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Posts posted by VonNoble

  1. 2 hours ago, mererdog said:

    There is a multiplying effect with communication advances. As it becomes easier for us to compare notes with one another, it becomes easier for each of us to look like a genius, you know? Add the actual geniuses into the mix, and we all stand on the shoulders of giants. Look how big we all look when we stand up here!


  2. 30 minutes ago, Pastor Dave said:


    The way evolutionists deal with the lack of evidence is with speculation and conjecture. At least that is how I see it.

    I can appreciate your reasoning.   For evolutionary biology - with a historic reckoning in the neighborhood of 65 billion years in the making.....even the much briefer history of life in this planet requires a wee bit more than 100 or do years to reconstruct in detail...perhaps.   


    Mankind has had the mere blink of an eye to process the information coming to us anew.   Arriving daily.   From a myriad of sources.    Allowing young people to understand the process and allowing them to marvel at what is possible might well expedite the few missing proofs.   Eh.... not to mention not all physical evidence survives millions of years in the making ;)

    .... organic material does decompose over time.  


     However  the fragments, bones and DNA collected so far has caused proofs to leap forward at exponential rates of late.    I find it all pretty amazing in the last 50 years.    It is amazing what is knowable now.    Adding to that is big chunks of information made possible by the Hubble telescope.    And in less than two years the data streaming in from the new Webb telescope will jump our understanding forward at rates that will astound us still.   


    Compters are cranking out lots lots of proof of lots of things.   We need more scientists to collaborate, coordinate and share things known only to a few currently... but it is being released as quickly as it is verified, tested retested as valid.  It is encouraging that speculation items are able to predict outcomes with such pinpoint accuracy.  It is also a good thing that science is more than willing to correct the record whenever better evidence is provided.    I am happy the record no longer is offered to us to have a “flat earth” point of view.   


    I feel  fortunate to have lived long enough to see what is likely ( or even possible) to know.   I won’t live long enough to see the conclusion of the story :blush: but it is grand to see how far we have come.    I am happy with the chances humans have for the next 1,000 plus years.   On whatever planet they might add for inhabitation.;)


    In the last three million years the evidence points to an ever increasing brain power for humans.    I have met a couple of people that might cause a person to question that as fact  :lol:.... but a glance at our collective advances is convincing.   



  3. 21 hours ago, Dan56 said:


    Absolutely.. I believe morals are derived from our own experiences. We are taught manners, but our own sense of right and wrong essentially emanate and evolve from within ourselves, but of course outside influences can also weigh on our conscience. If you've ever been sick, you  can certainly empathize with someone else who's sick, if you've ever suffered, you can develop compassion for others who are suffering. Our moral values are shared experiences, those kids didn't want to punch another kid because it wasn't warranted, and at some time, they undoubtedly had been hurt themselves, so they were opposed to inflicting harm and pain needlessly on another person for no reason.. Morality superseded authority and commonsense took precedence.. We can probably learn a lot from kids.

    I find we are very much on agreement on this one.  :thumbu:



  4. On 4/5/2018 at 5:37 AM, Key said:

    I have also heard, "Time is a teacher of manners." So, by this, it is also assumptive that morals can be a learned thing. Perhaps more of a personal experience thing than something that may be taught by others, though that can be a variable to some degree, as well.

    I agree.     We add and delete traits etc as they prove useful to us..... or so it seems.   I am told that others disagree with that.... and I am not particularly well read on the matter.    It is just an observation in my own life.



  5. Our last “ God project” today 


    Eight people on a team.... 45 minutes to complete our assignment.


    Before beginning the assignment we each had to share our inner most feelings about  of God with the group.  (We did not take that as a literal requirement in our group)


    As a group we had to write a 75 word essay for the three major positions (theist, agnostic, atheist).   Then  condense each essay into a standard form argument.


    The group sharing went well.   Four theists ( 3 of them Catholic....one generic Christian)    ..... three Agnostics   .... one very strong atheist.


    When we were done sharing.... we had less than 30 minutes to go.    We cheated.

     Rather than ALL OF US WORKING AS a single unit..... we divided into three small groups.... the atheist working alone ....and finished with a whole 1.4 minutes to spare.


    As far as I could tell those who tackled it as a larger group got bogged down and did not finish.


    Next up..... ethics



  6. 4 hours ago, mererdog said:

    No. You are trying to determine motive by examining action (or lack thereof). It doesn't work.

    The mother may never learn he ate the candy, but the other kid will know who hit him. This means you may simply be seeing children engaged in reflexive risk analysis, and accepting only rewards with an acceptable level of risk. Or not. We can't tell, can we?

