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Old 11th August 2017, 08:48 PM   #41
marplots
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
How about love. Is there a test for that?
Yes.

Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
What about logic?
Yes.
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Old 11th August 2017, 08:48 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Yes, I know that all skeptics aren't atheists. Sorry if I came off as rude.
No worries, and I'm also sorry if I came across as snippy or abrupt.


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.
Unfortunately, there's no way to close a thread once opened. Kinda like Pandora's Box, in a way.



Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
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.
See? Now this is more like it. This can get you lots more traction here and I'm glad you're willing to try this route, rather than either leaving the forums or by retreating further into vague wishy-washy claims. And not to imply you would do either of the two things but only offered as examples of some others who have come here.



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.
Seeing the merits of theism is a good goal; however, I think ways of thinking and behavior such as humanism are what I'm thinking you're implied goal here is. See, I can really get behind humanism and I self-identify as a humanist. From my perspective, humanism and similar... philosophies if you wish... are all that's good from a theistic point of view without all the extraneous baggage that theism normally drags along with it.


Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
What about logic?
Logic is useful and pretty much required for a scientific or skeptical viewpoint, but there still must be some sort of foundation that is rational, coherent, and hopefully meaningful in order to develop ideas and concepts with which we may further evaluate and test.
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Old 11th August 2017, 08:52 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I haven't read Hegel but do you really think logic can't prove anything?
While not speaking for the other poster, logic can only prove anything as long as it is supported by things that are objective and demonstrable. Otherwise, it essentially devolves into simple word games and wishful thinking. My opinion only of course.
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Old 11th August 2017, 08:54 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I haven't read Hegel but do you really think logic can't prove anything?
Yes logic can prove things. The word would not exist if it did no work in human practices. We see proof in the deductive reasoning of syllogism and mathematics and we also see it in work in the inductive reasoning of science and criminal law.

Anyway on Hegel, here is an outline of his metaphysics that should interest you:
Pantheism is the motivating force and the core of Hegel's system. It is a grandiose idealistic pantheism, in which all existence and all history are part of God's cosmic self-development.

God is absolute spirit. But he also desires to manifest himself and to know himself. So it is part of his essence to become real, in particular material things, in individual persons and in the process of change and history. God is present and active in the real world. He acts through humans, and is conscious of himself through humans.

God embodies and develops himself first in nature, then in the rising stages of human consciousness and civilization. Human history and culture are God's working out of his self-realization in the world. Individual humans - especially the great heroes of world history - are the principal means of change, while peoples and states are the embodiment of each phase.
https://www.pantheism.net/paul/history/hegel.htm
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Old 11th August 2017, 08:57 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Yes.

Yes.
I'd cut and paste that speech from good will hunting, but y'all get the idea.

Oh well....
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Old 11th August 2017, 09:01 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I see what you are talking about now when you say that I'm making the universe too big to be worth exploring.

Exactly, when someone goes the route of "This is all so complex, how can we understand it? Must be a god.", they are basically giving up before things even get started.

Quote:
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.

Again, this doesn't really say anything. Cersei Lannister can be seen as flawless of character, but not someone I would want to emulate. Someone who is flawlessly good can also commit horrific acts, "In the name of the greater good." As far as I can tell, the only way to avoid doing any harm at all is to be completely boring. But that may just be me.

Quote:
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.

Perfection is stagnant. Imperfection leads to progress!
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Old 11th August 2017, 09:02 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
How about love. Is there a test for that?
If we can map brain states to reliable reported experiences thst would seem a good basis.
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Old 11th August 2017, 09:38 PM   #48
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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. 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.
OK, I read your POV. Here's mine:

There is no evidence any gods exist.
There is however, overwhelming evidence people made up god stories.

Ergo, the best explanation for god beliefs is human generated fiction.
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Old 11th August 2017, 11:33 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
OK, I read your POV. Here's mine:

There is no evidence any gods exist.
There is however, overwhelming evidence people made up god stories.

