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#22905 - 07/24/07 01:20 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
Revlgking Offline
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TESLA, THE SON OF A CLERGYMAN, is remembered by his church
Quote:
The parochial church of St. Peter and Paul, where Tesla's father had held services, was renovated as well. The museum and multimedia center are filled with replicas of Tesla's work. The museum has collected almost all of the papers ever published by, and about, Nikola Tesla; most of these provided by Ljubo Vujovic from the Tesla Memorial Society[91] in New York. Alongside Tesla's house, a monument created by sculptor Mile Blazevic has been erected.
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#22906 - 07/24/07 01:30 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Registered: 06/08/05
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"What a brilliant and complex personality"
Dear god. You actually contributed something parts of which were interesting and relevant to a science forum. Congratulations on finally achieving an SNR greater than zero.

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#22908 - 07/24/07 03:05 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
redewenur Offline
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Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 1840
"1.Presuming you have a science background, may I ask, what is your branch of science?"

I'm a non-scientist, Rev. I'm not exactly a 'Jack of all Trades', either; rather a '7 or 8 of also rans' grin

Like a good many others, I've spent a great part of my life attempting to skim the surface of human knowledge. Had I felt that I could have skilfully plumbed the depths, then I would have been eager to do so. I know sufficient to recognise the awe inspiring potential of the human intellect as it expresses itself in the few, and I place a very high value on their methodology and assiduous dedication to the advancement of science. At this stage in our history, the survival and progress of our species, and the sustainability of this small planet's biosphere depend very largely upon their continuing efforts.

"2.If you are a scientist, is it your opinion that we delude ourselves in even trying to think about, let alone understand, what the void, the vacuum, the nothingness into which the universe is expanding, the space between atomic particles, the absolute within and beyond things, is?

As I said, I'm not a scientist; but I'll offer an opinion if you like.

"3. Are physicists who propose the string theory physicists? Or are they theologians/philosophers?"

My understanding is that they are best described as mathematical physicists. That is they make profound statements and create far reaching hypotheses about the physical world using the rigorous language of very advanced and abstruse mathematics. This requires neither theology nor philosophy, but that in itself doesn't preclude theologians and philosophers from being string theorists. smile

"4. In your opinion, is the study of metaphysics, including the study of the meaning, purpose and why of things, a waste of time?"

Speaking for myself, "study" in relation to "metaphysics, including the study of the meaning, purpose and why of things", is not an applicable word. I don't consider contemplation and meditation to be a waste of time. However, the insight and understanding involved is not directly communicable, and is inaccessible via objective study.

"5. "Not accountable to others"? Surely you are not saying that it does not matter what one believes?"

When a mind has discovered an answer to the fundamental metaphysical question, "why", that mind does not need to account to others for how that answer was derived. That is quite a different matter from "belief", which so often appears to involve insincerity, delusion and a distortion of objective reality that results in conflict and suffering.

"6. What about the collective mind? Is it of no consequence?"

It may be of enormous consequence.

"7. Are scientists nothing more than clever computer-like mechanics?"

Scientists are people.

"8. Do scientists have any moral obligations?"

No less than others.

"9. Are you familiar with the work of Nikola Tesla?"

Some of it.
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#22909 - 07/24/07 03:37 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: redewenur]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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".. [do] we delude ourselves in even trying to think about, let alone understand, what the void, the vacuum, the nothingness into which the universe is expanding, the space between atomic particles, the absolute within and beyond things, is?"

What many people mean when they say "think about" is to come to some firm, intellectually unjustified opinion and give it the same status as an opinion that's actually supported by evidence.

We can try to figure things out or we can play tin-like. Some times the best one can say is, "I don't know" rather than to just make things up. This is a form of anti-knowledge.



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#22912 - 07/24/07 06:05 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
Tim Offline
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Registered: 08/16/06
Posts: 192
Loc: California
"What many people mean when they say "think about" is to come to some firm, intellectually unjustified opinion and give it the same status as an opinion that's actually supported by evidence.

"We can try to figure things out or we can play tin-like. Some times the best one can say is, "I don't know" rather than to just make things up. This is a form of anti-knowledge."

I would mostly agree with that. We see but a piece of all that is around us, and some can pompously proclaim, "I have the truth!". I have said this before, but in the Bible (Job 26), Job says something along the lines of "I know but the fringes of God's power." (I forget the exact quote, but you get the point). And then, thousands of years later, there are five different churches on a street proclaiming, "I have the answer, come here to my church!" It is also in the academic community; "I have the best equipment up to date, including a new observatory, come here!" In effect, there are so many variations of every theory and

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#22913 - 07/24/07 06:11 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Tim]
Tim Offline
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Registered: 08/16/06
Posts: 192
Loc: California
Whoops! Accidently pushed the submit button in the middle of my rant!

