human nature - inherently good or evil?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by IowaGuy, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    Communication.

    If you believe that, then likewise God would know everything that you will fail to say or ask in a prayer, and my conversation with you would similarly be kind of like talking to a lawn mower. You are thinking of a person as merely a machine, though you don't really think of yourself as merely a machine, do you?

    No more than I could give you the moon.

    I submit that you know that some things here are done by you, because you have control over those things. Similarly you know that some things are done by others, as they have control over some things. As a nature lover, you know that the behavior of people and things are partly due to the nature of the genes, and things, per the physical laws. For example a stream does not flow uphill, and a person dies if they do not drink water. What you seem to not know, because you are asking me: Is there proof that anything or anyone else can control things here?

    With that in mind, let me jump to a real, but ficticious event. Have you seen Star Wars, where old Ben tells the storm trooper that he does not really need to see his identification? Presuming you have, would you say that the storm trooper was acting by the nature of his genes, his will, or the will of old Ben who apparently had the power to take control of another person? Whether by genes or by spirit, was the storm trooper a trusting person who had no reason to not trust old Ben over his boss? I don't think so. Recall a different scene where Darth Vader chokes one of his officers and says to him, "I find your lack of faith disturbing". Was old Ben just like Darth Vader, finding the storm trooper's faith disturbing, and choking him to teach him who wishes to be boss? Call me crazy if you wish, but I don't think so. The storm trooper did something against his will, and the will of his superiors, and never really knew what affected him. I imagine later he looks back and wonders why he chose to do it. From my perspective, it wasn't really his choice. So then, either old Ben was more than a man, or there is some force that heard, believed in old Ben, or for whatever reason chose to give old Ben safe passage past that storm trooper.

    The movie is a real, but ficticious example. I did not invent it. Similarly if I tell you stories from my life, then you will prefer to think of them as real, but perhaps equally ficticious. You should get your own real life stories. If you were old Ben in that event, non-fiction, then you would know whether you had control over the storm trooper or not, correct? If you willfully controlled the storm trooper, then you were just tricking him with some sort of mind trick. If you were just communicating honestly though, and you had that uncertainty of whether the storm trooper or some other spirit would act per your interest or not, then you would know that it was not you. The only thing left to wonder then is whether the storm trooper did willfully choose to let you pass, whether it were his unconscious interest to trust you, or whether some other powerful spirit helped preserve you from that storm trooper. If you got to know the storm trooper a little more, then you would know whether or not it was his spirit to let you pass. If that ficticious event were real to you, having ruled out other causes, then I submit you would start to see that there is a higher power. Perhaps though, similarly if you were Darth Vader, since he clearly had some measure of faith in him too.

    A lot of events unfold with time, especially with God, so definitely not at first. Further down the road I would look back and wonder, kind of like that storm trooper though. I see correlations that I suspect are due to God, but without being a part of it, who can be sure?

    If a gift appears on your doorstep, you know that you received the gift, but you don't know the spirit behind it. Is it something good? Is it something you will appreciate, or detest? Who is it from? What was their motivation? Could it be that someone is trying to manipulate you? Could it be a bomb? Who really knows until you delve a little further into the relationship?

    Sort of gives new meaning to the word 'storm trooper'? I didn't know there was a drought, I didn't pray for it, I didn't make it, and neither was I given any advanced warning of that specific weather event. While it is possible that God had a part in it, I have no idea. I tend to see most weather as natural phenomenon that is largely being impacted by human activity and ignorance. That said, I do occasionally see some interesting correlations.
     
  2. IowaGuy

    IowaGuy Hunter-Gatherer

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    Yes, precisely. Assuming that "god" is omniscient.


    [​IMG]


    Indeed. I have no personal evidence of supernatural powers that can overcome the laws of nature as we know them. As you say, I've never seen a stream run uphill or a human survive more than a few days without water, no matter how much they pray.

    I'll have to give some more thought to your Storm Trooper example, it's been too long since I've seen that movie.

    But you do mention that it's possible for someone to do something against their will and not know why. That would go against the concept of free will, would it not? I don't know many Christians who don't believe in free will as that kind of messes up their whole heaven/hell argument.


    Is it possible they are just coincidences?


