Over on my "Nature is real, religion is illusion" post, today Phil asked a good question in a comment:
I've been pondering along some similar lines recently, so was primed to offer up some answers. But first, the question needs quite a bit of work -- as others already have noted in their own comment responses.
"God" is a meaningless word without a lot of elaboration.
To Spinoza, nature is God. To Plotinus, oneness is God. To Christians, God is a person (or people). To Hindus, God is universal consciousness (maybe...it's tough to pin down Hinduism).
So any proof that God existed would need to be highly specific if it was going to change the way I live my life.
I'd want to know such things as whether God was formless or had a form, whether God was conscious of us humans or unaware of our existence, whether God had any power to affect the universe or left everything alone, whether God has any relationship with us after we die or if death is the end of our existence -- to name but a few "what is God like?" queries.
Once I knew these things, I'd be able to decide whether God should have any effect on how I live.
This is an important point: it's up to us what meaning, if any, God would have (assuming we've gotten the persuasive proof of God's existence that Phil spoke about).
After all, there are plenty of important things that exist right here on Earth that don't have any impact on the meaning I ascribe to my life. Or at least, very little impact.
For example, I'm aware that Mt. Everest exists. But I have zero interest in climbing it. I know that Paris is a city in France. But I don't really care if I ever visit it. Other people, though, are deeply interested in climbing Mt. Everest and/or visiting Paris.
Meaning doesn't reside in an object or person, but in our reaction to, or relationship with, that entity.
Thus depending on what sort of God divinity turned out to be, I might be attracted, repelled, or indifferent to him/her/it. He/she/it might make a big difference in how I live my life, a small difference, or no difference at all.
Since I have more than a minor interest in what, if anything, will happen to me after I die (nothing being the most likely answer, since that is what I'll likely be myself), if I knew that God would reward or punish me in an afterlife based on what I did in this life, for sure I could be persuaded to act in different ways depending on what was in it for me.
Ideally, of course, I'd get proof that God just adores people who are devoted to inquiring into the nature of existence via a churchless blog, and will reward them (namely, ME) with hot sex, pleasurable drugs, fawning acolytes, an endless supply of high tech gadgets, and flawless health/good looks.
Getting all that after death would be cool. Getting it now also, even better (God, are you listening?).
However, the chances are slim that anyone, including me, ever will have proof (1) that God exists, or (2) what God is like or might want of us. Thus Phil's question isn't one that needs to be taken very seriously.
Regarding the second part of his query, what difference would it make if we knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God did not exist, I have even more trouble coming to grips with this possibility.
Because it doesn't seem to be possible.
As I'm fond of saying, and am about to say again, there's no way to prove that something doesn't exist. (Including, of course, irrefutable proof that what I just said is correct). It could always show up unexpectedly, appear out of the blue, manifest in a surprising fashion.
So I have zero expectation of getting proof of God's non-existence. And next-to-zero expectation of getting proof of God's existence.
All told, then, God has extremely little potential effect on my life.
Which is as it should be. Because my meaning comes from me, not God, just as your meaning comes from you.
I never understand this literalist concern about 'God'. I have seen it at many forums. The latest one being at Richard Dawkins forum. Ie., in its Religion slot you have debates going on ad nauseuam infinitim about 'God'........All safely in the literalist mode of 'exploration'
IF, errr 'God' forbid you really wanna get down about the rel meaning or mythology and how it is connected with actual direct experience with aid from sacred and psychedelic vegetaion, you either become (well ARE) invisible--members continuuing their dull little dialogues over you text as though you haven't spoilt their 'party'-and/or your question if in form 9of a thread gets put in their 'Debunking Woo' forum. Ie., it is not even fit to be in their 'religious' category
But to rather see that this whole question of 'God' is besides the point. That reality goes much deeper. Rather explore GODDESS, because with that myth matter IS her body. There is not some abstract hovering transcedent 'thing' over nature. Nature itSELF is sacred!
Posted by: Mu | June 26, 2009 at 04:37 AM
Interesting question. Well if I found out for sure that the fundamentalist Christians were right and there was a heaven and hell and I would go to hell forever if I didn't say certain words, have certain attitudes, yes, it would change my life. Eternal hell has zero appeal to me and I would do what I could to make sure I wasn't going there. That might not be enough if my attitude inside was still not okay with that fundamentalist god but I'd try. If I knew it was truth, I would try to live as was required.
Any other concept of god would enable me to live exactly as I do today, which is still to live truth as best I can figure it out, and I would not change anything.
If it was a god who had some other religion, I guess I'd do what I could to fit into it-- IF I knew god existed for certain and, a big and, I knew what god wanted.
A god who kept hands off our lives, (which is what I tend to believe when I think about it at all which I have done again recently), or who doesn't even notice what we do because the creator is not a personality as such (another possibility that seems plausible to me), certainty of that kind of god would keep me living as I do.
Posted by: Rain | June 26, 2009 at 07:05 AM
Right on, brother Brian!!
Posted by: The Rambling Taoist | June 26, 2009 at 09:54 AM
What if one were to think of god as some sort of ultimate judge who keeps a ledger of every person's good and bad deeds on earth, tallies them up at the end and gives that person their just desserts.
In other words their might be reward for those who endure a life of suffering AND/OR payback for those who've inflicted pain on others. Karma as it were.
If there were proof of such a good, reckon sinners would repent quicksmart and shit themselves in the process, i know i would.
But i cant believe such a fair god would base his judgements on whether we were to worship (believe) or not, instead surely such a god would judge us on our behaviour to our fellow man.
Posted by: George | June 26, 2009 at 11:28 AM
Robert Paul Howard
Posted by: Robert Paul Howard | June 27, 2009 at 06:05 AM
Brian is correct, the question demands definition of the term "God" otherwise it is meaningless. In the Nature is real post, I provided a tentative concept of God and it was this definition that I implied in my question that forms the subject of this post (thanks Brian).
One of the immediate problems with defining God is that if we accept that the concept of God is non-physical, then the words we mostly use relate either to the physical world, or to our experience. As such, if we have no known experience of God, we simply do not have the vocabulary to define God. But --
If we observe that we as individuals have both physical form and awareness of ourselves and our environment, and then if we define consciousness as being that property of awareness, that another physical form that has a level of awareness is said to possess consciousness, and we then posit that consciousness is not a property of the physical, then for purposes of this question, we can then define God as pure consciousness without physical form.
The purpose of this question was to shift the focus away from does God exist to What if one day we are able to prove beyond doubt that God exists, would we change our lives?
The definition springs from my other question, focused on the 'does God exist?' question, which was, 'which came first, consciousness or matter/energy?'
If for purposes of this question, we accept my definition that God is pure consciousness (OK - I accept that we do not know what consciousness is, only the experience of having consciousness) then would we change our current lives?
This definition implies that God and the essence of the core of our awareness are intimately the same essence - consciousness, that God is all powerful, in that consciousness created the universe, so we somewhere have that resource at our disposal, and that we are all intimately connected, being effectively of the same stuff, and, that God knows everything we do.
Granted, this does not automatically follow, but it is a small step of acceptance from the definition, if it could be proven.
Hope this is sufficiently clear, because it implies that Brians comment to my question that forms this post has missed the mark I intended.
Posted by: Phil | June 27, 2009 at 10:20 AM
Phil, you make a big leap in going from "God is pure consciousness" to "God is all powerful" and "God knows everything we do."
Consciousness could simply be awareness, with no power, no knowing (because it is the knower, not the known).
How much power and omniscience does your consciousness have? Zero. So why do you think more of the same would be any different?
I mean, human pure consciousness (assuming it exists, and there is no evidence that it does -- apart from the physical brain) can do absolutely nothing. Even material consciousness can do nothing.
Try digging a hole with pure consciousness. Try driving a car with pure consciousness. Try surfing the Internet with pure consciousness. Can't be done.
So how is God going to create a universe with pure consciousness, or know everything we do with pure consciousness?
Unless there is some causal explanation of this, thoughts like those you shared fall in the category of abstract speculation. Interesting, but only as persuasive as any other blind belief or religious dogma. Possibility isn't reality.
Posted by: Brian | June 27, 2009 at 10:27 AM
Its a big leap but a justifiable one if consciousness originated material universe rather than material universe originates consciousness. Let me answer your question about how much power my consciousness has and, using your example of digging a hole, I usually observe that it is my consciousness that drives my body to dig a hole, and rarely, if ever, has my consciousness stood by helplessly as my body digs a hole.
With the awareness attributed to consciousness comes the power to reason, and it is the combined effect of reason, logic, thought and awareness that my consciousness commands my body to dig. Perhaps I am alone in this phenomena, but, I only need to focus my awareness on say, the end of my big toe, and I start to become aware of the shoe in which it sits.
It is my consciousness that focuses its attention on lifting my arm, and, guess what, it lifts, it can even lift a spade and dig a hole, not of its own accord, but on demand of my consciousness. I hear that dead and unconscious bodies have trouble in this respect.
I propose, only as a theory to discuss and test, that if we accept that as living beings, we possess consciousness, then it must have come from somewhere. If so, it either evolved from matter, as some advanced material product of evolution, or it is non material, and as such, then it may have pre existed the material world.
I propose there is a case for the non physical, in that science to date has not proven that all that exists is only physical (matter/energy) I suggest that to date, science has only theories about consciousness, although we do have considerable new data that correlates thoughts, awareness and mental process with the brain.
That consciousness and brain are interconnected is clear, but so is a computer and its software, a car and its driver, and so on. While I am very far from any conclusion as to what consciousness may be, or if consciousness is a purely physical phenomena, I have yet to find any evidence that stands up to scrutiny for either side.
You ask how God is going to create a universe with pure consciousness, and I respond by saying we do not know what is God, nor what is consciousness, but, I suspect we think of consciousness in terms of our personal experience, ie, that Will that drives our physical bodies, and in so doing, we have collectively achieved so much (putting man on the moon for example) and we could only imagine what our consciousness could do if it were not so terribly restricted by physical body and other constraints.
Surely, if the restricted consciousness we experience daily as ourselves and still feel we have Free Will, could be pure unrestricted consciousness, the power we could wiled is unimaginable. Imagine we have real free will, that we could will ourselves to float and defy gravity, we could achieve so much with this simple power of thought. Pure consciousness would be unlimited.
Posted by: Phil | June 27, 2009 at 12:25 PM
Phil, I'm glad I brought up the hole-digging example, because now I understand where your confusion arises. Hope that doesn't sound judgmental, but there's no other way to say it.
Your consciousness is physical, Phil. So is your body. Your body is controlling your body. That is, your brain is telling the rest of your body what to do. The situation is more complicated than that, of course, because feedback loops are operating.
