Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by _Z_, Feb 25, 2008.
By my count you are a woman. That's a good thing.
Even if such things do happen, which i am sure they do, it does not mean there is a God. Using God to explain that which you can not otherwise explain does not prove God exists.
is evolution universal?
The conversation humanity is having with itself, is evolving, as is everything else. Existence is not stationary, it’s always changing…. It’s obvious to me that at the very least a small part of the whole of existence is conscious, self aware, alive…. How this is possible and why this is I have no absolute answer. But surely if there is a God, as humans understand that entity to be, then all is as it should be and we will eventually understand the meaning behind the mysteries of existence… if it is our destination to know these things.
In the meantime, as we await our enlightenment we should do all that we can to ensure this worlds continued existence and that means letting go of our homemade doomsday imagining’s that may very well cause our own extinction…
The human conversation may not be heard by God or even escape this local region in space, but, it is up to all of us to ensure that our conversation is heard by, at the very least, our descendants in the far distant future….
Agreed. You don't often get a chance to see a good ad hoc argument anymore
As an aside, I was just wondering, if according to the most general application of evolution theory desirable traits, qualities and even species are eventually let go in favor of more desirable ones will the human race itself make the cut?
I think we impose them if we insist on using them. At the very least, we buy into the system. Of course, we use words to communicate, but what I'm getting at is this whole victimization thing going on by externalizing everything in which we partake but simultaneously loathe. I don't like the labels, so I avoid them when possible, and point out their limitations. People choose to label each other. No one is forcing us to do so.
I see the problem, and I do think it is important. But I see a deeper problem underneath it, and I think if we just get rid of the window-dressing we will not fix it.
I agree religious doctrine is problematic. But I don't think doctrine has much to do with God or with spirituality. So I don't conflate the two. Spiritual awakening, an awakening of the consciousness, is a very different process with different outcomes from religious conversion.
I can question it, and I do. Cultural pressure or not, no one has a gun to my head (thank goodness). I've called Bush a liar for years. Now, I don't know if he believes in God or not. But I can definitively say his actions don't show the fruit of the Spirit his purported God says is the result of salvation. (Belief does not equal salvation/enlightenment/goodness/whatever. Even in Christianity, the demons are said to believe in God.) I dislike being a victim. Instead of blaming it all on "the system" (religious, political, economic), I study the system and then I break free from its chains.
The problem is not that we have thoughts (i.e., religious doctrine). The problem is that we attach our identity, our sense of self, to those thoughts. So then we fear others who disagree with us. The thoughts, by themselves, have no power. On the other hand, any label, any group... any thoughts that become a person's identity have the capacity to be used for fear, control, hatred. Look at communism- there is a system that did away with religion, yet retained the underlying problem. The problem is identity formed by association with "isms."
That is not true. Some people find empowerment and happiness, and leave behind fear and hatred, by finding the underlying meaning in those books. That other people do not is not because of the book necessarily (though I do think the meanings are often distorted by institutions), it is because those people are not willing to let go of their sense of identity that is grounded in the book. They are still grounded in labels, in exclusivity, in "me" and "I."
There have been people of all religions who have broken free from the problematic use of religion, and yet retained their sense of tradition in their own lives. Yes, religion, is used by some people as a method to control others. But it can only do so if people agree to be controlled.
This is heartening. I feel much better once I know someone's background, and that it is a broad one, no matter what the topic. I respect your beliefs, though I disagree on certain points. You're putting the work in, and I always respect that!
[/quote]But these societies are gone. Long gone. They are not representative of today's religions. [/quote]
The societies are gone (mostly, not all), but the capacity for people to re-invent religion as it used to work is not. The rapid growth of Pagans, earth-centered religions, and so forth indicates a re-inventing, a rediscovery of religion as a path toward community (both among humans and with Nature). I think there is value on looking at our entire history, not just history since state-based society, and evaluate where we are at now. What improved? What didn't? What can we learn from those folks before agriculture?
