How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby Gelert » Mon May 03, 2010 4:38 pm

Asleep on a sunbeam wrote:
Gelert wrote:
toxic wrote: I have always been wary of science (I want to know who commissions the research and if it is by those who share my beliefs, I tend to believe it. For example, if the vegan society commissioned a study on the ill-effects of milk I would choose their results as my reference material. I will discard any research on the health benefits of milk commissioned by the dairy industry because I think milk is bad!


I think you're confusing science with market research.


Market research camouflaged as science?



Aye.

Or, more accurately, capitalistic neo-Lysenkoism (not to be confused with Neo-Lysenkoism sensu Lewontin et al.)

So definitely not science.
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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby Asleep on a sunbeam » Mon May 03, 2010 4:51 pm

Gelert wrote:
Aye.

Or, more accurately, capitalistic neo-Lysenkoism (not to be confused with Neo-Lysenkoism sensu Lewontin et al.)

So definitely not science.


Yeah...that...what?
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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby Gelert » Mon May 03, 2010 4:53 pm

Asleep on a sunbeam wrote:
Gelert wrote:
Aye.

Or, more accurately, capitalistic neo-Lysenkoism (not to be confused with Neo-Lysenkoism sensu Lewontin et al.)

So definitely not science.


Yeah...that...what?


LMGTFY
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysenkoism
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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby toxic » Mon May 03, 2010 11:19 pm

Sadly, I reckon most science these days is Lysenkoism as the funding has to come from somewhere and who's going to pay for something that might not promote their beliefs/products?

I read a great book ages ago (although for the life of me I cannot remember what it was called) about obesity and the scientific study of it, the processes involved in patenting the findings and subsequent development of dodgy diet pills. Woah.. it was full-on! All the in-fighting, back-stabbing and dirty dealings within the science sector and all motivated by money and ego.
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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby Asleep on a sunbeam » Tue May 04, 2010 9:23 am

Gelert wrote:
Asleep on a sunbeam wrote:
Gelert wrote:
Aye.

Or, more accurately, capitalistic neo-Lysenkoism (not to be confused with Neo-Lysenkoism sensu Lewontin et al.)

So definitely not science.


Yeah...that...what?


LMGTFY
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysenkoism


Ah, so essentially FDA studies would be a perfect example of this.
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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby Gelert » Tue May 04, 2010 9:24 am

toxic wrote:Sadly, I reckon most science these days is Lysenkoism as the funding has to come from somewhere and who's going to pay for something that might not promote their beliefs/products?



Actually, much, if not all, science is funded by you, the taxpayer.


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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby Johnboy74 » Tue May 04, 2010 10:46 am

Gelert wrote:Actually, much, if not all, science is funded by you, the taxpayer.

Like everything else, we all end up paying for it...
But surely there is scientific enquiry going on that is pure and simply about extending human knowledge without a political agenda
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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby toxic » Tue May 04, 2010 12:46 pm

Johnboy74 wrote:
Gelert wrote:Actually, much, if not all, science is funded by you, the taxpayer.

Like everything else, we all end up paying for it...
But surely there is scientific enquiry going on that is pure and simply about extending human knowledge without a political agenda


everything has a political agenda. If only altruism existed, eh?
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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby Gelert » Tue May 04, 2010 1:47 pm

Johnboy74 wrote:
Gelert wrote:Actually, much, if not all, science is funded by you, the taxpayer.

Like everything else, we all end up paying for it...
But surely there is scientific enquiry going on that is pure and simply about extending human knowledge without a political agenda



A lot of the taxpayer funded stuff is agenda free to a certain extent. The main way control can be exerted on research is on deciding what gets funded and what does not. Research funders buy research. They don't buy people in white coats to stand next to your instrument in the lab and give it a tap to nudge data to their liking. Scientists who get bought like that are committing professional suicide.

Much of the published science is publically funded by the taxpayer. The taxpayer seldom cares. How many people in the UK on May 6 will cast a vote influenced by what science is funded in the UK? So politicians don't do science. Margaret Thatcher was a notable exception in having a degree in chemistry, although it didn't amount to much when it came to how universities were dealt with in the 1980s. Parliament's last session had two trained (i.e. PhD) level scientists sitting in it, and that is predicted to halve with the coming election. So although big noises are made by politicians about wanting the UK to have a forward-leaning knowledge economy (cont p.94) it doesn't amount to much for the simple reason that they are out of their depth. This is why each department of UK government now has a science advisor - but the value of that is questionable given recent events with Professor David Nutt.

