Is time real? Is math real? Do spiritual things exist?

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ruveyn
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03 Jan 2013, 8:49 pm

I would worship at most one god.

ruveyn



TallyMan
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04 Jan 2013, 6:43 am

Fnord wrote:
TallyMan wrote:
Fnord wrote:
Jitro wrote:
Do spiritual things exist?
Since there is no valid empirical evidence to support any claim favoring the existence of "spiritual things", it may be safe to assume that they do not exist at all, except as immaterial fantasies and fictional plotlines.
Fnord, for a long time I assumed you were an atheist; but seem to remember at some point you saying you were not. I'm curious what your actual stance is on this? Maybe worth a new thread huh? "Fnord's stance on religion" or something similar? I know you were in a seminary for a while (I was a Buddhist monk myself a long time ago) but you dislike organised religions and hypocritical churches. So... ?

I am a theist. I believe in one God. I have no reason to believe as I do, since all "evidence" for God's existence is both anecdotal and apocryphal - I just believe.

I was in seminary. I asked a lot of questions. I questioned the validity of church doctrine. I questioned the ecclesiastical authority of the instructors. When I asked why I should believe anything they were teaching me, someone in authority suggested that I seek education in a more material field of study. I took up engineering.

The OP's use of the phrase "Spiritual Things" seems to be synonymous with "The Supernatural". All "evidence" for the existence of either of these is both anecdotal and apocryphal.

When I delve into other people's beliefs, I keep running into the same "I Just Believe" monolith that is at the center of my own belief. I keep hoping that someone will demonstrate a valid and empirical reason to believe in anything for which no valid and empirical reason has ever been demonstrated to me before.

I used to say, "Show me your god, and I will believe". No one has ever successfully met that challenge. Instead, they try to impress me with their ability to present a tangled skein of apologetics and convoluted logic, perhaps in the hope that I will be mesmerized into abandoning my quest for material evidence and give up on ever trying to find God.

I do not want words. There are books and lecture halls full of words. I do not want to reason, I have reasoned myself out of the brain-washing imposed by religious leaders in my childhood. I do not need any more interpretations of Biblical lore, as I have heard and read so many conflicting interpretations that most of the lore seems like mediocre fiction to me.

So, to put it simply, there are only two reasons why there seems to be no valid, empirical evidence for all things spiritual or supernatural: (1) They don't exist, and all the arguments and debates are meaningless, or (2) They will remain hidden from us until we become immaterial ourselves, and all I need to do is wait.

In either case my quest may only be a waste of time...


Thanks Fnord, that was interesting. I share your mistrust of belief as imposed by society and organised religions and agree with your once famous catch-line "evidence please". To me science trumps all - so whatever beliefs I have must tumble if science shows those beliefs are in error. Regarding "God" I personally find the word so used and abused in so many ways by so many people that I don't like to use the word as it conveys different concepts to different people.

I also do not believe any spiritual things exist in the context of "supernatural". The one area that does interest me immensely is that of consciousness itself. I believe consciousness is an emergent property of the brain. My sense of "self" is associated with this consciousness. If there is such a thing loosely called a "god" then I would surmise that it/he/she is also associated with this emergent property but perhaps at a level other than that of an individual human (or other animal) brain. That is all I'll say here ... I could go on but I don't think anyone would be that interested or may have difficulty following me anyway... especially if I start talking Zen & neuroscience.


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slave
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05 Jan 2013, 6:54 pm

ruveyn wrote:
I would worship at most one god.

ruveyn


could you elaborate, please?
I've had the impression that you are an atheist, am I incorrect?


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Since the birth of civilization, small sets of dominant individuals have controlled the numerical majority. Even a cursory reading of world history will substantiate this claim. Kings, Pharaohs, Emperors, Sultans, Czars, and Dictators have imposed their will upon their subjects. This pattern has not changed over the millennia and it remains so, today. Our Masters rule over every nation and no one can defy them. They will attain Absolute Power as we reach the Singularity. All those who oppose their will, will be destroyed. Given the obvious futility, I will not resist. 2+2=5.


slave
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05 Jan 2013, 7:01 pm

TallyMan wrote:
Fnord wrote:
TallyMan wrote:
Fnord wrote:
Jitro wrote:
Do spiritual things exist?
Since there is no valid empirical evidence to support any claim favoring the existence of "spiritual things", it may be safe to assume that they do not exist at all, except as immaterial fantasies and fictional plotlines.
Fnord, for a long time I assumed you were an atheist; but seem to remember at some point you saying you were not. I'm curious what your actual stance is on this? Maybe worth a new thread huh? "Fnord's stance on religion" or something similar? I know you were in a seminary for a while (I was a Buddhist monk myself a long time ago) but you dislike organised religions and hypocritical churches. So... ?

