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Old 14th Mar 2017, 20:26   #61
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Originally Posted by walle View Post
But wait, here, hold my bear...

...Now, give me back my bear.
One of the best things I've ever read, thank you
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 20:28   #62
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But surely for that to be true of the past then it must also be true of the future, leaving no room for agency on the part of the individual. Therefore we cannot truly be held responsible for any of our actions, which have also been stripped of all meaning.
...and? What's wrong with that? Every single thought you have has its origins outside of your mind. I'm afraid you really can't claim credit for any of it.
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 20:34   #63
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When I was younger I did tell people I was agnostic, but the more I thought about it I just don't see it as a sensible position to take. It is the ultimate sitting on the fence approach.
Perhaps you shouldn't see it at as sitting on the fence, but rather as keeping the door open.

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One of the best things I've ever read, thank you
You're welcome, kind of changes things slightly....hilarious, appreciate you pointing it out.

Always a good thing to proofread..
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 20:50   #64
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One of the best things I've ever read, thank you
Really? How do Atomic clocks work? How does radiocarbon dating work?
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 21:06   #65
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Perhaps you shouldn't see it at as sitting on the fence, but rather as keeping the door open.
Keeping the door open only requires a willingness/acceptance to review (and possibly change) your position in the face of new information that may come to light. There's no need to remain in the middle until 100% conclusive cast iron guarantee evidence is found for one side or the other.
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 22:08   #66
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Really? How do Atomic clocks work? How does radiocarbon dating work?
Erm... I was talking about the bear stuff, what are you talking about?
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 22:26   #67
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While I don't think it is necessary in order to dismiss the idea I actually think there is a fair bit of evidence that god/religion is of human origin. For example:

Have two societies that have developed in isolation from each other ever met and found that they believe in the same god? And if not why not?
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 22:39   #68
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Erm... I was talking about the bear stuff, what are you talking about?
What bear stuff?
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 22:58   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfticket View Post
While I don't think it is necessary in order to dismiss the idea I actually think there is a fair bit of evidence that god/religion is of human origin. For example:

Have two societies that have developed in isolation from each other ever met and found that they believe in the same god? And if not why not?
I'm not sure you can even find a single religion within which its different followers believe in the same god.

The bow and arrow were invented independently by different cultures across the world, At around the same time, too. Turns out human minds think alike. So perhaps we need a different test.
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 23:47   #70
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Originally Posted by Nexxo View Post
I'm not sure you can even find a single religion within which its different followers believe in the same god.

The bow and arrow were invented independently by different cultures across the world, At around the same time, too. Turns out human minds think alike. So perhaps we need a different test.
Human minds think alike. Gods and religion occur naturally within human societies. However, like the differing types of bows, all religions that developed independently are very distinct from each other. They may serve the same purpose but they are clearly convergent, only diverging where there is a shared root. If there is a single supernatural being influencing these religions why would this be? Why would religion evolve and change according to natural laws of distribution and changing understanding of the world?

It seems to me there is very strong anthropological evidence that religion is a construct of the human psyche: Probably at least partly as an evolutionary method of coping with an inflated understanding of our own place in the world.

Like I said, it's really not necessary to dismiss god/afterlife (see the rather trite but useful hypothetical space teapot again), but I do find it quite interesting.

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Old 14th Mar 2017, 23:57   #71
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It seems to me there is very strong anthropological evidence that religion is a construct of the human psyche: Probably at least partly as an evolutionary method of coping with an inflated understanding of our own place in the world.
Here ya go
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Old 15th Mar 2017, 08:20   #72
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Yes, it existed. But I would argue that the evidence for it's existence has always been there as well. The only issue was our ability to comprehend/understand it. And yes, you could say that may be the case for evidence of 'god', but at what point do you sit back and wonder why 'god', if he existed, would hide it so well?
Personally i wouldn't use the term 'god' but i guess that fits with most people understanding.

On the why 'he' would hide it so well, that's a bit like asking why humans hide themselves so well to a cell of a virus or bacteria.

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Out of curiosity tho, does your agnostic view extend to other supernatural deities or is it limited to the Judaeo-Christian God? Where do you stand on the existence of the Greek Pantheon for example? Or things like dragons, faeries, goblins, leprechauns etc?
Based on the common human understanding of what those mythological beings are I'd say there's fairly good evidence they don't exist, that evidence being that we've explored a great deal of plant earth and have yet to come across any direct, indirect or paleontological evidence of their existence in either the past or present.

