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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 7:54 am 
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PJF wrote:
Oh my, did I rant again? :lol:

Yes :)
But your rants are always entertaining and thought-provoking, so keep doing it.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:01 am 
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A creepy line for Halloween:

Life itself is only a vision, a dream. Nothing exists, save empty space and you...and you are but a thought.

It's scaaary you guys!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:38 pm 
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I couldn't resist. This was emailed me today. :lol: :lol:

>Two men crashed in their private plane on a South Pacific Island.
>Both survived. One of the men brushed himself off and then proceeded
>to run all over the island to see if they had any chance of
>survival. When he returned, he rushed up to the other man and
>screamed, "This island is uninhabited, there is no food, there's no
>water. We are going to die!"
>
>The other man leaned back against the fuselage of the wrecked plane,
>folded his arms and responded, "No we're not. I make over $250,000 a
>week."
>
>The first man grabbed his friend and shook him. Listen, we are on an
>uninhabited island. There is no food, no water. We are going to
>die!"
>
>The other man, unruffled, again responded "No, I make over $250,000
>a week."
>
>Mystified, the first man, taken aback with such an answer again
>repeated, "For the last time, I'm telling you we ARE doomed. There
>is NO one else on this island. There is NO food. There is NO water.
>We are, I repeat, we are going to die a slow death!"
>
>Still unfazed, the first man looked the other in the eyes and said,
>do not make me say this again. I make over $250,000 per week.I am a
>Baptist and, I tithe. MY PASTOR WILL FIND US!"
>
>

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"You see, my piano is for me what his ship is to a sailor; more indeed: it is my very self, my mother tongue, my life." - Franz Liszt


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 8:56 pm 
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That's a good one! :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 4:49 pm 
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[quote="techneut"][quote="PJF"]ote]


Last edited by rsmullyan on Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 5:02 pm 
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I love the following true incident:The philosopher and psychologist William James once asked a little boy if he knew what faith is. The boy replied:
"Yeah. Faith means believing something you know ain't true."

Raymond


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 6:11 am 
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Just a point to ponder:

Every single atom in our bodies helium on up was born in the center of a star. Elements heavier than iron were made in supernovae.

Are we mere stardust, or is there something else?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 8:36 am 
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I believe that we have the potential to make ourselves more than stardust, and that we do so on different levels every day, with things like....playing piano! I don't believe that much good comes of assuming that we already are more than what we are made of, granted by a higher power, but only after death.

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"Z Czernym poznałem się na panie brat—na dwa fortepiana często z nim u niego grywałem. Dobry człowiek, ale nic więcej..." - Fryderyk Chopin


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:35 am 
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Well, that explains why people call me 'spacey'. :lol: My sons like to call me a 'space-cadet'.

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:27 pm 
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Terez wrote:
I believe that we have the potential to make ourselves more than stardust, and that we do so on different levels every day, with things like....playing piano! I don't believe that much good comes of assuming that we already are more than what we are made of, granted by a higher power, but only after death.


I believe it is our duty to try to amount to more than the sum of our parts. Ironically, some choose to focus solely on an afterlife, while completely neglecting the stupidly obvious moral demands of this life.

Eye on the ball, people! :x

Pete


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:48 pm 
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I hope I don't sound too pessimistic right now, but here it goes:

I really want to have a strong faith in God. Really!!! I was raised a roman catholic, and recently confirmed a roman catholic.

However, my more intellectual side tells me this:

God is merely a fictitious coping device, used to help us overcome our fears of mortality. If we were immortal, I highly doubt there would be any God in the equation. Sadly, I believe that God is a human creation, and religion a mere blindfold that tries to blind us from the truth.

However, I REALLY don't want to believe this. I really want to believe the Catholic faith...

It's just difficult. :cry:

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"This is death! This is death as this emanation of the female which leads to unification ... death and love ... this is the abyss." This is not music", said [Sabaneev] to him, "this is something else..." - "This is the Mysterium," he said softly.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:51 pm 
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I too desperately wish there is a God. Wouldn't it be wondrous?!

Pete


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:53 pm 
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Yes it would be!!!

I actually begin to feel naseous when I think of what death must be.

Just absolute nothingness... I can't even begin to comprehend it.

