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Everything posted by Gees

  1. Dimreepr; No. This is not rational; it is not even Rationalism -- it is Reductionism. The only thing that "soul" and "brain" have in common is consciousness, and you are trying to reduce consciousness to one or the other, which is what Monism v Dualism has been trying to do for a thousand years. It can not be done. The brain is a big-time player in consciousness and can not be removed from it, as the brain is what processes consciousness and magnifies it, amplifies it, absorbs incoming information, and even causes a reflection or mirroring of consciousness, which is (I suspect) what causes self awareness. The "soul" is what Religion interprets as the "self". When Philosophy or Science discusses this aspect of consciousness, they use the term "self" rather than the term "soul". We are talking semantics here. If you use the proper term, self v brain, you will find that it takes a lot of the heat out of the argument and makes it much more rational. Are you your self or are you your brain? I suspect you are both. I also suspect that self is a property of awareness. Since awareness does not seem to be possible without matter, then that would also make self a property of the brain. For anyone who has trouble following this, it means that the "soul" would also be a property of the body/brain. Gee Strange; All you are doing here is moving the goal posts. In all truth, if you do not know the difference between dreams, hallucinations, illusions, and awareness, then maybe you should look them up, or stop posting in these kinds of threads. If you are silly enough to think that Parnia does not know the difference just because you do not know the difference, you are deluding yourself. I never thought I would find a 'science guy' spouting illusion theories, as they tend to dismiss Science as irrelevant. I never denied that the brain is inside the head. Do you remember the cell phone metaphor? Did I at any time state that the message came from anywhere except the cell phone? No. I did not. You are practicing what I call "scab picking philosophy", which is where you scan the post for any flaw that you might find, whether real or imagined, then respond without trying to understand what I actually stated. Try reading my posts for understanding, ignore what you imagine I mean, and focus on what I actually state. Then think about it a while and respond with something that is worth reading. Here you are using sarcasm. Do you know that sarcasm is just veiled anger? It is also a taunt, which is one step away from bullying. If you actually read what I stated, you know that I warned against coming to "some very bad and invalid conclusions". If you do not understand how people can do this, then just look up five or six different theories of consciousness, where people have come to conclusions that are only valid in some ways to some degree, but are not a comprehensive theory of consciousness. Some are religious, some are not, but all are lacking in being a comprehensive explanation. I avoid coming to conclusions, and only work on finding simple truths that can lead to understanding. I also noted toward the bottom of that post: "There are still too many questions that do not have answers." Without those answers, an intelligent person will know that valid conclusions are not going to be possible. You would dismiss any evidence just like you dismissed the citations that were included in the OP, so it would be a ridiculous act for me to try to provide them. It amazes me that you can use the word, rational, at the same time that you explain that you don't know exactly what it is, are not sure that it exists, but you know where it comes from. Very funny, Strange. OK I'll bite. Consciousness comes from the brain, so since spiders, flies, and mosquitos all have brains, that means they are conscious. Right? I can't wait for your "rational" answer. Gee
  2. Itoero; At least you have the sense to realize that this is about life -- not just about humans. +1 That is encouraging as many members do not seem able to comprehend the idea that all life is conscious, or aware, of some things and to some degree. But I think you have asked the wrong question. The first question should be can some form of consciousness exist without the benefit of a physical body? If so, what form would that consciousness take? How could it maintain itself? How long could it exist without a body before it breaks down? There are "theories" that there is a mental reality that mirrors physical reality (Dualism) and this is what people refer to as the "afterlife", but I don't see how it is possible, how it would work, how it would maintain itself, much less how it would adapt, evolve, grow, etc. My studies of consciousness indicate that awareness can not happen without space and time, and that awareness needs matter to focus consciousness. So I don't see how an afterlife that is devoid of matter is possible. Of course, I could be wrong. Gee Dimreepr; You don't know what consciousness is, but you know where it comes from? Does that seem rational to you? Because to me it seems a lot like the thousand year old debate of Monism v Dualism where no one knew what consciousness was, but everyone wanted to argue about where it came from. Irrational. If you look at my answer to Strange, it might answer some of your questions. Gee Strange; Do you know what perceive means? It means aware. If you perceive your body from anything but a first-person perspective, then your awareness, your consciousness, is outside of and separate from your body. This is a difficult subject to comprehend without coming to some very bad and invalid conclusions. There was a time when it took a mind like Plato's in order to absorb and understand this concept, but with the help of technology, I think I can explain it in a way that most people can understand. Consider that consciousness is essentially communication -- whether it is internal or external, it is all communication. So think of your cell phone as the body/brain and think of the telephone call as consciousness. Your voice leaves you, goes into the phone, then bounces off of satellites and multiple connections until it arrives in my phone, where it seems that you are inside my phone. Although the connection from your phone to mine seems almost instantaneous, there is actually a time when your voice is bouncing around in various places outside of the two phones. Most people would name this interim "bouncing around" time as spirituality and any recognition of it would be called a spirit, ghost, out-of-body experience, etc. So if your phone breaks, or the body/brain dies, then the communication (consciousness) would stop. But this does not explain how the communication (consciousness) moves outside of the phones, it does not explain what that communication essentially is or how it works outside of the phones, it does not explain "spirituality", and it does not give a time frame for how long it takes for the communication to break down and no longer exist in a usable or recognizable form. There are still too many questions that do not have answers. Although this comparison works for understanding, please note that I have no idea of how cell phones work, how their communication moves from one phone to another, or what it actually is. I know that consciousness works through chemistry, emotion, and bonding. It is also interesting to note that most reports of spirits, ghosts, etc., are made by people who deal with death on a first hand basis, like EMS people, surgeons, Hospice workers, or the immediate family of the deceased. And most of these claims are close to the time of death. This does not prove an afterlife, what it does do is show that the breakdown of consciousness is not instantaneous. Death scares the hell out of most of us, and turns many of us into idiots when it is discussed. So although there is a lot more to this very complex topic, I doubt the idiots and the 'click-it squad' will let me discuss it, so I will stop here. Don't make this request again. You know perfectly well that Religions would state that death does not stop consciousness, and you know that Science would deny that. You would want a "citation" from Science, and since Science does not actually study death or consciousness, that is a rather foolish request. Gee Mistermack; So you think his definition of death is "pure bollocks"? Why is that? Do you have some special medical knowledge that I am unaware of, as I saw nothing in your profile that suggested you are expert or even trained in this subject. Gee
