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Atheism or Theism??

fred rosenberger
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  16

GOD was the only belief which has stood the test of time.
Just because something has never been shown to be false doesn't mean it's true.

Nobody has ever PROVED that Santa Clause does not exist. That does not mean that he does.


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Devesh H Rao
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Originally posted by Fred Rosenberger:


Nobody has ever PROVED that Santa Clause does not exist. That does not mean that he does.


What do you mean by that...? does that mean I do not get my Sony P3 .... but still *&#% why can't you all leave santa out of this.... well maybe I should act grown up.... Errr santa I could do with an iPhone...
Mapraputa Is
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Tony: Whether Pluto is a planet or not should not be used as an example of a "fact" in the context we have here.

Whether Pluto or the piece of orbiting rock (or ice or whatever) exists in our Solar System is a FACT. It is NOT a belief.

I thought we were talking about the existence (or lack of such) of something

Very god point Tony. What *really* changed since Pluto is no longer a planet? The definition!

The distant, ice-covered world is no longer a true planet, according to a new definition of the term voted on by scientists today.
...
The tough decision comes after a multiyear search for a scientific definition of the word "planet." The term never had an official meaning before.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/08/060824-pluto-planet.html


Our spacechips didn't start to largely miss their targets, thank you God! (oops.)

Fred: provide me evidence of a 'soul', and i'll consider it. but it seems (to me) to be a made up fantasy.

Another excellent point. Who said, "What is offered without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence."?


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Dave Lenton
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Someone also once said "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".


There will be glitches in my transition from being a saloon bar sage to a world statesman. - Tony Banks
Arun Kumarr
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Originally posted by Fred Rosenberger:
Just because something has never been shown to be false doesn't mean it's true.

Nobody has ever PROVED that Santa Clause does not exist. That does not mean that he does.


Fred, I never said He does exist. Look at the line after that, "Iam just wondering the flawless implementation of the abstraction of GOD in people's mind."

All Iam interested is the evolution of GOD as everything else in this world and the goodness of such a framework.
If you see we try to analyse Santa Claus with the senses we have. Consider this, you time travel to 1856 with a 256MB memory card and tell a person that this contains some music in it, he would probably consider you as a different person. Only when you give him a device which plays the contents he would believe. Consider behaviours. You know a lady for 20 years and everytime she laughs and says, "forget it" - you know she is angry. When she says the same thing to a third person with your presense and later after she had left you try to expalin the third person that she is angry, he or she would get confused first. They would only question you," Common! you must be kidding! Did you see the smile in her face. She is not angry." Then you would probably explain instances where she had said the same thing and later you had understood that whe was angry. Probably they would believe it then. GOD is something like that. You could only experience it. If we try to decipher it with our senses, we may not be able to understand. GOD is considered as a verb and not as a noun.

It is just that, We grew up questioning everything and we always try to understand the unknown that we know and the unknown that we dont know from only the knowledge we have. I would still believe life, just like you can never say it is inside/outside a body. Just like I believe light, I can never say, it is coming from here and it has gone there.
I always find so much beauty in this world that I cannot understand or accept science giving a reason to it.
[ May 21, 2007: Message edited by: Arun Kumarr ]

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R K Singh
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we need someone to rely on at the time of crisis.
Let it be fictious, but if you have faith then obviously you become optimistic and you get courage to face the worse scenarios of one life.

And that is one and only one that provides you courage to deal with exigency, that is God.

Believe in God, it will not harm you.
Dont believe in God, it will also not harm you. But you will miss the positive energy you get by believing in God. (I am not getting rt wording to put my words)

Becoming fanatic in the name of God is thing which I doubt that any God wants man to do. But then... you have these people also who can kill people in the name of God.

I think one should not believe in religion but you can always believe in God.
God is not copyright by any religion


"Thanks to Indian media who has over the period of time swiped out intellectual taste from mass Indian population." - Chetan Parekh
fred rosenberger
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  16

R.K.,

I couldn't disagree with you more on several of your points.
[ May 21, 2007: Message edited by: Fred Rosenberger ]
Ashok Mash
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Originally posted by R K Singh:
Believe in God, it will not harm you.


I disagree. If I can use a bit of unfair generalization, believing in god brings you in contact with others who does, and a large percentage of them are quite fundamental on their God's importance over others. If you don't play along, it will harm you. If you play along, it will harm someone who believes in another God! And in turn (someone else, their belief, God) could hurt you as well!


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Satish Chilukuri
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Originally posted by R K Singh:

Dont believe in God, it will also not harm you. But you will miss the positive energy you get by believing in God. (I am not getting rt wording to put my words)


I think I understand what you are trying to put (Correct me if I'm wrong). You're saying when we believe in something as awe inspiring as God, we feel humbled, we find a purpose in life.