And it scares me. :cry:

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"This is death! This is death as this emanation of the female which leads to unification ... death and love ... this is the abyss." This is not music", said [Sabaneev] to him, "this is something else..." - "This is the Mysterium," he said softly.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:19 pm 
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demonic_advent wrote:
Yes it would be!!!

I actually begin to feel naseous when I think of what death must be.

Just absolute nothingness... I can't even begin to comprehend it.

And it scares me. :cry:


Don't let it scare you, for it is inevitable! Consider the following:

If there is no God, you will simply return to the state you were in before you were born, (13 billion years passed in an instant because you weren't there to watch the clock. Eternity will pass instantly after you are gone.)

If there is a God, it will be of great value to have an honest rapport with Him. Beg to transcend the constraints of human limits. If He is there, He will love you.

Either way, BE GOOD! That is the point. Don't sin, do good for your fellow human. Be humble in your humanity.

Father Corapi:
This is a wonderful man, even my semi-atheistic self is always moved by his powerful messages. He transcends mere religion to approach the ultimate truth.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTHmn13v7Ts

Pete


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:44 pm 
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But I don't like the idea of eternity passing in the blink of an eye.

I'm sorry to say I like life.

But trust me, I would never use my doubts as an opportunity for sin.

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"This is death! This is death as this emanation of the female which leads to unification ... death and love ... this is the abyss." This is not music", said [Sabaneev] to him, "this is something else..." - "This is the Mysterium," he said softly.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:43 am 
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Demonic Advent.

A s I once said to a teenage relative of mine:" Why should I worry about my dying? It's not going to happen in my lifetime! " Assuming there is no afterlife (an unsubstantiated assumptlon, by the way) your death is nothing that will happen to you; your death is something which will be an event to others!

Raymond


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:50 am 
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I suppose so... but the nothingness that may follow is just a frightening prospect to me.

Also... whilst having no afterlife may be unsubstanstiated, I would think that there being an afterlife is also an unsubstanstiated claim.

Nobody's gone there and come back to tell us what its like.

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"This is death! This is death as this emanation of the female which leads to unification ... death and love ... this is the abyss." This is not music", said [Sabaneev] to him, "this is something else..." - "This is the Mysterium," he said softly.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:58 am 
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Dear Advent.

I totally agree that from a purely scientific point of view, there is not the slightest bit of evidence either for or against the existence of an afterlife.

As for your fear of nothingness, you seem to totally forget that you won't be aware of the nothingness!

Raymond


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:00 am 
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True... but I am aware now... and the present is scary enough without having to worry about the future.

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"This is death! This is death as this emanation of the female which leads to unification ... death and love ... this is the abyss." This is not music", said [Sabaneev] to him, "this is something else..." - "This is the Mysterium," he said softly.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:13 am 
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DA....this man is 88 years old or something and he's not scared! Follow his example. ;)

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"Z Czernym poznałem się na panie brat—na dwa fortepiana często z nim u niego grywałem. Dobry człowiek, ale nic więcej..." - Fryderyk Chopin


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:25 am 
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Easier said than done.

Unfortunatly... I'm just afraid of a lot of things... and it's not always easy to conquer fear.

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"This is death! This is death as this emanation of the female which leads to unification ... death and love ... this is the abyss." This is not music", said [Sabaneev] to him, "this is something else..." - "This is the Mysterium," he said softly.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:46 am 
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Dear Charlie

I can well understand your fear of death, my only point is that it is not realistic-- it is somewhat like a child's fear of the bogey man. The fear, of course is real; the bogey man is not. Despite the irrationality of the fear of death, it is quite natural, and probably has survival value. And so I suggest that instead of trying to get rid of your fear, you simply embrace it and have a good laugh over it!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:52 am 
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Hmmm... well I suppose we should just leave it at that.

No point in my depressing everybody who comes to this forum...

Back to a happy matter:

So how about that Rachmainoff? Is he something or what? :D

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"This is death! This is death as this emanation of the female which leads to unification ... death and love ... this is the abyss." This is not music", said [Sabaneev] to him, "this is something else..." - "This is the Mysterium," he said softly.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:54 am 
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I too have this depressing feeling overcome me when I think about death, because I personally feel that there is nothing after it. It's so... weird (shudders).