I am a theist. I believe in one God. I have no reason to believe as I do, since all "evidence" for God's existence is both anecdotal and apocryphal - I just believe.

I was in seminary. I asked a lot of questions. I questioned the validity of church doctrine. I questioned the ecclesiastical authority of the instructors. When I asked why I should believe anything they were teaching me, someone in authority suggested that I seek education in a more material field of study. I took up engineering.

The OP's use of the phrase "Spiritual Things" seems to be synonymous with "The Supernatural". All "evidence" for the existence of either of these is both anecdotal and apocryphal.

When I delve into other people's beliefs, I keep running into the same "I Just Believe" monolith that is at the center of my own belief. I keep hoping that someone will demonstrate a valid and empirical reason to believe in anything for which no valid and empirical reason has ever been demonstrated to me before.

I used to say, "Show me your god, and I will believe". No one has ever successfully met that challenge. Instead, they try to impress me with their ability to present a tangled skein of apologetics and convoluted logic, perhaps in the hope that I will be mesmerized into abandoning my quest for material evidence and give up on ever trying to find God.

I do not want words. There are books and lecture halls full of words. I do not want to reason, I have reasoned myself out of the brain-washing imposed by religious leaders in my childhood. I do not need any more interpretations of Biblical lore, as I have heard and read so many conflicting interpretations that most of the lore seems like mediocre fiction to me.

So, to put it simply, there are only two reasons why there seems to be no valid, empirical evidence for all things spiritual or supernatural: (1) They don't exist, and all the arguments and debates are meaningless, or (2) They will remain hidden from us until we become immaterial ourselves, and all I need to do is wait.

In either case my quest may only be a waste of time...


Thanks Fnord, that was interesting. I share your mistrust of belief as imposed by society and organised religions and agree with your once famous catch-line "evidence please". To me science trumps all - so whatever beliefs I have must tumble if science shows those beliefs are in error. Regarding "God" I personally find the word so used and abused in so many ways by so many people that I don't like to use the word as it conveys different concepts to different people.

I also do not believe any spiritual things exist in the context of "supernatural". The one area that does interest me immensely is that of consciousness itself. I believe consciousness is an emergent property of the brain. My sense of "self" is associated with this consciousness. If there is such a thing loosely called a "god" then I would surmise that it/he/she is also associated with this emergent property but perhaps at a level other than that of an individual human (or other animal) brain. That is all I'll say here ... I could go on but I don't think anyone would be that interested or may have difficulty following me anyway... especially if I start talking Zen & neuroscience.


Tallyman, I would love to hear more. :D

Would you consider a thread explaining your views or you could PM me.
I find the synergy between Eastern philosophy and Neuroscience(and even Quantum Mechanics) to be a very rewarding exploration. :D


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Since the birth of civilization, small sets of dominant individuals have controlled the numerical majority. Even a cursory reading of world history will substantiate this claim. Kings, Pharaohs, Emperors, Sultans, Czars, and Dictators have imposed their will upon their subjects. This pattern has not changed over the millennia and it remains so, today. Our Masters rule over every nation and no one can defy them. They will attain Absolute Power as we reach the Singularity. All those who oppose their will, will be destroyed. Given the obvious futility, I will not resist. 2+2=5.


slave
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05 Jan 2013, 7:07 pm

Fnord wrote:
TallyMan wrote:
Fnord wrote:
Jitro wrote:
Do spiritual things exist?
Since there is no valid empirical evidence to support any claim favoring the existence of "spiritual things", it may be safe to assume that they do not exist at all, except as immaterial fantasies and fictional plotlines.
Fnord, for a long time I assumed you were an atheist; but seem to remember at some point you saying you were not. I'm curious what your actual stance is on this? Maybe worth a new thread huh? "Fnord's stance on religion" or something similar? I know you were in a seminary for a while (I was a Buddhist monk myself a long time ago) but you dislike organised religions and hypocritical churches. So... ?

I am a theist. I believe in one God. I have no reason to believe as I do, since all "evidence" for God's existence is both anecdotal and apocryphal - I just believe.

I was in seminary. I asked a lot of questions. I questioned the validity of church doctrine. I questioned the ecclesiastical authority of the instructors. When I asked why I should believe anything they were teaching me, someone in authority suggested that I seek education in a more material field of study. I took up engineering.