I find the same awe and humbleness in the world around me without believing in a God. The complexity of life awes me. The size of the Universe humbles me. I find purpose and joy in understanding the Universe.

Let it be fictious, but if you have faith then obviously you become optimistic and you get courage to face the worse scenarios of one life.


I know that life has a certain amount of randomness and we are not completely in control of it. If something bad happens to me, I know its because of that randomness and it's within the laws of the Universe. There's nothing I can do about it. I don't need some justification like "It's what God/fate has decided for me". I accept the unfairness of life and I try my best to work with it and better my life. And that's where I get my positive outlook on life.
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AK: I always find so much beauty in this world that I cannot understand or accept science giving a reason to it.

Arun, do you feel that science takes something out of this beauty, or dimish it in some other way, or ... why?
Mapraputa Is
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AK: I always find so much beauty in this world that I cannot understand or accept science giving a reason to it.

Arun, do you feel that science takes something out of this beauty, or diminish it in some other way, or ... why?
[ May 22, 2007: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Amit Biswas
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Any scientific and rational human being should be aware of the limitations of the senses and capability of the human being. Proof by demonstration may not be the only way to prove something.
I heard there are some insects that can see only in a 2-D view. Does that mean there is no third dimension?
True scientists will always accept the fact that we human beings has only scratched the surface of this huge creation.
To defy the creator just because we have not devised a way to understand HIM is arrogance. We should really introspect, if our approach to understand HIM, with our limted senses and capability is correct or not.
Ulf Dittmer
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  64
Any scientific and rational human being should be aware of the limitations of the senses and capability of the human being.

The fact that human beings have limited perception does not mean that there is something to be perceived.


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Amit Biswas
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The fact that human beings have limited perception does not mean that there is something to be perceived.


To deny something since we cannot percieve it, shows arrogance. It also shows that we have closed our minds and hearts to, at least, put an effort to explore the unknown to be able to percieve it.

What sets mankind above other animals is the thirst for quest. However, if we draw premature conclusions with results from limited and imperfect methodologies and refrain ourselves from exploration, we are as good as animals.
Ulf Dittmer
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  64
Originally posted by Amit Biswas:
To deny something since we cannot percieve it, shows arrogance. It also shows that we have closed our minds and hearts to, at least, put an effort to explore the unknown to be able to percieve it.


If you re-read my post carefully, you'll realize that I took no position on the question of existence or non-existence, and so was not confirming or denying anything. I pointed out the fact that just because something can't be perceived is not proof that it exists. The non-perception of something has no bearing at all on its existence or non-existence; to assume otherwise would be a fallacy.
Paul Sturrock
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To deny something since we cannot percieve it, shows arrogance. I

True. To deny the logic of empirical, rational thought and claim existance of a god without any proof is also arrogance though.


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Dave Lenton
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Arun, do you feel that science takes something out of this beauty, or diminish it in some other way, or ... why?


There's a good quote from Richard Feynman about this:
Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars � mere globs of gas atoms. Nothing is "mere". I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more? The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination � stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one-million-year-old light. A vast pattern � of which I am a part... What is the pattern or the meaning or the why? It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little more about it. For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined it. Why do the poets of the present not speak of it? What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?

[ May 22, 2007: Message edited by: Dave Lenton ]
Dave Lenton
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Originally posted by Amit Biswas:
To defy the creator just because we have not devised a way to understand HIM is arrogance.
This implies that our default position must be to accept God's existence unless any evidence comes along which disproves him. This kind of view would be totally unacceptable if applied to other entities or theories (should we just accept that Father Christmas exists unless we can disprove him?), so why should God be any different?

If there is no reason, or no evidence, to indicate that something is either true or highly likely, then why should we think that it is? It is not arrogant to deny that God is proven when there is no proof offered.
fred rosenberger
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  16

I do not believe that God does not exist.

What I believe is that there is vast amounts of evidence that make the exitance of a God unlikely, and NO evidence that he DOES exist.

Present me with evidence, and I'll re-evaluate my position.

I can't remember who said it or where I read it, but I once came across a couple of quote from athiests I like. I paraphrasing here, but they went something like:
When you can understand why you deny the existance of all the other gods of all the other religions, you will undertand why I deny the existance of yours.
If you think about it, we're both athiests. I just believe in one less god than you.
Arun Kumarr
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
[QB]AK: I always find so much beauty in this world that I cannot understand or accept science giving a reason to it.