    So, you think God has a part in some things but not in others?
     
  3. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    Prayer is at best an elementary form of mystical communion. Prayers express aspects of the power of the Word. Prayer can be a powerful technique for implanting positive suggestions, in this respect it is a form of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).

    Today's prayers are basically rote recitations or simple wish-making. Originally, prayer was a process of concentrated visualization combined with emotional and mental energy, all made manifest into the physical through proper vocalization.

    Prayer is indeed a form of invocation as it unites our meditative state of consciousness with the power of the Word and with our innate force of Will.
     
  4. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    Hmm, by force do you mean steering/guiding quality that guides/directs power?
    {This is how I equate prayer with mindfulness}
     
  5. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    I suppose I am using "force" like:
    a. Intellectual power or vigor, especially as conveyed in writing or speech.
    b. Moral strength.
    c. A capacity for affecting the mind or behavior; efficacy: the force of logical argumentation.
    d. One that possesses such capacity: the forces of evil.
     
  6. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    So you think if a person prays in their mind, and does not speak a word of it, then they have programmed someone else with it? You are citing what you wish to believe, for some reason, but by your behavior, you do not truly believe it.
     
  7. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    OK this might be getting a bit technical:
    force (fôrs) (American Heritage Science Dictionary)

    1. Any of various factors that cause a body to change its speed, direction, or shape. Force is a vector quantity, having both magnitude and direction. Contributions of force from different sources can be summed to give the net force at any given point.
    2. Any of the four natural phenomena involving the interaction between particles of matter. From the strongest to the weakest, the four forces are the strong nuclear force , the electromagnetic force , the weak nuclear force , and gravity .
    power (pou'ər)


    1. The source of energy used to operate a machine or other system.
      The rate at which work is done, or energy expended, per unit time. Power is usually measured in watts (especially for electrical power) or horsepower (especially for mechanical power). For a path conducting electrical current, such as a component in an electric circuit, P = VI, where P is the power dissipated along the path, V is the voltage across the path, and I is the current through the path. Compare energy, work.
     
  8. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    I am not aware of any Christian who believes in absolute totalitarian free will. When you go hiking solo in the woods, is it your decision to do so, your wife's decision, my decision, or God's decision? Do you lack all sense of freedom or choice in your activity?

    Perhaps you mean, unintended? Uncaused? I do correlate coincidences.

    The past, present, and future are written by many. Are they not?
     
  9. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Really, if you are going to be a "Hell and Brimstone" believer, you have to believe in radical free will. Or else you fall into the old Calvinist "we are all born predestined and ain't it just to bad I go to heaven and G!d will send you to hell" problem.

    If one is a "Hell and Brimstone" believer and do not believe in free will (your decision to go hiking is your wife's, mine, or G!d's decision), then one could (nay, should) point out that this is little better than firey sacrifice to Moloch. G!d then would not be just.

    Pax et amore omnia vincunt!
     
  10. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    As Jesus said to pray, "Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven...", would you say that Jesus was a "Hell and Brimstone" believer? Do you think he believed in radical free will? I ask, because I am not really sure what you are trying to say.
     
  11. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    If you believe in Hell (eternal damnation and punishment), then you must believe in radical free will (G!d gave us that so "Thy will be done" is still met).

    The alternative, logically is to believe in eternal damnation and punishment on the whim of G!d. That is the damned did not have the free will to choose other than damnation, which is pretty much the OT and Socratic definition of injustice.
     
  12. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    ""
    Indeed, they are programming their own unconsciousness, I never said it was programming another. Speaking within is actually called something else, " Manasika Jap"" Simran".

    Prayer along with many other techniques are forms of trance induction and are ways of programming the unconsciousness.
     
  13. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    Somehow I don't think you will succeed in programming God. :D
     
  14. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    Me? Personally?
     
  15. IowaGuy

    IowaGuy Hunter-Gatherer

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    Do they believe in heaven/hell? The traditional, Christian idea of heaven and hell depends on free will, that we are all free to accept or reject Christ's teachings. Radarmark hit the nail on the head in posts # 549 and 551.


    I take full responsibility for my choices in life. But I don't believe we have true free will. Will, yes. Free, no.


