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  • God Idea

    Some people have mixed feelings about this and Buddhism so let my try to clarify

    The God-Idea



    The reality or validity of belief in God is based on man's understanding capacity and the maturity of the mind.


    The Development of the God-idea

    To trace the origin and development of the God-idea, one must go back to the time when civilization was still in its infancy and modern science was still unknown. Primitive people, out of fear of and admiration towards natural phenomena, had believed in different spirits and gods. They used their belief in spirit and gods to form religions of their own. According to their respective circumstances and understanding capacity different people worshipped different gods and founded different faiths.

    At the beginning of the God-idea, people worshipped many gods--gods of trees, streams, lightning, storm, winds, the sun and all other terrestrial phenomena. These gods were related to each and every act of nature. Then gradually man began to attribute to these gods, sex and form as well as the physical and mental characteristics of human beings. Human attributes were given to the gods: love, hate, jealousy, fear, pride, envy and other emotions found among human beings. From all these gods, there slowly grew a realization that the phenomena of the universe were not many but were One. This understanding gave rise to the monotheistic god of recent ages.

    In the process of development, the God-idea went through a variety of changing social and intellectual climates. It was regarded by different men in different ways. Some idealized god as the King of Heaven and Earth; they had a conception of god as a person. Others thought of god as an abstract principle. Some raised the ideal of Supreme deity to the highest heaven, while others brought it down to the lowest depths of the earth. Some pictured god in a paradise, while others made an idol and worshipped it. Some want so far as to say that there is no salvation without god?no matter how much good you do, you will not receive the fruits of your actions unless you act out of a faith in god. The Atheists said, 'No' and went on to affirm that god did not really exist at all. The Skeptics or Agnostics said, 'We do not or we cannot know.' The Positivists say that the God-idea was a meaningless problem since the idea of the term god 'was not clear'. Thus there grew a variety of ideas and beliefs and names for the God-idea: pantheism, idolatry, belief in a formless god, and belief in many gods and goddesses.

    Even the monotheistic god of recent times has gone through a variety of changes as it passed through different nations and people. The Hindu god is quite different from gods of other faiths. Thus numerous religions came into existence: each one differed greatly from the other in the end, and each one says that 'God is One'.





    The God-idea and Creation

    As each religion came into existence and developed around the God-idea, religion developed its own particular explanation of creation. Thus the God-idea became associated with various myths. People used the God-idea as a vehicle for their explanation of the existence of man and the nature of the universe.

    Today, intelligent men, who have carefully reviewed all the available facts, have come to the conclusion that, like the God-idea, the creation of myths must be regarded as an evolution of the human imagination which began with the misunderstanding of the phenomena of nature. These misunderstandings were rooted in the fear and ignorance of primitive man. Even today, man still retains his primitive interpretations of creation. In the light of recent, scientific thinking, the theological definition of god is vague and hence has no place in the contemporary creation theories or myths.

    If man is created by an external source, then he must belong to that source and not to himself. According to Buddhism, man is responsible for everything he does. Thus Buddhists have no reason to believe that man came into existence in the human form through any external sources. They believe that man is here today because of his own action. He is neither punished nor rewarded by anyone but himself according to his own good and bad action. In the process of evolution, the human being came into existence. However, there are no Buddha-words to support the belief that the world was created by anybody. The scientific discovery of gradual development of the world-system conforms with the Buddha's Teachings.





    Human Weakness and the Concept of God

    Both the concept of God and its associated creation myths have been protected and defended by believers who need these ideas to justify their existence and usefulness to human society. All the believers claim to have received their respective scriptures as Revelation; in other words, they all profess to come directly from the one God. Each God-religion claims that it stands for Universal Peace and Universal Brotherhood and other such high ideals.

    However great the ideals of the religious might be, the history of the world shows that the religions up to the present day have also helped in spreading superstitions. Some have stood against science and the advancement of knowledge, leading to ill-feelings, murders and wars. In this respect, the God-religions have failed in their attempt to enlighten mankind. For example, in certain countries when people pray for mercy, their hands are stained with the blood of the morbid sacrifices of innocent animals and sometimes, even fellow human beings. These poor and helpless creatures were slaughtered at the desecrated altars of imaginary and imperceptible gods. It has taken a long time for people to understand the futility of such cruel practices in the name of religion. The time has come for them to realize that the path of real purification is through love and understanding.

    Dr. G. Dharmasiri in his book 'Buddhist critique of the Christian Concept of God' has mentioned, 'I see that though the notion of God contains sublime moral strands, it also has certain implications that are extremely dangerous to the humans as well as to the other beings on this planet.