  3. Cornel; I am not even sure if you are still at the forum, as you have not signed in for more than a month, but I have been thinking about your post and realize that no one else is going to give you any real rational information. There are some other members, who have brought up this subject, or something similar, so I am going to try to answer questions -- the 'click-it squad' be damned. No, for a few reasons. First, as Strange noted, there is still a body. We tend to view death as an on/off thing that happens instantaneously, but this is not often the case. If you have seen someone very old, or maybe someone dying of cancer, you know that it is sometimes a long slow process to die. Then, as noted in the video, once clinical death occurs, there is the gradual shutting down of the body that can take hours more. Birth takes nine months of physical preparation, then another few years before we have something that Psychology agrees is human consciousness. Neither birth nor death are instantaneous processes. Second, what the hell is afterlife? Is that where you marry, have children, and continue life? Without bodies, I don't think that you could call any consciousness that may or may not exist afterlife. There is no life to it. What NDE's do prove is that our conscious awareness can be separate from our bodies -- but this is not news. People have been talking about having controllable out-of-body experiences for a long time that have nothing to do with death. Psychology gives us different examples; such as, Multiple Personality Disorders. Some of the personalities are always aware of the body, some are not aware for years, then snap into the body and are bewildered at their own age -- so where were these personalities in the interim? Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can snap your awareness out of time and space to a distant time, and you may have no awareness of your body or what it is doing. Emotional shock can permanently remove your awareness from a fully functional body, and you will die. There are probably other examples that I just can't think of right now, but the point is that consciousness and the body are not necessarily permanently joined. Can consciousness, in some form, continue after the body has broken down? Religion says yes, but I don't see how consciousness can continue indefinitely. There is some evidence that it can continue past the destruction of the body -- but not indefinitely. imo I agree with most of this and also consider that "pills" or chemicals could affect the outcome. It is clear from the above regarding Psychology, that emotion can seriously affect awareness, pulling it out of time and space. Emotion can also affect chemistry in our bodies, and chemistry can affect emotion -- they are circular -- so they can both be players in this game. Did you notice the caveat in the first video? While describing the pleasant feelings of love and wholeness that are experienced by people, who have NDE's, he explicitly stated that this did not include "suicides". I have read reports of people who experienced NDE's because of suicide, and their experiences are more nightmarish than anything else. Religion would no doubt equate this to suicide being wrong or bad, but my personal thoughts are that the emotional stability and well-being of the person is very pertinent to the experience. Consider that the people that Parnia was dealing with, were people who were trying to get better. They were having procedures that would continue or improve their lives, so there was hope. They would also have been in a position where medication would relieve any pain, so they would not have had the emotional stress of pain, or of the hopelessness that causes suicide. This is probably the best argument for Religion, as it is my opinion that a person's emotional state at death, and beliefs, are going to greatly influence what happens to them. This does not mean that if you have no religious beliefs you will be fine, because you will still have emotion and will still be bound to other people. It is unavoidable. He would have to be in order to bring this subject up. I have talked to Emergency Medical Service people, who state that they could tell stories that would "curl your hair", but they only talk to each other for fear of losing their jobs. I have talked to Hospice workers, who only give information on a need to know basis, because it would threaten their jobs. The only ones that are scientists and also talk are the ones that are powerful enough to take the heat and be able continue to their work. Gee
  4. Itoero; I am not sure what you are asking for in a response. I agree that many people think and believe these things. I can not and will not try to dispute what they think/believe, but I also can not and will not try to prove what they think/believe. All of the sides of this argument have some value to my way of thinking. I do wonder how you decided that the interaction, praying, serving, and/or talking to "God", is what causes human properties in "God". My thought is that these properties are caused by the unconscious aspect of mind as I explained earlier in this thread. Gee
  5. Parrthurax; You have drawn some conclusions above that are based more on suppositions. A few tidbits of information might help you to understand why cats were so valued by Ancient Egyptians and why they seem to be so "godlike". As Sensei noted, cats reduce rodent problems and protect food, but they do this all over the world and are sometimes valued for it and sometimes not. If you looked at the link provided by DrP, you may note that cats also protect against snakes and scorpions. I don't know much about cats and snakes, but after my brother moved to Arizona, we learned a little about cats and scorpions. My brother's cat had chased a scorpion behind the water heater and got stung, so my brother called the veterinarian to see what could be done to save the cat. The veterinarian almost laughed at him and ask if he was new to the dessert, because cats are immune to a scorpion's venom. All a sting would do is irritate the cat. So to the Ancient Egyptians, cats would not only be great protectors of food stuffs and people, they would also have an almost "godlike" ability to cheat certain death. In a different situation, I asked my veterinarian why my cat seemed to like attacking "thick pieces of air", which is what we called it when the cat got a little crazy and jumped at, or stalked, nothing. The vet grinned and said, "Hormones". He said that cats are loaded with hormones and basically spend most of their lives stoned out of their little minds. I know that women, when pregnant and loaded with hormones, are known to have more psychic experiences, so could the Ancient Egyptians have interpreted this attacking or staring at "thick pieces of air" as a sign of psychic abilities? Or maybe the ability to see spirits? If so, then that would make cats great protectors of food and life, it would give them some power over death, and would enable them to possibly communicate with spirits. It would not be surprising to find that the Ancient Egyptians saw cats as guardians of death's gates -- and all of this would actually be due to chemistry. Gee
  6. Jajrussel; My apologies for taking so long to respond. Thank you for your patience. Your above statement is in response to my post: "So I see consciousness as a game that has fixed rules, flexible self-balancing rules, and players (life). imo" I am not sure why you find the above puzzling. My statement was a response to Studiot's "scrabble theory" in a prior post. Unless I mistook Studiot very badly, the "theory" was in reference to the board game, Scrabble. If you are not aware, Scrabble is a game where you have tiles with letters on them and you use them to form words that have to connect to previously made words until all the tiles are used up. In theory, if you greatly expanded the game tiles and the board, you could end up with a very complex building up of something that compares to reality with everything related and interconnected. Much like evolution built life and consciousness from small unrelated chemicals? tiles? whatever. Like most theories, if you exclude life and/or "God", the scrabble theory has one unavoidable problem in that it has nothing to empower it. I have a Scrabble game, and do you know what it does? It sits in my closet and gathers dust, because without the players (life) it has no power, it does nothing. It is not even a game -- just cardboard, paper, ink, and wood. The rules of the game do NOT cause the activity of the game and can only somewhat direct that activity. That was my point. Maybe. I can agree that life is our only evidence of consciousness, but can not state in all honesty that I know there is no consciousness that is separate from or prior to life. I don't know that, and it depends upon what you think consciousness is. We have set parameters regarding what life is, but there are no such parameters on consciousness. Because survival is required of all conscious life. We call it survival instincts, but the truth is that all life is required by consciousness to continue, which means that it must adapt or evolve and do everything possible to survive. No, it does not always succeed, but it is always necessary to try to survive. The fact that humans can adjust or even deny their survival instincts is evidence of free will, as is suicide. This looks too political or religious for me to comment. But my keyboard keeps insisting on typing Trump, Trump, Trump. Well, I suppose that many of us do try, but you should understand that it is the unconscious aspect of mind that "creates" "God". It is not a product of the rational aspect of mind or even imagination, so not really a choice, and not necessarily rational. Do you mean that we may go the way of the dinosaurs? Possibly. I hope I answered your questions and will welcome additional thoughts. Gee
