidence is what you would accept as scientific or matialistic. Some of it is but you nor others of your mind set would accept it as such.

There is alway an alternative way to explain anything and everything including religious or spiritual phenomena or physical scientific phenomena. Who can honestly say which way is the right way. We all have at best opinions and beliefs which may or not be supported by evidence which may or not be real or relevant.

While I see no conflict between science and my spiritual or religous beliefs I see no way to reconsile the to that is acceptable by most much less all of us. There will always be the question of First Cause whether religious or scientific. There will always be the question of objectivity vs aubjectivity and physical vs meta-physical.

It is very easy to say that only the physical exist and the met-physical or subjective does not exist in reality. It only exists in our mind/brains. Is not that a contradiction? It either exists or it doesn't exist. It is either real or it is not real. The fact that something exists in our minds only does not mean that it is not real and can not have any effect or influence on the real physical world. Choose in your mind to move your real physical finger. Have a purely mental intention, idea, thought to move your finger.

It can and does move if you let it or make it move. This is the subjective realm of the mind influencing and effecting the objective physical world. It is as simple and natural and easy and everyday as that. It is so natural that we never think of it as such. It is irrefutable physical evidence the the subjective mental world of pure thought can and does exist and has an effect of the physical objective material world of science. From this simple obvious proof anything is possible and can follow whether you or I or anyone else chooses to believe it or not.
You have 'evidence' that isn't evidence, you misinerpret the way the brain works. You say 'anything is possible', which may be true, but you forget that most things are improbable.
 
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Originally posted by Zero
You have 'evidence' that isn't evidence, you misinerpret the way the brain works. You say 'anything is possible', which may be true, but you forget that most things are improbable.
The brain works by having thoughts. By definition all thought is subjective. Intention and/or purpose is thought and therefore subjective.

These subjective thoughts cause chemical reactions to occur which eventually move your or my finger. The fact that we have consciousness and are capable of thought at all is proof enough that the subjective exists in reality. The fact that pure subjective thought caused chemical reactions in the brain and other parts of our body is proof enough.

In reality the very fact that the universe exist at all is extremely improbable. The fact that it contains and supports intelligent life is even more improbable. If we can believe that we exist and that the universe exists why is it so hard to believe that an improbable subjective thought exists or that an improbable God/Creator exists?

Your stated position that nothing but the physical and material exists is intenable and absurd at the outset. The fact that you can even think of such a position and then state it in writing disproves it beyond reasonable doubt. It is an oxymoron. To be conscious and have thought, purpose and intent and then to be able to put it in writing contradicts and disproves the statement itself.
 

Zero

Originally posted by Royce
The brain works by having thoughts. By definition all thought is subjective. Intention and/or purpose is thought and therefore subjective.

These subjective thoughts cause chemical reactions to occur which eventually move your or my finger. The fact that we have consciousness and are capable of thought at all is proof enough that the subjective exists in reality. The fact that pure subjective thought caused chemical reactions in the brain and other parts of our body is proof enough.

In reality the very fact that the universe exist at all is extremely improbable. The fact that it contains and supports intelligent life is even more improbable. If we can believe that we exist and that the universe exists why is it so hard to believe that an improbable subjective thought exists or that an improbable God/Creator exists?

Your stated position that nothing but the physical and material exists is intenable and absurd at the outset. The fact that you can even think of such a position and then state it in writing disproves it beyond reasonable doubt. It is an oxymoron. To be conscious and have thought, purpose and intent and then to be able to put it in writing contradicts and disproves the statement itself.
The mistiake you make is thinking that consiousness is somehow different from a chemical reation. One biochemical reaction causing another is no incredible feat.
 
