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What religion are you?
Christian
19%
 19% [ 4 ]
Jewish
0%
 0% [ 0 ]
Atheist
48%
 48% [ 10 ]
Other (because I'm too lazy to list 50 religions)
33%
 33% [ 7 ]
Total Votes : 21
 

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Axe
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Thu Jul 22, 2010 5:45 pm

Your first point: It is their choice to be that devoted to a religion. Not religion's fault.
Your second point: Again, that is people forcing religion down their throats. Not religion's fault.

And if people want to feel that others are doomed if they dont believe in their religion, then that is their choice. They should have the freedom to believe whatever they want.

All of your points are valid, but they support my claim. It's all people. I am religious in my own way and I am neither forcing my beliefs down the throats of others or bound in chains by my religion. If I start to believe something different, my belief system alters itself.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:27 pm

Tell me, how is religion good? What genuine purpose does it serve us?
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:30 pm

It answers the question of "how" for some people.

But, it still doesn't answer "why," which is the original question, so they just say "THE HUMAN MIND CAN'T COMPREHEND IT!!!!"

It gives man purpose to some people, and makes them happy I guess.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Thu Jul 22, 2010 7:51 pm

I don't think religious people are bad, but I do think that the religions themselves actually preach a lot of horrible things. What I don't understand is why religious people chose to ignore these things. This mostly applies to Judaism and Christian religions.

The bible straight up says "gays are bad, slaves are good, you can kill your son if he disobeys you, rape is sometimes okay, etc, etc." There are countless verses that encourage absolutely ridiculous behavior. If anyone wants, I can dig up these verses, but I do not have them handy right now. I'm just tired of bringing this up and getting the "LOL UR INTURPRETING IT RONG, STOOPID!" Certain bible verses are written certain ways. Some are metaphorical, some are literal. We should all know how to identify these. Some people like to use the "interpretation" cop-out on things they don't like. It's annoying.
There's also a new testament verse that says the old testament should still be followed. Weird.

On top of that, the bible has more contradictions than I can fathom. Not much more to say. Again, if anyone wants, I will dig up the proof if you would like. I'm sure there's a list somewhere.

I want to bring up gay marriage. How do you all feel about it?
Personally, I am against gay marriage in the religious sense purely because the bible clearly says that homosexual activity is sinful. I see no reason why a homosexual couple would even want to get married in a church to begin with, but if the bible says it shouldn't happen, then it shouldn't happen with a bible. I do, however, think it's beyond ridiculous to deny homosexual couples some kind of legal union. There is literally no reason to deny this, and it's honestly sickening.

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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:31 pm

Religion gives people purpose, it explains things for them, and it brings them together. To me the way religion brings people together is its most significant function. However when people come together and lose their individualism I start to get a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.

And Axe I thought you might say that, which is why I almost said it's left to semantics and point of view in the end of my post. Whether you consider that man against himself or religion against man...it's the same idea either way.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Thu Jul 22, 2010 9:10 pm

The people who selected other, your not something silly like satanist or some joke like that are ya?

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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:26 pm

Why does it matter what religion does for people?

Just because you choose to not give a shit doesn't mean everyone should be forced to not believe something. I know that's not what you're blatantly saying, but that kind of viewpoint is just as bad as extremist religious fanatics.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:30 pm

Religion helps me attempt to make sense of things. I would like to have meaning in my life, and a burning question in pretty much every human's life is "why are we here?"

So do you think that people shouldn't wonder why we are here? Do you think people should not be allowed to find something to believe in? You have to face it, there are more religious people that don't cause any problems at all than religious people who piss everyone else off.

Seriously, saying religion is a source of problems is just idiotic (not to insult you). It's fucking dumbass people who take something and use it for hate. They do that with everything. People ruin everything.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:31 pm

Extreme anything is lunacy

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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:34 pm

It's not religion thats fucked it's the people that are fucked.

Because of the literal meaning of religion instead of metaphorical.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:40 pm

Master Cthulhu wrote:
It's not religion thats fucked it's the people that are fucked.

Because of the literal meaning of religion instead of metaphorical.

I would argue the opposite in regards to Judaism and Christian religions.

The followers will usually do what they can to defend the religion, pushing aside or denying the verses that preach what we would consider immoral.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:41 pm

If they believe in their religion, then they want to help "save" everybody, by any means necessary.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:45 pm

Yeah like that lady from the mist.
Or Jova's Witness
Or that stupid whore from the mist

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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:25 pm

I have never thought of, or really have cared how or why I'm here, but that does not leave my life without purpose, for my purpose, along with everyone else, is to the betterment of our world, and I do not speak solely of the advancement of humanity. And yes, that is drawn from the the roots of nihilism.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:56 pm

My purpose is not the betterment of the world. I am not the world, and my interests concern it only insofar as myself is concerned.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:58 pm

That's a belief system in and of itself. But it's futile to argue about it, because I respect your beliefs. I think you just need to learn to accept things. I don't see why it's such a problem that people believe in different things. I do see a huge problem with stupid people, though, and that's who your comments should be directed at.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:59 pm

VacuousReality wrote:
My purpose is not the betterment of the world. I am not the world, and my interests concern it only insofar as myself is concerned.

I personally think it's dumb to try to "better" our world, because it never works. If it wasn't for science and technology, the world would be much better off. Medicine is really the only worthwhile thing science has done for us, in my honest opinion.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:05 am

I'm sure some events are generally more preferred than others.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:07 am

Axe wrote:
VacuousReality wrote:
My purpose is not the betterment of the world. I am not the world, and my interests concern it only insofar as myself is concerned.

I personally think it's dumb to try to "better" our world, because it never works. If it wasn't for science and technology, the world would be much better off. Medicine is really the only worthwhile thing science has done for us, in my honest opinion.

yeah, lets go back to slaughtering people because we think they are inferior.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:16 am

Axe wrote:
VacuousReality wrote:
My purpose is not the betterment of the world. I am not the world, and my interests concern it only insofar as myself is concerned.

I personally think it's dumb to try to "better" our world, because it never works. If it wasn't for science and technology, the world would be much better off. Medicine is really the only worthwhile thing science has done for us, in my honest opinion.
Woah, woah, woah, I wasn't speaking purely of science, but more of bettering our wisdom and making our world a little more tolerable to live in.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:18 am

Science hasn't really done anything to affect that, other than giving us more efficient means of slaughtering people.

And I don't think anyone gives a damn how sunlight makes a flower grow. We know sunlight makes a flower grow, so why do we need to know how? Or why do we have to travel to the moon. Or develop meaningless gadgets while people are starving all over the world. I enjoy technology as much as anyone, but the point remains that we waste too much time on things that don't help us at all.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:19 am

Bloodbeast wrote:
Axe wrote:
VacuousReality wrote:
My purpose is not the betterment of the world. I am not the world, and my interests concern it only insofar as myself is concerned.

I personally think it's dumb to try to "better" our world, because it never works. If it wasn't for science and technology, the world would be much better off. Medicine is really the only worthwhile thing science has done for us, in my honest opinion.
Woah, woah, woah, I wasn't speaking purely of science, but more of bettering our wisdom and making our world a little more tolerable to live in.

Sorry, I know, it just reminded me of how much I hate science. I agree with you on that though. I think science restricts our betterment of the world.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:25 am

When one is discovering things about the world they don't know what potential application the knowledge will have in the future. Such knowledge can also be used for good and bad, and it's not clear which will use will have the greater impact.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:31 am

About whether science is a "good" thing...
First of all this requires a very restricting perspective on cause and effect. However if we are simply talking about differences, we run into the "mysterious invocation" issue. By postulating a change in the world one must define an alternate world, and make sure it is consistent with itself.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:36 am

That was probably hard to follow.

