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#22625 - 07/04/07 10:43 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: redewenur]
Revlgking Offline
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"The semantics might be an obstacle."

I agree: It sure is!

But surely not for those who affirm that all sciences are "hard" sciences?

Now, let us have the "hard" evidence that ethics is not a soft science?


Edited by Revlgking (07/04/07 10:44 PM)
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#22626 - 07/04/07 10:44 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
samwik Offline
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Originally Posted By: coberst
the traditional Anglo-American cognitive paradigm of AI (Artificial Intelligence), i.e. symbol manipulation.

This research indicates that the neurological structures associated with sensorimotor activity are mapped directly to the higher cortical brain structures to form the foundation for subjective conceptualization in the human brain. In other words, our abstract ideas are constructed with copies of sensorimotor neurological structures as a foundation. “It is the rule of thumb among cognitive scientists that unconscious thought is 95 percent of all thought—and that may be a serious underestimate.”
Thanks coberst [General Sci]

So the point here is:
Well I can't take the time now, but....

AI:
Shouldn't we be able to construct AS {artificial spirit}.
Based on my thoughts about AI {cite that} ummmm... AS should almost be a necessity to achieve true AI.

...and this is just another way of pointing out that both Revl. and TFF are saying about the same thing, but just with different personal definitions of the basic words like "spirit." Differing definitions are based on differences in the objectivity/subjectivity spectrum.

...and thanks Tim for proving the point about how important our definitions are to seeing the truth. That one can read and write, or master the dinosaurs (or domesticate animals), is defined as proof of a spirited nature.

Happy Fourth!
~Later

p.s.
Originally Posted By: last post on last page
Yes, I agree with what you're saying, TFF (almost completely). The semantics might be an obstacle. Are thought and consciousness one and the same? -rediwenur
...nice question!


Edited by samwik (07/04/07 10:51 PM)
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#22627 - 07/04/07 10:55 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: samwik]
Revlgking Offline
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As a Canadian, with numerous American cousins--BTW, I did postgrad studies at Boston U and Harvard in 1954/1955--I love all you American cousins. Happy Fourth!

Here, we just had a happy first--July 1867 was the day of our birth. What a continent!--NORTH AMERICA. Let us build it into...just use your imagination, okay?
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#22628 - 07/04/07 11:11 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: samwik]
redewenur Offline
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samwik: "thanks Tim for proving the point about how important our definitions are to seeing the truth"

Very often, even our most carefully worded definitions can be nothing more than hazy representations of our understanding or experience. Short of telepathy, we can only hint at what we mean by using various symbols, metaphors and analogies. At the end of a conversation we may feel that we've succeeded in conveying a message accurately, only to discover later that we failed completely.

As a teenager, I was just getting into classical music in a big way. At that age, your hearing is at its best, so real 'listening' can take you to other worlds. Anyway, I would sometimes be experiencing one of these abstract 'other worlds' when one of my family would enter the room and say something like "ooh, that's nice, it makes you think of the Himalayas". I don't know why I should have been so exasperated, but I was. Maybe because my personal experience seemed to me to be several orders of magnitude better than any mundane vision. The point is, we just can't assume that everything that's going on in the world outside of our minds is interpreted in remotely the same way in the minds of others.

It's hard isn't it. No wonder some people like mathematics. When we say 2 + 2 = 4, no one asks us what we mean by "2"!
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#22635 - 07/05/07 12:16 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
Revlgking Offline
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ATHEISM AND TESTOSTERONE?
Recently, I had the following interesting question raised in brainmeta.com http://brainmeta.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=15585&st=30&#entry80392

One member, Cybert, told the forum that he had been castrated and the zero testosterone in his body helped him confirm his atheism and anti-mysticism.

Quote:
lucid_dream' date='Sep 14, 2006, quotes:'Cybert' (Sep 14, 2006)"...it has made me much more atheist"

That's rich. God is a sex hormone-induced delusion. Maybe there's some truth to that. I wonder what Lindsay would think about that!


I responded: Browsing, I just happened to catch this question posted some time ago.
GØD, G-d, or God, IMHO, isn't anything, objectively real, or subjectively imagined. Like all that we call nature--the cosmos and the ineffable vacuum, that in which the cosmos has its being--GØD simply is...No other verb than the verb "to be" applies when speaking of GØD, which, IMO is the absolute and unique wholly other.

