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Just Trying to Make Sense of it all


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Reading the Bible cover to cover may help you make sense of it all. When I did that, I realized I'd been listening to people cherry-pick passages from it all my life, trying to justify whatever they w

Just Trying to Make Sense of it all ---> Bible

Conveniently, I expect them to also mis-remember their vehement obstruction of stem cell research. Especially when we can start regenerating teeth and livers.

How do you define faith? Is it just believing, or hoping, or is it something else?

 

When I've asked people who consider themselves devout [insert applicable sect here], they always tell me about total conviction, unquestioning confidence, unwavering acceptance. These same people often distrust science when huge bodies of evidence drawn from reality supports its explanations. Instead, they prefer absolute acceptance of magic and mysticism over trust in what actually exists in front of them.

 

I think it's clear that the value of faith is in the gullibility of those who profess its superiority.

 

You have to believe in magic...

 

 

 

You have to believe we are magic

Nothin' can stand in our way

You have to believe we are magic

Don't let your aim ever stray

And if all your hopes survive

Your destiny will arrive

I'll bring all your dreams alive

For you

Lyrics by Ann and Nancy Wilson...

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How do you define faith? Is it just believing, or hoping, or is it something else?

 

It's a tough question. I'm not a big believer in faith, just because someone says

something not backed up with substance is leaving yourself open for real trouble.

Even the church backs up faith with documented miracles. I look for evidence

for a God, a creator or higher intelligence overseeing things and I've found plenty

that satisfies me that a higher power exists it but may not satisfy other people, which is

another question. Faith is a question if you chose to believe in the actions of a higher

power even if you have no real evidence of it's existence or what it really is. Just like

you put faith or confidence in a person you know something about, but your not entirely sure.

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It's a tough question. I'm not a big believer in faith, just because someone says

something not backed up with substance is leaving yourself open for real trouble.

Even the church backs up faith with documented miracles. I look for evidence

for a God, a creator or higher intelligence overseeing things and I've found plenty

that satisfies me that a higher power exists it but may not satisfy other people, which is

another question. Faith is a question if you chose to believe in the actions of a higher

power even if you have no real evidence of it's existence or what it really is. Just like

you put faith or confidence in a person you know something about, but your not entirely sure.

 

Personally, I think FAITH is different than other types of belief. The most I can do about things I either have no control over or evidence to support is to HOPE. For people or explanations I know very well and have confidence in, I call that belief TRUST. To me, FAITH is the weakest. least reliable form belief, masquerading as the strongest.

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  • 3 months later...

First of all, let me say that I am a Christian. And I am conflicted. I cannot dismiss either my religion or my belief in science. In fact, I want to be a professor in a science. It is my belief that the physical rules that our universe abides by was created by God or a god, however you may see it. And I do not understand why the majority of scientists are atheists. Would not such a mathematically governed universe such as ours need a creator? Don't computers need programmers? Why did such influential men such as Issac Newton believe in a god whil today's scientists do not.

 

Any input is welcome. I'm just a thirteen year old trying to understand the universe and why life matters.

 

Note your own use of the word "belief," and that you chose to apply it to science rather than to religion. Your choice might have been inadvertent, but it was correct.

 

You might want to read Digital Universe -- Analog Soul. Its author developed similar conflicts a few years later in life than you did, while trying to resolve Christianity with thermodynamics. DUAS answers all the questions you've posed here. But unless you are an ancient kind of "soul" and have self-educated, you will find it a difficult read. It was inspired, sort of, by a novel, The Soul of Anna Klane, that you can only get on used-book markets but is an easier and more entertaining read. Best and cheapest version of that is the Ballantine paperpack with a really ugly cover.

 

Amazon has diverse reviews for both books.

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  • 3 weeks later...

How do you (or maybe the authors of these books) define the word "soul?" Is that like a ghost or a unicorn, maybe?

 

I define soul as:

 

1. An accidentally and spontaneously generated entity whose primary property is the ability to freely and naturally violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics. That makes it physical, because it can interact with the physical universe. This concept is similar to James Clerk Maxwell's notion of a thermodynamically independent entity, later called "Maxwell's daemon.".

 

2. This property allows an individual soul (which the author of "..Anna Klane" had renamed beon, a convention I have adopted) to potentially acquire self-awareness, a property that is not inherent to the entity.

 

3. Beons powerful (in the sense of the physics definition of power, E/t) enough to have acquired consciousness on their own are the original creators of the universe.

 

4. The "souls" alluded to in religious lore, thought to somehow inhabit bodies and earn some kind of post-life reward or punishment, are simply beons that are incapable of acquiring self-awareness on their own. For practical purposes they (i.e. you and me) can be said to have existed forever as non-conscious entities. They acquire a limited, preliminary level of consciousness via interaction with a brain-body mechanism.