Arun, do you feel that science takes something out of this beauty, or diminish it in some other way, or ... why?

The reason I say that is, think about a world just before science. I feel lot of things were in control. Of course, science has given us communication, healthcare etc., I don't deny it. But these scientific revolutions has destroyed nature, changed behaviours and attitude of people drastically. I feel there was so much beauty before, which science in a way had destroyed it. It has given us so much information and maturity which I hate. People are always on the run, they are inauthentic to their own self. In a way I like to be naked and immature. Of course nobody is stopping me, but I feel there are so many threads attached to me, that I cannot cut them from me, just like that. If Nature is God, science in a way had deprived us from engulfing GOD.
[ May 22, 2007: Message edited by: Arun Kumarr ]
stephen gates
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We accept that Space for what we think it is and assume it is. But do we really know what's out there? Do we really know what the planets look like? Do we really know how far certain things are?

I mean there are many people who claim the US never visited the Moon, it was a special effect stunt.

We haven't visited half the oceans floors. We still can't predict hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, tsunamis accurately. Heck we can't predict what tomorrow's weather will be accurately.

But it goes both ways. People say it was a "belief" that the earth was flat but it wasn't.

Well it's also a belief that God does exist or God doesn't exist, depending on your perspective. Who knows, maybe 100 years from now people will look back at us as idiots for believing one way or the other.

Right now it's just a belief or not a belief. We don't know for sure one way or the other. But the same thing can be said about the earth being flat many years ago. People didn't know for sure. As time passed, we discovered it wasn't flat. But who is to say as time passes we won't discover if God exists or doesn't exist. But until then, nobody knows. Just as nobody really knew way back when if the earh were really flat or round.
Paul Clapham
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Originally posted by stephen gates:
We accept that Space for what we think it is and assume it is. But do we really know what's out there? Do we really know what the planets look like? Do we really know how far certain things are?

I mean there are many people who claim the US never visited the Moon, it was a special effect stunt.
Well, yes, in fact we DO know what's out there. We DO know what the planets look like and how far away they are. It's true there may be a few ignorant people who refuse to understand these things, but we don't have to wait for them before we can safely say we know things. Taking those ignorant people's views into account is the trap that we set for ourselves, that reporting and education has to take a "balanced" view of things. That leads us into comparing reasonable and sensible things with complete idiocy in the name of balance.
fred rosenberger
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all of the evidence supporting the Moon Hoax has been debunked as bad science. This is just one site that has done so.

don't forget that there are also people who believe that from ONE photograph there is evidence of a face on mars, created by martians or other space-faring aliens, even though there have been dozens of subequent mappings/photos of the same place that show it to be nothing more than a trick of the light.

People WANT to believe in this sort of stuff. Some would even say that people NEED to believe it. Here is a great book on the subject.
Stan James
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Flat earth is an interesting story. What people "believed" it was flat and when did they have good evidence it wasn't?

Quoting from here

In 200 BC, travelers told the head of the Alexandria Library, Eratosthenes, about a well near present-day Aswan. The bottom of the well was lit by the sun at noon during the summer solstice. At that moment the sun was straight overhead. Eratosthenes realized he could measure the shadow cast by a tower in Alexandria while no shadow was being cast in Aswan. Then, knowing the distance to Aswan, it'd be simple to calculate Earth's radius. (You geometry students, try that one.)

There was no accurate timekeeping back then. For Eratosthenes to make his observation, it had to be precisely noon in both cities. And he needed an accurate north-south distance from Alexandria to Aswan. Actually, Aswan lay south by southeast instead of due south, but the error wasn't great. His calculated size of Earth was high by only fifteen percent.

Three centuries later, the astronomer Ptolemy created many methods of modern geography. It was he who abandoned the idea that we're girdled by a great unsailable ocean. Ptolemy believed that other lands lay out in the terra incognita. He built upon Eratosthenes; but he also criticized him. When Ptolemy made his own estimate of size, he came out twenty-eight percent low.

Ptolemy's thinking suited Columbus, for it shrank Earth to fit his ships. He was plain dumb lucky that the West Indies intervened.

Theories come and go. New ones explain and predict better than the old ones, and deliver ever higher value.


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stephen gates
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Like I said... We have no evidence of what these other planets are really made of or are not made of. Maybe the moon, but other than that, our ships don't come back after they go into deep space. Our ships wind up crashing or fading from existence like the ones on Mars.

Science is nice but Space is nothing but theories. We have no hard evidence what most planets are made of. We assume. We theorize. Our ships take pictures and then disappear never to be heard from again. Pictures are nice, but I can take a million pictures and not know what something is made of. I can assume or theorize, but none of that is a Factual basis.