    No, I mean random coincidences that many attribute to some sort of divine intervention. Like "a sign from God" which in reality is just a function of probability and statistics.


    You say you can't give any specific examples of God's deeds, and that you don't know if drought (or pick your favorite natural disaster) is a deed of God. So why do you attribute any deeds to God at all? What evidence do you have that what you perceive as divine intervention is anything more than just random coincidence?
     
  16. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    I am not seeing it. Will you answer some questions? When you are involved in a relationship, do you feel less free than when you are living solo in the wilderness? Do you think of it as a loss of will to do someone else's will? Do you think of a relationship as a loss of freedom? Do you think God's will is that you have no freedom: a total dictator?

    Probability and statistics are math methods to find patterns, correlations, or information in data that have a stochastic or undeterminable random appearing element. If I have a correlation, then I have a correlation, but I still don't necessarily know who or what mechanism was the cause of it, or the relevance.

    Seeing something repeatable and correlated, I would still not have known the cause. For example, gravity looks pretty consistant day to day, but I could wake up tomorrow and find it to be half of what it was today. Whether it stays the same, or changes, do I automatically attribute it to an act of God? No. However, I would suspect that there was no man or group of men who could have caused it.

    If I pray and I ask why we couldn't experience a day with half of the gravity, and for a day the gravity is mysteriously half of what it was, do you think I should stick my head in the ground and call it a random coincidence? I could, there is the freedom to do that, but I would not see the benefit in it. If I wish to find the answer to my question, I would have to look.

    I think maybe you should look at your own relationships that you think are more tangible, and ask the same questions regarding cause and effect. When your wife does something that effects your life, does she have a willful choice? Could it be her genes? Social programming? Hidden selfish agenda? Love? Random coincidence? How do you know the cause of her actions? You see the machine, the body, but how well do you see the person? How can you differentiate the person from the societal or genetic programming, or are her actions just a random coincidence?

    Similarly, are your actions in your relationship due to: genes, social programming, hidden selfish agenda, love, or just a random coincidence?
     
  17. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    tis an old and warn argument....and

    No, I think G!d is principle, that can't SEE (don't believe in anthropormphizing G!d) the spirit of someone's experiments.


    I don't buy that 'He' planted dino bones to test us either...
     
  18. IowaGuy

    IowaGuy Hunter-Gatherer

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    With increased responsibilities comes less personal freedom. Having kids is now part of my family relationship, yes that is much less "free" than wandering solo in the wilderness. But more rewarding in the big-picture. And all parts of my whole.


    Why would I ever do someone else's will? Everything I do is a result of my will. Their will may coincide with my will, but I do it from my own will.


    I have no evidence that God has a will, so N/A. I think of "God" more like the Great Spirit, but without divine intervention or "will". Similar to Einsteins thoughts on no purpose in nature.


    When I say I don't believe in true free will, here's an example I like to ponder:

    Person #1: a homeless girl, born in the slums of Mexico City, who begs on the street instead of going to school and therefore can't read or write.

    Person #2: an upper-middle class girl, born to college-educated parents in the USA.

    Now, a question for you: do these 2 girls have the same degree of "free will"? Are they equally likely to become: doctors, lawyers, prostitutes?


    Exactly, yet you apparently attribute some of these correlations to God's Will, or some sort of divine intervention/power.


    When you pray, how do you know it's not your own self-fulfilling prophecy at work, and not God?

    Krisnamurti says a fully-aware person doesn't pray for anything because they don't want anything. Thoughts?


    I'm sure all the variables you suggest and more affect my wife's decisions and my own decisions. Yet at the end of the day we are all responsible for our own actions and the consequences of those actions.


    Do you believe in divine intervention? Do you believe in a "personal relationship" with God?

    "God" is already in my life from a pantheist perspective as I am part of the greater essence as are you. But I don't view the Great Spirit as something I can have a conversation with.
     
  19. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    Personally, I wouldn't use that name lightly.
     
  20. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    Whereas I have proof that G!d can see and do things, so it is hard to believe what you say, over what Jesus said. Remember, he rebuked the wind and something or someone listened and responded. Do you think Jesus referred to God as Father, without reason?

    They certainly look real to me.
     

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