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Nature of Existence
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Posted 1/16/08 , edited 1/20/08
So before you mods delete this thread on the basis that it is probably retarded not to mention a duplicate, consider this.

THIS IS NOT A RELIGIOUS THREAD, WE ARE NOT TRYING TO CONVERT YOU, READ AND THINK.
IF YOU CANNOT POST APPROPRIATELY, DO NOT POST.

God is only used as an example.

We have in the past argued on various occasions the validity of the existence of a certain being called God. That is not the point in this topic. The point however is to argue the nature of this existence. (if such an existence exists)

Now before we get caught into the vicious cycle of pondering whether existence actually exists, I'd like to make my first and foremost argument:

God Exists

...but I'm an athiest, how can this be so?

Here are my premises:

1. What is the definition of existence? To the best of my ability I am able to say existence is something that is 'there'

2. The ontological argument presented by Anselm considers this, but there is one point of great difference in our beliefs. While Anselm believed that the a physical form triumphs over an imaginary form, I believe the opposite. We can go into detail for why I believe so but unfortunately, we do not have all day. So my second premise will simply say 'the imaginary is a higher form of existence than the physical'

3. When you explain the nature of this 'God' fellow to anyone in the world, they are able to comprehend, given comprehension is limited to uncertain degrees amongst people with different levels of mental capabilities, but comprehend to a point nontheless.

Given these premises and assuming they are true, we now apply deductive reasoning, but first, let me simplify.

1. Existence is something that is 'there'
2. Imaginary existence is a higher form than physical existence
3. Everyone in the world, believers and nonbelievers alike, are able to comprehend 'God'

The logical conclusion would be:

God exists, but only in the minds of people.

What does this mean exactly? Well you see its quite simple. For centuries the human race has been asking the wrong question,'is there a God?' or 'does God exist?'; the answer to those questions are simple and can be summed up into one word, Yes.

However the most important question is rarely addressed. In what form does this 'God' exist? Through my contemplation I have arrived at the existence of God being purely in the land of imagination.

Any questions?

"Nothing matters, we cant actually 'know' something anyways"
--Please refer to page three.

"Why do you think imaginary > physical"
--Please refer to page two.

"Your logic is poop"
--Please read the entire thread.

"Where are you guys at right now?"
--So now we're looking down three distinct paths:

Path one leads us towards a sucessful career/life, we disregard all that is not directly necessary for everyday life and work for the sole purpose of furthering ourselves in the world in terms of money and power. This is a correct path.

Path two leads us towards a doubtful life. It might be meaningful, it might be completely meaningless. We ponder the true nature of existence and end up in the end with nothing but a very big headache. But at least we didn't live our lives like fools only bending towards the will of society and the world. This is a correct path.

Path three leads us towards a hypocritical life. We ponder these ideas, yet we do not act on them. We know the truth yet we do not do what the truth says we should. In the end, we disregard truth for comfort of a peaceful/happy life. This is a correct path.

Seems like no matter what we do, we end up being right...and horribly wrong.
---------------------

If you see any errors with these 'paths' I have brought up or if you have any more to add, please feel free to do so.
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Posted 1/16/08 , edited 4/18/08
is it much like saying I believe in Sailormoon but i kno it's just a cartoon therefore not real?
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Posted 1/16/08 , edited 4/18/08

magnus102 wrote:

Good post. I am curious as to why you find that the ethereal is superior to the physical. I am of the opposite opinion. The nonexistence of god in real life is I agree highly unlikely. The nature of any entity whom we would recognize as god is in my opinion unknowable. If there was such a being it would be far beyond what our minds could understand in their limited nature. So while it is an interesting bit of philosophy it is on the whole like asking blind people to discuss what color would be like if they could see it. God in any form but the one we have imagined is beyond understanding or definition (if he even exists which I doubt).


I say that only because of a certain man named St.Anselm using the opposite combined with logic to prove God DOES exist physically. He used this example:

1. God is the entity, which nothing greater can be conceived.
2. It is greater to be necessary than not.
3. God must be necessary.
4. God necessarily exists.
^^^ - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontological_argument

Necessary here means to exist physically, and the original example he used to express this was a painter. He said that when a painter has an image in his head he is about to execute onto canvas, that image exists solely in the painter's head. After the execution, the image exists both on the canvus (physically) and in the painter's head. He then argued that existence both on canvus and in the head is greater than existence solely in the head.

