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Thread: Oh my God!

  1. #91
    Gloriam Imperator kged's Avatar
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    That's something of an over-reaction, isn't it? No-one is denying your right to your opinion. Are you that offended when someone disagrees with you?

  2. #92
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
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    Just remember that there are raving fanatics on both sides of the issue. The internet does tend to bring out people's more... vociferous qualities. When two or more people enter a contentious debate like this one with their personal decisions already made, and when they are opposite, it tends to come across like shouting "wrong!" at each other.

    Some of us here are relatively calm in our approach

    On some days, at least!

  3. #93
    Registered User hobbs525's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kged View Post
    That's something of an over-reaction, isn't it? No-one is denying your right to your opinion. Are you that offended when someone disagrees with you?
    Not offended at all. But like politics, religion is not something that can ever be debated IMHO.

  4. #94
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    It's debated all the time actually, regardless of the reluctance on the part of people of faith to have it questioned and on the part of people with little faith to refuse to question it.

    Once you make it totally personal, the debate stops. And faith may be just that kind of debate stopper. But nonetheless, we've debated here for a long, long time on both sides of the issue. The key is to be openminded, and join the conversation, regardless of what side you may be on, with the intent to listen and perhaps gain insight into another's POV.

  5. #95
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hobbs525 View Post
    Not offended at all. But like politics, religion is not something that can ever be debated IMHO.
    "not somethingthat can ever be debated"? I strongly disagree. Consider the First Council of Nicea. It was, itself, a debate over the veracity of (among other things) the books to include in what we now call the New Testament, and a debate which resulted in the declaration of all other things as heretical. This debate was undertaken by men, and men are fallible. While their decisions may have been true for their time (for them), there is no guarantee that their truth is our truth. And so the debate continues.

    The discussion that is taking place here isn't much different. We debate whether or not the books that found inclusion in the bible retain relevance, whether or not the Christian faith in particular is or isn't heretical, whether or not God exists and what qualities he might possess if he does....

    These are critical conversations particuarly amongst the faithful. Though with the notable exception of ascertaining whether or not he exists at all, as this seems to be key ingredient that all must agree upon to be considered faithful in the first place. For those of us who aren't so sure, this question is paramount.

    "Know thy self" includes knowing thine God. And the only method to do so that us humans have discovered is debate. So if there is no debate to be had, then why did you chip in your 2 cents anyway?

  6. #96
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    Until the last sentence, I was very proud of you Fung.

    Seriously, you raised some excellent points. In fact, the entire reason for this thread and many of my other threads is to debate for the purpose of enlightenment.

  7. #97
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    If you don't believe/stand for something; you'll fall for anything.
    As nice as those words sound together, they puzzle me, now as with the first time I read them elsewhere - or maybe heard them in a C&W song.
    I suppose that the essence is that a person needs some kind of standards on which to base judgment on some new experience or idea. But, it doesn't stop there. It seems to imply that you must believe in those standards, defend those standards, die for those standards if necessary.
    The essence of life is change. If the enitity cannot adapt to change, the entity dies. Reminds me of another aphorism: the organism not growing is dying.
    Consider this recent example from the Presbyterian Church website:
    "In 1978, a General Assembly offered this "definitive guidance":
    ". . . Homosexuality is not God's wish for humanity . . . We want this dialogue to continue. Nevertheless, we judge that it cannot effectively be pursued in the uncertainty and insecurity that would be generated by the Assembly's silence on this matter at this time. On the basis of our understanding that the practice of homosexuality is sin, we are concerned that homosexual believers and the observing world should not be left in doubt about the church's mind on this issue during any further period of study. Even some who see some forms of homosexual behavior as moral are concerned that persons inside and outside the church will stumble in their faith and understanding if this matter is unresolved." (1)
    The issues have continued to be discussed since that time. In 1980, a General Assembly added:
    "Homosexuality presents a particular problem for the church. It seems to be contrary to the teaching of scripture. It seems to repudiate the heterosexual process which gave us life. Further, many believe that such an orientation can be changed simply by personal decision or by the creation of healthy environments for the young. The church though should be aware of the partial nature of our knowledge of homosexuality. For instance, whether or not sexual orientation is something unchosen and unchangeable for most people is a matter of crucial significance which continues to be unsettled among scientists or ethicists. The church should be sensitive to the difficulty of rejecting a persons's sexual orientation without rejecting the person. It should be open to more light on what goes into shaping one's sexual preferences and reexamine its life and teaching in relation to people who are seeking affirmation and needing acceptance and who are apparently not free to change their orientations." (2)
    In 1993, this "definitive guidance" was recognized as an "authoritative interpretation" of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Constitution."

    Does one presume to judge that this church during the period 1978 to 1993 "fell for anything"? Yet, they believe/stand for something, don't they?

  8. #98
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
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    That wasn't intended to be rude, but a flippant way of saying "you're participating in the debate, too, just by making a statement."

