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#26510 - 06/09/08 09:22 PM What Would We Choose To Do If...
Revlgking Online   content
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THIS IS AN EXPERIMENTAL THREAD. LET US SEE HOW IT GOES AND WHERE IT LEADS. IF IT DIES FROM LACK OF RESPONSE, SO BE IT!
=========================================================
Let Us Assume that all who read this post belong to a group of un-born foetuses--children within an hour, or so, of being born.

An angel--bringing us to a momentary consciousness--tells us: "You Are Given A Choice. You Can Choose be Born Into Life With all The Kinds Of Dangers and/or Opportunities Life Can Have In Store, Or You Can Choose Not To Be Born at all. What Do You Choose? Life? Or The Kind of Oblivion from Which You Now Came?

"At Birth you will have no memory that there was ever such a thing as life before, or evidence of life beyond birth. You willd just have to believe in one, or the other, and then make your choice.

"You will get no information about the kind of parents you will have, or about the kind of life there will be in store for you. You will just have to take your chances.

"Given the above, what will you choose? Conscious life. Or life in an unconscious oblivion?"
=========================================================
If you choose to respond, give your choice and then tell us why you make it. To keep new readers in the loop, you will need to refer then to this first post.

I will begin by saying: I choose life. Later I will give you the reasons for my choice.


Edited by Revlgking (06/09/08 09:55 PM)
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Of Interest?
#26511 - 06/09/08 09:46 PM Re: What Would We Choose To Do If... [Re: Revlgking]
MikeBinOK Offline
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The foetuses (foeti?!?!) wouldn't have any information on which to make a decision, and couldn't make a real choice. If they had experience and personality and rationality to make a choice, they wouldn't be true foetuses.

A different way to pose the question would be to make the hypothetical entity the essence (soul, consciousness, spirit, etc., if you are more comfortable with one of those words) of a dying person and give them the choice of being reincarnated into an unknown person and circumstance, or going into limbo. Of course, that isn't truly exactly the same question now that I think of it, because that person would have already done it once, so it wouldn't be such a unique and momentuous choice.
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#26513 - 06/09/08 10:54 PM Re: What Would We Choose To Do If... [Re: MikeBinOK]
Ellis Offline
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I agree with Mike's statement re the foetus- plus the fact that a foetus is not yet an independent entity and thus cannot make choices without including other individuals.
So the choice would be without validity because it is not made by a sentient individual, (which is sort of Mike's point again).

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#26517 - 06/10/08 02:05 AM Re: What Would We Choose To Do If... [Re: Ellis]
redewenur Offline
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On the face of it, the question requires us to make arbitrary assumptions about the consciousness and knowledge bestowed on the foetus; but there's more to it than consciousness and knowledge - there's the pre-programming of the human organism to take into account. It would be no use asking a robot a similar question unless it had been programmed to respond one way or the other; likewise with humans. Evolution has installed in us a program for survival. So, perhaps the response of the foetus will always be 'conscious life' rather than 'oblivion' simply because of its inherited system status.
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#26520 - 06/10/08 05:41 AM Re: What Would We Choose To Do If... [Re: redewenur]
Rallem Offline
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When you say foetus I think of the allegory of the cave by Plato and with Mike's option I see someone more able possibly able to make a choice, but then again someone who may have been corrupted by the weight of a long and difficult life. When I was in my 20s and in Community College preparing for a better school, I took a class on Psychology and for a paper I chose to write on the psychic phenomenon. For my paper I went to Swanton Vermont and interviewed an elderly woman who was the medicine woman for the local tribe of Native Americans whom I learned was so good that the Vermont State Police would sometimes visit her when they came to a dead end with their police work. In our interview together the lady told me that her understanding of life and death was that each soul was slated to visit Earth several times in life and in each time the soul would have to perform a mission and if it failed in that mission it had to come back under that constellation sign again until it did complete the mission where it would then come back with a progressed constellation sign and a new mission to complete. It has been several years since the interview so I cannot remember the name of the old lady I interviewed, but I do remember what she told me very clearly and she said that after everyone had run their course of missions in life they then would have the choice of staying in Heaven with God or coming back down to Earth to live again, and in that life time the soul would be destined for Greatness like that of Mahatma Gandhi. The old lady told me that my soul was old and if I complete my mission in this life time I would then have such a choice to make. I instantly told her I would choose Heaven because I felt spiritually tired and could not imagine having to come back. How would you choose if this decision needed to be made by you?

