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Author Topic:   Choosing a faith
Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 65 of 3810 (897083)
08-29-2022 12:42 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by GDR
08-27-2022 1:59 PM

GDR writes:
In the “I Know that God does not exist” thread there are over 3000 posts...
Yeah! Awesome thread! Let's vote it for best-on-the-forum!! Who's with me!!???
For too many years the church has put the emphasis on personal salvation. All humanity, (and maybe even beyond humanity), are chosen. However, we aren’t chosen for salvation, but for vocation. We are all called to spread God’s love as embodied by Jesus into the world. As to what happens to us after our deaths is in God’s hands and with the resurrected Jesus we do have a small glimpse of what that might be.
I'm not exactly clear on the subject of this thread - so Imma gonna quote this here and take a stab at what you might be interested in discussing.
Personally, I sort of choose vocation - in a "what it's about" sorta way and not a "being a part of God" kinda way.
That is, I choose to spread Love (not God's love... as I don't think God exists.)
I'm not particularly concerned with what happens to me after I die
-there doesn't seem to be a way for me to control that... so I'd rather focus my efforts on something I can control... how I live
I'm also not concerned about Jesus... I don't care if he was resurrected or not, and I don't even care if he ever existed at all or not.
Once I choose to spread Love... I don't need anymore of those superfluous ideas.
And Love certainly does exist. I might not be able to show a math equation... but I can show many, many examples of people showing love for other people, or animals, or themselves or even sometimes inanimate objects.
I may not be able to provide an all-inclusive, strict definition of Love - but I find that to be a strength, not a weakness. It means I haven't learned all the possible ways that Love can show itself in this world, is all. And, maybe, there is no limiting Love by definition.
In following Love, I'm more concerned with treating people nicely, and providing care for my family, and helping others when I can.
-I don't care if an unevidenced God exists or not
-I don't care if the world was created for people or not
-I don't care if the world is fine-tuned or not
-I don't care if the universe was created for a purpose or not
-I don't care if "I Know That God Does Not Exist" has over 3000 posts or not (kidding! I absolutely am totally invested in this.)
It's all bullshit, and doesn't make a difference to what really matters: following Love.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by GDR, posted 08-27-2022 1:59 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 75 by GDR, posted 08-29-2022 2:03 PM Stile has replied

Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 66 of 3810 (897084)
08-29-2022 12:48 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by GDR
08-28-2022 5:35 PM

Re: Welcome Back GDR
GDR writes:
Sure science discovered it the principle but still can't explain the incredible mathematical odds of it being that way.
I like both PaulK's and AZPaul3's ideas on this.
1. We don't know the odds... so we don't know if it's actually fine-tuned or not.
-we only have 1 universe
-our ability to describe/theoreticize others is incredibly limited as we can't seem to look outside of this one to get a nice objective view of it
-maybe this is the way universes have to be, and the odds of it occurring this way are: 100%
2. Forget #1... let's say it actually is incredibly fine-tuned. What makes you think it's fine-tuned for life or humans?
-it's likely fine-tuned for stars... the universe is really, really good at making stars. There's lots of 'em.
-it's most likely that life is an unrequired by-product... something that just happened to come along scraping and clawing whatever-it-could out of the finely-tuned-star-making-universe in order to exist.
-we have no right to feel slighted by this, we are existing within a star-making universe.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by GDR, posted 08-28-2022 5:35 PM GDR has not replied

Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 80 of 3810 (897118)
08-29-2022 2:48 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by Tangle
08-29-2022 1:35 PM

Re: Welcome Back GDR
Tangle writes:
Meaning can be found in what we do while we're alive.
The greatest of all meaning - the one determined by ourselves for no other reason than we think it's right/good/better-than-the-alternatives.
Let's say God exists and provides "Ultimate, Objective Purpose!"
-what if God's purpose for us is to better ourselves and our fellow humans (and our world, and our solar system, and our...)
-if God gives us this purpose... we become nothing more than a tool... a robot built to follow a guideline. No personal judgement necessary (or desired!)
Let's say God doesn't exist, and there's no other purpose than that which we define for ourselves.
-what if, on our own, as a species, we came up with a purpose to better ourselves and our fellow humans (and our world, and our solar system, and our...)
-I'd say this purpose includes "honour" - there's no reason to follow this purpose other than personal conviction. We don't know if it's "good" or not... we just say "well, it's the most-good thing we can think of, for now!" and get on with it. That's honourable and that sort of honour just doesn't exist if the purpose is provided/expected/given.
In this sense... I think that personally-created-purpose has the potential to be greater and better than any possible "Ultimate, Objective Purpose!" handed over by any other possible entity.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by Tangle, posted 08-29-2022 1:35 PM Tangle has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 83 by Phat, posted 08-29-2022 3:01 PM Stile has replied
 Message 84 by Phat, posted 08-29-2022 3:08 PM Stile has replied
 Message 88 by Tangle, posted 08-29-2022 3:46 PM Stile has replied

Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 87 of 3810 (897127)
08-29-2022 3:35 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by GDR
08-29-2022 2:03 PM

Re: What does God want of Us
GDR writes:
Yes, I believe that the love that you want to spread is from God, but what matters is that is you are responding to His still small voice.
I'm not sure what "responding to His still small voice" means.
Does God plant seeds in all of us? Does He affect our conscience? Do I have thoughts/feelings/nudges here and there that would not exist if God did not exist?
Are we free to make our own decisions or does God imply to us what is right and what is wrong?
That is... if "I'm" not deciding what is right and wrong, and God is merely "adjusting my thoughts to inform me what is right and wrong" then... I'm not really choosing to do good things (which I think is important.) Your word has more meaning here... I would be responding and doing good things... like a good little robot...
Which raises the question... if God is doing such a thing... what's the point?
-if God put us here to see if we follow Love or not... shouldn't He not nudge us at all?
-if God wants us to follow Love, and nudges us in that direction... why not nudge harder? If "a little bit" of free-will is okay to override so that I'm nudged to help an old lady cross the street... why isn't it okay to override free-will more, in certain instances, so that little Timmy doesn't die of malnutrition at the age of 7?
Seems to me that this "still small voice" of God raises a lot more problems than it solves.
I don't personally really care one way or the other... it's just some interesting thought exercises that spring to my mind when you say such a thing.
Following Love is really what matters.
It's what we do, and what we fail at, and what we try to do better next time with.
There is no "grace vs works" (intentions vs doing.) You need both, and must use both to follow Love.
At many levels this is more Christ like than Christians who do loving things to stay on the right side of God as they believe ultimately that they will benefit.
I agree with the sentiment. I would layer it like this:
I don't think there's anything wrong with doing loving things in order to ultimately benefit oneself.
I think it's better to follow Love simply because you think it's "the right thing to do" - regardless of personal benefit. But I don't think it matters too much.
Why compare why loving things are done, as long as loving things are getting done? The moment one's quest for "personal benefits" gets in the way of doing loving things... that's when concern should begin. But, maybe, personal benefit is the best path to doing the most loving things? If so... shouldn't we all act for personal benefit, then - to do the most loving things?
I usually tend to find myself somewhere in the middle... trying to do good things just because I want to do good things, but also sometimes doing good things because I see a benefit for myself... sometimes both at the same time.
Sometimes I'll do something good just because it's good... but someone else will see that I also obtained a benefit and think I did it for the benefit! Those rogues!!
Not to worry. If we live our lives based on self giving love the next world will take care of itself.
I'm not as confident in not worrying about it. I have a fear that there could be someone watching, possibly not even a "good" someone.. and I'm screwing myself over. But - it's not a big fear. Just one of those every-now-and-then pangs that quickly gets overcome by a sense of following Love to do what I can, when I can, and feeling confident in my own justifications for my actions.
The thing is, even if that fear became reality, if it was known for sure that God existed and He was watching... I'd like to think that I wouldn't care, and still do whatever I thought was best (after taking in whatever advice we could get from this positively-existing God, anyway.) Even if it meant eternal torture (we can assume the god isn't "God" at this point.) I don't know if I'd be able to do that... eternal torture is a pretty good threat. I've done worse for less! That would be an interesting (but very scary) world, for sure.
As a Christian however, I do appreciate understanding the source of that love.
How far does your quest for understanding the source of that love go?
-do you stop at God?
-are you interested in brain-scans of people when they see loved ones enter a room to see what lights up?
-do you think other feelings (possibly similar sources) are all from God? Caution/Fear? Anger/Hate? Anxiousness? Funny?
-what if certain feelings, maybe even Love itself, were scientifically proven to be 100% natural and mundane? Just like us having 5 fingers? Would that change your desire to follow Love?
-does it matter where it comes from? Or does it only matter if we follow Love or not?
To me, if it were proven that Love is 100% natural and mundane... it would become an even greater purpose to follow Love than if some God gave us such orders.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by GDR, posted 08-29-2022 2:03 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 94 by GDR, posted 08-29-2022 4:21 PM Stile has replied
 Message 102 by AZPaul3, posted 08-29-2022 10:37 PM Stile has replied

Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 95 of 3810 (897140)
08-29-2022 4:25 PM
Reply to: Message 88 by Tangle
08-29-2022 3:46 PM

