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  1. Today
  2. 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.
  3. 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.")
  4. 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.
  5. Matt Dillahunty and Jenna Belk. Viewer calls. Matt and Jenna take viewer calls. View the full article
  6. 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.
  7. Yesterday
  8. Hosts: Jamie Boone, Denis Loubet, Derek Hawke Denis Loubet website => https://mainqueststudios.com [Mail] Chuck(AZ): Why do presuppositionalists talk to atheists? [Mail] Chuck(AZ): Burden of proof "It's said that the person making a claim has a burden of proof, but is that necessarily true? I think the one who wants others to agree with a claim is the one who should have the burden of proof." [News] Turkish bombing damages 3,000-year-old temple in northern Syria Link => https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/29/turkish-bombing-damages-3000-year-old-temple-northern-syria/ [Mail] Julian Hayes: Unforgivable Sin "I was taught that Jesus' death and resurrection forgave us from all of our sins, and [the idea of unforgivable sin] flies in the face of that." [News] Bishop of Waterford warns against yoga and mindfulness in schools Link => https://www.thejournal.ie/waterford-bishop-alphonsus-cullinan-yoga-mindfulness-4857160-Oct2019/ [News] Vatican announces wearable 'eRosary' smart device and app for guided prayer Link => https://www.nbcnews.com/news/religion/vatican-announces-wearable-erosary-smart-device-app-guided-prayer-n1067806 [SHIT] Proposed bill would make Bible courses a requirement in Florida public schools Link => https://www.fox35orlando.com/news/proposed-bill-would-make-bible-courses-a-requirement-in-florida-public-schools [News] In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace Link => https://www.pewforum.org/2019/10/17/in-u-s-decline-of-christianity-continues-at-rapid-pace/ [News] Atheists Blast A.G. Barr’s Fact-Free Attack on Secularism Link => https://www.atheists.org/2019/10/barr-blaming-secularism/ [Video] Ron Reagan ad for Freedom From Religion Foundation airs during Democrat presidential debate. Network that did not air it faced secular backlash! View the full article
  9. 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.
  10. I'll have to check it out because we have a topic about this going at the moment in the debate section:
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. The plan seems to be all-important, Edgarcito. So, please help this idiot understand your role in the plan by answering another question. Where does the plan end and your free will begin? I ask because the topic of Predestination was a frequently-discussed one in my church. If the plan is fixed and predetermined by god, then you have no free will and it was his choice for you to care or not care. But if you have free will, then I'd like to understand where it fits in with god's plan. Thank you. Walter.
  14. Room and board isn't free. Just don't let it cost you your self respect.
  15. Yes Justus, in one respect, you're exactly right. I WAS a self righteous, judgmental, holier than thou religious hypocrite when I was a Christian, BECAUSE I did nothing to help that girl, in clear contradiction of what Jesus told his followers to go and do. But now, years later, when I'm finished and done with Jesus, I've actually done something about it. Here in the UK there's an organization called the NSPCC. https://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-you-can-do/make-a-donation?gclsrc=aw.ds&&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIyITkk-Gr5QIVTUTTCh03cgAOEAAYASAAEgJ7qfD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds Up until five years ago I was the secretary of our local branch, responsible for fundraising and sponsorship. All told, I've spent a dozen years assisting the NSPCC in various ways. Besides donating thousands of pounds in person, I've run half-marathons, taken part in sponsored swim-marathons and I've added a clause to my will, bequeathing a portion of my personal estate to the NSPCC when I die. Ok, it could be argued that I'm not actually helping THAT particular little girl. My response to that accusation would be to point out that when I broke with Jesus I also broke with the terms and conditions of his new covenant of the blood. Therefore, what I should have been responsible for when I was a Christian is no longer binding upon me. I would also counter that charge by pointing out that I've done much, much more for sexually abused children since leaving Christianity than when I was a Christian. Justus, now that you know these things about me, if you still want to consider me to be a self-righteous, judgmental, holier than thou religious hypocrite, then go ahead. But you'll have no grounds for considering me to be holy or religious, ok? Thank you. Walter.
  16. Anyway, I know some mention has already been made about lashing out and fear wearing masks, so, could you deal with that so I can move you from the angry column in my brain?
  17. I get the overall impression that Swirling Eddie resents many parts of god's plan, possibly even the bulk of it; but feels more-or-less trapped by the ideas that a). there is a god, b). that god must be everything, and c). that god must have a divine destiny mapped out for everything and everyone since it's all part of him anyway. It seems sometimes like he's trying to defend, even justify, a plan he greatly disagrees with. I know that feeling all too well... For me, it eventually became plain that god never had a plan for any of us; perhaps the same will eventually happen for ed.