I have no objection to child-like thinkers who imagine GØD as being as one (usually masculine) who is like a benevolent heavenly father. But for mature and rational people to create a god, even mentally, is just as much idolatry as creating a physical object. If this is what Cybert is against, he is simply anti-idolatry, not an atheist.

In order for anyone to be an absolute atheist one would need to say: "I do not consciously exist, and there is no such thing as existence.Existence, whether real or imagined, temporary or eternal, is an absurd concept, so contrary to reason that it is a laughable; foolish and ridiculous."


I trust that, once and for all, I have made it clear what I mean when I write the unique symbol of existence, real and absolute,"GØD". While it is possible to say that, existence, real and absolute, is absurd, it is logically impossible to deny that existence (GØD) IS. Do you disagree? Okay, try doing it, now.
==================
BTW, later today, my wife and I leave for a trip to the east coast of Canada. We will be visiting New Brunswick and our alma mater, www.mta.ca
Be back in about two weeks.




Edited by Revlgking (07/05/07 01:51 PM)
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#22647 - 07/06/07 05:08 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
terrytnewzealand Offline
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Samwik quoted Coberst:

"our abstract ideas are constructed with copies of sensorimotor neurological structures as a foundation".

Good point. That's probably why many humans are so convinced someone or something made the earth and the universe. Wqe can only conceive of a God in relation to what we do and how we act. We're usually fascinated to make things when we are children (many of us don't ever lose that fascination).

Anyway, are we all agreed that, whatever we want to accept God as being, the Old Testament provides not one shred of evidence as to what this God thing is? We can safely ignore anything it says on the subject.

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#22648 - 07/06/07 05:18 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: terrytnewzealand]
redewenur Offline
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"We can safely ignore anything it says on the subject"

Yep. Unless were living next door to fundamentalists...
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#22674 - 07/09/07 08:42 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
samwik Offline
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Okay, I had a little epiphany today (several actually) while I was going thru my regular Sunday morning rituals.

"Spirit!" What does it matter what it is, or even if it is? We all know its effects when we see those effects in a person (or ourselves). I'm not trying to say we all have the same experience of "spirit," but that we all can relate to a something that enlivens us, motivates us, and makes us feel guilt, empathize, and feel joy and oneness. Number 3 in the dictionary says, "Life, will, consciousness, thought {re: redi's question; but I digress}; and the dictionary mentions, among many others, "intention" -which I usually include in a list such as this.

The point being (from above -coberst's reference) that the big hangup is in how we define the word, "spirit." Whether "spirit" is 21 grams of dark matter, or "-it" is just a meta-artifact of the meta-meta-cognition of our complex, representational, survival-based neural system, "spirit" has an effect that we are interested in.
Spirit makes both Intellectual Injustice and Economic Injustice an affront that deserves our attention.

I had the brief thought of trying to define "atheist" as a person who is keenly interested in spirited aspects of life, but just as strongly repelled by the word, "spirit." Of course it is the perceived definition of the word, "spirit," that is raising alarms in the atheist; but the point is the same. It is the definition of the word, regardless of the reality, that is problematic.

For the word, "spirit," I try to keep a number of definitions concurrently in mind; and consider it okay to translate what I think others mean into one of my reserve definitions. We surely do this implicitly, so we might as well do it explicitly; and having multiple definitions (like the dictionary) makes it much easier.

Not committing to one specific definition could be problematic too. Certainly someone devoting their life to a particular worldview would be rewarded by being more specific in choosing a definition; but if one wants to reach across worldviews, the ability to translate definitions is also rewarding.

I don't know how to define it, but I'm happy when I see it [...and that characterizes both "spirit" and porn!]. smile
I should add that this little essay above also applies to words like G0d, Love, and Universe. It is possible to compare and contrast the differing definitions; but often it is not necessary if a discussion using these words is focused on some other goal. The goal can be missed if we're stuck on the definitions.

*_*

Although this above is a continuation of ongoing thoughts, it also came about more specifically after catching the Q&A section of a talk by Jeffrey Feldman on his book, Framing the Debate. Thanks BookTV.

Well worth a look, at:
www.frameshopisopen.com

~SA
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Pyrolysis creates reduced carbon! ...Time for the next step in our evolutionary symbiosis with fire.

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#22676 - 07/09/07 09:07 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: samwik]
terrytnewzealand Offline
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Samwik wrote:

"The goal can be missed if we're stuck on the definitions".

