Reason

Perspectives on our world and our universe, how it works, what is happening, and why it happens. Whether by a hidden hand or natural laws, we come together to hash it out, and perhaps provide a little bit of education and enlightenment for others. This is a place for civil discussion. Please keep it that way.
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Deacon
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Reason

Post by Deacon » Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:16 am

This, to me, was such a great sampling of reasonable thought. Especially the bit from 3:58 to 5:26.

Thoughts?

The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: Reason

Post by FirebirdNC » Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:50 pm

I am not a believer in a specific deity, but I do think there is a higher power. That may be just my wishful thinking, but with all the amazing things in this world and hopefully others just mere things colliding seems a stretch. The power of this giant ball of living breathing energy deserves respect all on its own. It is hard to stand on a serene beach watching a gorgeous sunset with the birds flying in front of the sun and the sound of the waves and not believe in something more than just evolution.
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Re: Reason

Post by Deacon » Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:32 pm

He does address that starting at 8:38.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: Reason

Post by FirebirdNC » Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:29 pm

Deacon wrote:He does address that starting at 8:38.
I would disagree he is saying how we think it is divine intervention that things are how they are as "perfection". I am saying when you have those moments where you are truly in touch with the nature around you it has its own spirituality and power that are more than the some of its parts.
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Re: Reason

Post by Deacon » Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:44 am

Oh I agree. It can be powerful and moving.

It's just that associating it with some sort of supernatural spiritual source is largely down to how we're raised and influences we have while still open to be shaped.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: Reason

Post by FirebirdNC » Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:33 am

I would say I had next to zero growing up and what I did experience turned me away from organized religion. Do you believe in just 100% what science can prove? Are you saying there isn't any part of you that still wonders about the big/universe picture and if all the mysteries are solved? This is probably not a good topic for me to debate as I honestly don't have a strong belief in one particular camp. I agree with him 100% in the live your own life/religion how you want as long as you are not hurting other people. While he is certainly cheeky about some of his answers I will give him credit for being respectful for the most part. So many bash other peoples views just because they don't share them.
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Re: Reason

Post by Deacon » Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:49 am

You may not have been subjected to indoctrination in any particular religion, but you were certainly surrounded by people who either believed or at least perpetuated the notion of the supernatural.

I am under no delusion that every mystery is solved, that we know everything about everything. But no, I don't believe there is anything beyond the natural existence, a supernatural force, much less that there's an anthropomorphic deity that created us to be like him. There is no reason to believe in such a thing, neither evidence of such a thing nor any rational basis for making that leap.

It's certainly understandable that we humans not only marvel and wonder at the mind-boggling expanse of the universe, and our brains have evolved with the generally advantageous ability to discern patterns. But when that carries over to falsely identifying patterns, ascribing causation to confidence or correlation--especially easy to do when heavily influenced by natural confirmation bias, we end up leaping too far. And when you combine that with a prevailing ignorance of the mechanisms of the natural world (as we were for our entire existence up until fairly recently) and shrewd, manipulative people seeking to control others and seek power, you end up with religion.

Our brains are awesome, but we're not naturally highly skilled at well-ordered and rationally sound thought. We're products of evolution, unfortunately not created as well-constructed reflections of the image of a perfect god.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: Reason

Post by NorthernComfort » Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:17 pm

But no, I don't believe there is anything beyond the natural existence, a supernatural force, much less that there's an anthropomorphic deity that created us to be like him.
Once I start thinking about the big bang and what existed before the big bang etc... it's pretty hard not to get into the realm of what I'd consider supernatural. Doesn't mean anthropomorphic. But it's more of "can't rule anything out".
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Re: Reason

Post by Deacon » Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:05 pm

Well, right, I can't say it's impossible. I can only go by what we can see and test. What existed before what we currently know as the universe is beyond the scope of nearly all aspects of the scientific method of investigating the universe. If such a thing were discovered, it would be amazing. But the fact that there's a question we can't currently answer doesn't imply that a supernatural force (much less any of the various man-made inventions) exists, much less is involved. It's hard for our brains to conceive of infinity or for something to not have a beginning or an end. It's not the kind of thing that our brains evolved to deal with. People say that, well, the universe has to have a beginning, so a supernatural force must have created the universe. OK, well then who created that supernatural force? Why can that force have always existed, with no beginning or end, but the universe cannot?

The point is that while various human inventions purport to neatly tie up that mystery, there's no evidence for it whatsoever. A current lack of knowledge is not evidence.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: Reason

Post by NorthernComfort » Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:36 pm

It's turtles all the way down.
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Re: Reason

Post by raptor9k » Thu Mar 03, 2016 1:26 am

There are a few elephants along the way.

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Re: Reason

Post by Deacon » Thu Jun 16, 2016 3:42 am

I'm going to jump on my soap box for a minute.

People don't "become lost" and don't by and large find meaning or final answers, regardless of where they look. Religion is either an obsession and a constant search for a high of our own making or social furniture that's always been there, part of the background of life. For some it's the sackcloth and ashes they use to inflict pain on themselves in search of absolution or at least to assuage their shame for just a little while.

The ebbs and flows of discontent, envy, and a gnawing longing for something more can certainly be temporarily smothered by religion, but that's really only because it's always been there, born from a world full of stories of leprechauns and angels and wizards and miracles. When you don't know what lightning is or how weather works, fill in the gaps with tales of deities and sacrifices. Maybe even step in and use your gifts of charisma or guile to amass some power for yourself as the presumptive mouthpiece of whichever is the local deity of the day. It won't quell your longing or quiet your discontent, but it will be an entertaining distraction and might even have some side benefits. Every alter needs its boy, after all.

In today's world, to wander off the road to enlightenment and into a church or a crystal shop or whatever other house of charlatans, whether sincere or self-aware, is not healthy or productive. Make peace as best you can with an amoral and unfeeling universe that does not care about you any more than the clump of particles making up an asteroid or the debris field disc around Saturn. The universe is not about you, no one else's experience is about you. Only your experience is about you, and it ends when you do. The drives built into us by evolutionary rolls of so many dice serve us pretty well for survival but are not designed for fulfillment. Quite the opposite, in fact. And that's neither good nor evil. It just is.

There is no excuse to get mired down in any religion. You know better. It doesn't take much to see through the tall tales and grave warnings of a terrible power to punish beyond the grave. Love and hurt and do good and break things and be kind, making a better world not only for ourselves but for generations to come--as is our evolutionary mandate. But let's not attach any more or higher meaning to it than it needs and has earned. It's just life until it isn't anymore.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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