  18. So what are you doing except being that same ole self righteous, judgmental, holier than thou, religious hypocrite that you were before you came to the knowledge of your new imaginary truth like you did when you ran around claiming Jesus is Lord! Jesus is Lord!. ...............yet what are you doing to help that girl? (So do you feel like you where a sself righteous, judgmental, holier than thou, religious hypocrite when you were a Christian-if you weren't then please accept my apology and disregard this post.)
  19. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence for reincarnation. If you take the Eastern view that we are each an expression, or a focus, of the Brahman then reincarnation seems a likely possibility. My problem with reincarnation as widely understood is this; as the population increases so rapidly where are all the new "souls" coming from? That problem is solved if it is assumed there is but one "god/soul/ground of being" and we are each but one expression of the All That Is, as is everything else. Brahman can create and play as many parts as it wants.
  20. Hey folks! I am not sure if this is the correct place for this topic. But I am going to post it anyways! Maybe it should be in the ‘spiritual’ forum? But I couldn’t post there. Most here, I think, will find these topics outlandish. But I want to post about ‘reincarnation’ and ‘afterlife’. The former has some credibility since the research on it can be deemed scientific. The latter, maybe not, since this research is not really scientific as we know, but is based more on ‘other worldly’ phenomenon. The eastern philosophies, and the pre-Abrahamic philosophies all over the world have talked about and believe in reincarnation. So there could be a possibility. But again we should be wary of using numbers/popularity as determining the truth. We need to have a scientific basis to this phenomenon to appeal to our rational minds. In the 1960s Dr. Ian Stevenson from the University of Virginia’s Department of Psychiatry started his research on the subject of reincarnation. His Christian upbringing provided a hindrance to his research initially but eventually started making progress. He has some 3000 odd cases which are quite interesting and shed much light on this subject. This subject might be much difficult to prove with regular scienctific means. I would term it more like an investigation instead! But nevertheless, his research points to a healthy possibility of the phenomenon. His successor, Dr Jim Tucker is carrying on the work after Dr Stevenson. These can be easily looked up on Google. The second phenomenon involves hypnosis and psychic readings which, for me, could be mired with inconsistencies and are much more harder to believe since they are outside the realm of regular science. I have been following answers on Quora from a guy named Richard Martini who has written some books on this subject. His writings are what I find interesting in the context of beliefs and the ex-christian website. He has filmed people under deep hypnosis while talking about these subjects. One of his answers was interesting. In a nutshell he said that in the afterlife, people experience things based on their belief systems (although these are just mind-creations and are not real). Below is a link to one of his answers - Answer to If we reincarnate, what's the purpose of hell, which dozens of people witnessed and talked about in great detail? by Richard Martini https://www.quora.com/If-we-reincarnate-whats-the-purpose-of-hell-which-dozens-of-people-witnessed-and-talked-about-in-great-detail/answer/Richard-Martini-1?ch=8&share=8dd023e5&srid=z5tP If this were true, that would just mean people that strongly believe in concepts of heaven and hell might be setting themselves up to experience these. And my understanding is that it is much rare for someone to die without any regrets. When you are on your deathbed it perhaps would be hard to know that you have lived your life perfectly and deserve heaven (if it existed) - there will always be something at the back of your mind, although minuscule, that will tell you that you do not deserve it; which is when the possibility of hell (if it existed) becomes true. But this heaven-hell business is steeped in Abrahamic philosophies. So people who truly believed in this would actually be the ones ‘suffering’ in their afterlife. I found this topic interesting. Deals with human psychology and wanted to share it with you all. Would love to know your take on it.
  21. My caring for my child is inclusive to the plan. My level of caring for someone else's child is also in the inclusive to the plan. You need to go re-read my earlier posts. I have never said that I wash my hands of someone else's child, nor wouldn't interfere. I HAVE said that their circumstance and outcome is within the plan. Please make an attempt to understand this that I might remove you from the idiot column in my brain. Thx.
  22. Yes, it does edgarcito and your words confirm that. If you protect your own child from suffering, then that is your standard for your flesh and blood. If you wash your hands of a child that isn't yours, then that's a different standard of conduct on your part. If we are all subjects of God's plan, then you are interfering with that plan by keeping your own child safe from harm... ...but not interfering with the plan, when you allow a child that isn't your own to continue suffering. Two different standards. That's hypocrisy.
