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How intracellular Calcium signaling,  gradient and its role as a universal intracellular regulator points to design

 
MrRon
 
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MrRon
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20 March 2017 19:28
 
Brother Mario - 20 March 2017 11:33 AM

“Are you saying that skeptics have “faith” (in the religious sense)?”

No, I was saying that skeptics speak about faith as if they know what it is, yet they say they don’t have any.

We know what believers tell us it is. And it usually differs slightly from believer to believer. So what’s YOUR definition of “faith”? Once we establish that, then we’ll let you know whether or not we have any. 

“Is it possible that other people can sit alone or walk in the woods and experience revelations of Allah? Or of Ganesha? Or of Zeus? Or of Xenu? Or Sam, the neighbor’s telepathic dog? And then claim those experiences as “knowing and understanding truths”?”

Yes. And it is actually more than possible because it has happened. So what?

So then do you agree that someone could have a genuine and personal revelation of Allah in which he is promised 72 virgins for martyring himself in the act of destroying the “infidels”? Or that someone could have a genuine revelation to bomb a Planned Parenthood clinic?

A skeptic would never say this thing is better than some other thing, but logic would dictate that out of all the revelations of God claimed over human history, one revelation must be the best revelation because it is most true.

How do you determine which revelation is “most true”? 

“If he “loves the world”, I’d hate to see what he would do if he didn’t like it. Natural disasters, poverty, suffering, disease, childhood cancers - that these have been regular occurrences for millennia indicates the ultimate in “aloofness” and neglect!”

The key word is “world”. We have been given a great opportunity to exist in a place where we can become something amazing through hard work, talent, suffering, sacrifice, etc. If we existed in a perfect world, we may as well have been created a selfish weakling. The skeptic’s ignorance of the value of suffering and sacrifice, and even the value of hard work and talent paying off at the end of our lives, is a self-willed ignorance. The theological and philosopical profound truths about such things are there for all to see and contemplate. But the skeptic is not such a thinker, but wants the answers to his life found through the scientific method. And this is not a solid point, but a skeptic talking point.

So babies and small children that are killed by cancer, or in Tsunamis, or people that are eaten by crocodiles (approximately 1,000 people are killed by crocs each year) are just being taught a lesson in the value of suffering and hard work??  If YOU were God, would you allow such things (given that there’s got to be a million other less “drastic” ways for a God to teach a “lesson”)?

“And absence of evidence (when there should be some) is evidence of absence. The only thing to be “found” is your own confirmation bias.”

I posted a link to where the “evidence” to the God question can be found. None of you studied. Instead you ignored the “confirmation bias” running through your stubborn minds and doubled down on your silly claims and sillier questions.

What “claims”?? And what’s so “silly” about valid questions? Is it because you would rather avoid them?

Atheism is a wiggly thing that must attach itself to the firm handle of theism in order to be waved around.

Theism is a wiggly thing that must attach itself to the vagaries and subjectiveness of “faith” and “revelation” in order to survive.

Ron

[ Edited: 20 March 2017 19:38 by MrRon]
 
Brother Mario
 
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Brother Mario
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21 March 2017 05:00
 

And this is where everyone disappears because an atheist groupie without talent has shown up to throw a monkey wrench into an otherwise important discussion. Why? Because the mic has been dropped and everyone is so confused as to why that they can’t get themselves to attempt a rescue where they are drowning, so they meander over to other threads for air. It’s all so familiar.

Again, the topic is what “evidence” is there for the existence of God.

...

Now, Ron keeps replying to me as if he has something to say, no doubt because he’s been doing the Internet circuit for some time now.

He doesn’t really want a discussion, which is evidenced by his lame word choices as a comeback, such as “teach us a lesson”, when I have posted something entirely different.

And, for him to say that I would rather avoid silly questions immediately after posting my elaborate answers to those silly questions is just another window into his intellectual limitations.

Hey, I get it, I have a head start because modern thinking that puts the scientific method on the top rung of how we can know things is, well, modern, and does not have much of an opus. The four horseman of atheism, and their followers, have quite a small shelf in the Vatican library. Yes, it is growing, but will it ever get a library of its own?

There is more to the discussion about the existence of God than “faith” (which I have never talked about because it is not what I think skeptics can understand) and revelation (which I have talked about and skeptics have shown to refuse to understand).

There is a vast territory opening up for discussion as science discovers more and more things that create more and more questions. For example, the discovery of DNA has opened up a discussion of how it could be possible for genetic “information” to be stored in a biological entity.