Re: Welcome Back GDR
Tangle writes:
You and I might agree on stuff like honour and love giving a meaning. Others would put family before everything. And some others like. Trump, Putin etc think that meaning comes in other forms - - power, status, wealth, legacy.
Yeah - that one's a conundrum.
Who's to say that chasing power isn't "better" than chasing love?
Why can I say there is "honour" in chasing love... but none in chasing power?
Can I only say that because you and I agree on it as well?
What's my evidence? Is there any?
I can give evidence on how chasing love helps and doesn't hurt others... while chasing power will hurt others (sometimes... more often then trying to avoid it, anyway.)
It all comes down to identifying good vs bad.
If good = 'actions that result in people being glad you did that action to them'
If bad = 'actions that result in people being sad you did that action to them'
...then this provides an evidence basis for power = sometimes bad and love = good.
But, that only holds water if you agree to it. Which, admittedly, isn't very difficult and goes along with our sense of "what good is."
But it's still... just an imaginary agreement.
Which is required for honour... but useless for persuasiveness.
Sadly there really isn't clear agreement on this between humanity. If there was, the world would not be the way it is.
Even with the provided above framework... if someone doesn't agree, or doesn't care... well, then... you know what we got right here:
What we've got here is... failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it... well, he gets it. I don't like it any more than you men.
-Captain Strother Martin, Cool Hand Luke
And, ironically, this is the same boat as if God existed. It doesn't matter if following Love comes from God or ourselves in this context. Those who don't agree; don't agree all the same. (Clearly!) Regardless of the threat of eternal punishment from a non-evidenced God, or a threat-less claim of fully evidenced good.
Six of one, half-a-dozen of the other... a whole bucket of uselessness.
The Golden Rule that GDR is so fond of is sadly not universal.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 88 by Tangle, posted 08-29-2022 3:46 PM Tangle has not replied

Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 107 of 3810 (897164)
08-30-2022 11:15 AM
Reply to: Message 83 by Phat
08-29-2022 3:01 PM

Re: Ultimate Objective Purpose
Phat writes:
Do you mean that He imparts (Ultimate, Objective Purpose) into us? Thus robbing us of the effort and necessity of figuring it out for ourselves.
I mean that no strength of character is required when following orders.
You may counter that by saying that the facts show we have no higher power.

This does not prevent us from having higher ideals. Perhaps an Ultimate Objective Purpose.
What would an Ultimate Objective Purpose even look like?
Isn't that like saying some girl is the Ultimate Objective Beauty?
-there will be a ton of people who disagree, I promise
How can you have an Ultimate Objective Anything on something, like a person's personal purpose, that is subjective by definition?
It doesn't make any sense.
It's just a lot of words that are put together to sound impressive... when it's actually nothing more than some kid saying 'nyah nyah - my Dad can beat up your Dad!'
1. Who cares?
2. Even IF you have an Ultimate Objective Purpose - the purpose I choose for myself simply because I choose it is automatically higher/better for me. So what does that do to your "Ultimate Objective Purpose" that's no longer the best?
3. Anyone offering this as "a solution" is only clarifying that they have no idea what "purpose for a person's life" is in the first place - and this just makes them look silly.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 83 by Phat, posted 08-29-2022 3:01 PM Phat has not replied

Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 108 of 3810 (897165)
08-30-2022 11:24 AM
Reply to: Message 84 by Phat
08-29-2022 3:08 PM

Re: Welcome Back GDR
Phat writes:
You might agree that a well-thought-out and disciplined personally created purpose is as close as you can get.
Why would personally-created-purpose be "as close as one can get" to Ultimate Objective Purpose when personally-created-purpose has the potential to be far greater?
It seems like you don't understand.
Here's an example:
The "Ultimate Objective Purpose" for a hammer is to drive nails.
-it's what it was built for and it's very good at it
However, if I'm slipping on ice, and I use a hammer to claw into ice and save my legs from getting broken...
-well, this personally created purpose for the hammer (to save my legs!) is greater than the Ultimate Objective Purpose of the hammer.
Of course, a personally created purpose for the hammer could be something like holding M&Ms so I could snack on them later... and I would say the Ultimate Objective Purpose would be better than that one.
But there's no argument... saving my legs from being broken is far greater than driving nails... this personally created purpose for the hammer is far greater than the Ultimate Objective Purpose for the hammer.
Saying that saving my legs is "as close as I can get" to driving in some nails... is absurd.
Saving legs is clearly way, way, way above driving in nails.
This is why it's silly to talk about Ultimate Objective Purpose for people... or even inanimate objects... it overlooks the fact that "purpose" in general, is SUBJECTIVE. Therefore... any Ultimate Objective Purpose will be significantly handicapped just by being objective.
It's a silly thing to attempt to argue, and only shows that the one arguing it doesn't know how "purpose" works.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 84 by Phat, posted 08-29-2022 3:08 PM Phat has not replied

Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 111 of 3810 (897169)
08-30-2022 11:48 AM
Reply to: Message 94 by GDR
08-29-2022 4:21 PM