The OP's use of the phrase "Spiritual Things" seems to be synonymous with "The Supernatural". All "evidence" for the existence of either of these is both anecdotal and apocryphal.

When I delve into other people's beliefs, I keep running into the same "I Just Believe" monolith that is at the center of my own belief. I keep hoping that someone will demonstrate a valid and empirical reason to believe in anything for which no valid and empirical reason has ever been demonstrated to me before.

I used to say, "Show me your god, and I will believe". No one has ever successfully met that challenge. Instead, they try to impress me with their ability to present a tangled skein of apologetics and convoluted logic, perhaps in the hope that I will be mesmerized into abandoning my quest for material evidence and give up on ever trying to find God.

I do not want words. There are books and lecture halls full of words. I do not want to reason, I have reasoned myself out of the brain-washing imposed by religious leaders in my childhood. I do not need any more interpretations of Biblical lore, as I have heard and read so many conflicting interpretations that most of the lore seems like mediocre fiction to me.

So, to put it simply, there are only two reasons why there seems to be no valid, empirical evidence for all things spiritual or supernatural: (1) They don't exist, and all the arguments and debates are meaningless, or (2) They will remain hidden from us until we become immaterial ourselves, and all I need to do is wait.

In either case my quest may only be a waste of time...


Are you uncomfortable with the idea of the purpose and meaning of life being completely arbitrary?


_________________
Since the birth of civilization, small sets of dominant individuals have controlled the numerical majority. Even a cursory reading of world history will substantiate this claim. Kings, Pharaohs, Emperors, Sultans, Czars, and Dictators have imposed their will upon their subjects. This pattern has not changed over the millennia and it remains so, today. Our Masters rule over every nation and no one can defy them. They will attain Absolute Power as we reach the Singularity. All those who oppose their will, will be destroyed. Given the obvious futility, I will not resist. 2+2=5.


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05 Jan 2013, 7:09 pm

The purpose and meaning of one person's life are whatever that person makes of it.


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purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis.”

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ruveyn
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05 Jan 2013, 7:18 pm

slave wrote:
ruveyn wrote:
I would worship at most one god.

ruveyn


could you elaborate, please?
I've had the impression that you are an atheist, am I incorrect?


No. I think the beings that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses did business with were advanced extra-terrestrials but still of the natural order.

The notion that the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob was supernatural is a Christian notion, not a Jewish notion.

The creation myth was added to book of Genesis to justify the granting of the Holy Land to Hebrews. The theory is that if God made the lands He could give them to whomsoever He pleased.

There is noting else in the Hebrew scripture that positively says the God is supernatural. Powerfuil, yes, but of the natural order of things.

ruveyn



slave
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05 Jan 2013, 7:53 pm

ruveyn wrote:
slave wrote:
ruveyn wrote:
I would worship at most one god.

ruveyn


could you elaborate, please?
I've had the impression that you are an atheist, am I incorrect?


No. I think the beings that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses did business with were advanced extra-terrestrials but still of the natural order.

The notion that the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob was supernatural is a Christian notion, not a Jewish notion.

The creation myth was added to book of Genesis to justify the granting of the Holy Land to Hebrews. The theory is that if God made the lands He could give them to whomsoever He pleased.

There is noting else in the Hebrew scripture that positively says the God is supernatural. Powerfuil, yes, but of the natural order of things.

ruveyn


Is there any evidence of these 'advanced extra-terrestrials' that you have referred to?


_________________
Since the birth of civilization, small sets of dominant individuals have controlled the numerical majority. Even a cursory reading of world history will substantiate this claim. Kings, Pharaohs, Emperors, Sultans, Czars, and Dictators have imposed their will upon their subjects. This pattern has not changed over the millennia and it remains so, today. Our Masters rule over every nation and no one can defy them. They will attain Absolute Power as we reach the Singularity. All those who oppose their will, will be destroyed. Given the obvious futility, I will not resist. 2+2=5.


Fnord
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05 Jan 2013, 7:56 pm

slave wrote:
Is there any evidence of these 'advanced extra-terrestrials' that you have referred to?

He did not claim the existence of extra-terrestrials as fact, so he needs no evidence.

No claim; no evidence; no problem.


_________________
 
“I must acknowledge, once and for all, that the
purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis.”

— Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock, in the Star Trek
episode "The Mark of Gideon" (ep. 3-16, 1969)