    'One major threat to humanity is the blindfold called 'authority' imposed on the humans by the concept of God. All theistic religions consider authority as ultimate and sacred. It was this danger that the Buddha was pointing at in the Kalama Sutta. At the moment, human individuality and freedom are seriously threatened by various forms of authorities. Various 'authorities' have been trying to make 'you' a follower. On top of all our 'traditional' authorities, a new form of authority has emerged in the name of 'science'. And lately, the mushrooming new religions and the menace of the Gurus(as typified by Jim Jones), have become live threats to the individual's human freedom and dignity. The Buddha's eternal plea is for you to become a Buddha, and He showed, in a clearly rational way, that each and every one of us has the perfect potentiality and capacity to attain that ideal.'

    God-religions offer no salvation without God. Thus a man might conceivably have climbed to the highest pinnacle of virtue, and he might have led a righteous way of life, and he might even have climbed to the highest level of holiness, yet he is to be condemned to eternal hell just because he did not believe in the existence of God. On the other hand, a man might have sinned deeply and yet, having made a late repentance, he can be forgiven and therefore 'saved'. From the Buddhist point of view, there is no justification in this kind of doctrine.

    Despite the apparent contradictions of the God-religions, it is not deemed advisable to preach a Godless doctrine since the belief in god has also done a tremendous service to mankind, especially in places where the god concept is desirable. This belief in god has helped mankind to control his animal nature. And much help has been granted to others in the name of god. At the same time, man feels insecure without the belief in god. He finds protection and inspiration when that belief is in his mind. The reality or validity of such a belief is based on man's understanding capacity and spiritual maturity.

    However, religion should also concern our practical life. It is to be used as a guide to regulate our conduct in the world. Religion tells us what to do and what not to do. If we do not follow a religion sincerely, mere religious labels or belief in god do not serve us in our daily life.

    On the other hand, if the followers of various religions are going to quarrel and to condemn other beliefs and practices?especially to prove or disprove the existence of God?and if they are going to harbor anger towards other religions because of their different religious views, then they are creating enormous disharmony amongst the various religious communities. Whatever religious difference we have, it is our duty to practise tolerance, patience and understanding. It is our duty to respect the other man's religious belief even if we cannot accommodate it; tolerance is necessary for the sake of harmonious and peaceful living.

    However, it does not serve any purpose to introduce this concept of god to those who are not ready to appreciate it. To some people this belief is not important to lead a righteous life. There are many who lead a noble life without such belief while amongst believers there are many who violate the peace and happiness of innocent people.

    Buddhists can also co-operate with those who hold this concept of god, if they use this concept for the peace, happiness and welfare of mankind but not with those who abuse this concept by threatening people in order to introduce this belief just for their own benefit and with ulterior motives.

    For more than 2,500 years, all over the world, Buddhists have practised and introduced Buddhism very peacefully without the necessity of sustaining the concept of a creator of God. And they will continue to sustain this religion in the same manner without disturbing the followers of other religions.

    Therefore, with due respect to other religionists, it must be mentioned that any attempt to introduce this concept into Buddhism is unnecessary. Let Buddhists maintain their belief since it is harmless to others and, let the basic Teachings of the Buddha remain.

    From time immemorial, Buddhists have led a peaceful religious life without incorporating the particular concept of God. They should be capable of sustaining their particular religion without the necessity, at this juncture, of someone trying to force something down their throats against their will. Having full confidence in their Buddha Dhamma, Buddhists should be permitted to work and seek their own salvation without any undue interference from other sources. Others can uphold their beliefs and concepts, Buddhist will uphold theirs, without any rancor. We do not challenge others in regard to their religious persuasions, we expect reciprocal treatment in regard to our own beliefs and practices.

  • #2
    Holy Christ!

    There's a lot to read.

    Where's Arhat to give us the supreme being aspect of all of this when you need him....

    (more on this later, from me. It's a great discussion topic)
    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

    "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

    (more comments in my User Profile)
    russbo.com


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    • #3
      Great post. But I think that this says it all...
      From time immemorial, Buddhists have led a peaceful religious life without incorporating the particular concept of God.
      Amazing, from a historical perspective, how the concept, use and misuse of "God" has lead to so many conflicts and wars...
      Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

      "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

      (more comments in my User Profile)
      russbo.com


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      • #4
        yes and what is even more amazing is that they held these Wars in the Name of God.