What ypu're doing is starting with an unsupported premise -- consciousness is non-physical -- and then stacking all sorts of arguments on top of that flimsy foundation.
Rumi said, in so many words, "We can't life in 'If.'" You're starting with a big "If" -- if consciousness isn't physical -- rather than directly experienced reality.
You're free to do that. But now you're in the realm of speculation, which is where religion likes to dwell. I prefer directly experienced reality. And like I've been saying, no one ever has had the experience of being conscious without a body -- at least, no one alive as a human being.
Posted by: Brian | June 27, 2009 at 12:31 PM
I am well aware that my starting point is a premise, however, until this last post of yours, I have always considered it a valid premise in that there lacks direct evidence to the contrary. I am currently under the impression that consciousness has not been proven to be a state of evolutionary development of matter, yet, apparently, I have missed this crucial understanding.
It would solve a great many questions for me if you would point me to this work, I would then be able to accept your statement that my consciousness is physical.
Up until you made this statement, I had been under the impression that the possibility that consciousness was not physical was a possibility. Sure, I have read the many works about consciousness and brain activity, but the factual conclusion beyond reasonable doubt that consciousness is a purely physical phenomena - this I have missed, so please do send me a link to relevant work.
Posted by: phil Risby | June 27, 2009 at 03:00 PM
"Since I have more than a minor interest in what, if anything, will happen to me after I die (nothing being the most likely answer, since that is what I'll likely be myself), if I knew that God would reward or punish me in an afterlife based on what I did in this life, for sure I could be persuaded to act in different ways depending on what was in it for me."
Much of the world is so convinced. But many who believe in God are convinced because of their own experience. But you can't test that experience. The belief that God is One and God is Within is simply that God is experienced not as a separate, testable entity, but as a part of ourselves we rarely experience - the part that prompts us to do the right thing when it is most costly; the part that says "give to others" when we are in greatest need and want to take for ourselves; the part that says "forgive" when another part wants to exact payment. If that is personified as God for some, then who can judge the intimacy of that experience? It can't be tested by definition, since it is experienced as perhaps the one inseparable experience - as intimacy with a mighty love, not as a separate dissect-able entity. That makes all descriptions of God metaphor at best.
Perhaps you may find something more tangible following that higher (more blissful, more loving) experience; or associating with those who value it enough to believe it must be real - certainly more important than the petty things people occupy themselves with in this world which lead to arguments, efforts to control resources and people, and those to violence.
That is the problem with religion. If God really is infinite, there is no limit to God's expression. If God is within, no church can bind that God. And, whether belief or "real", if you experience that "God" as all powerful, you may yourself feel confident to do what is best, not for yourself, but to nurture that intangible love within yourself.
You also wrote that it is not God who gives us meaning, but you and I who create our own meaning. That is, from both a mystic and an atheists perspective, entirely false.
You can certainly test that statement and you can see observing others who claim to act on their own that they are acting on their conditioning. As Nietsche wrote (and I paraphrase...;))"We think we move, but we are being moved."
Since you are a construction of physical, biochemical, electrostatic, and behavioral conditioning not of your design, you are not free to create your own meaning. At best you carry out with the least possible resistance the purpose you find in yourself.
Since you did not invent or create yourself, you cannot take credit for the thoughts and urgings that arise within you, nor even what your brain chooses to do with them. You can at best attribute it to some quality that you may have discovered, or loved and nurtured within yourself. But you cannot rationally claim to be its author after just having admitted that "you" are a construction which "you" yourself are not entirely versed in (science is still discovering) or consciously aware of.
Posted by: Spence Tepper | June 27, 2009 at 04:54 PM
It looks like there are a lot of interesting ideas about consciousness on the web. I found this series (Shulgin, Churchland, Flatow, and Koch) about Consciousness interesting. The whole thing can be found at the mit web site but I've not liked their video interface.
Posted by: Jayme | June 27, 2009 at 06:54 PM
Phil, science isn't out to show that consciousness can't be metaphysical, because negatives can't be proven. Rather, consciousness research by scientists has shown that physical explanations do a much better job than non-physical explanations.
As I've noted before, there is a wealth of research, which fits with everyday experience, that consciousness and the brain are deeply and intimately connected. Witness anesthesia, being hit on the head, and such.
There is essentially zero corresponding research demonstrating linkages between non-material reality and consciousness (I'd say "zero," but it's always possible that there is some evidence I'm not aware of -- though one would think this would be front page news.
I'd suggest you read David Lane's interesting piece on this subject, "Is Consciousness Physical?"
I read it over quickly just now, but want to read it more closely. David, who has a lot of experience with mysticism and meditation, does a good job of analyzing the current state of knowledge in this area. Pay particular attention to this quote:
Perhaps the most recalcitrant issue in consciousness is that it provides us with a keen sense of dissociation and therefore its very intangibility appears resistant to a merely physical explanation. Awareness doesn't feel "bodily," except of course on those occasions when we have a toothache, a headache, or any other "associative" ailment tied with our body. How can something so ethereal be the result of something so material?
But this is precisely why our own experiences should not be the sole criterion for appraising how consciousness arises. My experience every morning tells me that the sun rises at dawn but as we now know my inference about the sun is mistaken. The sun doesn't "rise". Rather, our planet earth rotates and this rotation is what causes the impression of a "rising" sun. Yes, my experience may tell me otherwise, but in order for me to have a richer and larger understanding of how the sun and the earth actually operate I have to go beyond my own limited experiences and appeal to measurements which contravene what I think I already know.
Likewise, whatever certainty I have that consciousness must be non-physical has to be tempered with the very simple rejoinder that my experience may indeed be both illusory and wrong. The latest studies in neuroscience have come up with some startling insights into how easily we deceive ourselves when it comes to visual perceptions. Neuroscience has also come up with some startling conclusions about why we have self awareness and how mirror neurons may have evolved to provide us with a dual function.
Posted by: Brian | June 27, 2009 at 07:36 PM
If your so-called starting point is merely a premise, and more importantly it is a premise of yours only because you believe"there lacks direct evidence to the contrary", then that is faulty thinking and reasoning. The burden of proof here, is all upon you, not otherwise.
It is totally bogus to say that consciousness precedes and is entirely independent of the brain, when all of the evidence says that consciousness is a product of the brain (ie: physical), and no there is no evidence to indicate otherwise. So the basis of your argument is simply ridiculous. The evidence here is all on the side of the brain, and not on the side of some mere conjecture.
I mean are you capable of any intellectuall rigor at all? Just because you speculate and posit some supposed "premise", does not mean that your spcualtion is fact. In other words, where is YOUR evidence? Just because you "say" so? Come on dude, you're going to have to come up with something besides fantasy, fiction, and myth.
This is the problem with guys like you... you cannot discern or differentiate facts from fiction, reality from fantasy. Its all just blind belief based upon speculation with you.
This issue - your unsupported "premise", should have been already settled. If you say that consciousness is independent of the brain, then where is the proof, the evidence? The burden of proof is upon you to show.
There is more than ample evidence that consciousness is of the brain, but there is as yet NO evidence to the contrary. So if you have some evidence, then please show it... otherwise quit claiming that consciousness is independent of the brain.
Consciousness may even be independent of the brain, but, if you cannot show any sort of evidence to support that claim, then at this point it is still only mere speculation.
You can theorize all you want, but unless you can show some clear evidence, then all you are doing is speculating and philosophizing.... which is basically what your beliefs and your supposed mysticsim is really all about, and nothing more than that.
Posted by: +Ao | June 27, 2009 at 08:30 PM
"many who believe in God are convinced because of their own experience. But you can't test that experience. The belief that God is..."
-- That IS the point Spence. It is is merely a BELIEF. And just because you say "their own experience", well that does not prove anything. I can say (and expereincer) all sorts of things too. But it doesn't make it a reality.
"If that is personified as God for some, then who can judge the intimacy of that experience?"
-- But it is JUST an experience, a personal experience. It is not a reality that is outside of the mind. It is not an objectivly substantiated phenomena.
"That makes all descriptions of God metaphor at best."
-- But this so-called "God" is still no more real than a dream. It cannot be shown to others or seen by others. It is only in the mind of the dreamer. And thats the point.
"more important than the petty things people occupy themselves with in this world"
-- Just as "beauty is in the eye of the beholder", so too are the supposed "petty things" of "this world". You just don't see that those "petty things" of this world are really the jewels of reality.
"If God really is infinite, there is no limit to God's expression. If God is within, no church can bind that God."
-- This is all entirely predicated upon aome supposed "God"... who/which is nowhere to be found.
"if you experience that "God" as all powerful, you may yourself feel confident to do what is best"
-- Oh that's so nice and re-assuring... and btw, because of religion, some other people "feel confident to" blow other innocent people into bits, or to cut their heads off while they are alive... are they doing "what is best" too? Wake up and understand: Religion sucks. And people like you, who promote religion, suck too.
Brian wrote that it is not God who gives us meaning, but you and I who create our own meaning. But you say: "That is, from both a mystic and an atheists perspective, entirely false. [...] you are not free to create your own meaning."
-- You are so terribly lost Spence. I strongly suggest and urge you to go read the classic "Mans Search for Meaning", by Dr. Viktor Frankl. It will enlighten you.
"Since you did not invent or create yourself"
-- And how do you know that for sure?
Posted by: +Ao | June 27, 2009 at 09:05 PM
Progress in science is often made by forming and offering an unsupported yet intelligently formed premise and then testing it against the available evidence. It takes either the invincibly arrogant or totally non inquisitive to simply accept the current state of all science as being correct.
Anyone who has truly studied science to its roots will find a richness of contradictions and paradoxes, those who just believe in the correctness of the underpinnings of science and maths have built their world on just pure faith and blind belief.
I suggest that it is your response that appears to suggest that much is now known and accepted as fact, indisputably true.
Consider whether the universe is contingent or incontingent? What do you believe or accept as factual?
Classical science regarded the physical universe as incontingent, as self-contained and self-explanatory. An incontingent world view regards the universe as having a necessary structure, as being uniquely determined by just the requirement of self-consistency. All phenomena in principle could be deduced from its system of basic laws.
An incontingent universe must, therefore, be necessarily infinite in duration and extent. Otherwise, the questions as to what came before and what lies beyond have no answer within that incontingent universe itself.
But, modern science has returned to a more contingent world view of the universe. A contingent universe does not contain within itself a sufficient explanation of itself, and so cannot be understood simply by logic and reasoning.
Modern science regards its theories more provisionally than did classical science. No matter how true the known data, any scientific theory is considered as tentative, as a limited case of a wider reality yet to be discovered.
