Anyone Else Agnostic?

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Fido
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 12:24 pm
@TurboLung,
Animals are not capable of good or evil in any form because they have not the power of abstraction... They can only follow their instincts and their noses...

Logic never ever overcame fear, or love, or hate... People are reasonable to have the object of their love, or their revenge out of their fear or hate...We are reasonable to control actions and not emotions...
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 02:22 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;113642 wrote:
This is good advice. I have to say that I doubt whether we can live completely without fear. If our loved ones are in danger, can we accept this without fear? Or a bear attacks us...

But the real question is, can you control your fear?

Fear is a lot like physical pain. With practice, you can disconnect from it.
Fear and pain both send valuable survival signals to our brains which
can help us avoid danger, and should not be ignored. However, in a
survival situation fear and pain can paralyze us and prevent us from
performing the very actions that could save us or our loved ones.

Have you ever been at the scene of an accident and witnessed someone
who, though uninjured, stands frozen and useless, or panicking and
gibbering when they could be helping?


Reconstructo;113642 wrote:
I think you mean the useless needless abstract fear that many people waste their time on.
No. I mean any sort of fear. Is it better to fear the known, or to fear the unknown?

Reconstructo;113642 wrote:
When I stopped believing in God, I moved into a sphere where nothing was truth, for all would die with me in any case.Laughing


I moved into a cube.
When I die, only I die. That is the truth.
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 02:49 pm
@TurboLung,
There is a story in Boswell's life of, about Richard the Lion Hearted coming across the grave of a man, who the legend said never knew fear... Richard said to his companions that one must never have snuffed out a candle with his fingers... The knowledge that it must hurt is fear...It cannot be avoided, and can only be put in proper perspective...

I am by the standards of mere mortals, fearless...I have walked Iron coated with ice... I have set big Iron with a helocopter with such a small reserve that once landed there was no taking the piece back off, and I put my shoulder under that Iron and lifted it and helocopter too... I have worked in such heavy winds that standing pieces of iron were blown over and off the building... No one knows what they can do until they get there, and then they say their prayers and get on with business...

So am I brave??? I worked with a man who was so frightened he sweat bullets... I saw him shake from fear at two steps over some bar joist to get to a ladder... The thought of just standing on a narrow beam to have a conversation was beyond him, and he told me so, but who was more brave???... I could resolve all my fears in a fashion he could not... I had problems that made danger and fear seem insignificant...His fear was a great monster that he over came just for a paycheck...I told that man I was being paid to work, and that IF beside that I had to conquer my fear, no pay check would ever be big enough... In thirty years there was only one piece of iron I could not walk out of fear, and that was a radius extending out from the building, as an atrium... It was sort of rounded on top, but to walk a circle robbed me of the perspective I needed that an I-beam gave me...You see, my balance was visual... I fall over in the dark...I have had trouble with my ears all of my life, and little balance by ear... Good Leaf Montour of Kanawake, Montreal took care of me that day...No one can beat the Six Nation Iroquois for courage...

Excuse the ramble... Courage is essential to all we do...
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 03:44 pm
@Fido,
Fido;113879 wrote:
No one knows what they can do until they get there, and then they say their prayers and get on with business...


If you're looking for truth, this is about as close as you can get.
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 04:01 pm
@Fido,
Fido;113879 wrote:
Excuse the ramble... Courage is essential to all we do...
Man! People are so awesome. I had vertigo one time. From no experience with fear of heights to bamm! can't move. I think I was having a confrontation with an archetype... that sort of thing is known to cause paralysis.
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 04:19 pm
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;113899 wrote:
Man! People are so awesome. I had vertigo one time. From no experience with fear of heights to bamm! can't move. I think I was having a confrontation with an archetype... that sort of thing is known to cause paralysis.

One time I connected iron so sick with a double middle ear infection that I felt I was hours on a merry go round...Nothing very much, a little angle Iron tower for a little truss mechanical bridge between GM, and the power house, down by the river...I thought I was going to break my knuckles holding on, and I would get on the ground, and dry heave, but nothing would come up because I could not get anything down... I had to take these muscle relaxing supositories to calm my stomach so I could take antibiotics... Those were sort of fun when I got better...You probably didn't need to know that, and I don't want you to be afraid to shake my hand if we should ever meet...I do wash them....
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 05:34 pm
@Fido,
Fido;113900 wrote:
Those were sort of fun when I got better...You probably didn't need to know that, and I don't want you to be afraid to shake my hand if we should ever meet...I do wash them....
I think people have the right to use suppositories as they wish. Unfortunately, I know how bad it's got when you have to use them.

But according to Big Brother in 1984, everybody has a stopping point. No?
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 10:15 pm
@TurboLung,
They know what everyone fears...
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 02:58 am
@manored,
manored;113819 wrote:

We cant live completly winhout fear, because our instincs wont less us, but if you logically prove yourself there is no reason to fell fear, it will be easier to overcome fear.


I agree. This is one the good things about philosophy, and one of its age old uses. Especially if we define philosophy in a broad sense as "words that keep one's chin up."