Ergo, the best explanation for god beliefs is human generated fiction.
^^^Bingo!^^^
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Old 12th August 2017, 12:06 AM   #50
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If life is the serves a purpose for God,
what purpose does God serve?
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Old 12th August 2017, 01:48 AM   #51
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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 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). 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. 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.
It's a nice idea, and mostly internally consistent.
Except for the last paragraph about choosing your parents and programming certain experiences into your life. That does not neccesarily follow from your pantheist theory. Nothing in your hypothesis indicates that we have a choice in who our parents will be or what will happen to us.
And, come to think of it, if your concept of a perfect and infinite God can learn lessons and incorporate them, then it is neither perfect not infinite. And if the entire Universe is different bits of God, how can bringing them back together create something that's more than the original?

More importantly: do you have any evidence? It's trivially easy to come up with a story that's internally consistent, writers do it all of the time. But that does not make all fiction fact.
So what reason do we have that your theory is true?
Evidence of reincarnation, evidence of a soul, evidence that evolution has set goals? How would we expect a pantheist universe to act differently from a 'naturalist' universe, and how could we detect those differences in order to draw a conclusion?
What you have now is a nice comforting story, but without evidence there is no reason to think that it's any more accurate than other stories.
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Old 12th August 2017, 03:07 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
How about love. Is there a test for that?
Of course:
Obras son amores, que no buenas razones. (Spanish refranero)

Meaning: In matters of love, it is advisable to give some proof of the affection that one feels to the loved one . It is directed to those that speak a lot and don't do anything.
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Old 12th August 2017, 03:17 AM   #53
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So according to your theory you as a soul fragment of god, choose your parents before you're born so that the experience with them can fulfil the need of god to meet your growth needs?

Does that mean that all five of Andrea Yates' children picked her? What growth needs are met by being drowned in a bathtub as a child? What about the 5 year old kid of this sociopathic monster who deliberately poisoned him with salt and broadcast what she was doing on social media?
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Old 12th August 2017, 04:25 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by MarkCorrigan View Post
So according to your theory you as a soul fragment of god, choose your parents before you're born so that the experience with them can fulfil the need of god to meet your growth needs?

Does that mean that all five of Andrea Yates' children picked her? What growth needs are met by being drowned in a bathtub as a child? What about the 5 year old kid of this sociopathic monster who deliberately poisoned him with salt and broadcast what she was doing on social media?
They did not choose,,,wisely.

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Old 12th August 2017, 05:06 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by MarkCorrigan View Post
So according to your theory you as a soul fragment of god, choose your parents before you're born so that the experience with them can fulfil the need of god to meet your growth needs?

Does that mean that all five of Andrea Yates' children picked her? What growth needs are met by being drowned in a bathtub as a child? What about the 5 year old kid of this sociopathic monster who deliberately poisoned him with salt and broadcast what she was doing on social media?
Oh, there's always some bogus argument to be made...
It was necessary to experience the fullness of life blabla
It doesn't matter because they're reincarnated anyway...
We've all been there in a past life...

Once you claim we're all immortal and working our way up the ladder to godliness, you can justify all manner of terrible things.

The problem is evidence. Before I'll accept the claim that infanticide, disease, birth defects and whatnot are part of some great plan, I'd need to see some pretty conclusive evidence of that plan.
But for some reason, all the mystics can muster is bald assertion.
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Old 12th August 2017, 05:53 AM   #56
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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.
I'd say you were being very naive, as opposed to merely misguided, if you thought your opening post would result in atheists seeing the merits of theism.

The OP isn't really theism per se anyway, just about every theistic religion has its own spin on it, your post is merely some sort of flight of fancy about some whimsical fantasy you made up.

Quote:
And also I was hoping people would think it was cool and possibly give some thoughts on it.
My thoughts? It just seems like a bunch of made up stuff with no reason to believe it or take it seriously.
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Old 12th August 2017, 07:07 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
How about love. Is there a test for that?

