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#848934 - 04/08/05 03:37 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Moonbat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 265
Loc: Bristol, England
 Quote:

Do you have any incentive to be good for goodness's sake, and if you do, why?
Incentive, as in reward? There seems to be a contradiction in the question, if there is incentive then surely it is no longer good for sake of goodness.

Presumably an ethical atheist is truly someone who is "good for the sake of goodness". A Theist may be good for the sake of God, or good for the sake of their own afterlife, atheists have no such motivation.
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Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

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#848935 - 04/08/05 03:58 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Moonbat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 265
Loc: Bristol, England
 Quote:

Whats the point of living if you're an atheist? I just dont see any. Nothing matters. That's an honest question.
What is the point of art? What is the point of music?

I find myself in a world astonishing beyond all description, i am a small aware piece of the universe, 24 years ago my eyes opened and in a few decades they will close again, but for the tiny sliver of time that they are open i get to experience and try to understand reality, that is its own reward.

You ask what is the point, what is my function, what is my purpose? I reject the validity of the question: I do not require a cosmic function, art transcends simple ideas of function and life is art.
_________________________
Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

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#848936 - 04/08/05 04:42 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 6162
You're all wrong![/b]

Being an atheist, a theist, or a deist does not give your life any meaning or any purpose.

The only true meaning of life is THE FORCE.
The only valid purpose of life is THE FORCE.

If you do not live by THE FORCE, your life is pointless.

Let us chant unto each other:

May THE FORCE be with you.[/b]
_________________________
www.PianoRecital.org -- my piano recordings

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#848937 - 04/08/05 04:52 AM Re: Let Us Pray
JBryan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
 Quote:
Originally posted by Siddhartha:
 Quote:
Originally posted by JBryan:

Now, go back and read what I quoted from you above and tell me which part is not "belittling" or "condescending". Call it a homework assignment if you wish. \:\) [/b]
Yes, I was being condescending and belittling. Never did I deny that. My post (if you read it, your homework) was telling Larry it comes from both sides, not just the one.

And since you couldnt even figure that out, I'm afraid you require me to continue the belittling your intelligence.

And I dont know what this "take yourself too seriously" thing is about. You keep coming back to that. Its just rhetoric you throw in that means nothing to this thread. You dont seem to be interested in discussion, you seem interested in opening your mouth and trying to score insult points. I have yet to see you post to this thread anything that offers an idea rather than just siding with someone or trying to put down "one of them".

grow up. [/b]
An interesting tirade from one who calls himself "Siddhartha". You need look no farther than this for a clue to my "taking yourself too seriously" comment.

Just some more "empty rhetoric" from my feeble intellect. \:\)
_________________________
Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness.

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#848938 - 04/08/05 06:01 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
Maybe I did misunderstand then. But if you feel that man has this limited capacity to understand, you're still asserting that you had the ability to break free of that limitation, whereas Jeffrey hasnt/cant. Correct? Arent those just different words to say the same thing?[/b]

No, that's not it, and no it's not just different wording to say the same thing. The fact that I don't have any more (or any less, which is an important point to things) capacity to understand is the whole point. It's not that I have a greater capacity to understand, it's that I acknowledge man's limited capacity, and Jeffrey doesn't. He thinks man can figure out the answer to everything, that science and man's mind is all that's needed, and if it doesn't pass this test it can't possibly be real - a far more arrogant point of view than admitting that man, and science, has limited capacity to prove, understand, or explain every single thing and opening my mind to the possibility that something beyond man's or science's understanding might exist.
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#848939 - 04/08/05 06:24 AM Re: Let Us Pray
mikhailoh Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 4288
Loc: Cincinnati
In agreement with Larry's point, all you have to think about is what we 'knew' 100, 200 or 500 years ago, versus what we 'know' today. How much of what we have 'scientifically' proven today will turn out to be plain old false, grossly misinterpreted or only the small, small tip of the iceberg?

The one thing that has been consistent about man and his viewpoint is hubris, to be convinced that he is the pinnacle of creation.
_________________________
Michael

====

He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'

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#848940 - 04/08/05 06:26 AM Re: Let Us Pray
kathyk Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 6971
Loc: Maine
 Quote:
Originally posted by yhabpo:
 Quote:
posing as a Muslim
Keep your stereotypes at bay, Kathy. Don't brand me as a Muslim only because I don't agree with your ultra-feminist views.