Let me continue:
In effect, there are so many variations of every theory, agenda, philosophy, beleif, denomination, creed, politics that it is hard to distinguish any truth from deceit. They all want you to come; perhaps this is a behaviour passed down through the generations to have the best to thrive in your situation. But nevertheless, we never just say, "I don't know," to something, and instead make use a (as TFF said) anti-knowledge statement in its place.
Taking that aside would help us as human beings discover ourselves and our surroundings. We might realize it's not about us, or that we need to adapt to survive something coming at us. From that "I don't know," comes forth a truer knowledge to figure that out which is not known instead of beleiving the half-lies and lies designed implant certain emotions in us. Then we could truly learn about ourselves instead of making stuff up which has not been proven.
Am I right?

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#22915 - 07/24/07 10:37 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Tim]
Revlgking Offline
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Tim, IMO, you seem to have a sincere and gracious attitude. For me this counts for a lot. We are called to gracious, faithful, true and loving, not to be right--the kind of right which makes others wrong.

BTW, grace--the beauty of manners, the being pleasant, kindly and courteous and making allowances for others to be themselves--is an importance concept in my religion.

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#22916 - 07/24/07 11:12 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
redewenur Offline
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Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 1840
Tim: "From that "I don't know," comes forth a truer knowledge"

Well said. A "truer knowledge" comes forth when the 'god-of-the-gaps' has been dispensed with.

A creationist when asked by one of his fellows, "How were the dinosaurs rounded up for Noah's Ark?" replies: "God did it". And so it has been with so much of religion through the ages. What is worse, the mythology is enshrined as sacred 'truth' that forbids contradiction and preserves ignorance.

At a meeting of scientists entitled "Beyond Belief 2006", one young fellow said that he very much disliked not knowing; to which many responded that they very much liked not knowing. - Two ways of expressing the same essential point, that 'not knowing' is what drives the advancement of knowledge.
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#22919 - 07/25/07 01:48 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: redewenur]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Tim, understanding takes effort. It seldom just falls in your lap. That's not something we're really good at. There will always be people who mislead through greed, self-aggrandizement, general dumbness, or just plain being mistaken. Science doesn't guarantee us The Truth. It just gives us a glimmer of hope for finding the way out of our mistakes.

Rev, I am not ungracious, but I don't have infinite patience either. I really only have one virtue - I can respect and admire people for what they are and not what I expect them to be. I admire the fact that you help other people and that you try to make the world a better place. I think there is a link between philosophy and ethics and science. They are immutably linked together - all I say is that THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING and the conclusions of the first two should not be given the same kind of weight as the conclusions of the other. They can all inform and to some extent guide each other, but they are not equivalent.

To put the scientific seal of approval on ethics is downright dangerous. (But that doesn't mean science can't tell us something about ethics or help us refine or understanding of them.)

You don't understand science very well and so you don't see any problem lumping everything together. One sign of a well-adjusted individual is how well they have assimilated their disparate pieces of knowledge into a coherent web of understanding: but part of that understanding needs to be that things that things that aren't even subject to scientific analysis don't get the scientific seal of approval.

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#22920 - 07/25/07 04:24 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
Revlgking Offline
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MORE ON NIKOLA TESLA--who, in his time, was one of a number of brilliant scientists--and there are still many with us--who did not avoid thinking about God and religion:
===========================================================
Interestingly, Tesla suggested that Judaeo/Christianity and Buddhism could come together and form a very good and non-dogmatic philosophy of life--open to agnostics--on which to build a better and safer community, now and in the future.

To the mix I would add any moral, ethical and love-advocating religion, including the moderate kinds of Islam, like Suffism, and other eastern religions. Avoiding cynicism, fatalism, determinism and judgmentalism, great unity can be found in the love of variety.

WHAT OF THE FUTURE?
It seems to me that many theists and atheists have this in common: They both talk about a God who, IMO, seems to be very limited. Just look at the evil and sin, pain and suffering, He allows to go and on without redress in this world. Theists have a blind faith in Him. Without evidence, they tell us that He will get around to redressing things, eventually.

Atheists, addressing the same god-concept of theism, have a blind faith that there is no Him. Correct me if I am wrong, please.

Until theists and atheists come up with the evidence that what they believe to be true, I choose go with what numerous process-theologians and philosophers, including scientists, are saying.

I see process-theologians as unitheists/panentheists. I think of thinkers like Edison, Tesla, Einstein, Alfred North Whitehead, Anthony Flew and scores of other scientists. I am sure there is a vast number of professional and lay theologians who think along such lines. ==========================================================
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G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org

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#22921 - 07/25/07 04:43 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
redewenur Offline
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Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 1840
Revlgking

"I think of thinkers like Edison, Tesla, Einstein, Alfred North Whitehead, Anthony Flew and scores of other scientists. I am sure there is a vast number of professional and lay theologians who think along such lines."

(1) What do see as the significance of that?
(2) Does it influence you?
(3) Does it help you in your choice of what to believe?

