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God and personal liberty and power


Athena
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Hi, I am hoping this subject got your attention, and that you help me articulate the thought with your arguments. This is very much what the Occupy movement is about, but as you will see, it is difficult to articulate.

 

There was a time when we thought virtue was synonymous with strength, and the average person could dare to be bold. S/he fully believed if s/he were virtuous, s/he had the support of God, and therefore could not fail. These people dared face great and real dangers such as crossing an ocean in little ships, entering the wilderness of a newly discovered land, with unknown gifts of God and dangers.

 

This knowledge of virtues and faith in God, is directly tied to our personal liberty and power, and with atheism, and our technological society, comes the destruction of our personal liberty and power. Without God above all, we are reduced to power struggles, and a submission to authority that was intolerable to our forefathers.

 

For example- when I followed my conscience on a government funded job as a Senior Companion, I was fired for not having "good boundaries". This means, I did more for my clients than I was supposed to, and my clients liked me too much.

 

I thought a senior companion should be sincere, and follow her conscience. This could mean shopping for someone too sick to do her own shopping, instead of refusing to shop and leaving the client without food for the week, etc.. The old training video (1960 ty's) said having a Senior Companion was like having family. The new program director has a different value system, focused on following policy, that limits what a Senior Companion does, and makes everything completely impersonal (professional). That is, focused on human authority over everyone, instead of on one's conscience and a concept of how people should behave.

 

Now I may risk eviction because of once again following my conscience, and allowing a woman, who has had both breast removed, to stay in apartment until she heals from the surgery. I am horrified by the number of people, including Christians, who argue it is more important for me to obey inhumane rules, and submit to human authority, rather than follow my conscience and act as I believe a God would have us act.

 

That is the mistake Christian Germans made! Those literate in Greek and Roman classics have a different understanding of God, authority and what makes a human good, and it is this difference in literacy that once protected our democracy, from being like Hitler's New World Order. Sincerely, what is the difference between hiding a medically needy woman in my home, and hiding a Jew in my home?

 

Okay, I answer to God, not the human authority, and believe this is essential of our personal liberty and power. What do you have to say?

Edited by Athena
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Are you not simply choosing which authority you will submit to? God versus man? How is answering to one authority instead of another an increase in personal liberty?

 

I do not give up my conscience because I am an atheist. As far as I can tell, you simply have an additional authority you have to account to.

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"S/he fully believed if s/he were virtuous, s/he had the support of God, and therefore could not fail."

 

A lot of the time these beliefs were wrong and got that person killed. I much prefer the idea of self belief - a belief in your own ability to cross the ocean in a tiny ship (or whatever) these are usually better grounded in reallity. It's a better idea to think you'll succeed because you know what you're doing than because you're "virtuous".

 

I'd rather get on the plane with the skilled/experienced pilot than the virtuous newby

 

"Without God above all, we are reduced to power struggles, and a submission to authority that was intolerable to our forefathers."

 

What is belief in god if not submission?

 

"Okay, I answer to God, not the human authority, and believe this is essential of our personal liberty and power. What do you have to say?"

 

How is personal liberty/power affected?

 

 

 

As for your work issues, you need to take it up with them...

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Are you not simply choosing which authority you will submit to? God versus man? How is answering to one authority instead of another an increase in personal liberty? <...> you simply have an additional authority you have to account to.

Not really. He will always submit to his own authority, it's just a matter of how he rationalizes that in his own mind.

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I'd rather get on the plane with the skilled/experienced pilot than the virtuous newby

 

 

I feel the same way! That is why I take my instruction on how to live a fulfilling life from a set of instructions that has been seasoned over thousands of years rather than from modern alternatives.

 

It seems illogical when people argue that western civilization is declining while also arguing that our rulebook is getting better. :D

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I feel the same way! That is why I take my instruction on how to live a fulfilling life from a set of instructions that has been seasoned over thousands of years rather than from modern alternatives.

 

So murder, rape, genocide, slavery, death penalty for homosexuals and adulterers is ok with you then?