 Quote:
branding some of us "infidels."
Infidels of logical thought.

 Quote:
one big infidel
Quite untrue. I would have to disbelieve what is true, thus I am not. [/b]
Cop out. You have clearly given the impression that you come from an Islamic background. Please, don't make me go digging through your old posts. If you are, that's fine. I actually have appreciated your perspectives on this forum (if not your ascerbic tongue). If you're not, then excuse me for my "stereo-typing." I didn't intend to come across as derisive and apologize if I did.

As to me being ultra-feminist: now who's stereo-typing?

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#848941 - 04/08/05 06:44 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2693
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
 Quote:
Originally posted by apple*:
it is very easy to logically defend atheism. Spirituality is 'on another plain' so to speak.

I've a question for atheists.

Do you have any incentive to be good for goodness's sake, and if you do, why? [/b]
I'm not an aetheist (far from it), but I see the whole Hell thing a little differently. You see fear is one of the lowest of human emotions. If your only reason for being good is because you fear the devil you aren't really committed to being good. You're avoiding the bad. Have you ever read any near death experiences? Most of the ones I've read have a life review, where you relive your life, but you feel the effect of your thoughts, words and deeds on everyone whose life you touched. There is no judgment, just the experience, there is no Hell, no Devil, no river Styx. Here's a near death experience that's quite incredible, check it out.

http://www.near-death.com/experiences/reincarnation04.html

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#848942 - 04/08/05 06:44 AM Re: Let Us Pray
markjpcs Offline


Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 3170
Loc: Wisconsin
 Quote:
Originally posted by apple*:
Do you help people altruistically? [/b]
Why should I?
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#848943 - 04/08/05 06:55 AM Re: Let Us Pray
JBryan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
 Quote:
Originally posted by Larry:
Maybe I did misunderstand then. But if you feel that man has this limited capacity to understand, you're still asserting that you had the ability to break free of that limitation, whereas Jeffrey hasnt/cant. Correct? Arent those just different words to say the same thing?[/b]

No, that's not it, and no it's not just different wording to say the same thing. The fact that I don't have any more (or any less, which is an important point to things) capacity to understand is the whole point. It's not that I have a greater capacity to understand, it's that I acknowledge man's limited capacity, and Jeffrey doesn't. He thinks man can figure out the answer to everything, that science and man's mind is all that's needed, and if it doesn't pass this test it can't possibly be real - a far more arrogant point of view than admitting that man, and science, has limited capacity to prove, understand, or explain every single thing and opening my mind to the possibility that something beyond man's or science's understanding might exist. [/b]
Science is a wonderful tool but becomes a vehicle for self-delusion when it is accepted as a proxy for that which it is most useful in investigating. That is, reality.
_________________________
Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness.

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#848944 - 04/08/05 07:00 AM Re: Let Us Pray
justme Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 4418
Loc: Englewood, FL
IMHO people can be good for the sake of goodness. I have very close friends who are atheists but are probably more ethical and moral than many Believers. We've had countless arguments about God. They feel for me because they think I'm being duped. I feel for them because I feel they are missing out or for any bad experiences they may have had. Bottom line is we accept each other for who we are. They don't set out to change me and I don't try and save them. They're adults and they're not stupid.

Goodness is innate IMHO.
_________________________
justme

http://toosad4words.blogspot.com/

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#848945 - 04/08/05 07:00 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Moonbat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 265
Loc: Bristol, England
 Quote:

It's not that I have a greater capacity to understand, it's that I acknowledge man's limited capacity, and Jeffrey doesn't. He thinks man can figure out the answer to everything, that science and man's mind is all that's needed, and if it doesn't pass this test it can't possibly be real - a far more arrogant point of view than admitting that man, and science, has limited capacity to prove, understand, or explain every single thing and opening my mind to the possibility that something beyond man's or science's understanding might exist.
Ironically every aspect of science acknowledges man's limitations, the scientific method itself is designed around them. It's success is because of it's error correcting machinery.

Infact science can overcome even our conceptual limitations because it has access to an abstract language that is not bound by them: mathematics.