As for religion itself, I probably am not mature enough to say I'm an atheist, but I do not believe in any form of a god. For some reason I still consider myself Jewish like the rest of my family, but I don't really believe in the spiritual aspect of it, more of the ideas like "do not steal," "be kind to those around you," and that sort of thing. I have to admit, though, having holidays - whether I celebrate them or not - always makes me kind of happy. For example, even though I don't celebrate it, I always get a great, warm, loving feeling when Christmas comes. I also am guilty of often using phrases like "Oh my God" even though I don't believe in any god, so don't get mad at that or anything.

I believe that the processes of science are strictly responsible for the creation of the universe (e.g. the Big Bang), and that humans have come about naturally. I find it kind of disapointing that people don't take credit for their achievements in life or how beneficial some situations turn out, instead giving credit to (in my belief) a nonexistent omniscient being. I feel that all of the progress on Earth has been made by the creatures on it. Knowing a little bit about quantum mechanics and the seemingly unrelated existentialism, I do not believe in destiny and feel that some things happen for no reason because nothing in life is completely predictable.

Religion seems to be the root cause of many problems in the world, and I'm sure many of you would agree. Obviously many wars have been fought over religion, but it's caused much of the high need for political correctness these days. Now Muslim extremists are killing hundreds of people in the name of their god, and I believe this shows how corrupt the entire institution and idea of religion has become. Why are we all fighting and arguing over something there is no proof for, when science explains and prooves many things more than adequately?

Now, it seems like President Bush has ushered in a reign of right wing religious zealots who force their religion (which is, and I hope this doesn't offend anyone, mostly Christianity) upon America. I know some of you might respond, "If you don't believe in it, don't listen," but religion should be a private matter. People like Ann Coulter disgust me (Google her or search her on YouTube to see some of the idiotic things she has said, like that Jews need to be perfected to be as great as Christians). For any Americans reading this, I find it atrocious that Mitt Romney is only being judged on his belief in Mormonism, and that religion has to be one of the first things people look at when considering a presidential candidate. My ideal president would be an atheist, and would therefore not have any prejudices or biases concerning things like gay rights and abortion rights, which are being influenced largely based on a country's predominant religion. I know that here in America it could be a while before the aforementioned rights will become actual rights because they are against the Christian faith, which pretty much rules this country. It goes so much against the laws set down by American founders that religion and politics should not mix. It is such a shame that many decisions have to be made by people around the world not based on what they personally feel, but what a Bible, Torah, Qu'ran, priest, rabbi, imam, etc. tells them. It's as if religion is a way of controlling what everyone feels and believes.

Religion may have had good intentions thousands of years ago, but those purposes have since been corrupted and misused many times over. I can understand how ancient peoples needed a way to explain the world around them, but in this day and age of science, it seems kind of pointless obsolete. It seems highly probable that the world would be more peaceful and unified (not like totalitarian communist kind of unified) if people could finally let go of these beliefs that are unfortunately displayed too much and even more unfortunately shape who they are.

Well, sorry that that was so long. I hope at least one of you managed to make it this far without being bored to tears. I am truly sorry if I have offended anyone - please tell me if I have. I'm also sorry if I was focusing on the United States too much, but that's where I live and therefore have the most opinion about it.

I want to know what you think of this 15 year old high schooler's opinion.


Last edited by chopinman0901 on Tue Dec 18, 2007 2:17 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:56 am 
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I agree completely.

So... How bout that Rachmaninoff? Anyone? :D

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"This is death! This is death as this emanation of the female which leads to unification ... death and love ... this is the abyss." This is not music", said [Sabaneev] to him, "this is something else..." - "This is the Mysterium," he said softly.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 2:43 am 
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chopinman0901 wrote:
I'm also sorry if I was focusing on the United States too much, but that's where I live and therefore have the most opinion about it.

One thing that I've noticed over the good few years I've been frequenting international English-speaking websites - a good many people all over the world are quite concerned with our politics and the general mass-mindset of our citizens. And probably with good reason...

Quote:
I want to know what you think of this 15 year old high schooler's opinion.

