ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

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ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

We debate origins of the Universe, life, Earth, humans, religion, atheism, using common sense, evolution, cosmology, geology, archaeology, and other sciences, to repel biblical creationism and other religious beliefs.

Location: Oxford University, England
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The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Comment by Jimmy McCann on November 8, 2012 at 12:42pm

Sorry Chris, but that like saying politics is about kissing babies and shaking hands. Of course the central message of most religions do revolve around the 'threat and promise' but that is only the propaganda of the organisations behind religion.  

Comment by Chris Dodds on November 8, 2012 at 10:14am

I always thought that the definition of a regligion was that a religon was a set of beliefs that include and revolve around some supernatural component of life (particularly human life) that continues on after the death of the physical body.

Comment by Jimmy McCann on November 8, 2012 at 9:19am

No argument here, although the important part of belief is: from whence it came. all religions throughout history have imposed beliefs more often through violent repression, a societal construct manufactured from fictional constructs. The US was born out of mass emigration from repressive European religions and then constructed their very own versions, Mormonism is a perfect example. 

Comment by Littlejohn Dellar on November 8, 2012 at 8:51am
Definition of religion

noun

[mass noun]
  • the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.
    To believe in a personal god or gods is to have a religion.  That is the very definition of religion.
     
    Redefining the word to your taste does not change what it actually means.
Comment by Jimmy McCann on November 8, 2012 at 8:41am

Whether there is or isn't a God or indeed who made him is really a moot point and most atheist simply do not believe in any god (s) or religions, as none of them come even close to describing a god or gods that could have or would have made this Universe . Religions obsessive desire to have him, it or them to themselves is nothing more than a primitive arrogance. The truth of religion has nothing whatsoever to do with worshiping a creator or even following tribal rules of morality, Religions are political institutions conjured up for the benefit of the ruling elite with the singular aim of securing their dominance by extracting money from the masses. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 7, 2012 at 10:57pm

Neal Schermerhorn, your statement makes as much sense as any I have run across. 

"I like the theory that "god" is simply one's own self, playing "hide-and-seek" with itself, a sort of mild disassociative disorder if you will. Certainly explains why people fight over it so much."

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 6, 2012 at 10:45pm

sk8eycat, Susan Jacoby is a great read. She is also good at debate, doesn't stand still for nonsense and challenges with confidence and competence. I do little reading any more and there are many interviews on video or radio broadcasts to enjoy with eyes closed, a cup of tea in my lap, and a piece of chocolate to munch on. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 6, 2012 at 9:55pm

''Who made God?'' is a question asked by many and it doesn't make sense to me. "Who made lightning?"  "Who made sunshine?" "Who made water and who makes it flow downslope?"


A concept that some might call god, to me, is a process; a process that made the universe out of nothing as far as astrophysicist can tell. Lightning comes from natural forces that include at least electro-magnetic forces and perhaps other energies as well. Sun is part of the process of energies in the universe and I have no idea how it works and why, but I don't think I need to know that, at least as a little old lady trying to work up enough energy to repot my violets. Water comes from elements forming molecules of hydrogen and oxygen but I can't make them myself, they just develop because of natural processes. Water running down hill is a little easier if the explanation of gravity proves to be true. 

A bee gets up in the morning and flies from flower to flower and in the process pollenates seed bearing plants. It doesn't intend to do so, it intends to feed its appetite, whatever that is. A bee with yellow pollen flying overloaded with cargo perform an impossible task with those tiny little wings. But bee doesn't know his wings are tiny; it is just what nature calls it to do. 

Not a very sophisticated answer, indeed. I just know that I exist as a survivor of survivors who had children. My genetic code passes to my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, for who knows how long. 
I am alive, I have sensing organs, a brain and the usual systems that everyone else has, from a heart that pumps blood through the cardio-vascular system, lungs that pump air and gases through my pulmonary system, an intake chamber and gastro-intestinal system with filters along the way and an outflow orifice. A system with intake and outflow are called "open systems". Several other system, of which I am unaware, like sweat glands, lymph nodes, and who knows how many other things exist and operate, not because I do anything, they just go about their work without any input from me. 

Of these things I am very sure. I exist, I have work that needs to be done to survive (food, water, shelter, stuff like that). I belong to a community who loves me and whom I love. I have a mind that thinks and reasons and explores and experiments, and notices cause and effect, and I am capable of learning a great deal more. I see stars and constellation unaided, but can see other stars, universes in far distant space, taking more time than I have to visit them, or more equipment to successfully flourish if I go past the living zone of Earth. 

There is no "purpose" for my life, nor for anyone else's life. I come into being by some spark of life through sperm meeting egg, I grow, live and die going back into the stuff of stars. Nothing has a plan for me. I simply have some things I am good at and enjoy, and can create a life that flourishes. 

I exist as an inquisitive, curious, observing, happy human being, loving morning and rising to a new day, and going to rest after a day full of challenges that occasionally resolve satisfactorily. How could I ask for more? 

 

Comment by sk8eycat on November 6, 2012 at 9:01pm

Roy...you're right, it IS Barbara Walker.  Mah brayne nawt wurkin 2dai.  Sorry.

Comment by Roy on November 6, 2012 at 7:39pm

Also, from what I've observed in my lifetime, god is only created in the minds of the believers.  Everyone creates their own and they are all different.  Basically, we are all godless, but some people just don't believe that.  I like to tell them that I don't have any invisible pretend friends.  But I may have some real pretend friends. lol (so to speak)

 

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