To which I have to counter this, with the same example. The image that existed in the painter's head prior to execution is an infinitely more perfect existence, due to the fact no painter or artist can convey perfectly the thoughts in their head. After the execution, both images, physical and mental, become tainted due to imperfections in expression.

Therefor I believe that the idea as it exists in the mind is more pristine and powerful than the realization of that idea in physical terms.

You actually said this same thing in your own post. =)
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Posted 1/16/08 , edited 4/18/08
Hey again excalion.

omgwtfbbqlollerskates

First of all, I'm curious on why you think ethereal existence is a higher form over physical. Second (should be first), what is ethereal exactly?
Is it something that has no matter of atoms, no nothing, but IS there?
EDIT: (slightly answered by your last post) SHIT LOL yeah I get you (thoughts zomg)

Okay.
"God exists, but only in the minds of people."
Theres a thingy in philosophy called Empiricism..or something..(I think), and thats the belief that our perceptive senses are the most important thing in conceiving reality. For example, (I'm kinda rusty and shabby with this) we see that when clouds clump up together, rain falls, and the ground gets wet. What we are seeing is that clouds clump together, and then rain/water falls down from it, and then the ground gets water on it.
When we start saying things like "It starts raining BECAUSE the clouds clump together", we are speculating something beyond our reality, and things may not be absolutely true.
Get me? You could look it up if you don't or if you're curious I guess, I'm not entirely 100% sure on it either

Now with some understanding of that, if we were to go a step further and say that everything we perceive is comprehended by our brains/mind, then that means we only know what our brain translates. We think rocks exist because our mind sees it as a lump of *coloured* matter and everyone calls it a rock. Umm..
There's an example known as the brain-in-a-vat situation. In it, there is an evil scientist that has everyones brain in a vat, and the brains are connected to a super computer that simulates everything that we experience now. Our brains send signals, which the computer receives, and then sends back information (our perceptions). If I make my arm move, the computer will send images and feelings that my arm is moving.
This kind of idea was thought up (I think) by a guy called Berkeley, and he concluded that rather than a vat and a computer, we are inside the mind of God. I really can't be bothered explaining it, so look it up if you want.
But basically, if things TO US only exist as perceptions, then trees and mountains exist because Gods mind is perceiving it.

So my point, EVERYTHING exists only in our minds, so now we're back to square one.
But what I think, we should only deal with what we can perceive and comprehend, things that we cannot comprehend (such as an infinity, or a God that can hold bridges up with his pinky, or a snake made of goo swimming around in the sun) are inconceivable for a reason, and that is because it's not in our reality. We have limits because we are essentially physical matter, and a glob of pinkish goo inside a skull.
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Posted 1/16/08 , edited 4/18/08

wenwen1111 wrote:

is it much like saying I believe in Sailormoon but i kno it's just a cartoon therefore not real?


Precisely. Except the line separating what is 'real' or not tends to blur.

Is sailormoon real? Yes it is real in terms of it being an assortment of colors and lines. It is also real in the minds of people. But it does not extend far beyond such a definition of 'real'. Of course there are probably people in the world that do believe sailormoon, santa claus and the easter bunny to be 'real' in a physical sense, and be prompted as such to retaliate at any whom do not believe as they do.

Only difference is that this 'God' fellow has a much bigger fan club with far vaster ranges in age.
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Posted 1/16/08 , edited 4/18/08

Gabcom wrote:

Hey again excalion.

omgwtfbbqlollerskates

First of all, I'm curious on why you think ethereal existence is a higher form over physical. Second (should be first), what is ethereal exactly?
Is it something that has no matter of atoms, no nothing, but IS there?
EDIT: (slightly answered by your last post) SHIT LOL yeah I get you (thoughts zomg)

Okay.
"God exists, but only in the minds of people."
Theres a thingy in philosophy called Empiricism..or something..(I think), and thats the belief that our perceptive senses are the most important thing in conceiving reality. For example, (I'm kinda rusty and shabby with this) we see that when clouds clump up together, rain falls, and the ground gets wet. What we are seeing is that clouds clump together, and then rain/water falls down from it, and then the ground gets water on it.
When we start saying things like "It starts raining BECAUSE the clouds clump together", we are speculating something beyond our reality, and things may not be absolutely true.
Get me? You could look it up if you don't or if you're curious I guess, I'm not entirely 100% sure on it either