And the world is not improving. People are still starving, killing each other, living in poverty, etc. Answers need to be given as to why.

Sam Harris says it is a battle to be won on the front of “better ideas”.

I say it is a battle to be won on the front of our “better spirits”.

Who is right cannot be discovered on an “atheist forum” or a “Christian forum” or some other third forum where its members gather together to support each other no matter how obvious it is that they are close-minded and limited.

Who will get in the game and step up to the plate?

 
Ola
 
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Ola
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21 March 2017 07:12
 

Cherry blossom falls
Revealing bare branches sway
Lonely in the breeze

 
jdrnd
 
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21 March 2017 07:46
 
Brother Mario - 21 March 2017 05:00 AM

...everyone is so confused as to why that they can’t get themselves to attempt a rescue where they are drowning…

?

 
SkepticX
 
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SkepticX
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21 March 2017 09:10
 
jdrnd - 21 March 2017 07:46 AM
Brother Mario - 21 March 2017 05:00 AM

...everyone is so confused as to why that they can’t get themselves to attempt a rescue where they are drowning…

?


It’s generally a safe default assumption that if MarioBro is being nasty and/or highly judgmental and/or presumptuous, the odds are at least a chunk better than 50-50 that he’s projecting.

That’s just a religious apologist thing in general too though.

 
 
burt
 
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burt
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21 March 2017 09:48
 
MrRon - 19 March 2017 05:42 AM
burt - 18 March 2017 10:40 PM

As I see it, there are two aspects involved if we’re talking authenticity: (1) the Socratic choice of belief, knowing it’s a choice but one that “has heart” and directs ones life in a productive and worthwhile way; (2) while recognizing that whatever one believes is a choice, having faith beyond that to the effect that reality is good, without any projection as to what that might mean other then what might be called optimistic acceptance.

Hmm… I don’t know. I don’t think belief is a “choice.” You are either convinced of something or you are not. You can’t just change your beliefs at will.

Ron

Just saying. That’s what Socrates says, at least according to Plato. He chooses to believe something that he finds worthwhile, acknowledging it’s a choice.

 
burt
 
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21 March 2017 09:49
 
jdrnd - 19 March 2017 05:59 AM
burt - 18 March 2017 10:40 PM

Good post by skep, and a reasoned response. I’ll be more superficial ...

...and more cryptic.

Crypt, that’s the operational word.

 
burt
 
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burt
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21 March 2017 10:18
 
Brother Mario - 19 March 2017 08:35 AM

Well, burt, forgive me, but your post also fell into the too-deep-to crawl-out-of ravine of what “faith” is to the skeptic who doesn’t acknowledge faith in himself.

I have always appreciated the age of Arabic philosophers that produced Khayyam and the far more important Avicenna. And, ironically, Khayyam’s defense of Avicenna against a critic is the same as my defense of concrete revelations of God, such as the Trinity, against your “empty center” philosophy. Khayyam states simply that the critic “does not even understand the sense of the words of Avicenna, how can he oppose what he does not know?”

You have always claimed that the truly elightened person doesn’t know anything accept that he doesn’t know anything. Now you are claiming that “most people would find this terrifying, and all sorts of imaginings and fantasies are projected into that void.” Really? A person who claims a real and true experience of God, a specific God that is known and loved through spirit and truth, is “terrified” and therefore imagined God in a fantastical way? Where’s the proof of this?

I’ll give you this much—when I spent a few years living in the most “enlightened” contemplative states, I did enter into these states by emptying myself of all thoughts about this or that thing. Verbal prayers, for example, were such a distraction that I seldom made one when I sat alone in the chapel or walked in the woods to center myself in God’s presence. But the enlightened contemplative states were far from “empty”. Revelations abounded that were distinctly tied to who I was and who God was. I didn’t leave these states feeling enlightened, but knowing and understanding truths.

Now, today, I live my life knowing and understanding who God is and who I am because of these experiences. But you say I should empty myself of this knowledge and understanding because I am to believe instead that these experiences were nothing more than imaginations and fantasies I cowardly projected into some terrifying void my enlightened mind first courageously entered. I am to have a relationship with a terrifying void then? My knowledge and understanding of God and myself must remain an empty slate then?

Again, what am I to do?

...