I'll try to make it more intuitive...

What would a world without science look like?
Well it could look many different ways...that's why, if you're imagining such a thing, you need to define /everything/ about this alternative world, not just the one changed factor.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:38 am

The world would be better without science and technology?

No offense, but did you think at all before you said that?

Axe wrote:
Science hasn't really done anything to affect that, other than giving us more efficient means of slaughtering people.

And I don't think anyone gives a damn how sunlight makes a flower grow. We know sunlight makes a flower grow, so why do we need to know how? Or why do we have to travel to the moon. Or develop meaningless gadgets while people are starving all over the world. I enjoy technology as much as anyone, but the point remains that we waste too much time on things that don't help us at all.

Um, photosynthesis is an extremely well-understood thing. You should have learned about that in middle school.
Why do we travel to the moon? Because we like to know the unknown and get a better understanding of the universe we live in? Because space travel opens up limitless possibilities for the human race? There are a lot of reasons that you can find if you look for them. Just because you don't know why science does certain things doesn't mean there is no reason. Science opens up ridiculous amounts of possibilities to do good/already does ridiculous amounts of good.

Yes, technology also makes weapons. Personally, I would prefer to be shot than have my head opened up with an axe. Sure, the axe is more badass, but you know what I mean. Now, weapons of mass destruction is a better argument. Whether or not they should exist is an ongoing debate.

But you sound like you aren't anti-science, but you are anti-consumerism. These are two completely different things. I can relate on the anti-consumerism ideals, but science does so much good in the world. Even I get "Into the Wild" urges, but that's just me wanting to escape from it myself.

Basically, the ignorant anti-science attitude really annoys me. It's just sensationalism. Don't act like it would be easier to help those in need without technology, because that's flat-out wrong.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:02 am

I'm just overall biased against science. I feel much more could be done with an answer to "why?" than and answer to "how?"

It's all my opinion. Science has some great aspects but it also has some horrible aspects. It will ultimately be technology that is the downfall of mankind. Weapons are getting more powerful, scientists are fucking with things they shouldn't (such as gene alteration, etc), and we are wasting a lot of time developing things like movies, video games, television, etc rather than coming up with things that could actually benefit people.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:06 am

We already have the most powerful weapon, the three-stage hydrogen bomb. Any bigger and it loses its efficiency. The only way we would possibly make a more deadly weapon is with anti-matter.

Well I suppose there is always the bio-weapon path.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:10 am

The main thing is these things are all incredibly hypothetical. Imagining how the world could be a place is very easy. The source of most suffering is competition over resources. Have a population small enough it doesn't need to compete over resources (and keep it that way) and things are looking good.

However one might as well become God because that's not the way nature works. I think it's more interesting to discuss how one could make the world a better place, not how the world could be a better place if only it was illogical.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:52 am

Axe wrote:
Science hasn't really done anything to affect that, other than giving us more efficient means of slaughtering people.

And I don't think anyone gives a damn how sunlight makes a flower grow. We know sunlight makes a flower grow, so why do we need to know how? Or why do we have to travel to the moon. Or develop meaningless gadgets while people are starving all over the world. I enjoy technology as much as anyone, but the point remains that we waste too much time on things that don't help us at all.

you know your on forum right?... thats on the internet?... wasting time talking about wasting time... that is all.
















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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:10 am

I said I love technological things, like my zune, my xbox, teh interwebz. In the grand scheme of things it's all really pointless though, you have to admit.

I'm kinda stuck between a rock and a hard place. I know how society could be better, but I know every human (myself included) is much to selfish to give up things we like for things that could make society better. I would much rather sit on my ass, listen to death metal, and eat burger king that go volunteer at the local food pantry. Some people do things like that, but it's mostly because they want to do good things and earn their way to heaven or something.

But I am very spiritual, and I like to think of things as such. I would much rather answer why than how. And science seems to answer much of the hows, but not many of the whys. We can figure out all of these things, but there is still that lingering mystery of why we are here and what our overall purpose is. It could be as simple as we exist to exist, or it could be more complex than anyone has ever thought of. And that's why I love religion (I'm trying to bring us back to the topic at hand)
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:22 am

Exactly. Most of us are hopelessly selfish. Not everyone has the drive in them to do good things for others. It's a matter of willpower and direction. A weak person can have good direction, but they still need more willpower if they are actually going to go that way much.

As for why we exist I could discuss it with you on windows messenger (when you feel like it). I'll be online all tonight even if I appear offline.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:26 am

I would really love to talk to you one on one about that. You are one of the few people that I enjoy talking to about subject matter like this. But tonight isn't really a good night, I'm about to go to bed because I have work tomorrow. But we should definitely talk more about it at a different time
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:32 am

So, it's not science and technology you dislike, it's gluttony and consumerism.

Anyway, about science answering "why" and "how":
I'm going to assume that when you talk about science being unable to answer the "why's", you are strictly speaking about human existence since science can explain "why" for most other things in the world. Anyway, that's the difference between science and religion. Science answers both why and how, and if it can't answer both, it will grow until it can answer both. As far as religion goes in regards to why and how we exist, it has one answer that will never change - god. Science may not be able to answer those questions now, but it may in the future. It can certainly explain how we exist now with all we know about evolution and genetics. The why question is something that it may or may not be able to answer. But I think it's a dumb thing to do to say "well, science hasn't told us why yet, therefore god must be the answer." Of course, as an atheist, I would argue (and can if you would like me to) that gods do not exist, and therefore that is not an answer.

So if you want to talk about "what is our purpose," I can do that too. As an atheist, I don't believe that the only reason we exist is to gain access to a meaningless afterlife. I believe that it's up to you and me to find our own reason to live. It could be to simply procreate and continue the human race. It could be to make an impact - on the world, on a person, whatever. It could be to live a happy life. Whatever it is, I don't think it is to please a god.

But I would like to know what these "why" questions are that science doesn't answer?
It just seems like you talk about all these things science does that are wrong, but you don't really know much about it. I think you need to know more about these topics before you declare that they are just wrong. Things like "gene altercation" isn't as simple as you make it seem. It's not just "holy shit they are splicing things and stuff, they're going to kill us all!" That's sensationalism. That's a bad way to formulate opinions. Really research this kind of stuff first.

I'm also sad that you believe science will be the end of us. No faith in mankind. Do you really think that we would allow some kind of nuclear holocaust to happen (I suppose that it what you're alluding to)? It's not like John Smith has a nuke in his garage. Despite what you may like to think, the people in control of these weapons aren't stupid. They know what they are capable of.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:30 am

I didn't really want to write a 5500 word essay, but I guess I will.

First and foremost, don't say I need to learn more about this subject. I have guarantee I have spent more time studying religion and philosophy, and I have likely spent more time studying science related subjects considering I took very high level science courses at my high school to avoid taking math. Try your hardest not to offend me in that way, because the simple fact that I disagree with your pro-science beliefs does not make me less intelligent.

Science is unable to answer many "why" questions. First off, it is unable to answer the big one which is "why do we exist?". Your claim of "it may be able to in the future" is quite false. How could science possibly explain why we exist. That question is a philosophical question that cannot be answered by dissecting a frog. Furthermore, I highly doubt science would every be able to disprove God, Gods, or other supernatural beings. Conversely, it is also highly unlikely to prove such a thing. It is possible though, but very unlikely. Mainly because if there is a God, he or she would likely not allow his creations to prove or disprove him because religion is supposed to be based on faith.

concerning your statement "well, science hasn't told us why yet, therefore god must be the answer.", I assume that you think I am narrow minded enough to believe such a thing. For one, I am likely more open minded because I am not so quick to dismiss religion in it's entirety as a possibility. And you can argue that Gods do or do not exist, but again you cannot prove or disprove anything concerning that so that would be an incredibly foolish claim. I have never said "God exists" or "God does not exist" because it is impossible to prove. I can only say "I believe he exists" and you can only say "I do not believe he exists." That would be a much more accurate and reasonable thing for you to say. And sorry if I am not making sense, I am tired but I can't sleep so it's very possible that my thoughts seem clear to me but are not sounding so clear in writing.