And I think many times in this not-quite-science forum we suffer from this. No-one has adequately defined what they mean by God. As you say though, "Certainly someone devoting their life to a particular worldview would be rewarded by being more specific in choosing a definition". We had the ridiculous debate in some parts of the US when they first invaded Iraq as to whether Christians and Muslims worshipped the same God. How's that for arguing over a definition?

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#22678 - 07/09/07 04:28 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: terrytnewzealand]
Tim Offline
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Registered: 08/16/06
Posts: 192
Loc: California
"We had the ridiculous debate in some parts of the US when they first invaded Iraq as to whether Christians and Muslims worshipped the same God."
Apparently I must have been asleep for those debates. Were you watching it on the news in New Zealand then? Because I never heard about that.

"The goal can be missed if we're stuck on the definitions". Reminded me of something C.S. Lewis once said, in a book he wrote, I think.

"No-one has adequately defined what they mean by God."
Okay, when i say God, I mean something so vast, so obscure, that it is impossible to put a definition upon. For He is different to all. Creator, Jesus, dark matter (or is it anti-matter, i forget, one of those), the evolutionary process, Zeus, gardening, celebrities, etc. The list goes on, for God Is, therefore being something. And that something is so infinitely higher than ourselves that we cannot even begin to describe it. Perhaps you are right, perhaps I, or all of us. Thus, my definition of God is that there is no definition.
Perhaps I was not making myself clear, and this just intensifies this debate. Sorry if that is the case, for my point is for all to have their own view of God, for He is all, in peace.

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#22681 - 07/09/07 11:37 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Tim]
terrytnewzealand Offline
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Tim asked:

"Were you watching it on the news in New Zealand then?"

Certainly was. And in the newspapers. Perhaps it was only a minority of fundy-mentalists in the Bible Belt and perhaps news services here may have picked it up because they found it amusing. There seemed to be no argument as to whether Jews and Christians worshipped the same God but those two religions seem to have now united against their common enemy. But if God is everything how can anyone be accused of not worshipping it? Unless they worship nothing. Even people who claim to be atheist get their kicks from something. I like music for example. For me, therefore, God is music.

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#22682 - 07/10/07 04:15 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: terrytnewzealand]
Tim Offline
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Registered: 08/16/06
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"There seemed to be no argument as to whether Jews and Christians worshipped the same God but those two religions seem to have now united against their common enemy."
Let's be rational here, do you actually beleive that?

"But if God is everything how can anyone be accused of not worshipping it?"
Again, this is in fact a science forum, not some pointing-fingers forum upon the cons of religion.

"I like music for example. For me, therefore, God is music."
Now we're getting somewhere. If it wasn't for that statement, that post would have nothing based on credible evidence. Sorry thbat I was so harsh, but that demonstates in my eyes a lack of reason that people would think as such.

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#22685 - 07/10/07 05:46 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Tim]
Ellis Offline
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The debate, which I remember too, was about the fact that Jews, Christians and Muslims evolved from the same original faith- that is from the 'sons of Abraham'. Jesus and Mohammed are recognised as prophets in the teaching of Islam, but Jesus is not the Messiah. I am not sure of this, but I think that the Messiah is still to come in the Islamic faith, as he (not she in this instance I feel) is still to come in the Jewish faith.

So the God of each of these religions is, if not the same, at least closely connected.

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#22686 - 07/10/07 05:49 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Ellis]
redewenur Offline
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Some interesting points above.

Terry: "There seemed to be no argument as to whether Jews and Christians worshipped the same God but those two religions seem to have now united against their common enemy."

Tim: "Let's be rational here, do you actually believe that?... ...nothing based on credible evidence"

- I believe that those three religions are supposed to be about the "one true God", the "God of Love" etc, and I also believe that their professed adherents have hardly ever stopped murdering each other in the name of their God. Right now, the current major bout of insanity is between the Muslim fundamentalist zealots and the infidels. Sure, we all know that the killers are a small minority, but they have a great deal of implicit support. On one side there are the Muslim suicide bombers, butcher/kidnappers and multifarious militia. On the other side there are (mostly) the "clean", "just", "Gods on our side" Christian USA and UK committing legalised genocide and leaving hundreds of thousands to a lifetime of maimed misery. As for the Jews, one need not question their alignment.

Tim, do you disbelieve that, or do you think it's irrational? Do you believe that it's not based on credible evidence?
____

Terry: "But if God is everything how can anyone be accused of not worshipping it?"

