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  1. #16
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    Really? Define dead for me?

  2. #17
    Well, as numerous sci-fi books have explored, death may be overcome in many ways. Immortality nanos, new robot bodies, existing as conciousness in a computer, etc.

    Taxes will probably always be a constant though.

    What do I know? I know what I think I know. I think I know because I absorb various observations and facts through my senses, filtered through my conciousness/mind/personality. There are things I know that I cannot prove "The universe started with a Big Bang because scientists tell me that.", there are things I know I can prove "gravity makes things fall down. I can throw a ball to prove this. No matter how hard I throw it, it will always come down unless interfered with by an outside force (like a dog catching the ball )" and there are things I know that I cannot prove "I know I am here."

    What you know is what a person thinks is true, but what we know is subjective, perhaps flawed and many things are outright wrong. The things we know today may prove to be the jokes of tomorrow ("You mean they belived in a Big Bang? HA HA HA HAH AH!"). Just like we look back and wonder how they could have once believed in the four humours or the sun revolving around a flat Earth.

  3. #18
    Registered User falcon57's Avatar
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    > Really? Define dead for me?

    Please spare me to describe the process of dying. I just wanted to point that our bodies change from state alive
    to state dead. This is rather precise when you restrict it to physical bodies. It becomes very speculative when you
    try to explain the state change of your soul/spark of life/consciousness/spirit etc. I mean we are hard pressed to
    explain what alive is even if we have experience in it but to explain dead is even harder.

    Most explanations I've heard is IMO whishfull thinking, reward of the good, punishment of the bad, that style.
    The state that comes somewhat close to death is (dreamless) sleep and most people are not afraid to sleep so
    I hope that death is similar to that.

    Definition: Death is when nothing happens to you ;-)
    Last edited by falcon57; October 16th, 2008 at 10:37 AM. Reason: see thread about nothing

  4. #19
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
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    I thought Clinton killed the "define is" style of debate once and for all...

    In an argument where the words used in the argument themselves are up for debate, how can we hope to make any progress? It's completely defeatist.

    And I know that.
    Last edited by Fung Koo; October 17th, 2008 at 02:34 PM.

  5. #20
    Journalist Monty Mike's Avatar
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    Just want to mention the book I Am That by Nisargadatta for those who are really interested in those whole subject.



    If you have time, have a read through some of this material:

    http://www.thecourse.org.uk/nmq.html

  6. #21
    Registered User falcon57's Avatar
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    Let me try another way. When you say: 'What do we REALLY know?', then for me this equates to 'What do we know
    to be true?'. The 'REALLY' is just a smoke screen that implies the answers must have a certain degree of
    reality. But truth and reality are to seperate things that have similarities, but don't mix. So
    IMO there is no answer to the question.
    Should the question be rephrased to 'What doe we know about reality?' Then we have been thought lots of answers,
    but most of them are just preliminary in nature and being revised all the time. The fact however that we have to
    die some time in the future seems both relevant and certain.

    To Huike: I completly disagree with you. Your book is a recipe to develop a belief system that makes you
    happy (nothing wrong with that) and yields lots of REAL truthes. I distrust methods to play around with
    my mind to produce truth and new realities.

  7. #22
    Kiss my axe! kahnovitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Wassner View Post
    What does it mean to be certain then?
    We learn from experience, trial and error.
    I am certain if I hold an egg in my hand and release it, it will fall and hit the floor.
    I am reasonably certain it will break if the distance it drops is far enough for the force of the external impact to exceed the pressure threshold of the egg's shell.

  8. #23
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    How does certainty coincide with faith then?

  9. #24
    Kiss my axe! kahnovitch's Avatar
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    I'm not sure it does.

    Faith is more about belief than certainty, and tends to deal with subjects that are intangiable or inextricable, i.e. what we use to describe a belief in something that cannot be proven empirically one way or another.

    Certainty is about absolutes. There can of course be degrees of certainty regarding many matters of discussion.

  10. #25
    You take in faith the things you cannot prove.

  11. #26
    Journalist Monty Mike's Avatar
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    Kierkegaard's "leap of faith" comes to mind...

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    The leap of faith is his conception of how an individual would believe in God, or how a person would act in love. It is not a rational decision, as it is transcending rationality in favour of something more uncanny, that is, faith.

  12. #27
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    How do you reconcile faith with certainty then. If you're certain the egg will break, then how can you believe in God? God could prevent that. If God could prevent that, then how certain can you be it will break every time? If God could prevent that, then isn't the door open to something else preventing it as well? Are you certain?

  13. #28
    Journalist Monty Mike's Avatar
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    Are we talking faith in strictly religious terms?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Wassner
    If you're certain the egg will break, then how can you believe in God? God could prevent that.
    How do you know God can prevent it? We have free choice.

  14. #29
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    Because God is omnipotent, right? Isn't that part of the concept?

  15. #30
    Journalist Monty Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Wassner View Post
    Because God is omnipotent, right? Isn't that part of the concept?
    So then we get back to the old omnipotent paradox "Can God create a stone so heavy, He Himself cannot lift it?"

    But back to my previous post, what's wrong with the idea that God is omnipotent but chooses not to intervene because he wants us to have free choice? That is not contradictory or limitting to his nature.

    (btw, I think the whole omnipotent paradox is flawed to begin with which is why I'm not pursuing it, but thought I'd throw it in anyway)
    Last edited by Monty Mike; October 24th, 2008 at 10:28 AM.

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