What people belive is true on these forums

Anything else
David
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Post by David » Sun Dec 31, 2006 2:29 am

Wikipedia has a reasonably comprehensive introduction to evolution if you would like to learn more about it.

To summarize, evolution invariably follows from two conditions:
a) selective pressure (not every individual reproduces with equal success)
b) random heritable variation within a population that affects reproductive success

Under these conditions, some individuals will reproduce more than others, and thus more successful changes will be passed on to future generations. The two conditions can be trivially demonstrated to be true, and the conclusion is logically obvious. There is no question that evolution occurs and has always occured as long as there was life as we know it.

We could start a new thread about this if anyone cares to argue the opposition. While it is perfectly valid to believe whatever you like about the afterlife and supernatural, it is important to understand how the natural world works.

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Post by David » Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:09 am

I believe that superstition is a natural response to the unknown (and unknowable, in the case of death and the origin of the universe), as well as an important vehicle for telling stories that shape our behavior in a socially productive way. However, when the unknown becomes known, as in the case of the origin of species and formation of the planet, it is important that the gods of the gaps retreat to phenomena that are still beyond our understanding.

I do not believe that gods exist except as ideas, powerful as these ideas may be in our society. I am not "100%" certain of this, but I am as certain of it as I am certain that I am sitting at a computer right now typing this response. I think it is perfectly fine to disagree as long as this belief does not breed hatred, ignorance or violence.

I believe that when we die, our consciousness, as we know it, simply stops. It is an epiphenomenon of our bodies' nervous system, thus when our body stops functioning, so does our consciousness. I believe that souls, like gods, exist only in the same way that ideas and stories exist. Whether they exist in metaphor or in another "plane" or "realm" is a nonissue to me. The question, "What does it feel like after death?" is nonsense; it is like asking how wet water is after the sun bakes it away.

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Post by Colicedus » Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:55 am

People have asked the question what is it like to die. some have been baffled by this so much that they flat line themselves and bring themselves back.

they come back with out of it stories. sometimes they just don't want to talk about them. They see many horrors apparently. a colleague of mine became a Christian because of it.

There are many stories that are just not ready to to be told yet. Some that pail out all known cults that fight to keep alive.

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Post by Albab » Sun Dec 31, 2006 4:17 am

invertin wrote:
Kalexon wrote:P.S. I don't want a whole "Evolution Sucks" "Evolution Rulz" flame fight to start over something I posted.
Right, sorry. It doesn't matter what people say though I still don't believe in evolution.
-sigh- this is just the problem... Evolution is not a belief, it's a testable, scientific, logical, and observable process. Saying that you "believe" in evolution is like saying that you "Believe" ice is cold.

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Post by invertin » Sun Dec 31, 2006 4:19 am

Albab wrote:
invertin wrote:
Kalexon wrote:P.S. I don't want a whole "Evolution Sucks" "Evolution Rulz" flame fight to start over something I posted.
Right, sorry. It doesn't matter what people say though I still don't believe in evolution.
-sigh- this is just the problem... Evolution is not a belief, it's a testable, scientific, logical, and observable process. Saying that you "believe" in evolution is like saying that you "Believe" ice is cold.
I meant I don't believe evolution is right, it has flaws. Ok I'm going to stop now, let's talk about something else.

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Colicedus
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Post by Colicedus » Sun Dec 31, 2006 4:50 am

Religion is the opium of the masses?

What is your view on this statement?

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Post by tallyl.iii » Sun Dec 31, 2006 12:47 pm

Unsure, at the moment. I have avoided both because I've heard they're detrimental to one's mental health. :D

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Post by BunnyWithStick » Sun Dec 31, 2006 7:59 pm

And religion has proven to be detrimental to one's physical health, too! :P

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Post by GaGrin » Mon Jan 01, 2007 6:44 pm

tallyl.iii wrote:... Also, I believe in fate much in the way that GaGrin defined it. That we have control and the ability to make decisions other than those we make but that we won't, and that, as complex a creature as we are, we would never make a decision different from the way it was made if we were placed in the exact same situation with the same circumstances and knowledge...
Which successfully sums up what I have tried to explain to people countless times. Tally - you and I appear to have a very similar outlook on some things and I'm glad that I'm not alone in that particular thought.

Now if only I get my friends and family to stop trying to prove me wrong with so-called "random decisions".