    I could not tell.    The question was put to me.    I could understand how the person explaining it to me came to the conclusions (so I could see the end picture was likely suppose to be a duck..... )


    However my own thought processes could derive other options -so I was curious where the normative range if conclusions might fall.  (Since we know from class I am not in the normative range in Philosophical thought) ;) (that teacher is a doozie)


    Then again I have seen some parenting with extremely liberal hands off approaches produce some rule following kids.... so there may be no cause and effect ever... I am just mulling things over



  7.  Some variation of this has been around - apparently since the days of ancient philosophers, however it is new to me. 


    It seems some wise old guys gathered a random few children around and encouraged them them to have a piece of candy even though the old duffers were well aware that the mothers had admonished the kids NOT to accept sweets before their next meal. 


    The story goes...the kids thought it over, knew the men in question (or at least some of them) and knew they were important men...authority figures recognized in the community.  Perhaps, in the mind of a kid wanting candy - perhaps even more of an authority than mom. 


    So they each accepted the candy and enjoyed it. 


    Before leaving the authority figures (who were doing this experiment just to see the impact of being authority figures with the children) put a second "test to the kids"......they asked them to come into another room in pairs.   Once in the room one kid was then asked to punch the other.  For no reason.   Just punch them.  Just punch them in the face !   But the children would not do this.  They refused to punch another kid for no reason.  They refused to punch another kid even for greater rewards than on piece of candy, for refused for praise - or simply because the authority figures ordered them to do so....they even refused when there was a threat to tell mom that they did not do as asked by people with even greater authority (after all that was the rationale for taking candy).......they refused flatly to punch someone with no reason.    


    The conclusion was that kids seem to be able to sort out  some degree of right and wrong -  possibly even in spite of authority.  They show signs of having a fairly balanced sense of right and wrong on their own.


    If that whole thing were true - - can we conclude kids to some extent develop a moral compass naturally  most of the time?


    Just curious.    von

  8. 2 hours ago, mererdog said:


    I have seen a lot of swans 

    The swans I saw were white.

    All swans are white.


    A more familiar use of this sort of bad thinking runs like this-

    "I've known his teacher for thirty years and she's never given me any reason to think she was capable of doing anytging like that. She just isn"t that sort of person."


    Ta da!    I actually recognize the format!   I learned something in this class after all. ;)   I was pleased I got it ( are you helping me prep for the final?)


    i didn’t have anything to add to the conversation so I am :offtopic2:.... but happy this morning (before yet amother quiz) that I “got” something.    It is an omen I am making progress 


  9. It seems perhaps those choosing faith in Christianity do so hinged on the operative word “faith”


    In the New Testament..... after Easter Sunday..... Jesus appeared to the disciples.    Thomas was not there.   When told the Lord had appeared Thomas did not believe and said he would not believe until he himself examined the Risen Lord....which eventually happened.   When they met up Thomas recognized it was Christ and fell down to worship Jesus.   Jesus gently put things aright ..:but noted those who believe without proof (all those to follow this...his last appearance till the Rapture.... all the millions of our times who believe without concrete evidence... those will be found virtuous for being faithfilled.

    They believe without the benefit of direct physical evidence 


    Therefore anyone searching for proof is out there more than likely to shut up the faithless.    The faithful have accepted the story as reality.... and go about their business (most of them) without need to prove anything except their loyalty ....to God.



    • Like 1
  10. On 3/31/2018 at 12:58 PM, cuchulain said:

    i wonder of late.  if the bible IS infallible, and Christianity evolved from Judaism, and that began roughly 1500 b.c.e. by all the sources i can find, but the biblical age of the world is about 6k years...


    why no evidence from BEFORE Judaism?  There was apparently 2500 years before Judaism, biblically speaking.  Am I missing something obvious?

    I am by far not the most learned person in this Forum about such things.


    if I can try a rephrasing?     Since Genesis begins with creation of all living things.... and notes the Garden if Eden and the serpent...& the Apple and the fall and banishment.....with that provided .....it does allow for some question. Or maybe curiosity.    If the Torah’/old testament provides detailed ancestors linking the roots of the one true belief back to the beginning of time.... the the question (I think?) is placing Christianity as claiming to be there in the beginning.... maybe


    1.   I am agreeing with Pastie Dave....it seems Christianity does not claim to be Christian..... until AFTER THE APPEARANCE OF CHRIST!