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Originally posted by Zantra
Hardly shallow- I've given the subject of God much thought over the years. And I started out as one of you-religious that is. And I cannot reconcile God in the face of all logic- it just doesn't make sense. Yes sometimes there's a part of me that would love to believe that someone's up there looking out for me. Maybe the same space that would like to believe in things like "destiny" and "fate". But the reality of it is that we have to look inward for salvation, not upward. True Salvation lies within ourselves, and we are the masters of our own destinies. To believe otherwise, is to accept that we have no conttrol over anything, and I can never ever accept that. I could easily seguway into determinism, but I won't.

Anyhow, I'm comfortable in my belief, and I don't have to "fear" going to hell, or leading my life according to the dictations of other's interpetations of some book. As someone once said to me, I am where I am, because that's where I'm supposed to be. Nothing more, nothing less. And I do find peace and comfort in that fact. Because instead of looking upward when life throws a curveball, I look inward and know that if something's going to change, it's up to me, not God or anyone else.

And that's that
I understand all this. But it's full of assumptions. Number 1, I am not religious. I claim not to know. Even so, there are things that I am pretty certain about. I certainly don't believe I will ever burn for eternity and I will never preach from a book because someone told me it was the truth. My only contention is that when these topics come up, people tend to immediately associate the word "god" with this outdated concept that they learned in bible school. Because they have personally concluded this is nonsense, then everyone who argues for "god" must be a blind idiot. Your quote above assumes the same sort of "it must be this or it must be that" point of view. Yes, salvation is found within, but why must this be consistent with a meaningless, accidental universe? Forget the outdated concepts. Let's do some creative thinking. The universe has shown that it is anything but what common sense tells us it is.
 
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If you can "recognize" yourself in the moment, then you've acknowledged "the truth." The truth from which all other truths begin. And by the way, the acknowledgment of truth is a "subjective experience."

Oh well, so much for the notion of an "objective reality!" :wink:
 
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Originally posted by Zero
Good call, accusing me of close-mindedness. How open minded are you, to the fact...FACT!!...that there is no evidence for any sorts of gods, spirits, ghosts, UFOs, etc. It takes a special kind of closed mind to ignore the facts.

Oh, and it is funny how people won't trust people whon use reason, but will trust a fairy tale about talking animals and shrubbery.
Once again, you use tactics like this. Associating me with some idiotic position when nothing I have ever said states that I even defend it. If you want to be rational then pretend like you're actually reading what's being typed. This attitude you have is meant to do nothing but insult and inflame. It's not needed or wanted in the philosphy forum.

I NEVER said there was evidence of anything. All I'm saying is that you're attitude toward people stinks. Such bitterness.
 

Zero

Originally posted by Fliption
Once again, you use tactics like this. Associating me with some idiotic position when nothing I have ever said states that I even defend it. If you want to be rational then pretend like you're actually reading what's being typed. This attitude you have is meant to do nothing but insult and inflame. It's not needed or wanted in the philosphy forum.

I NEVER said there was evidence of anything. All I'm saying is that you're attitude toward people stinks. Such bitterness.
LOL, you are so cute...do you come in more than one color?
 
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Originally posted by Zero
LOL, you are so cute...do you come in more than one color?
Much too pricey...
 

Zero

Originally posted by Fliption
Lol, "you" folks. You still think anyone who disagrees with you is lumped into the black category eh? And everyone else is in the white. How simple the world must be to you. Anything I justify will be based on reason btw. Also I haven't disagree with anything you've said lol.

All I was saying is that I see you're apparent agenda hasn't changed. I never see you contibute on any deep thread until someone throws "god" in the title and then here you come. The obvious animosity that you have for people who disagree with you on this topic is what makes me think of bitterness. I've heard what you've claimed in the past. But I still think someone made you go to vacation bible school when you were young and you recent it . Sorry about that. But stop taking it out on these poor folks!
I've never seen you contribute much, except coming around to give me crap.
 

Zero

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Originally posted by Iacchus32
If you can "recognize" yourself in the moment, then you've acknowledged "the truth." The truth from which all other truths begin. And by the way, the acknowledgment of truth is a "subjective experience."