Re: What does God want of Us
GDR writes:
I see the still small voice of God being a God meme. It's a seed planted universally in our hearts/minds to do the loving thing. However we are certainly not robots and we are free to completely ignore it, and it seems that more often than not we do.
I don't think that's a good explanation... but it doesn't seem to address the questions that come up.
How are we free to "completely ignore" something that's been forcefully placed into our minds/hearts?
Isn't that like saying "don't think of a horse!"?
-you are "completely free to ignore" thinking about a horse... but it is, actually, humanly impossible.
Try this example:
If I'm at home and hungry, I'll think of something I want to eat and then order it (Skip The Dishes!)
But, let's say I'm hungry and looking at my phone. Ad's on my phone (or maybe even memes...) plant a seed in my heart that I should have Burger King.
Did I choose to have Burger King? Or did the ad sway me just enough?
-maybe I actually did want Burger King and the ad was coincidental... or maybe it swayed me
-hard to tell. Maybe I'm the only one who can tell, or maybe I can't even do that.
-it would be nice to have one situation where I don't see any ads, and another where I do and see the difference between them.... but it's (currently) difficult to conduct such an experiment.
Which leaves the same problem with God placing memes in our hearts.
-would we choose Love on our own? Or only because God planted the seed?
-what's the point?
-does God want to see if we choose Love or not?
-does God know we can't possibly choose Love on our own... so He plants seeds so that at least some of us have a chance?
-would it not be "more honourable" to choose Love on our own without having any seeds planted?
-why would God eliminate this possibility of us choosing Love honourably? Why does God hate honour? Why does God seem to want robots?
Christianity does provide an answer as to the point however, that is meaningless to you and most others here. Maybe the secular point is that it does establish a more contented harmonious world and that is point enough.
(I'm not sure if the above quote is still on the same lines as what I'm discussing - so feel free to correct me if I'm quoting out of context... but I'm going to assume it is.)
What is the answer Christianity provides to the point of God doing things this way?
I can't think of a satisfactory one.
The secular point is that God isn't putting memes or seeds in our heart so the problem doesn't exist. All our decisions are from us, because there's no other possible place they could come from.
We are not robots... and the decisions we make may be honourable, or disastrous and it's up to us to be adults and take responsibility for our decisions and try to move forward as best we can.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 94 by GDR, posted 08-29-2022 4:21 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 116 by GDR, posted 08-30-2022 2:27 PM Stile has replied

Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 114 of 3810 (897177)
08-30-2022 1:57 PM
Reply to: Message 102 by AZPaul3
08-29-2022 10:37 PM

Re: What does God want of Us
I've always had a difficult time parsing Shakespeare... let me have a crack at this.
I'll break it up into two parts. The first part:
"Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no, it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring barque,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
...seems to basically be saying how unstoppable, immovable, impenetrable and unlimited Love is.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.”
...this part I don't really get.
I think it's saying something like "if I'm wrong... then Love doesn't even exist in the simplest of senses?"

This message is a reply to:
 Message 102 by AZPaul3, posted 08-29-2022 10:37 PM AZPaul3 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 117 by AZPaul3, posted 08-30-2022 3:25 PM Stile has seen this message but not replied

Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 118 of 3810 (897181)
08-30-2022 3:32 PM
Reply to: Message 116 by GDR
08-30-2022 2:27 PM

