Do you Believe in God?

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Do you believe in God?

Yes
6
50%
No
3
25%
I'm an agnostic
3
25%
 
Total votes: 12

Mahler Symphony
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Do you Believe in God?

Post by Mahler Symphony » Sat May 27, 2006 5:29 pm

Do you believe in God?

Gregory Kleyn

Post by Gregory Kleyn » Sat May 27, 2006 5:47 pm

Which one?

Mahler Symphony
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Post by Mahler Symphony » Sat May 27, 2006 5:50 pm

The God of Religion.

Gregory Kleyn

Post by Gregory Kleyn » Sat May 27, 2006 6:29 pm

Mahler Symphony wrote:The God of Religion.
"The"? Or do you mean "a" god of religion?

Gregory Kleyn

Post by Gregory Kleyn » Sat May 27, 2006 6:37 pm

The/a God/god of "religion" as opposed to or in distinction from what?
That of the philosophers, - like Plato's divine craftsman, or Aristotle's prime mover, etc.?

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sat May 27, 2006 7:31 pm

"Well, first of all, she's black . . . " - Bailey Quarters, WKRP Cincinnati
Corlyss
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Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Sat May 27, 2006 11:28 pm

But I believe in music. :)
Image

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

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Agnes Selby
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Do you believe in God?

Post by Agnes Selby » Sun May 28, 2006 12:07 am

Corlyss_D wrote:"Well, first of all, she's black . . . " - Bailey Quarters, WKRP Cincinnati
-----------

Sorry, Corlyss, she is Aboriginal, closer to creation
if we are made in Her image.
----------

david johnson
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Post by david johnson » Sun May 28, 2006 4:12 am

YES

i believe

dj

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Sun May 28, 2006 4:30 am

Agnostic is and always has been a cop-out "vote" for those who don't wish to have attached to themselves the label of atheist or simply non-believer. It is an intellectual mistake supported by political reality to have everything defined in terms of the assumption of belief in the first place.

I am firmly convinced that I and the unverse and all the people I know and love exist and consider myself extraordinarily blessed by an anonymous providence to be who and where I am. How many "people" in 13 billion years in a universe so vast that it is literally incomprehensible have been able to say that?

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: Do you believe in God?

Post by Teresa B » Sun May 28, 2006 7:34 am

Agnes Selby wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:"Well, first of all, she's black . . . " - Bailey Quarters, WKRP Cincinnati
-----------

Sorry, Corlyss, she is Aboriginal, closer to creation
if we are made in Her image.
----------
I'll buy that! 8)

BTW, I don't think it's such a cop-out to say you're "agnostic"-- I like the definition generally held by the Skeptics Society that "Agnostic" does not mean "still looking for something to believe," but holding the opinion that the existence of God cannot be proven (or disproven) in any scientific manner. (This is not to discount the type of "knowing" derived from insight meditation, and the like.)

In fact, it could be seen as equally dogmatic to HAVE to commit to being a "believer" or an "atheist", could it not? I, like Menken, will wait and see. :wink:

Teresa
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Post by mourningstar » Sun May 28, 2006 12:45 pm

When i win the lotto i'll say yes. in the meantime no :lol:
"Desertion for the artist means abandoning the concrete."

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Re: Do you believe in God?

Post by Corlyss_D » Sun May 28, 2006 2:45 pm

Agnes Selby wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:"Well, first of all, she's black . . . " - Bailey Quarters, WKRP Cincinnati
-----------

Sorry, Corlyss, she is Aboriginal, closer to creation
if we are made in Her image.
----------
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Agnes wins the Post of the Day Award!
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Re: Do you believe in God?

Post by Corlyss_D » Sun May 28, 2006 2:50 pm

Teresa B wrote:BTW, I don't think it's such a cop-out to say you're "agnostic"-- I like the definition generally held by the Skeptics Society that "Agnostic" does not mean "still looking for something to believe," but holding the opinion that the existence of God cannot be proven (or disproven) in any scientific manner.
As a matter of pure fact, that is just the way it is. You can't change it by personal testimony of belief. The situation presents one with options. I elect to believe in God. My problem arises with people who say because there is no scientific evidence, one must not, cannot, or should not choose to believe. And then they pound you into the ground with it like Dawkins.
Corlyss
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Brendan

Post by Brendan » Sun May 28, 2006 5:04 pm

What if one considers that beliefs concerning the divine infinite mystery are in and of themselves idolatry?

