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A question for the non-religious


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#31    J. K.

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 12:43 PM

View PostChrlzs, on 20 February 2012 - 11:54 AM, said:

So that's it?  All that effort to discuss/debate the 'concepts' you raised gets summarily dismissed with a single sentence that tells us nothing? (except perhaps that you did not wish to discuss anything and your mind was completely made up before you posted)..

Thanks.  Gee, I'll be keen to respond to your next one..



Or perhaps not.
I said nothing about wishing to debate the topic; I simply wanted to hear others' impressions of the idea that occurred to me.  The idea was that the ability to posit things of a spiritual implies that man has a spiritual component.  My hypothesis was that informational bias would cause skeptics to creatively deny the idea and that few would truly comprehend what I was truly asking.  However, if I had stated that, it would have resulted in skewed posts.

People are certainly welcome to continue discussing/debating the topic as they choose.  I find these discussions to be very enlightening.  The best way to understand one's own belief is to compare and contrast with others' beliefs.  If you prefer, I can "throw out the gauntlet":

I think that the reason we can imagine a spiritual deity is that it exists in the first place.  As another post stated, how can we invent something that is totally unique and has nothing in common with anything that already exists?

One's reality is another's nightmare.

#32    ChrLzs

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 12:54 PM

View PostJ. K., on 20 February 2012 - 12:43 PM, said:

I said nothing about wishing to debate the topic
Perhaps you should look up the word 'forum'.

Quote

I think that the reason we can imagine a spiritual deity is that it exists in the first place.  As another post stated, how can we invent something that is totally unique and has nothing in common with anything that already exists?
And I and others explained the answer to that question above, all of which you have ignored.. and yet you now ask the question again and expect us to re-answer it?


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#33    Rlyeh

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 01:54 PM

View PostJ. K., on 20 February 2012 - 12:43 PM, said:

I think that the reason we can imagine a spiritual deity is that it exists in the first place.  As another post stated, how can we invent something that is totally unique and has nothing in common with anything that already exists?
Yeah, totally unique. Nothing to do with deities essentially being glorified humans.


#34    jaguarsky

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 02:26 PM

View PostJ. K., on 16 February 2012 - 10:01 PM, said:


The best analogy I can consider: if humans were all physically blind, we could not conceive of the concept of color, much less the concept of sight.


I understand the concept.

I think the idea of gods came from simple observation of cause and effect. Early man see that his kind are able to manipulate the surroundings. They can make changes and one can watch them do so. If someone takes Urk's best stick, Urk gets mad and throws a rock at the perpetrator. Everyone can see Urk throw the rock and they can see the blood on his foe's head.

Now let's say that one day, Urk is sitting around the cave and an earth tremor comes along, Urk is squashed by a boulder. Everyone looks around to see who threw the boulder at Urk. Wow, he must have been really big, none of them can move the boulder. So now they have concept of a great big something, maybe like themselves who can get mad and throw really big rocks. I think it is a pretty simple leap from there to fabricating large unknown "somethings" like them who are responsible for all of the really big nature stuff that happens. What they eventually decide to call the "something" is anyone's guess.

So, time goes by and over many generations of Urk's people different stories arise about the big something that no one can see, that has the power to throw big rocks, flood the rivers, send down bolts of light and heaantingkill anyting they touch. The stories grow and multiply. Eventually there is a concept of "other". They are not like the simple people that live on the land, they are bigger, stronger, different, invisible and apparently pretty easy to piss off. So then Urk's people decide these "other's" must be respected and placated; eh voila...religion.

Just my take on the process, but it is one that came from observation of the human condition, just like when that first rock hit Urk on the head.

Edited by jaguarsky, 20 February 2012 - 02:27 PM.


#35    J. K.

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 02:27 PM

For Chrlz, who won't be returning - have a good day, sir.

A forum, according to definition, is a place for discussion.  Discussion is not synonymous with debate, which tends to revert to name-calling on UM.  I prefer a calm exchange of ideas.  And yes, my question was answered, although relatively few answers were posted.  However, I did rephrase the question with a stronger challenge, which is what I thought you were implying.

Rlyeh:  
Not every deity is a glorified human.  The god of the Old/New Testament is primarily a spiritual entity.  Regardless of whether or not the Bible is considered to be a factual document, its internal truth states directly that God is a Spirit.    

This is what I was trying to explain: the spiritual dimension is invisible and intangible.  There was nothing in early man's experiences to even indicate it existed;  words did not exist for the concept, for even the concept did not exist.

However, the idea of religion and deities did come into existence.  My theory is that only through interaction with the spirit realm did man learn of its existence.

One's reality is another's nightmare.

#36    Kryso

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 02:43 PM

I think it's because of mans inherent need to look to something larger then themselves. Somewhere to dump their problems. To feel needed and understood. Children do this with their parents. Adults do it with gods.


#37    Rlyeh

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:34 PM

View PostJ. K., on 20 February 2012 - 02:27 PM, said:

Rlyeh:  
Not every deity is a glorified human.
I'd be interested in which ones aren't.

Quote

The god of the Old/New Testament is primarily a spiritual entity.  Regardless of whether or not the Bible is considered to be a factual document, its internal truth states directly that God is a Spirit.
From the very beginning in Genesis he is given human attributes, emotions, even sometimes limits.
A long with the Greek and Roman pantheons, God is perhaps one of the best examples of a humanized deity.