Tim: Again, this is in fact a science forum, not some pointing-fingers forum upon the cons of religion.

- Tim, please elaborate on your view that the sentence above is finger-pointing. It's a logical question; scientifically speaking, either God is everything or God is not everything. After all, you seem to agree that if God is everything, then music must be God. If God is not everything, then what kinds of thing are not God?

Science thrives through its theories being subjected to experiment, review, criticism, modification and so on. Do you believe that religion should be exempt from such review and criticism?
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#22689 - 07/10/07 04:33 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: redewenur]
Tim Offline
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Registered: 08/16/06
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Regarding redewenur's first question:
"I believe that those three religions are supposed to be about the "one true God", the "God of Love" etc, and I also believe that their professed adherents have hardly ever stopped murdering each other in the name of their God."
Wouldn't that support that they don't worship the same God? Yes, it is their gods, but obviously not the same. Man naturally is in conflict with his brother; this is the result of millions of years of passing down the dominant traits (survival of the fittest). This in turn creates different points of view, so to speak, for different areas, as well as fighting. Now to say that Jews, Muslims, and Christians worship the same God would be irrational for an evolutionist to say, for that would go against evolutionary teachings. DA Morgan once said something about our conditioning in our local area a while back.

"Terry: "But if God is everything how can anyone be accused of not worshipping it?"

Tim: Again, this is in fact a science forum, not some pointing-fingers forum upon the cons of religion."

At its base it is not finger pointing, but its implinations are. Perhpas Muslims and Jews as well as Christians worship different gods, but God is All.

"Science thrives through its theories being subjected to experiment, review, criticism, modification and so on. Do you believe that religion should be exempt from such review and criticism?"
Of course not. Personally, I think all religions (Christianity including) should be critizised and "changed". Yet if that is done publicly, then i am taking away their rights and conditioned practises, therefore taking away their god. It is a fine line. For man does not like upheavel. History shows us that. For example; the French revolution, where the whole culture was up-turned. He bourg and sans-couluttes (sp?) and peasants revolted and took down the aristcrats, and to fill the void the Committe for Public Safety (a misnomer, to say the least) filled the void, headed by Napoleon. Within a generation, everything had been lost, and France was in ruins, only to have a handful more republics in the next century.
Perhaps a gradual progress is better than a swift modification would work better, as is happening already.

"So the God of each of these religions is, if not the same, at least closely connected."
No, not really. Hence the centuries of "fighting".

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#22690 - 07/10/07 05:00 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Tim]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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"Yes, it is their gods, but obviously not the same."
Obviously they ARE the same God. They just believe different things about that god.


"...for that would go against evolutionary teachings"
No, it wouldn't.


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#22691 - 07/10/07 06:42 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
redewenur Offline
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Tim: "Wouldn't that support that they don't worship the same God? Yes, it is their gods, but obviously not the same."

- OK, so what you are saying is that the God of your religion is the one true God, and the God of the other religions is not. Have I got that right?
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#22694 - 07/11/07 03:56 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: redewenur]
Tim Offline
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Registered: 08/16/06
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No.

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#22695 - 07/11/07 04:36 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Tim]
redewenur Offline
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OK, Tim, thanks.
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#22697 - 07/12/07 12:01 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: redewenur]
terrytnewzealand Offline
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Registered: 08/02/06
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Tim wrote:

"Let's be rational here, do you actually believe that?"

Yes, I do. Of course the alliance has been used to mobilise support for an imperialistic war but that doesn't alter the way things are perceived through most of the world. "Money doesn't talk, it swears" as a famous Jew once said.

Tim also wrote:

"this is in fact a science forum"

No it's not. It's a not-quite-science forum.

Redewenur wrote:

"Right now, the current major bout of insanity is between the Muslim fundamentalist zealots and the infidels."

Aren't you forgetting the insanity that allows extremists of one religion to believe their God gave them a piece of land and the previous inhabitants can just go somewhere else? Mind you the same thing happened previously in America, Australia and to some extent in New Zealand.

Tim wrote:

"Wouldn't that support that they don't worship the same God?"

Now, if God is everything how is it possible for anyone to worship a different God?

You also wrote:

"Perhaps a gradual progress is better than a swift modification would work better".

I agree 100% with that comment.

Lastly I look forward to your answer to Redewenur's question:

"If God is not everything, then what kinds of thing are not God?"

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