All theories are therefore provisional, because the universe cannot be understood out of itself, (Godel's incompleteness theorem) and depends upon an explanation beyond itself. In other words, the contingence of scientific theories arises from the contingence of the universe itself.
Since the existence of the universe depends upon a reality beyond it, no scientific theory, which is of course formed only in terms taken from within the universe itself, can finally explain everything in that universe.
A study of Cantors transfinite numbers supports this view. The contingence of scientific theories arises out of the actual state of the universe itself. The mathematical entities Cantor studied, which existed apart from any mathematical system, were themselves grounded in a reality beyond this universe. The transfinites are fraught with paradoxes that the finite mind may never understand, yet they exist.
Our consciousness is able to grasp at transfinite numbers that can be shown to be rooted outside of the universe, yet it is claimed here on this blog that it is now known that consciousness arises purely out of matter, matter from this universe.
Perhaps I have mistaken this blog as a forum for intelligent debate, and not realized that it is more geared for religion bashing with a speciality focus towards RSSB?
Posted by: Phil | June 28, 2009 at 09:01 AM
Phil, you're off the mark. People, including me, have indeed been trying to engage you in intelligent debate, but you persist in ignoring questions that have been asked of you and instead repeat quasi-religious beliefs without providing any evidence for them.
You have to expect to be challenged if you post provocative "this I believe!" comments on this blog. Fine, you believe something. Now, back up that belief with evidence or at least persuasive arguments. So far, you have failed to do either. Your view of science, for example, isn't at all accurate.
Case in point: in your comment above you say flat out that "the existence of the universe depends upon a reality beyond it," strongly implying that science accepts this.
Huh? Please, support that assertion.
The science books and magazines I read -- and I read quite a few of them -- don't say this. Yes, there is a lot of talk about bubble universes, of eternally recurring big bangs and big crunches, but all of this occurs within materiality, not dependent upon some reality beyond or outside of the physical cosmos.
You seem to have made your mind up on certain subjects that are very much open to question. Instead of admitting "I don't know," you pretend that you do know -- or at least that the answer is much more likely to lie in the direction you favor.
An honest approach is to stick with "I don't know." For example, as we've been discussing the bulk of scientific evidence points to consciousness having a material/physical foundation. However, it is possible that it doesn't. You could be right. But until there is evidence for this, you should say "I don't know."
As noted in the David Lane essay I gave you a link to, and which I hope you read, our subjective experience isn't always a good guide to what is objectively real. We can feel that our consciousness is something ethereal and metaphysical, but we can be mistaken.
Suggestion: engage in intelligent debate rather than calling this blog a place where there is no intelligent debate.
What I see happening is that your arguments are so weak, you don't try to defend them with reason or evidence. So you resort to claiming that the discussion here is flawed, rather than looking at yourself and considering whether your commenting lacks substance.
Posted by: Brian | June 28, 2009 at 09:16 AM
Last night, my wife woke me up screaming. She was experiencing a nightmare, and once I calmed her down, she realized she had been frightened, but could recollect nothing of what it was she had dreamt.
Here is a case of no memory, no physical storage of information of an experience that was clearly disturbing.
Dreams are an experience that is undergone by our consciousness, and this event demonstrates that it is possible for our consciousness to experience and then have zero memory. Next morning, she remembered only that she had been awake and discussed a bad dream with me, but she could not remember the dream, what scared, or even that much of being awake.
Memory is physical, it exists in the brain, we even know which part of the brain stores short term and long term memories. But what of the dream?
It would be a huge step forward to be able to state with certainty that all that exists is purely physical, ie, our consciousness is purely physical, such a statement implies that it can be shown that consciousness is result of evolutionary development of matter, and so we finally will have an understanding of life, and so also death.
If this is the case, there is no afterlife, and death would be oblivion for the individual consciousness.
Imagine an advanced society that has finally come to grips with this fact. Such a society would look back at its primitive days when its members believed in God, and spirit and soul. Such a society would have absolute knowledge that life, consciousness and spirit were aspects of same evolved matter, that death was termination of conscious state of matter.
Such an advanced society would not have place for the sick the elderly, the infirm, for such lumps of matter would burden such a society - clearly not in that advanced societies best interest. Compassion and caring would be considered part of the old ways, the new understanding that death is oblivion, no pain, no fear, no real loss, would imply that murder would be punished only in terms of the value that the loss of that consciousness may bring to society.
Such a society may look back with a sense of nostalgia at the emotional state of its primitive days, when people spoke of love, God, caring for others, and the higher good represented by the continued development of that physical state known as awareness was sacrificed over such stupid and non beneficial acts as kindness and caring towards children and elderly.
Roll on enlightenment.
Posted by: Phil | June 28, 2009 at 09:44 AM
Phil, your ideas are getting even stranger and more unbelievable. Are you actually suggesting that dreams are non-physical because often they can't be remembered?
Are you aware that neuroscience has shown that much, if not most, of what the brain experiences isn't part of our conscious awareness? Not being aware of something that exists doesn't mean that thing is non-physical. It just means that we're not consciously aware of it. The brain/mind selectively focuses on certain aspects of mental and sensory functioning. Otherwise we'd be overwhelmed with "buzzing, blooming confusion."
Also, the argument that materialists/atheists are less moral than believers has been thoroughly discredited by both research and common sense. Do you really consider that societies where belief in God and the afterlife is low, like Sweden and Denmark, are less moral than believing countries such as the United States? Crime rates argue otherwise.
Evolutionary psychology offers excellent explanations for altruism and such. We are moral animals. Getting along with others offers survival advantages. It also makes us feel good about ourselves. You sound like a Christian fundamentalist, who rarely make sense, when you conjure up an image of a non-God-fearing culture that acts horribly.
I know many atheists who are wonderful, caring people. In fact, in my experience atheists are nicer people than believers are, because they are more humble and less dogmatic. So as is the case with your other comments, here again you've made an assertion with neither evidence nor common sense to back it up.
Posted by: Brian | June 28, 2009 at 09:54 AM
You quoted me:
"Since you did not invent or create yourself"
And then you responded
"-- And how do you know that for sure?"
All the scientific evidence there is shows you were born, and the product of things entirely outside your limited "control".
Assertions of self-direction, self-determination, self-made meaning are as imaginary, as religious as any priesthood.
I love what Viktor Frankl wrote for precisely the reasons you take exception to what I wrote - he posited a belief in the "self" that could not be proven, could not be destroyed or assailed regardless of the deprivations and degradations forced upon him and others.
If you tried to test Frankl's beliefs, you would not be able to prove them. All the social sciences have disproven them: We are creatures of chemistry, culture and conditioning.
You are entitled to your beliefs. But it is dangerous to call them facts when they aren't.
"because of religion, some other people "feel confident to" blow other innocent people into bits, or to cut their heads off while they are alive... are they doing "what is best" too? Wake up and understand: Religion sucks. And people like you, who promote religion, suck too."
Wars, crimes against humanity, and acts of violence occur principally when people adopt one of two beliefs:
1. They are convinced they have the right of God to impose their will upon you.
2. They are convinced there is no God so they can do whatever they like to you.
Both are dangerous to humanity. If you ignore either one, you become a shelter for that form of cruelty.
Posted by: Spence Tepper | June 28, 2009 at 04:19 PM
"All the scientific evidence there is shows you were born, and the product of things entirely outside your limited "control"."
-- Not qite so fast there Spence. Lets be a bit more precise. You said: "you were born". But it's the BODY that was born, and the BODY which is "the product of things" outside of one's "limited control". So is the body this "you"?
"Assertions of self-direction, self-determination, self-made meaning are as imaginary, as religious as any priesthood."
-- Again, hold on there... I made no references to "self-direction, self-determination" or to "self-made meaning".
"I love what Viktor Frankl wrote for precisely the reasons you take exception to what I wrote - he posited a belief in the "self" that could not be proven"
-- Frankl's book was all about MEANING, and the meaning of meaning. You are the one who is assuming that "he posited a belief in the self". For Frankl, it was this MEANING that "could not be destroyed or assailed regardless of the deprivations and degradations forced upon him", and not your so-called "self".
"If you tried to test Frankl's beliefs"
-- And what, in your opinion, were Frankl's "beliefs"?
"We are creatures of chemistry, culture and conditioning."
-- And are these your beliefs?
"You are entitled to your beliefs."
-- You assume that I have certain "beliefs".
So what exactly are these beliefs that you think I have?
"it is dangerous to call them facts when they aren't."
-- What supposed "facts" are you referring to?
"Wars, crimes against humanity, and acts of violence occur principally when people adopt one of two beliefs: 1. They are convinced they have the right of God to impose their will upon you. 2. They are convinced there is no God so they can do whatever they like to you. Both are dangerous to humanity. If you ignore either one, you become a shelter for that form of cruelty."
-- Are you assuming that I am ignoring something here? Because it appears that you are making some nfounded assumptions about me.
Posted by: +Ao | June 28, 2009 at 09:37 PM
In response to Brian's first response ---
"Phil, you're off the mark. People, including me, have indeed been trying to engage you in intelligent debate, but you persist in ignoring questions that have been asked of you and instead repeat quasi-religious beliefs without providing any evidence for them."
It seems that blogs really do not work for I feel as if my requests for supportive response to wild claims have been ignored, and you and others feel I ignore similar requests.
I will do my best to answer all the questions that have arisen.
Brian wrote "You have to expect to be challenged if you post provocative "this I believe!" comments on this blog. Fine, you believe something. Now, back up that belief with evidence or at least persuasive arguments. So far, you have failed to do either. Your view of science, for example, isn't at all accurate."
Challenge is great, I am hereby responding to each and every comment, please be kind enough to reciprocate, for I have responded to many comments, but have not seen counter responses. Again I will write this, I am NOT submitting my beliefs, merely a proposition for discussion
Brian wrote "Case in point: in your comment above you say flat out that "the existence of the universe depends upon a reality beyond it," strongly implying that science accepts this.
Huh? Please, support that assertion."
If you read the start of my comment, you will find the following question. Phil wrote "Consider whether the universe is contingent or incontingent? What do you believe or accept as factual?"
This is the question to which the rest of my comment addressed. I first explained a contingent universe, then went on to explain an incontingent universe. You have quoted one line that was part of my description of an incontingent universe.
How can you take this one line of a description that is intended to clarify the original question and somehow distort this into a statement of my belief is beyond me !!!!
Brian wrote " The science books and magazines I read -- and I read quite a few of them -- don't say this. Yes, there is a lot of talk about bubble universes, of eternally recurring big bangs and big crunches, but all of this occurs within materiality, not dependent upon some reality beyond or outside of the physical cosmos."
Much depends upon which science books you read, and to what depth you are prepared to accept what is written. If your religion is science, then I would expect you to believe pretty much whatever is written, without further analysis.
