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Author Topic: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand  (Read 6648 times)

N80

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #140 on: February 27, 2017, 07:38:40 PM »

The BIG question is this, why does mankind do such evil?  The possible answers are: 1. There's something fundamentally wrong with mankind (that arguably needs fixing), or; 2. Mankind just dances to his DNA and what we do (whatever the banner it is under) is just the outworking of unguided evolutionary processes and nothing much to find odd.  If this is the case, then even talking about "good and evil" is pretty much irrelevant.

Yep.
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George

"What is truth?" Pontius  Pilate

Alan Klein

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #141 on: February 28, 2017, 12:12:59 AM »

At such time through duress, or pain, or fear of death, your ego is shattered and you lose faith in your self-sufficiency as the answer to all your problems, only then, will a true understanding and faith in a higher power become manifest.  It is our ego that blocks God who we are all connected with and with each other.  The OP got a sense of that which made him conclude that there is more.  It struck a humble chord so he felt beyond the science of the universe and into its more meaningful heart and spirit.  Science can do none of these things because it is hard and factual and provides no real nourishment.  But science can provide data that helps us live in the world.  Both are important and neither should negate the other.  We should be happy we have both.
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Farmer

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #142 on: February 28, 2017, 12:55:04 AM »

Which both, Alan?

You're good with Islam, since it's faith in God, I presume?  Or do you like a little added celebrity to your faith and favour Scientology?  Perhaps Hinduism is more your thing?  What about Judaism?  No, you're a Christian?  You're sure that's the right one, right?  If there's only both, you must be certain about what they are.
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Phil Brown

Alan Klein

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #143 on: February 28, 2017, 01:23:07 AM »

Which both, Alan?

You're good with Islam, since it's faith in God, I presume?  Or do you like a little added celebrity to your faith and favour Scientology?  Perhaps Hinduism is more your thing?  What about Judaism?  No, you're a Christian?  You're sure that's the right one, right?  If there's only both, you must be certain about what they are.

I was speaking of both science and religion when I said both, if that's what you mean "Which both, Alan." 

Beyond that, I would not judge another's belief.   That's why I said higher power.  Each person has to define his own understanding of God.
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Farmer

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #144 on: February 28, 2017, 02:06:42 AM »

But you can't all be right.  Two men say they're Jesus, one of the must be wrong, right?
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Phil Brown

Otto Phocus

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #145 on: February 28, 2017, 07:03:47 AM »

The BIG question is this, why does mankind do such evil?  The possible answers are: 1. There's something fundamentally wrong with mankind (that arguably needs fixing), or; 2. Mankind just dances to his DNA and what we do (whatever the banner it is under) is just the outworking of unguided evolutionary processes and nothing much to find odd.  If this is the case, then even talking about "good and evil" is pretty much irrelevant.

There should be a third answer.  People do evil things because doing them gives them a benefit. Or to be more precise, because they may perceive a benefit.

People rob banks because they want money.  They don't think about how robbing a bank may adversely affect the economy.

I believe that it is difficult (impossible?) for a person to commit an act that is evil unto themselves. There is always a self justification that makes the act acceptable to that individual.

This is why the term evil is usually used in the second or third person such as "She is evil" and "They are evil".  Seldom is the word used in the first person.   They may be evil, but we are just doing what needs to be done.

As it is used in the second/third person, the self justification can be challenged and is often done so in the context of culture and laws. Yes, a child  molester may be able to self justify their actions, but our society's culture and laws dictate that it not acceptable and society has a penalty... and the ability to enforce that penalty.

"Good" and "Evil" are subjective.  What may be evil to some may not be evil to others.  Who is right?  Well it depends on which group you identify with.  Good and Evil are not dichotomous. There are few blacks and whites but a lot of really dark and really light grey.

The extremes are always easy to define.

Raping and eating small children - Probably universally considered evil
Saving puppies from a fire - Probably universally considered good

But when you start moving further to the center of the good/evil spectrum, it can get a lot harder... and more subjective.

Are there other options other than Good and Evil?  Is there a Neutral?  Some would say yes and others would say no. Edmund Burke would probably say no. Karl Popper would probably say yes.

Could there be a fourth?

People way smarter than any of us here have been struggling with for many many years.
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RSL

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #146 on: February 28, 2017, 10:20:45 AM »

Come on you guys. Quit it. I've gotta stop laughing and get up off the floor. All of this is thoroughly hashed out in any Philosophy 101 class. You're taking me back to 1948 at University of Michigan. Ah! Young again!