I just want to make clear that for me it's not about supernatural deities or mystical beings as both of those seem to carry certain connotations that i would certainly not agree with, there's no such thing as magic just our ignorance of how something was done, and to wit I'm not saying there is what most people would consider a 'god' figure controlling everything, there's just our lack of understanding and knowledge of how something was done.

Take the big bang or black holes for example our current understanding of both of those events only goes so far, what's beyond that, to me, is anyone's guess as until we obtain some evidence I'm happy to entertain any theories no matter how whacky, including what some people would consider a supernatural deity, although the only reason it would be supernatural would be because whatever it was would be beyond our current scientific understanding.
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Old 15th Mar 2017, 08:47   #73
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Like I said, it doesn't bear thinking about without a testable definition. Yes, obviously there are things beyond or current understanding - To quote Dara O'Brien, science knows it doesn't know everything otherwise it would stop - but until our knowledge evolves to a point where we have a framework to consider questions like these then any conception of these things comes entirely from your imagination, not the real world.

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Old 15th Mar 2017, 08:51   #74
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It seems to me there is very strong anthropological evidence that religion is a construct of the human psyche: Probably at least partly as an evolutionary method of coping with an inflated understanding of our own place in the world.
Yeah, I've written long posts about that in the past. Religion has about six basic functions in the human psyche, ranging from making sense of the world to tribal bonding.

Humans see the world through the lens of their own wetware. It is inevitable that how they apprehend the world is influenced by their (neuro-)psychology. What bothers me, in that respect, is that the Big Bang theory still sounds too much like a creation myth to me. We simply cannot escape thinking in those terms.
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Old 15th Mar 2017, 08:59   #75
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We simply cannot escape thinking in those terms.
String theory is our current best guess at GUT, and that suggests the possibility of infinite universes, so I would take issue with that statement.
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Old 15th Mar 2017, 14:10   #76
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...
Humans see the world through the lens of their own wetware. It is inevitable that how they apprehend the world is influenced by their (neuro-)psychology. What bothers me, in that respect, is that the Big Bang theory still sounds too much like a creation myth to me. We simply cannot escape thinking in those terms.
I don't doubt that the same evolutionary compulsions that are the route of the creation myth colour (and somewhat weaken) our science.

However, the key difference between the creation myth and the Big Bang Theory is this:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang#Observational_evidence



As an aside, currently if you put "Big Bang Theory" into Google there are is nothing related to one of the greatest ideas in human history on the first page. Only the TV show...

What a world
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Old 15th Mar 2017, 17:47   #77
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I know that the science behind the Big Bang is sound, but still... it all sits too neatly in our human narrative thinking about the world.

In contrast, quantum physics doesn't. Quantum physics is weird; in terms of human intuition it makes no sense whatsoever.
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Old 15th Mar 2017, 17:55   #78
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Exactly, it fits for us because we evolved inside those physics, yet, we know that there are aspects of the universe where our classical concepts break down, beyond which be dragons.. We're not completely attached to causal reality, it's just that that's the way it has been since the beginning of time.
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Old 15th Mar 2017, 19:31   #79
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I know that the science behind the Big Bang is sound, but still... it all sits too neatly in our human narrative thinking about the world.

In contrast, quantum physics doesn't. Quantum physics is weird; in terms of human intuition it makes no sense whatsoever.
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Exactly, it fits for us because we evolved inside those physics, yet, we know that there are aspects of the universe where our classical concepts break down, beyond which be dragons.. We're not completely attached to causal reality, it's just that that's the way it has been since the beginning of time.
On a fundamental level the nature of the universe may well be weird, unintuitive or even impossible to comprehend.
However on a macro scale it is not entirely surprising physical processes reflect a human narrative somewhat, as that is in essence what we are. I think it is more the case that what we observe seems familiar because we are a small part of it.
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Old 15th Mar 2017, 19:47   #80
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There is indeed a recursive process: we live in a physical world of causality which shapes our narrative to be one of causality, which in turn makes us sensitive to perceiving physical causality.
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