I will certainly have a look at the website recommended. Here's one for yourself. http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/index.html
Do you mean "cannot" because there are things that are beyond your comprehension (which is really an arbitrary statement), or do you mean "cannot" because there is too much for you to comprehend?
Location: Boston area
I mean "cannot" in a few ways. As I mentioned before, there are concepts that the human mind finds difficult to grasp such as infinity or nothingness. To me, the hardest thing to understand about the Big Bang theory is the concept of nothingness that would have preceded it. There is nothing in my experience that would allow me to truly understand such a concept.
Yes, I also mean "cannot" in terms of quantity; it is impossible to learn everything about everything in our brief time on Earth so we must pick and choose about what we focus on (kinda like which dances to learn).
And finally, it is very difficult to prove a negative. For example: I don't have proof that there is life after death, but neither can you prove to me that there isn't. Same goes for God, ESP and any number of other things. So I choose not to worry about them and put them in the "cannot know for now" category.
I do NOT mean "cannot" in terms of "my head is too full of fluff to grasp deep scientific concepts." It isn't, and I can.
[ 09-03-2001: Message edited by: Ruth ]
It always seem ironic to me that people who claim to believe in scientific theory find it difficult to believe that there is a GOD, or even in the concept of reincarnation.
Einstein's fundamental equation tells me all there is I need to know that energy and matter are equivalent, and that transformations occur all the time in nature.
When we die, why is it inconceivable that we transform from our existence in matter, or our energy trapped in matter is "released"?
Over time, religion has developed to explain this, at least in my opinion, and mixed in with this fundamental truth is of course concepts/principals about morality and justice, etc. From a scientific point of view, if energy and matter are equivalent, why is it so "unacceptable" to athiests that perhaps the concept of "soul" is a description of "energy" that is transformed.
Personally, I don't think when I am released from my physical existence that I will be this person that moves in as the same "person" -- but I do believe that my energy is released and is integrated with other energies and it may be that my energy recycles in other forms.
In science, I seem to remember that energy is neither created nor destroyed but just changes form. Likewise, when I die -- in my definition, released from my mortal physical body -- it will NOT be the end, but rather the beginning of a new existence. If I choose to describe that as experience as becoming one with "GOD", then perhaps it is the best that we can "explain" symbolically.
Is there such a thing as "GOD"? Well, the bible tells us that GOD always existed, and when we die, we join him/her/it (i.e., those of us who are "morally" good). Maybe the part of "morality" is a human creation, but why is it inconceivable that when we die, our energy joins the collective energy and again can transform into other matter, living or dead? We are all the sum of our parts, and maybe GOD is the sum of all our energies, energies that always existed? Like Ruth says, I don't understand nor have I come across any theory that neatly summarizes all the contradictions of life and existence.
Science may be a predictor and we may use science to predict things. Science and mathematics have not been able to resolve many contradictions in theory -- including quantum mechanics, relativity, and gravitiational theory.
In addition, why is it inconceivable that if we accept the scientific principle that Energy and Matter are equivalent, that when we "die" and move on from this existence, that the greater "energy" that we are all a part of, also doesn't have a "morality" or a "collective conscious"?
If we, as human entities have a sense of morality -- when we "die" or "pass on", why is it inconceivable that there is a greater collective energy, that also has a sense of "morality" or "consciousness"?
The fact that we exist and can "think" rationally and that it is our experience in this lifetime that we make moral choices, decisions about life -- yet when we "DIE", that it "must stop" there?
Location: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
There would be an irony if they found it difficult to understand the concept of God etc, but it seems to me that if you believe in the principles of science, you would have difficulty believing most controversial things; you would require good evidence before you accepted any assertion of importance.
[ 09-03-2001: Message edited by: David Brewer - was DavidB ]
The theories indicated are currently being developed, they are not complete and they are accepted as incomplete. They act as a reference point and as basic predictors. When something is discovered to differ from that prediction then the theory is likely to be changed, updated, when the difference is understood. The theory themselves evolve, evolution being one of the topics previously discussed.
Here are some challenges to Scientists to prove:
1. Existence of Parallel Universes which is predicted but never proven.
TIME TRAVEL PARADOX: http://homepage.mac.com/billtomlinson/newtt.html
LIGHT AS PARTICLE AND WAVE PARADOX: http://raven.ubalt.edu/features/media_ecology/paradox/96/gibson1/gibson_1.html
Challenge: Science will never be able to resolve these famous paradoxes: http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/3022/
Science/mathematics have as many (if not more) paradoxes as with Religion. Because we believe in God does not also mean we do not believe in the principles of science. Or do you think this another paradox?
This is my favorite paradox. If I were to trust in Scientific explanation, I would be confused. Yet, I know I will get across the other side.
It may seem paradoxical to believe in God. And if I go with a scientific process, it tells me that God doesn't exist. Yet, I know he/she/it does.
Just as with paradoxes, I can hold two seemingly contradictory arguments. As Ruth says, there are some things which when taken in this context, I cannot comprehend. Yet, my personal experiences lead me to believe in God. Just as it leads me to believe that I do reach the other side of the room, even though science/mathematics tells me it's impossible.
Zeno argued that the process could be continued forever. The gist of the argument is that in order to reach the other side of the room, an infinite number of points must be crossed. And logic tells us that an infinite number of points cannot be crossed in a finite period of time. Therefore, it is impossible to cross a room.
|<<Transformed by Dance>>|
I would challenge you to look through what this one person says about these things - maybe you'll finally get some answers to those questions.
I have just come across this discussion - so interesting! One of the key things I have experienced since coming to a personal relationship with God is transformation. It is a marvel to me how my experience with recovering from bulimia, severe depression and other 20th century mental ills has been documented scientfically and correlates directly with what David says in Psalm 30: "I will praise the Lord God Almighty forever, for he has changed my grief into dancing." Studies are now showing that ballroom dancing is one of the best possible physical therapies for grief and depression, to help sustain brain chemistry and neuropathological changes that occur when old, self-destructive patterns are changed to healthier, more "normal" processes demonstrated in SPECT and other scan technologies.
I always wanted to dance, but never admitted it to anyone. I felt like I had the soul of a dancer, but not the body type or the athleticism needed to actually do it. And it gives me a great bubbling laugh inside to think what a great sense of humor God must have, that he turned me into one! A good one at that! And has taught me so many profound things, metaphorically, in doing so. I believe I have become much more of the person he designed me to be than I was trying to live unsuccessfully within the constructs of spiritual ignorance.
I wish eveyone the same kind of joy, whether in dancing or in finding some other vein of God-made purpose in life.
Thank you all for contributing your thoughts and beliefs - it is challenging and inspiring, not to mention humbling, to read such profound analysis in my favorite discussion board.
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