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    • I think the brain is amazing and we barely understand how it works. The ability to remember tiny details from decades ago or cases of savants with fantastic skills. Yet we are easily deceived, suffer from the mandela effect and have false memories. Eye witness accounts are considered poor evidence for these reasons.  NDE are easily explained by brain activity, and as Martini said people who experience hell do so based on what they've been taught.  Knowing how bad our minds are and how prone to mistakes or distortion of reality they can be, relying on that for any kind of proof of supernatural events seems flimsy.  Is it more likely that a person was actually Napoleon in another life or that they saw a documentary about him in the past and their brain pulls that data to the front under hypnosis.
    • It depends on the relationship and the nature of your rent-free deal. Was it an invitation or a demand?   Option 1: Just pretend you're at a poorly written and produced play with bad scenery, costumes and lighting. Consider the plot to be a farce, albeit a boring one. Sometimes there are snacks  mid-way through but you might not get any. And when it's over you might get to shake hands with the director on the way out. If there is a balcony, sit up there and spend the time counting the bald heads below and the number of other hairstyles or whatever you can see.   Option 2: Assert yourself and tell him that, thanks but no thanks, you don't care to go. Don't get into a discussion of the reasons. Just say that you don't care to go. (Google "Assertive Rights.")
    • Hes particularly good where the child in question isn't a good little Christian but a Muslim or non believer or anything else besides a Christian... Because according to them, after such a miserable life this child will be headed to hell because ya know, god just didn't see fit to enlighten them according to the correct belief.    Sometimes I seriously despair over human beings. To believe this god is great trash... I wonder if we'll ever evolve to level where the human brain more readily grasps that if it behaves like a monster and has the ethics and morality of a monster, it is indeed a monster. 
    • Oh, I see it's Krauss. We did cover that. When most physicist's refer to something coming from nothing, the term nothing is just a figure of speech. The formula's they are proposing turn out to be something coming from something after all. Like sub atomic particles bursting into existence. They didn't come from a literal, or absolute nothing. There's a few pages about this in the other thread.    So what we wind up with is a situation where the source material is eternal. Or some factor involved is necessarily eternal. The something, which is referred to as nothing, goes back. Roger Penrose, in debate with William Lane Craig proposed that the big bang is likely a recurring event, one that had a previous existence behind it and one which will likely occur again in the distant future.      I'm going leave citation to both of these debate topics here, because both are relevant to the thoughts that I was having previously and tying it all together. I'm taking the main content of these two issues and then applying the content to this thread on the importance of the hard problem and the idea of a "spectrum of consciousness." Because as I was saying earlier, they all seem to meet and merge.    Basically, we have a situation where (1) something comes something and (2) Hawking and Penrose's fixed beginning of the universe proposal has been falsified by confirmation of a positive cosmological constant. Penrose now thinks that the big bang is not a one off event, but something that naturally happens in series (that's in the video debate in the above citation). Basically, this is where I get the ideas behind my last big post.    If I add the content of Hoffman, Radin and Surprise to this, the situation opens up into how fundamental consciousness or awareness is to existence itself. I've heard these claims and allegations from way back but never understood how it would all work. But it seems very clear now. It's not exactly what the Hindu's have been saying all along, but it's close. Very close. There seems to be awareness inherent in all aspects of existence. It's not Brahman, not literally a deity, but there does seem to be a fundamental level awareness interconnected into the existence of anything. So it looks to me as though Hindu mythology is at least partially right.    I had a PM going with Deepok Chopra years ago and I had the handle, "tat tvam asi." He really liked the handle due it's meaning in Advaita Vedanta. It's states, "you are that." You are existence - consciousness itself. They are the transcendent, you are the transcendent. How that may be correct eluded me at the time. But to Chopra it was just a given. I understood how it applied to existence, but I had yet to figure out how or why it also applies to the spectrum of consciousness. It wasn't clear how existence and awareness could be necessarily interconnected and inseparable. But now I'm beginning to see it. 