But, as I commented in an earlier response to another post in response to George, to say that the Big Bang theory is now proven requires evidence in some form or other of inflation. I am awaiting George to point me to the work that has been done that conclusively proves inflation.
In anticipation of the response that states that the Big Bang theory may not be perfect, but it is the best fit so far, I say, have the other theories been given a fair consideration?
I have to wonder when you state that Big Bang, Big Crunch and bubble universes all occur within materiality, exactly where in any known or observable materiality does inflation take place? It bears no resemblance to any known or observable material phenomena that I know of, so please enlighten me.
Brian wrote " You seem to have made your mind up on certain subjects that are very much open to question. Instead of admitting "I don't know," you pretend that you do know -- or at least that the answer is much more likely to lie in the direction you favor.
An honest approach is to stick with "I don't know." For example, as we've been discussing the bulk of scientific evidence points to consciousness having a material/physical foundation. However, it is possible that it doesn't. You could be right. But until there is evidence for this, you should say "I don't know."
In one of my earlier and now oft repeated responses, I stated that I do not hold a belief, but that I would like to believe in something. Surely this equates to a statement of not knowing, perhaps even deeper, not only do I not know, but I also do not readily believe.
I readily admit that the implications of a Godless universe are less attractive to an all loving, all caring compassionate God looking over us all, it is not sufficient to want and so justify a belief. If we are purely physical, if consciousness is simply evolved matter, then my questions, my so called unsupported premises, should be easily answered in clear logical responses, evidenced by scientific indisputable fact. This I have yet to see.
Brian wrote " As noted in the David Lane essay I gave you a link to, and which I hope you read, our subjective experience isn't always a good guide to what is objectively real. We can feel that our consciousness is something ethereal and metaphysical, but we can be mistaken."
Thanks for the links, I have read David Lane and acknowledge the content of his work.
I have avoided reference to records of experiences that can be considered subjective. instead I have elected to quote from peer reviewed and scientific accepted works, such as Godel and Cantor.
The point I obviously failed to make about Cantor was that he demonstrated transfinite numbers, he proved the existence of numbers greater than infinity. If our consciousness is nothing more than matter, it is made up of energy and matter from our universe, then even if the universe is infinite in size, how can our consciousness become aware of the implications of numbers so much greater than infinity. This is not subjective hogwash but proven mathematics upon which Godel and others built even more accepted theories.
Consciousness has the power to grasp at the transfinite, it has the capacity to determine that it cannot know about a system while being part of that system. I propose, not as a belief, or as evidence, that the consciousness is not limited to the extent of the physical universe, but can explore outside of the limitations of such a universe, even if that universe is infinite and unbounded. Cantor is but one case in point.
Brian wrote: "Suggestion: engage in intelligent debate rather than calling this blog a place where there is no intelligent debate."
I trust this response would constitute a response, I have taken each of Brians comments and with careful reference to accepted science, I have provided a reply, please someone correct me if this is not intelligent response, and further the value of this blog by answering my comments.
Brian wrote: " What I see happening is that your arguments are so weak, you don't try to defend them with reason or evidence. So you resort to claiming that the discussion here is flawed, rather than looking at yourself and considering whether your commenting lacks substance."
If the responses above are simply too weak to answer, then perhaps my questions could be properly answered instead of making statements such as "the problem with guys like me is..." !!!!!
Posted by: Phil | June 28, 2009 at 10:04 PM
"- What supposed "facts" are you referring to?"
Your statement --
"and btw, because of religion, some other people "feel confident to" blow other innocent people into bits, or to cut their heads off while they are alive... are they doing "what is best" too? Wake up and understand: Religion sucks. And people like you, who promote religion, suck too."
Those are not facts, but your conclusions.
I am not promoting religion. Quite the opposite. I agree with much of what you have written. Take a look again at my earlier posts. I have problems with religion, too. Somehow you missed those comments. Ready, Fire. But you forgot "Aim" again.
A sincere belief in God, spirituality, these are as far from religion as atheism, which has its own nobility.
Anyone who admits they don't know God has my respect. Anyone who pretends they do, or presumes there is no God in both cases takes opinion and belief as fact. That is not reality, +Ao.
To see reality, we must put aside our assumptions. It does not matter if those assumptions are religious dogma or philosophic dogma. Otherwise we are seeing our conclusions, our opinions and not that reality you are promoting. That requires at least one skill: We must be able to see ourselves well enough to say three of the most courageous words ever spoken. Most people hate these words and will never utter them. You think only people in religion hate them. But there are people in all walks of life, claiming to know the "truth" who cannot stomach these three.
They are the words of wise men and women, and the world's greatest leaders have written and spoken them often. Try them on. See if they fit. I use them all the time:
"I don't know."
Feels strange doesn't it? Feels like a loss of personal power, a loss of identity, a loss of security, a loss of meaning. These were all false, illusory, imaginary. But you only get there when you can say it. "I don't know" is the first step to seeing this real world you seem to like. Or is it just your belief at this point?
As Socrates said (as Plato wrote) "This much I know, that I know nothing."
When you know nothing, when you simply believe what you love, then you have no position to impose on anyone, and yet you have found your meaning, your bliss, the rock of your own Truth. And knowing nothing, how can you be angry at anyone?
The best and only important battles are the ones we fight inside - and they are worth fighting. We are all victims of something, but mostly victims of ourselves.
Posted by: Spence Tepper | June 28, 2009 at 10:10 PM
Phil, to be blunt, your responses are indeed too weak to answer. I mean, come on...
You feel that the big bang theory is open to question, which makes you Nobel Prize material if you can back up your skepticism with something more than blind belief.
So please: share your knowledge about why the big bang theory should be considered provisional, rather than fact. This theory is extremely well accepted by virtually every reputable scientist. How is it that you know more that these guys and gals?
I appreciate your willingness to discuss spirituality from a quasi-scientific perspective. But the "quasi" bothers me. You are skeptical about modern science. Well, modern science is skeptical about itself. That's why science is science, not religion.
Scientific theories are continually modified. But only when persuasive evidence comes along. Again, if you have evidence that the big bang theory is wrong, you'll be acclaimed for this momentous discovery. So, share the info with us, and the world.
What I see you doing is taking a sliver of scientific skepticism, and then trying to make a house of religious belief out of it. This isn't proper, and frankly is irritating to those of us who respect and honor science.
Reality has to be defended, along with truth. So if you feel attacked on this blog, please realize that it isn't personal. It's just that when someone says stuff that isn't true, or defensible, that person should expect to be challenged. Which, you have been.
So far, your responses have been weak. That isn't your fault. It's because you're trying to defend indefensible positions. As you noted, all the evidence points to consciousness having a material origin. There is zero solid evidence, so far as I know, that consciousness exists outside of a material body.
Thus you struggle to make us believe that consciousness has a metaphysical foundation. Sure, I'd like to believe this, since it would mean that we might continue to exist after we die. But "like" isn't the best route to reality. Truth is. I prefer my reality real. You seem to prefer that it be whatever you'd like it to be.
Posted by: Brian | June 28, 2009 at 10:17 PM
Spence, for someone who says he knows nothing, you sure seem to have a lot of interest in defending the nothing that you know. Where does your desire to correct other commenters come from, if not from a knowing that you are right and they are wrong?
Posted by: Brian | June 28, 2009 at 10:20 PM
It appears TypeKey wont let me post long replies, this may be why I have been forced to post via yourself. Please post my reply sent to you on Saturday, meanwhile, lets see if this works, its quite frustrating not to be able to post full responses to the many points others have raised.
Posted by: phil Risby | June 28, 2009 at 10:57 PM
You say my comments are too weak to be worthy of a response and you accuse me of scientific skepticism and quasi science, yet proceed to explain that science is by nature skeptical.
You ask me about my lack of blind belief in Big Bang theory, yet have ignored my oft repeated request to point me to the proof that inflation has been shown to be a physical phenomena.
Keeping this short for Typkey
Posted by: phil Risby | June 28, 2009 at 11:04 PM
Its not knowledge about the failure of the Big Bang theory that i lay claim, I am merely questioning your apparent blind faith in the theory, and have repeatedly requested (to you and others) to point me to the work that proves inflation to be a valid physical phenomena, and so can occur.
Its amazing to me that you consider my response as to weak to be bothered with when all I have done is to ask for evidence of the claims you have made
Posted by: phil Risby | June 28, 2009 at 11:07 PM
Brian, In your last paragraph you write "Thus you struggle to make us believe that consciousness has a metaphysical foundation."
Again, I say, I am NOT trying to make you or any other, believe in anything, I am attempting to suggest other possibilities that could explain the observable world around us.
It is clear from this line of yours, that your beliefs are as rooted as any religion, you are simply not open to debate - quite sad.
If any member is interested in open exploration, in genuine spirit of debate, please contact me at [email protected]
Posted by: phil Risby | June 28, 2009 at 11:14 PM
Finally and FYI, it is apparent that if I write more text than fills this box, (ie the scroll bar appears) it will not let me post.
Keep it short, and it posts fine.
Other who have more in keeping contributions may be limited by this strange behaviour, so you may wish to take this up with the hosting company
Posted by: phil Risby | June 28, 2009 at 11:17 PM
In reference to the Big Bang theory, I have in several of my responses, expressed my ignorance that the theory has been proven, as apparently believed by some on this blog, and humbly requested that someone show me the link to where inflation has been demonstrated as a physical phenomena.
Posted by: Phil | June 29, 2009 at 09:48 AM
Phil, as noted before you have a habit of taking a sliver of scientific uncertainty and constructing a whole house of science skepticism out of it. This is intellectually dishonest and, frankly, irritating. You really need to become better informed about science.
Start with the Wikipedia article about the big bang:
You'll find abundant evidence that this theory is true. However, there are many questions about the big bang that remain to be answered. Inflation is a mechanism that has a lot of theoretical appeal, but it hasn't been proven. Yet as this excerpt from the article says, the fact of the big bang stands on its own and isn't dependent on inflation being true:
"On the other hand, inflation and baryogenesis remain speculative features of current Big Bang models: they provide satisfying explanations for important features of the early universe, but could be replaced by alternative ideas without affecting the rest of the theory.[notes 6] Explanations for such phenomena remain at the frontiers of inquiry in physics."
Yes, there always is a frontier in science. You, like creationists, try to claim that because science doesn't know everything about something (big bang, evolution, etc.) it can't be trusted to know anything. Again, this is exceedingly intellectually dishonest, and shows how your beliefs are obstructing your capacity to look at reality clearly.