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"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler

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#22922 - 07/25/07 05:56 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: redewenur]
Revlgking Offline
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1. Process thinkers are neither theists, nor atheists.
2. Yes.
3. As I once heard Bishop John Shelby Spong say: "Theologically speaking, there are more than two options--theism or atheism. Buddhism, for example, is a non-theistic religion." I prefer unitheism/panentheism to non-theism.


Edited by Revlgking (07/25/07 05:59 AM)
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#22924 - 07/25/07 06:20 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
redewenur Offline
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Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 1840
Revlgking

Re: (1) - You have listed people of noteworthy reasoning power. Are you making the point that this is a significant fact?

Re: (2) - In what way does it influence you?

Re: (3) - When you say that you prefer unitheism/panentheism to non-theism, are you saying that this represents your personal insight and understanding, or are you saying that appears, to you, a more reasonable view?
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"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler

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#22925 - 07/25/07 06:20 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
Ellis Offline
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Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
Rede wrote
"5. "Not accountable to others"? Surely you are not saying that it does not matter what one believes?"

When a mind has discovered an answer to the fundamental metaphysical question, "why", that mind does not need to account to others for how that answer was derived. That is quite a different matter from "belief", which so often appears to involve insincerity, delusion and a distortion of objective reality that results in conflict and suffering.

This is such a clear distinction. It is possible to just "know" the answer. That knowledge is independent of others' beliefs or convictions or opposition and needs no explanation or justification.

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#22930 - 07/25/07 07:35 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Ellis]
Revlgking Offline
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Ellis, in your last post, are you talking about what is sometimes referred to as self-evident truths?

BTW, when I say that I like to refer to myself as a unitheist/panentheist I am not saying that non-theists and atheists are wrong. Being pragmatic, like William James, I believe in sticking with what works for me. When it fails to work, I will look elsewhere.

I respect non-theists and atheists. I also respect their right to use any term they prefer to describe themselves.

I repeat: I am here to dialogue, not to debate.


Edited by Revlgking (07/25/07 07:46 PM)
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#22931 - 07/26/07 12:52 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
redewenur Offline
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Posts: 1840
That's very good, Rev.

You seem to have overlooked two earlier questions. If you prefer to pass on them, that's fine smile

"I see process-theologians as unitheists/panentheists. I think of thinkers like Edison, Tesla, Einstein, Alfred North Whitehead, Anthony Flew and scores of other scientists. I am sure there is a vast number of professional and lay theologians who think along such lines."

Re: (1) - You have listed people of noteworthy reasoning power. Are you making the point that this is a significant fact?

Re: (2) - In what way does it influence you?

I think you've answered the third:

Re: (3) - When you say that you prefer unitheism/panentheism to non-theism, are you saying that this represents your personal insight and understanding, or are you saying that appears, to you, a more reasonable view?

"I believe in sticking with what works for me. When it fails to work, I will look elsewhere."

- So, what you are saying is that unitheism/panentheism are hypotheses that work for you. That's very scientific smile
_________________________
"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler

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#22933 - 07/26/07 01:44 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: redewenur]
Turner Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/02/07
Posts: 16
From LGKing, using my son's 'puter.

1. I enjoy people of high intellect, as s long as the are sincere, and of good moral and ethical character. Generally speaking, I value moral, ethic and sincere people regardless of their intellect.

I enjoy a good laugh, and I respect sincere emotinos in others, but I try to avoid emotionalism, in my personal behaviour.

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#22935 - 07/26/07 03:13 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Loc: http://thefalliblefiend.blogsp...
" I think of thinkers like Edison, Tesla, Einstein, Alfred North Whitehead, Anthony Flew and scores of other scientists."

I don't know what you mean by "process thinker." However, I recommend the book "Enigmas of Chance" (by Kac) to you. He refers to Einstein and Kurt GÖdel as fundamentalists, because they were examining the fundamentals. While he did not mention Tesla, I (having read a bit about Tesla in previous years) consider Tesla to be much like that.

These kinds of fundamentalist thinkers might include also Newton, Archimedes, Hooke, Galileo and many others. If such a way of thinking applies to philosophers, perhaps John Dewey would be among their number.

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#22939 - 07/26/07 09:03 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
terrytnewzealand Offline
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Registered: 08/02/06
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Loc: Whangarei New Zealand
John Dewey came up with a few interesting ideas. I hadn't heard of him until I did teacher training a couple of years ago. Don't really know much about him. Ideas? anyone?

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#22941 - 07/26/07 12:31 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: terrytnewzealand]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Registered: 06/08/05
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Loc: http://thefalliblefiend.blogsp...
I've only read one of his books, "How We Think" which defined the various kinds of "thought," with "reflective thought" being the most important and the one he discusses in the rest of the book.

In addition to talking about the steps of thinking and the steps of addressing a problem, he also gives insights into teaching. I don't agree with all of it, but I think it should probably be a must-read for teachers.

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