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#26526 - 06/10/08 10:18 AM Re: What Would We Choose To Do If... [Re: Rallem]
Revlgking Online   content
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RedE comments"...Evolution has installed in us a program for survival. So, perhaps the response of the foetus will always be 'conscious life' rather than 'oblivion' simply because of its inherited system status."
Good point, RedE. You make it appear that "evolution" is a kind of god. BTW, I see the value of evolution. However, at this point, without being doctrinaire, I think of myself as an emanationist--it helps me balance the ideas of creation and evolution.
======================
Rallem asks--I presume your question is to all readers: How would you choose if this decision needed to be made by you?

Keep in mind, my story is concocted; it is a made-up one. I welcome any suggestions to improve it. I could copy it and then repost it with the improvements.

PROGRESSIVE INCARNATION
My answer: If I were assured that life on earth, or any other planet fit for life, is the opportunity to make physical, mental and spiritual progress, I would chose life.

If I were given the opportunity to argue my case, I would bargain to have some kind of control over the kind of life before me--the circumstances, the where and to whom I would be born. I would also want to hear that life can ultimately be joyful and meaningful. I find the idea of having more than one opportunity (reincarnation, or even the idea of purgatory) to get it right, appealing. Maybe earth is a kind of purgatory.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purgatory
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12575a.htm

However, if I given a nihilistic view of life; that it is ultimately meaningless, strictly a matter of accident who gets the best life has to offer, and that the brutish and immoral people will keep on making slaves of the weak, fighting and killing each other, on and on, I would probably chose oblivion.

[BTW, Rallem, I hope I don't hurt your feelings if I suggest: Use shorter paragraphs. It makes it easier to read.

Also, I have a daughter, 52, who has a psychic gift similar to the one described by you. Her gift led her to move from Toronto to where she is now living. At university she studied ballet and music. After a failed marriage, she became licensed as a drugless therapist. She uses her psychic power with her patients to read peoples character and help them overcome what I call pneumasomatic diseases--diseases caused by sick souls/spirits: the root cause of psychosomatic and somatic conditions. I believe we are a holistic complex of body (soma), mind (psyche) and spirit (pneuma).

She lives with her artist husband--both are gifted artists (carvers and painters)--in a large floating house--including floating gardens, a dance stage, and other buildings, covering nearly an acre of water. It has been featured on several TV programs. The home of Catherine King and Wayne Adams is about 10 minuets from this floating hotel http://www.wildretreat.com/Quait_Bay_Floating_Resort/ and actually covers a larger area.]


Edited by Revlgking (06/10/08 10:19 AM)
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#26529 - 06/10/08 12:26 PM Re: What Would We Choose To Do If... [Re: Revlgking]
redewenur Offline
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Originally Posted By: Revlgking
RedE comments"...Evolution has installed in us a program for survival. So, perhaps the response of the foetus will always be 'conscious life' rather than 'oblivion' simply because of its inherited system status."
Good point, RedE. You make it appear that "evolution" is a kind of god.

Then apologies for inadvertantly misrepresenting the facts. I'll rephrase it:

The natural process called evolution has resulted in our physiological acquisition of a biological program for survival

- which means precisely the same to me, but obviously not to everyone.
_________________________
Redshift: - the faster you drive toward a green light, the more likely it is to turn red - Murphy

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#26538 - 06/10/08 05:28 PM Re: What Would We Choose To Do If... [Re: redewenur]
Revlgking Online   content
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"The natural process, called evolution has resulted in our physiological acquisition of a biological program for survival..."
RedE says.
Question: Who, or what, started the process?
I admit, it is a trick question. smile
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#26548 - 06/10/08 10:15 PM Re: What Would We Choose To Do If... [Re: Revlgking]
Ellis Offline
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Rede- Could it be that even a slime mould has a physiological programme for survival-- as evidenced by the fact it has survived? And the process (of evolution) is the determinator of the biological programme to enable survival to happen?

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#26556 - 06/11/08 01:41 AM Re: What Would We Choose To Do If... [Re: Revlgking]
redewenur Offline
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Originally Posted By: Revlgking
"The natural process, called evolution has resulted in our physiological acquisition of a biological program for survival..."
RedE says.
Question: Who, or what, started the process?
I admit, it is a trick question. smile

I don't think it's a trick question, Rev. It's a perfectly scientific one, to which a scientist would respond:

"Physics started the process when our universe came into existence".

I anticipate that your next question might be:

"And where did the laws of physics come from?"

To which I reply:

"Sorry, Rev, I don't know!"

