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A question for all skeptics


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#406    Godsnmbr1

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 06:05 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 26 October 2013 - 04:26 AM, said:

I posted the question, "What is energy?" to try to point out that we don't know.  We know that matter is in some way a form of energy, but also that things like heat and electricity and magnetism and motion and the potential for motion (a rock sitting on the edge of a cliff) are all forms of energy too.

We are told by nineteenth century physicists and most theologians that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but only changed in form.  I suspect the physicists of the day were combating perpetual motion machines, and so designed their universe to behave that way, hence the creation of this thing called potential energy in order to make the equations work.  This now seems unlikely, and that while maybe somehow deep down energy cannot be created, the amount of energy stored in space/time seems a lot more than we thought, and so long as we keep certain parameters at zero the potential energy in it is seemingly limitless.

Energy is information, as was posted above, and this leads to a weird aspect of it.  Even though energy cannot be "destroyed," every time we use energy in any way we reduce its usefulness -- and if that is not "destruction," what is it?  This is the increase in entropy, or decrease in order or information content, that comes with energy use.

In short, my take-away is that we fool ourselves into thinking we have the slightest notion what energy is.  We measure it and describe its effects, and it is in essence what we are, but we do not understand.

Ok Frank, so what would be your question for the voice in your head claiming to be God?  Right now, only you can hear the voice, no one else, and that's all there is so far--a deep, neutral voice with no discernible source or direction.  There is no accompanying sense of "being in the presence of the Lord", etc.  It's just a voice, saying "Hello [Frank], I am God.  How can I prove this to you?"  

"Aha!" You say, "If you were God, then you would already know!"  

God laughs.  "Of course I know my child!  The point of the question is to see if you know..."

So no easy outs.  Or at least not that one.  

I think I would ask the voice to explain.  Everything.  Then I'd like to be able to relive the most important moments of my life.  The truly important ones though, including all the seemingly mundane choices that might have changed my entire direction.  I once read about a west african root bark that caused that reaction in a user and it's fascinated me ever since.  

Let me come clean though--my intent with this thread was twofold.  First, I wanted to see how many people would ask for an old-school miracle like something out of the old testament, and then point out that most (if not all) of the things we think of as miracles are just magic tricks.  Seemingly impossible tasks performed in ways we just don't yet know about.  Miracles are born out of ignorance (yes, IMO sheri).  

Second, I was very curious to see what kind of answers I would get besides magic tricks.  I knew that I had read a really good answer to the question somewhere before but for the life of me I can't remember it. So I think I was hoping someone could remind me of what I had forgotten.  Unfortunately of course, I forgot about thread and wasn't on hand to keep things on track  :passifier:   (I love that smiley)

Anyway, this might be the last decent day of the year so I'm off for a bike ride.  Tiggs, I did appreciate your idea of asking for solutions to near impossible questions.  That should obviously be a starting criteria--unknown knowledge that can be proven true.  It's just the final step that really knots the problem.  Would the voice have to logically explain a paradox?  Do the impossible?  What actually proves Godhood?

Remember, we are all just acting out a grand old game here, where we agree to forget who we really are, that in the remembering, that we may find each other again, and know that we are One. That All of Life, is One.

#407    Leonardo

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 06:09 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 26 October 2013 - 04:26 AM, said:

I posted the question, "What is energy?" to try to point out that we don't know.

Who says we don't know?

Maybe you don't know, but that does not mean no-one has an answer.

For myself, I would state that energy is simply the potential for work in a given region of space.

In the book of life, the answers aren't in the back. - Charlie Brown

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#408    Avallaine

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:06 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 21 October 2013 - 09:17 PM, said:

Right from the start I have said that BOTH love and discipline must be taught and modelled to a child so that they can lean these qualities for them selves. One without the other can be harmful.

I can get behind that.  It's just, in my opinion, more parents fail on the "lack of positive reinforcement" level than "lack of negative reinforcement."  Negative reinforcement is quick and easy, and has the added side-effect of being a possible outlet for the parent's anger and frustration.  I fear that some parents who inflict punishment do it more out of their own emotional needs than as a conscious technique to teach their children.


#409    Mr Walker

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 12:05 AM

View PostAvallaine, on 26 October 2013 - 11:06 PM, said:

I can get behind that.  It's just, in my opinion, more parents fail on the "lack of positive reinforcement" level than "lack of negative reinforcement."  Negative reinforcement is quick and easy, and has the added side-effect of being a possible outlet for the parent's anger and frustration.  I fear that some parents who inflict punishment do it more out of their own emotional needs than as a conscious technique to teach their children.

I know that my parents found physical chastisement the most difficult task of parenting. Everything else was easy Both were true because they LOVED us more than life itself. The many hours my dad spent at night school learning the new mathematics  so he could help us, were much easier for him than giving us one smack with a cane. I knew this from watching him and I know it because  he told us each so, as children and again as adults.