 

 

It seems illogical when people argue that western civilization is declining while also arguing that our rulebook is getting better. :D

 

So you are saying that the same people argue both at the same time, can you confirm this is true?

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Are you not simply choosing which authority you will submit to? God versus man? How is answering to one authority instead of another an increase in personal liberty?

 

I do not give up my conscience because I am an atheist. As far as I can tell, you simply have an additional authority you have to account to.

 

Thank you for your argument. I hope you can answer the following questions, so we can move this discussion forward.

 

How do you think we (those of who believe there is a God) know God?

 

How would say God enforces His authority?

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How do you think we (those of who believe there is a God) know God?

In the same way that you "know" love, or the way a child "knows" their imaginary friends.

 

How would say God enforces His authority?

It's called your conscience, and it's still your decision made in your mind by you even if you attribute it to some deity.

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<br><b><br><br></b>A

lot of the time these beliefs were wrong and got that person killed. I

much prefer the idea of self belief - a belief in your own ability to

cross the ocean in a tiny ship (or whatever) these are usually better

grounded in reallity. It's a better idea to think you'll succeed because

you know what you're doing than because you're "virtuous".<br><br>I'd rather get on the plane with the skilled/experienced pilot than the virtuous newby<br><br><b><br><br></b>What is belief in god if not submission?<br><br><b><br><br></b>How is personal liberty/power affected?<br><br><br><br>As for your work issues, you need to take it up with them...<br>

<br><br><br>Your

argument is delightful, because it raises awareness of how technology

has changed our thinking.  Today we can rely on our technology for doing

things like crossing the ocean, but what good is this understanding of

technology, when it comes to moral decisions and matters of liberty?  <br><br>I

want to bring a homeless woman with cancer into my home, following her

surgery, because I can increase her chances of surviving, and it is the

humane thing to do, but if I do, human authority can evict me from my

home and leave me on the streets.  How does technology apply to to this

human problem?<br><br>You ask "What is belief in god if not

submission?"  Belief in God is what to you?  To me it is believing the

universe is organized, that laws of nature are universal.   How is

acceptance of universal laws which we discover through observation and

experimentation, equal to submitting to a human authority?   <br><br>"How is personal liberty/power affected?"<br><br>If

we claim there is no authority higher than human authority, we make

ourselves subject to human authority.  However, if we claim there is a

higher authority, we can not be held subject to human authority.   This

works like this-  a king orders a man be killed and that no one can bury

him.   Anyone who does bury him will also be killed.  A sister buries

him anyway.   The king demands to know how she thinks she is above his

authority, and she answers, even before there were kings, sisters buried

their brothers.  This Greek story is saying, there is higher authority

than human authority, and this authority trumps all others.     <br><br>The

work issues are cultural issues, and I am saying we had a culture that

manifested individual liberty and power, and we are destroying that

culture and making ourselves subject to human authority.  <br><br>The

Godless technological society is the enemy we defended our democracy

against in two world wars.  "Whatever their efficiency, such great

organizations are so impersonal that they bear down on the individual

lives of the people like a hydraulic press whose action is completely

impersonal and therefore completely effective in crushing out individual

liberty and power"  Tagore.  <br><br>Before we were subject to this, and when there was a higher authority, we had individual liberty and power.<br><br>

<br>So murder, rape, genocide, slavery, death penalty for homosexuals and adulterers is ok with you then? <br><br><br><br><br> So you are saying that the same people argue both at the same time, can you confirm this is true?<br>
<br><br>Moontanman,

that was not one of your best arguments.  You seem to be assuming Jryan

is speaking only of the bible, but I too prefer the wisdom developed

over thousands of years, to what people who who have never studied the

religions nor philosophy hold to be true and correct.  I think knowledge

of Egyptian theology, the Sumerians, Persia's Zoroastrianism and then

Mithraism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and

native American spiritualism, as well as the Greek and Roman Classics

is very important to our judgments.  How can we compare the thoughts of

those who have none of this knowledge with those who much of it, if we

are going to put our trust in human knowledge?  