Like I said, besides the Moon, nobody has ever been to another planet. None of our robotic ships come back from Mars, Saturn, and so on. So it is all theories. Theories bases off a few robotic tests and tons of pictures.

It is funny, people want hardcore proof that God exists. People need hardcore evidence to prove he's real or not real. That's fine.
But don't come back with Space is fact because you believe everything that's told to you. Nobody on this planet has ever visited Mars or another other planet. Some have orbited the Earth for a few moments, a couple walked the moon, but other than that, nobody has ventured out into space. And nobody besides robotic controlled ships has ventured beyond the moon. People think they know what space is and what our universe is all about because it's based on "faith." You have faith that what scientists say is true. But no Scientist has been to these planets to actually say so and so is Fact. It's all theories.

Maybe some are closer to fact than others, but the reality is you can't bash people who believe in God based on "faith" and then at the same time base your own Universes "facts" on the "faith" of people who have never been in space.



NOBODY HAS EVER BEEN TO THESE PLANETS. The only place we've been to is the Moon. Orbiting Earth is great and taking pictures is great, but seeing a few things from a telescope they plan to destroy isn't exactly proving your point.

When we have hard evidene what Saturn really is made of besides what some people assume and theorize, then you can say it's Fact. But until then, it's nothing but theories.
Jim Yingst
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Stephen, once again, you're overstating your point to absurd levels. You're not becoming more convincing with repetition; you're just becoming easier to ignore.


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Paul Clapham
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Originally posted by stephen gates:
Like I said... We have no evidence of what these other planets are really made of or are not made of.
Well, yes, in fact we DO know what these other planets are made of. There are plenty of ways to know that which don't involve going there with a shovel. Sure, you can say it's all theories, but that's just the same as saying you're bound and determined to be ignorant and there's nothing anybody else can do about it.

We can find out that there are planets going around other stars, even though we can't see them. We can find out what the masses of those planets are and even whether they have an atmosphere. We can find out all kinds of amazing things, and if the best you can say about that is it's all theories then I'm sorry for you. You are missing a lot.

I don't really have a problem with people deciding they want to be ignorant. They can do that if they like. But when they start interfering in other people's lives and forcing them to be ignorant, or preventing those other people from learning about things they decided they wanted to be ignorant of, that's where I get annoyed.
Gregg Bolinger
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I find it humorous that so many folks here agree that God doesn't exist yet disagree on how to agree.


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Paul Clapham
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Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:
I find it humorous that so many folks here agree that God doesn't exist yet disagree on how to agree.
But the disagreeing is the productive part. That's how you learn new things. Once you agree, there's nothing more to be learned. Disagreeing isn't a bad thing at all.

And I expect that among people who agree that God does exist, there would be disagreements about the details of that existence. Those disagreements are a productive process too, aren't they?
Jim Yingst
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[Gregg]: I find it humorous that so many folks here agree that God doesn't exist yet disagree on how to agree.

Why should atheism or agnosticism be any more unifying than deism has been? Seems pretty strange to assume that just because people disagree with one particular view, they should automatically agree with each other.
Gregg Bolinger
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    6

I was just trying to be funny guys. :roll:
stephen gates
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Well, yes, in fact we DO know what these other planets are made of.


It is all theories. And you defeated your own argument.

You have a "faith" in science. That is fine. Nothing wrong with that. But what is the difference between your "faith" in the science of things you can't see, touch or feel compared to somebody elses "faith" in religion or a god, which they can't see, touch or feel. There isn't any. You just preach science and complain about religious preaches.

You can say whatever you want about the Earth. Many things are indeed, facts that can be tested and proved.

But for people to laugh at those who believe in religion or a god cause you can't feel, touch, or prove God exists, you shoot yourself in the foot at the moment cause you can't prove what Some galaxy far far away is made of. You can't touch it, you can't see it, and you can't feel it.

Believe whatever you want to believe, but if you condemn people who believe in god cause it's all about "faith" well your "faith" in galaxies far far away are nothing but beliefs based on your "faith."
fred rosenberger
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  16

There IS evidence of what other planets are made

Take the Mars rovers. the cameras, soil sampling equipment, scanners, and everything else was tested here on Earth. We KNOW, for example, when there is iron in the soil we used on Earth, a certain test gave a certain result. It has happened time and time again. there are hundreds, if not thousands of corroborating experiments. We know that when the test returns a certain result, the lander, when here on Earth, sent back a certain radio signal.

