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Old 11th August 2017, 02:53 PM   #1
Wonder234
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Purpose of Life

I like to subject my views to skepticism, so I'm still working out the kinks of this.

In the beginning there was infinite potential. This infinite potential was God. God became aware of itself but could not experience itself because it was infinite and things can only exist in a finite form (after all, everything around you is finite), so God actualized itís potential and became finite in the form of the universe, meaning everything and everyone is God (still working out the contradiction of how God can be aware of itself yet only experience itself when finite). So, God created the universe to experience itself, but it did not just want to experience itself as a tree or a dog or a human, it wanted to experience itís essence, so the souls that inhabit various life-forms, through the process of reincarnation starting from the lowest forms of life and going toward the highest gradually evolves until it becomes God-like, perfect. Once perfect, this is God experiencing itself, and after a soul reaches perfection and thus no longer has to reincarnate, it merges with God, which would be the greatest bliss possible. And after all souls merge back with God, the process starts over again but this time with the lessons learned from the previous universe incorporated into the new universe. So the purpose of man, or the soul of man, is to become perfect, the purpose of man in a particular life is to grow, which you do through the experiences of life and your use of free will. You supposedly choose your parents and family to meet your particular growth needs and also program certain life experiences into your incarnation.
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Old 11th August 2017, 03:32 PM   #2
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I agree you have stated your view. To what purpose do you publish this on a Skeptic forum?
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Old 11th August 2017, 03:55 PM   #3
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What are the kinks that you are seeing in your thoughts and what specifically are you wishing feedback on?

So far, to me, you've made a bunch of standard, unevidenced statements based on fantasy and wishful thinking, with no real definitions of particular words and phrases with which one may easily equivocate.
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Old 11th August 2017, 03:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kid Eager View Post
I agree you have stated your view. To what purpose do you publish this on a Skeptic forum?
I just wanted to see how a skeptic would react to such an idea. If the skeptics that are atheists would begin to lighten up on their atheism, in the face of what I think, is an interesting explanation. Why would I want atheists to lighten up on their atheism? I don't know, it just seems like a satisfying thing. I realize it is foolish to try and change other peoples point of view, and that their beliefs are none of my business unless they affect me or people I care about. I just thought it was cool, wanted to share it, and see what people think.
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Old 11th August 2017, 04:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
What are the kinks that you are seeing in your thoughts and what specifically are you wishing feedback on?

So far, to me, you've made a bunch of standard, unevidenced statements based on fantasy and wishful thinking, with no real definitions of particular words and phrases with which one may easily equivocate.
Right now, I don't think I'm capable of adequately making a case for this. I was just posting to see what people think, but now that you mention it, I think I will give establishing this an effort and maybe come back then. I thought people would think it was cool and wanted to see their reactions, that's all. So far it's not turning out how I expected.
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Old 11th August 2017, 04:17 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I just wanted to see how a skeptic would react to such an idea. If the skeptics that are atheists would begin to lighten up on their atheism, in the face of what I think, is an interesting explanation.
Well, this comes across as somewhat rude, sorry to say. And, just to be clear, though I think you already know this, but atheism is not the same thing as skepticism and are probably somewhat correlated, but not always.

Also, you'll get atheists, apatheists, anti-theists, and others who post here. I mention this because we generally make the distinction and therefore, will result in different reactions to your posts.

The theists here who post actively really aren't much on the skepticism part.
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Old 11th August 2017, 04:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I like to subject my views to skepticism, so I'm still working out the kinks of this.

In the beginning there was infinite potential. This infinite potential was God.
Who says? How did you come by this information?

Quote:
God became aware of itself but could not experience itself because it was infinite and things can only exist in a finite form (after all, everything around you is finite),...
Using this argument your "infinite potential" god did not exist.

Quote:
...so God actualized it’s potential and became finite in the form of the universe, meaning everything and everyone is God (still working out the contradiction of how God can be aware of itself yet only experience itself when finite).
Good luck with that. This is commonly known as "Pantheism". Look it up, it might save you some time.