  23. Lol... I’m ok where I’m at. You’re a little fiery is why I’m laughing.
  24. Listen, if you find great stability and comfort and peace in Christianity, good for you. For me there is no comfort in believing that millions of people suffer at the hands of god. Personally I would have to "cherry pick" parts of the bible to "find comfort." But once I rejected the biblical god as benevolent, all-knowing, etc. I began a search to see if there was any real merit to the "what if I"m wrong" argument. I'm not fond of the church crowd either (never was). And I'm not exactly an atheist. I'm a fan of Alan Watts and his explanations of an intelligent universe - based on Eastern philosophies. There are a lot of ex-Christians who do not reject the possibility of a "higher power," for lack of a better term. But we do reject the notion that a god, as described in the bible, was anything other than mythology - similar to Greek mythology. If your gut is telling you there must be something more, some spiritual realm that perhaps we do not fully understand yet, why do you have to explore that from the Christian mind-set? Chances are, if you were born in a different part of the globe, you would be holding fast to whatever the religion was most prominent in that geographical area. Doesn't it strike you as odd that the biblical god doesn't really seem to give shit about the billiions of people who have lived and died in certain geographical areas where Christianity never really took hold? But listen if you are perfectly comfortable ignoring certain parts of the bible, the contradictions, etc then good for you.
  25. Alright, I watched the debate and I enjoyed it a lot more than I was expecting. The format was refreshing. I'm sick to death of hearing Craig give his well-rehearsed 20 minute introductory speech, followed by his claim that the minutia of his arguments haven't been adequately adressed and moreover that no positive arguments for atheism have been put forth, therefore God exists. He's very adept at playing the timed, formal debate structure in his favor. In more of a give and take arrangement such as this, the illusion that his arguments are particularly strong suffers, in my opinion. I have some comments about the video, some of which are tangential to our main discussion. I'll make these comments, but I don't want to go down the rabbit hole here. The focus is Craig's cosmology. I'll be happy to discuss other issues further elsewhere. Roughly the first half of the discussion focussed mainly on what Craig called a tripartite description of reality (or something to that effect, I can't recall his exact phrasing). We are to suppose that there are three realms: the physical realm, the mental realm, and the abstract realm. Craig argues that in order to explain why all three exist, one must appeal to an ultimate consciousness (ie, God). The abstract, he argues, doesn't function causally, and the physical realm seems to be contingent on the abstract realm. So the source must be from the mental realm. Then he posits a supreme consciousness to solve his problem. This kind of argument is very interesting to me. I think it can be made more in a more coherent fashion than Craig makes it in the video, but in any case my response to it is roughly on par with Penrose's: yes, that could be true, but I don't see any reason to think that it is. Also, there is a simpler explanation. My own view, currently, is that the physical realm is that which exists necessarily. It gives rise to the mental realm via various processes in the brain, the details of which are not currently well understood, but nevertheless, there it is. Conscious agents then engage in abstraction, thereby giving rise to the abstract realm. Mystery solved, without an unnecessary appeal to God. I can go on about the above at great length if it's of interest to anyone. Elsewhere might be better. Possibly the something rather than nothing thread, or we could just make a new one. Back on topic. 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. I'm looking forward to this. Good points here. One other thing that struck me as interesting was around the 57 minute mark when Craig claimed that he subscribes to a Newtonian view of time. That, in spite of the fact that relativity does away with ultimate time, there must nevertheless be some kind of underlying ultimate time. Penrose basically just flatly disagreed, and I'm with him here. This kind of point of view seems extremely naive given modern physics. However, later (around 108) Penrose argued that in the absence of time, temporal order could nevertheless be preserved. I think this is nonsensical. It seems to me to be basically the same thing that Craig was claiming: that there is some kind of time which underlies time. I don't find this coherent at all, but I'd be interested to see if anyone else does, and to see how they might defend it. By way of general commentary, I find Penrose's cyclical model quite appealing. I'm not an expert here by any means, but a while ago when this was an area of more immediate interest to me I found some of Neil Turok's propositions to be similarly appealing. All of these kinds of models essentially do away with the HP theorem though, so they are disastrous for Craig. If you do away with a definite beginning, sure, you can still say "God created the whole lot!", but you lose the reason why he had to. The physical realm itself could become the necessary reality, which leads to the kind of view I sketched out above.
  26. Thanks for the response. Let me please say this as plainly as possible. I can see the points made on both sides. The dream could have been my brain certainly. I'm sure I've pushed some of this down internally. Hell is very severe for a dad that was seemingly much like yours. All of what you say is viably a part of "my truth". But the certainty I have in Christianity is also that truth and because it's by faith, I can't disqualify it because it doesn't exactly match the other forms of "my truth". Why is it necessary that the objective truths hold a higher ground. I find great stability and comfort, peace, in Christianity. Why must it be an either, or. Do each of you see something I don't. Do you see discomfort somehow? I don't. Granted I'm not too fond of the church crowd, but that's independent of my relationship with the Cosmos.
  27. This book talks about precisely how a universe could arise from nothing: https://www.amazon.com/Universe-Nothing-There-Something-Rather/dp/1451624468/ref=sr_1_1?crid=139BNFA18ZVI1&keywords=a+universe+from+nothing+by+lawrence+krauss&qid=1571586707&sprefix=a+universe%2Caps%2C196&sr=8-1 You might find it interesting. He does it from the perspective of physics; not much about consciousness in there but a good read on how the universe could have sprung from nothing.
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