Quote

This is what I was trying to explain: the spiritual dimension is invisible and intangible.  There was nothing in early man's experiences to even indicate it existed;  words did not exist for the concept, for even the concept did not exist.

However, the idea of religion and deities did come into existence.  My theory is that only through interaction with the spirit realm did man learn of its existence.
I believe people tend give human characteristics to forces, events, experiences.

Edited by Rlyeh, 20 February 2012 - 03:39 PM.


#38    FurthurBB

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 04:01 PM

View PostJ. K., on 20 February 2012 - 12:43 PM, said:

I said nothing about wishing to debate the topic; I simply wanted to hear others' impressions of the idea that occurred to me.  The idea was that the ability to posit things of a spiritual implies that man has a spiritual component.  My hypothesis was that informational bias would cause skeptics to creatively deny the idea and that few would truly comprehend what I was truly asking.  However, if I had stated that, it would have resulted in skewed posts.

People are certainly welcome to continue discussing/debating the topic as they choose.  I find these discussions to be very enlightening.  The best way to understand one's own belief is to compare and contrast with others' beliefs.  If you prefer, I can "throw out the gauntlet":

I think that the reason we can imagine a spiritual deity is that it exists in the first place.  As another post stated, how can we invent something that is totally unique and has nothing in common with anything that already exists?


It isn't at all unique because all deities have very human characteristics.  Not to mention we absolutely can imagine things that are unique.


#39    FurthurBB

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 04:02 PM

View PostJ. K., on 20 February 2012 - 02:27 PM, said:

For Chrlz, who won't be returning - have a good day, sir.

A forum, according to definition, is a place for discussion.  Discussion is not synonymous with debate, which tends to revert to name-calling on UM.  I prefer a calm exchange of ideas.  And yes, my question was answered, although relatively few answers were posted.  However, I did rephrase the question with a stronger challenge, which is what I thought you were implying.

Rlyeh:  
Not every deity is a glorified human.  The god of the Old/New Testament is primarily a spiritual entity.  Regardless of whether or not the Bible is considered to be a factual document, its internal truth states directly that God is a Spirit.    

This is what I was trying to explain: the spiritual dimension is invisible and intangible.  There was nothing in early man's experiences to even indicate it existed;  words did not exist for the concept, for even the concept did not exist.

However, the idea of religion and deities did come into existence.  My theory is that only through interaction with the spirit realm did man learn of its existence.


The god of the old testament is among one of the most human-like of any, though I can understand you are too bias to see it.


#40    J. K.

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 05:52 PM

Rlyeh and FurtherBB:

Please realize that I'm not asking you to agree with Christianity, but only to be able to see it within its own context.  Christianity believes that God came first and made man in His image, so there is no anthropomorphism involved.

We are all biased toward our own belief system.

One's reality is another's nightmare.

#41    Rlyeh

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 06:06 PM

View PostJ. K., on 20 February 2012 - 05:52 PM, said:

Rlyeh and FurtherBB:

Please realize that I'm not asking you to agree with Christianity, but only to be able to see it within its own context.  Christianity believes that God came first and made man in His image, so there is no anthropomorphism involved.

We are all biased toward our own belief system.
I understand this. But to say this concept is unique and nothing similar exists, is false.


#42    J. K.

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 06:15 PM

View PostRlyeh, on 20 February 2012 - 06:06 PM, said:

I understand this. But to say this concept is unique and nothing similar exists, is false.
It's not the "God-first" concept that I referred to as unique.  My question concerned the creation by man of something truly unique when there no frame of reference, no pattern, no source by which to judge.  Since the spiritual realm is invisible and intangible, what made man even think of it in the first place?  How do you discuss something for which no concept exists?  Even abstract thoughts have an existence.

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#43    Imaginarynumber1

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 06:32 PM

View PostJ. K., on 20 February 2012 - 06:15 PM, said:

It's not the "God-first" concept that I referred to as unique.  My question concerned the creation by man of something truly unique when there no frame of reference, no pattern, no source by which to judge.  Since the spiritual realm is invisible and intangible, what made man even think of it in the first place?  How do you discuss something for which no concept exists?  Even abstract thoughts have an existence.

I like how you ignored every explanation given for this for this except the ones that agree with your beliefs.

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#44    Rlyeh

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 06:33 PM

View PostJ. K., on 20 February 2012 - 06:15 PM, said:

It's not the "God-first" concept that I referred to as unique.
Nor was I, it was the concept of gods I was refering to.

Quote

My question concerned the creation by man of something truly unique when there no frame of reference, no pattern, no source by which to judge.  Since the spiritual realm is invisible and intangible, what made man even think of it in the first place?  How do you discuss something for which no concept exists?  Even abstract thoughts have an existence.
So what are these truly unique concepts?
Spirituality is the concept of a non-physical reality. I fail to see how it is unique when its very definition relies on the concept of the physical world.


#45    J. K.

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 07:57 PM

Imaginarynumber1: I'm not ignoring the answers; I just don't think they answer the question that I am asking.

Rlyeh: What I am labeling as unique is "a concept which doesn't yet exist".  Think of early man.  Were they born with a spiritual sense?  Did they automatically receive a spiritual awareness at some certain age?  I understand about looking beyond, finding higher meaning, seeking guidance, and all those sort of things.  But what made them deduce that it was something that existed in a non-physical capacity?  What led them to believe that there was anything non-physical?

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