Quote:
So, God created the universe to experience itself, but it did not just want to experience itself as a tree or a dog or a human, it wanted to experience it’s essence, so the souls that inhabit various life-forms, through the process of reincarnation starting from the lowest forms of life and going toward the highest gradually evolves until it becomes God-like, perfect.
How did you come by this knowledge of God's motives? What makes you think God is interested in perfection? Why do you think that there is a hierarchy of life forms? What makes a mammal superior to an insect?

Quote:
Once perfect, this is God experiencing itself, and after a soul reaches perfection and thus no longer has to reincarnate, it merges with God, which would be the greatest bliss possible.
Aren't we already part of God according to your earlier reasoning? Why would anyone need to merge with something that they are already a part of?

Quote:
And after all souls merge back with God, the process starts over again but this time with the lessons learned from the previous universe incorporated into the new universe. So the purpose of man, or the soul of man, is to become perfect, the purpose of man in a particular life is to grow, which you do through the experiences of life and your use of free will. You supposedly choose your parents and family to meet your particular growth needs and also program certain life experiences into your incarnation.
None of that bears any relation to actual reality. It might form the basis of an amusing, if slightly hackneyed fantasy story, but it isn't reality.

Welcome to the ISF.

Last edited by Brainache; 11th August 2017 at 04:24 PM. Reason: m
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Old 11th August 2017, 04:23 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Right now, I don't think I'm capable of adequately making a case for this. I was just posting to see what people think, but now that you mention it, I think I will give establishing this an effort and maybe come back then. I thought people would think it was cool and wanted to see their reactions, that's all. So far it's not turning out how I expected.
Well, that's what skepticism is all about, really. Asking specific questions and desiring evidence of the feasibility or reality of what's being said. Just writing fanfic or creation-style fantasy is fine, but not terribly appropriate in this subforum.

If you're wanting more of a philosophical discussion, I'll leave that to the people who are philosophers here. But even then, I understand that philosophical discussions still need to have some basis of knowing where you're starting and where you're heading; which means things like "what do you mean when you say 'god'" for example.

If you want to go on what people will fill in the blanks with whatever they think 'god' means, then there will be endless argument over the nuances of your assumptions versus their own individual assumptions of what these things mean.
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Old 11th August 2017, 04:23 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
(What is the) Purpose of Life(?)
(A few bytes added to make a complete sentence out of what I understand the OP is trying to say.)

There ain't none. The closest thing to a purpose for a living thing is to reproduce, but that is not usually a conscious purpose and then in only one species that we know of, only recently, and only by those members who have so much time on their hands as to ask questions like, "What is the Purpose of Life?"

And, in my experience, most of them were high.
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Old 11th August 2017, 04:26 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
Well, this comes across as somewhat rude, sorry to say. And, just to be clear, though I think you already know this, but atheism is not the same thing as skepticism and are probably somewhat correlated, but not always.

Also, you'll get atheists, apatheists, anti-theists, and others who post here. I mention this because we generally make the distinction and therefore, will result in different reactions to your posts.

The theists here who post actively really aren't much on the skepticism part.
Yes, I know that all skeptics aren't atheists. Sorry if I came off as rude.
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Old 11th August 2017, 04:27 PM   #11
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Hi Wonder234 and welcome to the forum.

It is somewhat provocative, (and meaningless perhaps), to ask atheists to lighten up on their atheism. Atheism is not a thing but a lack of a thing, (i.e. Belief in gods), so how does one lighten up on this.

It is a bit hard to get a grasp on what you are hypothesising here so difficult to bring skeptical reasoning to bear.
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Old 11th August 2017, 04:33 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
Well, that's what skepticism is all about, really. Asking specific questions and desiring evidence of the feasibility or reality of what's being said. Just writing fanfic or creation-style fantasy is fine, but not terribly appropriate in this subforum.

If you're wanting more of a philosophical discussion, I'll leave that to the people who are philosophers here. But even then, I understand that philosophical discussions still need to have some basis of knowing where you're starting and where you're heading; which means things like "what do you mean when you say 'god'" for example.