    • Hello Disillusioned.      What is interesting to me about this is that Craig argues that abstract entities can't function causally, and then immediately proceeds to give an entirely abstract description of God, which he claims solves his problem. This is very problematic for him,  I think.   Quite right.  Very problematic.  Since I've already established that Craig relies exclusively on just one paper by Hawking and Penrose to give him the 'definite beginning' he needs as a basis of his apologetic arguments, if we return to that document it can be seen that H & P are at pains to try and link their theory to physical reality.   Without a link between the maths and physical reality, their 1970 paper remains a mathematical abstraction, entirely unconnected to our reality.  Here's what H & P say.   Page 538.   3. The Theorem   We shall begin by giving a precise statement of our theorem. The form of statement we adopt is made primarily for the sake of generality and for certain mathematical advantages. But in order that the theorem may be directly applied to physical situations, we single out the main special cases of interest in a corollary.   Page 544.   Co r o l l a r y.   A space-time M cannot satisfy causal geodesic completeness if, together with Einstein’s equations (3.5), the following four conditions hold: (3.20) M contains no closed timelike curves. (3.21) the energy condition (3.6) is satisfied at every point, (3.22) the generality condition (3.10) is satisfied for every causal geodesic, (3.23) M contains either (i) a trapped surface, or (ii) a point p for which the convergence of all the null geodesics through p changes sign somewhere to the past or (iii) a compact spacelike hypersurface.   So, for the theory to be directly applicable to physical situations, all four points of the corollary must be satisfied.  The theory remains a mathematical abstraction up until that point.  Furthermore, the four points must be satisfied by data.  Nothing else will suffice.  We now know from the 1998 supernova data that (3.21) is not satisfied at every point.  The energy condition (3.6) is the requirement for the observed cosmological constant to have a negative or zero value.  It doesn't.  Instead, its positive.  Therefore all four points of the corollary are not satisfied and the theory cannot be successfully linked to the observed physical conditions of our universe.   But there's a bigger and wider problem for Craig, Disillusioned.  If we look back at the very beginning of the paper, part of the preamble says this.   The theorem applies if the following four physical assumptions are made: (i) Einstein’s equations hold (with zero or negative cosmological constant), (ii) the energy density is nowhere less than minus each principal pressure nor less than minus the sum of the three principal pressures (the ‘energy condition5), (iii) there are no closed timelike curves, (iv) every timelike or null geodesic enters a region where the curvature is not specially aligned with the geodesic.   So, what does this tell us?  It tells us that in 1969 Hawking and Penrose were forced to use assumptions to make their theory work.  There was no observed data for them to plug into Einstein's equations.  There wasn't then and there still isn't now.  This was going to be the third of my side-questions.  "Why did Hawking and Penrose make these four assumptions in the first place?"    The answer is that they had to use assumptions because nobody has any observed data from the very earliest moments of the universe's evolution.  Everything we know directly comes from 380,000 years after the Big Bang.  Everything we think we know about earlier than that is based upon inference and not direct observation.  The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) is responsible for the dichotomy between observation and inference.  But I'll need another post to better explain just why that it is.   If we accept that our data goes back to 380,000 after the Big Bang and no further, the fallout of this is devastating for Craig.  How on earth can he claim that the definite beginning of the universe is 'scientifically proven' or 'scientifically confirmed' if the very theory in question relies on assumptions and not data?     I'll leave it there Disillusioned and see what you have to say in response.   Thank you.   Walter.        
    • I'll have to check it out because we have a topic about this going at the moment in the debate section:   
    • It would be easy. Come up with a religion or life philosophy (involve health cures in some way) and set up a web page to promote it. You'll soon be wealthy beyond your imagination.    How about Marinism? Marinism brings the life force of the sea into your body through mindful approbation of the inherent translucency of the either, intertransifying your center to dissipate illness and regenerate the synergy of serene consciousness. Intertransification is accomplished through slow ingestion of our organic blended peanut butter/sweet pickle compote, which you can order through our website. Our full line of Marinisitic products, including osmotic fish oil and anemonic body cleanser can be ordered there as well. I hereby offer this to you without condition other than I get ten percent of the gross.
    • I joined the World Pantheism Movement (WPM) several decades ago, while researching eastern religions. I figured, what the hell. I understand it. But I understand it from a philosophical, not religious belief perspective. The philosophical issues surrounding unity and interconnectivity are what interest me.   The leaf is a manifestation of the eternal god. The form or manifestation of the eternal god that looks like a leaf, is what comes and goes. Appears to live and die. Now you see it, now you don't. But the underlying essence which is the existence of the leaf, is always there. That is pantheistic philosophy in a nut shell. Ancient religious oriented pantheism.    In the Upanishad's (off the cuff as well, I'll have to find the citation) you'll encounter a man asking a boy to break open a seed of a banyan tree - in order to direct the boys attention towards the eternal, transcendent. He asks the boy what he sees. The boy says more seeds, increasingly small. They get down to the final seed. He tells the boy to break it. Then asks what he sees. 'Nothing,' the boys says. Then man says, ' from that which you do not see, this great banyan tree arises.'    Everything is a manifestation of Brahman, this transcend, energy conscious which pervades all space and time, and transcends it all. You don't directly see the transcendent informing energy consciousness - which is the eternal source of everything and IS everything. But you do see it through everything in existence. The leaf is no different than the banyan tree example. This is religion for a lot of people east of the Suez. This is what spirituality entails. And that which is transcendent is immanent in all things. It's existence itself. So existence is eternal, no beginning or end. Everything that exists, IS a manifestation of existence itself. To them it's Brahman. That's the placeholder term for ultimate reality.    There is no sense of the eternal being absent from anything according to pantheistic philosophy. No need that the eternal should come down to earth from some far off place. There can't be some far off place where the eternal dwells (heaven), because the eternal dwells everywhere and through everything. No coming down to the earth as a one off event. No second return as a one off event, either.  This is not reconcilable with orthodoxy christianity.    What sense does it make, raising dead bodies, or raising spiritual bodies, or any type of "body" for that matter?    These bodies weren't anything other than the god producing leaves out of itself. It's a process, an ongoing process of forever producing out of itself, over, and over and over again forever without end. Why back track and pull up physical manifestations (bodies) that have already come and gone? This is why ancient religious pantheist's have the doctrine of reincarnation. It's the underlying primary "consciousness" that keeps moving as new bodies arise and fall, like leaves falling from a tree. Reincarnating as bodies continue to arise, over and over across Aeons of time (see Yuga's). But the bible's plan of salvation has nothing to do with reincarnating, primary consciousness taking on new bodies all the time. It's about raising up physical bodies out of graves, which, parts ways with how pantheistic philosophy plays out.    The christian "plan of salvation" doesn't gel with pantheistic philosophy at all. 
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