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Re: Depression, Evolution (back atcha CarolAnn)

Posted by Bob on November 14, 1999, at 15:18:38

In reply to Re: Depression, Evolution (To Bob...), posted by CarolAnn on November 14, 1999, at 8:48:24

Okay CarolAnn, since you asked ...

> ["God ect. more heaven and hell"]
I think that whatever can be taken literally of any religious text is so fundamental and simple that our natural urge to embellish hides the meaning fairly quickly, if we ever come to a state of such simplicity that we can even glimpse the literal. Otherwise, yes, I also agree that if someone out there was keeping score on how many sins have been committed using god's words as justification as opposed to how many sins have been prevented using the same criteria, the sins would be winning in a blow-out. Let's hope it's quality and not quantity that matters.

Religious books may be fine teachers (of both the right and the wrong interpretations of god), but they have no value without faith in the first place. And I think that faith is found from within, not from without. That's why accountability is more important to me than any sort of ritual cleansing from without or external admission of guilt.

The idea of being put right back here into the same situation if one commits suicide is interesting, but I don't think that retribution (and I believe that's exactly what it would be, for someone to send another intentionally into pain as a punishment for taking a faulty path out of that pain) is something god cares too much for. My article of faith that helps keep me from taking my own life is the thought of the pain that killing myself would cause god and how god would forgive me all the same. Sometimes, we choose not to take our own lives due to the pain we would cause a loved one. Now there's a vision of hell for you -- trying to imagine the pain you would cause god and the guilt that would cause. I haven't found an earthly pain worth that much grief.

"Dogma" reminds me of the new film coming out. First Cardinal O'Connor condemning the exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and now the Catholic League with all its wild comments about "Dogma". I mean, these are no Holocausts -- no individuals are being singled out because of their beliefs. Even if they ARE an attack on the RC Church, perhaps the RC Church needs to be challenged now and then (as any other religious organization), particularly if they get so defensive. But one thing I know is true -- god needs no protection ... instead, if YOUR faith is challenged, then look to yourself. John Cardinal O'Connor, where is your faith?

Or, as Howard Jones put it --
"And if they were not meant to be
Well, don't you think they wouldn't be?"

> "Depression, Evolution(to Elizabeth)"

If any scientist, particularly those who claim to be such since 1900 or so, ascribes to absolute scientific truths, then that person is lying about being a scientist. The positivists tried to come up with an ontology/epistemology (theory of being/theory of knowing) that could "prove" statements to be true. Karl Popper basically struck the first fatal blow to such philosophy, but it rings so true with our common sense ways of knowing that positivism ain't quite dead yet. Still, science functions primarily on not a theory of verification, but one of falsification. Nothing can be proven true; it can only be supported until something comes along to prove it false and under what conditions it is so.

This is also the basis for my claim about faith and science being incommensurate systems. Faith is concerned with what is accepted as true. Science is concerned with what is not demonstrably false and, perhaps even moreso, with what *is* demonstrably false. The two are nowhere near different sides of the same coin.

As for relativity, quantum mechanics, and the big bang theory ... well, there have been many indications of support for their basic ideas, but the details are constantly being revised.

>["I'm so sorry Elizabeth, I mis-spoke"]
I do agree with your equating atheists and christians (or followers of any (dis)organized religion or cult) if their belief is based solely upon the words of others. That isn't belief, it isn't faith ... it's "knowledge" of one sort or another.

> On another tangent:
> This is getting to be such a long thread. Anyone sufficiently interested in the topic to go down and start again with a new thread?

I'd say the masses have voted. But I'll add a word in a separate post.





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