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god/energy
Posted: 15 April 2005 01:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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[quote author=“SkepticX”]My point is that there’s absolutely no viable reason to simply slap the term “god” onto something we have a perfectly good term for already. That only muddles things up.

Yes I agree, however, the term god would designate everything, since everything is potential energy. It wouldn’t change anything to call everything god, would it? Would it not just offer a simpler understanding of everything? Why does god have to be so complicated? Was there no viable reason to slap the term “round” on a perfectly termed “flat” earth?

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Posted: 15 April 2005 02:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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Champ, thanks for the bio summary. I certainly have nothing to mock.

I guess the fencesitter will take his/her time making up their mind. No problem with that, no rush. I’m just planting seeds.

What are you saying in the above quote? Are you a farmer?

Dave

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Posted: 15 April 2005 02:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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[quote author=“fencesitter”]Yes I agree, however, the term god would designate everything, since everything is potential energy.


I’d argue that “cosmos” is a more apropos term for what you’re describing.

[quote author=“fencesitter”]It wouldn’t change anything to call everything god, would it? Would it not just offer a simpler understanding of everything?


You just said “it wouldn’t change anything, it would change our understanding.” And I don’t agree at all. The term “god” simply has far too much baggage connected to it for this to be remotely true. Try using the term “god” in the way you suggest in conversation and you’re never going to get past the attempt at redefinition in the first place. Of course that’s pretty much the nature of the whole “god schtick.” That’s why it makes no sense at all to replace a perfectly good term like “energy” with a hopelessly vague and shifty term like “god.”

To what end?

[quote author=“fencesitter”]Why does god have to be so complicated? Was there no viable reason to slap the term “round” on a perfectly termed “flat” earth?


Well . . . because the earth, as it turns out, is round (more or less) and not flat. You’re confusing the choice of appropriate terms with redefining a term.

Byron

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Posted: 15 April 2005 02:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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Humm, guess I’ll ponder the god=energy theory a bit more.

SkepticX what are your thoughts on “god”/creator/etc. ? Just curious

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Posted: 15 April 2005 04:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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The third law of thermodynamics explains his eternal life. Hell is clearly nothing more than a black hole, devoid of energy.

I believe it was St. Augustine that argued, since God created everything then everything must be good, as God is belevolent. It stands to reason that evil is basically the absence of anything. So, in that case, a black hole could be compared to hell. Although gravity is considered something, so I guess that x’s that nexus.

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Posted: 15 April 2005 04:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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God either means what religious people say it means (the big guy upstairs who is going to kick your butt someday) or it means absolutley nothing.

I agree with SkepticX - this is a pointless exercise in semantics. If we decide to redefine energy as ‘god’, we have robbed the term ‘god’ of all meaning, since nobody claims that you will be judged by all of the atoms in the universe when you die.

I wouldn’t want to rob the term ‘god’ of all meaning - what would I poke fun at if I did? We need specific terms to help in this communication - the last thing we need is more woolly jargon that people like champ can redefine when backed into an intellectual corner.

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Posted: 15 April 2005 08:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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[quote author=“fencesitter”]SkepticX what are your thoughts on “god”/creator/etc. ? Just curious


I’m an agnostic atheist.

I think “god” is generally defined as supernatural, which means it’s outside of nature (whatever that means) and therfore also beyond our experience or capability to know or understand in any meaningful way. If there is a god and it’s “supernatural,” we can’t know whether it exists or not, much less any details about it’s nature or characteristics.

Sometimes “god” is a redefinition of something else (the cosmos, life force, nature, etc), which is what we went over above—it makes the whole god schtick pretty arbitrary and meaningless.

Byron

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Posted: 15 April 2005 09:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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SkepticX - what I really meant to ask, forgetting the whole god thing, how did we come about? Was the universe created (meaning there was a creator), or did it just come about? Still curious

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Posted: 15 April 2005 10:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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[quote author=“fencesitter”]SkepticX - what I really meant to ask, forgetting the whole god thing, how did we come about? Was the universe created (meaning there was a creator), or did it just come about? Still curious


I don’t know.

Currently I don’t think we (Humanity) can answer that one. Given how much trouble our brains have with infinities I’m not sure we even have the capacity to answer it. For all we know it could turn out to be an impertinent question by the time we understand enough about the cosmos to deal with it.

Byron

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Posted: 15 April 2005 10:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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I don’t know.


SkepticX - Glad we’re sort of on the same page. I was quite content to think that there at least must be a creator since something can’t come from nothing. Now I think… who knows. Do you fear death? Not what happens after death, but the act of dying itself? Yes we are dying as soon as we are born, but do you feel any fear towards the very end of you? Another question I have for you is, do you feel you have a purpose? If not, then how do you choose to live your life? Ever so curious.

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Posted: 15 April 2005 01:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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Nietzsche wrote:

God either means what religious people say it means (the big guy upstairs who is going to kick your butt someday) or it means absolutley nothing.

I realize that my concept of god is way too flowery for you, man of science that you are, but do you really mean what you wrote up there?  That either God is the God of organized religion or he can’t exist? 

I disagree big time.  Seeing as we’re exploring the possibility that energy plays some kind of role here…  let’s take the Northern Lights as an example.  Two hundred years ago the Inuit believed the Lights were supernatural in origin, the dancing spirits of their ancestors.  If we applied your line of thinking, then either the Lights are dancing spirits or they mean absolutely nothing.  Both statements are incorrect.  They are in fact solar particles colliding with the earth’s magnetic field. 