    I'd also point out that the Protestant Reformation (literally meaning, institutional reform by protest) and the resulting denominations are, in fact, literalized debates about faith amongst the faithful.

    A huge portion of the body of works we call "philosophy" are religious texts. Theology is itself the study of religious debate.

    So there is plenty of room for debate.

    The question is only whether or not the debate can include a discussion about whether or not God actually exists. It's a touchy subject, sure. But a valid one.

  9. #99
    Would be writer? Sure. Davis Ashura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hereford Eye View Post
    The essence of life is change. If the enitity cannot adapt to change, the entity dies. Reminds me of another aphorism: the organism not growing is dying.
    Interesting. However, all entities die, so all entities don't adapt to change, eventually. I've sometimes thought of conception as the moment an organism begins the process of dying. It's an odd way of thinking about it becomes the process of living can also be thought of as the process of dying.

  10. #100
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
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    Interesting side note: In Japan, a process has been designed at Kyoto University to take adult skin cells and cause them to revert to a stem-cell phase. This is intriguing because it completely circumvents the conventional moral/ethical issues associated with stem cells, but also because this effectively means that we now know how to "rewind" biological time, and allow growth-dormant cells to behave as if at an earlier phase of life.

    With refinement, there is every reason to believe that we have officially trumped biological death.

    http://www.macleans.ca/business/comp...30_29868_29868

    So, in the parlance of this thread, "Oh my God!"

  11. #101
    Would be writer? Sure. Davis Ashura's Avatar
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    Problem with all that Fung is that we still don't know how memories are stored...so, as our brains cells die, even if they are replaced, memories will be lost. Now, if there was a means to 'read' our memories and imprint them on the replacement cells...
    I also wonder about what it means to be 'me'. If my brain cells are replaced, and I lose memories, even as I form new ones, does that mean I'm still me?

  12. #102
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    It's a matter of consensus again, isn't it? How do you define 'me'? The physical being? Surely a person with dementia is still the person they were before. But there are degrees of 'me-ness'. We even refer to them is these cases: "He's not the same person as before; I don't even know who he is anymore; He doesn't remember who he is," etc. It's not precise.

    We always seem to end up in the same place, don't we, when it comes to truth and knowledge?

    Do any of you here actually read my books??? I talk about this all the time. I'm obsessed.

  13. #103
    Would be writer? Sure. Davis Ashura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Wassner View Post
    It's a matter of consensus again, isn't it? How do you define 'me'? The physical being? Surely a person with dementia is still the person they were before. But there are degrees of 'me-ness'. We even refer to them is these cases: "He's not the same person as before; I don't even know who he is anymore; He doesn't remember who he is," etc. It's not precise.
    I'm not who I was twenty years ago, or even yesterday. I've lost many brain cells in the interval. I've learned a lot, and I've also forgotten a lot, some of it probably forever. Is there something intrinsic to who I am that persists even through all these changes? I have my doubts. We are who we are at each particular moment, but we change constantly in such a subtle fashion that we don't even realize it. Divorced people ask how they came to this place in their lives, as though it just happened all of the sudden. Some murderers as they age will speak of their younger selves as though it were someone else. Demented people may carry the same names and families, but they surely aren't the same people as they were before. How can they be if we aren't even the same from one day to the next?


    Quote Originally Posted by gary wassner
    Do any of you here actually read my books??? I talk about this all the time. I'm obsessed.
    You write books?

  14. #104
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    Yep. And he's answered all these questions he asks here which makes this thread an exam and we've all flunked because we did not arrive at his answer.

  15. #105
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radone View Post
    Problem with all that Fung is that we still don't know how memories are stored...so, as our brains cells die, even if they are replaced, memories will be lost. Now, if there was a means to 'read' our memories and imprint them on the replacement cells...
    I also wonder about what it means to be 'me'. If my brain cells are replaced, and I lose memories, even as I form new ones, does that mean I'm still me?
    Well, we're on the road to understanding how it works, at least.

    http://www.medindia.net/news/Is-Your...es-44795-1.htm

    Couple this with research into biological storage drives and processors for computers, and cybernetic implants (several types of which are already in use, albeit not widespead), and you've got a recipe for biological immortality with IA (machine assisted intelligence and memory).

    Admittedly, it's still pretty fantastical. But you have to admit, these discoveries are likely the kinds of things that will one day make biological life indefinitely sustainable. And if you give the guest on the Daily Show the benefit of the doubt, we're already at the point where recreating extinct life is not just possible, but probable -- and likely so within the next decade.

    All in all, pretty rad.

    As for the questions of identity, this is what I was driving at in either this or the other thread where RAD was proposing individual rights as paramount for a "valid" society. How we define "identity" is, in my opinion, the very same question as to how we define the "soul" -- just a different word for the same question. So I wonder why it is that something so nebulous and vague as "identity" and "individuality" is palatable to the atheist, but the "soul" is not. They are the same thing. Just choice terms for two different disciplines.

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