I never do fit these pigeon-holes. :cry:

Gregory Kleyn

Post by Gregory Kleyn » Sun May 28, 2006 5:17 pm

There is only God, - but for only God to exist there must be other than God. This is the central paradox at the heart of all religious traditions (call it "Tradition"). It's not a matter of belief (which as Brendan says, is always idolatrous), but realization and participation.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun May 28, 2006 5:26 pm

Brendan wrote:What if one considers that beliefs concerning the divine infinite mystery are in and of themselves idolatry?
How many angels did you spot on that pinhead? :wink:
Corlyss
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Agnes Selby
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Re: Do you believe in God?

Post by Agnes Selby » Sun May 28, 2006 5:40 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Agnes Selby wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:"Well, first of all, she's black . . . " - Bailey Quarters, WKRP Cincinnati
-----------

Sorry, Corlyss, she is Aboriginal, closer to creation
if we are made in Her image.
----------
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Agnes wins the Post of the Day Award!
--------------

Thank you, Corlyss. Greetings from the Land Down Under.

Agnes.
----------------

Agnes.

Teresa B
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Re: Do you believe in God?

Post by Teresa B » Sun May 28, 2006 5:45 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Teresa B wrote:BTW, I don't think it's such a cop-out to say you're "agnostic"-- I like the definition generally held by the Skeptics Society that "Agnostic" does not mean "still looking for something to believe," but holding the opinion that the existence of God cannot be proven (or disproven) in any scientific manner.
As a matter of pure fact, that is just the way it is. You can't change it by personal testimony of belief. The situation presents one with options. I elect to believe in God. My problem arises with people who say because there is no scientific evidence, one must not, cannot, or should not choose to believe. And then they pound you into the ground with it like Dawkins.
I have to agree with you, Corlyss. In fact, I can't stand Dawkins, although I bow to his erudition when it comes to his field of evolutionary biology. He has become a dogmatic atheist who will indeed pound you into the ground. (And not in a nice way. :wink: )

I heard both Dawkins and Sam Harris speak last fall. Harris wrote "The End of Religion" and made some excellent points about the need for rational thinking to replace religious dogmatism (especially Islam, for which he seems to have a special antipathy) when it comes to governments and the goal of world peace. He was staunchly anti-religion--until he mentioned that meditation a la Buddhism was an entirely different animal, and could lend True Knowledge or Insight into the universe (I interpreted this as equivalent to religious faith of a sort).

So Harris parrots Orwell in that "All religions are equal, but some are more equal than others!"

Teresa
"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." ~ The Cheshire Cat

Author of the novel "Creating Will"

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Sun May 28, 2006 6:09 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Brendan wrote:What if one considers that beliefs concerning the divine infinite mystery are in and of themselves idolatry?
How many angels did you spot on that pinhead? :wink:
Damn! You just reminded me that I found the answer to that question awhile ago but forgot to write it down.

Auntie Lynn
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Post by Auntie Lynn » Sun May 28, 2006 10:49 pm

Not only do I believe in God, but She (in Her infinite mercy) has been VERY good to moi!

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Post by Barry » Sun May 28, 2006 11:29 pm

I agree with Teresa that being an Agnostic is not a cop-out in any way. In fact, an old friend once said that being an Agnostic is the only position that makes any sense, and I agree with that.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon May 29, 2006 1:48 am

Barry Z wrote:I agree with Teresa that being an Agnostic is not a cop-out in any way. In fact, an old friend once said that being an Agnostic is the only position that makes any sense, and I agree with that.
For you and your friend, maybe. Not for me. That's the thing: you can't apply objectivity to what is essentially a subjective decision because objectivity demands evidence and there is none for either side. No evidence of existence; no evidence of non-existence. I'm with Pascal: you make your bet without knowing.
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Corlyss_D
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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon May 29, 2006 1:57 am

Brendan wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:
Brendan wrote:What if one considers that beliefs concerning the divine infinite mystery are in and of themselves idolatry?
How many angels did you spot on that pinhead? :wink:
Damn! You just reminded me that I found the answer to that question awhile ago but forgot to write it down.
I think it was 42.
Corlyss
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Re: Do you believe in God?