  7. StringJunky; You surprised me with this. How could you possibly know what I do or do not know? You are usually more reasonable and could have simply asked what I think I know. (Have a bad day?) Maybe I look like one of those insufferable know-it-alls? I assure you that I do not know it all, and whole encyclopedias of knowledge could be written about things that I don't know -- actually I think they did that already. (chuckle) But when it comes to consciousness,, I know a lot more than most, and intelligence is a small part of the study of consciousness. I see two problems with understanding intelligence, the first is that IF we do not know what it is, we mix it with other things -- like being smart, successful, educated, memory issues, motivations like ambition, etc. Every scientist knows that mixing things together that are related, but not the same thing, is a very good way to ensure that you never find out what it actually is. So first remove all of the extras and consider what intelligence actually is -- it is awareness. Period. This in my opinion removes most of the "fuzzy and vague". The second problem is that we think of intelligence as being more valued on an ascending scale, like if I had a 300 IQ, I could take over the world. This is nonsense. A 300 IQ, if possible, would more likely get me a permanent residence in a padded cell, or maybe a cartoon called, Pinky and the Brain. Regarding the first problem, once it is realized that intelligence is awareness, one must consider how awareness works. Awareness works through focus, so it is impossible to be aware of everything. We must have a perspective and can only be aware of things that we can focus on from that perspective, so consider that IQ testing is really a way to measure our focus. For some reason, and I don't know why, people who can access, or be aware of, information faster, also have a more abstract mind. Does this mean they know more? Not necessarily. Think of it the way you would binoculars, when you adjust the focus to something farther away, you lose the focus on things that are closer -- you can not focus on everything. This brings us to the second problem of an ascending scale regarding intelligence. The higher anyone gets on the IQ scale, the more abstract the thinking and the less able they are to relate to other people, fit in, and/or get things accomplished. As CharonY noted, the people in the average category are the ones more likely to be considered smart, successful, and productive, as they have a more balanced focus and awareness. The people in the simpler category are better people persons, better manipulators, maybe better salesmen, but can have problems with ideas. The people in the complex category are idea people and their ideas are often not popular, as they are often original, new and not well accepted, so they do not serve the persons well like in the cases of Socrates, Jesus, Galileo, Freud, Jung, etc. (all people who were ridiculed or persecuted because of their ideas) So if you have a child that is too bright, protect them, give them good schools, maybe mentors, and very good manners, and try to help them find a way to fit in. Normally I avoid topics like this as people have no idea of what intelligence is, but they love to argue about it. Whatever maggot in my brain caused me to respond in this thread, I don't know, but I would like to finish it up. Gee
  8. John Cuthber; The strawman argument is yours. I suspect that you have no idea of what intelligence actually is, or what quotient actually means. Or why IQ tests are always timed and what the significance of that is, so you decided to make an irrelevant argument. That is like saying that muffins did not bake at 400 degrees before we defined degrees and had ovens with thermostats. Of course they did. As a young woman, my grandmother taught me to check the thermostat on my oven by baking muffins. I still use this method; if the oven is slow, the muffins will be flat and not rise properly; if the oven is fast, the muffins will peak into little elf-looking caps. Just as a different methodology can tell you what is 400 degrees, other methodologies can tell you IQ. It is about measuring intelligence, so your argument is just a matter of semantics. Well, it is nice that he codified measuring intelligence, but it would have been nicer if he had not used confirmation bias when doing so, as it caused him to "fumble the ball". According to you, he was charged with identifying children who "did not learn effectively from regular classroom instruction". Well he identified the lower IQ kids as needing help, but he missed the others, which is why I called it confirmation bias and why I brought up the idea of commoners and aristocrats. We are always happy to help people that we perceive as below us, simpler, dumber, less able, but we do not want to help people that we perceive as above us. When I worked with the school, many years ago, I was surprised to learn that most of the students, about 70%, fell into the average classification, 12% to 15% fell into the below average level, requiring some remedial help, and 12% to 15% fell into the above average categories. Of course, no help was offered to the above average kids because they are so smart they don't need help. Right? So we spend millions of dollars to help below average kids, some of whom can not learn, but we ignore above average kids, and scratch our heads and wonder why there is a disproportionate number of above average kids in our "drop outs" statistics. They need help too. Why do you think a Las Vegas showgirl would spend her hard-earned money to keep her membership in Mensa? You think it's ego? No. If she had a large ego, she would go to the meetings and flaunt it, as her ego would demand. She would not be a "closet" member. She keeps her membership because she needs validation. She probably learned in grade school that she was a misfit, and no matter how hard she tried, she could not fit in. She could pretend, but had no real interest in what her girlfriends valued or cared about. If she had been given help, or maybe a mentor, we might have ended up with a doctor, but instead, we have a brilliant pretty girl working the strip. Maybe you should look up the word "originally", as that is what I said, that originally testing for intelligence was to see who was capable of being educated. Benit was not the original tester. Do you think Aristotle did not test people to see who would or would not become his students? Or Descartes? The idea is laughable. What is learned from IQ testing is based on the false premise that higher is better. The last question in the OP was also based on a false premise. Because I am a philosopher, not a scientist, a false premise is going to grab my attention, which is what prompted this line of argument. Gee
  9. Jajrussel; Very funny. I suppose this was to get my attention; and of course, it worked. You brought up some interesting points in your first post which I intend to respond to, but I have trouble posting in more than one thread at a time. (I am slow and old.) When I finish, or get run out of, that other thread, I will give your comments serious consideration. I am sorry that you will have to wait, but I have to be very careful with my words in a thread like this. Bringing up the possibility that "God" is real in a Science forum is much like playing hopscotch in a field of land mines -- one must be cautious and careful. Gee
  10. CharonY; I agree. Just look at our Supreme Court nominee. Integrity (an idea) appears to be very cheap. Gee John Cuthber; Just so we are clear on this, are you stating that intelligence did not exist? Or that it could not be measured? Before Binet. Gee