Concerning your paragraph on meaning, I am glad to see you are using the word "believe" because when talking religion or philosophical things, again, it is very foolish to talk in absolutes. I did enjoy reading about your personal beliefs on the subject. But I do challenge your thoughts on religion and the ultimate goal of gaining access to heaven. According to most sects of Christianity, you are not earning your way to heaven on Earth. According to the bible, you simply have to ask forgiveness of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your savior to gain access to Heaven. So that is scratched off of the list as a purpose, at least from a Christian viewpoint. I am not educated enough about other religions to make a claim about them.

Back to the part about why questions. Science does not answer why we are here, science does not answer why we die. Science does not answer what becomes of us when we die (not a why question but yet another question that science does not answer). Science does not answer why we feel, emotionally. To me these are the most important questions about life. Not how a plant grows, not how a frog digests food, and not how one splits and atom to create nuclear energy.

Oh, and if I said "gene altercation" I surely meant "gene alteration." But that is ironic because we are engaged in quite an altercation right now.

Oh, and I have researched that stuff. I have taken two classes on genetics. I am by no means an expert but I know what I'm talking about at least a little bit. Try to remember your history (You know, the American eugenics movement and the whole nazi thing). Scientists are not answering anything of importance, they are using science that goes against nature. They are doing good things as well, I'm not ignorant enough to say it's all bad, but for the most part they are going the wrong direction.

And I don't think science directly will be the end of us, but I think science will make the end come faster. Here is a scenario for you. The human race is dependent on oil. The oil is drying up. Some people are actually being smart and are developing alternative energy sources. But, even though we have the technology, we do not employ these alternative energy sources due to monetary concerns. When the oil dries up, there will be widespread panic over the oil and there will be a shortage of electric cars, hybrids, etc and the prices will skyrocket. The lower class will not be able to afford them, and the economy will plummet. What do you think will happen when we get to the last stores of oil? Of course we aren't going to share them, we will be at war over resources. I know doomsday scenarios and things like this are stupid, but this is completely plausible. Of course it could never happen, but this is just one of the ways.

Do you remember how Saddam Hussein used chemical and biological weapons against his people? One wrong move, and someone like that could easily cause a pandemic with a synthetic biological agent that we have no defense against.

Oh, and do you remember how North Korea is being ran by someone who is insane? He continues to do nuclear tests you know.

I'd really like to think that people are smart enough not to use them, but when you have countries like us with so many weapons like that piled up you can't be sure. It's not like every human on earth is in perfect mental health.

I think I'm done with this for tonight, so I'll let you read over it and develop a response. And please, try not to insult my intelligence further.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:59 am

Let's just end this thread.


It's an endless cycle or pointlessness.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:14 am

Axe wrote:
Science is unable to answer many "why" questions. First off, it is unable to answer the big one which is "why do we exist?". Your claim of "it may be able to in the future" is quite false. How could science possibly explain why we exist. That question is a philosophical question that cannot be answered by dissecting a frog.

This argument is invalid. You're attempting to prove a negative by appealing to ignorance.

Oil wars are plausible, but chances are we'll be forced to wane off oil eventually. It's not going to suddenly disappear one day, but it'll become more and more difficult to find. As supply goes down, demand goes up. This also means demand for alternatives will go up, so alternative energy and alternative energy technologies will become more viable in the market. So while oil wars are plausible (as are any wars involving money and resources), I doubt it'll be an emergency which will send the world into panicked nuclear warfare. Not to frustrate you though, I saw what your main point was.

And about knowing whether or whether not God exists...I'm with you. That's why I call myself an agnostic, or weak atheist if one will...although sometimes I talk from a pantheistic perspective (or even panentheistic).

In neuroscience a lot about why we have feelings is known. A lot about why we have feelings, and specific feelings at that, is understandable through evolutionary psychology as well. If you're talking about consciousness, neuroscience has touched upon that as well. If you're talking about the nature of consciousness, and what it is...not just what causes it, then that is more of a philosophical topic.

Why people die is understood quite well.

What questions are important to a person varies by the person.

Technology is natural. Mankind is natural. Everything is natural. It's a direct result of nature. War is natural. Religion is natural. Politics is natural. Science is natural. And humans destroying the planet...we are making it more suitable for us. That has severe consequences for other species.

I'm not really touching on the subject of the value of science/technology for two reasons. For one it's rather complicated, but most of all I just don't see the application of doing so. I rather consider what could be done, or what one could do.



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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:16 am

Axe wrote:
First and foremost, don't say I need to learn more about this subject. I have guarantee I have spent more time studying religion and philosophy, and I have likely spent more time studying science related subjects considering I took very high level science courses at my high school to avoid taking math. Try your hardest not to offend me in that way, because the simple fact that I disagree with your pro-science beliefs does not make me less intelligent.

I certainly wasn't trying to insult your intelligence. Just don't say things like "science shouldn't be messing with X, that's bad," without backing it up with anything. It comes off a certain way.

Axe wrote:
Science is unable to answer many "why" questions. First off, it is unable to answer the big one which is "why do we exist?". Your claim of "it may be able to in the future" is quite false. How could science possibly explain why we exist. That question is a philosophical question that cannot be answered by dissecting a frog. Furthermore, I highly doubt science would every be able to disprove God, Gods, or other supernatural beings. Conversely, it is also highly unlikely to prove such a thing. It is possible though, but very unlikely. Mainly because if there is a God, he or she would likely not allow his creations to prove or disprove him because religion is supposed to be based on faith.

Science can certainly explain why we exist now, it just can't explain the origin of life... yet. That is not out of our reach. Of course you can say "well what about before that, and that, blah blah blah," and you're right. There's always a step back further. Yet for some reason, that same logic conveniently cannot be applied to god. I ask where did god come from, I get he always existed. I get asked where the universe came from, I say it always existed, that's somehow more stupid.
Again, I'm not trying to insult you, but when you say things like "...that cannot be answered by dissecting a frog," it comes off extremely ignorant to what science is, how it works, and what it accomplishes. Just be more careful how you phrase things, I suppose.
Just as science doesn't need to disprove the FSM, the Invisible Pink Unicorn, or my invisible friend Ted, it doesn't need to disprove god. This is a simple matter of the burden of proof. The ones who are making an affirmative claim must prove that claim before it can be considered true. You can't just say "I'm a Jedi, prove me wrong on those grounds," because I can't prove that wrong. For all I know, you are actually a Jedi who keeps it secret from everyone all the time. The point is, if you claim there is something out there that defies all logic, you have to prove it. If you can't, why would I ever believe it to be true? Faith must be based on some level of truth and fact, or else it's ritualistic blind faith.

Axe wrote:
concerning your statement "well, science hasn't told us why yet, therefore god must be the answer.", I assume that you think I am narrow minded enough to believe such a thing. For one, I am likely more open minded because I am not so quick to dismiss religion in it's entirety as a possibility. And you can argue that Gods do or do not exist, but again you cannot prove or disprove anything concerning that so that would be an incredibly foolish claim. I have never said "God exists" or "God does not exist" because it is impossible to prove. I can only say "I believe he exists" and you can only say "I do not believe he exists." That would be a much more accurate and reasonable thing for you to say. And sorry if I am not making sense, I am tired but I can't sleep so it's very possible that my thoughts seem clear to me but are not sounding so clear in writing.