We may or may not be able to model every aspect of the universe, but the only chance we have at truth is squandered if we turn our backs on reason.
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Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

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#848946 - 04/08/05 07:09 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Moonbat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 265
Loc: Bristol, England
 Quote:

Goodness is innate IMHO.
Ah you've hit upon something there, we all like to interpret our actions in light of our views, a monotheist may believe that he is not killing others because he is adhering to his concept of God, the same is true for many other rationals for ethics. I justify my ethics through utilitarian principles, but really at a fundamental level these explanations cannot be the truth, because at our core we all have similar ideas, how can it be that numerous cultures with completely different theoretical concepts have very similar core ethics? Clearly something else is going on. At some level core-ethics or atleast the propensity to follow core ethics is hardwired.

If you look at our behaviour in an objective light you can provide explanations in terms of social and biological evolution, ethics exist because it benefits us to live in society. Our nature has evolved to include ethics because doing so benefits us. (One can interpret that inlight of a God guiding evolution if one wishes).
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Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

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#848947 - 04/08/05 07:17 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by JBryan:
Just some more "empty rhetoric" from my feeble intellect. \:\) [/b]
At least your clear on that point.
_________________________
I was born the year Glenn Gould stop playing concerts. Coincidence?

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#848948 - 04/08/05 07:21 AM Re: Let Us Pray
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
you're ;\)
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, ├Ľun (apple in Estonian)

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#848949 - 04/08/05 07:22 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by Larry:
He thinks man can figure out the answer to everything, that science and man's mind is all that's needed, and if it doesn't pass this test it can't possibly be real - a far more arrogant point of view than admitting that man, and science, has limited capacity to prove, understand, or explain every single thing and opening my mind to the possibility that something beyond man's or science's understanding might exist. [/b]
That's not at all what I get from Jeffrey. I think he very clearly understands man's limited capacity and accepts that we dont comprehend everything. Thats a very basic tenat of all science. My impression is that his objection is in believing in made up fairy tales in lieu of a true understanding. But I dont presume to speak for him. But I think you're projecting attitudes onto him that arent there.
_________________________
I was born the year Glenn Gould stop playing concerts. Coincidence?

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#848950 - 04/08/05 07:25 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
We may or may not be able to model every aspect of the universe, but the only chance we have at truth is squandered if we turn our backs on reason.[/b]

Where do you get the idea that understanding and accepting the limitations of man and science is turning one's back on reason? Hardly so - it is in fact turning one's back on reason to refuse to accept the obvious, which is that the further science and man goes, the more one realizes just how little is actually known.

Evolution, for example. I readily accept the fact that all things adapt and change - "evolve" if you like that word. I do *not* accept the extremes of evolutional thought however, that says man used to be a monkey, which used to be a fish, which used to be a virus. *Reason* says it isn't possible, and science has yet to prove it. Take your feet for example.... if we evolved from something else in a process of survival of the fittest, each "version" of man improving over eons - why do you need shoes?

*Reason* is a word that can be used like a double edged sword. An atheist might say a person who believes in a higher power isn't using reason and is therefore a simple minded fool. The person who believes in a higher power can also make the case that the atheist has tossed reason out the window, because reason won't square with the science they view as the end of the discussion. Ultimately, *both* views come down to faith, both views constitute religion, and reason can be used for and against both views.
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#848951 - 04/08/05 07:28 AM Re: Let Us Pray
kluurs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 3739
Loc: Chicago
Ever think about why we listen to music - pretty senseless if one thinks about it. Sounds of different frequencies that cause pleasurable feelings?

Uh huh...what if a friend says that music is a waste of time?

You explain that music has the ability to make you feel really good - a really special place - that you value music and it is an important part of your life. You say that it uplifts you and that you feel that your enjoyment of music is a gift - one you appreciate.

The other person says you're getting high and mighty with him - that you're condescending and preachie about music. They think you're putting on "airs" - trying to sound sophisticated and above them.

When she met me, my "ex-wife" thought it was wonderful that I liked classical music - because in her mind that was a "classy" thing. She liked the concept better than the reality. She actually hated classical music and hated more that I spent time with it - that it was a part of my life and not hers.

God (or fate or whatever) has given each of us different gifts - love of music, a heightened sense of curiosity, a greater propensity for spirtuality - or sometimes different flavors of spirtuality.

