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  1.    #21  
    Quote Originally Posted by hoovs
    Why is it necessary to?
    Why is it necessary for us to explain how we got here? Why is it necessary for us to understand the origin and nature of consciousness? The natural construction of religion? That the traditional philosophical tenets underlying religion through the history of mankind are not there? The reason for life, if not the meaning of life. Why is it necessary?

    I suppose to some it is not, and others will close their ears when the hear it, to others it's in our nature.
  2.    #22  
    Quote Originally Posted by bheuss
    I believe C.S. Lewis's take on it in "Mere Christianity" is closer to how religion/morality interact. To very broadly paraphrase, you may be born with a vague knowledge of right and wrong, but religion can be an aid in more fully understanding and defining the two ideas. Just as you may "know" when you hear an off-note in music, even if you have no knowledge of music, but you know how and why it is "off" when you have more information about music.
    The book has an interesting passage about an apparent "cheater detection", that seems to be built in to all human beings, which is also central in describing how religion came about.
    Turning to a specific example of hypothesized domain specificity, my son mentioned the famous evo-psych experiment called the "Wason four card decision" test. You're supposed to figure out what's on the other side of a card based on logical rules. When presented as purely a test of abstract reasoning, only about 10% of test-takers figures it out. But when it's presented as a concrete way to detect cheaters, 75% figure it out. From this, Tooby and Cosmides have hypothesized that humans have evolved a "cheater detection module" that helps make social cooperation feasible by making us very good at sniffing out and ostracizing free-riders and other cheaters.
    Survival of the fittest, at it's simplest level is selfish. Each human doing is in the best interest of his / her survival, but this does not really describe the human condition. How do we get from what's good for me, to what's good for us.

    This is where the book begins.
  3. #23  
    True enough. Belief in (a) god and how it's "understood" still lies in the eye of the beholder.

    Thou shall not kill. Unless it's a capital execution, or it's for a good cause, or you'll get 21 virgins on the other side, or any number of other reasons.

    I believe that a faith in a supreme being can be a positive and good thing. There's some saying along the lines of "Human beings are not God/Christ, but we should strive to be God/Christ-like." Of course, if your God is the God of the Old Testament, smiting and vengeance place pretty prominently on the list of OK things to do.
    Brent
    T650 on Sprint's Wireless Wonder
  4.    #24  
    Quote Originally Posted by bheuss
    True enough. Belief in (a) god and how it's "understood" still lies in the eye of the beholder.

    Thou shall not kill. Unless it's a capital execution, or it's for a good cause, or you'll get 21 virgins on the other side, or any number of other reasons.

    I believe that a faith in a supreme being can be a positive and good thing. There's some saying along the lines of "Human beings are not God/Christ, but we should strive to be God/Christ-like." Of course, if your God is the God of the Old Testament, smiting and vengeance place pretty prominently on the list of OK things to do.
    Again in the evolutioin of religion, Dennett likens those ideas (ideas contrary to what is good for me, or good for us) to the parasite in brain of the insect compelling him to climb the blade of grass, so the cow can eat him, and he can get in to the stomach of the cow to reproduce. The ideas themselves have a life in our collective conciousness.
  5.    #25  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur
    There is little point to the universe. Local increases in complexity only occurs at the expense of a larger increase in entropy. All that it indicates is that there are organizational processes also amongst the many processes that break things down.

    There are many more processes that increase entropy than decrease it.

    Surur
    That was his / my point Sursur. That in fact there is NO point to the universe, or more specifically, there is nothing that cannot be explained by a completely stupid constant proces resulting in everything we see, including the perception of our uniqueness, and intelect.
  6. #26  
    I believe that religion is a tool that can be used for both good and evil, just as anything else in this world. It certainly has been used as an excuse to achieve personal political agendas, greed, accusation of power, etc.... But it has also given millions the spiritual balance in their lives which cannot be denied that has given them moral guidance to be model citizens in their society and within their interactions among other people, in personal, business, and political arenas.

    There is no doubt that my religious aspect of my life has guided me to maintain a high level of honesty in my daily dealings with others....and honesty with myself.

    But as I stated there are also others who have hidden behind the name of religion to get their selfish desires, whether it be political, money, power, land, revenge, etc.... The Crusades and the current Islamic Extremists are two examples of this.

    Personal accountability is often times overlooked when the name of religion is called. And religion taking the fall for the actions of the individuals, even though the religion that their actions were done in be half of always condemned the actions taken by the individuals.

    As for religion and science. I have stated several times that both can co-exist. I posted this earlier, not to start yet another evolution vs creation debate (if interested in this do a search for the thousands of posts on this subject), but still think it is a perfect example in general terms of how I believe as well. I had a biology teacher in college say something pretty interesting. He had a strong faith in God and in creation, and a very strong and solid grounding in science. He once said something like this: "By law I have to teach the theories of Darwin and think that it is vital to learn. By faith I believe without a doubt there was a creation by God. I have no doubt that aspects of Darwin's theory are true, i.e. adapting to one's environment for survival. But there are several huge wholes in the theory and many still unanswered questions with it. All I can say is that when I die I cannot wait to see how it all fits together!"
  7. #27  
    Quote Originally Posted by theBlaze74
    Why is it necessary for us to explain how we got here? Why is it necessary for us to understand the origin and nature of consciousness? The natural construction of religion? That the traditional philosophical tenets underlying religion through the history of mankind are not there? The reason for life, if not the meaning of life. Why is it necessary?
    No. Why is it necessary to "explain the universe without God"? In other words, is it necessary to omit the possibility of God and, if so, why?
  8. #28  
    Quote Originally Posted by theBlaze74
    That was his / my point Sursur. That in fact there is NO point to the universe, or more specifically, there is nothing that cannot be explained by a completely stupid constant proces resulting in everything we see, including the perception of our uniqueness, and intelect.
    Which brings one to the point of one's own life. In a pointless universe, why are we here?

