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Can Nature and God be the same thing?


Forums Forums Humanism Can Nature and God be the same thing?

Viewing 15 posts - 196 through 210 (of 219 total)
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  • #325905
    @lausten
    Keymaster

    What you keep ignoring is that God is all in your mind and perceptions sree – whereas Physical Reality simply IS. –cc

    I remember seeing someone saying that reality, scientifically verifiable reality, is everything that’s there even if you don’t believe in it. I thought that was a great way to communicate what “reality” means. Then I remember being jarred by someone saying God is there even if you don’t believe in Him. I don’t know who came up with this first, but it doesn’t really matter.

    What it demonstrates is there is a way of thinking, a way of relating to this thing that is too big for our little minds to comprehend. We have to come up with some analogy. If you know the math, you can show it that way, but those mathematicians will say that is a type of analogy, or you have to know it really well to visualize it.

    I know there are vast differences, but seems to me, theology and cosmology occupy a similar place in the brain. The switch to change from one to the other is somewhere else and I don’t think we have much of a clue about where that is.

    #325911
    @sree
    Participant

    @lausten

    I remember seeing someone saying that reality, scientifically verifiable reality, is everything that’s there even if you don’t believe in it. I thought that was a great way to communicate what “reality” means. Then I remember being jarred by someone saying God is there even if you don’t believe in Him. I don’t know who came up with this first, but it doesn’t really matter.

    You need to destroy every notion you have with regard to what “God” is. To know God is to not know what it is. The mind cannot go there because there is no “there”. Put simply, there is no God. This has nothing to do with atheism which is the childish stuff of effigy burning and stomping on the Bible. Life is a mystery only when you try to probe. The mind is meant for doing mundane things including making and watching a good movie.

    What it demonstrates is there is a way of thinking, a way of relating to this thing that is too big for our little minds to comprehend. We have to come up with some analogy. If you know the math, you can show it that way, but those mathematicians will say that is a type of analogy, or you have to know it really well to visualize it.

    Thinking is the way of the mind, the generator of analogies. This is the danger the First Commandment speaks to: “Don’t make images of me”. The urge to do so leads to idolatry of a false god: the mind.

    I know there are vast differences, but seems to me, theology and cosmology occupy a similar place in the brain. The switch to change from one to the other is somewhere else and I don’t think we have much of a clue about where that is.

    The mind; it’s all in the monkey mind, the dog chasing it’s own tail.

    #325912
    @write4u
    Participant

    sree said; This has nothing to do with atheism which is the childish stuff of effigy burning and stomping on the Bible.

    This is a perfect example of theistic duplicity!

    How dare you! You are the childish ,  arrogant ignoramus  stomping on logic and reason. It is theists who stomp on each other’s bibles and rituals. Religious wars have killed more people than wars for all other reasons.

    Atheists have no reason to stomp on bibles. Atheists appreciate mythology as part of the evolutionary process.  It is Theism that seeks to surpress knowledge and stomp on scientific literature. Witness the many scientists who were killed or incarcerated by theist rulers and the burning of scientific books.  Darwin didn’t publish his works until years after he finished, for fear of religious repercussions and rightly so. Religions are dangerous belief systems that give people the right to kill in the name of God.

     

    #325913
    @sree
    Participant

    @citizenschallengev3

    What you keep ignoring is that God is all in your mind and perceptions sree – whereas Physical Reality simply IS.

    You are quite right, in the way you phrased it. To me, everything (God, Nature or physical reality, as you call it) within the field of perception is in the mind. I know, “mind”, to you comes out of the brain; and to you, “physical reality or Nature” is not in the mind but something (the earth) you step on and (the mountain) you see.

    Emerson saw the essence of God in Nature. Sensitivity is the key. What you can’t feel doesn’t exist.

    #325916
    @sree
    Participant

    @write4u

    You are the childish , arrogant ignoramus stomping on logic and reason.

    Well, let’s stop being childish and have a conversation guided by logic and reason. Atheism has a broad and varied definition ranging from the denial of the existence of deities to the criticism of religion. How do you want to start?

    #325924
    @lausten
    Keymaster

    To know God is to not know what it is.

    https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=deepity

    How do you want to start?

    But you never start. The closest you’ve come to starting is sarcasm. If you want a conversation guided by reason, then simply be reasonable.

    #325993
    @sree
    Participant

    Deepity. Hmmm…I need to watch it. My meditations could be getting toxic.

    Thanks for the heads up.

    #325997
    @write4u
    Participant

    sree said; Well, let’s stop being childish and have a conversation guided by logic and reason. Atheism has a broad and varied definition ranging from the denial of the existence of deities to the criticism of religion. How do you want to start?

    Start? I’m finished with you. I won’t waste any more time on indulging your crank woo.   click.

    #326011
    @3point14rat
    Participant

    Lausten:  “I know there are vast differences, but seems to me, theology and cosmology occupy a similar place in the brain. The switch to change from one to the other is somewhere else and I don’t think we have much of a clue about where that is.”

    I like that. I believe the same thing but haven’t thought of it in quite that way.

    Seeing people believe two opposite things is getting more common in these unusual and uncomfortable times (Facebook is filled with rants against taxes and government interference, and for more government money and assistance… from the very same person!).

    The emotional switch that allows people to accept an idea is isolated from the idea itself. How else can smart people believe opposite things.

    #326081
    @write4u
    Participant

    Lausten:  “I know there are vast differences, but seems to me, theology and cosmology occupy a similar place in the brain. The switch to change from one to the other is somewhere else and I don’t think we have much of a clue about where that is.”

    3point14rat: “The emotional switch that allows people to accept an idea is isolated from the idea itself. How else can smart people believe opposite things.”