I think you're pretty mature on this subject, and you seem to be pretty even-minded about it. There's quite a bit of atheism-outing going on in our country right now, and I think it's a good sign. Not because we're out to eradicate religion or anything - but just because atheism has been such a taboo for so long. By a long step, the highest-ranking non-theist in our government is a lone Congressman out of several hundred. I think that is clearly not so much that all of them are theists in practice, but that they all know it could easily cost them their position if their true thoughts on the subject were known, not because of any official "religious test" in our Constitution, but because the vote itself for so many is a religious test.

Religious tolerance to a high degree is required, nearly anywhere you go, simply because there are so many religions and denominations within religions that it is truly impossible to get everyone to agree on any one religion. That is precisely the problem that brought about our founders' dedication to separating church and state. A man might feel like it is his duty to god and to his fellow man to make an official church, but he realizes that this will open up the path for another religion to seize control and force him to practice a religion he does not agree with.

In the US, Christianity is undeniably predominant. Something close to 90% of all Americans, depending on which study you peruse, claim belief in some god or another. Over 80% claim Christianity. Probably quite a few less than that go to church regularly. The solid fundamentalists make up about 30% of our voters, and something around another 20% are at least in part influenced by Christian fundamentalist ideas.

This is something that will change - not quickly, but gradually, as it becomes more socially acceptable to profess atheism.

demonic_advent wrote:
So... How bout that Rachmaninoff? Anyone?

Weren't we talking about that on another thread? :p

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"Z Czernym poznałem się na panie brat—na dwa fortepiana często z nim u niego grywałem. Dobry człowiek, ale nic więcej..." - Fryderyk Chopin


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:41 pm 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
chopinman0901 wrote:
Religion seems to be the root cause of many problems in the world, and I'm sure many of you would agree.



False. The problems are rooted in power not religion. No religion is centered on brutality and war. Religion is used to justifiy going to war. Furthermore, those who say that their religion urges them to fight, are misinterpreting the words. Take for example Islamic extremists, they skew their own religion and any Muslim around the world would tell you that their religion is a peaceful one.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 5:42 pm 
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I believe that humans cannot grasp the power of religion, and sometimes use it as an excuse to perform evil deeds. (Ex. Crusades, Jihad, Holocaust, etc.)

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"This is death! This is death as this emanation of the female which leads to unification ... death and love ... this is the abyss." This is not music", said [Sabaneev] to him, "this is something else..." - "This is the Mysterium," he said softly.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 6:55 pm 
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What I'm saying is that if there was no religion, there would be no power or influence to abuse based on faith.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 7:25 pm 
:roll:


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 9:15 pm 
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HAHA! That's a keeper.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 9:16 pm 
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If you missed very fist post:

First, I have to say that I pass no personal judgment on any single person's belief system nor do I ever make any attempt to convert anyone to mine.

I was born of Roman Catholic parents and raised in the traditions of the Church. Up until age seven, I took the teachings as sacrosanct. Then, one day, an epiphany occurred. Having just finished reading the bible cover to cover, I could see the unreconciled differences between The Book and reality. I couldn't help feeling I'd been taken for a fool. Of course, I immediately squelched these horrid ideas my sinful little mind had cooked up against an infallible, a perfect religion which, as I had been informed, was Catholicism. I eventually came to the realization that every faith ever practiced in the history of humanity has caused a cessation of intellect; if one book has all the answers and is unquestionable, then what incentive is there to think about anything else? I deeply hold the belief that any embrace of immutable dogma is a grave sin.

I believe faith is a function of the limits of the human psyche. It never fails; if we understand an idea, we take it as common sense, never invoking faith of any kind; we don't believe in a rain-god, because we understand the water-cycle; our astrophysicists understand a branch of calculus known as perturbation theory, therefore we don't need a god to explain the otherwise miraculous stability of the planets' orbits around our sun. Isaac Newton did not understand perturbation theory (it had yet to be discovered); because of that lack in his knowledge (which was vast but limited, to be sure), he could not mathematically explain the regularity and stability of our solar-system. According to his calculations, the orbits should be unstable, causing the planets and moons to fly away along random paths. In his Principia he concluded that this could only be due to an omnipotent force:

"The six primary Planets are revolv'd about the Sun, in circles concentric with the Sun, and with motions directed towards the same parts, and almost in the same plane....But it is not to be conceived that mere mechanical causes could give birth to so many regular motions.
...This most beautiful System of the Sun, Planets and Comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being."


