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Posts posted by Memammal

  1. It is very difficult for us to imagine what no space and time would be like

    Space and time, yes, that is easy to take in...but I don't think that many people know much about- or can imagine spacetime.

  2. Not to mention that evolutionary theory in general rubs fundamentalists/literalists/creationists the wrong way, to say the least: Actually it brings their whole world view crumbling down like the walls of Jericho.

    That is part of the problem...the fact that religious bigots simply refuse to accept the science behind evolution and/or an old universe/earth. As a result affected families, communities and societies are ignorant of these facts and left without any option but to follow traditions. There are millions of Christians being born and bred on the false doctrine of original sin and not because they ever had an informed choice, but just because of the fact that they were brought up in a Christian environment. Ditto for Muslims, Judaists, etc. Consider the downsides of these culturally aligned- and in some cases very conservative religions...women being oppressed, "forced" circumcision, and on the more fundamentalist side of the spectrum there are young men blowing up people with suicide vests, or flying into skyscrapers. Should one just turn a blind eye, or even condone outdated traditional religious practices/beliefs with the kind of knowledge at our disposal..?

  3. I don't see how that is relevant. It seems just as irrational to say they shouldn't have those beliefs as to say someone shouldn't like a particular type of music.

    I am a bit lost for words too... Referring specifically to the monotheistic religions, surely the question as to whether any of them was actually inspired by the relevant God in question, in stead of being superstitious folklore, is relevant. Take away the divine origins of these religions and they fall flat. The same "rationality" applies to the belief that the first two humans committed the original sin that would cast the entire human race to eternal hell unless saved by the grace and sacrifice of the son of God. If evolution shows that Adam & Eve could not have been the first humans, or that humans do not have a unique "sinful nature" opposed to other animals, that particular doctrine (central to Christianity) again falls flat. Why not use knowledge to debunk superstitions?

  4. But I will also criticise scientific people who use poor logic to attack religion. For example, even if religion has an origin in evolution/survival that is no reason to criticise it. That is like saying people shouldn't like music or fall in love because they have an evolutionary basis.

    Mmm...this appears to be aimed at something that I argued in a previous debate. There is an important difference though. Most people recognise and accept that our love for music has its roots in primitive origins, but very few religious people would accept that religions are merely "organised" superstitions and likely spandrels of evolution. Religious people, by and large, feel very strongly that their religions were divinely inspired, in fact (most) religions would be pretty baseless if they were not...which was the premise of my argument.

  5. The devil added evil and suffering and if you believe there is no God them the only option is that humans arise by chance because somehow the universe has a design that is perfectly set up for humans

    As many posters before me already stated, the concept of "evil" is a misnomer. This is a science forum where we are proudly mammal; we are an animal species. As such we can commit as much or as little sin or evil as any other animal. What we perceive as right or wrong stems from morality, which is an evolutionary trait. The devil, angels, demons, gods are mythical beings just like giants, dragons, wizards, elves and the likes.


    As for the universe being specifically designed for us, think of it differently. We evolved according to our eco system. Read this analogy that I posted some time ago: http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/91596-can-science-explain-everything-in-the-universe-without-a-god/page-13#entry919240

  6. I was just curious how much of the science on the role of unconscious/subconscious thought you had looked into.

    Strange, what is your opinion with reference to the suggestion that the unconscious/subconscious could perhaps be the "missing link" to- or be representative of the elusive soul? Too far-fetched, unlikely, or do we simply not know enough about the unconscious/subconscious?

  7. @ disarray: My two cents... We previously (in other threads) touched on eternal consciousness (or information) in stead of the immortal soul. A speculative question - why not rather the unconscious and/or the subconscious? There are numerous reports on the extent of the unconscious mind, for example prenatal "memories". Contemporary cognitive psychology points to unconscious processing of extensive amounts of information by a perceiver (or observer?). I find that interesting. Why would we (and other living organisms?) be equipped with the capability to capture & process data and to store information that seemingly exceeds the scope of what is required to survive? Dreams, for example, are linked to the unconscious and if that is assumed to be true, then animals also have unconscious minds. The subconscious is defined as "operating or existing outside of consciousness", which is important given the fact that the contemporary school of thought is that the latter (just like free will) could be somewhat of a misnomer. Freud described it as "another consciousness, a subterranean one, as it were." To me this appears to be very soul-like.


    PS. I edited some of the above after reading this article that attempts to explain the differences between the conscious, sub and unconscious minds: http://themindunleashed.org/2014/03/conscious-subconscious-unconscious-mind-work.html. I am not sure I agree with everything in the article though, especially not the last part dealing with consciously influencing the unconscious. Afaik it works better from the bottom up, through psychoanalytic therapy for example..?

  8. @ disarray: I agree.


    Refer to this Q&A re the alleged miracle on a Christian web site. I am unable to find any reference to the purported event in any of the major independent news publications, only on religious (predominantly Roman Catholic) sites, and that seems rather suspicious. It is also not listed on the Wikipedia page Eucharistic miracles...not that I am implying that any of those miracles in fact happened.