Post by Corlyss_D » Mon May 29, 2006 2:20 am

Teresa B wrote:I heard both Dawkins and Sam Harris speak last fall. Harris wrote "The End of Religion" and made some excellent points about the need for rational thinking to replace religious dogmatism (especially Islam, for which he seems to have a special antipathy) when it comes to governments and the goal of world peace. He was staunchly anti-religion--
Yeah, I heard him too. I was disappointed in the very predicability of his schtick. I think no one today writes a book about Islamic fundamentalism as a religious phenomenon that they don't have in their sights Christian fundamentalists, all in the interests of diveristy, tolerance, even handedness, don't you know, even though Christian fundamentalists aren't bombing, killing, or conducting holy wars against other faiths.
until he mentioned that meditation a la Buddhism
Also very predictable. Folks like him and Karen Armstrong just can't resist promoting Buddhism because it is so different from what one encouters in the standard western religion. As a doctor, you might be interested in the work of Newberg and D'Aquill. Both are medical doctors who have studied meditation and the ecstatic religious experience extensively purely as a physiological phenomenon.
So Harris parrots Orwell in that "All religions are equal, but some are more equal than others!"
And not surprisingly, none of the Western religions lands up in the "more equal" bin, unless it's Unitarianism. :lol:
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Barry
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Post by Barry » Mon May 29, 2006 10:27 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
Barry Z wrote:I agree with Teresa that being an Agnostic is not a cop-out in any way. In fact, an old friend once said that being an Agnostic is the only position that makes any sense, and I agree with that.
For you and your friend, maybe. Not for me. That's the thing: you can't apply objectivity to what is essentially a subjective decision because objectivity demands evidence and there is none for either side. No evidence of existence; no evidence of non-existence. I'm with Pascal: you make your bet without knowing.
I simply see no reason to make my bet. Although my agnosticism is with regard to whether we were created or assisted in our development by something, whether it was a God-like being, an entity we can never comprehend or a more advanced alien species. I'd actually say I'm more of an Atheist when it comes to the God of the Bible and Koran. I just can't accept that we're here to worship our creator or the basis of Christianity (that God put his son here to die for our sins and that all we need to do is accept that to gain salvation).
My hunch (and that's obviously all it is) is that it's more likely that if any being or group of beings (and I think it's just as likely that a more advanced species from another part of the galaxy or universe is behind it than anything resembling most people's notion of God) are responsible for our being here, it's either as an experiment to see how we'll turn out or to meet some purpose for them that we're completely ingorant of.

Another friend of mine thinks that we evolved completely naturally up to a point, but that something or one (again, could be an alien species or some king of God) interrupted our natural evolution and "injected" us with a higher level of intelligence. I guess that could be called the 2001: A Space Oddyssey scenario. Again, that actually strikes me as more plausible than whan most people believe, based on the Bible and Koran.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Post by Richard Mullany » Mon May 29, 2006 11:33 am

I believe in Ocheims Razor. It is vain to employ a complex explanation of something when a simp[le one will do. Choosing not to "believe" is very simple.

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Post by Teresa B » Mon May 29, 2006 12:09 pm

Barry Z wrote: Another friend of mine thinks that we evolved completely naturally up to a point, but that something or one (again, could be an alien species or some king of God) interrupted our natural evolution and "injected" us with a higher level of intelligence. I guess that could be called the 2001: A Space Oddyssey scenario. Again, that actually strikes me as more plausible than whan most people believe, based on the Bible and Koran.


Hey, that's a good one. As unlikely as the evolution of "higher" intelligence seems, I don't think there's a need to posit alien or godly intervention at some particular point. (Anyway, where did they get their intelligence? It's an infinite regression.) Natural selection can account for us just fine.

Corlyss, I'll check out those guys. I suspect the religious "experience" is a physiological phenomenon--what else could it be, considering we are made of neurons, neurotransmitters, etc etc? Nevertheless, (while still maintaining my agnosticism! :D ) I do think there is validity in quieting the mind for introspection and meditation. The idea that we are all manifestations of a universal energy is appealing, and supported by what we (sort of) know about quantum physics. Whether deep meditation taps into this insight somehow, or is "just" a neuronal state, I dunno.