Now with some understanding of that, if we were to go a step further and say that everything we perceive is comprehended by our brains/mind, then that means we only know what our brain translates. We think rocks exist because our mind sees it as a lump of *coloured* matter and everyone calls it a rock. Umm..
There's an example known as the brain-in-a-vat situation. In it, there is an evil scientist that has everyones brain in a vat, and the brains are connected to a super computer that simulates everything that we experience now. Our brains send signals, which the computer receives, and then sends back information (our perceptions). If I make my arm move, the computer will send images and feelings that my arm is moving.
This kind of idea was thought up (I think) by a guy called Berkeley, and he concluded that rather than a vat and a computer, we are inside the mind of God. I really can't be bothered explaining it, so look it up if you want.
But basically, if things TO US only exist as perceptions, then trees and mountains exist because Gods mind is perceiving it.

So my point, EVERYTHING exists only in our minds, so now we're back to square one.
But what I think, we should only deal with what we can perceive and comprehend, things that we cannot comprehend (such as an infinity, or a God that can hold bridges up with his pinky, or a snake made of goo swimming around in the sun) are inconceivable for a reason, and that is because it's not in our reality. We have limits because we are essentially physical matter, and a glob of pinkish goo inside a skull.


I'm using ethereal here to represent something that is difficult to grasp and only exists in the mind. And a short answer to your question would be this.

The idea of perfection can exist in our minds, but perfection cannot exist in the physical world.

I think the next thing you mention has something to do with not always trusting what we percieve. That is absolutely true, I think I made a post about something like that in another topic about gravity. Either way, it is true we have no way of being absolutely sure of anything about anything, but the universe is a system of probabilities, some more likely than others. Even the most deductive logical sequence is only a probability, a very very very good one, but still only a probability.
Logicians usually separate logical arguments into two major categories, inductive and deductive. Inductive is supposed to be based on probability and deductive is supposed to be based on absolutes. But you take into consideration the near impossibility of having absolutely true premises due to our imperfect senses, Pure deductive logic is near impossible:

"again, something exists in our mind, but takes no physical 'realistic' form"

After all that probably useless background material, my point here is this:

Although human logic is probably very very flawed, as much as we can percieve, it usually works. And the same goes for everything else. We take what makes the most sense to us, and stick with it, although we know its probably false, but its the best false truth we have.

As an argument against Berkeley's proposition, consider this:

God percieves us, God percieves mountains, God percieves trees, and as such they exist.

And God exists to percieve all things, because we percieve God.

That is the essence of what I'm trying to say. Of course we can follow this circle to infinite...but I'd rather not. Just to me...the false truth that God is a being that only exists because we percieve of him as so in our minds makes more sense to me.

Edit: fixorz spelling mistakes ftw
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Posted 1/16/08 , edited 4/18/08

excalion wrote:

I'm using ethereal here to represent something that is difficult to grasp and only exists in the mind. And a short answer to your question would be this.

The idea of perfection can exist in our minds, but perfection cannot exist in the physical world.

I think the next thing you mention has something to do with not always trusting what we percieve. That is absolutely true, I think I made a post about something like that in another topic about gravity. Either way, it is true we have no way of being absolutely sure of anything about anything, but the universe is a system of probabilities, some more likely than others. Even the most deductive logical sequence is only a probability, a very very very good one, but still only a probability.
Logicians usually separate and logical argument into two major categories, inductive and deductive. Inductive is supposed to be based on probability and deductive is supposed to be based on absolutes. But you take into consideration the near impossibility of having absolutely true premises due to our imperfect senses, Pure deductive logic is near impossible:

"again, something exists in our mind, but takes no physical 'realistic' form"

After all that probably useless background material, my point here is this:

Although human logic is probably very very flawed, as much as we can percieve, it usually works. And the same goes for everything else. We take what makes the most sense to us, and stick with it, although we know its probably false, but its the best false truth we have.

As an argument against Berkeley's proposition, consider this:

God percieves us, God percieves mountains, God percieves trees, and as such they exist.

And God exists to percieve all things, because we percieve God.

That is the essence of what I'm trying to say. Of course we can follow this circle to infinite...but I'd rather not. Just to me...the false truth that God is a being that only exists because we percieve of him as so in our minds makes more sense to me.