Re: What does God want of Us
GDR writes:
We are bombarded with conflicting memes.
Yes - we are.
Does that mean God is justified in adding one more in order to try and sway us? I just don't think so.
Advertising works.
When all businesses are otherwise equal... the one with better/more advertising gets more business.
Memes/ads/forcing-thoughts works. It makes people choose things in a certain direction more often then they normally would.
Very difficult to identify when/if it's happening in any given, single scenario... but obvious and objectively measurable that "it does happen." In a large, general sense.
If we are looking for honour then it isn’t sacrificial. What we do then is for the benefit of the self. Honour means that we are simply looking to be built up in the eyes of others.
Maybe I'm using the wrong word?
Maybe you're using the wrong word...? To me, doing something honourably is doing it "because you think it's the right thing to do." That is, if someone is "looking to be built up in the eyes of others" then they definitely are not being honourable. People doing something with honour specifically means that they don't give two hoots about whatever anyone else thinks... they have their own reasons, and they're going to do it anyway.
I don't really care what we call it... "free will" or "honourable" or "without outside influence"... in what you're describing, this isn't possible and doesn't seem to exist. How can we tell if we're actually choosing Love or just being robots and following orders that are written onto our hearts? There's nothing special about doing something that we're programmed to do... it's so much more meaningful if we follow Love because we want to, not because we're "supposed to."
Christianity contends that death is not the end, and that ultimately it is metaphorically like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. The Christian contention is that ultimately there will be a recreation of all things, but that this life matters, and will have an impact in the world to come. Yes, that is a faith issue.
I think this is touching on another aspect... that evil exists.
I'm not really touching on that here. I'm sticking to the point of "why does God want us to be robots and follow orders instead of giving us free will to decide ourselves?" I don't see a satisfactory answer to that.
Does God give us Free Will to make our own decisions?
Or does God write memes on our hearts to nudge us in certain directions?
Those seem like conflicting ideas, and I don't see how they are resolved within a single entity who created us.
I can see why a God might create us and give us Free Will and see what we decide... sounds like an interesting adventure!
I can't see why an all-powerful God would write anything on our hearts to nudge us in certain directions... this seems to remove a certain level of Free Will, or imply that God didn't setup the universe itself, and needs to "correct" or "help" something that He cannot control... as if the world and humans were created by someone else, and God sees us and is all... "oh my... these humans need help! I'll write something on their hearts to guide them in the right direction!"
If God did create everything... why the need to give us memes/nudges? Why not create the world to give us memes/nudges? Why give us Free Will and then decide to override a portion of it?
So yes, I see the God meme of sacrificial love touching everyone’s heart, but then everyone has the choice of accepting or rejecting it. I suggest that you have made the choice unconsciously to have that meme impact your life – Hitler, for example, not so much.
Don't think of horses!
Got you again, didn't it?
But don't you have the choice of accepting to think of horses or reject it? No? Didn't think so... because that's not how brains work. If God touches everyone's heart... this absolutely does not give us the choice of accepting or rejecting it. Giving us the choice of accepting or rejecting something would be to present the options and let us make our own decisions. Touching everyone's heart is, by definition, "stacking the deck" in God's favoured position. If God wants to stack the deck... why give us Free Will? It just doesn't make any sense.
From this we can go back to the point of starting this thread. Which God do we choose? We choose between a god of self love where we are prepared to sacrifice the well being of others for our own benefit, or a god where we are prepared to sacrifice our own well being for the well being others. It is our choice.
This choice is there regardless, though... this choice is there even if God doesn't touch everyone's heart. We can all choose to follow Love or not depending on the situations that arise in front of us. In fact, without God intervening, this choice is even more of a "free choice."
God touching our hearts means God is intervening... but only intervening enough to "lead Stile to decide to help the old lady cross the street." But not intervene enough to "lead Timmy's parents to feed their kid so he doesn't starve to death."
It doesn't make any sense. If God wants to remove some of our Free Will in order to show us that Love is the way... why give us Free Will at all in the first place? The question of "will people with Free Will choose Love?" still exists and isn't answered!
If God wants to see what we do with our Free Will... why write anything on our hearts?
You seem to reject the idea of a world-wide flood 4000-ish years ago, and the idea that the earth is only 6000 years old.
Why cling to the idea that God is going around writing things on our hearts? What is it about this idea (that also doesn't make sense) that makes you want to hold onto it?
There are people who think if the world was not flooded 4000-ish years ago, then God doesn't exist.
But your faith seems stronger than that... it seems to be able to accept the way things are and stay faithful to the good parts of the Bible.
So why hold onto this idea of God writing things on our hearts? Why is that required?
Why can't God not write things on our hearts... give us Free Will, and see where we go in this world?
Is that too callous? Something you don't think a loving-God would do? It's more-loving to give us all a little guidance but still allow such atrocities and hatred and torture that exist in this world? That way, when little Timmy dies of malnutrition, God can say "well, I wrote a little something on those parents' hearts... I guess they just didn't choose to listen!" I just don't understand why this is where the line is drawn. Why is that "better" than God not writing anything on anyone's heart and just saying "Well, I guess that's what Free Will decided to do!" I don't really see much of a difference in those two situations. Unless... God is not all-powerful... and God isn't choosing to stop at simply writing a small nudge into everyone's heart and that's all God is capable of doing... that would make sense. Doing everything He possibly could to help, and that stops at "I can only write so much onto everyone's heart!" ...that would make a lot of sense.