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        • #5
          Well you asked for it Doc.

          Many religious discussions I have are the source of much (exasperated) amusement for me. Nothing which is not physical [something we can prove through our senses] can ever be proven to be completely true. Nothing. There are always an infinite number of possibilities to any presumption. What gets me is why when it comes to religion people's cannons of judgement differ to virtually every other conceivable choice we make. Every action we carry out is based on high probability vis-à-vis alternatives. No one waits for absolute certainty before acting upon something. People generally use the Cartesian standard when it comes to God. The Cartesian standard states that to know something means to be able to refute absolutely any conceivable alternative. This is balls however; Descartes really screwed up here. This is the standard people use when it comes to God, and it's quite simply a logical fallacy. If we truly lived according to this we would not know anything. Prove to me there are no unicorns or pixies. Ah, you can't can you? Well that means you gotta believe in leprechauns, the tooth fairy and Martians too. So why don't we believe in all that seeing as we can't actually disprove their existence? Because we can't live like that, our choices are based on high probability vis-à-vis alternatives. This is true for all our decisions: what profession to master, where to live, whom to marry, what to do with my spare cash, how to handle my health, what to invest in and so on. Trust me, my belief in God has nothing to do with what was drilled into my head as a kid, in fact the stuff they throw at you as a kid usually puts you off as it's so loosely based; which I believe results in the attitude you now adopt.

          If I were to lend you a car and warn you that the brakes were dodgy and they squeak when they are just about to blow, and then you returned a week later and my brakes were bust, I wouldn't be very happy with the excuse that when the car started squeaking you carried on using it because you had no certain knowledge that it was the brakes. I warned you about the brakes, a day later you're hearing squeaks from the car, and one assumes it's the brakes since the car is having trouble in that area. You don't wait until all conceivable alternatives are exhausted before you take care of the problem. That goes the same for a doctors diagnosis. You don't refuse to operate because you're not 100% certain what the problem is. You act upon the best evidence you have. So why when it comes to a Creator is it different? Suppose that you're hanging over a cliff, and that you're holding on to a branch of a tree waiting to be rescued, but it is not quite clear that the branch will hold you indefinitely. It is creaking, and there is another branch that you could switch to without risk of falling, but it is not clear to you that the other branch is stronger. Suppose that you know something about trees and you estimate that the probability of the second branch being stronger is maybe three percent greater than the probability of the strength of the branch you are holding onto. Do you say: "Well, it's my life. Since it's my life, I want proof that it is stronger. I don't make moves with my life unless I have proof that it is better." Yeah right. You have a three percent increase on the probability of surviving on the second branch. YOU MOVE. This is an example of higher probability of truth vis-à-vis the alternatives.


          Now to the actual proof bit. Doc, if you're walkin in the desert and you come across a watch lying in the sand, what is the most rational assumption? That someone was here and dropped a watch or that the desert winds randomly blew all the bits together and by chance they all fell together to form a perfectly functioning watch? This is the single most basic proof that there's a creator. Doc, you're a doctor for Chrissake. You know the infinite complexity of the human body. On a stage higher, you know the truly infinite complexity of every single atom together functioning perfectly in a single human body. On a stage higher, the complexity is mind boggling when you thing of the amount of atoms in twenty bodies, a city, a continent, a planet, a galaxy. The hugely complex design of an entire galaxy and everything in it down to the last microscopic bed-bug just randomly by chance fell into place. Ummm yeah, right. The perfectly harmonised functions of just the brain which far exceed anything man has ever created is just accidental? Anyone who has just a basic grasp of physics should be able to appreciate the incredible scale of complexity we're dealing with here. And the point is that, yes it's conceivable that it's all random chance, but highly improbable. And the only time people act on such high improbability is when it comes to the question of a Creator. Why?

          Now comes the interesting bit. I've been following this stuff for a while now, and I still haven't come across a truly rational counter to this argument. People either concede to the above logic or don't, at which point I generally give up since they're obviously not interested in being rational. As you taught me Doc, the first rule of rhetoric is to make sure the guy is actually prepared to hear you out, otherwise the whole thing's a waste of time. So the interesting bit is how people decide to act upon the above logic. For some, God is not an option no matter what. To others it is, if they are presented with logical reason to believe in it. One last analogy; a teacher catches a student cheating in class. He can present evidence that this is so and calls in the students parents. Now tell me, if the parents react by saying that the teacher is a liar and has a vendetta against their child, and if he proceeds with these claims they'll get him fired - would you respect this sort of reaction? No? Why? Because the claims of the teacher are a matter of fact. A parent who disregards the evidence and believes what he thinks it is convenient for him to believe, is regarded as irresponsible and irrational for so doing. It's the same here, I've presented the facts, what are you going to do with them? Either concede to the above logic, or present a new angle to refute it. Unless you do one of those two, then through still holding on to the view of there is no Creator one is being just as irresponsible and irrational as the aforementioned parents. It is no different.