Of course.
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Old 12th August 2017, 09:41 AM   #58
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The basis for this idea, for me, comes from claims of children who remember past lives. If it can be seen as more likely that these claims are really true, then this idea can be seen as more likely. I admit, it's not the strongest reasoning but it goes like this;

1. Let's, for now, suppose children or people who report memories of past lives are actually telling the truth (This claim would have to be argued for later)

2. Then not only are they reporting a previous life but they also have their current lives. This means, probably, that the soul comes back again and again to a life as a human (as most people who report past lives say they were humans). But why?

3. If we look at the animal kingdom, and again, this is kind of a leap of faith that will have to be argued for later, do we suppose that they too have some sort of life force? In my opinion if humans have souls, then that makes it more likely that animals have some sort of life force. By life force I mean something like a proto soul, we'll say for now.

4. Then if animals have "souls" and humans have souls, could it be that the reason we come back again and again to life as humans be that we are progressing, and that we progressed from animal souls to human souls? (This might be supported by the idea humans souls are currently in their human phase)

5. Then if we are progressing, what are we progressing towards? Perhaps, we are progressing toward a most advanced state, and maybe this is something God-like (think Jesus (although I am not a Christian)). And by most advanced state, I'll have to define that later.

6. Here's where the reasoning gets really shoddy, and I shall try to strengthen the reasoning for this part later; Why are we progressing toward being God-like? Perhaps because God is trying to experience itself. (This is the area where I'll probably be putting in the most work: and I admit, I'm just throwing this part out there) God is undifferentiated and infinite. At the beginning of the universe there was not exactly nothing, but infinite potential, this infinite potential is also God. Being infinite, it could not be any particular thing or things, because that is finite, and so it was undifferentiated and therefore could not experience itself.

7. This is why God created the universe, to experience itself and it needed to create the universe to do that because because it is infinite and the only things that can really be experienced is form, finity, because a form, by definition can not be infinite.

8. And since we are progressing and God created the universe to experience itself, this is where I come to the conclusion that we are progressing to become God-like, or for God to be trying to experience itself through us, by us becoming God-like.

The part about choosing your incarnation and the lessons you will learn doesn't necessarily follow from this as reincarnation can just be automatic, perhaps it can, but it is not that important to this idea.

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Old 12th August 2017, 09:54 AM   #59
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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.
Which gods were you hoping we would start believing in?
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Old 12th August 2017, 10:07 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by RoboTimbo View Post
Which gods were you hoping we would start believing in?
No particular God, I don't have a religion myself, just an entity that created the universe.
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Old 12th August 2017, 10:13 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
No particular God, I don't have a religion myself, just an entity that created the universe.
When did that cease to meet the definition of religion?
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Old 12th August 2017, 10:41 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by RoboTimbo View Post
When did that cease to meet the definition of religion?
I agree that God is part of religion, but can't you believe in God without being religious?
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Old 12th August 2017, 11:22 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I agree that God is part of religion, but can't you believe in God without being religious?
How do you define religion?
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Old 12th August 2017, 11:55 AM   #64
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So...no response to my post then?
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Old 12th August 2017, 11:58 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by RoboTimbo View Post
How do you define religion?
I do not know EXACTLY what religion is, but my definition is; Man's relation to the sacred as expressed through doctrines, rituals and practices. I know that doesn't encapsulate all religions, but religion is hard to define.
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Old 12th August 2017, 12:03 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I do not know EXACTLY what religion is, but my definition is; Man's relation to the sacred as expressed through doctrines, rituals and practices. I know that doesn't encapsulate all religions, but religion is hard to define.

Not really. It's a belief in the supernatural, or any expressions of such. It's simple, actually.
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Old 12th August 2017, 12:04 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by MarkCorrigan View Post
So according to your theory you as a soul fragment of god, choose your parents before you're born so that the experience with them can fulfil the need of god to meet your growth needs?