  11. John Harmonic; The above response refers to: "Complex minds think about ideas; Average minds think about events; Simpler minds think about people." Not so sure I agree with you. Political Science is a branch of Science and does a lot of analyzing with regard to people. The above statement would have a great deal of value in Political Science, and maybe putting it into a context can help you to see the value in it. Whether secular or religious, in order to lead a large group of people, you need three things: First you need an idea or concept that will hold the interest of the "complex" minds. You also need events, which can be holidays, parades, town meetings, rituals and sacraments, Sunday church, church socials, etc. to hold the interest of the "average" minds. And you need a persona, which can be a king or queen, a "God", Jesus, or Buddha, a General or philosopher, or even the founder of the original concept, to hold the interest of the "simpler" minds. Without these three things, you can not hold the attention of a large group of people long enough to lead them. So in that sense, I think analysis of the different types of thinking/interest is valuable to Political Science. Gee Strange; Smug? I don't see what is smug about it. Are you referring to the fact that higher IQ is associated with "complexity"? Lower IQ with "simplicity"? I think it is all a matter of perspective and have no idea of why the original author of that statement used those specific terms. Are you suggesting that categorizing different types of thinking and interest is a form of elitism? It could be used that way, but it can also be used to bridge understanding between differences. You can't build a bridge if you don't know where the hell you are going, so understanding the different ways people relate to their reality helps a lot. I checked out Mensa once on another person's advice. You have to pay to take the test, then you have to pay membership dues, but you don't have to go to meetings. The representative that I talked to told me that there are a lot of "closet members". These are people who pay their dues, carry their card, but don't really do anything with the membership -- and some of them are truck drivers, garbage collectors, and even Las Vegas strippers. I decided to not test for it because it had nothing to offer me. Also consider that joining Mensa (May Everyone Note the Superior Asses) might make people look at my butt. I don't like people looking at my butt. Gee Ten oz; Good points all 1+ CharonY also noted that reading comprehension is an important part of IQ testing, and I think she is right. This brings up a point that I don't think was mentioned -- IQ tests are very prejudiced toward visual learners. We all learn through visual, audio, and kinesthetic, but often are stronger in one of these skills. Visual learners are more common, do better in schools, and do better on IQ tests -- unless the test is specifically designed for audio or kinesthetic learners. Gee John Cuthber; Maybe I misunderstood, but I don't think so. Binet no doubt did an excellent job, but there would have been no "Ministry of Education" to ask him to do the job, until there were public or state schools. I was referring to the debates that decided whether or not to have public schools and to create a tax to fund them. At one time aristocrats, noblemen, and rich people all paid to educate their own children. There were also religious groups that taught children, but they had their own agenda, and no one would argue that their teaching was entirely secular. If I remember correctly, the debates included things like, "Why should we tutor a chimney sweep's daughter, when she will just grow up to become a rag picker, marry another chimney sweep, and raise six more children that we have to educate?" Deciding to legislate public schooling meant public funding, so there was a great deal of debate and whether or not commoners could learn was part of this, hence the first IQ testing. Not the quality that we have today, but the first testing. I suspect that the Industrial Revolution had a lot to do with starting public or state schools -- at least in Europe. That would have been before Binet's time. Gee
  12. John Harmonic; Yes. Twice. Both times in school when I was young. No, I have no idea of my test results, I only know that the school had a dramatic reaction to my testing and seemed to think my test results were surprisingly high. Well, that depends on what you mean by intelligence. If you mean smart, successful, ambitious, or happy, then an IQ test does not test squat. Intelligence tests are always timed, so we are talking about a test for how fast you can assimilate the information, come up with various options, judge those options, then choose the best one and apply it. It is a speed test for your thinking ability; of course, practice would make you better at it. Computers can test very high in intelligence, because they are very fast, but they are not necessarily very smart. (chuckle) I will not dispute String Junky, because his statements are valid, but my understanding of IQ tests is that they were originally designed to determine if a person was worth teaching or not. Back in the day when there were commoners and aristocrats, many people believed that commoners were not capable of being schooled, others disagreed. Eventually, testing was developed to determine a person's worth as to their ability to learn, which would be why general IQ tests are geared toward academics. We still use this type of testing today in the form of entrance exams in colleges, schools, and even the military. The medical field does test different cognitive skills to determine the extent of damage to a person's thinking ability from various causes, with the hope of repairing, diagnosing, or circumventing problems. But I don't think that was the original purpose. Not sure if the above is true of not, so I will tell you how I decide general IQ in another person. When I was very young, I read the following and always remembered it: "Complex minds think about ideas; Average minds think about events; Simpler minds think about people." I have found the above to be true, and noted that not only do they think about these things, they also relate to these things and understand life through these things. So complex minds (higher IQ) are interested in ideas; they talk about them, think about them, and relate to them. The same is true for average minds (events) and simpler minds (people). You can talk to a person for a few minutes and often fit them into one of these categories by what interests them. Just remember that it is a sliding scale as people can be between categories and note that about 70% of the population fits pretty comfortably into average. So is any category more valuable than another? No. They all have value except when the circumstance requires one category or another. Gee
  13. This should be read as a continuation of the OP (Part 1) Part 2 of Because "God" is a concept that we are aware of, or conscious of, but does not actually exist, it is not surprising to find that it is studied in Philosophy under the topic of consciousness. For the last 1,000 years or so, it has been debated under the title of Monism v Dualism, and if anyone expects me to chose one side or the other, they will be disappointed as that argument does not impress me much either. When people say they are Monists, they usually mean that there is no "God", soul, spirits, or other magical realm that guides conscious life. They believe that consciousness comes from matter, most specifically from the brain, then point to AI as an artificial means of creating consciousness. Note that we are talking about a human brain, or something very like it, and we are talking about an artificial representation of the human mind/brain. When people say they are Dualists, they are talking about a separate reality that consciousness comes from and returns to, and that the soul or spirit is not material. This separate reality is often under the authority of a "God" or Intelligent Designer. Note that this "God" or Intelligent Designer is an anthropomorphizing of a human mind, and that the souls or spirits are also representative of human minds. There are also "illusion theories" and these theories are often coupled with quantum physics or holographic ideas to try to validate the theories. Note that the illusionist is a human. There are also dream theories and solipsism, and in these theories the dreamer is again a human; the solipsist is again a human. The above are simplified generalizations, but I would guess that 80% of all