Otto Phocus

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #147 on: February 28, 2017, 10:33:16 AM »

Come on you guys. Quit it. I've gotta stop laughing and get up off the floor. All of this is thoroughly hashed out in any Philosophy 101 class. You're taking me back to 1948 at University of Michigan. Ah! Young again!

Is this supposed to add anything positive to the discussion?
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N80

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #148 on: February 28, 2017, 02:37:05 PM »

Is this supposed to add anything positive to the discussion?

In a thread full of contention and negativity I think it has added something positive at least in its levity.
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George

"What is truth?" Pontius  Pilate

Ray

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #149 on: February 28, 2017, 06:31:07 PM »

As I understand, many species of female spider will eat the male spider after copulation, because the males are smaller, have served their purpose, and are seen as a good feeding opportunity not to be missed.

Sometimes the urge to eat the male is so strong, among the more aggressive female spiders, that they will eat the male even before sexual intercourse has taken place.  ;D

I guess those female spiders must be really 'evil'.  ;)

Or maybe they are just dancing to the tune of their own DNA.  ;)
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Rob C

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #150 on: March 01, 2017, 05:09:16 AM »

Who'd be a fucking spider! (?)

Ray

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #151 on: March 01, 2017, 05:55:00 AM »

Who'd be a fucking spider! (?)

Do you get a choice to be who you are? That's an interesting concept. How does that work?  ;)
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Rob C

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #152 on: March 01, 2017, 10:02:50 AM »

Do you get a choice to be who you are? That's an interesting concept. How does that work?  ;)


I think you get a choice to follow this path or the other one. That makes your future. How independently such a choice is ever made is another question - probably even that is largely predestined, or not. Saul Leiter came from a family where Pop was a rabbi and he was expected to follow in the shadows of. He shared no such illusion and left home in Pittsburgh for NY and the hope of becoming a painter. He became both painter and photographer, the latter courtesy artist friends who at various times lent him cameras that led to enthusing him with the medium... I came from a largely engineering background and hated everything about it except that it offered to keep me out of the armed forces until the end of my apprenticeship. By the end of the fourth year of which, fortunately, the government decided to stop faking the unemployment figures any more and cancelled conscription... maybe keeping reluctant soldiers going was more expensive and socially counterproductive than they'd imagined it would be.

Perhaps if I'd opted for doing the two years in the forces rather than risking five in engineering I'd have been sent out to be killed by the Mau Mau in Kenya, some illiterate religious zealot in Ireland or madman in Cyprus. Who knows? For what it's worth, I did what I did and now I find myself here.

Yeah, maybe it works by predestination. I've felt a lot of that in my life.

Rob

Ray

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #153 on: March 01, 2017, 08:23:31 PM »

I think you get a choice to follow this path or the other one. That makes your future. How independently such a choice is ever made is another question - probably even that is largely predestined, or not.

Rob,
It's reasonable to presume that all creatures have at least some degree of choice with regard to a particular path or direction to follow. It has been observed that even male spiders sometimes employ a strategy to avoid being eaten after copulation. After locating the female spider, they will sometimes wait in the background patiently until they see the female catch a prey, such as a fly or other insect. The male spider will then quickly approach the female and mate with her whilst she's still in the process of eating her newly acquired prey, then he'll get out of the way as quickly as possible after the mating is complete.  ;D

Of course, we all like to think we have many more choices and options of paths to follow, than other creatures do, but often such choices are significantly influenced by deep-seated conditioning in our subconscious, which we are not aware of.

Anyway the point I was addressing, in response to your question, 'Who would be a spider?', is even more profound. We don't appear to have any choice regarding what circumstances we are born into, whether as a male or female with a high IQ or low IQ, whether genetically deformed in some way or just normal, whether into a rich family or poor family, a Muslim family, a Christian family or an Atheist family, or in a developed country as opposed to a poverty-stricken undeveloped country.

We certainly don't appear to have a choice whether to be born as a spider, or a cockroach or a kangaroo, although the religion of Buddhism, with its concept of Rebirth, teaches that our actions in this life will determine the quality of our future lives.