Edited by Athena
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Moontanman, We have argued the God issue many times and you know me better that. I am greatly disappointed in your argument. How many times do I have to say that the bible does not present my understanding of God, before you stop using the bible to argue the God issue? Come on man, you know there are other explanations of God. Remember I use Greek and Roman classics, and have some familiarity with all the world religions, including Sumerian beliefs and Zoroastrianism, and have a fair understanding of how the Christian mythology has evolved from these earlier beliefs. Why do insist on such a limited explanation of God when you know better?

 

 

Well since I was replying to Jryan and not you i don't quite know how to answer this.

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Thank you for your argument. I hope you can answer the following questions, so we can move this discussion forward.

 

How do you think we (those of who believe there is a God) know God?

 

 

That is a bit of a mystery to me. I've often thought it would be nice to have faith, to believe that no matter what happened I would be taken care of, and to believe that I would have eternal happiness. It must be very comforting and allow you to manage what life throws at you with with confidence.

 

But alas, that is not the case for me. So I can only guess how it works for those who say they know God.

 

I think that different people know God in different ways. Some probably think they know God only because they were raised to believe it. They are probably faking it because they think they should know God, and if they just keep trying it will eventually come to them, as it seems to come to those around them. I would think most of these have really convinced themselves, and are not intentionally trying to mislead others about their faith.

 

Others probably believe it because it is the only thing that makes sense to them. "How could us being here, just be a mistake? How could something this complex come by accident?" And other versions. They may or may not 'know' God.

 

And I am sure there are others who KNOW God, who feel God around them at all times, who have actually felt God. I really have no idea how that works.

 

 

 

How would say God enforces His authority?

 

Again, I can only guess. As far as I can tell, if He is enforcing his authority it is only by making people feel guilty. I don't believe God is responsible for floods, fires, children dying, AIDS, people winning or losing football games, politicians winning or losing, or a meal coming out poorly because the cook used His name in vain. But some believers do suffer mentally/emotionally if they believe they are displeasing God. So if he is enforcing his authority, that is the only way I see it being done.

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How do you think we (those of who believe there is a God) know God?

In the same way that you "know" love, or the way a child "knows" their imaginary friends.

Looking at this again, I realize that another answer is "activity in the mesiobasal temporal lobes."

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In the same way that you "know" love, or the way a child "knows" their imaginary friends.

 

 

It's called your conscience, and it's still your decision made in your mind by you even if you attribute it to some deity.

 

The Athenian and Roman philosophers would say we study nature and from that infer something about God, but because we can not directly experience God, we can not know God.

 

The word conscience is con- meaning to know, and science which also means having knowledge. We get knowledge by observing, and experiencing, and sometimes experimenting, and sometimes by reading and discussing. Socrates was very concerned about how we develop conscience, and democracy is highly dependent on education for good moral judgment. I am afraid superstitious people, and also most technological people, pay far too little attention to how we develop conscience.

 

Well since I was replying to Jryan and not you i don't quite know how to answer this.

 

:embarass: I really blew if Moontanman. I was rushing to walk the dog before it got dark, and was careless. When I returned I saw my mistake and tried to correct it before anyone noticed. You caught me. :eek: Oh darn, and up until now I am sure you thought I was perfect. :rolleyes: I hate it when people find out I am not perfect. Can we still be friends anyway?

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Looking at this again, I realize that another answer is "activity in the mesiobasal temporal lobes."

Well, yeah. When you get right down to it, I think it's all in the brain combined with sensory input of the natural world. Believers just process it differently than non-believers.

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Well, yeah. When you get right down to it, I think it's all in the brain combined with sensory input of the natural world. Believers just process it differently than non-believers.

 

Hum, you do not believe in the laws of nature, or that there is an organizing force to the universe?

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That is a bit of a mystery to me. I've often thought it would be nice to have faith, to believe that no matter what happened I would be taken care of, and to believe that I would have eternal happiness. It must be very comforting and allow you to manage what life throws at you with with confidence.