the theories of consciousness are actually theories of our human consciousness. Even though there is some truth in each of the above theories, we corrupt it by taking a little evidence, a smidgen of truth, and bundling it together with a lot of arrogance to twist the information into a self-validation of human consciousness. This does not "unbundle" anything and actually serves to validate the idea that consciousness is a "God" concept with a human mind. We start out with a theory about the Universe; or we do some kind of illusion or idealism theory; or we go straight to a human mind, brain, whatever, while skipping over the evolution in between. This looks very circular to me, going from an anthropomorphized us to us; or from us to us. It also seems to negate evolutionary life, following religious teaching a little too closely. Biblically speaking, "God" (conscious) created the heavens, earth, plants, fish, animals, and us (conscious) -- a very circular idea, as everything between "God" and us is not conscious, or no soul. Then, of course, we create "God" completing the circle. Apparently, I am supposed to accept this circular thinking, or I am to believe that there is no "God" or consciousness until it magically (miraculously?) appears in humans (the brain). And since other life is just chemical reactions, that begs the question as to why we have Biology, as life should be studied in Chemistry. Right? These ideas don't impress me much either, as I see little truth in them. There has to be a better way to understand consciousness and "God". In my opinion. Gee
  14. Bhusebye; Welcome to the forum. I should tell you that I know absolutely nothing about Physics. I study Philosophy and consciousness, but have been lately wondering if we have it all, or think of it all, backward. We tend to think of things as being static, unmoving, unless some power or energy affects it and causes motion. What if matter only appears static and unmoving because it is temporarily balanced? Wouldn't that mean that everything is potentially power? That reality is based on power? It will be interesting to read the responses you get. Fourth grade IQ test? You must have had a better school than I did, because I remember announcing to my classmates that I had never had so much fun at school. Their looks of horror at my announcement was my first clue that I was a little different. Then there was Protective Social Services, who terrified my Mother (the school assumed that I was abused because I was a poor student), then came the fifth grade teacher, who explained over and over that I had a "responsibility" because of my "gift". Mom took me out of that school. In the seventh grade, I had another IQ test that caused visits from a psychologist to see what was "wrong" with me. I never took another IQ test because I firmly believed that it made other people a little crazy. I don't know what my IQ was or is -- never asked -- but does it really matter? We are abstract thinkers, and you have a sense of humor. That makes you interesting enough for me. Will there be a book? I like books better. Is there such a thing as B books? Gee
  15. Studiot; I am always looking for new metaphors to explain consciousness and "God" ideas because they are abstract ideas and difficult to comprehend and discuss. I liked it because it allowed me to state that some rules are fixed while others are flexible. Yours was interesting in that I had never considered that approach before, but don't worry that it is not comprehensive. There is no comprehensive theory of consciousness -- as yet -- so a metaphor that entirely explains it is not likely to appear any time soon. I think that Occam's razor was used as an attempt to create a comprehensive theory of consciousness at different times in history. Although the theory (Occam's razor) on it's own can be valuable, it can also be a form of reductionism, so I suspect that at times it was used to reduce the idea of consciousness to one "God", who was in control of everything. This idea would, of course, feed the debate of Monism vs Dualism and the debate of Free Will vs Determinism, which I do not find interesting at all. Rather than use the "razor" to try to reduce consciousness to "God", or the brain, or illusion, I chose to be more inclusive in my thinking and examined what Religion, Philosophy, Science, and the paranormal all had to say about the subject. Then I looked at commonalities between the Disciplines, broke down consciousness into components, and compared what I found. I may never find all of the answers, but it seems likely that I will at least find some truths. The best metaphor that I have ever used is water. I was in my 20's, I think, when I was reading a magazine article about water; it was explaining some of the incomprehensible properties of water, and I realized that some of those properties also related to consciousness. The more I learned about consciousness, the more comparisons I found. To name but a few things, water does not feel like what it is; water is everywhere; water is life, but can also cause death; water is gentle and cleansing; water is powerful and willful when there is enough of it; water can take different forms, liquid, solid, gas; a drop of water can incarnate from evaporation to condensation; a drop of water is part of the ocean now, or before, or eventually; water is fluid and self balancing. All of these things have a comparison in consciousness and/or in "God" ideas. Would you say that water has a Will? I wouldn't. Well, we certainly make an interesting pair. You say that you know that an "almighty entity is a self contradiction", yet you chose number 3 in your scrabble theory to expound upon. I say "God" is real, but does not exist. Do you think we are confused? (chuckle chuckle) I was also in my teens when I first found the "God" idea contradictory. I used logic to come to my conclusions and suspect that you did also. The problem with logic is that it can disprove an invalid theory, but it can not prove an unknown. Logic is a linear process and uses sequential steps to go from one point to another, so it is an internal investigation. Example: I want to go to the store, so I grab my keys, put on my coat, and head for the front door. Logical. But if I were actually going to take a shower, my prior actions would be illogical and disturbing to my neighbors if I stripped in the front yard. (chuckle) So logic has it's purposes, but if you do not know the end point, or are dealing with an unknown end, then logic is ineffective and can only lead you in a direction that you have already decided to go -- which makes it a rationalization. It can not find an unknown or show you which direction to go so you can start taking those sequential steps. Descartes was probably the most logical and rational man ever born, and he told us to "doubt" ourselves. I suspect that this was because his knowledge of logic was vast, so he knew the strengths and weaknesses of logic. I agree that what we have been taught about "God" is very contradictory. I can not see "God" as a being or even as a singularity, but something about the "God" idea is real. I want to find out what that is. This statement makes you appear to be a linear thinker; I am holistic in my thinking. If I thought of something being "further up the food chain" it would probably be the unconscious aspect of mind -- or the collective unconscious that I would call "God". Not a "being" super or otherwise. I think I am ready to post Part 2, but if I do, this program will add it to this post. So I will wait for a while. Maybe you will respond. Gee