People don't make random decisions - only unconscious ones. That is a very important and distinct difference.
David wrote:I do not believe that gods exist except as ideas, powerful as these ideas may be in our society. I am not "100%" certain of this, but I am as certain of it as I am certain that I am sitting at a computer right now typing this response. I think it is perfectly fine to disagree as long as this belief does not breed hatred, ignorance or violence.
What else can I say? I agree with this statement.

I will go slightly further and say that the level of hatred actively promoted by many groups is disturbing - appauling even - and that does make me slightly suspicious of anyone willing to have belief in something which has no observable basis in reality. I am aware that this is a kind of semi-irrational discrimination on my part - but I am at least self-aware enough to realise I have it and to try to not cause offence or trouble because of it.

Edit: Happy New Year!

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Post by zatoichi » Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:09 pm

I agree completely with Jeff.
GaGrin wrote:I believe in free-will, but that we are slaves to our past, our culture our upbringing.
I don't believe in free will. As far as i'm concerned, everything that happens is a result of the distribution of matter and energy in the universe. There are probably some other factors I don't know about, but whatever. It still works. And the appearance of free will is good enough for me.

Edit: sorry if this post doesn't make sense, I thought the thread ended on page one.

go FSM!
Last edited by zatoichi on Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by rudel_ic » Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:14 pm

Image
That pretty much sums up my thoughts about this topic.

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Post by NickD » Mon Jan 01, 2007 11:28 pm

Religion is... (not to offend anyone)... BULL CRAP! It just tares people apart, and it was probably made for people to be better behaved, and it obviously isn’t working (for what I've seen in religious people so far). I think that god does not exist. When you die, you don’t go to heaven or hell... you're dead. You can’t think, move, breath; and without those resources how can even a spirit survive without a working mind to be displaying it? There's no such thing as a spirit, but there is such thing as electricity and cells/molecules making up your mid as well as your physical self. I suggest that people live their lives according to the way THEY want to, not the way some shitty bible (excuse my French) to tell them how. As long as you're alive, you mind as well have and do everything you want, but though there are laws, some have consequences. If you ask me, living in a church, not having sex, you cant love anyone, and having to listen to people confess little problems like emo people is not my definition of “living”. It’s disrupting human nature and obviously a lot of them cant keep it together (for instance having sexual relationships with little BOYS?!?). That concludes my summary of “The Religious Mind of Dominique Debergue”.

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Post by Colicedus » Tue Jan 02, 2007 2:26 am

I mainly agree with you NickD.
But I do not agree with your concept of death, I know you are all mainly closed minded and will dismiss my thoughts, but I will say them because i like to read my owen words... We have all heard of ch'i? according to what i heard on a national geographics program, science have proved the existence of it. It is an energy that can be used to harden the body to an extent that punches are hard as sledge hammer strikes, and the body can resist killing damage.

Well if there is the existence of that, what is to say that ones spirit dose not exist? despite what we believe, is true to us, but at the same time, what if we are wrong, people once believed the world was flat ?

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Post by NickD » Tue Jan 02, 2007 2:47 am

'Tis true... and I concur with you on the energy part, but not the after-life. The energy is lost when the mind dies :P … That is mainly what I meant before :D

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Post by Jeff » Tue Jan 02, 2007 3:19 am

Colicedus wrote:I mainly agree with you NickD.
But I do not agree with your concept of death, I know you are all mainly closed minded and will dismiss my thoughts, but I will say them because i like to read my owen words... We have all heard of ch'i? according to what i heard on a national geographics program, science have proved the existence of it. It is an energy that can be used to harden the body to an extent that punches are hard as sledge hammer strikes, and the body can resist killing damage.

Well if there is the existence of that, what is to say that ones spirit dose not exist? despite what we believe, is true to us, but at the same time, what if we are wrong, people once believed the world was flat ?
You're right - if something supernatural like Ch'i existed, who is to say that spirits, ghosts, Gods, and pink unicorns don't either? The scientific world would be in tatters. However, contrary to your claim, nothing supernatural has ever been shown to exist.

James Randi, a famous and very wealthy skeptic, has a well publicized million dollar challenge. It's simple: if you can prove in controlled conditions that you have psychic powers, "chi", telekinesis, or anything supernatural whatsoever, he will flat out give you a million dollars. Many, many people have been invited to take this challenge. Most of them refuse. The ones that don't are debunked without exception.

You have to ask yourself, if these supernatural phenomena actually existed, why has no one claimed this million dollar prize?

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