---------- Post added 12-24-2009 at 04:00 AM ----------

TickTockMan;113868 wrote:

When I die, only I die. That is the truth.

But what does it mean to die? For the others the others exist. For us the others to are gone. Or so I expect.

---------- Post added 12-24-2009 at 04:02 AM ----------

TickTockMan;113868 wrote:
But the real question is, can you control your fear?

Yeah....I guess so
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 06:59 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;113966 wrote:
I agree. This is one the good things about philosophy, and one of its age old uses. Especially if we define philosophy in a broad sense as "words that keep one's chin up."

---------- Post added 12-24-2009 at 04:00 AM ----------


But what does it mean to die? For the others the others exist. For us the others to are gone. Or so I expect.

---------- Post added 12-24-2009 at 04:02 AM ----------


Yeah....I guess so

We do not know what it means to die... We know what it means for others to die, but as with all meaning, death as meaning comes with life...Nothing means nothing to the dead... Everything means everything to the living...
 
manored
 
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 10:18 am
@Fido,
Fido;113995 wrote:
Nothing means nothing to the dead... Everything means everything to the living...
Im almost sure nothing also means nothing to the living, and everything also means everything to the dead, but thats just a wild guess... =)
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 11:12 am
@manored,
manored;114045 wrote:
Im almost sure nothing also means nothing to the living, and everything also means everything to the dead, but thats just a wild guess... =)

Though we try to conceive of infinites like nothing and death we cannot even imagine them... Death is infinite... For us, nothing is a meaning without being, and for the dead it is not even that...

Why should we live as the dead wanted us once to live when that way was never the way they lived...Surely time is a tyrannt to make man continually live through the failures of the past, in governments, and in religions so much in doubt that we cannot conceive of failures ofour own t make real... Where's the appeal to reason???
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2009 02:55 pm
@TurboLung,
TurboLung;107756 wrote:
Firstly, I must explain that I do not believe in any type of religion we have today. To me, they are all over-the-top Bronze Age garbage. Also, I want to state that I believe in Darwinism and the sciences that religions dismiss.

That said, I just can't step into Atheist shoes. I have tried, but, it makes more sense to me that our existance is not a mistake than believing it is. Whether we are in a dream, program, or are an experiement, I can't grasp that the complexities of life somehow fell together. This makes no sense to me and I feel it is almost absurd to think that eveything is a pure accident.

The more I study Quantum Mechanics -the more I study Chemistry and Biology - the more I study Astronomy... I am more convinced that something strange is going on. When I say "strange", I mean a strangeness that is calculated and designed.

Anyone else feel this way?

TL


If you will pardon me for saying so, I think you must not understand Darwinian evolution if you believe that there must be some design to what is going on. Darwinian evolution explains how complex life forms can exist without any design. I suggest further study of evolution. There was very recently a good introduction to the idea on an episode of Nova on PBS:

NOVA | What Darwin Never Knew

Of course, that is just an introduction.

---------- Post added 12-30-2009 at 04:02 PM ----------

TickTockMan;112737 wrote:
Agreed. But why then do we assign ourselves such a special place in the universe, and why do some seek the spiritual with such such single-minded purpose?


It is called "arrogance". People want to believe that they are more than what they are. Because people want to believe so badly, they do believe badly.Wink
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2009 03:13 pm
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;115669 wrote:

It is called "arrogance". People want to believe that they are more than what they are. Because people want to believe so badly, they do believe badly.Wink

. . . with perhaps just a pinch of desperation thrown in.
Thanks for the link. "Guess the Embryo" was entertaining.
 
manored
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 01:06 pm
@Fido,
Fido;114054 wrote:
Why should we live as the dead wanted us once to live when that way was never the way they lived...Surely time is a tyrannt to make man continually live through the failures of the past, in governments, and in religions so much in doubt that we cannot conceive of failures ofour own t make real... Where's the appeal to reason???
Who said we should?

Pyrrho;115669 wrote:

It is called "arrogance". People want to believe that they are more than what they are. Because people want to believe so badly, they do believe badly.Wink
I think its not arrogance, but fear. If you are a commoner, and its common for things to die, you will die just like ever other commoner, and we are afraid of death. Notions such as god, man as son of god, etc, offer us some "protection" from death.

My protection against death involves no gods, im simply the center of the universe, and, thus, I cannot die. Evertime I look around im in the center of everything, and evertime I sleep the world accelerates to keep me from becoming bored. Do I need any more proof? =)
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 09:04 pm
@manored,
manored;115911 wrote:
Who said we should?


Who says we shouldn't except me and a few revolutionary comrades... Up the revolution, droogie
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2010 03:01 am
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;115669 wrote:
If you will pardon me for saying so, I think you must not understand Darwinian evolution if you believe that there must be some design to what is going on. Darwinian evolution explains how complex life forms can exist without any design.