  16. Studiot; You certainly do not disappoint! Since first reading your post on "scrabble theory", I have been thinking about it and grinning. No, I have never heard of it before and could find little information on it. Of course, I'm lousy with Google, but what I did find indicates that this theory is more often related to economics or social issues. Is the idea yours, or are you relating it differently? Well, many people do not realize that the "God" concept actually is a study of consciousness -- a study made by Religion. As I stated earlier,, consciousness is a massive subject; the "God" concept is only part of it. Always. Abstract thinking is required to truly understand this subject. I am more comfortable with the "no beginning" idea. I am not disputing the Big Bang, what I am thinking is that it did not come from nothing -- there was always something whether we recognized it or not. I would pick 2). I have problems with either of these, as I can not see a creator of any kind and believe that idea has to be accepted on faith. The problem with a creator or intelligent designer is that this idea requires a focused will; whether it was an accidental design or deliberately wrought, it still requires a focused will. My studies of consciousness imply that focus requires time and space to have a point to focus from and a point to focus on. Awareness works the same way as it requires something to be aware of and something to be aware -- two separate points -- time and space. Memory, by it's very definition, requires a history to remember, so it also requires time. So considering these things, I don't see how any creator could remember anything long enough to focus an awareness on it, that could be considered "will", before the Big Bang and time and space; therefore, a creator could not be causal. Of course, I am not a physicist and could be wrong, but this is what it looks like to me at this time. This is maybe possible, but I suspect that it would be a case of perspective, as we can perceive a beginning, but we can not perceive anything before the beginning. So this is a free will argument. Fun. I usually avoid those argument, but this one is interesting. I would say that the "established" rules would be the Laws of Physics. These are not flexible. I would say that the "get out of jail cards" are more like the Laws of Nature that can be very flexible -- but are also self balancing. Again, I think that this would be represented by the Laws of Nature. The meticulous monitoring would be the self balancing that we are often not even aware of, as the monitoring and reacting is more a matter of influence than direct cause and effect. This option assumes that the Laws of Physics and the Laws of Nature rule everything, but it discounts the players. The players would be emotion and the unconscious aspect of mind, which is what supports and activates the rational aspect of mind and causes free will. So I see consciousness as a game that has fixed rules, flexible self-balancing rules, and players (life). imo Gee
  17. Phi for All; Do you see the words, may have, that I underlined? They are a really big clue that your above post is speculation. Just thought I would give you that tip, you being a Moderator and all. Of course, we don't call it speculation in Philosophy, we usually call that armchair philosophy, where people sit around and think up clever things that expose their brilliance or wit, without the benefit of things like study and research. On the other hand, bringing unicorns into a thread on "God" concepts is not all that clever, and could be considered frivolous. If I wanted to wreck this thread, I think I would bring up trees. Yes, trees have been here since before people, they exist all over the world, and are here now, so that covers consistency and commonality. We all know that trees make people want to gather under them to have picnics, so that explains the origin of church gatherings. My Grandmother used to say, "Stop the pity party and get down off the cross. We can use the wood." She was referring to the cross that Christ died on, which was wood, so there is a causal relationship. Yep. If I wanted to wreck this thread, that is how I would do it. The question is: Why would you want to wreck this thread? Gee
  18. Ten oz; Hi. Good to talk to you again. By the way, I did write that post to explain why I don't think that spirits/ghosts can continue indefinitely, but have not yet developed the courage to post it. I assume that even discussing it will tick off a lot of people. Star Wars is a fad. If in a thousand years, people are still buying Star Wars toys, except as precious antiques, then we can talk. Why do you always go to the "underlined" bad stuff? Do you not understand that ideas and emotions can also be good, or are you idealistic enough to think that we can actually keep the good and dispose of the bad? Your logic is getting lost. You state that human ideas impact the world, effect countless lives, are "merely" emotions/ideas, and are not tangible. So do they have an effect or not? If they have an effect, then they are real. In the other room, my family is watching Les Miserables, which is an opera about the French Revolution. Watch that movie and then tell me that emotions and ideas are not causal and real. Sexism and racism are deeply rooted in the unconscious aspect of mind and always have been, because that is where we note the differences between "self" and "other", so they are indeed classic, real and true. All bias and prejudice comes either from the unconscious or from personal experience. That does not mean that the conclusions that we draw about the differences are valid or accurate. We are back to that problem that you have with authority figures. We discussed this before, and I noted then that it is a good thing to keep out of your Philosophy because personal biases bias thinking. Gee Eise; Thank you for commenting. In your post, I bolded eight different instances of the word, exist, in the hope that I could get some clarity on your position. You do remember that the OP explained that "God" is real but does not exist? Gee
  19. Rangerx; I know your post was not directed to me, but I enjoyed reading it. Some of Ed Ricketts' ideas are in Wiki, which was also an interesting read. I think that his studies in ecology reflected his Philosophy and caused him to have an advanced understanding of ecology. So thanks for sharing. I also agree with most of your post, but there was one point that I thought you might want more information on, as follows: Note that I underlined "It's when we put a face on it" which I assume is talking about the "God" concept. I am not sure if it is possible to NOT put a face on it. While working on Understanding the "God" Concept, I outlined three different reasons why we personify "God". The first reason is that we think of things as being static, unmoving, unless something or someone moves or activates it. This makes the "God" concept a "who" or a force. This is why we often end up with a "who", that created the Universe. The second reason is because Religion studies consciousness, but specifically studies emotion and calls it "God". Emotion works through the unconscious aspect of mind, which is weird, not rational, and difficult to understand. I understand little about it myself, but I know that one of the quirks of the unconscious is that in its thinking, if you could call it that, "the part represents the whole". This works out to, a person's consciousness is representative of "God's" consciousness. Or they are the same thing? Then if you throw in an understanding of the "self" concept, you end up with a cultural "God" wearing the face of you and your culture. Like I said, weird, but that is the way the unconscious works. The third reason is that most people could not understand the "God" concept without a persona. I estimate that only about 15 percent of the population, not including children, would be able to understand the "God" concept as an abstract issue. That leaves about 85 percent, and all children, unable to be taught about life, death, the nature of Nature, and morality. This is not reasonable. Gee
  20. Studiot; Well, I would like to agree with you, but don't think I honestly can. The best I have been able to do so far is to limit the influence of any specific Religion, as it is their interpretations that cause the "creator", "meddler", and "manager" ideas. Some of the managing ideas can be disposed of because they are more about a specific Religion than about "God", but if the theories of consciousness that state that consciousness is the cause of reality are true, or even partially true, then that makes the "God" concept the creator. "God" is an interpretation of consciousness. I am sorry. A lot of company showed up and I cut my response to you short. I did not adequately answer your query. Religion interprets consciousness as "God", and that means ALL consciousness that is not directed, or invented, by the human rational mind. That means all thought, all knowledge, all motion or emotion, all life, or everything that is mental or has a mental aspect. Remember that just a few hundred years ago, "The Devil made me do it." was actually thought to be possible, even probable. We did not understand the unconscious aspect of mind and had no idea of how it influences us and other life -- the unconscious is also where instincts come from. Also consider that Laws of Physics and Laws of Nature would be attributed to "God" because that is knowledge. Consider that Laws of Physics apply everywhere, are everywhere, but exist nowhere just like "God". If you mix, or bundle, all of these ideas together, then "God" would indeed be the creator, meddler, manager, and the source of everything. People generally understand that physical things can be broken down into their components, but they tend to view mental things as whole or maybe magical and unknowable. Until we can learn to break down the mental into components and give explanations for them, there is no hope of ever relieving "God" of His many functions. Years back, I was corresponding with a University Professor, who taught Physics and also held a degree in Philosophy; he explained to me that thought has no power. You can take the greatest thoughts known to man, all the knowledge that anyone could need or want, and write it down in a book, or save it on a CD -- and it would do nothing. Without a reader for the book or a player for the CD, there is nothing but ink, paper, and plastic. Thought has no power to do anything without awareness. It amazes me that people always associate consciousness with thought, but thought has no power. Consciousness is awareness. This is the reason there are so many "Parts" in my understanding, because I have been working to breakdown consciousness into components for some time now. In the different Parts I try to explain how that specific component relates to the "God" idea. But it is not finished. Gee