    The interesting this that the brain doesn’t know the difference. It only knows what it has been told or thinks it has seen. The brain only can make “best guesses” and when those guesses are confirmed by “agreement” with others, that then becomes reality.

    If your belief in god is confirmed and reinforced by others that becomes truth. If your belief in science is confirmed by verification that becomes truth.

    We generate reality as much from the inside out (expectation from memory), as from the outside in (confirmation of expectation or new information modifying expectation).

    Descartes’s Philosophy and its modern interpretation (Brain-in-a-vat Theory)

    Basic idea– here’s the sceptical hypothesis: “I think that I’m sitting by a warm fire, because I am a bodiless brain in a vat.  So I’m just a brain floating in a sort of gooey vat full of liquid, and I’m being fed perceptual experiences just like those of someone sitting by a warm fire”.

    Whenever the person sitting by the fire receives a perceptual input, electrical signals passing down nerves stimulate areas of that person’s brain. Then an input of a very similar kind is received by the brain in the vat. How it works for the person sitting by the fire is that light from the fire travels into the person’s eye. Then it’s encoded. There’s electrical signals at the retina, which those signals then pass through the optic nerve, stimulate the person’s brain.

    The brain in the vat– there’s no fire, there’s no eye, there’s no optic nerve. But there are wires attached to the brain the vat. And those same signals, exactly the same order, just the same kinds of things, stimulate just the same areas of the brain in the vat’s brain. So the brain in the vat is having all the same experiences that the person is. Everything that goes on in the one brain goes on in the other brain. And since the nature of experience only depends on what’s going on in the brain of the relevant thing, the experiences are just the same.

    Descartes’s Philosophy and its modern interpretation (Brain-in-a-vat Theory)

    #326094
    @lausten
    Keymaster

    Nice link Write4U. I’ve heard brief counter descriptions of thought experiments that work against the isolated brain idea, but I don’t know if I could do it justice. I’ll see what I can find. Basically, it would be a very strange system to feed me information about a 13.7 billion year old universe, and some person a hundred years ago who discovered that’s where we are, and billions of people who lived before that who didn’t know it.

    The bottom though, you can’t disprove it, I don’t have a response to that.

    #326102
    @3point14rat
    Participant

    The brain-in-a-vat idea makes sense when talking about physical senses and feelings.

    But what about the Christian who goes to church and prays and whole-heartedly believes in a god and honestly loves their fellow humans, but want’s private healthcare, is against immigration, protests abortion clinics, hates LGBTQ people, etc?

    There are people who literally have two entirely opposite belief systems operating in their brain.

    • “I love you but I don’t want my taxes to allow you to have life saving surgery.”
    • All humans are equal… but immigrants are bad. Why? They just are.”
    • “A fetus is a person!!! No I won’t help single mothers or pay for meals in schools for kids who don’t have lunches.”
    • “My country is fair because we all have the chance to make something of ourselves. What… you’re poor? Too bad you can’t afford university. Sucks to be you.”

    People who think like that are bloody everywhere!

    How does the brain-in-a-vat idea explain that type of thinking? I’m not saying it doesn’t, but I don’t see how it does.

    #326221
    @write4u
    Participant

    3point14rat said; How does the brain-in-a-vat idea explain that type of thinking? I’m not saying it doesn’t, but I don’t see how it does.

    I don’t think it could.

    The most important thing to remember is that the brain is an autonomous organ. We do not create thoughts in the brain, thoughts in the brain create us.

    The brain cannot think unless it receives information of some kind. Therefore all original thoughts by the brain come from the outside. Babies don’t think very much, they experience hunger and discomfort and are mostly absorbing information. It is marvellous to see babies’ brains discover things, like their hands and fingers. Once the brain has stored memories it begins to use those memories in comparison with additional information. I can begin to make “best guesses”, by putting things together mentally.  But all best guesses are dependent on memory and new information. Without a memory the brain may not even recognize what it thinks it sees or completely misinterpret what it thinks it sees.  Optical illusions are really false best guesses by the brain. In a sensory deprivation chamber the brain will begin to create illusionary guesses and eventually lose all connection with reality and become uncontrollably hallucinatory.

    Anil Seth demonstrates this.  We think that we know our “self”, but even that is a fragile construct of the brain. We do not create thoughts in the brain, thoughts by the brain create us!  This is really a kind of Eureka moment, the realization that the brain is an autonomous organ which controls us, not the other way around.

    The brain in a vat is totally dependent on outside source of information, just as we are totally dependent on our sensory information. Therefore, if the brain in a vat is not constantly fed information, it’ll be like being in a sensory deprivation chamber (the vat) and go mad. If it is fed religious information, it’ll accept that as true, until it receives contradictory information, and it can compare the logic and reason contained of both sides and make a new “best guess” of what it is experiencing.

    It takes a bit to accept this perspective, but once it becomes clear,  your entire (mental) outlook on life changes.

     

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by Write4U.
    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by Write4U.
    #326308
    @sree
    Participant

    Is the brain in the vat any different from the brain in the skull? Duh.

    #326351
    @3point14rat
    Participant

    This is interesting to think about.

    We are our brain and our bodies are a means for our brain to interact with it’s surroundings and survive by bringing in energy. Many other  living things simply exist as an algorithm of chemical reactions that result in an organism that either produces offspring or doesn’t. A small number of living things have a sense of awareness that causes them to do more than simply exist because they have emotions (however simple or complex).

    Humans have a very highly developed version of this emotional component to life, and yet we have remnants of the more basic brain functions that screws with it, causing us to make logical/rational errors.

    It would be nice if we figured out how to bypass those basic brain functions where they interfere with logic and rationality. Imagine not having to explain why helping others is better for everyone, including those who have the most to give… man, that would be so nice!

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