    2.   The Old Testament-Torah established the reason for the Arrival of the Savior.... and indicates the lineage necessary to “ know Him”


    3.   Only after the arrival of Jesus who fulfilled the aforementioned predictions.... articulating the new covenant (New Testament)  did the Christian (followers if Christ) emerge


    4. If you want an archeological item dating to the Garden of Eden .... an instrument that actually was in play ...a tangible between God and man...... the Muslims have it.    As I understand it the original altar used by Abraham is in Mecca.


    if I managed to screw any of this up.... my apologies to true believers.... I am hoping I got the basics correct.



    • Like 1
  11. I just read that Pew research indicates agnostics/atheists tend to be more often male (64%)..... And I am wondering why that would be so?   Additionally the majority are white?


    i have no idea what to conclude about that-perhaps nothing at all.       The majority of the population the last time I looked was female.... additionally there are much higher numbed if women entering colleges now....especially areas of science..... I just found that a quirky statistic......


    i wonder why that that is the statistic?




  12. 25 minutes ago, RabbiO said:

    I don't know if you're simply ignorant.....and arrogant..... or whether you're anti-Semitic, knowingly or not. As you're fairly new, I will give you the benefit of the doubt.

    Just to be clear....I applaud Rabbi0’s diplomacy and kindness.    To which I add my thanks to you, Rabbi0......


    Although she (my mother) practice no religion..... my maternal grandparents are Jews.... making me (according to custom) a Jew as well.   I know absolutely nothing about it.... but one of my sister’s keeps a kosher house..... is fluent in Hebrew.....and I certain she would be far less diplomatic making her points.


     Rabbi0... shalom and my thanks 


  13. We have only one class remaining on the topic of Metaphysics. 

    Our BIG EVENT (this week) - was actually MUCH tamer than I imagined it would be for whatever reason.  


    Of interest were the presentations by two Theists (each of whom identified themselves as Christian) used a justification "by personal experience" for their reasons for believing in the existence of God.   One went on at length about feeling God's presence.  The other actually "hears" God.   No one challenged those presentations.   Which in my opinion was a good thing.   This is what they believe.   In a room of young adult peers it seemed like a bold move and I thought everyone should be respectful of their beliefs.  Everyone seemed to be. 


    On the other side we had a very bold young atheist.   There was no "agnostic" tie to it - he was REALLY loud and proud (articulate) and sort of edgy challenging any one who believed remotely in any higher power.    Interestingly enough - he was not challenged either.  


    The vast majority were "believers" in some higher power-God but they did not attempt to deride or sway anyone else to that point of view.  Like I said - it was pretty tame.   Each person had time to explain their position.   The only challenges were very mild (and done by the professor largely) and that was it. 


    A statement - an occasional mild and gentle pushback on the position by way of asking for clarification. Then it was over.  


    A handful of people refused to participate in the exercise.    (I didn't know we had that option :blink:) and they were allowed to take a "pass" for participation.   It was completely unclear to me how that factors into the grading.   I thought participation was required.   I thought that because there was no "opt out" clause in any of our instructions.   


    In the Forum here - we certainly generate FAR MORE information, history, depth of understanding - but then again this is an introductory class with mostly very young adults.  


    Conclusion:  The information from the Forum had me at ease enough to simply observe and absorb without entanglements so we got through it and I thank all posters for that.    The Agnostic Atheist position (not an official option but one after reading this thread seemed to fit well enough I could present it decently) actually seemed to be one that was of no interest the professor.  I was thankful for that.    ;)     I can cross that assignment off the list. 


    ONE MORE class to go......we have a team project (we do not have the instructions till we get to class next week) and whatever that is - we then move on to Ethics. 


    Thanks to all for helping me jump through this section. 


  14. 2 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:


    Invisible assumptions are a body of belief that we accept without realizing it.  That is, the assumptions are invisible to us.  Like an iceberg.  We can see the tip of it with our minds easily.  The body of thought is submerged in our minds.  We don't realize that this mass of idea is there, beneath the surface.  It is invisible.  This can be subtle or gross.


    How do we describe the Universe?  If we say, "Creation" -- that is one set of assumptions about God.  If we say, "Existence" -- we are not making those assumptions.


    How do we describe our planet?  Is it "God's footstool"?  "Is it "God's Green Earth"?  Or an expression of natural forces?  Maybe "Mother Earth"?  "Third Rock from the Sun"?  "The Big Blue Marble"?  "Home"?    It all evokes something different.  Different ideas.  Different associations.  A different belief structure.  


    What are the stars?  Are they distant suns?  Or are they the Host of Heaven?


    If you like, I can go on.  The point is -- I think what we call things does matter.  


    Let's magnify things.  Let's make some big invisible assumptions.  What is the purpose of religion?  To get our souls into Heaven.