Eh, I kinda see. I'm thinking of something else when you say ethereal, so bleh, were on different tracks. (And then I think about Warcraft (Not WoW))
But that's interesting. There's a belief thought up by Plato that there is a "true form" of everything, for example, there is a "true form" of a lemon, and every lemon in the physical world is just a demented version of the true form. I forget where it leads, but yeah, there it is. Sounds like another possible God-fact to me actually.

Before I forget, http://duggmirror.com/comedy/100_Greatest_Quotes_from_fundamentalist_christian_chat_rooms/
If you haven't seen it already. That's also something that puts me off being Catholic.

Thats a nice thing for logicians to do lol, gives a bit more organization and clarifies that idea.

Agreed, we have our own realities and such, we should go with the flow and live it. Use what's given to us and screw the useless speculations. (Very useless ones)

Hrm, I see what you did there with the Berkeley counter argument, it was much deeper than this, but I guess it became yet another attempt to explain existence. On a side note, Berkeley went and became the Archbishop of some place so yeah.
No more input from me, can't be bothered =3


wenwen1111 wrote:

are u really 19??? seem to be a bit young to take on this logic stuff O.o


Are you serious? I'm 17 right now, but I remember when I was younger (15-16 I think), I was already questioning things like this, and wondering why other people didn't use their brain and think. (ahh kids)
I wasn't alone either, I don't think.
But I guess it's just the environment and certain things that I can't mention from the top of my head that affects this. *However, I don't think theres any kind of "too young" when it comes to thinking deep.
Theres a 12 year old kid on another forum and he sees more sense than some other people who are 16. Like dancing in front of an on-coming car is stupid. (LIKE SERIOUSLY WTF)

*My point
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Posted 1/16/08 , edited 4/18/08

Gabcom wrote:


excalion wrote:

I'm using ethereal here to represent something that is difficult to grasp and only exists in the mind. And a short answer to your question would be this.

The idea of perfection can exist in our minds, but perfection cannot exist in the physical world.

I think the next thing you mention has something to do with not always trusting what we percieve. That is absolutely true, I think I made a post about something like that in another topic about gravity. Either way, it is true we have no way of being absolutely sure of anything about anything, but the universe is a system of probabilities, some more likely than others. Even the most deductive logical sequence is only a probability, a very very very good one, but still only a probability.
Logicians usually separate and logical argument into two major categories, inductive and deductive. Inductive is supposed to be based on probability and deductive is supposed to be based on absolutes. But you take into consideration the near impossibility of having absolutely true premises due to our imperfect senses, Pure deductive logic is near impossible:

"again, something exists in our mind, but takes no physical 'realistic' form"

After all that probably useless background material, my point here is this:

Although human logic is probably very very flawed, as much as we can percieve, it usually works. And the same goes for everything else. We take what makes the most sense to us, and stick with it, although we know its probably false, but its the best false truth we have.

As an argument against Berkeley's proposition, consider this:

God percieves us, God percieves mountains, God percieves trees, and as such they exist.

And God exists to percieve all things, because we percieve God.

That is the essence of what I'm trying to say. Of course we can follow this circle to infinite...but I'd rather not. Just to me...the false truth that God is a being that only exists because we percieve of him as so in our minds makes more sense to me.


Eh, I kinda see. I'm thinking of something else when you say ethereal, so bleh, were on different tracks. (And then I think about Warcraft (Not WoW))
But that's interesting. There's a belief thought up by Plato that there is a "true form" of everything, for example, there is a "true form" of a lemon, and every lemon in the physical world is just a demented version of the true form. I forget where it leads, but yeah, there it is. Sounds like another possible God-fact to me actually.

Before I forget, http://duggmirror.com/comedy/100_Greatest_Quotes_from_fundamentalist_christian_chat_rooms/
If you haven't seen it already. That's also something that puts me off being Catholic.

Thats a nice thing for logicians to do lol, gives a bit more organization and clarifies that idea.