No, the real seats of influence for this are the research councils. For the most part they set an agenda aimed at problem solving science e.g. climate change, infectious diseases, food security. Etc. And within that they determine priorities for research and put calls out to the community of scientists to submit bids for cash to fund the research. But equally they fund "blue skies" research where an established scientist just puts in a proposal within the broad remit of the council and if it's good, it gets funded. But at all levels within this framework of both kinds of research what gets funded is decided by scientists - by peer review processes similar to deciding what gets published - for the merit of the work.

And of course, every scientist worth their salt has a slush fund.

It's not perfect as far as a system goes, but I would argue strongly against the idea that science is invalidated by the fact that it's paid for somehow.
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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby Alistar » Mon May 31, 2010 12:34 pm

First of all "reality" is pretty ridiculous IMO. So the Universe is expanding. It's not slowing down as one would expect but its speeding up. Its full of "dark matter" that no one can see or accurately describe, but it must be there or else the Universe wouldn't be behaving as it is.

It sprung into existence by the way of the mysterious "Big Bang". Before the Big Bang ,time didn't exist as there was no space for it in which to do so. If the Big Bang wasn't the size that it was after 1 milisecond it would either have already collasped in on itself, or flung all the matter contained within it so far and wide it wouldn't have enough chance to interact with itself and form stars and galaxy's etc as we know them. It would already be cold, dead and desolate.

String theorists reckon they've worked out mathematically that "reality" has 11 dimensions, but we only exist in 4 of them... whatever that means.

Personally I like that idea that we're not "real" in the solid sense so like to believe it. Seems to give reality a bit of flexibility and "magic" which is why I like the concept even if its a big load of balony.
Because reality isn't built on pieces of individual units, like bricks in a wall. Atoms are bonded electro magnetically. There's lots of space between these solid constructs we know as electrons proton and nuetrons. which are themselves apparently made up of smaller units called quarks gluons etc etc. But since we are all made out of the same electro magnetic "stuff" everything behaves as if it is solid( or what we understand as such) so unfortunately we can't walk through walls etc etc.

Personally I'm not a materialist. I think that just because we can't see, or experience certain things, that it therefore means these things or realities don't exist. We just live in one aspect of reality IMO. There are probably lots of other realities, but just no way we can experience them or even comprehend them. WTF's a 5th or 7th dimension? Our 4th dimensional instruments ain't probably going to work in a 5th dimensional environment I'd expect!? :lol:

I also don't believe in a creator God outside of "reality". If s/he created "reality", then what reality does s/he exist in, and in what environment did s/he come to be in? Who created her, or did s/he just create herself? Its illogical...and one thing that reality has to do is make sense, in a very practical way, or else its going to blow itself apart and cease to exist in any meaningful, or complicated form.

God or what I perceive as God is contained within the very fabric of reality if it exists at all IMO. It's the creative, intelligence principal that allows existence to construct anything of any complexity. It was there in the begining and will be there in the end. And I like to believe this creative intelligence principal is itself probably conscious in a certain incomprehensible way. But then again, if this creative intelligence principal is inherent within realities actual "structure" then the term "God" is interchangeable with "reality" so is probably unneccesary if you follow this reasoning. God is reality, reality is God. Or perhaps God is the side of physical reality that is itself conscious? Hmmm... I'm grasping at straws here! :roll: :lol:

But of course this doesn't explain what caused the big bang to "explode" into existence in the first place. The Big Bang can't just burst into existence from nothing can it? Seems competely illogical to me in the same sense that God could have created her/himself. Or consciousness just created itself. Perhaps the Buddhists are right and consciousness never had a begining and instead has just always existed

I think or like to believe, there is nothing final about death neccessarily. Physically we change form and get absorbed back into the earth. Consciously I like to think I'll have some sort of individual consciousness not constrained by the limits of my physical body. Or perhaps I'll/ we'll just dissolve back into this "creative principal" and cease any individual type of consciousness until we are "spat out" as another physical self aware "lifeform" if we should be so cursed, or so lucky? :lol: But I suppose I'll find out either way, when I get there :)
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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby etherspin » Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:52 am

Alistar wrote:First of all "reality" is pretty ridiculous IMO. So the Universe is expanding. It's not slowing down as one would expect but its speeding up. Its full of "dark matter" that no one can see or accurately describe, but it must be there or else the Universe wouldn't be behaving as it is.

It sprung into existence by the way of the mysterious "Big Bang". Before the Big Bang ,time didn't exist as there was no space for it in which to do so. If the Big Bang wasn't the size that it was after 1 milisecond it would either have already collasped in on itself, or flung all the matter contained within it so far and wide it wouldn't have enough chance to interact with itself and form stars and galaxy's etc as we know them. It would already be cold, dead and desolate.

String theorists reckon they've worked out mathematically that "reality" has 11 dimensions, but we only exist in 4 of them... whatever that means.