          So in conclusion, why is considered normal for a person to make decisions in every other area of life on the basis of high probability vis-à-vis alternatives, and when it comes to religion it's, "oh no, for religion I have different standards. Here I want a much more strict accounting. I want an independent proof of every assertion."

          What really stumps me is why concepts about a Creator are so cloudy and none of this occurs to intelligent individuals like yourself. Anyways, I hope I've opened some sort of a window and answered this for you to some point.

          I'd be interested in your response Doc. Sorry, I get carried away with this stuff...

          In the immortal words of Maestro, 'rant over...'

          Peace
          Last edited by Lipster; 06-16-2003, 01:18 AM.

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          • #6
            Sorry Doc, you might want to move this to the 'God Idea' thread. This ain't really about karma...

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            • #7
              Wow. What did I do to deserve this.... lol

              I'm not sure why this was directed at me, but I'll respond to it anyhoo. Just to play devil's advocate.
              On a stage higher, the complexity is mind boggling when you thing of the amount of atoms in twenty bodies, a city, a continent, a planet, a galaxy. The hugely complex design of an entire galaxy and everything in it down to the last microscopic bed-bug just randomly by chance fell into place. Ummm yeah, right. The perfectly harmonised functions of just the brain which far exceed anything man has ever created is just accidental? Anyone who has just a basic grasp of physics should be able to appreciate the incredible scale of complexity we're dealing with here. And the point is that, yes it's conceivable that it's all random chance, but highly improbable. And the only time people act on such high improbability is when it comes to the question of a Creator. Why?
              Is a Creator capable of putting together all the little complexities and intricacies of the human body and the world in general? Everything in our world has been pre-planned, thought out, played with, tested and created, all down to the last final detail? Isn't that a little much for one guy, I mean, even if he is God? Your example can be used against your logic. Sorry.
              you taught me Doc, the first rule of rhetoric is to make sure the guy is actually prepared to hear you out, otherwise the whole thing's a waste of time. So the interesting bit is how people decide to act upon the above logic. For some, God is not an option no matter what. To others it is, if they are presented with logical reason to believe in it.
              For some, God is not an option, no matter what. How true. "Trust me, my belief in God has nothing to do with what was drilled into my head as a kid, in fact the stuff they throw at you as a kid usually puts you off as it's so loosely based; which I believe results in the attitude you now adopt." And, in my opinion, people's completely unalterable beliefs can be the result of childhood drilling. Look at the Middle East. Others, such as I, are willing to listen if a compelling argument is made. I have no strong feelings about the whole God thing either way; why you assume that I've adopted an opinion is interesting. (All I said was that religion was responsible for a great deal of the wars and conflicts that humanity has experienced over the past two millenia. Sorry, but I'm not wrong about that. It's historical fact.)
              So in conclusion, why is considered normal for a person to make decisions in every other area of life on the basis of high probability vis-à-vis alternatives, and when it comes to religion it's, "oh no, for religion I have different standards. Here I want a much more strict accounting. I want an independent proof of every assertion."
              I'm not sure if I agree with your logic here. Sorry, but using the same logical processes to interpret things of everyday life to analyze metaphysical concepts, is faulty. In medicine, we make decisions based on a high probability of occurrence; in financial accounting, chemistry, architecture, independent proof of every figure is necessary for proper results; in law, it's whatever bullshit will work. And in dating, I go on hunches, with no factual data at all.

              Now, as for the shit slinging in my direction, it's not deserved, but I'm humored. I have no feelings on the whole God concept. I'm still up in the air about the whole thing; I'll listen to both sides. My problem with religion, as I've said before, is the following: people use it to accomplish ungodly things. It's blasphemy. The recent terrorist activity over the past forty years, the whole Middle East nightmare, and all the wars in the past that were influenced by people's alterations of religion, all prove this to be true. Also look at the ridiculous abuse of some of the major hypocritical "users" of religion; pedophilic priests, Jesse Jackson and all sorts of other people, who create "non-profit" religious oriented institutions, all for purely financial reasons, come to mind. Let's face it, religion is good, it's supposed to be good, but it doesn't exactly have a clean history, nor proper representation some times.
              What really stumps me is why concepts about a Creator are so cloudy and none of this occurs to intelligent individuals like yourself.
              It has. I don't always see the pleasant state of affairs that I did when I was a child. That's what happens when you get older, wiser, and more experienced. You wonder.
              Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

              "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

              (more comments in my User Profile)
              russbo.com


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              • #8
                Sorry Doc, didn't mean to sling any ####. It's just that you were the one who aksed the question so you were the target.