  21. Studiot; I am going to try this again. It has been a while since we talked, and I enjoy talking to you even when we disagree. Brave or foolish, we will see, but I appreciate the + and will probably need it soon. Well, I would like to agree with you, but don't think I honestly can. The best I have been able to do so far is to limit the influence of any specific Religion, as it is their interpretations that cause the "creator", "meddler", and "manager" ideas. Some of the managing ideas can be disposed of because they are more about a specific Religion than about "God", but if the theories of consciousness that state that consciousness is the cause of reality are true, or even partially true, then that makes the "God" concept the creator. "God" is an interpretation of consciousness. If you take the ideas expressed above about the nature of Nature and consider that Nature manages to cause it's own continuance through motion and change, and then mix that idea with hope, justice, and fairness, you end up with a meddler. If this were easy, someone else would have figured it out, and it would bore me. You are impatient, but it may add to your charm. You were also next in line. Thank you. That sounds like a compliment. I do tire easily, but I also give a lot of thought to the ideas presented by other members, and will often investigate the points they bring up. Or the points that I want to make in my responses, as I don't like to give out bad information. I like to learn. I took a cursory look at the scrabble theory, but could not find the source of power that activates it. What is the power source? Gee
  22. Beecee; Well, I can see your point and there is a lot of truth in it, but consider some things. In the first place, there was always Science as long as there was curiosity. No, it was not the Science that we have today, but it was still Science. People studied their reality, they studied Nature even before cultivating agriculture, they worked experiments to see what would work, but they did this under the authority of Religion, which was the first real Discipline. Eventually Philosophy split off from Religion, then Science split off from Philosophy, so now we have three distinct Disciplines. When all knowledge processed through Religion, questions about the "awe and mystery of the universe" naturally came up, and Religion did its best to answer those questions -- getting some of them dead wrong. This is the crux of the problem between Science and Religion; Science is constantly having to prove that their understanding of reality is much more valid -- and even a half-wit should be able to see it. So why would intelligent religious people insist on their version of reality? THAT is the pertinent question. I study consciousness, which means that I also study "God" ideas, which means that I look into Religions. Science uses experiments to determine facts; Philosophy is a little different as it uses commonalities and repeat patterns to determine truths; both Disciplines understand the importance of consistency in their determinations. So when I looked at Religions, I was looking for commonalities, repeat patterns and consistency in their teachings. What I found commonly and consistently throughout their history is that Religions teach about life, death, Nature, and morality. I think that the explanations various Religions taught about the Universe are an ancillary result of trying to explain life, as life has to begin somewhere. When we examine life, death, Nature, and morality, what we find is the commonality of emotion; they all have a significant impact on emotion or work through e/motion. My conclusions about Religion is that it studies emotion, as that is the core concept through all of the Religions. Is there evidence of this? Sure. Think of the actual work of Religions; soup kitchens, grief counseling, charities, hospitals, orphanages, etc., they talk about charity, hope, love, forgiveness, etc., and they cause bonding, which is what Sunday church is really about. Of course there is also negative emotion. So back to that "pertinent question", emotion does not like change, does not accept change, but will consider it in 100 or 1,000 years. (chuckle) No. It is evidence of Religion. Religion is evidence of "God" ideas. I think it is Part 4 that explains why we give "God" a persona, but I can not explain it here in this post -- too long. Good point. I like Spinoza. His work is the closest that I have found to my own ideas on consciousness, but I always questioned whether or not there is a "Spinoza god", and suspect that most people simply did not understand him. Einstein was a holistic thinker, as is evidenced by his theory of "Relativity"; I am a holistic thinker, and I suspect that Spinoza was also. Holistic thinkers focus on what relates, or relativity, so I am sure that Einstein understood Spinoza better than most. Yes, Nature is real, but it is the nature of Nature that Religion focuses on. Nature is constant motion and change; it takes with one hand and gives with the other like good and bad, yin and yang, God and the Devil. It is this activity of Nature that Religion studies. Examples: Early people often settled by water because food was abundant there; floods and tsunamis wiped them out occasionally. good/bad. Thunderstorms and lightening can cause a fire and burn down a forest, but the lightning also releases, is it Nitrogen?, that feeds and fertilizes the plants. Storms also provide water for new growth, and the dead foliage provides homes for small life forms and fertilizer for new growth. bad/good Men go to war and fight and kill raising their testosterone levels. When the fighting is over, they grab the first person they can find and shove themselves into that person creating new life -- also a result of an abundance of testosterone. This is why rape follows war. death/life We must kill to eat out of necessity, but killing each other is wrong and killing for plain meanness is wrong. death/life There are probably thousands of examples of how Nature takes with one hand while giving with the other. It is rarely fair and never just. This is what Religion studies, the nature of Nature, while trying to make sense of it all. I can agree with a lot of this. Your above statement is most of the reason why I decided that I may post Part 2. Gee Phi for All; Well, if you can show me that unicorns have had a causal effect on young girls worldwide for at least a millennium, then you might have a point. If I used "common definitions of god(s)", then I would be arguing Religion. I am not religious. Are you stating that Archelogy is not a branch of Science? Gee