If you'll bear with my presumption, I anticipate your reply:

"Do you see what I'm driving at?" grin

Yes, Rev, I understand - - or more exactly, to my understanding, the phenomena of the natural world can be explained by the laws of physics, without reference to the supernatural. Why do those laws of physics exist? Your guess is no doubt as good as mine. But a guess, is a guess.
_________________________
Redshift: - the faster you drive toward a green light, the more likely it is to turn red - Murphy

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#26557 - 06/11/08 01:42 AM Re: What Would We Choose To Do If... [Re: Revlgking]
samwik Offline
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Registered: 10/10/06
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Originally Posted By: Revl.
Originally Posted By: Revlgking
RedE comments"...Evolution has installed in us a program for survival. So, perhaps the response of the foetus will always be 'conscious life' rather than 'oblivion' simply because of its inherited system status."
Good point, RedE. You make it appear that "evolution" is a kind of god.


Originally Posted By: Revlgking
"The natural process, called evolution has resulted in our physiological acquisition of a biological program for survival..."
RedE says.
Question: Who, or what, started the process?
I admit, it is a trick question. smile


Revl.,
Aren't you missing a great opportunity here to focus on the "creativity process" (ala Stuart Kauffman), instead of the more tricky aspects.
smile
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#26558 - 06/11/08 02:35 AM Re: What Would We Choose To Do If... [Re: Ellis]
redewenur Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ellis
Rede- Could it be that even a slime mould has a physiological programme for survival-- as evidenced by the fact it has survived? And the process (of evolution) is the determinator of the biological programme to enable survival to happen?

Exactly as you say - even slime mould...as evidenced by the fact that it has survived. The natural process is incredibly simple, i.e., if a system (individual organism) can survive in it's environment, it will. If it can't, it won't. Those traits which most favour survival are, therefore, most likely to be passed on to the next generation. The survival information, existing in the DNA, is passed on. The information determines the characteristics of the organism, and can therefore be regarded as a program. Specifically, a program for survival.

Here's an exceptional example in which the DNA 'program' of a strain of E. coli bacterium has undergone modifications - i.e., it has evolved to utilise citrate as a nutrient, therefore enhancing its survival potential.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14094-bacteria-make-major-evolutionary
_________________________
Redshift: - the faster you drive toward a green light, the more likely it is to turn red - Murphy

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#26565 - 06/11/08 11:09 AM Re: What Would We Choose To Do If... [Re: samwik]
Revlgking Online   content
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Sam asks me:
Originally Posted By: samwik
Aren't you missing a great opportunity here to focus on the "creativity process" (ala Stuart Kauffman).
OK, I will focus on what Kauffman says in Reinventing The Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason, and Religion.
Quote:
According to Kauffman, who is also a theoretical biologist, the universe is so beautifully complex, incredible, and full of wonder, that we might consider thinking of it as "God." He summarizes his argument in the current New Scientist. From Kauffman's essay:

...The unfolding of the universe - biotic, and perhaps abiotic too - appears to be partially beyond natural law. In its place is a ceaseless creativity, with no supernatural creator. If, as a result of this creativity, we cannot know what will happen, then reason, the Enlightenment's highest human virtue, is an insufficient guide to living our lives. We must use reason, emotion, intuition, all that our evolution has brought us. But that means understanding our full humanity: we need Einstein and Shakespeare in the same room.

Shall we use the "God" word? We do not have to, yet it is still our most powerful invented symbol. Our sense of God has evolved from Yahweh in the desert some 4500 years ago, a jealous, law-giving warrior God, to the God of love that Jesus taught. How many versions have people worshipped in the past 100,000 years?

Yet what is more awesome: to believe that God created everything in six days, or to believe that the biosphere came into being on its own, with no creator, and partially lawlessly? I find the latter proposition so stunning, so worthy of awe and respect, that I am happy to accept this natural creativity in the universe as a reinvention of "God".

http://www.boingboing.net/2008/05/12/stuart-kauffman-call.html


Edited by Revlgking (06/11/08 11:11 AM)
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#26566 - 06/11/08 11:30 AM Re: What Would We Choose To Do If... [Re: Revlgking]
Revlgking Online   content
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RedE Asks: Why do those laws of physics exist? Your guess is no doubt as good as mine. But a guess, is a guess. RedE, in addition to physics, we could ask the same question about all the sciences, the philosophies and the arts.

Note what Kauffman says: "The unfolding of the universe - biotic, and perhaps abiotic too - appears to be partially beyond natural law." Beyond natural law. Hmmmmm! Is this the same as saying "supernatural"? Almost.