Posted by: Brian | June 29, 2009 at 09:57 AM
"Wars, crimes against humanity, and acts of violence occur principally when people adopt one of two beliefs: 1. They are convinced they have the right of God to impose their will upon you.2. They are convinced there is no God so they can do whatever they like to you"
---What group, are those that are convinced there is no God? What is the name of this group? Not finding fault with your statement. Just need more info.
Posted by: Roger | June 29, 2009 at 11:24 AM
A counter theory to the Big Bang.
Posted by: Jayme | June 30, 2009 at 12:16 AM
Jayme, it's always wise to check sources. This guy's "Orion Institute for Astrophysics" is a PO Box in Tennessee. Check out his dorky web page:
It appears that anyone can put up a "CERN preprint." Check out the CERN preprint page and read the right hand column. These are papers put up by institutes, even personal ones run by guys in Tennessee, and aren't peer-reviewed or journal articles.
So it's almost certain that this guy is one of the many individuals who believes he knows more than the consensus of science does. That's fine. Maybe he's on to something. But I doubt it.
Regardless, this is how science works: open interchange of information and competing explanations of reality. If this guy's theory makes sense, it will be taken seriously. If not, it won't be.
I subscribe to New Scientist, a weekly. Almost every issue, there's a fairly lengthy article about how someone has a theory at odds with some accepted scientific principle.
And then, that's the last I hear about it. Meaning, scientists always are exploring new knowledge territory. They see some promising signs of truth, but often those tracks don't lead anywhere.
So this is why it's important to appreciate how difficult it is for a theory to be a general consensus of science, like the big bang theory it. That theory has been studied and tested for quite a few decades.
This new competing theory hasn't. It deserves consideration, but not to be taken seriously at the moment -- not in comparison with solid science.
Posted by: Brian | June 30, 2009 at 08:32 AM
I am not promoting religion.
A sincere belief in God, spirituality, these are as far from religion as atheism, which has its own nobility.
Anyone who admits they don't know God [...] Anyone who pretends they do, or presumes there is no God in both cases takes opinion and belief as fact.
-- I said neither of those. I did not "presume there is no God", nor do I claim to "know". So you need to get YOUR FACTS straight and correct Spence.
"To see reality, we must put aside our assumptions. It does not matter if those assumptions are religious dogma or philosophic dogma."
-- Again, I have presented NO such
"philosophic dogma". So WHAT are you talking aboyut Spence? You seem to be living in a bubble of your own mistaken (and deliberately twisted) notions.
"We must be able to see ourselves well enough to say three of the most courageous words ever spoken. Most people hate these words and will never utter them. You think only people in religion hate them. But there are people in all walks of life, claiming to know the "truth" who cannot stomach these three."
Again Spence... I do NOT "claim" to "know the truth". I have not claimed to "know the truth". I don't know who it is that you think you are talking to, but its not myself.
You say: "I don't know."
-- Well thats fine (for you), but you have no right to impose that on anyone else.
"I don't know" is the first step to seeing this real world you seem to like. Or is it just your belief at this point?"
-- Again Spence, I don't know who it is that you think you are talking about, but its not me. What "belief" are you referring to? I have not presented any beliefs. I think you are deeply confused here... or you are confusing me with someone else.
"As Socrates said (as Plato wrote) "This much I know, that I know nothing."
-- Not at all interested in your condescending preachiness Spence. You have got no clue about who I am, or where I am coming from.
"When you know nothing, when you simply believe what you love, then you have no position to impose on anyone, and yet you have found your meaning, your bliss, the rock of your own Truth. [...] The best and only important battles are the ones we fight inside - and they are worth fighting."
-- I'm NOT interested in your preaching and your preachiness. I have my own mind, intelligence, and wisdom, and my experience in life.
You don't know anything about me, so why are you so presumptiously preaching to me? I am simply not interested in your rather trite condescending bullshit. Take it somewhere else.
Posted by: +Ao | June 30, 2009 at 07:20 PM
Always good to check sources.
I subscribed to Scientific American for about 30 years along with a variety of popular and trade magazines. Depending on the editors, the peers, the general cast of authors, these journals seem to wax and wane with the lives of the people who flow through them. From what I can tell, new trade journals or publishing houses spring up when current peer reviewed journals don't provide an outlet to alternative theories or burgeoning new fields of study. I haven't looked into this phenomena much but people do have a desire to make their ideas known. The alternative outlets often come from an ego based frustration or youthful zeal (again ego). Same phenomenon happens in organizations of all types. You probably understand this better than I do.
Anyway, dorky website or not, peer review does help filter a lot of garbage from entering into mainstream consciousness. As you point out, some may find their way into mainstream, but most seem to find niches in the realms of pseudoscience or non-mainstream cult fetishes.
I recognize the value of peer review. That's why I post. Perhaps this isn't the most rigorous place for vetting ideas but it is one form of reality check. When God starts speaking to me I want to be sure other's hear him too :-)
As for the blog topic, I can't claim immunity from a profound "spiritual" life transforming experience. It has profoundly affected the lives of others and I can't claim I'm any different. I've watched friends and family die and this really puts a twist on my perception of reality. It caused me to re-examine Sant Mat and spiritual practice. Were there "proof" of any kind which showed that my perceptions might not be so perfect, I think that belief (not proof) of God's "existence" or "non-existence" has altered my perceptual life immensely over time. I can not imagine what actual "proof" would do to me. I may not appear different but I think I would see the world differently and probably behave accordingly.
Posted by: Jayme | July 01, 2009 at 12:53 AM
i really sometimes do not understand
why people give such egoistic comment
who cares god exist? oh my god..
it means there are no respect for god the creator left...in you all guys..
just cos u cant see the air u wont stop breathing the same way just cos u cant see god u cant stop believing thats wat u call FAITH
Posted by: Account Deleted | July 02, 2009 at 05:31 AM
Manish, in order to respect God, God would have to exist. Where's the evidence for God? Think clearly. Don't just repeat religious dogma.
If God exists, I'm sure She wants us to use the gifts that the Great Goddess has given us: reason, intuition, intelligence, common sense, passionate commitment to truth.
So I'd suggest that perhaps you are the egotistical one, believing that you know more than people who don't beleive -- even though you have no knowledge of what you believe in.
Posted by: Brian | July 02, 2009 at 07:54 AM
Who cares if God exists?
Those who do not believe that God exists, only they care.
Those who believe that God exists, only they do not care.
GOD HELPS THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES.
IF A MAN CARES FOR HIMSELF THROUGH OUT HIS LIFE, HE NEED NOT CARE FOR ANYBODY ELSE. NOT EVEN FOR GOD.
BUT CARING FOR EXISTENCE OF GOD IS A MANIFESTATION OF THE FACT THAT MAN CARES FOR HIMSELF.
IN FACT I ALWAYS SAY THAT LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO ACCOMPLISH ANY TASK FULLY. LIFE BEGINS IN FOLLY AND ENDS IN SMOKE.
Posted by: rakesh bhasin | July 02, 2009 at 08:59 AM
Manish arora said:
"i really sometimes do not understand"
-- Well that's obvious.
"oh my god."
-- Btw Manish, YOUR "god", is not MY god. Are you such a self-righteous ass that you have to impose YOUR "god" upon everyone else?
"there are no respect for god the creator left...in you all guys."
-- Why should I "respect" a fantasy? Why should I "respect" a myth? Why should I "respect" a fiction? If you have proof of this "god" then lets see it. otherwise, don't be telling others to "respect" some supposed "god"... that, according to the total absence of evidence, simply does not exist.
"just cos u cant see the air u wont stop breathing"
-- Wrong. We certainly CAN see the air, and we can also see the effects that it has on other things. But not so with your supposed "god".
"u cant see god"
-- No one can "see god", because there is no "god" there to see.
"thats wat u call FAITH"
-- But "FAITH" in what? In something imaginary? That's what your "FAITH" amounts to.
-- What "GOD"? "GOD" who? "GOD" where? WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE for this supposed "GOD"?
And what the hell does that word "GOD" mean anyway?
rakesh bhasin said:
"Those who do not believe that God exists, only they care."
-- No, YOU are the one who cares... otherwise, you would not care.
"Those who believe that God exists"...
-- ... they believe in an imaginary thing. They believe in fantasies, in myths, in illusions.
"GOD HELPS THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES."
-- No... rather its those who help themselves that don't need an (imaginary) God in the first place.
"CARING FOR EXISTENCE OF GOD IS A MANIFESTATION OF..."
-- Caring about the existence of God is a manifestation of immaturity and ignorance.
"I ALWAYS SAY THAT LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO ACCOMPLISH ANY TASK FULLY."
-- I disagree. Many things can and are accomplished in life. But its quality that matters, not quantity.
"LIFE BEGINS IN FOLLY AND ENDS IN SMOKE."
-- I'd say that life begins in innocence and joy, it passes through struggle and suffering, and it ends in sickness and sorrow.
Posted by: +Ao | July 02, 2009 at 06:37 PM
"I'd say that life begins in innocence and joy, it passes through struggle and suffering, and it ends in sickness and sorrow."
Quite a thought.
Posted by: George | July 03, 2009 at 02:41 AM
Thanks +Ao for your comments,
You said,"-- I'd say that life begins in innocence and joy, it passes through struggle and suffering, and it ends in sickness and sorrow."
It gives a very gloomy picture of life. Please put something from your own lifestyle. May I know that, " Is this the only way you can define."
What I have written is in my faint memory that I have quoted some body whose name I can not recollect.
Hope to hear more from you minus your lovely but meaningful abuses!
Posted by: rakesh bhasin | July 03, 2009 at 08:32 PM
tao i do not understand whats wrong with you always..
i never said anything like my god ur god
i doubt whether you understand your own language called english..
or you need any good tutor...to regain your knowledge in english language
i never said anywhere your god mine god.....
and what u said about life start in joy n innocence...its true because then you not taught or know anything
but when u start using your mind and analyzing struggle and sorrow starts...
and please come out of myth and try to be sensible when replying to the post
u always seems to have your own version of thoughts and concepts
like the nonsense u.g and the meaningless man fakir chand has..
windows operating system is created by microsoft and we all uses it and the creator is bill gates..
now mr smart tao as u think about yourself
tell me who are you?
where you came from?
why have you taken birth somewhere in USA not somewhere else?
why will you die?
when will you die?
where will you go after you die?
where everyone coming from and everyone going?
when everything what we see has creator?
doesnt it make sense that some one created human someone created life
if we have no creator why someone die early
why unexpected diseases
why we dont have anything and control of our life
why tusuami comes ,
why earth quake happens
why nothing is in control..
ok now a most challenging q?
i got a chance to know bit about you and believe you
can you write post all the 5 names you got while initiated?
can u ?
if yes ?
and rakesh ji rs to you...
lots of respect to u
Posted by: Account Deleted | July 03, 2009 at 10:51 PM
You asked from tao
tell me who are you?
where you came from?
why have you taken birth somewhere in USA not somewhere else?
why will you die?
when will you die?
where will you go after you die?
where everyone coming from and everyone going?
when everything what we see has creator?
doesnt it make sense that some one created human someone created life
if we have no creator why someone die early
why unexpected diseases
why we dont have anything and control of our life
why tusuami comes ,
why earth quake happens
why nothing is in control..
nice questions, I don't think anybody else except Babaji has answer to your questions and for that you'll have to go inside.