  23. Moontanman; I must apologize. When I asked for a few days to organize my thoughts so I could explain my understanding of consciousness, I was being an idiot. You probably thought that I forgot about it, but I did not. I have been working on it for months. The subject of consciousness is massive, more than Science knows, more than Philosophy knows, and more than "God" ideas. I had thought to explain my limited 'understanding', but have already written six different "Parts", have two more that I know I have to write, and possibly more. Part 1 explains how the "God" concept is real, yet does not exist. IMO Part 2 explains that most of the theories of consciousness, even materialistic ones, actually support the "God" concept and are unbelievably circular in their thinking. IMO Part 3 explains how the first division, knowledge, thought, and memory, relate to the "God" concept -- what is true, what can not possibly be true, and why. IMO Part 4 explains why we give "God" a persona and why that persona is cultural. IMO Part 5 explains how the second division, awareness, feeling, and emotion, relate to the "God" concept -- again showing what is true, what can not possibly be true, and why. IMO Part 6 delves into the mind-numbing problem of "self" and how that relates to the "God" concept. I will have to write one or two parts that deal specifically with emotion and the unconscious aspect of mind, and how they relate to the "God" concept. Then I will finish it off by explaining how Religion attempts to answer the questions about life, death, Nature, and morality, that were brought up in Part 1. The good part in all of this is that it is forcing me to organize and clarify my thoughts on 50 years of study. The bad part is that if I manage to get it all written down, condensed and clarified, it would be way too big to post -- 20 to 30 pages -- and we are not talking thesis quality, just a general explanation of why I think the things I do. So I am not prepared to fully explain what little I actually understand about consciousness and "God" ideas. I apologize again for asking you to wait. Part 1 was as ready as I can make it, so I posted it, and considering the responses that I have had so far, I may post Part 2, but I'm not sure it's ready to share. Well, psychology has a lot to say on that subject, and thinks that we relate the omnipotent "God" idea to the omnipotent parents of our infancy. Although I suspect there is a lot of truth in that idea, I do not include it in my studies. I predominantly study consciousness and how the "God" idea relates to consciousness. But you are correct in that we all try to teach our children how to survive in life, so if the culture is violent, or if the parent's personal experiences are that they have been violated, it can lead to violent disciplining. Gee
  24. This post was written in response to queries from Lasse and is part of an explanation that I promised to Moontanman in the thread "What is a God" presented by Sci-man. It is too large to post in that thread and slightly off the topic, so I started a new thread. This post is in no way an attempt to validate the "God" idea, nor is it an attempt to invalidate the "God" idea, it is simply an attempt to understand the "God" idea. Part 1 of I think that most of us have questioned the "God" concept at one time or other; I was raised Christian and started my questioning 50 years ago in my teens. Even people, who were not raised with a religion, are inundated with all kinds of information about "God" concepts from friends, family, social connections, and from the media, so we all have been exposed to information and disinformation on this subject. Religious people will often state something to the effect that "God" obviously exists because it would take a "God" to create existence -- which is a self-validating circular argument. Non-religious people will often state that "God" as explained can not possibly exist for various reasons -- which is not a much better argument, as it uses an admittedly invalid "God" concept to invalidate "God". Neither argument impresses me much. First let me state that I agree that a “God” can not possibly be on everyone’s side when there is a conflict, cannot possibly be responsible for the entire Universe and also have a personal relationship with each and every one of us; cannot possibly be everywhere and nowhere, and can not possibly wear the many faces that represent the various cultures that worship the different "God" concepts. There are so many things that we have been taught about “God” that are impossible, we often come to the conclusion that “God” can not possibly exist. I agree. Neither Buddha nor Jesus claimed to be a "God", and there is no benevolent being hovering above the Universe shining love down upon us. The “God” that we have been taught about can not exist. So “God” is not real, right? This is where the first problem comes in; I have determined that something is real if it is causal, if it can cause an effect -- which makes the “God” concept very real, as historically there has been a tremendous amount of effect. I have read the arguments that state that there is no evidence of any “God”, but this is nonsense. There is evidence all over the world that dates back millennia in the forms of temples, churches, altars, icons, symbols, totems, texts, scrolls, etc., and personal testimony. “God” concepts permeate our history and are part of almost every culture, society, and place where people gather. These concepts are often causal in taking down nations and building nations. That is a lot of evidence. It is so much evidence that archeologists will actively search for any reference to Religion and expect to find it when digging into ancient cultures. It is very rare to find an exception like the Piraha (if the Piraha is a valid exception). Many will say that the above is evidence of Religion, not of a "God", but all Religions study and teach about some "God" or "Gods"; the ideas are certainly related. Which is causal? Do Religions cause the idea of "God/s", or do "God/s" cause Religions to explain the idea? Again, I think we must look to the evidence. Almost all of recorded history makes references to "Gods", archeology actively seeks evidence of "Gods" in prerecorded history, and the Lionman statue is almost 40,000 years old, so we are talking about a long old history of "Gods", which is too consistent to be considered coincidence. It is certainly not a fad. Faddish or cult type Religions either never take a good hold, or they die off in a few generations, so Religions that survive are filling a need, which is what causes them to survive. What is this need? Is it directed by a "God"? Or to explain a "God"? If we look at Religions, we find many different examples of "Gods", but we also find basic commonalities. We find that Religions explain life, death (including the supernatural), the nature of Nature, and morality; this is what they all study and teach about. Because life, death, Nature, and morality are very real, if these ideas are bundled together under the authority and auspices of a "God", then that makes the "God" concept very real. It would be reasonable to say that "God" represents the active aspects of life, death, Nature, and morality. This is where the "God of the Gaps" idea comes in as we attempt to "unbundle" these concepts. From the early "fertility Gods" through the various animal, sun, and human "Gods", and then on to the "invisible God", many ideas have evolved and changed as we evolved and our understanding grew, but the core concepts have never changed. Life, death, Nature, and morality have always existed from early man on, so these core issues caused a need to understand and justify the rightness of it all, causing "magical" ideas, which caused the "God" concepts which caused Religions to form to explain them. Religions did not cause the "God" concepts. It would be more accurate to say that Religions interpreted these concepts. There is an argument that Religions spread their concepts, thereby causing the "God" concepts, and I think this has some truth to it, but only some. We are always happy to borrow a better idea from our neighbor, so a Religion that has a better or more thorough theology, or appears to have a more powerful "God", could replace a less developed Religion. But just as there are igloos and wickiups, tents and palaces, teepees and townhouses, to satisfy the needs of shelter and safety, there would have been many different interpretations by Religions worldwide, to satisfy the needs of understanding life, death, Nature, and morality. So although I agree that Religions can and do spread, there would not have been a central cause where Religion created the "God" concept. There are a lot of things that are real, but do not actually exist, like freedom, or like math, which is very real in Nature, but did not actually exist until we invented numbers and symbols to represent the concepts. Many concepts are real, but do not actually exist; "God" is one of them. Although the idea is more complex than what I have stated above, this is my current understanding of how "God" is real, and yet does not exist. Gee
  25. Gees

    what is a god

    Straw man? Are you sure? I am wondering if you think that toasters are related to "God", or if you missed the point entirely and do not realize that only his first post was on topic. iNow wields a lot of power in this forum, so if he wants to take a thread off topic, he can and no one will check him. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely -- only integrity can stop this corruption. Gee
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