Teresa

P.S. Agree about Harris and Armstrong.
"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." ~ The Cheshire Cat

Author of the novel "Creating Will"

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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon May 29, 2006 2:16 pm

Barry Z wrote: Another friend of mine thinks that we evolved completely naturally up to a point, but that something or one (again, could be an alien species or some king of God) interrupted our natural evolution and "injected" us with a higher level of intelligence.
Is there any evidence of "a higher level of intelligence?"
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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon May 29, 2006 2:21 pm

Teresa B wrote: Corlyss, I'll check out those guys. I suspect the religious "experience" is a physiological phenomenon--what else could it be, considering we are made of neurons, neurotransmitters, etc etc? Nevertheless, (while still maintaining my agnosticism! :D ) I do think there is validity in quieting the mind for introspection and meditation. The idea that we are all manifestations of a universal energy is appealing, and supported by what we (sort of) know about quantum physics. Whether deep meditation taps into this insight somehow, or is "just" a neuronal state, I dunno.
My suggesting the book wasn't intended to change your mind. It's interesting subset of Brain Science. I agree about meditation - it consists of demonstrated physical condition(s). But if everyone has the equipment for ecstatic religious experience, is it something that can be "trained" for?
Corlyss
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Barry
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Post by Barry » Mon May 29, 2006 4:38 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Barry Z wrote: Another friend of mine thinks that we evolved completely naturally up to a point, but that something or one (again, could be an alien species or some king of God) interrupted our natural evolution and "injected" us with a higher level of intelligence.
Is there any evidence of "a higher level of intelligence?"
Just how far we've come in the last 50,000 years in comparison to how long it took to evolve from the first upright primates to early humans. Again, I'm an Agnostic with regard to that shot in the dark as well.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Mon May 29, 2006 5:04 pm

That devout monk William of Ockham would doubtless be rolling in his grave to learn that his famous argument for the existence of God is now being used as an argument against.

God the designer/engineer will never be popular or scriptural (or logical or factual). God the perfect anonymous artist whose eternal, effortless work leaves no trace of artifice or artificer is another matter.

But 'deciding' the matter by opinion poll is bound to be fruitful and accurate. :roll:

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Post by Teresa B » Mon May 29, 2006 5:18 pm

Barry Z wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:
Barry Z wrote: Another friend of mine thinks that we evolved completely naturally up to a point, but that something or one (again, could be an alien species or some king of God) interrupted our natural evolution and "injected" us with a higher level of intelligence.
Is there any evidence of "a higher level of intelligence?"
Just how far we've come in the last 50,000 years in comparison to how long it took to evolve from the first upright primates to early humans. Again, I'm an Agnostic with regard to that shot in the dark as well.
Homo sapiens has been around for 100,000 years or so. We have not necessarily evolved more "intelligence" (brain size is not different, and was actually larger in Neanderthals)--H. sapiens had the wiring already. Cultural evolution, which goes at lightning speed compared to biological, has resulted in the exponential increase in human capabilities.

Teresa
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Post by Teresa B » Mon May 29, 2006 5:35 pm

Corlyss_D wrote: My suggesting the book wasn't intended to change your mind. It's interesting subset of Brain Science. I agree about meditation - it consists of demonstrated physical condition(s). But if everyone has the equipment for ecstatic religious experience, is it something that can be "trained" for?
I didn't take it that way--One thing I love about you, Corlyss, is your respect for differing viewpoints (as long as they have some reasoning behind them :wink: ).

Hmm, does the ecstatic experience have to be trained for? I dunno again! You could use the analogy to something like playing the piano--we all have the wiring, but training is needed to master the technique.

People claim to have had the same ecstatic experiences while on LSD and peyote, and obviously no training is necessary there. Could it be that the training, i.e. meditation, does something physiologically to the brain that is mimicked by certain drugs? And how do we know this "altered state" is not really tapping into the universal Truth? We might have evolved a limited consciousness, perhaps shutting off a huge level of awareness, just because Natural Selection favored the limitation.

I'm getting off on a tangent that goes somewhere beyond my own consciousness, so I'll quit before I slide into the danger zone of believing schizophrenics are the REAL seers.

Teresa
"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." ~ The Cheshire Cat

Author of the novel "Creating Will"

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Mon May 29, 2006 6:04 pm

Cross hemispherical signal processing from the brain stem on up has been proposed as the biological mechanism for reflective awareness. Most other animals (parrots being an exception) have symmetrical brains: one side is the mirror image of the other and is basically a redundant system. We are right or left handed, the obvious manifestation of assymetry. No centipede is right-footed, nor is any spider a southpaw.

Human brains have assymetrical signal processing from the level of the barin stem on up, with things like language crossing back and forth between hemispheres for processing in different regions of the brain. This internal dialogue being theorised as creating an overarching "I" with hard-wired self-reflection. See Zoltan Torey's The Crucible of Consciousness or Astin's Zen and the Brain.

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