When any of us speak of those things that are closest to us - our "gifts" or "blessings" - it can be easy for others to feel looked down upon.

I rarely think this is the case.

I think in most instances this is just someone being grateful for the "gift" or "blessing" of music, of feeling a sense of grace or sense of wonder. I think those who have something they feel special in their life - wish that others could have the same joy that they do.

Am I "better than you" if I really love music? Of course not...but I still feel "blessed" or having a gift that someone else may not have. I would not look down on someone for not feeling as I do towards music. If anything, it makes me feel more grateful that I do have a love of music.

K

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#848952 - 04/08/05 07:28 AM Re: Let Us Pray
kluurs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 3739
Loc: Chicago
sorry for double post

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#848953 - 04/08/05 07:31 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
My impression is that his objection is in believing in made up fairy tales in lieu of a true understanding. But I dont presume to speak for him. But I think you're projecting attitudes onto him that arent there.[/b]

But for him to dismiss God as nothing but a made up fairy tale is *Jeffrey* showing a lack of capacity to understand, and is arrogance on *his* part. That is my whole point. We're right back to where we started.
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#848954 - 04/08/05 07:32 AM Re: Let Us Pray
justme Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 4418
Loc: Englewood, FL
 Quote:
Originally posted by kluurs:
sorry for double post [/b]
it was a good post.
_________________________
justme

http://toosad4words.blogspot.com/

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#848955 - 04/08/05 07:47 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Moonbat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 265
Loc: Bristol, England
 Quote:

Where do you get the idea that understanding and accepting the limitations of man and science is turning one's back on reason? Hardly so - it is in fact turning one's back on reason to refuse to accept the obvious, which is that the further science and man goes, the more one realizes just how little is actually known.
Oh i don't, i mean i accept the limitations of man, and the possible limitations of science but i do not think that provides justification for accepting religious ideas.

 Quote:

Evolution, for example. I readily accept the fact that all things adapt and change - "evolve" if you like that word. I do *not* accept the extremes of evolutional thought however, that says man used to be a monkey, which used to be a fish, which used to be a virus. *Reason* says it isn't possible, and science has yet to prove it. Take your feet for example.... if we evolved from something else in a process of survival of the fittest, each "version" of man improving over eons - why do you need shoes?
You see my friend this demonstrates your lack of understanding of evolutionary theory and the supporting evidence rather than any problem with it.

Reason in terms of providing a rational argument is entirely behind evolution. Infact evolution is _logically inevitable_ given the properties of DNA, the enormous evidence is simply the icing on the cake.

Why do i need shoes? Well, I don't, but having used them for 20 odd years it would take a while to get used to not wearing them. And my feet would get dirty which isn't exactly socially acceptable these days.

 Quote:

*Reason* is a word that can be used like a double edged sword. An atheist might say a person who believes in a higher power isn't using reason and is therefore a simple minded fool. The person who believes in a higher power can also make the case that the atheist has tossed reason out the window, because reason won't square with the science they view as the end of the discussion.
Not using reason in a specific context does not make one simple minded, it is very human to do so. It simply means that in that specific context you aren't likely to get anywhere near the truth.

Also, your usage here of "reason" seems to be very vague, what you mean by it. When i say reason i simply mean logical deduction, the method used to determine the validity of a hypothesis.

 Quote:

Ultimately, *both* views come down to faith, both views constitute religion, and reason can be used for and against both views.
You are mistaken, faith can be present in both views, or faith can present in neither. I hold no faith, none what-so-ever, i consider the entire concept of faith intellectually worthless, i appreciate some people feel it enriches their lives, but in terms of finding the truth, faith is a complete waste of time as it can be used to justify anything at all. One can have faith that evolution did not occur, or faith that the world will end next year, faith that the Earth is flat or faith that mice are the most intelligent organisms on the Earth (that one's true btw), etc. etc.

Deduction and the available evidence is the only guide to the best bet when it comes to truth. There is no need for faith when one has (this form of) reason.
_________________________
Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

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#848956 - 04/08/05 08:02 AM Re: Let Us Pray
kluurs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 3739
Loc: Chicago
A few years ago, I injured my back. I was unable to stand for more than a few seconds - and if you looked at me, you would think that I was a cripple.