Posted by: Juan | July 04, 2009 at 02:08 AM
You make some good points, but i wish to discuss some of them.
The randomness and meaninglessness of our brief existence i also find bizarre, but the question i would like most answered is why something rather than nothing?
If no god, why do we exist, and even if we dont exist and there is only illusory form and self, why all these illusions? in other words, why the universe at all?
On the other hand, if god is not knowable and we cant understand him or have proof of god's existence, yet ppl believe in god's existence - then it would seem equally possibly that ppl could believe in a eternal universe that has always existed or an exploding big bang? Neither god nor the alternatives make sense or are understandable or provable or knowable. In the absence of any evidence, it would seem both views hold equal weight.
In fact, we have evidence and know of a universe, which perhaps provide evidence for a universe-only type explanation, but how that came into effect whether by god or by itself remains a mystery.
Regarding your thought on control, why does something need to be in control?
why not mystery?
I thought RS was a mystical tradition, but it seems you want control or knowing, not mystery? Scientists are accused of being arrogant, yet they appear happy with mystery rather than claiming to know truth or god.
Posted by: George | July 04, 2009 at 02:27 AM
george i got your point of view,
but i m always wanted a reasonable reply from tao ..he always give me his own version of concepts and he is like never to agree to anyone else point of view..
and brian still things i know more than anyone else which is not at all
i don't know many things..
but yeah what i can say confirmly and about my connection to RS,there i can affirm and assure that i know better than him by god grace,its not his fault.
its very common yet surprising
everything is not for everyone
but how every one start their own versions and concepts is really tiring
they do not want to listen to others and want 2 keep on questioning if i see the vision of this blog..
everyone one ONE day will die whom ever related to this blog but the question and discussion will be never ending..
and that is the true mystery of life..
people arent able to believe god is truly a surprising thought..
when wright brothers invented plane..
graham bell invented phone
there are endless invention made by many great people
dont we ourself arent invented?
and created and managed by someone?
how a human birth takes place is one of the miracle....?
and if there is no such power called god..
then why science is so paralysed
why you is everyone here in such a huge discussions..
well god doesnt exist? this questions itself proves that god very much exist..
we can only hate them whom we love
so if theres no existence means there is an existance..
and its a matter on not high intellect just a common sense..
tao always ask me proofs ...
i already gave an example of sawan singh baba ji
if he doesnt trust and believe my master
how will he believe me?
sorry i cant trust him that way..
and there was another small exmaple
a person get inititates from a master
master..you have to meditation
seeker tries and after for some time and some days he says its not working
i m leaving
and the seeker leaves
and come back after 2 years and says you know how much power i gain in myself i can fire that match stick from here..
master..take a match box and scratch a fire stick and says for what it take 2 years for u i have done it in two seconds..
this is obivious like fakir chand was
he got inititated from master and when practised and got a bit knowledge of enlightment he started his own version saying his master was dumb..
now thats a craziest thing a inititate getting taught by master himself says his master is dumb..
anyways i do not want to talk abt nonsense people like fakir chand..
i just want answers...
and what science have mentioned about life out of earth and there are more places like earth and stuff
all this very things are already mentioned in guru grant sahib by guru nanak devji
he hundred of years ago said plants have life which scientist disccovered much later on
he already mention there are many more place like earth..
and he also clearly mentioned
that earth is the 18th hells..there are more 17 hells like earth.....
there are many more things which are written i know only few..
and ancient science was much more finer that todays..
and you say and question about god..
if anyone who is born 200 years ago if accidently he comes to the years is present earth he wud never believe anyone that this is the same earth where once he was born..he himself will get lost in this illusion world... which is actually
and will never be ready to accept the fact that this is the same earth the same world..
if we start questioning there are many qs we can never answer
but like a great saint said...
why are you worrying about so many things
after all your not running the world..
and its true and right
and the reason i m here is not that i do not know much
not that i know more than anyone else here..not at all
but the fact is i m just unable to see santmat being mispresented.
if you havent understood its ur fault
doctor can prescribe the medicine but if we do not take the pills on time how can we blame doctor for it cause..
anyways i know the above give example will not be accepted by the so called self mystics here..
and pity on brian he called god a gay..
well when god doesnt not exist how come you know god is gay..
how pity..how pity..you people are unknowingly commiting a mistake (mr mystic)
Posted by: Account Deleted | July 04, 2009 at 05:35 AM
i'm not saying it needs a high intellect to either believe there is a god or not.
Common sense does not enter into, cos one persons 'common sense' is not anothers.
what i am saying is that while i can see while ppl want to believe in a god, and while a god may indeed exists, there is no evidence for it, and so ppl who try and philsopsophically work out if such beliefs carry any weight are entitled to do so.
Anyway i see you wish to engage with tAo and Brian so will leave you to it.
Posted by: George | July 04, 2009 at 09:12 AM
no george you can involve in the comment ..
your replies were always sensibe..respectful and meaningful..atleast you know to recieve and convey messages very well.
but george isnt not said that for whatsoever when people have made a belief that some energy power called god exist.?
does it not seems very natural..
we say science is divine if nature is god creation?
isnt not everything is his creation
and its just we created science..and we being so egoistic have pride for our theories..which have all the sort of limitations..
we are busy in wasting our time..in searching for the theories which are never ending..
we should have focus?and belief and trust and faith then only anything can happen
like bill gates had focus..belief and he trusted his idea so today the result is we are sharing this internet and using computers through his operationg system..
if he would have gone with these sort of almost un useful discussion he might have diverted to some other trach and would have missed the original track of creating the operating system..
isnt that seems to be natural we all are sent either can say born for a reason?
when fan givs us air..
ac gives us koolness
water removes our thirst
food fulfil our hunger
sleep makes us recharged
work give us money to buy things and survive
auto industry exist so that we cna travel
communication is to converse..
everything which is created,invented has a purpose a reason behind..theres no thing created invented for no reasons..
but i really feel sad..well i know no one will def bother my sadness..
that we are searching questions which are and cannot be discussed in this way atleast...
people here does not believe..anyone..
they need proofs?
how wind works?
how the nature acts?
how everything get controls?
nothing is done by human ofcourse?
then who is doing it
why sometimes a person who doesnt smoke at all die with cancer and a person who smoke all his life die healthy? isnt it strange?
well where we know the real truth ? that cigrate smoking is ofcouse bad very bad for health?
who drives car smoothly dies in an accident
and who is a rash driver ? have a nice safe life?
there many such observations we can see and understand from?
and its natural what is having in this blog to be egoistic and impose their view and points to other
at this point i say yeah you can share your views
and bring out your thoughts
but then please be meaningful..respectful..useful..
and george i do not want to engange with anyone..
i already said plenty of times..
i m here because a pure path has been accused and mispresented,and that is what which i cannot see it to happen..
now when i talk much they ask me for proofs
i said 100 times who wil give me assurance that these guys who werent able to trust themself will trust and believe me?
there was a small scene from indian movie?
in which actor hit the fingers of an hindu and muslim with stone and then mix the blood of both and ask tell me whose blood is hindu and whos blood is muslim
i ask everyone does it not applies to eevryone on earth
every one sees thru eyes
eat tru mouth
listen thru ears
walk thru legs
urinate the same way and shit the same way
the creator hasnt created any differences in us he made everything one and the same for all...
the way a person takes birth is the same..
its just smart people like the one we see in these blogs create distruction..
and i really surpise what does they gain in doing so?
what is their aim?
if they say they are searching for truth?
i doubt will they find it?
they are all already very old at age?
if they are not searching for truth and think themselfs as masters or mystic..
i doubt again..
if they have seen the long history of saints and masters and mystics this is not they have come for and this is not they have done ever...
just creating confusion
and letting others confuse with thier meaningless mind satisfying views and thoughts..
in bhagwat gita its already written what will happen..
in that they mention that after 3000 a.d when the grand dissolution will start the indication will be man will start eating man
and whomever will take the gods name will be punished and killed..vice verse..
and i think the initial era of this kind has been already begun..
every age has to come to an end..
brian and tao i m waiting for your reply
with the same respectful touch like you people always are?
Posted by: Account Deleted | July 04, 2009 at 10:45 AM
Manish arora said:
[July 03, 2009 at 10:51 PM]
"tao i do not understand whats wrong with you always."
-- No, the question is: What is wrong with YOU Manish?
"i never said anything like my god ur god"
-- Thats BS. You HAVE mentioned your "god" numerous times.
"i doubt whether you understand your own language called english."
-- You're an idiot Manish. You can't even compose english grammer and syntax properly.
"[tAo, you] always seems to have your own version of thoughts and concepts'"
-- Well yes of course I do. Everyone does. (even idiots like YOU Manish)
"windows operating system is created by microsoft and we all uses it"
-- NO Manish, you're simply wrong... "we all" do NOT "all" use microsoft operating systems. Some of us use Linux, etc etc.
"can you write post all the 5 names you got while initiated?"
-- No I will NOT, because I made an agreement not to do that. And because, unlike YOU, I do have integrity and I keep my word. And if you are an initiated satsangi, then I don't need to tell you anyway. And if not, then go get initiated, if you really wish to know the simran mantra. Or you can search the internet and find it there too.
And btw Manish, you might feel a bit better about this blog if you would simply grow up and stop playing all your childish games. Alkso, you are giving a rather bad image and impression for other Indian satsangis.
Posted by: +Ao | July 04, 2009 at 04:10 PM
Manish, you've gone back to preaching your religious dogma. I consider that spiritual spam, so I deleted your last two comments.
As you've been told quite a few times before, this is a Church of the Churchless -- not a place for the churched to try to convert people to their faith.
You need to follow your own path and stop preaching to those who don't agree with you. This doesn't change any minds. And you're absolutely wrong.
Somehow you consider that I and others who have stopped being true believers in some religion are frustrated because we failed. No, we're happy because we've succeeded -- in coming closer to truth.