Oh well, so much for the notion of an "objective reality!" :wink:
You claim that the objective reality doesn't exists, because we ourselves, and our awareness is something subjective?

Since we acknowlegde that fact that there is subjective existence in the form of us humans, we must also account for the fact that this subjective existence exists. Has it existed always? Has it created itself?

Since both answers are no, that is why there has to be objective existence in the first place.
 
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Originally posted by heusdens
You claim that the objective reality doesn't exists, because we ourselves, and our awareness is something subjective?

Since we acknowlegde that fact that there is subjective existence in the form of us humans, we must also account for the fact that this subjective existence exists. Has it existed always? Has it created itself?

Since both answers are no, that is why there has to be objective existence in the first place.
Whether an objective reality exists or not is besides the point, because all we can really do is speculate on the matter. :wink:

Therefore, what it means is, you, me, and everyone else don't exist in an objective reality, but in a "fantasy land." So what difference does it make whether we say God exists or God doesn't exist? ... because it's all part of the same fantasy!

In which case it puts God on equal grounds with the "plausibility" of anything else. Meaning, it's all subjective! Hmm ... I wonder if science -- which, is none other than a "humanistic endeavor" -- will ever be able to figure that one out?

This by the way, is what allows people like Zero the opportunity to say what they say, and still get away with it! :wink:
 

Zero

Originally posted by Iacchus32
Whether an objective reality exists or not is besides the point, because all we can really do is speculate on the matter. :wink:

Therefore, what it means is, you, me, and everyone else don't exist in an objective reality, but in a "fantasy land." So what difference does it make whether we say God exists or God doesn't exist? ... because it's all part of the same fantasy!

In which case it puts God on equal grounds with the "plausibility" of anything else. Meaning, it's all subjective! Hmm ... I wonder if science -- which, is none other than a "humanistic endeavor" -- will ever be able to figure that one out?

This by the way, is what allows people like Zero the opportunity to say what they say, and still get away with it! :wink:
Boy, you are just...grrrrr!

If it is all subjective, then you should have NO opinion, since every option is equally possible, right?
 
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Originally posted by Zero
Boy, you are just...grrrrr!

If it is all subjective, then you should have NO opinion, since every option is equally possible, right?
Yes, there's nothing about human experience which isn't subjective. Otherwise why would we disagree? It would all be the objective truth!

Therefore, if the only means we have to determine reality is through speculation, then that puts the idea of God on equal grounds with any other idea. :wink:
 

Zero

Originally posted by Iacchus32
Yes, there's nothing about human experience which isn't subjective. Otherwise why would we disagree? It would all be the objective truth!

Therefore, if the only means we have to determine reality is through speculation, then that puts the idea of God on equal grounds with any other idea. :wink:
But, on teh other hand, in order to be a functioning human being, we have to make distinctions. You see your attitude as liberating; I see it as dysfunctional and unpractical. If 'God' is considered likely, so are fairies, UFOs, Smurfs, and compassionate conservatives. Unfortunately, there is no evidence for any of those, so why bother believing in them, except because it makes you feel good?
 
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Originally posted by Zero
But, on teh other hand, in order to be a functioning human being, we have to make distinctions. You see your attitude as liberating; I see it as dysfunctional and unpractical.
Yes we do have to make distinctions. And yet each one of us is tied to the same "subjective process" of sorting it all out. :wink:


If 'God' is considered likely, so are fairies, UFOs, Smurfs, and compassionate conservatives. Unfortunately, there is no evidence for any of those, so why bother believing in them, except because it makes you feel good?
And yet, for some reason, there always seems to be an exception to the rule. And just when we think we have it all figured out ... here it comes! :wink:

By the way, I see my attitude more in terms of the way reality has "presented itself" to me -- thus including my own interpretation of it -- in which case I am unable to argue beyond what I've accepted (or know). So I'm afraid I am unable to accept "your version" of reality, unless of course it was similar to mine. :wink:
 