Here’s a thing:

My thoughts of true spirituality, and spirituality is what we are speaking about, focus on myself as more than an enlightened mind. I live my life determined to take care of my body, educate myself, and be as true as I can. I live such a life because enlightenment, for me, gave me the knowledge and understanding that I was given not one thing, existence, but three things—a physical existence, a conscious mind, and a limitless spirit. And this enlightenment tells me that I have an obligation to be grateful for these gifts by nuturing them in every way I can. I have no knowledge or understanding at all about enlightenment as some empty thing devoid of the truth about who I am and who God is. No mindless energy, aloof and unreachable, gave to me the gifts I have because I am a small part of an existence I share with a vast array of other creatures. No. I was given these gifts because I am loved individually in my uniqueness.

The truth is a kingdom that is at hand for us to discover and dwell in, not some far away enlightenment we must leave ourselves behind to discover.

In a word, God so loved the world that he sent into the world himself, not to be aloof, but to be found and loved back.

Unless one become as a little child…. That’s the appropriate response. I hope you were not taking that limerick as indicating a final state instead of an indication of reaching an open door….

As all thought stopped, the World looked around
And what appeared was awesome and profound.
The World was there
But I was nowhere—
Returning home, the heart arose unbound.

For fun find a dvd of the Bergman film The Seventh Seal to see a contrast between belief and doubt, and a higher level commentary.

I note that when you write: “My thoughts of true spirituality, and spirituality is what we are speaking about, focus on myself as more than an enlightened mind. I live my life determined to take care of my body, educate myself, and be as true as I can. I live such a life because enlightenment, for me, gave me the knowledge and understanding that I was given not one thing, existence, but three things—a physical existence, a conscious mind, and a limitless spirit. And this enlightenment tells me that I have an obligation to be grateful for these gifts by nuturing them in every way I can. I have no knowledge or understanding at all about enlightenment as some empty thing devoid of the truth about who I am and who God is. No mindless energy, aloof and unreachable, gave to me the gifts I have because I am a small part of an existence I share with a vast array of other creatures. No. I was given these gifts because I am loved individually in my uniqueness” there is in this no reference at all to any particular dogma, belief system, or spiritual tradition. I suspect that if you really question your “knowledge” you will find that it isn’t really an intellectual thing at all. Ironically, I’m pointing to the limitations of intellect is spiritual matters and you at least seem to be defending it as providing ultimate certainty.

When time comes to take leave of our parade
A friend you made in life comes to your aid.
So be of good cheer
Your best friend is near
And all your karmic debts are finally paid.

That world brought to being in my mind
A day will come to leave it all behind.
And who is it will say
On that final day
This world is good, and lovingly designed.

The time we have for living in the Sun
Is short compared to that when time is done.
T’was nothing to fear
Before we were here,
Why fear returning to the Only One?

Some day I will not see another day
Be good, they say, for there is Hell to pay.
But my drunken bliss
Outshines all of this
As wondering I wander on my way.

 
MrRon
 
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MrRon
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21 March 2017 16:56
 
Brother Mario - 21 March 2017 05:00 AM

And the world is not improving. People are still starving, killing each other, living in poverty, etc. Answers need to be given as to why.

Yes - millions of good people die horribly in natural disasters, and babies and children get stricken with terrible terminal illnesses. So yes, answers need to be given as to why an all-powerful and all-loving God would permit such things to occur to the helpless, young, and innocent. If YOU were God would YOU allow such unnecessary suffering and misery? Is it possible there just isn’t an all-powerful and all-loving God?


And these went unanswered:

1. So what’s YOUR definition of “faith”?

2. So then do you agree that someone could have a genuine and personal revelation of Allah in which he is promised 72 virgins for martyring himself in the act of destroying the “infidels”? Or that someone could have a genuine revelation to bomb a Planned Parenthood clinic?

3. How do you determine which revelation is “most true”? 

4. So babies and small children that are killed by cancer, or in Tsunamis, or people that are eaten by crocodiles (approximately 1,000 people are killed by crocs each year) are just being taught a lesson in the value of suffering and hard work??  If YOU were God, would you allow such things (given that there’s got to be a million other less “drastic” ways for a God to teach a “lesson”)?


Your concise responses to each of those would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Ron

 

[ Edited: 22 March 2017 03:11 by MrRon]
 
MrRon
 
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21 March 2017 17:00
 
burt - 21 March 2017 09:48 AM
MrRon - 19 March 2017 05:42 AM
burt - 18 March 2017 10:40 PM

As I see it, there are two aspects involved if we’re talking authenticity: (1) the Socratic choice of belief, knowing it’s a choice but one that “has heart” and directs ones life in a productive and worthwhile way; (2) while recognizing that whatever one believes is a choice, having faith beyond that to the effect that reality is good, without any projection as to what that might mean other then what might be called optimistic acceptance.