Suggestion: look within yourself for the frustration that you see in others. Your frequent and numerous comments on this blog indicate that you're seeking something here, but you can't find it. You might ask yourself:
"What am I looking for? Why do I think it is so important to preach Sant Mat dogma to people who don't want to hear it? Why do I keep on criticizing and judging those who don't choose to follow a spiritual path that I'm attracted to?"
Posted by: Brian | July 05, 2009 at 12:06 AM
what a coward you are..
have shame on you..at this age..you have showed all the colours of lack-ism..
ur just being very very foolish and coward in deleting my post which were true real and reliable..
but its really shame on you
you being a granddad to your grand daughter
how will you show your face to her
ur such a coward person..
your hindrance to human society..
i feel sorry dumb people like you joined rs.
but happy atleast dumb coward people like you left the path..
you people are now no more in rs..path.
Posted by: Account Deleted | July 05, 2009 at 01:56 AM
i don't see the problem of letting the comments stand even if they are dogma?
if its not abusive, why not leave them for ppl to judge for themselves?
Posted by: George | July 05, 2009 at 02:25 AM
You should be thanking Brian for the marvelous experience of having your comments deleted.Your reaction shows you have yet to come to terms with
such an experience.Do you really believe the spiritual path is just about bliss and divine visions?Some of the most self revealing moments in a life can be in trauma and conflict.
As always I have repect and love for you as a person but I cant always agree with your message.
Posted by: Obed | July 05, 2009 at 06:01 AM
George, as I've observed before, most bloggers and web sites that allow comments have some sort of policy regarding them. Some approve comments before they can be posted. Virtually all have a way of banning commenters who abuse blog/site standards.
This is a place to discuss science, religion, spirituality, philosophy -- not to preach. Preaching belongs on "churched" Internet sites, not a churchless site. If I allowed dogma to be posted here freely, I'm confident this blog would see a lot more of it.
Just like spammers. If they knew their ads for whatever wouldn't be deleted (which they are) what would prevent them from posting many more comments advertising their products? To me, preaching about some faith in a comment is just like advertising. The product just is some religion.
Sure, some defending of a faith is entirely justified. But it needs to occur in the context of a substantive discussion. "I believe Christianity is correct about X, since Y is true." Then explain why you believe Y is true.
Manish, and others, don't do that. They're almost entirely into insults, putting people down, praising their religion and condemning those who don't believe along with them. I have no desire to encourage that sort of behavior. I'll put up with it for a while, but if it becomes too frequent and obnoxious, I'll delete those comments.
Posted by: Brian | July 05, 2009 at 08:03 AM
well brian ur really a coward proved and confirmed please dont tell about this blog to your grandchildren before you die..
if not they will spit on ur face..which you will not like..
you can't escape in this internet world by running....
you have to answer my questions rather then caling me that i m into insult
ur an insult a silly old man with no manners and ethics and morals..simply a very burden on earth..
you people can bark like dogs about us and when we raise valid points and questions to ask you just run away like a coward..
i believe now ur not a man
u seems to be a gay..
if not you have to reply to my answer buddy..
i will leave this blog forever..
if not theres an army ready to get into this blog which will sooner or later will force you to close down this blog..
so please be patient
remember what your parents thought you while you were young
remember what have you learned from the mystics and masters whom you know consider nonsense..
have pity on them and atleast for there sake do not run and escape come out and speak up..and face the world..
i will quit this blog forever..if you post the 5 names...
why are u afraid?
what are u afraid of ?
and stop pointing and raising fingers on me..
look at ur own self first before you point out others,
learn to be dignified..
learn some etiquettes,
i do not praise,oh god you people are so dumb,cant understand your own language how silly you are.
i want my answer..
unless then i will be visiting this blog..
george and obed i need email address of you..please email me at [email protected]
Posted by: Account Deleted | July 05, 2009 at 09:05 AM
and brian you sounds very
illiterate many times..
no one is advertising here..
dont you understand english..
you are preaching
no one else is preaching...
your just a coward...
i m happy for you..
you people should be out of RS..
NO PLACE FOR COWARDS IN RS..
as master once said this rs is a path of courage
not cowards like brian and his so called admirers..(losers)
Posted by: Account Deleted | July 05, 2009 at 09:09 AM
I have noted you asking me to comment on this blog slightly differently. I am really quite hesitent to write even this much. I do not want to comment as to how you respond here. I am no body to pass the judgement.
BUT I WILL ADVICE YOU TO WRITE YOUR
COMMENT IN MS WORD AND KEEP IT FOR A FEW
HOURS AND RE-READ IT AND THEN POST IT. I AM
PRETTY SURE YOU WILL REFINE YOUR COMMENTS AND EDIT THEM AT YOUR OWN.
Frankly speaking, I visit his blog as it contains different facets of spirituality. At one place, so many things on similar topics. Individuals are immeterial. Brian does a lot of exercise.
You pick any topic discussed here. Only some comments and discussions are worth the topic.
My only piece of advice to you is :"KINDLY LEARN TO SAY WHAT IS NOT YOUR CUP OF TEA."
Posted by: rakesh bhasin | July 05, 2009 at 09:23 AM
rakesh ji rs
i respect u a lot..
and truly i learn from you a lot
i even agree with your idea of writing and then posting after a while after re reading it,
but rakesh ji i do not post anything agressively..though after the reply i get i feel pity on these guys...
who are aged but can set no good examples for us..
and any generations..
i was already very much upset by these guys accusing our master for no reasons...which i wasn't able to digest in spite that i know..we should not visit and gossip and waste time with these meaningless people..
but its just accidentally i got into it and as a normal human being wasn't able to tolerate seeing our master represented in such a way..
and when i said post the 5 holy names..
and you can see brian runnig with fear here and there...without getting into the point..
this is the true power of a mystic and a saint..
but still these nonsense people do not understand a bit.
but i will consider your valuable advice..
and theres lot to learn from you sir..
rs with folded hands to u..
i would def love to meet you one day probably in beas..
rakesh ji i may soon very soon leave this blog for real long time,
but please you carry on..i love your comments
your indeed a one man army,
1 rakesh ji is = 10000 brians and 10000 taos..
Posted by: Account Deleted | July 05, 2009 at 09:56 AM
rakesh ji do a personal favour for
go through all my post whenever you have enuff time to spare..
and i need your feedback and advice on my postings..
i would want to know where i stand..
and where i was wrong in conveying..
i would be greateful if you do that.
Posted by: Account Deleted | July 05, 2009 at 09:59 AM
Manish, what a great offer! I post the "five holy names" of Sant Mat and you agree to quit commenting on this blog forever.
Excellent deal: I take you up on your offer.
A couple of years ago I wrote a "Sant Mat's 'Five Holy Names' aren't so holy" post. See:
In that post I included links to a number of web sites that list the names used in RSSB's mantra meditation. The spellings can differ a bit, but here's how a Yahoo group listed them:
jot niranjan, onkar, rarankar, sohung, sat nam
Happy? Or unhappy? Either way, I expect that you will keep your word and no longer comment on this blog. As I've told you numerous times before, discussing is most welcome; preaching is not. So I won't miss your preachiness.
A final word to you: Manish, I don't believe in everything that I used to believe in. And I don't know if God exists (I suspect not, not in a personal sense). But if there is a God, I consider it much more likely that this being would be better than us human beings, not worse.
Which implies that God would be more loving than us, not less. So I don't believe that breaking a commandment, like revealing the "five holy names," would incur God's wrath -- especially when there are so many different commandments in so many different religions.
Also, I had a deep (though distant) relationship with the guru who initiated me in 1971, Charan Singh. I found him to be a caring, loving person. I couldn't really see him as God, though I tried. But when I went to India for two weeks in 1977 and saw Charan Singh for the first time, it was a moving experience. I liked the guy a lot. Maybe you could even say that I loved him.
Whatever, I felt a connection with him. When I was asked to write a book that reportedly was something he wanted to have happen (before he died), I put several years of my life into this project, heart and soul. I did a lot of other volunteer work (seva) for my spiritual organization -- more than you can imagine.
So I don't need your preaching about how I'm a failure. I don't regret my devotion to Sant Mat and my guru. And now I don't regret having moving on to a different form of truth-seeking. It's all been good.
Goodbye, Manish. I suggest that you follow your own path passionately, devotedly, and wholeheartedly. Just don't believe that you are elevated by putting down other people who don't follow your faith.
Posted by: Brian | July 05, 2009 at 10:25 AM
I dont have a problem with you defending your faith, but Brian is right in that you at least need to make a point rather than just personal abuse.
lol, and what is so bad about being gay?
come on manish, the other day you listed a whole things of indian culture for which you are rightly very proud, but where is the tolerance?
Posted by: George | July 05, 2009 at 02:58 PM
Manish, you're done commenting here. You just broke your word and left three additional comments after I fulfilled your request and left my "five holy names" comment.
So I'll keep your word for you. By continuing to delete any and all comments from you as soon as possible. Like I said before, goodbye.
Posted by: Brian | July 05, 2009 at 04:00 PM
The following abusive comments and statements and threats were made by YOU Manish, and they are clearly related and due to some serious mental sickness and imbalance and a very sel-possessed and negative mentality that you have.
I am re-posting them so that perhaps you may be able to see this about yourself:
"brain, what a coward you are."
"you have showed all the colours of lack-ism."
"ur just being coward"
"shame on you"
"being a granddad to your grand daughter
how will you show your face to her ur such a coward"
"your hindrance to human society."
"dumb people like you [...] dumb coward people like you"
"brian ur really a coward"
"dont tell about this blog to your grandchildren [...] they will spit on ur face"
"you can't escape"
"you have to answer my questions"
"i m into insult ur an insult a silly old man with no manners and ethics and morals..simply a very burden on earth."
"you people can bark like dogs"
"like a coward."
"ur not a man u seems to be a gay"
"you have to reply to my answer"
"i will leave this blog forever."
"theres an army ready to get into this blog which will sooner or later will force you to close down this blog."
"remember what have you learned from the mystics and masters"
"i will quit this blog forever..if you post the 5 names."
"are u afraid?"
"stop pointing and raising fingers on me."
"be dignified..learn some etiquettes"
"oh god you people are so dumb, cant understand your own language"
"how silly you are"
"i want my answer. unless then i will be visiting this blog..for sure."
"brian you sounds very illiterate"
"no one is advertising here."
"no one else is preaching."
"your just a coward."
"you people should be out of RS"
"NO PLACE FOR COWARDS IN RS."
"not cowards like brian and his so called admirers..(losers)"
"i do not post anything agressively."
"i feel pity on these guys."
"no good examples for us."
i was [...] very much upset by these guys accusing our master"
"we should not visit and gossip and waste time with these meaningless people."
"i got into it and [...] wasn't able to tolerate seeing our master represented in such a way."
"when i said post the 5 holy names."