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Originally posted by Zero
If 'God' is considered likely, so are fairies, UFOs, Smurfs, and compassionate conservatives. Unfortunately, there is no evidence for any of those, so why bother believing in them, except because it makes you feel good?
Originally posted by Iacchus32
And yet, for some reason, there always seems to be an exception to the rule. And just when we think we have it all figured out ... here it comes! :wink:
While another thing you might want to consider is why do we have that ability in the first place? What is this whole thing about the imagination? Is it possible that there is something original that works through our imagination, thus giving us the capacity to experience these other things which, are merely "cheap derivatives" of the original? Otherwise what would be the point in having that which gives rise to what is faulty and delusional?

And why wouldn't it be comparable to say, developing a premier software program, only to have bootleg copies or copycat programs popping up all over the place?
 
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Zero

Originally posted by Iacchus32
While another thing you might want to consider is why do we have that ability in the first place? What is this whole thing about the imagination? Is it possible that there is something original that works through our imagination, thus giving us the capacity to experience these other things which, are merely "cheap derivatives" of the original? Otherwise what would be the point in having that which gives rise to what is faulty and delusional?

Whereas wouldn't it be comparable to developing a premier software program, only to have bootleg copies or copycat programs popping up all over the place?
And here you go with more 'what if' questions!! Also, you keep asking 'why' questions that may or may not even mean anything.
 

hypnagogue

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Originally posted by Zero
The problem as I see it is that the 'fruit' off religion is at best illusion, and at worst it is poison.
Originally posted by LW Sleeth
How do you know religion has anything to do with what individuals such as Jesus or the Buddha were all about? You just blindly accept that religion represents them. Have you taken time to research those individuals and, more significantly, the nature of the experience they were having?

It's like people forming their opinions about homosexuality by listening to the Moral Majority. What do you think of such an eduction?

Man, what I wouldn't give to hear an opinion from someone who has taken the time to study, really freakin' study, the whole situation. Instead we are subjected to educations designed to support one's preferences, agendas, and inclinations.
Originally posted by Zero
Odd. Only opinions that agree with you are well-supported, huh?
Try again bub, your own bias is showing.

First, prove conclusively that Buddha or Jesus existed. Then, PROVE that the reported experiences are historically accurate, and not hyped-up myth created after the fact. Then, you are still stuck with the burden of proving that their experiences really happened.
I've done plenty of research, most of which points to probable historical existance, but no confirmation proving anything supernatural in nature.
I think you are fantastically missing the point. It's easy to polarize this in terms of black and white, and clearly organized religion has more than its fair share of warts, both ethically and intellectually. But perhaps Les was speaking of the messages embodied by these figures rather than the materialistic facts of the historical figures themselves?

Forget about any metaphysical claims for the moment. That may be what you're arguing with Iacchus, but let's go a little deeper. That is not what's important here. Religion is merely a social institution built around a basic experience of humankind-- the spiritual experience. While any such institution itself may be prone to spilling out a lot of garbage, the central concept is the real fruit, and it is not an illusion. It is not a belief, although beliefs are often constructed around it-- it is an experience, a specific modality of apprehending existence. This experience is tremendously valuable; anyone who has genuinely had at least one will tell you that it is one of the most important and influential experiences of their lifetime. If you have not had such an experience (see the poll: Have you had a spiritual experience? for a more concrete definition), I advise you seriously take time and effort to meditate and see where it takes you. Perhaps you will find your attitude to all things unscientific will change. Until you have had such an experience, your paradigm of reality is terribly lopsided and incomplete, not unlike a child who is born blind.
 
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Originally posted by Zero
The mistiake you make is thinking that consiousness is somehow different from a chemical reation. One biochemical reaction causing another is no incredible feat.
Which comes first, Zero, the chemical reaction or the thought? I have watched countless chemical reactions take place over the years. I have yet to see one have a counscious thought or create a new thought or work of art.