Personally I like that idea that we're not "real" in the solid sense so like to believe it. Seems to give reality a bit of flexibility and "magic" which is why I like the concept even if its a big load of balony.
Because reality isn't built on pieces of individual units, like bricks in a wall. Atoms are bonded electro magnetically. There's lots of space between these solid constructs we know as electrons proton and nuetrons. which are themselves apparently made up of smaller units called quarks gluons etc etc. But since we are all made out of the same electro magnetic "stuff" everything behaves as if it is solid( or what we understand as such) so unfortunately we can't walk through walls etc etc.

Personally I'm not a materialist. I think that just because we can't see, or experience certain things, that it therefore means these things or realities don't exist. We just live in one aspect of reality IMO. There are probably lots of other realities, but just no way we can experience them or even comprehend them. WTF's a 5th or 7th dimension? Our 4th dimensional instruments ain't probably going to work in a 5th dimensional environment I'd expect!? :lol:

I also don't believe in a creator God outside of "reality". If s/he created "reality", then what reality does s/he exist in, and in what environment did s/he come to be in? Who created her, or did s/he just create herself? Its illogical...and one thing that reality has to do is make sense, in a very practical way, or else its going to blow itself apart and cease to exist in any meaningful, or complicated form.

God or what I perceive as God is contained within the very fabric of reality if it exists at all IMO. It's the creative, intelligence principal that allows existence to construct anything of any complexity. It was there in the begining and will be there in the end. And I like to believe this creative intelligence principal is itself probably conscious in a certain incomprehensible way. But then again, if this creative intelligence principal is inherent within realities actual "structure" then the term "God" is interchangeable with "reality" so is probably unneccesary if you follow this reasoning. God is reality, reality is God. Or perhaps God is the side of physical reality that is itself conscious? Hmmm... I'm grasping at straws here! :roll: :lol:

But of course this doesn't explain what caused the big bang to "explode" into existence in the first place. The Big Bang can't just burst into existence from nothing can it? Seems competely illogical to me in the same sense that God could have created her/himself. Or consciousness just created itself. Perhaps the Buddhists are right and consciousness never had a begining and instead has just always existed

I think or like to believe, there is nothing final about death neccessarily. Physically we change form and get absorbed back into the earth. Consciously I like to think I'll have some sort of individual consciousness not constrained by the limits of my physical body. Or perhaps I'll/ we'll just dissolve back into this "creative principal" and cease any individual type of consciousness until we are "spat out" as another physical self aware "lifeform" if we should be so cursed, or so lucky? :lol: But I suppose I'll find out either way, when I get there :)



nice !
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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby Gelert » Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:03 am

Alistar wrote:Physically we change form and get absorbed back into the earth. Consciously I like to think I'll have some sort of individual consciousness not constrained by the limits of my physical body. Or perhaps I'll/ we'll just dissolve back into this "creative principal" and cease any individual type of consciousness until we are "spat out" as another physical self aware "lifeform" if we should be so cursed, or so lucky? :lol: But I suppose I'll find out either way, when I get there :)



+1.

I think people get hung up a lot about death as The End, and no small amount of religion has probably come about out of fear and a wish to give meaning conflated with attempts to explain everything else, such as creation, and to try and keep some sense of order in society for a greater good. OK, so about a quarter of religion then!

But what you say above speaks to me of the individual atoms that make us up are together for just one lifetime (or just one breath) in one person as part of endless cycles between living organisms and the environment underpins how it is not The End, or even the end, but one infinitesimal fragment of those atoms' journey around the universe when coalesced together as a ooman bean. I suppose that is most comforting to a biogeochemist, but I find it an interesting perspective to death, aside from the emotional loss experienced by those living it's almost cool.
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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby Johnboy74 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:28 am

Gelert wrote:I think people get hung up a lot about death as The End

With good reason I think, death is the biggest thing that can happen to you

I can see why the above statements by Alistar and Gelert are appealing but for me the rationale doesn't hold up.
For me it screams of the immortal gene talking through the mortal body.
Personally I see life and consciousness as one of the outer layer of the onion that is the nature of everything.
Peel away the layers and you get down to compounds, then atoms and so on. When the living dies and we become
merely atoms, the layers of consciousness are ripped away. The state of Pre-consciousness atoms cannot be aware
of the layers that do not exist.
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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby Melina » Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:57 am

I think organized religion was created and is used as a means of controlling the "sheeple". It's something for those who need something to turn to for answers and guidance because they are unable or unwilling to think for themselves. I don't buy into any sort of religious teachings of any kind. Having said that, I know a Higher Power does exist. I know this from my own personal experience. I have witnessed first-hand, the power of prayer. What I pray to, and how it all works, is a mystery to me... but I do know that when I humbly and sincerely ask this unknowable source of power for help, my prayers are answered. When I talk about "help", I'm not referring to "help me win the lottery" or "help make this or that happen".. I'm talking about growing into my potential as a human being... I am given strength/courage/etc. that I could never muster on my own. Or help in being more accepting, forgiving, tolerant, etc. help in changing myself, I guess you could say. I've tried doing it without asking this "higher power" for help, and it does not work (for me). The only way I have been able to change myself (overcome addictions, among other things), is by turning to a higher power for help.