I saw countless doctors, therapists, etc. I was drugged and surgery was spoken of.

I went to all kinds of people - and finally a friend suggested something called "cranial sacral therapy."

I went to a woman who practiced this.

As I lay upon the table, she gently touched my scalp. Every few seconds, she changed her position. I was a very gentle touch.

She's explaining all this "nonsense" about energies in the body. I'm thinking, "oh god, I'm seeing one of those people who is into crystals and candles and carp."

Then, I started thinking about what a waste of time this was - and what a bunch of nonsense.

Meanwhile she was gently moving her hand under my back as she's explaining this nonsense theory to me.

I'm thinking, "waste of money, waste of time."

But at least she wasn't doing anything painful - everything was gentle, relaxing and actually quite pleasant - though a waste of time.

After an hour of being with this silly woman and her silly ideas, I stood up for the first time in a month - without pain...

I thought it was funny. Here, I disparage everything she believes in. I had no faith in her - and yet, voila, I'm a whole human being again.

Some of us are more like engineers. We like to deal in reality - things that are proveable, repeatable, etc. I understand that. But every once in a while I like it when I'm wrong - better yet when I'm wrong and someone who believes in the Easter Bunny is right.

If you haven't seen "Being there" - do...

Ken

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#848957 - 04/08/05 08:12 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Moonbat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 265
Loc: Bristol, England
 Quote:

Some of us are more like engineers. We like to deal in reality - things that are proveable, repeatable, etc. I understand that. But every once in a while I like it when I'm wrong - better yet when I'm wrong and someone who believes in the Easter Bunny is right.
Oh i'd love to be wrong about quite a lot of things, the question is how do we determine when we are wrong? You changed your mind based on evidence, (though i might question the strenght of that evidence), i think possibly the most important aspect when constructing our ideas is that they be falsifiable, infact, that is one of the reasons i discount many religious ideas, they lack of that key property.
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#848958 - 04/08/05 08:12 AM Re: Let Us Pray
JBryan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
 Quote:
Originally posted by Siddhartha:
 Quote:
Originally posted by JBryan:
Just some more "empty rhetoric" from my feeble intellect. \:\) [/b]
At least your clear on that point. [/b]
Just the response I expected. You demonstrate projection quite well.
_________________________
Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness.

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#848959 - 04/08/05 08:16 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by Larry:
My impression is that his objection is in believing in made up fairy tales in lieu of a true understanding. But I dont presume to speak for him. But I think you're projecting attitudes onto him that arent there.[/b]

But for him to dismiss God as nothing but a made up fairy tale is *Jeffrey* showing a lack of capacity to understand, and is arrogance on *his* part. That is my whole point. We're right back to where we started. [/b]
Ok first, let me shift the focus to be speaking for me, now, because this is slipping into speaking for jeffrey.

The fairy tales I refer to are the religious myths that have the same quantitative and qualitative elements of what we know to be mythology. (And when I say fairy tales, I mean that as mythology, just with a little punch of condescension \:\) ) "God" itself I separate from the mythology, although linked, there are differences.

But I'm not following how coming to a conclusion about religion being mythology is demonstrating a lack of capacity to understand. It clearly shows the understanding of its academic similarities to mythology. There is no misunderstanding about that. The only thing that is lacking is a belief or faith in the system. Not an understanding.

And to your earlier posts about this limited capacity thing, saying science cant know everything, yes that is true. But what I find most puzzling in this exchange is all the remarks of how people KNOW there is a God. What happened to man's limited capacity to 'know'? You say Jeffrey cant know the absolute about our universe because he's just a man, then you and others say they DO know the absolute about our universe and it is God. Seems a contradiction.
_________________________
I was born the year Glenn Gould stop playing concerts. Coincidence?

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#848960 - 04/08/05 08:40 AM Re: Let Us Pray
kluurs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 3739
Loc: Chicago
 Quote:
Originally posted by Moonbat:
 Quote:

Some of us are more like engineers. We like to deal in reality - things that are proveable, repeatable, etc. I understand that. But every once in a while I like it when I'm wrong - better yet when I'm wrong and someone who believes in the Easter Bunny is right.
Oh i'd love to be wrong about quite a lot of things, the question is how do we determine when we are wrong? You changed your mind based on evidence, (though i might question the strenght of that evidence), i think possibly the most important aspect when constructing our ideas is that they be falsifiable, infact, that is one of the reasons i discount many religious ideas, they lack of that key property. [/b]
Actually, I didn't change my mind about the therapist's notions of "energies" and so forth. I just assumed that "something" she did helped me - and when you're in excruciating pain, you really get down to a very binary way of seeing things - helps - doesn't help. She helped. I was happy. I didn't care about her theories.