If you want to go on what people will fill in the blanks with whatever they think 'god' means, then there will be endless argument over the nuances of your assumptions versus their own individual assumptions of what these things mean.
Yes, now that you mention it, it is an inappropriate topic for this sub-forum,
and perhaps for a skeptic forum. I think I'll try to close it.
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Old 11th August 2017, 04:36 PM   #13
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It doesn't work that way. You started it; you might as well own it by defending your thesis.
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Old 11th August 2017, 04:38 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Yes, now that you mention it, it is an inappropriate topic for this sub-forum,
and perhaps for a skeptic forum. I think I'll try to close it.
It is perfectly appropriate in this forum and in this site for skeptics.
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Old 11th August 2017, 04:41 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Hi Wonder234 and welcome to the forum.

It is somewhat provocative, (and meaningless perhaps), to ask atheists to lighten up on their atheism. Atheism is not a thing but a lack of a thing, (i.e. Belief in gods), so how does one lighten up on this.

It is a bit hard to get a grasp on what you are hypothesising here so difficult to bring skeptical reasoning to bear.
Sorry if my post wasn't very clear.

Atheism is not a thing but a lack of a thing, (i.e. Belief in gods), so how does one lighten up on this. - What if I said to see some of the merits of theism?
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Old 11th August 2017, 04:45 PM   #16
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Well, one thing that would help, would be to explain what you mean by perfect. Perfectly... what, exactly? I mean, even "perfectly good" isn't necessarily desirable, is it?
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Old 11th August 2017, 04:48 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Sorry if my post wasn't very clear.

Atheism is not a thing but a lack of a thing, (i.e. Belief in gods), so how does one lighten up on this. - What if I said to see some of the merits of theism?
Ha! nice.

Atheism is of course a thing, welcome to the site.
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Old 11th August 2017, 04:48 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
(A few bytes added to make a complete sentence out of what I understand the OP is trying to say.)

There ain't none. The closest thing to a purpose for a living thing is to reproduce, but that is not usually a conscious purpose and then in only one species that we know of, only recently, and only by those members who have so much time on their hands as to ask questions like, "What is the Purpose of Life?"

And, in my experience, most of them were high.
Yes, but do any of us know for certain? How can we say such things when we experience so little of the universe? (How can I say what I'm saying?) Isn't life miraculous and complex enough a thing as to be in doubt about such claims?
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Old 11th August 2017, 04:53 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Yes, but do any of us know for certain? How can we say such things when we experience so little of the universe? (How can I say what I'm saying?) Isn't life miraculous and complex enough a thing as to be in doubt about such claims?

The problem with that point of view is that it stifles actual exploration, discovery, research, and being fully present in the universe in exchange for fantasizing and "wouldn't it be nice" scenarios. It fails to take the good with the bad, pretending the bad does not exist. It may make for a nice way to spend the afternoon, but it can't replace the thrill of experiencing it directly.
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Old 11th August 2017, 04:53 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
It doesn't work that way. You started it; you might as well own it by defending your thesis.
I'll give it a try but being as these claims are hard to argue for, it'll take me some time.
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Old 11th August 2017, 04:58 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Hokulele View Post
The problem with that point of view is that it stifles actual exploration, discovery, research, and being fully present in the universe in exchange for fantasizing and "wouldn't it be nice" scenarios. It fails to take the good with the bad, pretending the bad does not exist. It may make for a nice way to spend the afternoon, but it can't replace the thrill of experiencing it directly.
I don't think I understand you, how does that point of view stifle exploration?

Edit: That view could also apply to not giving credence to supernatural claims as well.

Last edited by Wonder234; 11th August 2017 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 11th August 2017, 05:02 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Ha! nice.

Atheism is of course a thing, welcome to the site.
Thank you.
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Old 11th August 2017, 05:05 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I don't think I understand you, how does that point of view stifle exploration?

Edit: That view could also apply to not giving credence to supernatural claims as well.

You are asking us to accept claims based on just .. claims. You are suggesting that things are becoming "perfect" without explaining why perfection is desirable, or even what it is. It is sort of like solipsism, where you are asking people to limit themselves by suggesting that things are too big and complex to be worth actually going out and exploring, in favor of armchair philosophy
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Old 11th August 2017, 05:21 PM   #24
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You were doing fine right up to the point where you reference a god.
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Old 11th August 2017, 05:46 PM   #25
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Wonder: This is part of an essay I've been working on for a couple of years, now. Compare it to your own OP:

1. According to observable evidence and known physical law, there is no reason to infer the existence of an entity capable of intentionally creating, or guiding the creation of, the Cosmos.