    The answer is 42 BTW.

    Surur
  9. #29  
    Quote Originally Posted by hoovs
    No. Why is it necessary to "explain the universe without God"? In other words, is it necessary to omit the possibility of God and, if so, why?
    Science killed God. The people who still believe are self-delusionary. Occam's razor asks for the simplest explanation. Even with all its complexity, scientific theories are still a better explanation of reality than God, and adding God just adds extra complications with no explanatory power.

    Surur
  10. #30  
    Many scientists have a strong religious belief (one study in the 70s pegged it at around 40% of U.S. scientists). Darwin and Einstein were both devout believers in faith. A good, readable site that brings science and faith together nicely is http://www.reasons.org/.

    This site, http://www.mat.univie.ac.at/~neum/sciandf.html, also has a wealth of information but seems slightly out of date.

    I agreed with Hobbes that faith and science are not mutually exclusive. Science can help us explain what we observe; faith can help people believe in what cannot be observed but can be intuited or felt, such as ethics and morality.
    Brent
    T650 on Sprint's Wireless Wonder
  11.    #31  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur
    Which brings one to the point of one's own life. In a pointless universe, why are we here?

    The answer is 42 BTW.

    Surur
    'Why' is a function of the algorithm we call our minds. 'Because God loves us' is not an answer to that question, only a refusal to deal with it.
  12. #32  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur
    Science killed God. The people who still believe are self-delusionary.
    I have never seen a scientific study to eliminate or support the possibility of God. In the absence of the scientific study of God or no God, isn't your statement a leap of faith to his non-existence?

    Just as there is a leap of faith to accept the possibility of God there is a leap of faith to accept he does not exist. No real evidence on either side, only personal perception and belief of circumstantial evidence at best.
  13. #33  
    My two cents: Religion offers a framework for contemplating morality. It does this by providing a model for measuring behavior against. It doesn't, in and of itself, cause or hinder morality. But thats just me....
    Who is the more moral person? The religious man who does good because it will please his god and assure him a place in heaven or the atheist man who does good because he has an empathy for his fellow men.
    HP Pre 3 (UK)
  14. #34  
    I have never seen a scientific study to eliminate or support the possibility of God. In the absence of the scientific study of God or no God, isn't your statement a leap of faith to his non-existence?
    I have never seen a scientific study to eliminate the possibility of invisible jelly goblins who control our every move with magical puppet strings. That is no reason to believe in such illogical, irrational things.
    HP Pre 3 (UK)
  15. #35  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    I have never seen a scientific study to eliminate or support the possibility of God. In the absence of the scientific study of God or no God, isn't your statement a leap of faith to his non-existence?

    Just as there is a leap of faith to accept the possibility of God there is a leap of faith to accept he does not exist. No real evidence on either side, only personal perception and belief of circumstantial evidence at best.
    If such a study was done, would you believe the result if it disproved the existence of God? Or will God disappear in poof of Logic if you could prove its existence?

    Surur
  16. #36  
    No. Why is it necessary to "explain the universe without God"? In other words, is it necessary to omit the possibility of God and, if so, why?
    Because trying to shoehorn a belief in God into scientific study is akin to trying to teach mathematics with the belief that 2+2=7. Things simply don't add up that way.
    HP Pre 3 (UK)
  17. #37  
    Quote Originally Posted by checkmate
    I have never seen a scientific study to eliminate the possibility of invisible jelly goblins who control our every move with magical puppet strings. That is no reason to believe in such illogical, irrational things.
    Then you obviously have never met many people from California!!!
  18. #38  
    Quote Originally Posted by checkmate
    I have never seen a scientific study to eliminate the possibility of invisible jelly goblins who control our every move with magical puppet strings. That is no reason to believe in such illogical, irrational things.
    But on whom will the joke be, when you find out that it is invisible jelly goblins?

    The main hinderance in discussions of god(dess) is that one root of belief is faith in something unseen and unknowable. So, your supposition of invisible jelly goblins is just as plausible as the old, white-bearded man leaning out of the clouds, or the many other gods/goddesses worshipped around the world just as fervently and as fully as other groups worship their one god.
    Brent
    T650 on Sprint's Wireless Wonder
  19. #39  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur
    If such a study was done, would you believe the result if it disproved the existence of God? Or will God disappear in poof of Logic if you could prove its existence?

    Surur
    Could you, if it proved there was some higher power? Again, as you stated in your question, it would come down to personal belief.
  20.    #40  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    Could you, if it proved there was some higher power? Again, as you stated in your question, it would come down to personal belief.
    As sursur said before, the reason religion is invulnerable to disproof is that it evolved through attempts to disprove.

    The jelly goblin story is immune to disproof as well.
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