Just as soon as we reach the boundaries of knowledge, we chalk up events to the supernatural. This is dangerous. We humans don't handle superstition very well, we get afraid, we worry about others' views of it, we kill and die over it. From A.D. 800-1100, Baghdad was the science capital of the world (Arabic numbers and algebra are products of this intellectually fertile period). Then Imam Hamid al-Ghazali (A.D. 1058-1111) whose philosophy basically said math is the work of the devil enters the equation. He forbade any thinking beyond the Koran, thereby undoing any intellectual progress and ushering in an age of violent fundamentalism that continues to this day. The Catholic teachings against contraception have had a profoundly negative impact in some parts of Africa, where use of condoms is considered sinful, but overpopulation and high AIDS rates are somehow taken for granted. Religion often tells us what is right, even if we know better.

. . .

I base my belief system on one premise: as an integral (albeit infinitesimal) part of reality, the ultimate job of being human is to humbly respect what actually is, regardless of what our terribly limited minds may want to think. Existence exists. I don't think anyone can disagree on that point. Since existence exists (in whatever form it does) we are compelled toward honest acknowledgment, whether we understand it or not.

So, do I belong to a sect? No. Am I an atheist, a deist, a pantheist? No, no, no. Am I undecided? No. Do I believe in the existence of God? That is an unanswerable question. Do I have faith? Yes, I have 100 percent faith in the fact that what is, IS.

The entirety of reality may be infinite, therefore impossible to define. It makes no sense to assign anything as the last word.

Respectfully submitted,
PF


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 8:51 pm 
The point is: how do you know what IS? I think you can't know anything for sure. The only way to get information is to use your eyes, ears etc. And sometimes people 'see'/'hear' things they cannot see/hear, things that don't really 'exist'. So how can you know what IS?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 10:41 am 
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Quote:
The point is: how do you know what IS? I think you can't know anything for sure. The only way to get information is to use your eyes, ears etc. And sometimes people 'see'/'hear' things they cannot see/hear, things that don't really 'exist'. So how can you know what IS?


Looks like someone's been reading Plato? We can never know what IS and what ISN'T. Our minds can often be deceived so that we see or hear things that aren't there. All we can do is to assume that if several people have seen/heard something in the exact same way at the same moment, it IS.

Quote:
False. The problems are rooted in power not religion. No religion is centered on brutality and war. Religion is used to justifiy going to war.


Religion IS power. Take a look at the pope; He doesn't want people to use condoms, and people listen to him because he's the pope. Then look at what's happening in Africa ( HIV all over the place ). This may not really be a war, but Christianity is certanly screwing people over.

Quote:
Take for example Islamic extremists, they skew their own religion and any Muslim around the world would tell you that their religion is a peaceful one.


Well, I haven't read the Koran myself, so feel free to disregard this next bit, but people often say that the Koran has some really nasty bits in it. I've heard that it litterly states that anyone who does not believe in Allah should me killed on sight. Women are also often treated as garbage because the Koran says that men are superior to women. Again, I haven't read the Koran myself, so this may not be true at all, but still... there must be a reason why the Islam has such a bad reputation.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 3:35 pm 
Adam wrote:
Quote:
The point is: how do you know what IS? I think you can't know anything for sure. The only way to get information is to use your eyes, ears etc. And sometimes people 'see'/'hear' things they cannot see/hear, things that don't really 'exist'. So how can you know what IS?


Looks like someone's been reading Plato? We can never know what IS and what ISN'T. Our minds can often be deceived so that we see or hear things that aren't there. All we can do is to assume that if several people have seen/heard something in the exact same way at the same moment, it IS.


And Zeno too.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 4:28 pm 
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Adam wrote:
Well, I haven't read the Koran myself, so feel free to disregard this next bit, but people often say that the Koran has some really nasty bits in it. I've heard that it litterly states that anyone who does not believe in Allah should me killed on sight. Women are also often treated as garbage because the Koran says that men are superior to women.