I don't know what consciousness is; nor, do I know were thought comes from. I don't think that it is created by chemical reactions but I do think it is the other way around.

It is Life itself and Consciousness that is subjective and beyond discription, definition and replication by science. By your stated position nothing of life, consciousness, thought or even yourself much less me exists in reality. Is not this an absurd contradiction?
How can that which does not exist claim or state that it does not exist.

Strict objective materialism is rediculous, even more absurd than existence and/or religion itself.
 
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Originally posted by Royce
I don't know what consciousness is; nor, do I know were thought comes from. I don't think that it is created by chemical reactions but I do think it is the other way around.

It is Life itself and Consciousness that is subjective and beyond discription, definition and replication by science. By your stated position nothing of life, consciousness, thought or even yourself much less me exists in reality. Is not this an absurd contradiction?
How can that which does not exist claim or state that it does not exist.
Royce,
How do you explain mental illness, the effects of psycotropic drugs, the effects of anti-psycotic drugs? Why does lithium have an effect on many bipolar individuals?

Do you believe the insane are still insane, once the individuals body dies - another words, does their 'spirit' still exhibit the same flawed reasoning?

If thoughts and consciousness is as devoid of chemical interaction, as I interpret from your post, then the points I've raised are inexplicable.

While I don't hold a strict materialistic view of the world, I also don't see it as absurd. I can see that it is completely, internally self-consistent.
 
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Glenn, First I honestly don't know. I want to say, of course, chemicals effect and affect our thinking and well being mentally and physically. This is apperantly obvious. The question remains, however, is thought purely chemical reactions or does thought cause the chemical reactions or are the two inseperably entwinded. I don't know. I think that chemical reaction by and of themselves are incapable of producing thought, art etc.

I too am a materialist in so far as I beleive that physical objective material exists and is real. The unierse out there and in here is real and if I stub my toe on the perverbial rock it will hurt.

I just don't think that that is all that there is. In fact I know that that is not all that there is. If logic, mathmatics, philosophy, science, thought, art, beauty, love etc. etc. etc. exists then the subjective exista also.
 
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Originally posted by Zero
And here you go with more 'what if' questions!! Also, you keep asking 'why' questions that may or may not even mean anything.
So you think you have it all figured out huh? Oh well, it looks like you have your hands full now anyway. :wink:
 
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Originally posted by radagast
Royce,
How do you explain mental illness, the effects of psycotropic drugs, the effects of anti-psycotic drugs? Why does lithium have an effect on many bipolar individuals?

Do you believe the insane are still insane, once the individuals body dies - another words, does their 'spirit' still exhibit the same flawed reasoning?

If thoughts and consciousness is as devoid of chemical interaction, as I interpret from your post, then the points I've raised are inexplicable.

While I don't hold a strict materialistic view of the world, I also don't see it as absurd. I can see that it is completely, internally self-consistent.
The thought comes first, which creates the chemical reaction, which creates the hallucination which, feeds more information into the thought process which, sustains the hallucination. And, while the drugs do not cancel out the thought itself, it does suppress the chemical process which creates the hallucination, which no longer creates feedback into the thought process, and it is no longer sustained.

Of course that doesn't mean that one of the sides effects of a patient who is given these drugs, will appear as if they've been "drugged out."

Neither does it mean the "original trauma" -- which, gave rise to "the thought" in the first place -- will go away, although by administering the drugs it suppresses the symptoms, and it will cease to continue and remain dormant. It still has yet to be addressed though.
 

Zero

Originally posted by Royce
Which comes first, Zero, the chemical reaction or the thought? I have watched countless chemical reactions take place over the years. I have yet to see one have a counscious thought or create a new thought or work of art.

Sure you have, indirectly...thought is caused by chemical reations in the brain creating electrical signals...why is that idea so offensive?
 

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