Does that mean that all five of Andrea Yates' children picked her? What growth needs are met by being drowned in a bathtub as a child? What about the 5 year old kid of this sociopathic monster who deliberately poisoned him with salt and broadcast what she was doing on social media?
Surprisingly, if you read about past lives some researchers and past life regressionists find that hardship can also be a means for growth. There are cases where that hardship is not helpful, but that is not always what a soul incarnates for, as there are so many variables that not all of them can be controlled.
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Old 12th August 2017, 12:08 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Surprisingly, if you read about past lives some researchers and past life regressionists find that hardship can also be a means for growth. There are cases where that hardship is not helpful, but that is not always what a soul incarnates for, as there are so many variables that not all of them can be controlled.
I dare say that any veteran posters here have read about past life claims -- Bridey Murphy, for example.

It's nonsense.
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Old 12th August 2017, 12:09 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by John Jones View Post
Not really. It's a belief in the supernatural, or any expressions of such. It's simple, actually.
That works.
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Old 12th August 2017, 12:15 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by John Jones View Post
I dare say that any veteran posters here have read about so-called past life claims -- Bridey Murphy, for example.

It's nonsense.
Has it been disproven?
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Old 12th August 2017, 12:15 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
No particular God, I don't have a religion myself, just an entity that created the universe.

If you just want to know why our universe exists, then you should be studying cosmological physics. Because over the past 70 years or so, that has given us practically everything that we now "know" about the origin and properties of our universe (I just put the word "know" in parenthesis, because the other thing we've learned from quantum physics since about 1920, is that if quantum theory is correct (and we think it almost certainly is correct), then it's actually not possible to truly "know" anything as a matter of literal 100% certainty ... i.e. the nature of our universe is fundamentally probabilistic).

And so far, in all the many billions of things discovered and explained by science, there has been not the most microscopic spec of any evidence for any intelligent god-like creator. In fact, on the contrary, everything ever discovered is really incompatible with any intelligent purposeful creator.

On the other hand science has been astonishingly successful at explaining (and confirming) in the most minute mind-boggling detail, almost everything anyone could ever want to know or reasonably ask about the nature of the universe that we live in. For example, we are now pretty sure that the origin of our universe can be explained with great precision right back to about 100th of a second after the big bang.

So when theists, philosophers and others say we do not actually know how or why our universe began, what they are actually arguing about is precisely what happened in that first 100th of a second. And frankly that is a completely unreasonable complaint from those non-scientists when they say “ahh, but you do not know exactly what happened in the first 100th of a second!”. And just to make their unscientific position far worse – over the past 30 years or so, many papers have been published in the top physics journals (e.g. Phys. Rev.) which do describe quite plausible models inc. a solid mathematical foundation/explanation, for how, why, and what exactly occurred in that first 100th of a sec to produce the Big Bang.

If you think you have enough background in quantum field theory, then you can read all about that in hundreds of mathematical physics papers (if you access to a science research library). Or far easier, you can read some popular level science books on the subject, where the authors give a simplified account of various recent models of the Big Bang. See for example the extremely readable, inexpensive, but still very informative book by Alex Vilenkin – e.g. here from Amazon

Alex Vilenkin; “Many Worlds in One”
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Many-Worlds...=alex+vilenkin

Last edited by IanS; 12th August 2017 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 12th August 2017, 12:20 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Has it been disproven?

Probably not, but neither has the 600 dimensional dragon that lives in my ear.
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Old 12th August 2017, 12:35 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by HghrSymmetry View Post
Probably not, but neither has the 600 dimensional dragon that lives in my ear.
Is it really that ridiculous?
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Old 12th August 2017, 12:40 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Is it really that ridiculous?