I don't know why you would assume that I was "quick" to dismiss religion. Did you read the opening post of this thread? I'll restate the important part in regards to this. My beliefs are not something I decided upon over night. I am not gnostic. I do not know for a fact that there is no god. So no, I do not dismiss it as a possibility. I just do not put faith in it, and would always argue against it simply because logic tells me to. Yes, we could just say "we don't know," and end it there, but that's no fun, is it?

But again, I've already explained that I am an agnostic atheist.

Axe wrote:
Concerning your paragraph on meaning, I am glad to see you are using the word "believe" because when talking religion or philosophical things, again, it is very foolish to talk in absolutes. I did enjoy reading about your personal beliefs on the subject. But I do challenge your thoughts on religion and the ultimate goal of gaining access to heaven. According to most sects of Christianity, you are not earning your way to heaven on Earth. According to the bible, you simply have to ask forgiveness of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your savior to gain access to Heaven. So that is scratched off of the list as a purpose, at least from a Christian viewpoint. I am not educated enough about other religions to make a claim about them.

Yes, in my opening post I've explained that I believe it is irrational to claim you know these things for fact.
There are a lot of rules and laws in the bible that get ignored, and I'm really not sure why. Again, I can get the verses if you would like, but not now, it's almost 5:00 AM.
But I'm not sure how that eliminates heaven as the ultimate goal.

Axe wrote:
Back to the part about why questions. Science does not answer why we are here, science does not answer why we die. Science does not answer what becomes of us when we die (not a why question but yet another question that science does not answer). Science does not answer why we feel, emotionally. To me these are the most important questions about life. Not how a plant grows, not how a frog digests food, and not how one splits and atom to create nuclear energy.

Well, emotions can be explained. There's a complicated process of chemicals in the brain the work a certain way and make us feel a certain way. I couldn't possibly explain it all, but it's not something we don't understand.
Depends on what you mean by "why we are here." If you mean the origins of life, I have addressed that. If you mean how did you and I get here, that's genetics.
Why do we die? That's easy. I assume you aren't talking about fatal wounds, diseases and whatnot, but it is very explainable. Hell, a quick google search will give you this:

"Good question. A lot of people want to know the answer.

Yes, our cells divide and produce more cells to replace the ones that die. But this is all directed by the information stored in our DNA.

You can imagine that as the DNA gets copied over and over from the original template present in the egg+sperm, some mistakes might occur and the integrity of the genetic material will generally degrade. This is generally the basis of why our bodies start to fail on a cellular level (e.g. cancer). Even though we produce "new" cells, the DNA has already been copied over and over and subjected to external sources of damage such as UV radiation or harmful chemicals in the environment... think of making a copy of an original document on a traditional scanner, and repeating that over and over.

In mammals and other eukaryotes, DNA is arranged into structures called chromosomes, capped by a structural component called telomeres. These are kind of like tape on the end of a rope that keep it from coming undone and maintain it's structural integrity. The more times a cell has replicated, the shorter these telomeres become, because the cell can't replicate the DNA to the very end of the strand. Once the telomeres reach a certain "shortness" it signals the cell to die... effectively limiting the number of times a cell can divide. It is generally believed that this also has some effect on lifespan.

Also, some cells do not replicate, such as most neurons. So once you maintain damage to your brain it can't be easily repaired, especially considering the complexity of neural networks that you have formed over a lifetime. And since your brain controls many other bodily functions, once you lose that you're out of luck.

You can think about this on the level of the cell or the level of the organ or the level of the body as a functioning whole... but either way it all comes down to the same theme of a eventual reduction in the integrity of the system that can no longer be repaired."


Really simplified but effective answer. Obviously you can find a lot more on the topic, but it's definitely not something science doesn't understand.

As for what happens after we die, science will usually tell you that nothing happens. We know that your brain loses activity and consciousness, so it's only reasonable to assume that you stop... thinking... and being aware... and stuff. Yes, there are a lot of those "I died and came back. I saw a bright light" stories, but most of those are very explainable. When you die, your brain (provided it didn't get squashed or anything) still has moments of activity. You can experience a lot of different things in this time period. Your eyes will dilate, making you more sensitive to light. You may very well have illusions. It's possible in that time period.

Axe wrote:
Oh, and if I said "gene altercation" I surely meant "gene alteration." But that is ironic because we are engaged in quite an altercation right now.

Oh, and I have researched that stuff. I have taken two classes on genetics. I am by no means an expert but I know what I'm talking about at least a little bit. Try to remember your history (You know, the American eugenics movement and the whole nazi thing). Scientists are not answering anything of importance, they are using science that goes against nature. They are doing good things as well, I'm not ignorant enough to say it's all bad, but for the most part they are going the wrong direction.

Probably a typo on my part.

That's only some science.

Axe wrote:
And I don't think science directly will be the end of us, but I think science will make the end come faster. Here is a scenario for you. The human race is dependent on oil. The oil is drying up. Some people are actually being smart and are developing alternative energy sources. But, even though we have the technology, we do not employ these alternative energy sources due to monetary concerns. When the oil dries up, there will be widespread panic over the oil and there will be a shortage of electric cars, hybrids, etc and the prices will skyrocket. The lower class will not be able to afford them, and the economy will plummet. What do you think will happen when we get to the last stores of oil? Of course we aren't going to share them, we will be at war over resources. I know doomsday scenarios and things like this are stupid, but this is completely plausible. Of course it could never happen, but this is just one of the ways.

Well, you're assuming that we won't change even if it means the end of mankind.
I would assume the opposite.

Axe wrote:
Do you remember how Saddam Hussein used chemical and biological weapons against his people? One wrong move, and someone like that could easily cause a pandemic with a synthetic biological agent that we have no defense against.

Oh, and do you remember how North Korea is being ran by someone who is insane? He continues to do nuclear tests you know.

I'd really like to think that people are smart enough not to use them, but when you have countries like us with so many weapons like that piled up you can't be sure. It's not like every human on earth is in perfect mental health.

I think I'm done with this for tonight, so I'll let you read over it and develop a response. And please, try not to insult my intelligence further.

This stuff is getting into politics, which I hate to discuss.

Again, I wasn't trying to insult your intelligence.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:23 am

Poor Bloodbeast.

It's all right I get pissed when I see people fighting too. So far this is just friendly heated discussion though. And considering the people involved I think it'll either stay that way or the discussion will die naturally.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:27 am

Abiogenesis is all about the origin of life. It has a lot of concreteness though it is still growing and developing a lot.

Theologists will claim the universe did not always exist, but instead that it had a beginning. Such is one of the premises of the Kalam Cosmological Argument:
http://www.leaderu.com/truth/3truth11.html
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:25 am

Quote :
"Suppose what your faith has said is essentially correct. Suppose that there is a universal mind controling everything, a god willing the behaviour of every sub-atomic particle. Now every particle has an anti-particle, its mirror image, its negative side. Maybe this universal mind resides in the mirror image, instead of being in our universe as we wanted to believe. Maybe he's anti-god, bringing darkness instead of light."

^great quote, thought I'd share.

It's from the movie Prince of Darkness.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Sat Jul 24, 2010 4:14 pm

You guys are taking my why questions and turning them into "hows"

I know there are complex chemical reactions in the brain that make emotions. That's how we have emotions. But WHY do we have the emotions. And VR, I don't really see how my argument is invalid about how science can't explain some of the bigger picture questions. You might have to explain further.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Sat Jul 24, 2010 4:59 pm

...Satan
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Sun Jul 25, 2010 1:37 am

Axe wrote:
You guys are taking my why questions and turning them into "hows"

I know there are complex chemical reactions in the brain that make emotions. That's how we have emotions. But WHY do we have the emotions. And VR, I don't really see how my argument is invalid about how science can't explain some of the bigger picture questions. You might have to explain further.