It is called "arrogance". People want to believe that they are more than what they are. Because people want to believe so badly, they do believe badly.Wink


Well, pardon me, but I question both these statements. I don't want to get into the whole ID debate in this thread, but I no longer believe that Darwinism + Mendelian genetics accounts for the formation or final nature of life on earth. I think they are an important part of the scheme, but there are other principles at work which are yet to be discovered. This does not mean I support Biblical creationism, but I think there are deep philosophical and scientific issues sorrounding the question of 'evolution by natural selection' and the degree to which it is truly 'self-generating'. (This is being discussed in other threads.)

On the second point, I don't see why it is arrogant to believe that H. Sapiens is in a class of his own on this planet, or in the observable universe for that matter. It seems odd to me that scientific secularists insist that we are just a particular type of primate, when our intellectual, cultural, technological, and linguistic abilities are so obviously and radically different to any other creature. Sure, bottle-nose dolphins use sponges to hunt for food and New Caledonian crows can use sticks to dig for grubs. Tool use! Great! But nothing on earth, or anywhere else that we are able to find, is even remotely like H. Sapiens. We are after all able to estimate the age, mass and extent of the visible universe, dissect and analyse our own genetic makeup and understand our own anatomy and environment in ways which are completely inconceivable in any other creature. And I think that makes H. Sapiens extremely special indeed.

I would be interested to know why you see this as 'arrogance'.

Finally, on a related note, the current mainstream outlook insists that 'nature is dumb' and that H. Sapiens (and all other species) are the products of natural selection, which is guided by nothing other than which species are likely to proliferate in the competition for resources. In this view, there is no 'reason, purpose or intention' in the Universe, as such. Nature acts without reason, purpose or intention, if indeed nature can be said to act. H. Sapiens is not pre-ordained or special in anyway, just the way the process happened to turn out. Run the sequence again, goes the idea, and we might end up with intelligent insects, or something.

Now I don't think you can dispute that H. Sapiens is able to act on the basis of reason, purpose and intention. We all have purposes, greater and smaller; we do things for reasons; we act intentionally all throughout our life. Now if it is the case that this ability has been engendered solely by adaption, and exaptation, then really you are saying that ours are the only conscious purposes in the Universe; because presumably no lesser animal is able to form a conscious purpose. So our purposes alone are the only real purposes.

Contrast this with any traditional world view (pick any you like.) All of them see a Universe alive with purpose, in which our purposes reflect, and hopefully harmonise, to a greater or lesser degree, the purposes of 'God', or 'the Gods', or Mother Nature, or (as the traditional Chinese would say) 'the Will of Heaven'.

So now having thrown all that out, the secular modern sees a universe with precisely no purpose, in which we exist for no particular reason; any reason which we choose to see in things is solely our own; but then says that to challenge this attitude on the basis that H. Sapiens might actually have a somewhat deeper relationship with the Cosmos than science can imagine is 'arrogant'.

Do you detect an irony here?
 
Ahhhhhz
 
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2010 10:56 am
@TurboLung,
I was agnostic for 40+ years and then chose to believe in a Ground Of Being, which I choose to call GOB, because it "works" better for me than not believing at all.
 
manored
 
Reply Sat 2 Jan, 2010 09:06 pm
@Fido,
Fido;116005 wrote:
Who says we shouldn't except me and a few revolutionary comrades... Up the revolution, droogie
Lots of people, according to my calculations =)

jeeprs;116031 wrote:

Now I don't think you can dispute that H. Sapiens is able to act on the basis of reason, purpose and intention. We all have purposes, greater and smaller; we do things for reasons; we act intentionally all throughout our life. Now if it is the case that this ability has been engendered solely by adaption, and exaptation, then really you are saying that ours are the only conscious purposes in the Universe; because presumably no lesser animal is able to form a conscious purpose. So our purposes alone are the only real purposes.

Contrast this with any traditional world view (pick any you like.) All of them see a Universe alive with purpose, in which our purposes reflect, and hopefully harmonise, to a greater or lesser degree, the purposes of 'God', or 'the Gods', or Mother Nature, or (as the traditional Chinese would say) 'the Will of Heaven'.

So now having thrown all that out, the secular modern sees a universe with precisely no purpose, in which we exist for no particular reason; any reason which we choose to see in things is solely our own; but then says that to challenge this attitude on the basis that H. Sapiens might actually have a somewhat deeper relationship with the Cosmos than science can imagine is 'arrogant'.

Do you detect an irony here?
I dont think what is or isnt arrogant is really relevant. It depends from the point of view anyway, if you say you are god, people will say you are arrogant, but if you are indeed god, you are merely being truthfull.

Ahhhhhz;116073 wrote:
I was agnostic for 40+ years and then chose to believe in a Ground Of Being, which I choose to call GOB, because it "works" better for me than not believing at all.

That sounds interesting, what is this "GOB" like?
 
Ahhhhhz
 
Reply Sat 2 Jan, 2010 09:34 pm
@manored,
Being connected/melded with GOB is silent, stabilizing, clear, and relaxing. Kind of like trancendental meditation or contemplative prayer I suppose... but quicker than either.
 
 

 
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