This is not so different from the Bible - except for the 'killing on sight' bit, if that is true. The Bible just says that non-believers must be converted, and that is a Christian's most important task.
I haven't read the Koran either - but repeatedly read that it has much in common with the Bible. The history of Christianity is every bit as bloody as what Islam is going through now. Perhaps it's a phase........ When Europe was in the dark middle ages, and America yet undiscovered, Islamic world was a model of tolerance and wisdom. How things have changed.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 5:01 am 
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Quote:
This is not so different from the Bible - except for the 'killing on sight' bit, if that is true. The Bible just says that non-believers must be converted, and that is a Christian's most important task.
I haven't read the Koran either - but repeatedly read that it has much in common with the Bible. The history of Christianity is every bit as bloody as what Islam is going through now. Perhaps it's a phase........ When Europe was in the dark middle ages, and America yet undiscovered, Islamic world was a model of tolerance and wisdom. How things have changed.


Crusades... Jihad... both stem from one religion being threatened by another.

Personally, I think that religion actually has more power than any kind of government out there.
Especially considering that it is often directly or indirectly in control of those governments.

George W. Bush = Actually believes that he talks to God. His christian religious background plays a massive role in his political decisions.

And about the Koran... I can't claim to have read it myself either... however what I have been taught in my religion classes at school is that the Koran is open to numerous interpretations, because it rarely says anything directly upfront. Thus, the extremisits can claim that it calls for a Jihad, whilst the more moderate can see it as a means for a peaceful lifestyle.

But that's just what was taught to me by various teachers. It's obviously not a substitute for actually reading the Koran.

But now I feel inspired... perhaps I should look it up...

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demonic_advent wrote:
And about the Koran... I can't claim to have read it myself either... however what I have been taught in my religion classes at school is that the Koran is open to numerous interpretations, because it rarely says anything directly upfront. Thus, the extremisits can claim that it calls for a Jihad, whilst the more moderate can see it as a means for a peaceful lifestyle.

That, I think, is more or less the case with the bible too. It means different things to different people, depending on what they want to achieve. Another way in which the two books have much in common.
It would be interesting to read the Koran, if one had time for it, and understand better what Islam is about - and what it's not about. I think though it needs many years of study and guidance to get the fine points, and you still need to doa lot of interpretation for yourself.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 4:27 pm 
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It's difficult to get away from the violence with Islam, fundamentally, because the religion was spread by the sword, by Muhammad himself.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:03 pm 
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I have only one problem with religion(s). The practice of faith.

For clarity, I use "faith" meaning: firm belief in something for which there is no proof.

When one or a group then go about proclaiming truths deduced through faith, ergo the problem.

Pete


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I'm supremely irritated. (Maybe it's the 40 degree heat.)

Every time I see my very kind aunt, she rather innocently opens up a discussion about religion (which is fine), but then proceeds with a rather forceful attempt at converting me to Catholicism! It's an obsession of hers that borders on insanity. This gets my goat worse than anything (although I never display any sign of vexation). And of course, I'm compelled to engage her in a 4 hour argument about the presence or absence of the Trinity. This has been going on for almost 5 years. It exhausts me! I wish she would just shut up for a minute and enjoy the moment, instead of incessantly trying to mold my world view to hers.

I never attempt to convert others from their belief system to mine; I think doing so is sort of rude, if you ask me. Last time auntie made her predictably not-so-subtle move to change me, I almost lost control of my emotions (I'm practically Vulcan, you know :lol:). I'm not one for yelling at someone, but I am very close to giving her a verbal slap-in-the-face. I can count the number of times I've lost lost my temper in my life on one hand. Really, I don't want want to add another (middle) finger. I've tried telling her directly but politely to stop the nonstop onslaught, but she just can't turn off the holy-roller attitude.

I love her to death and I don't want to hurt her. What should I do?!?! :?

Again, respectfully submitted,
Pete.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 3:45 pm 
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She should see that forcing someone to believe (whatever the belief maybe--Elvis is still living or 2 + 2= 5 or the Doctrines of Catholicism) is not a genuine conversion; therefore it would be correct for her to take to heart that if someone comes to believe is much better than trying to force it.


As for your actions: don't explode, don't yell. Patience is a virtue. Silence when appropriate. It is hard to bite the bullet but, as you said, you love her and I think that by yelling at her it would only cripple the love.

I hope this helps just a tad.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:59 pm 
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juufa72 wrote:
She should see that forcing someone to believe (whatever the belief maybe--Elvis is still living or 2 + 2= 5 or the Doctrines of Catholicism) is not a genuine conversion; therefore it would be correct for her to take to heart that if someone comes to believe is much better than trying to force it.