    Look at all the invisible assumptions that we just made.  We have made statements of belief about the purpose of religion; Heaven; Hell; souls; etc.  If we actually dissect all the assumptions we just made -- we could end up with a major work of theology.  All based on invisible assumptions.  We have, for instance, asserted that we have souls -- that we want to get our souls into Heaven.  Is Heaven a place?  Like Texas?  That we want to get into?  What do we actually know about Heaven?  Or souls?  How do we know this?  How do we think that we know any of this?  Based on what?


    When we actually examine what we think we know -- what do we really know?  How do we know it?






    It boggles my mind......

    I do appreciate the more detailed walk through.   This requires a bit more work on my part.


  15. 14 minutes ago, mererdog said:

    A spiritual being of a specific religion would not always be a proper noun. Shinto has yōkai, as an example. While specific to Shinto, they are not a singular thing within Shinto (note the "they"). 

    By sheer dumb luck..... I did not know enough to even remotely goof that up.... nonetheless.... your point is well made and I thank you.



  16. On 3/25/2018 at 9:27 AM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:


    Ideas vary:  Nature; The Universe; One; Unity behind Existence; Ocean of Life; Mystery, Foundation of our Being; The Force: Nature's God (Spinoza of Amsterdam) ; Singularity --- not everything is anthropomorphic.  In Buddhism there is "Bodhi Mind" -- a mental field from which everything rises.  Not God as such.  A mind field.  Depending on inclination and belief, you could say "Supreme Being".  If you do chose those words, you are saying more than you might wish.  Or showing that you have not thought deeply about the matter in a disciplined manner.  In other words, invisible assumptions.  





    Believe it or not....I gave this some time to sink in


    So..... I am wondering if the terminology chosen is more lax ....perhaps because God/Supreme Being is not relative to me?


    Or perhaps ..... it is more critical than I realized till now..... because it matters to the listener?   Therefore I am obliged to reduce confusion....maybe


    I avoid this topic often because it’s a bit like Loch Ness monster theories (or so it seems).....I am okay with Nessie being real... but fully expect it is not.


    Run this invisible assumptions by me one more time.... please AND THANK YOU!




  17. On 3/25/2018 at 7:07 AM, mererdog said:

    Supreme Being is a proper noun (and capitalized) when it refers to a singular thing. It gets confusing in common comparative religious use, because while the many different religions have many Supreme Beings, each is a singular thing within the context of its specifc religion.

    Just to make sure I have this ( thx 4 quick refresher course)


    When  I am referring to a spiritual being of a specific religion (as in a deity or title or name) it goes on caps.


    If we are making a generic point about an entity ....such as....a god figure often has this or that trait.... I am okay to not caps?



  18. 7 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:



    Our words structure our thoughts.  Sometimes, our choice of words betrays what our thinking really is.  

    Perhaps there is a difference?   In class the prof uses the words Supreme Being and God..... alternately or interchangeably..... is there a difference?  


    I also wondered why the two words are in caps..... it seems they would work to discuss a room full of diverse beliefs in “ not caps” - I didn’t ask in class.    It didn’t bother me.... so much as I am curious if there is a grammatical reason.    


    Shortly we move over on to Ethics so the delve into Metaphysics will move off the front burner.


  19. 59 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:


    This statement is filled with unintended irony.  You did not say "God".  You said "Supreme Being".  Again, we see the invisible assumptions come into play.  For you, God conflates with Supreme Being.  With so few words, you have said so much about the God that you don't believe in -- and you never noticed.  This is the power of letting others choose your vocabulary for you.




    Well I appreciate the help.   I don’t remember using the term Supreme Being in general....until this Philosophy class.   It has slipped in largely because it is a common use in class I expect


    I think in the use above...my frame of mind has sort of been stuck on the Supreme part of “being” .... and sorting through the concept of the Supreme often displaying what seems decidedly to be human frailties and sometimes pettiness...... thx for continuing to pitch in....


    Way back when....it seemed simple way back then ....when I moved out of mom and dad’s....go out in the world and see what is out there.... the Eastern point  of view seemed far less confrontational/combative...



  20. 10 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:




    Before starting on a journey -- either literal or spiritual -- it is good to ask basic questions.    Where am I going?  Why am I going?  What am I looking for?  What do I want to do when I get there?


    It simplifies things.  It is not helpful to look for directions until you know where you want to end up.  Of course when you get there, you can look around and decide it's not what you had in mind, and look someplace else.


    Maybe you are already where you want to be.  Maybe there is no place to go, because you're already there.



     :lol: I pretty much always figured I was where I am suppose to be...:lol:


    ....moving towards peace and away from turmoil.... which is not always a straight line.... and often a slow and thoughtful journey.....learning from so many many teachers....I am grateful for all of them