                Is a Creator capable of putting together all the little complexities and intricacies of the human body and the world in general? Everything in our world has been pre-planned, thought out, played with, tested and created, all down to the last final detail? Isn't that a little much for one guy, I mean, even if he is God? Your example can be used against your logic. Sorry.
                Woah baby. What sort of logic is that? So just because the capabilities of this Supreme Being is way above anything you could ever comprehend, that means that there can't be one? You're thinking too much in anthropomorphic terms. We're dealing with an infinite being here. The Creator works outside of time and space - without limit - infinite. He created time and space itself. To an infinite being, creation of all of the above complexities is no more difficult then the creation of a single ant. I missed the logic in that one. Just because you cannot fully understand this being, that must mean that there is none, and it is just a random bunch of happenings? You're just re-enforcing my question. A much more rational assumption is that, yes of course there's a Creator; He's just infinitely more intelligent then you or me.


                And, in my opinion, people's completely unalterable beliefs can be the result of childhood drilling.
                Hey, I agree 100%. I believe everything should be approached through logic, this is what I find is generally lacking when people drill kids.


                I have no strong feelings about the whole God thing either way; why you assume that I've adopted an opinion is interesting.
                Well, you said you had no answer to it, I was just trying to explain from my side.


                I'm not sure if I agree with your logic here. Sorry, but using the same logical processes to interpret things of everyday life to analyze metaphysical concepts, is faulty.

                Why?


                In medicine, we make decisions based on a high probability of occurrence; in financial accounting, chemistry, architecture, independent proof of every figure is necessary for proper results; in law, it's whatever bullshit will work. And in dating, I go on hunches, with no factual data at all.
                Doc, it's more subtle then that. Yes independent proof is necessary for some decisions, for science in particular - but when you have the evidence you act upon it. You don't say, 'Well, I'm not gonna act upon it since there are a number of other possibilities that could occur.' 2 + 2 = 4. This is what we assume. It's possible that there is a mathematical hypothesis that can disprove this, but until one is aware of it we assume that 2 + 2 = 4. We don't say that we only accept this if it's proved irrevocably because we simply can't do that. You act upon the evidence you have now, unless there is sufficient enough reason to believe the evidence is erroneous. Now, every decision we practically make is done through high probability vis-à-vis alternatives. Whether it's to choose what car we buy, what school to go to, whether to eat in or out, whether to create a website called Russbo or not, whether to walk to work or drive, what diet to adopt, or what time you should go to bed. As for the dating it's no different, you choose to go on hunches; strictly speaking the more scientifically correct method of producing results would be to follow HP v-a-v A.



                My problem with religion, as I've said before, is the following: people use it to accomplish ungodly things. It's blasphemy. The recent terrorist activity over the past forty years, the whole Middle East nightmare, and all the wars in the past that were influenced by people's alterations of religion, all prove this to be true. Also look at the ridiculous abuse of some of the major hypocritical "users" of religion; pedophilic priests, Jesse Jackson and all sorts of other people, who create "non-profit" religious oriented institutions, all for purely financial reasons, come to mind. Let's face it, religion is good, it's supposed to be good, but it doesn't exactly have a clean history, nor proper representation some times.
                Couldn't agree with you more on that one. Yet this is a wrong attitude. Yes, organized religion is screwed up, but this shouldn't reflect or sully real religious ideology. That attitude makes no more sense then one who adopts a virulent woman hating attitude just because he's had a number of bad relationships. Just because he's never had a successful relationship doesn't mean that women are screwed up. Either he or the woman had issues which they needed to sort out. It's not that women as a whole are screwed up. So why because organized religion is a screw up do religious concepts themselves take a hit?


                Anyways, you're gonna have to make up your mind sometime. So I'm curious as to whether the previous posts logic satisfy you on the matter at hand. To my mind, if you agree with the design argument, the matter's pretty much answered.

                Peace

                Last edited by Lipster; 06-16-2003, 01:28 PM.