Edited by Stile, : Grammar corrections

This message is a reply to:
 Message 116 by GDR, posted 08-30-2022 2:27 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 119 by Phat, posted 08-30-2022 3:59 PM Stile has replied
 Message 125 by GDR, posted 08-31-2022 2:25 AM Stile has replied

Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 121 of 3810 (897185)
08-30-2022 4:17 PM
Reply to: Message 119 by Phat
08-30-2022 3:59 PM

Re: What does God want of Us
Phat writes:
I tend to believe that God helps those who ask. He does not simply help everybody.
That doesn't seem very loving.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 119 by Phat, posted 08-30-2022 3:59 PM Phat has not replied

Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 133 of 3810 (897216)
08-31-2022 12:02 PM
Reply to: Message 125 by GDR
08-31-2022 2:25 AM

Re: What does God want of Us
GDR writes:
When we raise our kids hopefully we do it with unconditional love. We want to be a good example and we want to give them guidance. However in all of that they aren't robots and do have free will.
This is the problem.
The analogy you've provided clarifies my issue: Loving parents caring for their children.
This provides an explanation on why God would write Love onto our hearts.
But it brings up a bunch of other unanswerable questions:
-why does God's parenting involve caring for us enough to write on our hearts that Stile should help an old lady cross the street, but God's parenting does not involve caring enough to write on Timmy's parents' hearts that they shouldn't let their child die from malnutrition?
God's parenting-care just doesn't compare with a loving parent's care.
Therefore - either God's "care" isn't Loving... or God doesn't have the power to feed Timmy... or God doesn't write things on our hearts at all.
You seem to be describing a God that interferes "a certain amount."
This calls into question "why that amount?"
This is why I find the answer unsatisfactory. It seems like a "just-so" story to answer a question that didn't think of the ramifications of it's own answer.
Certainly co-operation can exist within the process and should be expected as there can be strength in numbers. However it is still about looking out for number one.
No - it's not about looking out for number 1.
Evolution isn't even about surviving. It's just a thing that happens. The fit end up surviving. The unfit end up dying. That's it. Evolution doesn't have a purpose or a goal of surviving... it's just a thing that happens, or it doesn't. Like rocks will either sit on land, or on water. There's no goal of rocks to be underwater, or on dry land... some just end up here and others there. Just a thing that happens.
Therefore - evolution isn't about "looking out for number 1." It's just a thing that happens to live species as they reproduce. Some live species co-operate and end up surviving better. This can be a goal for that species... but it's not a goal for evolution. Or, maybe, again... it might just be "a thing that happens" within that species.
Individuals within a surviving, co-operating species may have their own goals. Some might want the species to survive. Some might want to look out for number one. Some might not care at all and have a completely different goal - like painting the perfect picture.
We know though that we can rise above that and there has to be a reason for that.
To me, there's nothing to "rise above" because there isn't anything there in the first place.
I'm an individual, not only can I create my own personal purpose... but I have to create my own personal purpose because no one else is giving me a purpose. Well, I'm sure some people who want to take advantage of me try to give me purpose all the time - but I tend to ignore them, they don't seem helpful.
I don't see materialistic reasons for it.
The reason I choose to follow Love is because I like that option better than the alternative.
1. I interact with people.
2. My interactions can leave people happy or sad.
3. I use my intelligence to decide that between these options - I would rather leave people happy instead of sad.
This basis leads to: follow Love.
No God required. Completely mundane. Completely "materialistic" (if you want to call it that.)
I think we would both agree that there is a right and wrong.
Yes - and I can define it:
Right: those actions that result with the-people-being-affected-by-the-action giving their approval of the action.
Wrong: those actions that result with the-people-being-affected-by-the-action giving their disapproval of the action.
Can you define it?
Why would there be a right and wrong in a totally materialistic world?
Because people exist in a totally materialistic world.
Once people exist... interactions between those people may exist.
Once interactions between people exist... those interactions can be positive or negative (judged by the people being affected.)
Ta-daa... Right and Wrong in a totally materialistic world.
I contend that it would be a very unhappy world if there was no God meme.
I contend that things would be exactly as they are.
We have seen nations governed by despots whose lust for power is quite content to see the lives of millions lost to increase their power and others are simply tools to be used to increase their power.
Yeah - my answer is: Not all people care about others who are affected by their decisions.
Maybe that would be survival of the fittest in action.
Maybe - but this would be entirely unrelated to good and bad. The "fit" are those who survive. The only way to know is to find out who survives. And we can't see the future.
But I just call this assholes being assholes.
In my view they have completely rejected the God meme, the still small voice of God, and they had the free will to do that.
That's right. But now you have this "God meme" in the picture... something God has forcefully placed into our minds/hearts without our consent (that's just a long way to say "interacting" with this world.) So now you have a problem: if God interacts with this world... why only a little bit? Why not more? Why not less? Why interact at all?
I don't have any of those questions in my view of Right and Wrong.
-some people care about others affected by their decisions (Right.)
-other people do not care about others affected by their decisions (Wrong.)
So we end up with people doing good things and bad things at various times with varying frequencies (whenever they individually decide to care about those affected by their actions.)
No hanging questions. Everything's answered.
You have chosen a path of loving the other but that was freely chosen by you.
In your view, I still don't see how you can say this.
God very well may be a caring parent and want to help us out by writing it on our hearts... but this is still writing it on our hearts which is still affecting our decision and it's not "really free," is it? There's an advertisement hanging around clearly pushing us in a certain direction. It would only be "freely chosen" if that advertisement wasn't there.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 125 by GDR, posted 08-31-2022 2:25 AM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 139 by GDR, posted 08-31-2022 3:19 PM Stile has replied

Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 140 of 3810 (897226)
08-31-2022 3:44 PM
Reply to: Message 139 by GDR
08-31-2022 3:19 PM

Re: What does God want of Us
GDR writes:
Your definition (of Right/Wrong) depends on outcome. My definition of coming from a place of love, which could include people on either side of the argument. My definition is not dependent on outcome.
Are you sure?
Let's take a look at your definition:
Right: those actions that are done that are driven by selfless love.
Wrong: those actions that are driven by disadvantaging others for our own advantage.
I agree that these sentences do not directly depend on any outcome.
But how do these definitions actually work in practice?
Let's say we have an old lady who wants to cross the street.
So we help her cross - because we want to help (actions driven by selfless love - correct?)
After we cross - that lady says "Thank-you for your attempt, but please don't help me cross the street - I really like my independence and crossing the street on my own helps me feel self-sufficient."
The next day... we see the same old lady wanting to cross the street again.
What do you do: Help her cross? Or not?
I'm assuming you'll say something like "Don't help her cross, because this is what will help, out of selfless love."
And I'd agree... and why do we know this is what actually helps in this situation? Because of the results of the previous situation.
Now, let's add some more layers around the situation:
What if, instead of helping the lady cross the street originally, we ask her: "Excuse me, ma'am... would you like me to help you across the street?"
And her answer would be "No thank-you, I'm good."
And the right thing to do would be to respect her wishes and leave her alone - correct?
Why is this correct? Because Right/Wrong depends on how the person affected by the action wants the action to affect them!
It always boils down to how the affected-people like or don't like the action that was done to them.
If you agree with this... the rest of my argument follows (it's all built upon defining Right/Wrong... because that's the basis of morality.)
If you don't agree with this... please let me know how I'm describing the above situation incorrectly. Or... feel free to provide your own situation that shows Right/Wrong comes from "the intent to do good things" as opposed to "actually doing good things."
I agree that the intent is an important aspect... but it's what leads us to continually update our actions to find "the right thing" for any given situation. If it's the final definition on Right/Wrong... you end up with people doing bad things while having good intentions and not caring about the results because they had those good intentions to start.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 139 by GDR, posted 08-31-2022 3:19 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 147 by GDR, posted 08-31-2022 7:09 PM Stile has replied
 Message 150 by GDR, posted 08-31-2022 8:09 PM Stile has replied

Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 141 of 3810 (897227)
08-31-2022 4:09 PM
Reply to: Message 139 by GDR
08-31-2022 3:19 PM

Re: What does God want of Us
GDR writes:
Why do you even care if your actions leave people happy or sad?
Because I'm a human with the ability to care about things.
"But Stile - where does that caring come from?"
-it comes from the materialistic process of evolution.
Steel doesn't float.
But boats are made of steel.
Steel boats float.
Things, after going through materialistic processes, can gain properties that didn't exist before.
Somewhere along the line, living organisms gained the property of "caring" that didn't exist before.
And humans also have that property.
Humans don't "have the ability to care" because of survival.
But "having the ability to care" did help humans survive.
And it's something that just happened. A change occurred, somewhere (where before two-legged mammals were a thing...) through the materialistic process of evolution, and some living things began to care for each other and co-operate. They survived. Then there were more changes... and eventually humans evolved.
There was no plan for humans to care.
There wasn't even a plan for "humans."
Again - if anything, we live in a universe that's obviously created to make stars.
"Living things" is an unaccounted for by-product.
"Living things that care for others" is an even further unaccounted for by-product.
And that's fascinating.
Materialistic processes like evolution are about individual and species survival.
No, it's not. Materialistic processes like evolution are not "about" anything. They don't have a goal, they don't have a purpose. They just are.
Like some rocks being on land and others being underwater.
No matter how many times you say "rocks want to be underwater" it doesn't make it true.
No matter how many times you say "evolution is about surviving" it doesn't make it true.
(And it looks just as silly as claiming that rocks want to be underwater.)
So again, IMHO . we do very much have something to rise above.
But that's simply because you think rocks want to be underwater. They don't.
But that's simply because you think the materialistic process of evolution is about survival. It isn't. It isn't about anything. It's a materialistic process... just a bunch of rocks... there's nothing to rise above.
But, the fact that we can... and choose to... that's fascinating.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 139 by GDR, posted 08-31-2022 3:19 PM GDR has not replied

Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 167 of 3810 (897259)
09-01-2022 10:23 AM
Reply to: Message 147 by GDR
08-31-2022 7:09 PM