As for your actions: don't explode, don't yell. Patience is a virtue. Silence when appropriate. It is hard to bite the bullet but, as you said, you love her and I think that by yelling at her it would only cripple the love.

I hope this helps just a tad.


Yes, that did help, a lot. I never thought of letting her know that I'll never believe 2 + 2 = 5 is true, unless I see that 2 apples plus 2 apples clearly amounts to 5 on my plate! I truly am searching for the truth, as honestly as possible. (I read just as much Peter Kreft as Richard Dawkins.)

I never really could explode and I am patient to a fault. Sarcasm, however is one of my strong (weak :roll: ) points. :lol:

Perhaps what I may do (with ulterior motives) is start the conversation about religion and try to convert her to my sort of science-based agnostic hybrid atheism/pantheism/deism (I don't even know what 'religion' I am.) I could ask her what she is reading (she's very concerned with me reading anything by Richard Dawkins, even if its about biology and not even remotely about faith). I could proudly and militantly shove my Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris books upon her and proceed to vehemently explain how everything she believes is summarily false (of course I would never do that, since proving false anyone's faith is impossible. Somehow, I don't think the talk would last even 1 hour.

On the other hand, perhaps not.

Thanks, J.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 11:02 pm 
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PJF wrote:
juufa72 wrote:
She should see that forcing someone to believe (whatever the belief maybe--Elvis is still living or 2 + 2= 5 or the Doctrines of Catholicism) is not a genuine conversion; therefore it would be correct for her to take to heart that if someone comes to believe is much better than trying to force it.


As for your actions: don't explode, don't yell. Patience is a virtue. Silence when appropriate. It is hard to bite the bullet but, as you said, you love her and I think that by yelling at her it would only cripple the love.

I hope this helps just a tad.


Yes, that did help, a lot. I never thought of letting her know that I'll never believe 2 + 2 = 5 is true, unless I see that 2 apples plus 2 apples clearly amounts to 5 on my plate! I truly am searching for the truth, as honestly as possible. (I read just as much Peter Kreft as Richard Dawkins.)

I never really could explode and I am patient to a fault. Sarcasm, however is one of my strong (weak :roll: ) points. :lol:

Perhaps what I may do (with ulterior motives) is start the conversation about religion and try to convert her to my sort of science-based agnostic hybrid atheism/pantheism/deism (I don't even know what 'religion' I am.) I could ask her what she is reading (she's very concerned with me reading anything by Richard Dawkins, even if its about biology and not even remotely about faith). I could proudly and militantly shove my Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris books upon her and proceed to vehemently explain how everything she believes is summarily false (of course I would never do that, since proving false anyone's faith is impossible. Somehow, I don't think the talk would last even 1 hour.

On the other hand, perhaps not.

Thanks, J.



I don't know if your large paragraph was sarcastic or serious, but you don't want to be a hypocrite. Don't try to force her to believe what you may (or may not) believe because you'd be doing the same thing she has been doing.

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(I was being sarcastic.) If I ever did decide to argue in that fashion, it would not be in an attempt at conversion but rather to illustrate to her the futility of such forcing.

I know what I'm going to do, now. Next time she says anything along the lines of proselytizing, I'm going to sharply (but quietly) interrupt her and say "I don't want to have this conversation anymore this year. My mind is still open and we can have this discussion all during Holy Week but please not outside of that time." If she doesn't respect that, I won't engage in anymore debates. Fair, no?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 4:19 pm 
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Fair!

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Wow, that was fast! :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 5:59 am 
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PJF wrote:
I know what I'm going to do, now. Next time she says anything along the lines of proselytizing, I'm going to sharply (but quietly) interrupt her and say "I don't want to have this conversation anymore this year. My mind is still open and we can have this discussion all during Holy Week but please not outside of that time." If she doesn't respect that, I won't engage in anymore debates. Fair, no?

A clever solution. Especially when you make sure to be on holiday during Holy Week :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:17 pm 
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Our relationship has gotten much more friendly, since we quit the endless religion debates. :D


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PJF wrote:
Our relationship has gotten much more friendly, since we quit the endless religion debates. :D



isn't that nice :D

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