Do you honestly think that when we send that same robot, with the same equipment, to run the test somewhere else, it acts differently?

we know that certain elements, when they get hot, emit certain frequencies of light. Again, that has been repeated and verified by countless independent observations. Every time there is, say, Helium, you get certain bands in the spectrum. Look at this. If this happens over and over in the lab, why would it be different somewhere else?

Why is this not evidence? Does it prove things? no. but if it happens 999 times on Earth, why would the 1000th time be different somewhere else?
Jim Yingst
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Stephen, personally I don't, in general, laugh at people who believe in some sort of god. I only laugh at people who make fools of themselves by repeating poorly-conceived nonsense over and over in an attempt to convince others of their point. It's time to move on, I think.
Paul Clapham
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    8

Originally posted by stephen gates:
You have a "faith" in science. That is fine. Nothing wrong with that. But what is the difference between your "faith" in the science of things you can't see, touch or feel compared to somebody elses "faith" in religion or a god, which they can't see, touch or feel. There isn't any. You just preach science and complain about religious preaches.
No, there is a difference. Scientific theories can be tested. We can do experiments to see if they are correct, and we can look around to find evidence that proves they are false. And trying to disprove scientific theories is a mainstream part of science. There are plenty of scientific theories that have been disproved over the years. But remember that when a scientist says "theory" he doesn't mean "wild guess", which is how you try to trivialize the word. A "theory" is a set of rules, or a framework, that attempts to explain part of the world and how that part of the world operates. So we have spectroscopes that tell us what elements are in the Sun because of various people's theories about the structure of atoms and other things. We can test a spectroscope by trying it out with things on the Earth; we assume for now that things on Mars and the Sun behave in the same way. Once we get to Mars we can check that out, but I think that's going to be the case. And we can use one theory to test another theory; for example when people thought up the theory of quantum mechanics, it suddenly explained why the lines in the Sun's spectrum were where they were.
Believe whatever you want to believe, but if you condemn people who believe in god cause it's all about "faith" well your "faith" in galaxies far far away are nothing but beliefs based on your "faith."
I don't condemn people who believe in gods. I don't believe in any, but that's just how I am. I didn't decide to be that way, either. Perhaps I was born that way or perhaps I was brought up that way, I don't know. I'm sure that a large number of people who believe in gods do that because that's just how they are, and they didn't decide to be that way either. I don't think you should condemn people just because of what they are, and I try not to do that.
Paul Clapham
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    8

Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:
I was just trying to be funny guys.
No, you're right. I haven't been drivelling meaninglessly enough. So yeah, I agree. On how to agree... I think...

R K Singh
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Originally posted by Paul Clapham:
But remember that when a scientist says "theory" he doesn't mean "wild guess", which is how you try to trivialize the word.


In Science, first we have a theory then anti-theory.

We try to find a uni-physical theory and then find anti-theory.

opss.. I think I am talking about blackhole where all physical laws (sorry theory fails)
Arun Kumarr
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Consider this thought.
There is no such thing as GOD.
It's only a perception. GOD is nothing but a way to look at things and behaviours which are happening around us.
Can we have GOD as a personification of a certain kind of perception?
:roll:
Devesh H Rao
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Originally posted by Arun Kumarr:
Consider this thought.
There is no such thing as GOD.
It's only a perception. GOD is nothing but a way to look at things and behaviours which are happening around us.
Can we have GOD as a personification of a certain kind of perception?
:roll:


Arun Save your energy�

We have had this kind of discussion a zillion times on MD� and it ends up the same way all the times. Even in this thread I have typed out and then not posted the reply because it leads nowhere.

The whole issue is what is it that people perceive when confronted with the word god. It is different from people to people. Some people associate god with religion and hence for them atheism is denunciation of all rule based society as defined by a single/different religions. In such cases atheism is not non-recognition of god per say but rather religion.

God is so much identified with religion nowadays that anytime the word comes up any rational discussion goes in the realm of science vis-�-vis faith and its like negating by using a double negation which goes on like god does not exist because science does exist.

But it is not that simple, I am not religious and I believe in science and I believe in god as well.

For me
A (Knowledge) = Science
A�(Things that are unknown) = God

When the human awareness becomes A = A� i.e. when a person has knowledge of everything, the person becomes god according to the most acceptable definition of a god being all knowledgeable.

And that day science = god so there�.
john wesley
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 14, 2005
Posts: 47
Originally posted by Devesh H Rao:


A (Knowledge) = Science
A�(Things that are unknown) = God



so god is Knowledge ? a distant star that was not know ...this piece of info was god until it reached us?


"Let the one among you who has never sinned throw the first stone.." -A Hero
 
Don't get me started about those stupid light bulbs.
 
subject: Atheism or Theism??