Re: What does God want of Us
GDR writes:
Sure, but we can observe evolutionary process, but we have no archeological record of how the property of caring for others came into existence.
Of course we do: the archeological record of evolution.
Evolution changes things - physical things, mental things, all parts of living things.
There is not a single part of living things that's "immune" to evolution. All parts of living things evolve and change.
For you to say "caring could not evolve" is, well, laughable in the face of the evidence.
You're free to have your opinion, but I don't think there's much further we can go if you insist something cannot be, when clearly it can.
There is no evidence to support a materialistic process or processes that initiated that property.
All the evidence of evolution is evidence that supports a materialistic process can initiate that property. Why wouldn't it be?
Yes it helps humans in general to survive but what evolutionary process would cause us to care if humans in some far off continent survive?
The evolutionary process where anything about living creatures can change as time and generations pile up.
This is a fact.
If you think there's something that's blocking "the ability to care" from evolving - it's up to you to show why it's impossible. When all the evidence clearly shows it is entirely possible.
At one point "breathing" was not possible - no living creature on the planet breathed air.
Now - breathing certainly is possible.
At one point "legs" didn't exist.
Now - legs exist.
At one point "brains" didn't exist (thinking - at all, about anything didn't exist.)
Now - brains exist and thinking exists.
At one point thinking existed, but "abstract thinking" did not exist.
Now - abstract thinking exists.
At one point "fear" didn't exist.
Now - fear exists.
At one point "anger" didn't exist.
Now - anger exists.
At one point "caring" didn't exist.
Now - caring exists.
At one point "love" didn't exist.
Now - love exists.
All done through evolution - the change in species over time.
There is nothing preventing any of this, and the evidence shows that it has all occurred naturally due to evolution.
People have scoured the planet looking for any other source of evidence for this sort of thing - and none has every been found except for evolution. And evolution explains everything we see. There is nothing we see that tells us "wow - evolution couldn't possibly do that!" There used to be... until we learned more and more and more... and now we understand how evolution did all the things we thought it couldn't. And now - we know that it's responsible for all changes to living creatures as they are not exact copies from their ancestors.
The following two statements are equally justified by evidence in Science:
"I understand how gravity keeps things falling down and pulled to the centre of the Earth. But I don't understand how the Sun's gravity pulls on Earth enough for Earth to orbit the Sun. The Sun is just so far away and doesn't look that big in the sky. There's no way the Earth orbits the Sun due to gravity alone."
"I understand how evolution creates different kinds of beaks in finches in the Galapagos islands. But I don't understand how evolution can change things enough to create "caring" when it didn't exist before. Caring is just such a mental aspect and seems so much more intricate than physical properties like beaks. There's no way that "caring" came about due to evolution alone."
In fact... there is more scientific evidence and confidence behind the Theory of Evolution that there is for the Theory of Gravity. That is... we know there are more areas about gravity where "our current understanding does not fill the gaps" then we have gaps in our knowledge for evolution.
Your personal unawareness (due to whatever reasons) doesn't make a difference to the progress that Science has made (and continues to make.)
How does sacrificing our own resources by sending our personal money to the impoverished in Africa help us individually survive, which is how raw evolution works?
I don't know if sacrificing our own resources to help Africa helps us individually survive. But I do know that this is irrelevant to how evolution works "raw" or otherwise.
What makes you think that sacrificing resources to help others requires a "survival" evolutionary reason?
The only way this requires a survival-evolutionary-reason is if it was the only way we survived. Since it's clearly not - then it's doesn't require such a reason. This could simply be a by-product of some-other trait that is required for survival. Or it could be "just a by-product" not attached to anything else at all.
We exist now - which means we survived - which means "we've done things that have helped us survive."
-this does not mean that all things we do must help us survive
-this does not mean that evolution only makes changes that are going to help us survive
I think you're very confused about how evolution works.
GDR writes:
Stile writes:
There was no plan for humans to care.
There wasn't even a plan for "humans."
..and you know that how?
Because there's no reason for there to be a plan.
And because we look a lot more like "just a by-product" in this universe than we do as "part of a plan."
If there's a plan - the plan is to make stars.
Agreed, and so the question is – why are we able to.
I don't know. I know "how" we're able to: evolution. But why? I don't know.
Maybe there is no answer to this question, and looking for an answer is foolish and immature.
Maybe there's an answer but we just don't know it (possibly "yet.")
Maybe... it's just a happy (for us... perhaps not so happy for all the things humans have caused to go extinct...) by-product. That's all.
And that's fascinating.
I mean, it's makes us all a hell of a lot more "special" than if a God made us - that's for sure.

Edited by Stile, : Grammars

This message is a reply to:
 Message 147 by GDR, posted 08-31-2022 7:09 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 176 by GDR, posted 09-01-2022 3:29 PM Stile has replied

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