What do you mean?
The reason we have emotions is because it is the product of the chemical process that occurs. It's simply the way it works. In our universe, certain things work certain ways. If you really want to know more, you can research that yourself, I promise that there are answers. I don't have a PhD in biology so I couldn't tell you exactly why each chemical behaves the way it does, but I do know that there reasons and explanations for why it behaves a certain way. I would have expected you to know that.

Basically, sometimes the "why" is answered by the "how" because the "why" is just a product of the "how." Does that make sense?

If you want to go deeper than that, it becomes a question of origin, and you know how that debate goes.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:16 am

No that's not the answer. I'm talking about a complex, meaningful answer. What is the purpose of one feeling love, hate, etc. There must be a purpose, it's not just random.


And this discussion is entirely because i am spiritual and you are not. I want to think of things as meaningful, and find a reason for things. But others, like yourself (from what I've gathered) are content with only the knowledge of how some things happen. If that makes sense. I much prefer to find the greatest meaning or purpose behind things, with the big one of course being why we exist, but going down to little things that seem trivial but could have greater meaning. This is why I'm interested in psychology. My spiritualism trasncends Christianity, and I like to learn about theories regarding dreams, out of body experiences, etc. My distaste for science is mearly because it doesn't answer the questions that I want answered. If it does in the future I will like it but I think it's extremely unlikely that something based on physical things could explain philosophical things.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:28 am

Somethings do not have meaning or reason, they are just there and they just happen. Nic Cage movies are one example.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:27 am

Axe wrote:
No that's not the answer. I'm talking about a complex, meaningful answer. What is the purpose of one feeling love, hate, etc. There must be a purpose, it's not just random.


And this discussion is entirely because i am spiritual and you are not. I want to think of things as meaningful, and find a reason for things. But others, like yourself (from what I've gathered) are content with only the knowledge of how some things happen. If that makes sense. I much prefer to find the greatest meaning or purpose behind things, with the big one of course being why we exist, but going down to little things that seem trivial but could have greater meaning. This is why I'm interested in psychology. My spiritualism trasncends Christianity, and I like to learn about theories regarding dreams, out of body experiences, etc. My distaste for science is mearly because it doesn't answer the questions that I want answered. If it does in the future I will like it but I think it's extremely unlikely that something based on physical things could explain philosophical things.

Again, you can research yourself if you really want a more complex answer. I promise you will find better, more detailed answers. Bio-psychology will give you the answers you want.

But you have the wrong idea about me.
You don't know nearly enough about me and my beliefs to tell me that I am not spiritual. That is just flat-out wrong. Most of the topics we discussed (death, emotion, growing plants) are just more explainable by science than you are making it out to be. Especially death and plants. You can't just ignore the science behind it and say "no, I look for the greater spiritual meaning behind it." That's really what it sounds like you're doing. Now, the psychological reasoning is different, but it's still not religious, and psychology is still considered a science. Me and you both are more interested in the "why did I have this dream? Why am I feeling this way?" But again, this is still science. Psychology is a science. Granted, it is a soft-science, but it is still science. When I defend science, I am defending all sciences, not just the hard-sciences (which is what you seem to think I am doing). Yes, we have been pretty much only discussing hard-science explanations, but honestly I'm more interested in the soft-science (psychological) explanations, which I would be glad to discuss more. The problem, of course, is that the psychological affects and explanations of these things is much more personal.

I hope I cleared that up a little. The thing is, up until this point, you have only expressed distaste in science. Psychology is a science, so I figured you were bashing psychology as well. You only really mentioned "spiritual explanation," so I took that to be religious explanation, not psychology reasoning. So we may actually be in agreement more than you think if I got this cleared up correctly.

For the record (speaking of psychology), I am/will be a psychology major. And more relevant to our discussion, the head of the psychology department has a PhD in bio-psychology, which really analysis the psychology and neuroscience of the brain. It really ties what we've been talking about together (the physical and psychological explanations to things like emotion).

Also, be careful who you tell "my spiritualism transcends Christianity" to. You may offend a lot of Christians, haha.


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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:40 am

Well the argument was invalid because it wasn't backed with evidence, to put it most simply. It just said something was impossible, and then posed the question, "How could it be possible?" Posing such a question however doesn't show that it's impossible.

On a more intuitive level...physics hasn't been completed yet. Who knows what will or will not be known once it is, or if it is, completed?

Evolutionary psychology studies the question of why we have emotions etc. It consists of theories and hypotheses for how emotions and behaviors evolved over time. The emotions we have helps us survive and produce offspring.

One can't assume everything has a sentient or quasi-sentient reason behind it.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:05 pm

It's funny, when I talk to christians they treat me like an Athiest and when I talk to Athiests they treat me like a hardcore christian. I have a much broader range of ideals and influences. And I didn't say you weren't spiritual, I just said it appears that I look at things on a more spiritual level, if that makes sense. I wasn't saying it was absolute, it was just a judgement I made by the discussion I've had with you.

I am also very nature-centric. I think a lot of our world's problems would be solved if it wouldn't have grown to the state it's in now. Some might say I'm an environmentalist, although I really don't identify with most of them. I just think people abuse the technology and stuff we have to the point where it becomes harmful. But I will agree to disagree with you, I don't have a problem with contrasting viewpoints.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion   Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:39 pm

Axe wrote:
I said I love technological things, like my zune, my xbox, teh interwebz. In the grand scheme of things it's all really pointless though, you have to admit.

I'm kinda stuck between a rock and a hard place. I know how society could be better, but I know every human (myself included) is much to selfish to give up things we like for things that could make society better. I would much rather sit on my ass, listen to death metal, and eat burger king that go volunteer at the local food pantry. Some people do things like that, but it's mostly because they want to do good things and earn their way to heaven or something.

But I am very spiritual, and I like to think of things as such. I would much rather answer why than how. And science seems to answer much of the hows, but not many of the whys. We can figure out all of these things, but there is still that lingering mystery of why we are here and what our overall purpose is. It could be as simple as we exist to exist, or it could be more complex than anyone has ever thought of. And that's why I love religion (I'm trying to bring us back to the topic at hand)

VacuousReality wrote:
Exactly. Most of us are hopelessly selfish. Not everyone has the drive in them to do good things for others. It's a matter of willpower and direction. A weak person can have good direction, but they still need more willpower if they are actually going to go that way much.

As for why we exist I could discuss it with you on windows messenger (when you feel like it). I'll be online all tonight even if I appear offline.

Axe wrote:
I would really love to talk to you one on one about that. You are one of the few people that I enjoy talking to about subject matter like this. But tonight isn't really a good night, I'm about to go to bed because I have work tomorrow. But we should definitely talk more about it at a different time

D-Lor wrote:
So, it's not science and technology you dislike, it's gluttony and consumerism.

Anyway, about science answering "why" and "how":
I'm going to assume that when you talk about science being unable to answer the "why's", you are strictly speaking about human existence since science can explain "why" for most other things in the world. Anyway, that's the difference between science and religion. Science answers both why and how, and if it can't answer both, it will grow until it can answer both. As far as religion goes in regards to why and how we exist, it has one answer that will never change - god. Science may not be able to answer those questions now, but it may in the future. It can certainly explain how we exist now with all we know about evolution and genetics. The why question is something that it may or may not be able to answer. But I think it's a dumb thing to do to say "well, science hasn't told us why yet, therefore god must be the answer." Of course, as an atheist, I would argue (and can if you would like me to) that gods do not exist, and therefore that is not an answer.