 

But alas, that is not the case for me. So I can only guess how it works for those who say they know God.

 

I think that different people know God in different ways. Some probably think they know God only because they were raised to believe it. They are probably faking it because they think they should know God, and if they just keep trying it will eventually come to them, as it seems to come to those around them. I would think most of these have really convinced themselves, and are not intentionally trying to mislead others about their faith.

 

Others probably believe it because it is the only thing that makes sense to them. "How could us being here, just be a mistake? How could something this complex come by accident?" And other versions. They may or may not 'know' God.

 

And I am sure there are others who KNOW God, who feel God around them at all times, who have actually felt God. I really have no idea how that works.

 

 

 

 

Again, I can only guess. As far as I can tell, if He is enforcing his authority it is only by making people feel guilty. I don't believe God is responsible for floods, fires, children dying, AIDS, people winning or losing football games, politicians winning or losing, or a meal coming out poorly because the cook used His name in vain. But some believers do suffer mentally/emotionally if they believe they are displeasing God. So if he is enforcing his authority, that is the only way I see it being done.

 

I almost missed this very good argument, and I am glad I didn't, because it gets this discussion back on track. I think we need to work with the fact that because we can not directly experience God, we can not know God. I am sure the bible says so many times, but Christians deified Jesus, so their mythology gives some of them a knowable God, and this becomes very problematic when we discuss God. Which also becomes a huge political problem effecting our understanding of authority, liberty and justice.

 

I have said this before, but it fits in here, so I will say it again. We used to read children moral stories, and at the end of the story ask, "want is the moral of that story". The moral is always a cause and effect. In Athens the philosophers stopped explaining things as the acts of the gods, and began explaining them as a matter of cause and effect.

 

The ancient Greek understanding of moral is to know "the law" and good manners. Knowing the law is philosophy, which was later to become science. Now "God" enforces the law, because that is just how things work. Gravity makes things fall to the earth. Food plants grows in the spring and die in the winter. Stealing and lying cause people to distrust each other and when there is not trust, there is not a good relationship. And who wants to be around someone who is a taker and never gives anything in return?

 

These discussions of cause and effect are an important part of understanding how God works. However, knowing how God works, is not equal to knowing God. You can know how I bake cake by knowing how anyone bakes a cake, but this is not knowing me. So when it is said only highly moral people can have liberty, that means people have to understand how things work to have liberty. My dog can not liberty, because he absolutely does not get moving things can kill him, so I have to keep him a leash when we are walking down streets. For the same reason, I also do not give small children liberty. But darnit, must we all be denied liberty, because some do not have good moral judgment? Does this justify us all living under authority without personal liberty and power?

 

By the laws of nature do you mean physics? If so, then yes. And the organizing force to the universe is also physics.

 

There is more to the laws of nature than physics. All animals are controlled by the laws of nature as well. Some animals can not reproduce if there is not enough good breeding ground and plenty of food, so they compete against each other for territory. Among social animals there are many more complex rules of behavior, and failure to understand the rules, means being pushed to the outside, and become an alarm system, as the predators attack those who on the outside. On the other hand, having good social skills and being highly aggressive can lead to being very successful and the alpha member of the group, to whom everyone else defers. These are laws of nature too.

Edited by Athena
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Hi, I am hoping this subject got your attention, and that you help me articulate the thought with your arguments. This is very much what the Occupy movement is about, but as you will see, it is difficult to articulate.

A connection I see between this and the title is about being Humane and Just.

 

 

Whether it is religion, spirituality, enlightened self-interest, or secular humanism, it is something that helps society keep people focused on maintaining a viable population to support the continuity and continuance of their civilization. One of the problems of free-market fundamentalism is that the focus on the longer-term future tends to get lost in the inhumane (wild) frenzy. ~imho

 

 

...but about the Occupy movements specifically:

 

 

Occupy the Media! Are we gonna have to listen to 10 more months of political kabuki theater, while the rest of the world and history progresses without us?