Is it God? What is God? I certainly don't believe in a man (or woman) sitting up there in the sky, passing judgment on everybody. I think somehow I am praying to some sort of force which enables me to grow into the best version of myself. Kind of like sunshine is to a plant. It's an energy which helps me grow. But I have no idea how to define it. I can only say I have witnessed it work in my life and know for sure it exists.

I also like what Alistar said :-) So many dimensions and hidden worlds/realities we can't even fathom. I mean look at the human body. It's comprised of organs which work independently and have very different and specific jobs to do. The organs work together to make up the body, but they do not have the ability to understand what a human body (in its entirety) is. They are part of this bigger thing they can't even comprehend. And then you go deeper, to the cellular level. All the cells in the organs have their various functions and do very unique and specific jobs in order to keep the organs functioning. Bacteria, enzymes, etc., all this microscopic activity taking place within the larger organism, to keep the larger organism alive. All these smaller "worlds", full of activity, which we are not conscious of... and those organisms are not conscious of us, yet we exist simultaneously and inhabit the same space. I think the God thing is kinda like that. I think we are, like cells, or bacteria, part of something much bigger that we just cannot begin to fathom, just like a red blood cell in my body has no idea about who Melina is, nor the role she plays in her family & community. That red blood cell is playing a role, inside my body, but it's not even aware of what the body really is; it doesn't have the capacity to think or be aware of this "level" of existence you and I are operating on. I think I'm playing a role on this level (dimension?) and there is a bigger consciousness (like my consciousness is "bigger" than the consciousness of my red blood cell), a bigger consciousness I am part of, in the same way that blood cell is a part of me, and I can understand it about as well as the bacteria in my gut can understand who Melina is.

Hope you can somehow make sense of that! :-)
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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby soniczip » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:51 pm

very interesting posts and point of views. i particularly liked reading the discussion between fallen_horse and johnboy74. i'd like to develop 2 points and introduce other 2. please forgive me if others did already. if they did, i missed them, or maybe they weren't properly analysed.

#1
fallen_horse wrote:we still don't know what caused the big bang, and what came before. this is unexplainable today. this could be easily attributed to a god.

alistar wrote: but of course this doesn't explain what caused the big bang to "explode" into existence in the first place. the big bang can't just burst into existence from nothing can it? seems competely illogical to me in the same sense that god could have created her/himself. or consciousness just created itself. perhaps the buddhists are right and consciousness never had a begining and instead has just always existed

this is the most important question and, imho, nobody could give a clear empirical answer, of course. for which, like fallen_horse and alistar, i don’t understand how could the atheist position be sustained.

#2
i wouldn’t feel very comfortable by defining myself agnostic either, cause if
fallen_horse wrote:this could be easily attributed to a god

this god, something or whatever you want to define it, could act in a way reason can’t grasp it. it could reveal itself through other means. would it not be interesting evaluating non rational explanations? i’m just letting logic flow here.

#3
also, something else which is interesting, and hasn’t been covered i think, is the concept of infinity, strictly connected to the above mentioned, unanswered question.

how do you explain infinity? i’m not necessarily, or only, interested in religious or philosophical answers ... let’s say hypothesis, ok? i’m interested in scientific point of views as well. have you read books on the topic? can you suggest something?

#4
the other important question which arises from the god existence/nonexistence debate is: how can morality be defined, and love, and ...? do they exist? are they just nature’s excogitations to perpetuate itself? the existence of a god communicating with us could solve the problem. but, hey, maybe that’s why religions are so popular. but how do nonbelievers justify their morality? there are many people and many moralities, different conceptions of what love, pride, generosity, etc. are. i think somebodyelse pointed this out, but i can't remember who.

again, any book you can recommend?

apart from these points, i like johnboy74's determination of living his life as it will end with his death. life must be enjoyed now. by the way, i met believers and nonbelievers alike partake of this spirit.

in the end, i don't define myself in respect to the post's question. or, if you want, i'm possibilistic and prepared to change my mind or direction if given good reasons (or illuminations :lol: )
i'm focusing on some kind of stuff
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