If your circumstances are lousy in this life, behave well, with compassion and kindness, and you will be reborn into better circumstances next time around. Behave badly, killing and destroying and promoting hatred, then you will likely be reborn as a cockroach, although there is still no option offered in Buddhism to choose which lower life-form one would prefer.  ;)

In general, I have no objection to any religion that promotes harmony and cooperation among individuals, societies and nations. The animal instincts within humans are the cause of all the conflicts, wars and power struggles. Religion at its best attempts to overcome or transcend such animal instincts.

However, sometimes the priests and teachers of such religions clearly fail, and the religion seems to fall into the trap of promoting the very animal instincts it is supposed to transcend, as in the case of armies in the past, fighting and killing under the banner of Christianity, with the aim of promoting or defending Christianity, a religion which espouses the major principle that one should 'love thine enemy' (not kill him).

Thus endeth Philosophy lesson 101.  ;)
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Alan Klein

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #154 on: March 02, 2017, 12:51:46 AM »

...In general, I have no objection to any religion that promotes harmony and cooperation among individuals, societies and nations. The animal instincts within humans are the cause of all the conflicts, wars and power struggles. Religion at its best attempts to overcome or transcend such animal instincts...



  It is said that while God pretty much preordains everything about our lives, He leaves moral decisions up to us.  It is there that we are different from the other animals. 
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kikashi

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #155 on: March 02, 2017, 04:13:20 AM »

  It is said that while God pretty much preordains everything about our lives, He leaves moral decisions up to us.  It is there that we are different from the other animals.

Lots of things are said. Some make more sense than others.

Jeremy
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Alan Klein

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #156 on: March 02, 2017, 10:46:17 AM »


That misses any mark: if one could prove the existence of God, faith would be fulfilled. One could then continue following said faith but with certainty.

Rob

It would be a no brainer to have faith and know God exists if we were punished every time we did something wrong and rewarded every time we did something right.  But we know that's not what happens.  Some of the nicest people suffer and some of the vilest people always seem to get their way.  It's like God wants us to be His servant out of humility,  not because He's a genie.  Rub the lamp, and you'll get your wish.  That's what idol worship is all about.  And science can become an idol too.  And He never directly forces us to do anything. We have to come to Him willingly.  We obey God and are humble to Him because we want too, not because of some tangible reward.   Doing His will provides purpose to life because everything else we do eventually withers and dies.  Faith is fulfilled in the doing, not in the knowledge.
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Rob C

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #157 on: March 02, 2017, 10:51:19 AM »

Lots of things are said. Some make more sense than others.

Jeremy


Yeah, and who tuned inside a dog's head and listened?

A little story regarding our late Alsabrador. My wife was on the neighbour's terrace having a drink and the pooch had gone with her. The dog was lying on the tiles at my wfe's feet, panting in the sunshine. Seeing the dog's distress, she said Dina, go inside into the shade! The dog looked at her, got up and did exactly that. The neighbour told that tale for years.

My wife was one of those impulsive women who suddenly get the urge to go into the kitchen and run up a quick scone or doughring to enjoy with some tea. Our dog loved doughrings, and was always given one when they were made. Now and again my wfe would whisper acroos to me asking if I'd like some, and that dog was up on its feet before she had finished speaking!

I don't know either.

Rob

Alan Klein

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #158 on: March 02, 2017, 12:05:37 PM »

Nice story Rob.  My dog understood English too. Well, at least the parts he wanted to understand.  :)
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N80

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #159 on: March 02, 2017, 06:36:22 PM »

Alan wrote:

Quote
It is said that while God pretty much preordains everything about our lives, He leaves moral decisions up to us.  It is there that we are different from the other animals.

Jeremy responded:

Lots of things are said. Some make more sense than others.

I think this makes a lot of sense regardless of which side of the transcendental isle you sit on. Christians struggle with a concept of an all-powerful creator who set all this into motion and controls it all the while allowing for us to make decisions on our own. Does the fact that He knows the whole story from beginning to end diminish the role our individual will plays? That's difficult stuff.

But it cuts both ways. Many scientists and philosophers who take God out of the equation believe in determinism. The big bang happened and everything else that followed was always going to happen just as it has and continues to. There is a lot to be said for this idea. It is hard to refute. So the very same question arises. If Hawking's universe created itself and set things on a deterministic path, then what role does our free will play? Do we have free will? Do we have responsibility for our actions or are they just the result of a series of events that was always going to unfold the way they have?

So yes, this does make sense with or without God. It may be the one universal angst that the religious share with the a-religious.

And isn't it nice to have something in common? :D
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George

"What is truth?" Pontius  Pilate
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