2. The Cosmos therefore resulted from the interplay of natural processes in accordance with distinct physical principles. There is therefore no reason to postulate an external purpose to its existence.

3. If the universe, and thereby its components, has no inherent purpose, any perceived purpose must be assigned;

4. So far as can be demonstrated, humans are the only entity capable of perceiving meaning or purpose and thus are the only entity capable of assigning them;

5. Therefore, Meaning and Purpose are human constructs and are only relevant in a human, not a divine or cosmic, context (upon this point I disagree with Sagan, who famously stated that "We are a way for the Cosmos to know itself").

6. The ultimate conclusion is that humanity must establish its own purpose in life because nothing else will furnish it. What that purpose is or should be is a personal and individual problem.

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Old 11th August 2017, 06:06 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I like to subject my views to skepticism, so I'm still working out the kinks of this.

In the beginning there was infinite potential. This infinite potential was God. God became aware of itself but could not experience itself because it was infinite and things can only exist in a finite form (after all, everything around you is finite), so God actualized itís potential and became finite in the form of the universe, meaning everything and everyone is God (still working out the contradiction of how God can be aware of itself yet only experience itself when finite). So, God created the universe to experience itself, but it did not just want to experience itself as a tree or a dog or a human, it wanted to experience itís essence, so the souls that inhabit various life-forms, through the process of reincarnation starting from the lowest forms of life and going toward the highest gradually evolves until it becomes God-like, perfect. Once perfect, this is God experiencing itself, and after a soul reaches perfection and thus no longer has to reincarnate, it merges with God, which would be the greatest bliss possible. And after all souls merge back with God, the process starts over again but this time with the lessons learned from the previous universe incorporated into the new universe. So the purpose of man, or the soul of man, is to become perfect, the purpose of man in a particular life is to grow, which you do through the experiences of life and your use of free will. You supposedly choose your parents and family to meet your particular growth needs and also program certain life experiences into your incarnation.
You talk a lot about souls. The only souls I and a lot of members here believe in are 'R-Souls'
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Old 11th August 2017, 06:31 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Hokulele View Post
You are asking us to accept claims based on just .. claims. You are suggesting that things are becoming "perfect" without explaining why perfection is desirable, or even what it is. It is sort of like solipsism, where you are asking people to limit themselves by suggesting that things are too big and complex to be worth actually going out and exploring, in favor of armchair philosophy
I see what you are talking about now when you say that I'm making the universe too big to be worth exploring.

Let's define perfection as the state of being flawless. But in the context of my idea, this would be a flawlessness of character. Why character? Because that is where the essence of this first entity that became finite is truly, because this entity is in some sense a person, the qualities that make up its essence are character traits or can be seen as character traits.

As to why perfection is desirable, I would have to say that I myself don't really desire to be perfect that much, and I think there are plenty of other people that feel the same way, but according to this idea, this is what God wants, to experience itself as God. The idea doesn't really give a reason why God would want to experience itself (and I myself would have to work that out too). That does mar the theory somewhat but I think it can go on without it. I may try to fill in that gap.
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Old 11th August 2017, 06:38 PM   #28
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So we are to live through pain and suffering so this god can know itself?

To hell with that god. What an ******* it is.
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Old 11th August 2017, 06:46 PM   #29
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It was all explained decades ago by that noted philosopher, Mr. Natural. Spoiled for a mildly naughty word:

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Old 11th August 2017, 06:47 PM   #30
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Easy. 42
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Old 11th August 2017, 06:53 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Nay_Sayer View Post
Easy. 42
I'm quite astounded that it took 32 posts to get to that.
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Old 11th August 2017, 06:56 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Beady View Post
Wonder: This is part of an essay I've been working on for a couple of years, now. Compare it to your own OP:

1. According to observable evidence and known physical law, there is no reason to infer the existence of an entity capable of intentionally creating, or guiding the creation of, the Cosmos.