 

The author of "...Anna Klane" proposed a more limited concept of soul/beon, but I believe that my definitions are essentially an extension of those.

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Now, can you update your definition in such a way that we can confirm or falsify the concept? Right now, you are using a lot of woo words and flim flam that don't really help us to determine whether or not a soul exists outside of peoples imaginations.

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Now, can you update your definition in such a way that we can confirm or falsify the concept? Right now, you are using a lot of woo words and flim flam that don't really help us to determine whether or not a soul exists outside of peoples imaginations.

 

Got that, iNow! And of course by "we" and "us" I shall assume that you mean yourself. Maybe you and your cat. With advance apologies, if needed, after perusing other posts of yours, I will be pleasantly surprised if you can determine the reality of the soul. You strike me as one who likes to argue without basis or purpose, without much philosophical understanding, and without alternative ideas of your own. While that's fine and absolutely normal, I'm not interested in arguments with normal people who are uninformed and prefer to remain so. This will very likely be my last communication to you and your cat, or whatever entity might be included in your references to "we" and "us." My apologies to Fluffy.

 

Actually, what I've used is not woo-woo metaphysics, but is simply some physics terminology that non-physicists like yourself are unlikely to make any sense of, although every term I use can be researched via Wikipedia. My purpose was to answer questions according to the rules of this forum, of which I've been recently and gently reminded.

 

Most of those I've encountered who want to know the answers to serious questions expect to get those answers in 25-word statements that they are capable of understanding in the context of a high-school education, without any additional study on their part. Such people represent the vast majority on blogs and forums like this, and comprise the membership of major religions and belief systems worldwide. They will remain forever frustrated, or content with simplistic answers. Nothing wrong with that, but I have nothing of value to offer them.

 

I've already distilled a considerable part of my understanding into words. If you actually want to understand the concepts behind those words, spend a few years studying. That's "years," not hours. Wikipedia has more information than any university full of professors, because much of its content comes from professors who teach at diverse universities. Moreover, it is free, although one who has made good use of it might feel morally obligated to support this wonderful cross-referenced source of information by coughing up a few bucks.

 

My posts and personal information page give you all the data you need to start your own search for understanding. But mere data, mere information, is like water for a horse who is not thirsty. Thank you for what passes for interest at this point in your search for understanding. I will not reply to an immediate, reactive comment, but after a few years of research and a lot of independent reading, please let me know where you are at.

 

Best regards,

Greylorn Ell

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And of course by "we" and "us" I shall assume that you mean yourself. Maybe you and your cat. <snip> I will be pleasantly surprised if you can determine the reality of the soul. You strike me as one who likes to argue without basis or purpose, without much philosophical understanding, and without alternative ideas of your own.

 

<snip>

 

I'm not interested in arguments with normal people who are uninformed and prefer to remain so. This will very likely be my last communication to you and your cat, or whatever entity might be included in your references to "we" and "us." My apologies to Fluffy.

 

Actually, what I've used is not woo-woo metaphysics, but is simply some physics terminology that non-physicists like yourself are unlikely to make any sense of

 

<snip>

 

Most of those I've encountered who want to know the answers to serious questions expect to get those answers in 25-word statements that they are capable of understanding in the context of a high-school education, without any additional study on their part. Such people represent the vast majority on blogs and forums like this, and comprise the membership of major religions and belief systems worldwide. They will remain forever frustrated, or content with simplistic answers.

 

<snip>

 

If you actually want to understand the concepts behind those words, spend a few years studying. That's "years," not hours. <snip> I will not reply to an immediate, reactive comment, but after a few years of research and a lot of independent reading, please let me know where you are at.

 

I see a lot of personal comments directed toward me, attempts at misdirection, and just general evasion overall, but no answer to my actual question... Nothing even close, really.

 

Would you perhaps like to try again... take a mulligan on that one... or should we all instead perhaps just save a bit of time and reasonably conclude that you're unable to offer anyone a reasonable reply on this silly topic of souls and spirits and other similar nonsense?

 

Also, before we end... You mentioned above that the soul has "the ability to freely and naturally violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics." What is your evidence for that assertion?

 

Nothing ever studied in all of human history has this same ability to "freely and naturally violate the second law of thermodynamics," so it would be quite an achievement if you can somehow demonstrate this is an accurate and valid claim using evidence... if you can confirm for us that this more than a baseless assertion resting on hollow words, ego, and wish thinking put forth as a fiction in an online discussion forum.

 

Until you do that, I'm fairly comfortable calling your claim bullshit. After all, what can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

Edited by iNow
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Actually, what I've used is not woo-woo metaphysics, but is simply some physics terminology that non-physicists like yourself are unlikely to make any sense of, although every term I use can be researched via Wikipedia. My purpose was to answer questions according to the rules of this forum, of which I've been recently and gently reminded.

 

"the ability to freely and naturally violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics" makes no sense to physicists, either.

 

 

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