We have evolved to be hunter-gatherers living in small groups. While society has morphed into something quite different, our brains and bodies are still "stuck" in hunter-gatherer mode. I think we can learn a lot about solutions for current crises by realizing we are not geared psychologically or biologically for the types of societies we now have. If we can reassess and thoughtfully bring in what is more healthy for us, merging the two, we could do a lot of good. (And this is not just in the way of religion and social relationships, but also stuff like nutrition and exercise.)
Modern Western science tends to treat everything piecemeal. We look at the religion box and what is wrong with it. Then the economic box. We notice the medical problem box, and then the political box. But it's all interrelated processes. Increasing people's capacity to think for themselves, to be aware, to get creative... is tied to things as simple as getting more exercise outdoors and things as complex as overcoming separatism in religion. To fix it all scientifically is nigh impossible (which is why there are already lots of great solutions and discussions in scientific journals but little action). And indeed, science is but one more tool that can be used to continue the dysfunction of people. In fact, I put forth that science and technology makes in possible for even greater scopes of dysfunction than ever before. You might have had the problem of religion being misused during the Crusades, but science hadn't come along and gifted everyone with nuclear weapons yet. In the hands of dysfunctional, fearful, ego-driven people, science is but one more way to imprison others.
I think the hope is to find ways to change people's consciousness- to redirect emotion and spiritual drive toward goodness, beauty, wonder, unity.
OK, why is it still present in non-religious societies (i.e., Communist ones)?
I agree they are jailed. But not only in false reasoning. They are jailed in fear. Generally, reasoning does not lessen fear. In fact, the way the brain works means that people have to not be in fear in order to learn and reason. Fear activates a very animalistic response- a flight or fight instinct that cuts off our capacity for higher-level thinking.
The solution is that first, we must eliminate fear. People must feel safe to learn, to reason.
I disagree. Before we even have the capacity to understand religion, we are taught things that already are attacks on our freedom. We dress our baby in pink or blue and teach "you are a boy, those other humans are girls." We teach our baby that she is "child" and we are "parent." We teach, "these are your toys," and that child learns that somehow, her identity is wrapped up with objects. In the States, far more people learn consumerism before they learn religion. That kid may go to some nursery at church on Sunday, one hour a week (but I've worked in church nurseries, and the young ones mostly just color and play). But most of those kids are plopped down in front of the TV to watch advertising for several hours a day. By the time the kid even hears much of doctrine, they've already been indoctrinated into capitalism, patriotism (take a good long look at some commercials and shows), classism, sexism, racism... All those prisons. All those labels. The kid is not himself. He is a boy, a white person, etc.
And yes, it is all lies. But you can see, religion is only one bit of it all. In the US and much of Europe, it's not even a big bit. Yeah, the US claims to be mostly Christian, but not that many people actually attend a church regularly. We just hear more about the fundamentalists because they get higher ratings. Which is just one more way to reify categorical differences between people, divide them... and conquer.
I have more hope than this. But then, I do not equate religion with spirituality. I think it has nothing to do with groups. I think we need to break free from groups all together and work on individual awareness. From that awareness would arise a momentum that shifts our cultural paradigm. I figure if I work toward this and share it with others, the worst that could happen is that a few more folks become creative thinkers and happy.
As for groups, anyone starting one? I mean, truly, a group that is just for unity and equality and has NO "isms" and is accepting of everyone? I'd join.
true yet in terms of invention or artistic inspiration there is an element that seams to come from nowhere. the main thing is to try it yourself, ask any question and you will get an answer. as i think i mentioned a while back; i remember a radio interview where paul mcartney said he woke up and had the lyrics for ‘yesterday’ already in his head y’know!
i work with this ‘force’ all the time, that is why i am so sure. there is something universal about thought ~ if not then there is nothing at all! in other words its all material, which is highly questionable even to my atheist side.
i must agree with juantoo3, i watch my dog jump up by the window regularly to see my wife come back from school or shop, and she says he does it for me and the children. he must know in some way that we are on our way back from somewhere, there is no other explanation.
let us start at point 1; it means there is something else going on that we cannot explain with science [traditional/as it is]! now just follow the piper to universality of mind and perhaps on to god.