Hmm… I don’t know. I don’t think belief is a “choice.” You are either convinced of something or you are not. You can’t just change your beliefs at will.

Ron

Just saying. That’s what Socrates says, at least according to Plato. He chooses to believe something that he finds worthwhile, acknowledging it’s a choice.


Thanks Burt. Then I’ll have to disagree with Socrates on that point.  grin

Ron

 
Brother Mario
 
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22 March 2017 04:31
 

There are things about Socrates that are being looked over here.

As a person who has read every word written in Plato’s writings, and who found a kindred spirit in Socrates, I cringe a bit when folks think that Socrates was a skeptical mind because he said, stating the obvious, the he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. He didn’t fear death, for example, because he didn’t know that death was something to fear.

And Socrates “daemon”, the inner inspirations he claimed to have received since he was a child, he saw as an inner “voice” telling him what not to do. This daemon was a “divine” thing for Socrates, and set him apart from all his contemporaries, and even made him an enemy of those in power.

So it’s obvious that Socrates wasn’t Socrates simply because of his intellectual mind thinking analytically “better ideas”, but also because of a superior spirituality that set him apart from others as a “better spirit”.

To ignore this profound thing about Socrates is not the stuff of looking at the evidence and compiling facts, but of skeptical minds once again refusing to see as facts anything that supports the powerful reality of a true spirituality.

There are no kindred spirits of Socrates on this forum, but kindred spirits of those who killed Socrates. Think about that.

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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22 March 2017 08:09
 

I miss the italics.

 
burt
 
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22 March 2017 09:14
 
Brother Mario - 22 March 2017 04:31 AM

There are things about Socrates that are being looked over here.

As a person who has read every word written in Plato’s writings, and who found a kindred spirit in Socrates, I cringe a bit when folks think that Socrates was a skeptical mind because he said, stating the obvious, the he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. He didn’t fear death, for example, because he didn’t know that death was something to fear.

And Socrates “daemon”, the inner inspirations he claimed to have received since he was a child, he saw as an inner “voice” telling him what not to do. This daemon was a “divine” thing for Socrates, and set him apart from all his contemporaries, and even made him an enemy of those in power.

So it’s obvious that Socrates wasn’t Socrates simply because of his intellectual mind thinking analytically “better ideas”, but also because of a superior spirituality that set him apart from others as a “better spirit”.

To ignore this profound thing about Socrates is not the stuff of looking at the evidence and compiling facts, but of skeptical minds once again refusing to see as facts anything that supports the powerful reality of a true spirituality.

There are no kindred spirits of Socrates on this forum, but kindred spirits of those who killed Socrates. Think about that.

Now, now Mario, don’t go casting aspersions. Remember, bread on the water, or wind and whirlwind.

While you were reading the Socratic dialogues of Plato did you realize the point in many of them? A quote from an unpublished essay:

In his book ,“The Trial of Socrates,” the radical polemicist Irving Stone seeks to justify the Athenian death sentence passed against Socrates.  Among the criticisms he levels at Socrates are the contentions that his philosophy was strictly negative, aimed at refuting others rather than putting forward any positive view; and the claim that he had an underlying political agenda that was anti-democratic in nature.  His assertion is that these two aspects came together in the negative dialectic which Socrates used to destroy all positive assertions made as to the nature of justice, beauty, and so forth; and to mock those who he interrogated, thus teaching his followers to mock at Athens democratic institutions and leaders.
He exhorts his fellow Athenians to virtue but claims that it is not teachable.  He identifies virtue with knowledge, yet he insists that this knowledge is unattainable, and cannot be taught.  To cap it all, after making his interlocutors feel inadequate and ignorant, Socrates confesses that he himself knows nothing.  This ultimate humility begins to seem a form of boastfulness.  To be told that one knows even less than a man who cheerfully insists that he knows nothing at all is to add insult to injury.
It may be that, as an ideologue himself, Stone was incapable of recognizing that others might act from other than political motives.  We can posit this, and attempt to understand the Socratic method from a more charitable point of view: There is another philosophical school that employs the negative dialectic as its major tool—the Madhyamika school of Buddhism.  In the Madhyamika system, this dialectic is employed to strip away all relativistic illusions, thus acting as a vehicle that takes one to recognition of the absolute.  I will suggest that this was also the Socratic program.  That when Socrates, at the end of a dialogue, admits that he, too, does not know the true nature of justice, or beauty, he is not mocking but inviting.  He has used the negative dialectic to strip away all the illusions of the relative mind and at that point, rather than making just another statement of theory, he invites the participants to enter into a state of repose in which the nature of that which was being discussed becomes obvious. 
In the Greater Hippias, for example, Socrates demonstrates that although Hippias claims to be unexcelled in the beauty of his personal expression, he does not know what beauty is.  And this is done in a very subtle way, which avoids provoking egotistical defenses.  At the end of the dialogue, again with great subtlety and tact, Socrates invites Hippias to recognize Beauty, not in any of the failed attempts at definition but in the sense employed by Kandinsky:
“By… ‘beauty’ we do not mean the contemporary external or even inner morality, but that quality which, itself imponderable, enriches and refines the soul.”