It is true we were given a consequence  for every offence, but never with any emotion such as anger. If mum or dad got angry, which was very rare, they put off punishment until they were calm. In consequence. I  very rarely got angry as a child and found it easier therefore to eliminate anger from my life as an adult. And I preferred being smacked or caned, to having to do an hour chopping the fire wood or two hours pulling weeds from the garden. I think mum and dad also valued time too much to give those sort of task as consequences, although we had to do them as household chores or we would not have hot meals, hot water, or fruit and vegetables to eat.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#410    Ben Masada

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 11:26 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 26 October 2013 - 04:26 AM, said:

I posted the question, "What is energy?" to try to point out that we don't know.  We know that matter is in some way a form of energy, but also that things like heat and electricity and magnetism and motion and the potential for motion (a rock sitting on the edge of a cliff) are all forms of energy too.

We are told by nineteenth century physicists and most theologians that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but only changed in form.  I suspect the physicists of the day were combating perpetual motion machines, and so designed their universe to behave that way, hence the creation of this thing called potential energy in order to make the equations work.  This now seems unlikely, and that while maybe somehow deep down energy cannot be created, the amount of energy stored in space/time seems a lot more than we thought, and so long as we keep certain parameters at zero the potential energy in it is seemingly limitless.

Energy is information, as was posted above, and this leads to a weird aspect of it.  Even though energy cannot be "destroyed," every time we use energy in any way we reduce its usefulness -- and if that is not "destruction," what is it?  This is the increase in entropy, or decrease in order or information content, that comes with energy use.

In short, my take-away is that we fool ourselves into thinking we have the slightest notion what energy is.  We measure it and describe its effects, and it is in essence what we are, but we do not understand.

Energy is activated by matter. Think of an X-Ray tube where photons of energy travel in the vacuum for having been activated in the Cathode and pushed through the vacuum at the speed of light unto the Anode where energy is produced and cause an X-Ray picture. I don't claim that this operation will make of you an expect on energy as there are many different kinds of energy but all generated by the reactivation of matter.


#411    Leonardo

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 01:28 PM

View PostGodsnmbr1, on 26 October 2013 - 06:05 PM, said:

Anyway, this might be the last decent day of the year so I'm off for a bike ride.  Tiggs, I did appreciate your idea of asking for solutions to near impossible questions.  That should obviously be a starting criteria--unknown knowledge that can be proven true.  It's just the final step that really knots the problem.  Would the voice have to logically explain a paradox?  Do the impossible?  What actually proves Godhood?

The belief that what is being interacted with is 'God'. Nothing else.

Which just goes to show that 'god' is anything we believe 'god' to be. It is a fine example of solipsism - we 'create' something (even as an abstract) through imagining it.

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#412    Sherapy

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 03:59 PM

View PostAvallaine, on 26 October 2013 - 11:06 PM, said:

I can get behind that.  It's just, in my opinion, more parents fail on the "lack of positive reinforcement" level than "lack of negative reinforcement."  Negative reinforcement is quick and easy, and has the added side-effect of being a possible outlet for the parent's anger and frustration.  I fear that some parents who inflict punishment do it more out of their own emotional needs than as a conscious technique to teach their children.

While I agree with your position, I veer at the idea that parents consciously punish out of need to vent. I  think they do/did so out of ignorance on how to parent (what it actually means.) When a parent uses punishment as their mainstay of parenting they teach a child how to lord power over others(authoritarian) as opposed to how to use power in a fair and loving manner(authoritative.) To be fair to MW, his parents came from a time when punishing was the gold standard of parenting, they thought that harming a child was loving. If you read MW's posts you will read repeatedly that he posits that the only way to be a loving parent is to punish/harm a child, (someone who is  littler, weaker, and powerless to the adult.) This is the punishing style approach to parenting in a nutshell and it was common in the 50s, thank goodness parenting is better understood nowadays. IMO

Edited by Sherapy, 28 October 2013 - 04:00 PM.




#413    pukin Rainbows24-7

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 05:27 PM

I would ask if he could make me a female (no homo)

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#414    Mr Walker

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 12:08 AM

View PostLeonardo, on 28 October 2013 - 01:28 PM, said:

The belief that what is being interacted with is 'God'. Nothing else.

Which just goes to show that 'god' is anything we believe 'god' to be. It is a fine example of solipsism - we 'create' something (even as an abstract) through imagining it.

Thats not entirely true. When i ride on a elephants back, how do I know i am doing so, and not on a camels'?

When i interact with god i use the same process  to know whom /waht iam interacting with.

But in a way you are correct. God is a term like elephant and it is used to connect a name to a set of established parameters. Inthis way we can converse using common terms and understandings as long as we provide detailed enough descriptions

. Oh, did i mean an indian elephant or an african one? Did i mean a christian god or a hindu one? It   doesnt really matter any more thanigf the elepahnt was african or indian. Whire the parametrs for god(s) are wider than for an elephant they still exist .

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#415    _Only

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 06:07 AM

View PostGodsnmbr1, on 26 October 2013 - 06:05 PM, said:

I once read about a west african root bark that caused that reaction in a user and it's fascinated me ever since.  