Taking this line of thought I see that religion, though it boasts that it has God all figured out, is nowhere near the Truth as their institutions and leaders are somehow managing to pervert their central message to love your neighbour and are teaching us to hate rather than to love.  But just because religious people have it all wrong, doesn’t mean there isn’t something there.  As important as science is, it isn’t everything.  There is no scientific, right or wrong, black and white, answers for the beauty in life - art, music, literature, relationships.  And they are very real and important parts of life. 

I’m not asking you to follow any particular concept of god here, I’m just suggesting you open up to the idea that there could be something there.  Me thinks you’re a little too quick to dismiss the possibility that something beyond our knowledge exists.  And that science is the only valuable yardstick.  To be fair, I’ll remain open to the idea that my current flowery concepts could one day be found out to be scientific in origin, just like the Northern Lights.

Come on, get in touch with your feminine side, put on a pink shirt, do your nails, and do some creative thinking ... smile

Susan

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Posted: 15 April 2005 01:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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I’m not asking you to follow any particular concept of god here, I’m just suggesting you open up to the idea that there could be something there.  Me thinks you’re a little too quick to dismiss the possibility that something beyond our knowledge exists.  And that science is the only valuable yardstick.  To be fair, I’ll remain open to the idea that my current flowery concepts could one day be found out to be scientific in origin, just like the Northern Lights.

Thanks Susan, that was helpful, for me at least smile

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Posted: 15 April 2005 01:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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Susan…  You’re just TOO COOL.  You apparently have a wonderful balance in your life. 

That is something I have been trying to figure out how to explain to all these rational minds around here.  Life comprehension is pretty difficult to achieve without having a balance between science and creative thinking.

Possibility thinking is what leads us toward the stars!

Thanks,
nyx

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Posted: 15 April 2005 02:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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On the whole “God is energy” or “God is the Universe” thing. . .

I get uncomfortable when people use the word God, (especially with the big G) because it has such strong connotations.  Still, I am happy to entertain certain musings about the nature of the universe that could be considered somewhat of a quest for God, as long as positive assertions about how people should live are not immediately forthcoming.

The concept of the universe as God reminds me of the concept of Gaia.  Although I think that a lot of the Gaia crowd are a bit out there, I have no fundamental problem with viewing the Earth as a giant living organism, at least in certain contexts.  If one extends this perspective out to its logical conclusion, then the entire universe does seem to be a system which might be “alive” in some sense of the word.  Furthermore, it is, I suppose, possible that the universe is engaged in something like “thought”  After all, the various interactions of cosmic bodies might be something like the interactions of our neurons.  Of course, without hard proof, I consider this to be nothing more than a pleasant flight of fancy, but I do find it to be interesting.

When I im inclined to talk about this possibliity of a “thinking” universe, I prefer to talk about the “spirit of the universe” rather than God.  I feel that it sums up the concept, without implying more than it should.

And again, lest I have failed to make myself clear, I am not asserting that this is valid, merely that the idea is interesting, and that I enjoy pondering it when I feel disposed to fanciful thinking.

-Matt

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Posted: 15 April 2005 03:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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Matt,

Perhaps a form of synchronicity, you have expressed ideas that coincide with mine as I was writing them.  Don’t too quickly dismiss your flights of fantasy.

Creative thinking is what gives joy to the mystery of life.  As an exercise in such, let’s just think about what if...

First, we need to clear the way for possibilities.  Dismiss any thoughts of gods or goddesses, bibles, religions, or supernatural powers.  But do imagine the possibility of a creative life force in the universe.  Or better yet, the universe is a creative life force.  We have evolved enough to understand that all life/nature/universal forces operate according to a set of laws.  (I know, quantum physics suggests other possibilities, but there is still so much to explore there.  Perhaps we just don’t yet have the key to understand a different perception of law.)  So, assuming all operates according to law, everything in the universe would have to operate within that framework.

Next, consider what we understand of energy.  e=mc^2 and all that.  If that equation is true, then the entire universe is energy.  What if that energy is intelligent?  We tend to define intelligence in human terms, but why should we be so limited?  Intelligent energy would compose everything that exists in the universe.  Sort of a pantheistic idea in an abstract way.  That intelligent energy/creative life force would by definition be omnipotent and omnipresent.

That would validate our human feelings of spirituality.  Spiritual experiences would be our realization of connection with what we are naturally a part of, along with everything else that exists.  We would not be connected to the whole, but would be a part of it.  We could definitely forget those concepts of us and them and here and there.  We would be US and NOW.

We as humans would no longer need fear death, because we would realize we were merely changing form, and remaining a part of the whole.  The concept of Heaven could be realized as long as the dogma of a separate place was no longer valid.

There would no longer have to be the rift between science and religion.  Science could accept energy, merely having to attribute intelligence to it.  Shouldn’t be so hard to do, as science thrives on intelligence.  Perhaps our understanding of intelligence in a still primitive lifeform (man) is a mere inkling of it’s true realization.

Religion, on the other hand, could free itself from the dogma and supernatural belief systems it has built through ignorance, fear, and insecurity.  Instead, we could gain an understanding of the spiritual quest which has always compelled us as human beings.  The true basis of religion, spirituality, could survive and flourish.

Our social systems would continue to contribute morality and ethics to our social order and development as humans.  We could understand our purpose in life is one of life itself.  Our thoughts could then turn to our purpose in society as one of growth, knowledge, and improving life for all who inhabit our world.  All those principles we attribute to Christ could be put to work, as most of us recognize their true value in our system of life.  Love and compassion really could replace war and destruction.

Try applying the idea of intelligent energy to all those seemingly unanswerable questions you have, and see where possibility thinking might lead you.

Namaste! (=The Divine Mystery in me welcomes and salutes the Divine Mystery in You. )

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