Well, yeah. You are asking people to believe in a soul that can be reincarnated. Something immaterial, unobservable, untestable, and, well, ridiculous.
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Old 12th August 2017, 12:40 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Has it been disproven?
Read up on the burden of proof, my pathologically credulous newcomer friend.
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Old 12th August 2017, 12:41 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
If you just want to know why our universe exists, then you should be studying cosmological physics. Because over the past 70 years or so, that has given us practically everything that we now "know" about the origin and properties of our universe (I just put the word "know" in parenthesis, because the other thing we've learned from quantum physics since about 1920, is that if quantum theory is correct (and we think it almost certainly is correct), then it's actually not possible to truly "know" anything as a matter of literal 100% certainty ... i.e. the nature of our universe is fundamentally probabilistic).

And so far, in all the many billions of things discovered and explained by science, there has been not the most microscopic spec of any evidence for any intelligent god-like creator. In fact, on the contrary, everything ever discovered is really incompatible with any intelligent purposeful creator.

On the other hand science has been astonishingly successful at explaining (and confirming) in the most minute mind-boggling detail, almost everything anyone could ever want to know or reasonably ask about the nature of the universe that we live in. For example, we are now pretty sure that the origin of our universe can be explained with great precision right back to about 100th of a second after the big bang.

So when theists, philosophers and others say we do not actually know how or why our universe began, what they are actually arguing about is precisely what happened in that first 100th of a second. And frankly that is a completely unreasonable complaint from those non-scientists when they say “ahh, but you do not know exactly what happened in the first 100th of a second!”. And just to make their unscientific position far worse – over the past 30 years or so, many papers have been published in the top physics journals (e.g. Phys. Rev.) which do describe quite plausible models inc. a solid mathematical foundation/explanation, for how, why, and what exactly occurred in that first 100th of a sec to produce the Big Bang.

If you think you have enough background in quantum field theory, then you can read all about that in hundreds of mathematical physics papers (if you access to a science research library). Or far easier, you can read some popular level science books on the subject, where the authors give a simplified account of various recent models of the Big Bang. See for example the extremely readable, inexpensive, but still very informative book by Alex Vilenkin – e.g. here from Amazon

Alex Vilenkin; “Many Worlds in One”
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Many-Worlds...=alex+vilenkin
Thanks. I'll give it a read.
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Old 12th August 2017, 12:49 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by Hokulele View Post
Well, yeah. You are asking people to believe in a soul that can be reincarnated. Something immaterial, unobservable, untestable, and, well, ridiculous.
I know this sounds silly, but what about the sun? The fact that we're floating in nothingness? The fact that the universe arose from something smaller than an atom? The fact that virtually everyone started from a male's semen and grew inside their mother's stomach from a sperm and egg invisible to the naked eye to something as large as André the Giant?
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Old 12th August 2017, 01:01 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I know this sounds silly, but what about the sun? The fact that we're floating in nothingness? The fact that the universe arose from something smaller than an atom? The fact that virtually everyone started from a male's semen and grew inside their mother's stomach from a sperm and egg invisible to the naked eye to something as large as André the Giant?
Where the heck did you go to school? All extant mammals have a male and a female progenitor. The individual with the smaller gamete is the male. Andre the giant didn't grow to his adult size in his mothers belly.

This is preposterous.
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Old 12th August 2017, 01:05 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
No particular God, I don't have a religion myself, just an entity that created the universe.
You believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster which created the universe out of itself and was destroyed in making it?
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Old 12th August 2017, 01:27 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I know this sounds silly, but what about the sun? The fact that we're floating in nothingness? The fact that the universe arose from something smaller than an atom? The fact that virtually everyone started from a male's semen and grew inside their mother's stomach from a sperm and egg invisible to the naked eye to something as large as André the Giant?
Welcome, Wonder234. The difference between all the things you are questioning and souls is that we have evidence for all the other things. If you were so inclined you could look through all the studies and do all the experiments yourself. You don't need to just take someone's word for it, you can do the experiments yourself. Souls? Not so much. There is no evidence, there is no reason to think they exist. Also, there is rather considerable evidence that suggests that they cannot exist (or at least interact with our bodies in the way that they must if they are to have any significance).
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