So if you want to talk about "what is our purpose," I can do that too. As an atheist, I don't believe that the only reason we exist is to gain access to a meaningless afterlife. I believe that it's up to you and me to find our own reason to live. It could be to simply procreate and continue the human race. It could be to make an impact - on the world, on a person, whatever. It could be to live a happy life. Whatever it is, I don't think it is to please a god.

But I would like to know what these "why" questions are that science doesn't answer?
It just seems like you talk about all these things science does that are wrong, but you don't really know much about it. I think you need to know more about these topics before you declare that they are just wrong. Things like "gene altercation" isn't as simple as you make it seem. It's not just "holy shit they are splicing things and stuff, they're going to kill us all!" That's sensationalism. That's a bad way to formulate opinions. Really research this kind of stuff first.

I'm also sad that you believe science will be the end of us. No faith in mankind. Do you really think that we would allow some kind of nuclear holocaust to happen (I suppose that it what you're alluding to)? It's not like John Smith has a nuke in his garage. Despite what you may like to think, the people in control of these weapons aren't stupid. They know what they are capable of.

Axe wrote:
I didn't really want to write a 5500 word essay, but I guess I will.

First and foremost, don't say I need to learn more about this subject. I have guarantee I have spent more time studying religion and philosophy, and I have likely spent more time studying science related subjects considering I took very high level science courses at my high school to avoid taking math. Try your hardest not to offend me in that way, because the simple fact that I disagree with your pro-science beliefs does not make me less intelligent.

Science is unable to answer many "why" questions. First off, it is unable to answer the big one which is "why do we exist?". Your claim of "it may be able to in the future" is quite false. How could science possibly explain why we exist. That question is a philosophical question that cannot be answered by dissecting a frog. Furthermore, I highly doubt science would every be able to disprove God, Gods, or other supernatural beings. Conversely, it is also highly unlikely to prove such a thing. It is possible though, but very unlikely. Mainly because if there is a God, he or she would likely not allow his creations to prove or disprove him because religion is supposed to be based on faith.

concerning your statement "well, science hasn't told us why yet, therefore god must be the answer.", I assume that you think I am narrow minded enough to believe such a thing. For one, I am likely more open minded because I am not so quick to dismiss religion in it's entirety as a possibility. And you can argue that Gods do or do not exist, but again you cannot prove or disprove anything concerning that so that would be an incredibly foolish claim. I have never said "God exists" or "God does not exist" because it is impossible to prove. I can only say "I believe he exists" and you can only say "I do not believe he exists." That would be a much more accurate and reasonable thing for you to say. And sorry if I am not making sense, I am tired but I can't sleep so it's very possible that my thoughts seem clear to me but are not sounding so clear in writing.

Concerning your paragraph on meaning, I am glad to see you are using the word "believe" because when talking religion or philosophical things, again, it is very foolish to talk in absolutes. I did enjoy reading about your personal beliefs on the subject. But I do challenge your thoughts on religion and the ultimate goal of gaining access to heaven. According to most sects of Christianity, you are not earning your way to heaven on Earth. According to the bible, you simply have to ask forgiveness of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your savior to gain access to Heaven. So that is scratched off of the list as a purpose, at least from a Christian viewpoint. I am not educated enough about other religions to make a claim about them.

Back to the part about why questions. Science does not answer why we are here, science does not answer why we die. Science does not answer what becomes of us when we die (not a why question but yet another question that science does not answer). Science does not answer why we feel, emotionally. To me these are the most important questions about life. Not how a plant grows, not how a frog digests food, and not how one splits and atom to create nuclear energy.

Oh, and if I said "gene altercation" I surely meant "gene alteration." But that is ironic because we are engaged in quite an altercation right now.

Oh, and I have researched that stuff. I have taken two classes on genetics. I am by no means an expert but I know what I'm talking about at least a little bit. Try to remember your history (You know, the American eugenics movement and the whole nazi thing). Scientists are not answering anything of importance, they are using science that goes against nature. They are doing good things as well, I'm not ignorant enough to say it's all bad, but for the most part they are going the wrong direction.

And I don't think science directly will be the end of us, but I think science will make the end come faster. Here is a scenario for you. The human race is dependent on oil. The oil is drying up. Some people are actually being smart and are developing alternative energy sources. But, even though we have the technology, we do not employ these alternative energy sources due to monetary concerns. When the oil dries up, there will be widespread panic over the oil and there will be a shortage of electric cars, hybrids, etc and the prices will skyrocket. The lower class will not be able to afford them, and the economy will plummet. What do you think will happen when we get to the last stores of oil? Of course we aren't going to share them, we will be at war over resources. I know doomsday scenarios and things like this are stupid, but this is completely plausible. Of course it could never happen, but this is just one of the ways.

Do you remember how Saddam Hussein used chemical and biological weapons against his people? One wrong move, and someone like that could easily cause a pandemic with a synthetic biological agent that we have no defense against.

Oh, and do you remember how North Korea is being ran by someone who is insane? He continues to do nuclear tests you know.

I'd really like to think that people are smart enough not to use them, but when you have countries like us with so many weapons like that piled up you can't be sure. It's not like every human on earth is in perfect mental health.

I think I'm done with this for tonight, so I'll let you read over it and develop a response. And please, try not to insult my intelligence further.

Bloodbeast wrote:
Let's just end this thread.


It's an endless cycle or pointlessness.

VacuousReality wrote:
Axe wrote:
Science is unable to answer many "why" questions. First off, it is unable to answer the big one which is "why do we exist?". Your claim of "it may be able to in the future" is quite false. How could science possibly explain why we exist. That question is a philosophical question that cannot be answered by dissecting a frog.

This argument is invalid. You're attempting to prove a negative by appealing to ignorance.

Oil wars are plausible, but chances are we'll be forced to wane off oil eventually. It's not going to suddenly disappear one day, but it'll become more and more difficult to find. As supply goes down, demand goes up. This also means demand for alternatives will go up, so alternative energy and alternative energy technologies will become more viable in the market. So while oil wars are plausible (as are any wars involving money and resources), I doubt it'll be an emergency which will send the world into panicked nuclear warfare. Not to frustrate you though, I saw what your main point was.

And about knowing whether or whether not God exists...I'm with you. That's why I call myself an agnostic, or weak atheist if one will...although sometimes I talk from a pantheistic perspective (or even panentheistic).

In neuroscience a lot about why we have feelings is known. A lot about why we have feelings, and specific feelings at that, is understandable through evolutionary psychology as well. If you're talking about consciousness, neuroscience has touched upon that as well. If you're talking about the nature of consciousness, and what it is...not just what causes it, then that is more of a philosophical topic.

Why people die is understood quite well.

What questions are important to a person varies by the person.

Technology is natural. Mankind is natural. Everything is natural. It's a direct result of nature. War is natural. Religion is natural. Politics is natural. Science is natural. And humans destroying the planet...we are making it more suitable for us. That has severe consequences for other species.

I'm not really touching on the subject of the value of science/technology for two reasons. For one it's rather complicated, but most of all I just don't see the application of doing so. I rather consider what could be done, or what one could do.


D-Lor wrote:
Axe wrote:
First and foremost, don't say I need to learn more about this subject. I have guarantee I have spent more time studying religion and philosophy, and I have likely spent more time studying science related subjects considering I took very high level science courses at my high school to avoid taking math. Try your hardest not to offend me in that way, because the simple fact that I disagree with your pro-science beliefs does not make me less intelligent.

I certainly wasn't trying to insult your intelligence. Just don't say things like "science shouldn't be messing with X, that's bad," without backing it up with anything. It comes off a certain way.