That sounds along the same lines of Ayahuasca, which induces incredibly powerful spiritual enlightenment events. If there was any substance one would take to induce the type of hypothetical situation of meeting God that you pose, I think Ayahuasca would be it. Besides the usual learning of the self and of the universe, a user will also be told ways to better their self in seeing what they've been doing wrong. I semi-vaguely remember a documentary on Discovery or something, following a man who visited a tribe in the rain forest with the intent of learning about the tribe and the mysterious drug they ingest to induce spiritual events. He took it, and I still remember what he said he experienced: he witnessed many moments throughout his life where he wronged someone else; but he saw the event from their perspective. I have always remembered that provocative bit of information.

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#416    Sherapy

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 12:15 AM

View PostMr Walker, on 30 October 2013 - 12:08 AM, said:

Thats not entirely true. When i ride on a elephants back, how do I know i am doing so, and not on a camels'?

When i interact with god i use the same process  to know whom /waht iam interacting with.

But in a way you are correct. God is a term like elephant and it is used to connect a name to a set of established parameters. Inthis way we can converse using common terms and understandings as long as we provide detailed enough descriptions

. Oh, did i mean an indian elephant or an african one? Did i mean a christian god or a hindu one? It   doesnt really matter any more thanigf the elepahnt was african or indian. Whire the parametrs for god(s) are wider than for an elephant they still exist .

You have not shown how you would demonstrate the difference, prove it(deductively) in other words. So we are limited to inductive in the case of your g-d, being 'the g-d', MW. I think that is what Leo is saying, that unless you can deduce your g-d then we can only believe in your g-d semantically or on faith-- across the board. But on a personal level I say who cares, it really boils down to what works for you or doesn't.


With that being said, I think Leo shines when he says 'g-d' shows up in the way that works for the person involved and that can mean not at all too. And, the kicker is there is no one who is right or no one who is wrong. For me, that seems the better call. IMHO, anyways.

Edited by Sherapy, 13 November 2013 - 12:27 AM.




#417    Mr Walker

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 09:31 AM

View PostSherapy, on 13 November 2013 - 12:15 AM, said:

You have not shown how you would demonstrate the difference, prove it(deductively) in other words. So we are limited to inductive in the case of your g-d, being 'the g-d', MW. I think that is what Leo is saying, that unless you can deduce your g-d then we can only believe in your g-d semantically or on faith-- across the board. But on a personal level I say who cares, it really boils down to what works for you or doesn't.


With that being said, I think Leo shines when he says 'g-d' shows up in the way that works for the person involved and that can mean not at all too. And, the kicker is there is no one who is right or no one who is wrong. For me, that seems the better call. IMHO, anyways.

This was a while ago but I am not sure if you got the point of what I was elaborating. When I ride on an elephants back, how do I know it is an elephant? Indeed how do I know I am riding on anything at all to start with?

  Deductive/inductive it makes no difference it works But I think this IS deductive reasoning and analysis. We have parameters and definitions for an elephant to differentiate it from from a camel. We have parameters and definitions for gods to distinguish them from non gods. So I determine what is god, in precisely the same way I determine  that I am riding on an elephant and not a camel. However, there are many types of sub category within the category of god, just as there are subcategories of elephants and camels, so I have to make it clear which sub category   I am speaking of..

Leo speaks of abstract and constructed concepts. I am speaking of real physical and independent beings. God is in the same category as a camel or an elephant in my life, So to prove that such an entity is "god,' one just has to measure it against what humans define as a god, just as one would do with an elephant to prove to oneself that it was an elephant.

One CAN do the same thing with unreal entities also. Most humans could identify a leprechaun from a sketch, and differentiate it from the sketch of a fairy, for example. Many could readily identify an elf, and know the difference between it and an ogre or a goblin.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#418    Leonardo

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 09:51 AM

View PostMr Walker, on 13 November 2013 - 09:31 AM, said:

Leo speaks of abstract and constructed concepts. I am speaking of real physical and independent beings. God is in the same category as a camel or an elephant in my life,

Tell you what, you post a video recording of your god and I'll post a video recording of an elephant and a camel. Deal?

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"talking bull**** is not a victimless crime" - Marina Hyde, author.

#419    thyra

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 01:52 PM

If god is talking with you and will talk with you no matter what, even if you ask for a proof, anything that doesnt consolidate a good proof will sound like a good proof to you. God is known to be omnipotent and can control how you understand things. Which makes the whole situation a lot nasty since I thought god is talking to me and still needed a proof.  Thus I go to a mental health professional. There are medication out there which can heal people from hearing voices out of blue.

Reason God doesnt talk with people 'openly' is this thing above, they cant have a free will when accompanied by a all powerful god/they cant really make friends. (this might be our everyday reality though and that we may always be speaking with god unaware of this situation)

If god is talking with you out of necessities of your own 'development or because of a change occured in your existence, I would ask for the proof of what makes ME different now. Perhaps I am dead or something.

Edited by thyra, 13 November 2013 - 01:55 PM.

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#420    crimson089

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 03:23 PM

is this a thread for anyone who could ask questions and get significant answers from skeptics? because i have something i want to ask... well it's not very deep but.....

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