 
MrRon
 
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MrRon
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22 March 2017 17:09
 
MrRon - 21 March 2017 04:56 PM
Brother Mario - 21 March 2017 05:00 AM

And the world is not improving. People are still starving, killing each other, living in poverty, etc. Answers need to be given as to why.

Yes - millions of good people die horribly in natural disasters, and babies and children get stricken with terrible terminal illnesses. So yes, answers need to be given as to why an all-powerful and all-loving God would permit such things to occur to the helpless, young, and innocent. If YOU were God would YOU allow such unnecessary suffering and misery? Is it possible there just isn’t an all-powerful and all-loving God?


And these went unanswered:

1. So what’s YOUR definition of “faith”?

2. So then do you agree that someone could have a genuine and personal revelation of Allah in which he is promised 72 virgins for martyring himself in the act of destroying the “infidels”? Or that someone could have a genuine revelation to bomb a Planned Parenthood clinic?

3. How do you determine which revelation is “most true”? 

4. So babies and small children that are killed by cancer, or in Tsunamis, or people that are eaten by crocodiles (approximately 1,000 people are killed by crocs each year) are just being taught a lesson in the value of suffering and hard work??  If YOU were God, would you allow such things (given that there’s got to be a million other less “drastic” ways for a God to teach a “lesson”)?


Your concise responses to each of those would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Ron

 

Bromar?? Are you stumped??

Ron

 
Brother Mario
 
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Brother Mario
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23 March 2017 04:57
 

Hey, Nhoj. I miss the italics, too. I moved over from Developer to Default, and now I can’t get back. Can you help me find my italics again, I mean since you miss them like I do? Thanks. Oh ... and if you keep letting folks like unsmoked (on another thread) and Ron and Ola butt into conversations with lame talking points and ridiculing attitudes, without pointing out to them their lack of focus, I’m probable gonna have reactions that take my posts in another direction. A good example is Ron (the guy who posted over and over again his stupid question about God asking people to kill their children), who keeps asking questions (not realizing that I haven’t written to him directly more than once, maybe) that I have answered already. But instead of taking my answers and debating them, he just asks his questions again to slip in his atheist talking points that are stuck in his head. Unstick him, or my italics will get out of control when I post with others. Again, thanks.

...

Well, burt, you are on a different page with Socrates than I am. I really don’t spend much time reading other interpretations of Socrates, just Socrates. But your post was correct in pointing out that Socrates was mostly negative in his method. He had to be. For how can wisdom be taught to the ignorant? You can’t make a person wise who is dedicated to their ignorance. All you can do is point out their ignorance and hope that a little wisdon sprinkles over it or works its way inside of it. People die in their ignorances for the most part. Only rarely does a person crawl their way out of their self-willed superficial lives into the freedom it takes to discover the deepest truths. Athens produced some great people, but Socrates was up against those in power who were jealous of his popularity and angry at his judgments of them. So he reacted to them rather than more simply just stating his wisdom. This, to me, is the loss we all suffer when ignorance is allowed to rule the day. It happened in Athens and it’s happening all over the world today. And “better ideas”, Sam Harris’ focus, are not going to move the needle even a little. Trump is the president because people look for superficial people to do superficial things that will improve their superficial lives. Wisdom is not even thought about, and persons who come along like Socrates, Jesus, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, Micah, etc. are killed because of it. And if Confucius didn’t leave the city and wander about the countryside he probably would have been killed too.

This is how I read history, and the writings of men, and women, such as Socrates.

[ Edited: 23 March 2017 05:00 by Brother Mario]
 
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