    PS. It reads like something from a Dan Brown novel.

  9. I find those who are anti-theist tend to be a bit too hard on those who believe. It takes time to gather all the data, develop critical thinking skills, and debate the topic enough until you get to the point where you can draw confident conclusions. I find that most people who were brought up religious then became atheist, did so in stages, where they began to doubt, found conflicts and obvious falsehoods, till they got to the place where they simply rejected theism.

    And not everyone takes all of the steps to become well educated on the topic for whatever reasons.

    I think you hit the nail on the head...well said. I went through a similar process and I often find myself being a bit hard on those who believe. I think one needs to be aware of the enormous influence of genes and environmental programming/strengthening on people's natural underlying susceptibility to superstitions. I find myself in a conservative society where the majority of people are religious and I am often being frustrated by how people just assume that everybody around them are also religious. They also see it as their God-given obligation to ensure that pro-religious ideologies are being promoted in the public sphere like pre-schools and schools while everything that are perceived as anti-religious (like evolution) are being ignored, questioned and even ridiculed. This is the same kind of thing that one sees on many religious websites. They believe they do the right thing and they are entirely ignorant of the fact that their own religious bias is propagating an unfounded ideology while supressing knowledge and inquisitiveness in the process.

  10. Yes the universe was created by God and hell no it isn't the only universe its part of a multiverse which is part of a megaverse and so on it can go infinitely down and up and each level is infinite and has infiniteevs and so on so kniw not even close to all that exists

    I suggest that you resist making such sweeping statements as above...

    ...only to be followed by:

    Hey I am not having a scientific argument I just think it does and out of curiosity does anyone know what levels are below subatomic particles or aren't there any discovered

  11. Or just:

    Popular people are more likely to receive help from others and have more opportunities to reproduce. People who want to be popular are more likely to seek behaviors that will result in them being popular than people who don't wNt to be popular. Popularity seeking may therefore have some degree of reproductive advantage.



    Edited with an added note: People are popular for different reasons. It can be because they are clever, good looking, good in sport, etc. I.m.o. that is really like a mating call, advertising their genes, and they become popular because of the demand for said genes.

  12. Goodness me. A quick Google search confirmed my suspicion...this BS science is being promulgated on a number of pro-religious websites. B. John Jones, you stated that the universe is in fact not expanding (?) while some parts will be "mended and perfected" and others not (?) And then you elaborated on it in this manner:


    Yet I will offer the comparison of the stellar regions to decaying matter. Without gravity, matter would decay outward, as the "satellites" do in the atmospheres.

    Plus the strange section that Strange copied above.


    Seriously dude, if you really want to learn something useful you can start by reading this article entitled Future of an expanding universe. Chances are good that it is slightly more accurate than what you have been reading in your selected sources elsewhere on the internet or in the Book of Revelation. One day soon we need to discuss the science behind that rainbow in your avatar as well.

  13. The universe appears to be expanding, but is not. It's being broken down into infinitely smaller parts. In the end certain parts will be mended and perfected. Others will continue their destruction (death).


    I notice that these four statements went by unchallenged. B. John Jones, can you substantiate what you presented as "factual" statements?

  14. Since you ask, I mean the body of Jesus of Nazareth, struck and crucified; raised physically and having appeared alive to hundreds of his closest friends...

    You were referring to evidence or proof though...you also raised the matter of objectivity...what objective proof do you have for the above claim apart from that which is written in the NT. You must understand that there are quite a few events that were recorded in the NT (of course also in the OT) that seem very dubious and that deserve sceptical inquiry. In lieu of the many supernatural (read unlikely) events that were recorded in said canon of work, any rational thinking person would in fact have no choice but to question the authenticity or accuracy of these claims. It definitely does not help to argue that if one buys into Genesis 1:1, which in itself is a highly contentious claim, then one would understand and believe everything that follows.


    He himself had said before his arrest that his words are his very life that proceed from God his Father. His closest follower, John the apostle, writes long after, that God's Word became flesh. So it's his Word, living and being in people who are of faith. So the entire body of evidence today is the written and spoken testimony of the Bible and of the church.

    I am not quite following the logic of these claims. Everything (the entire body of evidence) seem to rest on subjective interpretations of selective extracts from selective scriptures. According to rabbinic tradition, all of the teachings found in the Torah, both written and oral, were given by God through Moses, a prophet, some of them at Mount Sinai and others at the Tabernacle, and all the teachings were written down by Moses, which resulted in the Torah we have today. According to a Midrash, the Torah was created prior to the creation of the world, and was used as the blueprint for Creation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torah). Muslims believe the Quran was verbally revealed by God to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel (Jibril). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quran). So it is obvious that the other two Abrahamic religions don't prescribe to your, or the Christian interpretation of what constitutes God's word, neither do other religions or areligious people.