As for risk/benefit analysis. Did you ever see the film, Lilies of the Field? The underlying premise is that if you are right and there is no God - and this is all there is fine. If "they" are right and there is a God, and you've denied him, you have an eternity to spend in a damnable place. Seems prudent to do a few good works "just in case." ;\)

A relationship with God, Tao, or that cute woman you met at the recital - eventually come to a point - "am I a better person for having known this person?"

As for Christianity, it has many dark stains upon its history. And belief in a higher being has lead to horrendous evils - from human sacrifice to war to torture, etc. This is sad but true...the greatest evil often assumes the cloak of good.

- to be honest, my greatest crises of faith came at an early age. There was a young boy on my block who was shy but friendly. He was hurt in an accident. After that, his personality changed radically. What was once a gentle child, became an angry and violent person. I wondered - how does God judge the behavior of someone who has less control than I have? If you will, we're all dealt different cards - different strengths and weaknesses - different personalities.

How can we be judged the same?

The answer is we are not God. We are not the judge.

K

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#848961 - 04/08/05 09:03 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Moonbat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 265
Loc: Bristol, England
 Quote:

Actually, I didn't change my mind about the therapist's notions of "energies" and so forth. I just assumed that "something" she did helped me - and when you're in excruciating pain, you really get down to a very binary way of seeing things - helps - doesn't help. She helped. I was happy. I didn't care about her theories.
Ah ok, understood.

 Quote:

As for risk/benefit analysis. Did you ever see the film, Lilies of the Field? The underlying premise is that if you are right and there is no God - and this is all there is fine. If "they" are right and there is a God, and you've denied him, you have an eternity to spend in a damnable place. Seems prudent to do a few good works "just in case."
That is Pascal's wager, i'm afraid it fails because it assumes only two possibilities when infact there are many.

I judge the God's of every religion (and indeed theoretical God's that are not part of any religion) as equally unlikely so there is no way of maximising my chances if there is after-life.

Say i worship/believe in the Christian God, but it turns out that actually it's the Muslim God [infact even limited to those two brackets there are numerous different ideas of God] that exists, i burn anyway. Perhaps instead there is an "anti" Christian God that burns the belivers and rewards the non, there are an infinite number of hypothetical possibilities.

 Quote:

A relationship with God, Tao, or that cute woman you met at the recital - eventually come to a point - "am I a better person for having known this person?"
If it makes you a better person then i am happy for you.

For me however to have a relationship with someone it's reasonably important to believe they exist \:\) . I could create a relationship with an imaginary God whilst knowing he didn't really exist, a kind of pretend, many children have relationships with imaginary friends whilst in a strange sense knowing they are not real, but i do not wish it, i want truth, i want to know reality, and every step i take down that path shows me more and more that religion and all the ideas that flow from it are purely the workings of man. I don't expect you to believe that is true, i just thought i'd take the opportunity to explain an aspect of my views on the subject.
_________________________
Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

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#848962 - 04/08/05 09:11 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by Moonbat:
That is Pascal's wager, i'm afraid it fails because it assumes only two possibilities when infact there are many.

[/b]
Yes, and it also is impractical in that it presupposes that belief in a god is a choice. It is not. I can not choose to believe in god anymore than I can choose to believe in Santa Claus. I suppose one can systematically undergo a self-brainwashing to the point a belief becomes genuine, but thats not what is being offered by Pascal. He is suggesting that one should consider stepping thru the motions of belief just to cover one's a$$ in the afterlife. And jsut stepping thru the motions makes no sense from either side of the coin.
_________________________
I was born the year Glenn Gould stop playing concerts. Coincidence?

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#848963 - 04/08/05 09:17 AM Re: Let Us Pray
kluurs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 3739
Loc: Chicago
No one should be brainwashed - but perhaps open to possibilities...

K

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