 

Occupy Wall Street should demand a microtax on computerized transactions--especially short-term, round-trip financial (profit-taking, non-investment) excursions. The EU Merkozy solution is moving forward with this! Let's help them out! It should be a global standard, and it is something that global occupy movements can push for... hopefully without risking the predictable backlash of "world government" worriers.

 

While I applaud the Occupy message of being more humane, as in "stop screwing us over" so much; I think the OWS movement needs to pick a few small concrete adjustments that could be made... to the system. A focused microtax, such as that, would only target those taking the largest "legal" advantage of the system, not the small or average or even most of the large investors.

 

It would be a way for the system to show some "good faith" or reciprocity; or at least acknowledge that the Occupy movement is being heard or that Wall St. can be more humane.

But that might be asking too much, eh?

 

~ ;)

 

Or we could make the 1% pay for the rehab. and recovery of the other 1% ( the Military Vets who protect our personal liberty and the liberties taken by Wall Street).

 

~ ohmy.gif

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This knowledge of virtues and faith in God, is directly tied to our personal liberty and power, and with atheism, and our technological society, comes the destruction of our personal liberty and power. Without God above all, we are reduced to power struggles, and a submission to authority that was intolerable to our forefathers.

 

This argument is crap. How does having faith is an nonexistent God give you any sort of power? It's only fake power.

 

I also found that both God-believers and non-believers behave pretty much the same in real life. So in all in all, believers and non-believers are not really that different.

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Athena

Your argument is delightful, because it raises awareness of how technology

has changed our thinking

 

Technology does not even come into my argument at all.

 

My point was about having belief/faith in yourself rather than some god construct.

 

You seem to have missed the point somewhat.

 

 

 

Let me put it another way: Would you rather believe -

 

A) that some magical force would probably look after you (if you follow certain rules and conditions)

 

or

 

B) that you were fully capable of looking after yourself

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Okay, I answer to God, not the human authority, and believe this is essential of our personal liberty and power. What do you have to say?

 

But you agree to follow the rules of human authority, unless you live in a theocratic land and the human rules are the same as the religious rules. That's the price of admission for living in a secular society — you can't pick and choose which rules you don't follow and not expect to suffer the consequences. If you have a job, or sign a contract, there is an agreement of what you will and won't do. Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's.

 

If you only said agreed to follow them but knew you would not, isn't that bearing false witness?

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<Moontanman,

that was not one of your best arguments.  You seem to be assuming Jryan

is speaking only of the bible, but I too prefer the wisdom developed

over thousands of years, to what people who who have never studied the

religions nor philosophy hold to be true and correct.  I think knowledge

of Egyptian theology, the Sumerians, Persia's Zoroastrianism and then

Mithraism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and

native American spiritualism, as well as the Greek and Roman Classics

is very important to our judgments.  How can we compare the thoughts of

those who have none of this knowledge with those who much of it, if we

are going to put our trust in human knowledge?  

 

 

Unless Jryan is a disingenuous troll who is only posting to sow discord i have to assume he is telling the truth as to his beliefs, we have crossed ideas on this before and he is a fan of the abrahamic mythos so he must accept those things as moral....

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There is more to the laws of nature than physics. All animals are controlled by the laws of nature as well. Some animals can not reproduce if there is not enough good breeding ground and plenty of food, so they compete against each other for territory. Among social animals there are many more complex rules of behavior, and failure to understand the rules, means being pushed to the outside, and become an alarm system, as the predators attack those who on the outside. On the other hand, having good social skills and being highly aggressive can lead to being very successful and the alpha member of the group, to whom everyone else defers. These are laws of nature too.

Yes there are many laws of nature other than physics. The point I was trying to make was that everything starts with the laws of physics, and all other laws of nature derive from physics. Similarly there is the US Constitution and all other laws in the US, no matter how complex, must fit within the rules defined in the Constitution.