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                • #9
                  Btw, the drilling you speak of [like in the Middle East] is simply brainwashing. Religion is simply a convenient [and popular] channel through which to brainwash and achieve the goals of those who instigate the corruption. If it wasn't through organized religion it would manifest itself through something else. It's not really relevant to genuine religious ideology.

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                  • #10
                    Since this topic seems so interesting to people that can comprehend it, let me ask you another question.
                    Last night I saw a documentary on the discovery Channel, "Walking with Cave Men" It is about Darawins Theory and all the evolutionary Changes that finnaly came to us. How do you all feel about Darawin's Theory.

                    I would think it makes more sense, Darawins theory then we were created from Mud, or China's first religon,one man carved out the universe with a chizel and hammer

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                    • #11
                      I don't accept it; too many holes. Darwin himself admitted that it was flawed. Can't get worse then that if you ask me...

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                      • #12
                        wow this is a good thread - real interesting posts! Walking with cavemen is a really amazing show, the book is cool too! They really put a lot of work in to it. The evolutionary thing and how old the planet is etc. is something very complicated when dealing with religion too... like Lipster said u gotta cut thru all the brainwashing and get to the source - which is something i am still trying to do

                        Lipster - great post!

                        dave
                        simple and natural is my method,
                        true and sincere is my principle --Tse Sigung

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                        • #13
                          Trust me your not the only one , I'm right their with ya.
                          There are alot of people that seem more than addicted to their religon, like for instince, their are these Christians I know(Not saying anything bad about Christianity) And their whole life revolves around their religon, but it helps them make descisions, they say that "God" helps them through the day, and wheather it may be God or not, It works for them, and I think that if it makes them happy and works for them, then they should stick to it.

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                          • #14
                            but it helps them make descisions, they say that "God" helps them through the day, and wheather it may be God or not, It works for them, and I think that if it makes them happy and works for them, then they should stick to it.
                            But is that healthy?

                            Lipster, I'm not done with you, lol....
                            Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

                            "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

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                            russbo.com


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                            • #15
                              Woah baby. What sort of logic is that? So just because the capabilities of this Supreme Being is way above anything you could ever comprehend, that means that there can't be one?
                              No, but what I am saying, is that, given the complexity of life on this planet, and all the various and sundry and complicated interactions not only in the human body but in the world in general, my point is, the whole concept of one being thinking all of this stuff up, and making it work, is a little stretched. It's easier to accept some sort of evolutionary process, for one simple reason: we have proof of it, just in our own lifetime. If you look back on human health for instance, life expectancies have increased, in fact, they've increased greatly over the past two hundred years. Resistance to various diseases has increased. Deaths from various diseases have decreased. We're not only getting stronger, but we're getting smarter (just look at our technological advances over the past one hundred years). Face it, we as a race are evolving. Granted, my honeys at church have a ways to go, but, overall, we are evolving in a positive fashion.

                              In my mind, this is at least, proof of some sort of evolution, however limited in nature it is. Do you have similar proof of a supreme being? I'd love to see it.

                              So, from a scientific standpoint, my argument has more strength than yours. Now, just for information's sake, I have not discounted the whole idea of a supreme being. But, I'm playing devil's advocate here. I'm playing with the only facts that we know. Which is why your argument is basically flawed, and from a rhetorical standpoint, you should have never started it, because you have no way of winning it. Hey, it's not a reflection on your intelligence or anything; it's purely a reflection upon the stance that you took. (Don't choose an untenable position, unless you're doing it just for argument's sake).
                              'Well, I'm not gonna act upon it since there are a number of other possibilities that could occur.' 2 + 2 = 4. This is what we assume. It's possible that there is a mathematical hypothesis that can disprove this
                              I have another way of looking at this. We can't disprove it, nor do we just "assume it", because we have defined it this way. It is what it is, because we made it that way. Unless, you're Bill Clinton. Then it is whatever you want it to be.
                              Now, every decision we practically make is done through high probability
                              I agree with this, but you have to understand, and you probably do, that there is a huge scale of what we call high probability. As I've said before, in some sciences, the level of "high probability" is close to, or is, exact (by definition of that individual science). In other areas, what we'd accept as "high probability" can be on the verge of hocus pocus hooey beliefs. There is a huge range of what we individually find acceptable; I don't think it is "either / or" as you seem to portray it.

                              Interesting discussion. I'm waiting to see how Pazman pounces on this (oh, Paz, I'll get to that email. Don't worry about your questions, no big deal)

                              doc
                              Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

                              "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

                              (more comments in my User Profile)
                              russbo.com


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