Agreed, we have our own realities and such, we should go with the flow and live it. Use what's given to us and screw the useless speculations. (Very useless ones)

Hrm, I see what you did there with the Berkeley counter argument, it was much deeper than this, but I guess it became yet another attempt to explain existence. On a side note, Berkeley went and became the Archbishop of some place so yeah.
No more input from me, can't be bothered =3


wenwen1111 wrote:

are u really 19??? seem to be a bit young to take on this logic stuff O.o


Are you serious? I'm 17 right now, but I remember when I was younger (15-16 I think), I was already questioning things like this, and wondering why other people didn't use their brain and think. (ahh kids)
I wasn't alone either, I don't think.
But I guess it's just the environment and certain things that I can't mention from the top of my head that affects this. *However, I don't think theres any kind of "too young" when it comes to thinking deep.
Theres a 12 year old kid on another forum and he sees more sense than some other people who are 16. Like dancing in front of an on-coming car is stupid. (LIKE SERIOUSLY WTF)

*My point



Yea plato had a theory of the forms, but he later disproved himself in his last conversation (dialogue is the word I was looking for) or w/e they call it. Oh well, just another neat thing to know I guess.

but yea...


Gabcom wrote:

Like dancing in front of an on-coming car is stupid.



ROFL

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Posted 1/16/08 , edited 4/18/08
This thread is cutting it very close on the verge of being a duplicate. It is different from the rest of the existence AND god threads but makes a good point. I have reopened it but I am clearing out the majority of the spam posts.

~Edited


For future reference, please avoid bumping threads.

For other users, this isn't a thread debating the existence of a god. Answer intelligibly.

@ below -_- I could DESTROY you.
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Posted 1/16/08 , edited 4/18/08

ginnie123 wrote:

God exists.i no that


Spam post here too.
(Along with this one)

@above: I lol'ed =3
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Posted 1/16/08 , edited 4/18/08
I'm an atheist, and I believe God exists, but only as an idea. Ideas can exist so therefore God exists. That's my justification.
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Posted 1/16/08 , edited 4/18/08
Now whats the point of this topic? are you guyz trying to get everyone not to believe or believe in GOD?

Well guyz we should really stop debating about God,if he really exist or not.
My own opinion is, its better to believe than regret it in the end. what is there to lose anyway.
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Posted 1/16/08 , edited 4/18/08
i stop believing in imaginary people when i was a kid
joking aside
but the fact that many different cultures have believed in countless different god. give me no reason to think that any one of them is real.
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Posted 1/16/08 , edited 4/18/08
I'm only going to respond to your opening post in order to explain what you are doing. I don't really wish to get dragged into the issues one could say. You seem to have put some time into your post, so I'll put some length into my response, though that won't gain me readership.

"For centuries the human race has been asking the wrong question,'is there a God?' or 'does God exist?'; the answer to those questions are simple and can be summed up into one word, Yes."
Meh, quite the overstatement, as well as an oversimplification, and in the same sentence too, quite impressive!

Look, God does not exist, but the idea of God does.
But you are attempting to argue: oh no, god exists, but in the mind. As if this were something revolutionary. Hardly.

Well, let me tell you something. Both ways of looking at the issue hold the same exact position in fact. When it comes down to it you agree that God does not exist out there in the world, and the other side would say that God exists in some sense in realm of ideas.

The interesting thing in this thread is how does one hold the same exact conclusion in fact while upholding a seemingly opposite conclusion? By twisting meaning - having a different meaning in mind. By taking advantage of vagueness. You went to some length to create an alternative conceptual structure in order to support a seemingly contradictory position.

We can see an instance of how you inverted meaning concretely though your statement "ethereal existence is a higher form than physical existence". Come now, what kind of unicorn is more real, or better, or a higher form of existence -- one that is out there in the world and can poke people with its horn, or one that only exists to poke people insofar as real people make up stories about it poking people with its horn. The answer is obvious, but you are free to spend all day giving a convoluted answer for why you disagree.

The standard way to state the facts of the matter is that God does not exist, but the idea of God does. Since God does not exist, God only has power insofar as the idea of God has power. This is an accurate description of the facts. Your alternative description of God existing ( but only in the mind) may be considered to be an accurate description of the facts as well. However, this way of stating things requires an unusual qualification to the notion of existence. Many people really believe that God exists out there in the world and many of these people certainly believe strongly in this conviction. Throughout history it has been predominantly this notion of God as out there in the world that atheists have argued against. Because this is the case, it is natural to say that this notion of god does not exist. It should be clear by now why your description is the alternative.

Any questions?
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