Axe wrote:
Science is unable to answer many "why" questions. First off, it is unable to answer the big one which is "why do we exist?". Your claim of "it may be able to in the future" is quite false. How could science possibly explain why we exist. That question is a philosophical question that cannot be answered by dissecting a frog. Furthermore, I highly doubt science would every be able to disprove God, Gods, or other supernatural beings. Conversely, it is also highly unlikely to prove such a thing. It is possible though, but very unlikely. Mainly because if there is a God, he or she would likely not allow his creations to prove or disprove him because religion is supposed to be based on faith.

Science can certainly explain why we exist now, it just can't explain the origin of life... yet. That is not out of our reach. Of course you can say "well what about before that, and that, blah blah blah," and you're right. There's always a step back further. Yet for some reason, that same logic conveniently cannot be applied to god. I ask where did god come from, I get he always existed. I get asked where the universe came from, I say it always existed, that's somehow more stupid.
Again, I'm not trying to insult you, but when you say things like "...that cannot be answered by dissecting a frog," it comes off extremely ignorant to what science is, how it works, and what it accomplishes. Just be more careful how you phrase things, I suppose.
Just as science doesn't need to disprove the FSM, the Invisible Pink Unicorn, or my invisible friend Ted, it doesn't need to disprove god. This is a simple matter of the burden of proof. The ones who are making an affirmative claim must prove that claim before it can be considered true. You can't just say "I'm a Jedi, prove me wrong on those grounds," because I can't prove that wrong. For all I know, you are actually a Jedi who keeps it secret from everyone all the time. The point is, if you claim there is something out there that defies all logic, you have to prove it. If you can't, why would I ever believe it to be true? Faith must be based on some level of truth and fact, or else it's ritualistic blind faith.

Axe wrote:
concerning your statement "well, science hasn't told us why yet, therefore god must be the answer.", I assume that you think I am narrow minded enough to believe such a thing. For one, I am likely more open minded because I am not so quick to dismiss religion in it's entirety as a possibility. And you can argue that Gods do or do not exist, but again you cannot prove or disprove anything concerning that so that would be an incredibly foolish claim. I have never said "God exists" or "God does not exist" because it is impossible to prove. I can only say "I believe he exists" and you can only say "I do not believe he exists." That would be a much more accurate and reasonable thing for you to say. And sorry if I am not making sense, I am tired but I can't sleep so it's very possible that my thoughts seem clear to me but are not sounding so clear in writing.

I don't know why you would assume that I was "quick" to dismiss religion. Did you read the opening post of this thread? I'll restate the important part in regards to this. My beliefs are not something I decided upon over night. I am not gnostic. I do not know for a fact that there is no god. So no, I do not dismiss it as a possibility. I just do not put faith in it, and would always argue against it simply because logic tells me to. Yes, we could just say "we don't know," and end it there, but that's no fun, is it?

But again, I've already explained that I am an agnostic atheist.

Axe wrote:
Concerning your paragraph on meaning, I am glad to see you are using the word "believe" because when talking religion or philosophical things, again, it is very foolish to talk in absolutes. I did enjoy reading about your personal beliefs on the subject. But I do challenge your thoughts on religion and the ultimate goal of gaining access to heaven. According to most sects of Christianity, you are not earning your way to heaven on Earth. According to the bible, you simply have to ask forgiveness of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your savior to gain access to Heaven. So that is scratched off of the list as a purpose, at least from a Christian viewpoint. I am not educated enough about other religions to make a claim about them.

Yes, in my opening post I've explained that I believe it is irrational to claim you know these things for fact.
There are a lot of rules and laws in the bible that get ignored, and I'm really not sure why. Again, I can get the verses if you would like, but not now, it's almost 5:00 AM.
But I'm not sure how that eliminates heaven as the ultimate goal.

Axe wrote:
Back to the part about why questions. Science does not answer why we are here, science does not answer why we die. Science does not answer what becomes of us when we die (not a why question but yet another question that science does not answer). Science does not answer why we feel, emotionally. To me these are the most important questions about life. Not how a plant grows, not how a frog digests food, and not how one splits and atom to create nuclear energy.

Well, emotions can be explained. There's a complicated process of chemicals in the brain the work a certain way and make us feel a certain way. I couldn't possibly explain it all, but it's not something we don't understand.
Depends on what you mean by "why we are here." If you mean the origins of life, I have addressed that. If you mean how did you and I get here, that's genetics.
Why do we die? That's easy. I assume you aren't talking about fatal wounds, diseases and whatnot, but it is very explainable. Hell, a quick google search will give you this:

"Good question. A lot of people want to know the answer.

Yes, our cells divide and produce more cells to replace the ones that die. But this is all directed by the information stored in our DNA.

You can imagine that as the DNA gets copied over and over from the original template present in the egg+sperm, some mistakes might occur and the integrity of the genetic material will generally degrade. This is generally the basis of why our bodies start to fail on a cellular level (e.g. cancer). Even though we produce "new" cells, the DNA has already been copied over and over and subjected to external sources of damage such as UV radiation or harmful chemicals in the environment... think of making a copy of an original document on a traditional scanner, and repeating that over and over.

In mammals and other eukaryotes, DNA is arranged into structures called chromosomes, capped by a structural component called telomeres. These are kind of like tape on the end of a rope that keep it from coming undone and maintain it's structural integrity. The more times a cell has replicated, the shorter these telomeres become, because the cell can't replicate the DNA to the very end of the strand. Once the telomeres reach a certain "shortness" it signals the cell to die... effectively limiting the number of times a cell can divide. It is generally believed that this also has some effect on lifespan.

Also, some cells do not replicate, such as most neurons. So once you maintain damage to your brain it can't be easily repaired, especially considering the complexity of neural networks that you have formed over a lifetime. And since your brain controls many other bodily functions, once you lose that you're out of luck.

You can think about this on the level of the cell or the level of the organ or the level of the body as a functioning whole... but either way it all comes down to the same theme of a eventual reduction in the integrity of the system that can no longer be repaired."


Really simplified but effective answer. Obviously you can find a lot more on the topic, but it's definitely not something science doesn't understand.

As for what happens after we die, science will usually tell you that nothing happens. We know that your brain loses activity and consciousness, so it's only reasonable to assume that you stop... thinking... and being aware... and stuff. Yes, there are a lot of those "I died and came back. I saw a bright light" stories, but most of those are very explainable. When you die, your brain (provided it didn't get squashed or anything) still has moments of activity. You can experience a lot of different things in this time period. Your eyes will dilate, making you more sensitive to light. You may very well have illusions. It's possible in that time period.

Axe wrote:
Oh, and if I said "gene altercation" I surely meant "gene alteration." But that is ironic because we are engaged in quite an altercation right now.

Oh, and I have researched that stuff. I have taken two classes on genetics. I am by no means an expert but I know what I'm talking about at least a little bit. Try to remember your history (You know, the American eugenics movement and the whole nazi thing). Scientists are not answering anything of importance, they are using science that goes against nature. They are doing good things as well, I'm not ignorant enough to say it's all bad, but for the most part they are going the wrong direction.

Probably a typo on my part.

That's only some science.

Axe wrote:
And I don't think science directly will be the end of us, but I think science will make the end come faster. Here is a scenario for you. The human race is dependent on oil. The oil is drying up. Some people are actually being smart and are developing alternative energy sources. But, even though we have the technology, we do not employ these alternative energy sources due to monetary concerns. When the oil dries up, there will be widespread panic over the oil and there will be a shortage of electric cars, hybrids, etc and the prices will skyrocket. The lower class will not be able to afford them, and the economy will plummet. What do you think will happen when we get to the last stores of oil? Of course we aren't going to share them, we will be at war over resources. I know doomsday scenarios and things like this are stupid, but this is completely plausible. Of course it could never happen, but this is just one of the ways.