    There is no "similarly." 90% of Muslims believe Jesus never died, despite what the Quran says, both testimonies being contrary to the Bible, not to mention each other. Traditional Asian religions range from meditation precluding the notion of a personal god or God, to millions of impersonal or personal "gods," every one of them completely contrary to Biblical faith. Even when they acknowledge the being Jesus, they don't know him through faith, or worship him as the living God. Mormon religion, Jehovah's Witness religion, Catholicism, animism, astrology, occult, you name it, nothing is consistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Ditto for the Jews. So it goes without saying that all the other religions (and non-believers) do not perceive your alleged evidence to be very convincing. In fact, you go as far as to claim that only the protestant interpretation of the "gospel of Jesus Christ" is authentic (right?). Would you reckon that to be objective reasoning? Why should we take your word for it that the Christian protestants were the only religious denomination that got it right?


    You failed to provide any measure of evidence, or any reason why your belief is superior to others. As such disarray's questions still seem valid and as yet unresolved.

  15. My own faith in him is subject to my own estimation, making the evidence (his broken and redeemed body) subject to my own reason.


    It was proven to the crowds, to the public, almost (sic) 2000 years ago. You and I are accountable to the human account of these events.

    I am reluctant to intervene in these conversations, but I have a sneaking feeling that these two posts refer to one and the same alleged "body of evidence". Can you perhaps explain what exactly were you referring to (just so that we are all on the same page), why you (and other Christians) perceive it as reliable evidence/proof and why do you reckon that other believers (of different faiths) and non-believers do not see it similarly?

  16. @ Raider5678: I had a look at the website that you referenced, but since said website clearly argues from a religious and ID perspective and being familiar with their anti-science stance from past experiences with similar websites like creation.com, I have no intention to engage in a debate about their dubious claims. I cringe when I read stuff like that and it is not that I don't want to entertain a different opinion, it is because I know that it is devoid of scientific merit. Perhaps you should post questions in this regard on the relevant sub-directories of this site in order to get a more scientific response to it..? Alternatively try to read, or research more credible sources. Here is one that highlights some of the important applications of evolution in medical science: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/0_0_0/medicine_01 (navigate through the site by means of the "next" buttons)


    It may be true that most Romans did not know much about evolution, but then neither did Neanderthals. Interestingly enough though, evolutionary thought, the conception that species change over time, has roots in antiquity - in the ideas of the ancient Greeks, Romans and Chinese as well as in medieval Islamic science. You can read about this as well as the history of the widespread influence of evolution here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_evolutionary_thought.


    I previously provided a link to the evolution of morality.


    You may also find this interesting: Sociocultural evolution & Evolutionary psychology.


    PS. Please also pay attention to disarray's last post above (#109) and his comments w.r.t. evolution.

  17. disarray: In my opinion your above post deserves full marks (even though I did not read the external links). As a side note, your reference to the likelihood of eternal- or immortal consciousness of all sentient creatures (not only humans) in a way validates my earlier speculative (or in my own words "daft") questions about alternatives to the idea of the "immortal soul".


    As it seems, he's obsessed with evolution in an almost un-natural way.

    It just so happens that this one liner is chock-a-block with irony. Please do me a favour and look at all the sub disciplines listed under the main categories Biology and Medical Science on the main portal of this forum. All of those, at their very basic level, are driven by evolutionary mechanisms that include the hugely influential and far-reaching interaction between genes and the environment (natural selection, for example, is the result of the interactions between genetic variations in a population and the environment). Ditto for most, if not all of the humanistic social sciences, moral sciences and human sciences. Most people, even those who understand and embrace evolution, don't realise just how influential evolution has been and continues to be. It is nature in the making. As such it should always be the first point of reference whenever anything regarding those disciplines are being considered. Let me put it this way, your personality and whatever you think when you read this, whatever you decide next, do next, say or write next are likely determined by a unique interaction between your genetic make-up and your environment.

  18. @ Strange: Following from disarray's post, I do not wish to take this much further. That being said, your answer is again reminiscent of a god of gaps argument. Evolution provides an eloquent, complete and scientific explanation for our species' advancement, why the need to insert divine intervention? Is there not an alternative to the "soul", or another way to explain the possibility- or likelihood of immortality? And why should only humans be "blessed" with it?


    This seems to feed right back into the topic again, doesn't it?


    PS. Let us park this. I realise that you have been playing devil(god)'s advocate for the sake of reasoning.

  19. @ disarray: I take note. It was not an intentional derailing per se, or with ulterior motives as you seem to imply. It started in post #5, which should be read in context to what I quoted and what I responded to, and escalated from there. I have since found it difficult to comprehend why my opinions re the origin of our species in relation to the alleged acquisition of extraordinary- and presumably human-only traits such as the ability to sin or immortal souls were openly criticised, while the only counter-explanation that was offered was that of divine intervention.


    PS. And I wholeheartedly agree with your observations as articulated in the last three paragraphs of your post.

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