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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Discussion Forum

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Comment by John Burtonclay on October 22, 2011 at 1:51am
What happens when we're in our wooden overcoat is a fascinating subject, and none of us can really know the answer, if there is one. It's like religion. No tangible evidence to back up any of the beliefs. Some believe there are other dimensions where we go. I met a lady who calls herself a channeller, and she told me things she couldn't possibly have known about people I've known, but are now brown bread. I gave her no clues, and she didn't go fishing either. Being the sceptic I am, this had me puzzled, as she appeared to be actually communicating with them, as if they were in the room. I questioned how she does this, and she didn't really know for sure, but assured me that they were there, and what did I think. I told her my best guess was that she might be able to somehow access my memory, even things I'm not consciously aware of unless reminded.  In my lifetime, I have met only one other person, who called himself a faith healer. He could tell you all your ailments with no clues whatsoever, and was spot on, as if he could read your mind. Could even tell if you were worried about something. I don't believe that the spirits of dead people are drifting around out there in some sort of limbo, and can be contacted. The channeller thinks there could be parallel universes, or other dimensions we can't see. She was raised a cacko, but gave up on that, but likes the Buddhists very much. I agreed with this, as they don't kill everything like the Christians do with their dominion. I believe when we kick off, that's it. Nothing. No judgement day, or anything else. If I have a soul, then so does a worm. When you see a dead flyblown sheep in a field, do you wonder where it is now? In heaven? Or is that just for humans? I believe that many people stick doggedly to religion because they're afraid not to because of the threats of eternal punishment dished out by the church.  We all know it exploits fear. Also, when all seems lost, and you're on your own, there's God to comfort you. I have no doubt that human beings need some sort of support, I don't know what to call it, maybe spiritual, but it sure isn't religion. I hope you understand what I'm trying to say here. I can't really explain it in a logical way, but I sometimes feel it myself. Like a child who wants his mother. What do others think about all this? I know some of it doesn't sound rational.  John B.
Comment by Napoleon Bonaparte on October 22, 2011 at 1:04am
Comment by G Smith on October 21, 2011 at 11:01pm
I am no more fearful of the year 2111 than I was during 1811.  :)
Comment by Natalie A Sera on October 21, 2011 at 10:57pm
Julie, I don't fear non-existence, because I have already been there. Think of all the billions of years since the formation of the planet, and the millennia of recorded history, and I wasn't here for ANY of it! And I won't be here for whatever the future brings, either. Non-existence isn't painful or scary -- it's just nothing. But it does make me value my life here on earth, and I figure I got a chance to enjoy things and actually HAVE a life. Good enough!
Comment by Lisa Schmidt on October 21, 2011 at 10:31pm
I don't think it has anything to do with age, I think it has to do with vulnerability.  I mean, look at the ones religion goes after...kids, the elderly, prisoners, addicts, the grieving...basically, the vulnerable.
Comment by Julie Carter on October 21, 2011 at 10:18pm

Funny, I just started reading Penn's book last night!

 

But yes, I think everyone sees that the older you get, the more likely you are to believe in god. Fear. That's all it is. And you know, I fear it too (non-existence), but just because I KNOW that this is all I have, and when I die, I will cease to exist. I'm not sure why I fear it, because it's not like I'll know the difference at that point! Lol.

Comment by Joseph P on October 21, 2011 at 10:16pm
What a stupid thing to say.  What does being comfortable with something have to do with reality?
Comment by Julie Carter on October 21, 2011 at 9:30pm
I think most people really don't think about it deeply. They just accept that there is a god and don't want to look at it too deeply. It's too comforting, and it's scary to think about there not being a god, there not being life after death. People are petrified of that, and just live in denial. So people refuse to use rationalism and logical thinking because they don't want to ruin their comforting illusions, and they don't want to be the one that has to go against the rest of their family, friends, and society. Pansies.
Comment by Rob Larson on October 21, 2011 at 7:10pm

Hi CJ,

You raise a thought in my mind: do people only join religions because others talk them into it and use social pressures? And do people only get leave religions because they talk *themselves* out of it, *despite* the social pressures?

Well done you, in any case! Good luck.

Comment by Arthur Schnabel on October 21, 2011 at 3:00pm
 Hey kids! Just jumping in here. My name is Arthur, I was raised catholic, I have been an Atheist since I was about 10 or 12 years old, after seeing Madeline Murray O'Hair on the Mike Douglas Show KICKING THAT PRIESTS ASS! (WOW!!!!) Making macaroni crosses and believing that some(thing) had rose from the dead was no more! Mom & Dad...REALLY!!!??? 
 

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