My guess, and my opinion, is: What we call the "supernatural" is not something which exists separate and apart from us. It is just beyond us, for now. The time will come when we will accept it as part of the natural. What Kauffman thinks of as "God", I think of as GD. I do this to get beyond the limitations of theism and a personal god up, or out, there.

I feel that all humane and creative human beings are one with the GD process.


Edited by Revlgking (06/11/08 11:32 AM)
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#26567 - 06/11/08 11:34 AM Re: What Would We Choose To Do If... [Re: Revlgking]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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"Is this the same as saying "supernatural"? Almost."
Nope. But I had the advantage of him hearing him speak and describe what he means in some detail. What he means is that the laws are so complicated that they may be beyond description.

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#26568 - 06/11/08 01:19 PM Re: What Would We Choose To Do If... [Re: Revlgking]
redewenur Offline
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Originally Posted By: Revlgking
RedE Asks: Why do those laws of physics exist? Your guess is no doubt as good as mine. But a guess, is a guess. RedE, in addition to physics, we could ask the same question about all the sciences, the philosophies and the arts.

Rev, it would be meaningless to ask that question about sciences: all science rests upon the laws of physics, as it is they that determine the kind of universe this is - what phenomema can and cannot occur and, therefore, what can and cannot exist. All that exists in the universe, therefore, evolved and emerged as a result of those laws of physics. They, and they alone, were sufficient to transform the energy of the Big Bang into the place we now call the universe, with its consciousness and intelligence and the resulting philosophies and arts.
_________________________
Redshift: - the faster you drive toward a green light, the more likely it is to turn red - Murphy

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#26569 - 06/11/08 02:17 PM Re: What Would We Choose To Do If... [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
Revlgking Online   content
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Originally Posted By: TheFallibleFiend
... What he means is that the laws are so complicated that they may be beyond description.
The old "semantics" problem. I think of the supernatural as being beyond description.
IMO, as long as we agree to be humane and act according to the Golden Rule, the fine points of beliefs do not matter.
======================================================
BTW, for me, choice and belief go together. I usually choose to act on what I believe in, have some control over, and have hope will happen.

Read my first post. Keep in mind: I was born into a family of the working poor living under third-world conditions. As I matured, I found myself in a time and place filled with dangerous and tough circumstances, including war.

Looking back, I assume I chose to be born, not because a God determined what would happen, but because I was assured by a spiritual guide--one who made the journey before me:

"There is always hope for the future. And at all times, you will be in control of making your future. If you make loving, moral and ethical choices, you will make for a better future."
For me, this is how it has turned out. Looking forward to the new birth we call death, again I will choose life.

Atheists, think of your own future: You are now in the womb of life waiting to be, or not to be, born into the next.

IMO, no God will determine things for you, you will get what you choose. If you believe that there is no such a thing as a new chance at life, are you not choosing oblivion?

This means you are saying: "For me the future is without hope and control, on my part. Therefore, I choose not to act on the idea that there could be more life, and life for the better."

IMO, one does not have to believe in gods, or a God, in order to choose and believe in life.
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#26571 - 06/11/08 03:43 PM Re: What Would We Choose To Do If... [Re: Revlgking]
Revlgking Online   content
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RedE, is physics the god of the sciences? smile

BTW, I put the null, , in GD. I put it there to represent all the math involved in physics.
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#26572 - 06/11/08 04:04 PM Re: What Would We Choose To Do If... [Re: Revlgking]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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" If you believe that there is no such a thing as a new chance at life, are you not choosing oblivion? "

There is no logical reason to expect this. It could just as well be that one gets exactly the opposite of what one believes. Anything is possible when logic and evidence are irrelevant.

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#26577 - 06/11/08 06:51 PM Re: What Would We Choose To Do If... [Re: Revlgking]
redewenur Offline
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Originally Posted By: Revlgking
RedE, is physics the god of the sciences? smile

Dear me, Rev, you do have an apt sense of humour grin

Physics doesn't have to be endowed with divinity in order to be universally (!) useful.

All the incredible complexities that scientists study, though they be most often gross phenomena not studied by physicists, are nonetheless various manifestations of energy (and mass, which Einstein showed to be the same thing) - and physics is the direct study of energy. Such has been the pace of scientific advancement that scientists of various disciplines are now finding it necessary to acquire a deeper knowledge of physics in order to understand the processes which they study. All things are governed by the laws of physics, and cannot be completely understood without knowledge of those laws.
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