2. The Cosmos therefore resulted from the interplay of natural processes in accordance with distinct physical principles. There is therefore no reason to postulate an external purpose to its existence.

3. If the universe, and thereby its components, has no inherent purpose, any perceived purpose must be assigned;

4. So far as can be demonstrated, humans are the only entity capable of perceiving meaning or purpose and thus are the only entity capable of assigning them;

5. Therefore, Meaning and Purpose are human constructs and are only relevant in a human, not a divine or cosmic, context (upon this point I disagree with Sagan, who famously stated that "We are a way for the Cosmos to know itself").

6. The ultimate conclusion is that humanity must establish its own purpose in life because nothing else will furnish it. What that purpose is or should be is a personal and individual problem.

This signature is intended to irritate people.
I'm not really sure how to relate this with my OP, but I can give my thoughts on it.

For #1 - I would agree that there is no recognizable conclusive evidence for a "creator entity" known by the public as of yet.

For #2 - I would say that the universe being created by natural processes doesn't really follow from there being no evidence of a creator. Just because there's no evidence, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. And I would agree that since there is no creator with a mind and free-will, there can be no purpose.

#3 - Why'd you say must be assigned?

#4 - Well, there may be aliens capable of perceiving meaning and purpose, but I don't know for sure.

#5 - If we are the only minds capable, yes.

#6 - I disagree with you here because I think if you didn't make a thing you can't give it a purpose. I think at best you can come up with a "primary goal" for yourself.
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Old 11th August 2017, 06:58 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I like to subject my views to skepticism, so I'm still working out the kinks of this.

In the beginning there was infinite potential. This infinite potential was God. God became aware of itself but could not experience itself because it was infinite and things can only exist in a finite form (after all, everything around you is finite), so God actualized itís potential and became finite in the form of the universe, meaning everything and everyone is God (still working out the contradiction of how God can be aware of itself yet only experience itself when finite). So, God created the universe to experience itself, but it did not just want to experience itself as a tree or a dog or a human, it wanted to experience itís essence, so the souls that inhabit various life-forms, through the process of reincarnation starting from the lowest forms of life and going toward the highest gradually evolves until it becomes God-like, perfect. Once perfect, this is God experiencing itself, and after a soul reaches perfection and thus no longer has to reincarnate, it merges with God, which would be the greatest bliss possible. And after all souls merge back with God, the process starts over again but this time with the lessons learned from the previous universe incorporated into the new universe. So the purpose of man, or the soul of man, is to become perfect, the purpose of man in a particular life is to grow, which you do through the experiences of life and your use of free will. You supposedly choose your parents and family to meet your particular growth needs and also program certain life experiences into your incarnation.
Why did you post this theology on a skeptics' site?
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Old 11th August 2017, 07:09 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
It was all explained decades ago by that noted philosopher, Mr. Natural. Spoiled for a mildly naughty word:

Didn't he have his own brand of blotter acid back in the day?

Whatever happened to the fabulous furry freak brothers?
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Old 11th August 2017, 07:10 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by John Jones View Post
Why did you post this theology on a skeptics' site?
To see how the skeptics who are atheists would react. I was expecting, rather misguidedly perhaps, that they would see the merits of theism. And also I was hoping people would think it was cool and possibly give some thoughts on it.

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Old 11th August 2017, 08:12 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
To see how the skeptics who are atheists would react. I was expecting, rather misguidedly perhaps, that they would see the merits of theism. And also I was hoping people would think it was cool and possibly give some thoughts on it.

There's no reason to believe something that cannot be falsifiably tested.
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Old 11th August 2017, 08:20 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
There's no reason to believe something that cannot be falsifiably tested.
How about love. Is there a test for that?
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Old 11th August 2017, 08:22 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
There's no reason to believe something that cannot be falsifiably tested.
What about logic?
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Old 11th August 2017, 08:23 PM   #39
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Go read Hegel.
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Old 11th August 2017, 08:41 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
Go read Hegel.
I haven't read Hegel but do you really think logic can't prove anything?
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