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But you agree to follow the rules of human authority, unless you live in a theocratic land and the human rules are the same as the religious rules. That's the price of admission for living in a secular society — you can't pick and choose which rules you don't follow and not expect to suffer the consequences. If you have a job, or sign a contract, there is an agreement of what you will and won't do. Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's.

 

If you only said agreed to follow them but knew you would not, isn't that bearing false witness?

 

I don't know how I got so impressed by the horrors of Germany, but I do know it is very important to follow our conscience. Yes, sometimes this means taking a risk, but doing the wrong thing to avoid taking a risk is wrong. What happened in Germany was wrong and we must allow such a thing to happen again.

 

What would you say is the difference between a Jew in my home, and hiding a woman was made homeless because of cancer, and has had both her breast removed? Every religion tell us to do unto other as we would have done to us, and it is unimaginable anyone would want to endure cancer, and loosing everything, and living on the streets, and the terrible way we treat homeless people, plus the fear of not surviving, plus the grief of being disfigured at a young age and wondering a someone of the opposite sex be attracted, because of the disfiguring surgery, all of this, and not one caring human being willing to provide a bed and safety. Leaving such a person on the streets is just wrong. Not helping the Jews in NAZI Germany was also wrong.

 

Yes there are many laws of nature other than physics. The point I was trying to make was that everything starts with the laws of physics, and all other laws of nature derive from physics. Similarly there is the US Constitution and all other laws in the US, no matter how complex, must fit within the rules defined in the Constitution.

 

How is the Constitution a result of physics?

 

Unless Jryan is a disingenuous troll who is only posting to sow discord i have to assume he is telling the truth as to his beliefs, we have crossed ideas on this before and he is a fan of the abrahamic mythos so he must accept those things as moral....

 

Got you. Interesting how personal histories can change things. Now that is something this beyond the laws physics, isn't it? I mean, my reply to you was based on a history of our past arguments, and your reply to Jryan was based on your history of arguments with him, and we sort of had a traffic accident when our histories of arguments got mixed up, and I do not understand how this can be explained by physics.

 

A myth would be an abstract thought, right? How is such a thing ruled by laws of physics? Is not something else happening here besides Physics?

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I don't know how I got so impressed by the horrors of Germany, but I do know it is very important to follow our conscience. Yes, sometimes this means taking a risk, but doing the wrong thing to avoid taking a risk is wrong. What happened in Germany was wrong and we must allow such a thing to happen again.

 

What would you say is the difference between a Jew in my home, and hiding a woman was made homeless because of cancer, and has had both her breast removed? Every religion tell us to do unto other as we would have done to us, and it is unimaginable anyone would want to endure cancer, and loosing everything, and living on the streets, and the terrible way we treat homeless people, plus the fear of not surviving, plus the grief of being disfigured at a young age and wondering a someone of the opposite sex be attracted, because of the disfiguring surgery, all of this, and not one caring human being willing to provide a bed and safety. Leaving such a person on the streets is just wrong. Not helping the Jews in NAZI Germany was also wrong.

 

 

 

How is the Constitution a result of physics?

 

 

 

Got you. Interesting how personal histories can change things. Now that is something this beyond the laws physics, isn't it? I mean, my reply to you was based on a history of our past arguments, and your reply to Jryan was based on your history of arguments with him, and we sort of had a traffic accident when our histories of arguments got mixed up, and I do not understand how this can be explained by physics.

 

A myth would be an abstract thought, right? How is such a thing ruled by laws of physics? Is not something else happening here besides Physics?

 

These are emergent phenomena, complexities of life that are built up from things that are all based on the laws of physics. The book, Web of Life, by F. Capra, covers this very nicely. Though the laws of physics allow for many more dimensions than we are aware of, and so there is about 95% of reality that is beyond our perception, or the science of material analysis, at this time. Seems as if there is room for more perspective.

 

But however we define things, isn't this question about articulating the OWS movement mostly about humane-ness vs. selfishness; or short-term myopic perspectives vs. long-term broader perspectives?

 

~ huh.gif

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