"this is the true power of a mystic and a saint."
"these nonsense people do not understand a bit."
"rs with folded hands to u."
"i may soon very soon leave this blog for real long time"
"10000 brians and 10000 taos"
"i m sorry to be here again."
"brian [...] i think ...i now really feel pity for you"
"please [...] delete the above post with those 5 names."
"please do this favour for me..please"
"i know you do not like me at all."
"i have a soft corner for you and tao both"
"santmat i mean RS is a true path its not at all dogmatic.. and a religion."
"it really works...100% it works 100%."
"you believe me or not."
"i m once again sorry i did another mistake by wanting those names here."
"master do forgive me."
-- So Manish, its obvious you are mentally and emotionally schizo, as well as being a crazed religious cult fundamentalist. You need psychological counseling.
You also don't know shit about anyone else, so stop worrying about and bothering other people. And just go and practice your own RS guru-cult worship, meditation and belief system... if thats what you are into. It's simply none of your business if other people don't believe as you do.
Posted by: +Ao | July 05, 2009 at 04:01 PM
WHEN YOU ABUSE OR PRAISE SOMEBODY IT IS ONLY THE WORDS WHICH DIFFER. THE TONE ADDS TO IT.
CAN THE SPIRIT BEHIND BE JUDGED? PERHAPS NOT.
TRULY THE WORDS ARE NOT COMBINATION OF DEAD LETTERS ALONE. BUT REPLIES NEED NOT TO BE MIRROR IMAGES OF THE QUESTIONS. AT LEAST THEY DIFFER IN TASTE AND TONE IF NOT IN CONTENTS.
BEFORE MY WORDS BECOME A SERMON I MUST STOP HERE.
Posted by: rakesh bhasin | July 05, 2009 at 07:59 PM
Would you mind not shouting in yiur comments by using all caps (capital letters)? A word or two here and there for added emphasis is alright, but using all caps for your entire comment is the same as shouting, and you are doing it merely in hopes of getting more attention to your comment. But its insecure, its unnecessary, and its rather rude. Using all caps does not make people give your comment more regard. Actually it does the opposite. So when I see someone using all caps like you often do, I automatically tend to think that individual is an arrogant insecure ass who is trying to make his comment seem more important than others. Is that how you wish to be perceived Rakesh? If not, then stop using all caps.
Posted by: +Ao | July 06, 2009 at 12:35 AM
If all caps in English means what you say, I think you are wrong as in British English it is not so. But if it is so in American English I am sorry.
In fact, it is due to my lethargy i.e. if the caps lock is pressed accidentally, I allow it to continue. I shall take care henceforth.
I do not mind your language. There is nothing wrong with it. In fact, it surprises me if your mail is without any abuse. May be what I am referring to as an abuse, is spice of your way of life.
Posted by: rakesh bhasin | July 06, 2009 at 03:34 AM
The following are the extracts to show the orderliness of the galaxies.
a)The formation of each new galaxy would follow the same pattern that each orbits around its own centre base:
Refer to the website address, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galaxy, The second paragraph of the subtitle, Galaxy, mentions with the phrase, each orbiting their galaxy’s own center of mass. Or in other words, when a first galaxy was formed in this universe in the beginning, it orbits its own centre of mass despite their irregular shapes of design. When the second galaxy was formed, the same pattern would appear that each would orbit each own centre base. And so on and so forth. For instance, if the first galaxy would be generated by Big Bang theory, it would not be possible that all the stars or planets or whatever that are within the galaxy would orbit each own centre base from the beginning especially this was the first galaxy that was formed and no substance would have existed before its formation. If the first galaxy were formed through Big Bang theory, all the planets or stars or whatever that are within the galaxy would be moving in the mess with disorderly manner without guidance instead of orbiting its own centre base if nothing would be controlling the formation of the universe. The outcome (that each galaxy would not be created in such a nice manner that each would orbit its own base) is that there would be a possibility that the stars or planets or whatever within each galaxy, that were created, would fly all around the universe without guidance and even to the extent that they would crash with each other to cause ultimate devastation of the universe so much so that our earth would turn up to be not in secure place. How could Big Bang Theory be able to create the first galaxy in the beginning so much so that all the stars or planets or whatever that are within this galaxy would orbit its centre base especially no substance should have been existed prior to the formation of first galaxy? How could Big Bang theory be able to create the second galaxy and the subsequent ones to follow suit the first galaxy’s pattern that each would orbit its centre base? Besides, how could the Big Bang Theory be able to create multiple galaxies in such a way that the creation of each new galaxy would maintain a distance from the old galaxy so as to avoid crash with another easily?
The orderliness of the formation of galaxies ever since its first formation to be that each would orbit each own centre mass, gives the signal that something must have existed in the creation of the universe to ensure their unique movement . Religious people call it God.
b)Each time when a new galaxy has formed, the same pattern would occur that something would hold this galaxy together with another so that it would not turn the whole universe into a mess and scientists call it to be gravitational force.
The following is the extract from the third paragraph of the category, Milky Way, from the above website:
‘In 1750 the English astronomer Thomas Wright in his An original theory or new hypothesis of the Universe, speculated (correctly) that the galaxy might be a rotating body of a huge number of stars held together by gravitational forces, akin to the solar system but on a much larger scale. The resulting disk of stars can be seen as a band on the sky from our perspective inside the disk.’
If this universe were created by Big Bang theory, the first set of galaxy would turn up to be in the mess that it would not give any warranty that all the stars of planets or whatever that are within the galaxy to orbit its own centre of mass. Besides, when the second set of galaxy would be created in the next, it would not give any warranty that it would follow the first galaxy to orbit its own mass centre and it also would not warranty that the universe would hold these two sets of galaxies together in continuity. And so on and so forth. If this universe were created by Big Bang theory, the first set of galaxy would turn up to be in the mess in hitting against each other. The second set of galaxy, that would be created, would be worse than the first without revolving around its own centre of mass but flying around the universe with random order since nothing would hold these two together. And so on and so forth. There must be something that is in control for the creation of this universe. Religious people call it God.
c)When a new spiral galaxy is formed, spiral arms would rotate its own centre with angular velocity. Despite there would be some step-back to alter its own velocity, it would still return to its original velocity and yet the same pattern, angular velocity, maintains to beautify the universe. Besides, most importantly it would return to its own velocity whenever something has caused it to accelerate its speed.
The following is the extract from third paragraph under the sub-title of Spirals in the same website address as mentioned above:
In spiral galaxies, the spiral arms do have the shape of approximate logarithmic spirals, a pattern that can be theoretically shown to result from a disturbance in a uniformly rotating mass of stars. Like the stars, the spiral arms rotate around the center, but they do so with constant angular velocity…As stars move through an arm, the space velocity of each stellar system is modified by the gravitational force of the higher density. (The VELOCITY RETURNS TO NORMAL after the stars depart on the other side of the arm.)
If the spiral galaxy were created by Big Bang theory, it would not give any warranty that the first creation of the existence of spiral galaxy would result in velocity to return to its original speed after its acceleration due to some prior influence. What if the spiral galaxy would not return to its original velocity, the spiral galaxy would keep on increasing its speed whenever its speed is influenced by other factor. The whole spiral galaxy would turn up to be in disaster since it keeps on increasing its speed non-stop without reducing its speed to original stage. The forever increasing speed for spiral galaxy would cause its heat to rise up and even be burnt up eventually.
There must be something that would control the speed of spiral galaxy so that its speed would not rise beyond control or be over heated. Religious people call it God.
The above show that the nature reflects the existence of God.
Posted by: zuma | September 04, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Reason for caring why GOD exists:
Because you might need a miracle.
You might need help and direction (not only for yourself but for others as well) which may not be available or even possible through normal means.
You might find yourself completely alone with even your intellect having failed you.
You are near death or dying and scared. Then you might even say, "I don't know who you are, but please (someone) help me."
And there are many more reasons for caring about the existence of GOD the Great One even though we may have no real idea of what it/he/she is. Its best felt and loved in the here and now.
Posted by: Janya Barrish | September 04, 2012 at 08:39 PM
We know that consciousness can influence the physical world - because we can move our bodies.
Posted by: Craig Paardekooper | July 20, 2014 at 11:08 AM
Is Consciousness physical? One of the foundational characteristics of consciousness is it's sense of freewill. By this I mean that I decide to move my arm, then it moves.
Inanimate things only move because they are caused to move from without. A chain of causes precedes the movement.
But with consciousness it is different. We have an experience that we are the first cause, that we exercised freewill in deciding to move.
So what is a first cause? A first cause acts within time, but is also dissociated from time - because there is no necessity for it to act at any one particular time. So a first cause feels quite unearthly - like a minor miracle. Like an intervention of a spirit into a material world.
Posted by: Craig Paardekooper | July 20, 2014 at 11:27 AM
Craig, feeling we exercise free will in different from actually doing so. We also feel that the sun sets, but actually the Earth is rotating.
Here's how Einstein put it, a quote from another blog post.
Honestly I cannot understand what people mean when they talk about the freedom of the human will. I have a feeling, for instance, that I will something or other; but what relation this has with freedom I cannot understand at all. I feel that I will to light my pipe and I do it; but how can I connect this up with the idea of freedom?
What is behind the act of willing to light the pipe? Another act of willing? Schopenhauer once said, "Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills."…When you mention people who speak of such a thing as free will in nature it is difficult for me to find a suitable reply. The idea is of course preposterous.
Posted by: Brian Hines | July 20, 2014 at 12:04 PM
Free will. My fingers are just tapping on the keyboard. One finger goes to scratch an itch. If I think about it, it feels like I made the choice to type or scratch the itch, but if I go into it a little deeper, into the very moment of typing or scratching, I realize it simply just happens whether "I" was there or not.
Posted by: tucson | July 20, 2014 at 12:45 PM
Unfortunately, it is the common experience of all people in all societies throughout all times that they believe it is their choice to move their arm when they decide to do so. It is also the foundation of all law that a person is held responsible for their actions - rather than blaming it upon a series of inevitable causes. So in the eyes of virtually every known person who has ever walked on this planet, freewill is a basic reality.
In order to argue that freewill is an illusion we must say that all other people are deluded, and their experience counts for nothing at all.
We must also ourselves act as if we have no freewill. Claiming that there is no freewill is simply hot air - we must act as if we have none - so we should not be held responsible for any of our actions. I doubt if there is a single person who actually lives as if they have no free will. They would randomly abuse themselves and others and would be equally likely to commit atrocities as anything else - they would be psychopathic monsters found only in highest security jails.
There comes a point where philosophy actually becomes bullshit - and this is it.
Posted by: Craig Paardekooper | April 26, 2020 at 03:27 AM