That is a sublime way of putting it.
There are already calls for the reclassification of contemporary man as a new species. Certainly as we hit the industrial revolution and simultaneous advances in all the sciences we stopped being what we were before then. But it is the information revolution that I think will really change us. I just hope, and in my own meagre way work toward it being a good change, a true advance.
Sorry but you will have to wait for a response to that post... You are going to force me to learn to type properly aint you!!
There are some very soundly conducted experiments that confirm humans and many animals have what we call ESP. But how this works can still be reasonably guessed at without calling on a God to act as the messenger. Science knows that time and space are weird and not at all in reality how we perceive them on a day to day level. Quantum mechanics shows us we can influence the state of something just by observing it. No God required for any of the theories that explain these phenomena. The piper disappeared off with all the children if I recall the fable correctly.... so no thank you, I feel it better for me to stay grounded in what I have at least some good evidence to support.
I think that a croc. Wouldn't that imply that if we were to take a fertilized egg from 50-100 years ago, and implant it today and raise it that it would be markedly different, couldn't keep up with today's technology? I don't buy it. I know you ain't sellin, but I ain't buyin!
plenty of industry in ancient rome and greece, for example alexander built a factory just to produce pipes to collect water for alexandria [egypt], perhaps the main difference is that they used to build what they needed then stop.
however i agree that the info rev is the main change along with a national health service.
perhaps future tech will give us organic brain implants or extra parts to the brain, that we have the net and mobile phones built in? although i would hate that.
given enough time we will become another species to some degree i feel.
Good stuff Juan!
I feel it too. That sense that something is connecting everything in a way that I can't quite put my finger on. I have those aha! moments. I live for those moments! What you see is me flogging about at the very edge of my ability to put things into words. I want to make that effort. I want to keep pushing into the unknown, keep pushing myself out beyond the easy, stock definitions. I don't mind calling that "thing" that we're trying to explain God. I just don't want to limit it. I want to try to understand what It is of itself, not form it in my own image or make it a fuzzy blanket. There are so many possibilities beyond our little minds and our little world. I want to embrace and explore all of those possibilities.
CCS- I couldn't say it better myself. I'm reading Eckhart Tolle right now and it is very affirming to a lot of that "pushing into the unknown" I've been increasingly doing over the years. The difficulty is always trying to communicate with people online. On the one hand, it's wonderful. On the other, it's really hard because you reduce the ineffable into words.
Tao- sorry about the typing, man. At least you are strengthening your office skills!
And personally, I don't buy classifying us as a new species. I think if a species is able (and typically would) mate with others of the same group, it ain't a new species yet. My guess is that if you plunked a babe from 2000 years ago in front of some single guy now, they'd have no problem generating offspring.
Oh, stop it! I got lucky. Nobody puts them self out there like you, my friend. You're so friggin' close to the bone it's frightening. I'm not worthy!
Granted. However, because one chooses to view the matter without G-d doesn't mean G-d doesn't exist either.
We are still at a catch-22. You direct your view by the circumstantial evidences that sway you, and I direct my view by the circumstantial evidences that sway me. I love you no less as a brother because of your view.
Why should we? We are diseased, we are weak, we coddle our infirm...and we kill our young before they are born. Doesn't look too promising to me, evolutionarily speaking.
Just as an experiment...If we take everything we know, from various sources which seem legitimate, combined with our own experiences, about God, we could make a kind of logical flow chart about it's attributes. "It's this, but it can't be this because of this over here", kinda thing. I propose that a close examination of the results would reveal much about what we're trying so hard to describe. Of course the temptation would be to construct a composite, consensus God. But that would negate the value of the cultural nuances in the source material. So I think we have to balance our urge to create whole systems against our desire preserve original context.
Gosh! Just goes to show even a blind pig can find a truffle now and then...
I can see the title of the book now, "G-d by corporate consensus."
Neat idea. I think the first severe challenge will be determining just which sources are to be deemed legitimate, and by what standards...
He called me a blind pig. Did you see that?
The nerve of some people.
Separate names with a comma.