Well, you're assuming that we won't change even if it means the end of mankind.
I would assume the opposite.

Axe wrote:
Do you remember how Saddam Hussein used chemical and biological weapons against his people? One wrong move, and someone like that could easily cause a pandemic with a synthetic biological agent that we have no defense against.

Oh, and do you remember how North Korea is being ran by someone who is insane? He continues to do nuclear tests you know.

I'd really like to think that people are smart enough not to use them, but when you have countries like us with so many weapons like that piled up you can't be sure. It's not like every human on earth is in perfect mental health.

I think I'm done with this for tonight, so I'll let you read over it and develop a response. And please, try not to insult my intelligence further.

This stuff is getting into politics, which I hate to discuss.

Again, I wasn't trying to insult your intelligence.

VacuousReality wrote:
Poor Bloodbeast.

It's all right I get pissed when I see people fighting too. So far this is just friendly heated discussion though. And considering the people involved I think it'll either stay that way or the discussion will die naturally.

VacuousReality wrote:
Abiogenesis is all about the origin of life. It has a lot of concreteness though it is still growing and developing a lot.

Theologists will claim the universe did not always exist, but instead that it had a beginning. Such is one of the premises of the Kalam Cosmological Argument:
http://www.leaderu.com/truth/3truth11.html

Master Cthulhu wrote:
Quote :
"Suppose what your faith has said is essentially correct. Suppose that there is a universal mind controling everything, a god willing the behaviour of every sub-atomic particle. Now every particle has an anti-particle, its mirror image, its negative side. Maybe this universal mind resides in the mirror image, instead of being in our universe as we wanted to believe. Maybe he's anti-god, bringing darkness instead of light."

^great quote, thought I'd share.

It's from the movie Prince of Darkness.

Axe wrote:
You guys are taking my why questions and turning them into "hows"

I know there are complex chemical reactions in the brain that make emotions. That's how we have emotions. But WHY do we have the emotions. And VR, I don't really see how my argument is invalid about how science can't explain some of the bigger picture questions. You might have to explain further.

Taxer666 wrote:
...Satan

D-Lor wrote:
Axe wrote:
You guys are taking my why questions and turning them into "hows"

I know there are complex chemical reactions in the brain that make emotions. That's how we have emotions. But WHY do we have the emotions. And VR, I don't really see how my argument is invalid about how science can't explain some of the bigger picture questions. You might have to explain further.

What do you mean?
The reason we have emotions is because it is the product of the chemical process that occurs. It's simply the way it works. In our universe, certain things work certain ways. If you really want to know more, you can research that yourself, I promise that there are answers. I don't have a PhD in biology so I couldn't tell you exactly why each chemical behaves the way it does, but I do know that there reasons and explanations for why it behaves a certain way. I would have expected you to know that.

Basically, sometimes the "why" is answered by the "how" because the "why" is just a product of the "how." Does that make sense?

If you want to go deeper than that, it becomes a question of origin, and you know how that debate goes.

Axe wrote:
No that's not the answer. I'm talking about a complex, meaningful answer. What is the purpose of one feeling love, hate, etc. There must be a purpose, it's not just random.


And this discussion is entirely because i am spiritual and you are not. I want to think of things as meaningful, and find a reason for things. But others, like yourself (from what I've gathered) are content with only the knowledge of how some things happen. If that makes sense. I much prefer to find the greatest meaning or purpose behind things, with the big one of course being why we exist, but going down to little things that seem trivial but could have greater meaning. This is why I'm interested in psychology. My spiritualism trasncends Christianity, and I like to learn about theories regarding dreams, out of body experiences, etc. My distaste for science is mearly because it doesn't answer the questions that I want answered. If it does in the future I will like it but I think it's extremely unlikely that something based on physical things could explain philosophical things.

Taxer666 wrote:
Somethings do not have meaning or reason, they are just there and they just happen. Nic Cage movies are one example.

D-Lor wrote:
Axe wrote:
No that's not the answer. I'm talking about a complex, meaningful answer. What is the purpose of one feeling love, hate, etc. There must be a purpose, it's not just random.


And this discussion is entirely because i am spiritual and you are not. I want to think of things as meaningful, and find a reason for things. But others, like yourself (from what I've gathered) are content with only the knowledge of how some things happen. If that makes sense. I much prefer to find the greatest meaning or purpose behind things, with the big one of course being why we exist, but going down to little things that seem trivial but could have greater meaning. This is why I'm interested in psychology. My spiritualism trasncends Christianity, and I like to learn about theories regarding dreams, out of body experiences, etc. My distaste for science is mearly because it doesn't answer the questions that I want answered. If it does in the future I will like it but I think it's extremely unlikely that something based on physical things could explain philosophical things.

Again, you can research yourself if you really want a more complex answer. I promise you will find better, more detailed answers. Bio-psychology will give you the answers you want.

But you have the wrong idea about me.
You don't know nearly enough about me and my beliefs to tell me that I am not spiritual. That is just flat-out wrong. Most of the topics we discussed (death, emotion, growing plants) are just more explainable by science than you are making it out to be. Especially death and plants. You can't just ignore the science behind it and say "no, I look for the greater spiritual meaning behind it." That's really what it sounds like you're doing. Now, the psychological reasoning is different, but it's still not religious, and psychology is still considered a science. Me and you both are more interested in the "why did I have this dream? Why am I feeling this way?" But again, this is still science. Psychology is a science. Granted, it is a soft-science, but it is still science. When I defend science, I am defending all sciences, not just the hard-sciences (which is what you seem to think I am doing). Yes, we have been pretty much only discussing hard-science explanations, but honestly I'm more interested in the soft-science (psychological) explanations, which I would be glad to discuss more. The problem, of course, is that the psychological affects and explanations of these things is much more personal.

I hope I cleared that up a little. The thing is, up until this point, you have only expressed distaste in science. Psychology is a science, so I figured you were bashing psychology as well. You only really mentioned "spiritual explanation," so I took that to be religious explanation, not psychology reasoning. So we may actually be in agreement more than you think if I got this cleared up correctly.

For the record (speaking of psychology), I am/will be a psychology major. And more relevant to our discussion, the head of the psychology department has a PhD in bio-psychology, which really analysis the psychology and neuroscience of the brain. It really ties what we've been talking about together (the physical and psychological explanations to things like emotion).

Also, be careful who you tell "my spiritualism transcends Christianity" to. You may offend a lot of Christians, haha.

VacuousReality wrote:
Well the argument was invalid because it wasn't backed with evidence, to put it most simply. It just said something was impossible, and then posed the question, "How could it be possible?" Posing such a question however doesn't show that it's impossible.

On a more intuitive level...physics hasn't been completed yet. Who knows what will or will not be known once it is, or if it is, completed?

Evolutionary psychology studies the question of why we have emotions etc. It consists of theories and hypotheses for how emotions and behaviors evolved over time. The emotions we have helps us survive and produce offspring.

One can't assume everything has a sentient or quasi-sentient reason behind it.

Axe wrote:
It's funny, when I talk to christians they treat me like an Athiest and when I talk to Athiests they treat me like a hardcore christian. I have a much broader range of ideals and influences. And I didn't say you weren't spiritual, I just said it appears that I look at things on a more spiritual level, if that makes sense. I wasn't saying it was absolute, it was just a judgement I made by the discussion I've had with you.

I am also very nature-centric. I think a lot of our world's problems would be solved if it wouldn't have grown to the state it's in now. Some might say I'm an environmentalist, although I really don't identify with most of them. I just think people abuse the technology and stuff we have to the point where it becomes harmful. But I will agree to disagree with you, I don't have a problem with contrasting viewpoints.

Yes.
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