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Skeptics guide to recocery.

Old 07-31-2014, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by SparkyMcSparky
In some ways, I think some atheists I've met make better Christians than some of the Christians I know (at least in action, if not faith).
This is so very true.
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Old 07-31-2014, 04:59 PM
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In some ways, I think some atheists I've met make better Christians than some of the Christians I know.
And some of them are sociopaths with recipes for Christians. Faith and atheism have little to do with baseline behavior.
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by trachemys View Post
And some of them are sociopaths with recipes for Christians. Faith and atheism have little to do with baseline behavior.
Explain please. I'm interested in your thoughts here, but not sure I understand.
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:26 PM
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Pure mathematics, believe it or not, also points to some neat stuff .Godel's Theorem states that our knowledge will always be incomplete, and some things will be unknowable, no matter what revelations are made in the future. This is stuff that comes from fancy figuring, using nothing but logic and mathematics. No photons or that spooky action at a distance stuff needed.

If this points to God, then He is indeed God of Gaps.
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
Explain please. I'm interested in your thoughts here, but not sure I understand.
The basic nature of a person can be cloaked but is not easily changed if change is even possible. The cloaks of faith and atheism, taken or imposed, are only that: cloaks.

Or were you asking for recipes?
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by caboblanco View Post
I't not exactly blind faith for everybody Sparky...what about those who have had spiritual experiences? For them it's not blind...there are more of those people with these experiences then you might think..it's not something that comes up in everyday conversation..and if you want to refute such second hand experiences its just really denying something you have no experience with
Don't disagree with this at all, Cabo. We can only base our beliefs on what we have observed and what we have experience with. As I have not had an experience that I cannot rationalize as not a spiritual experience, this is a difficult point.

Applying reasoning to this however, is it fair to state that as this is a personal experience, and is not valid using a scientific method, that these experiences still imply belief on the part of the claimant? The claimant has a belief that they had a spiritual experience, but the empirical proof is sorely lacking.

Unfortunately, taking Contemporary Epistemology can make one realize just how tough it is to know anything.
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Old 08-01-2014, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by awuh1 View Post
samseb5351, I found the title of the video, "Quantum Entanglement Explained" to imply an extraordinary claim. I was initially quite excited at the prospect of watching the video. Then I thought, if that were true, the media would already have had a field day with the news (sorry for the pun). There would be headlines like "Scientists explain what Einstein could not!" or "Ghost buster physicists explain spooky action at a distance". Sure enough, seeing the video confirms that it doesn't even come close to providing an explanation of quantum entanglement. The phrase "not even wrong" comes to mind. I think it's good to be a skeptic. It allows new and possibly disturbing information to be considered. Being a skeptic by nature leads me to ask myself where the "God of the gaps claim" was introduced into this discussion. Was it you? I'm tempted to suggest you take a look at Bell's theorem for more about connectedness, but I'm afraid you might reject it by claiming he is not a "real" scientist.
Maybe I have made some assumptions here of your motives, and at this point it would only be fair to ask a few questions. I would prefer if we can keep it civil. You mentioned that you have a interest in quantum physics, what is it about that that interests you? Is it a fascination and if so what is driving that? What have you discovered about the topics you have mentioned that aligns with your world view?

The things with god of the gaps is fairly simple, let me explain. Knowledge gaps or scientific mysteries get filled by spiritual claims.
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Old 08-01-2014, 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted by samseb5351 View Post
You mentioned that you have a interest in quantum physics, what is it about that that interests you? Is it a fascination and if so what is driving that? What have you discovered about the topics you have mentioned that aligns with your world view?

Fair questions. Let me just say that I sincerely respect your skepticism. Believe me, I've been there and done that for a vast majority of my life. My beliefs were firmly grounded in empirical evidence. I did not wish to be bothered with "dogma and belief" (as you put it in your OP).

Nothing short of the brief experience which I had one morning could have changed that. I've described it in detail here if anyone is interested. http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...xperience.html It was not my intention to inject of this experience into a discussion on this forum out of respect for the rules here. I'll let what I wrote there answer your questions.

My interest in physics came only after this remarkable experience. You see, I don't believe in the "supernatural". I believe things can be explained. I just don't think that we are presently able to do this with our limited understandings.

David Bohm, John Bell, Michael Talbot and several others are theoretically framing things that very strongly resonate with me. Empirical data is accumulating that's backing up this view. They are on to something. I know it. I don't have to believe it. I know it because I have experienced it.

Perhaps when you initially asked for a discussion of "Science and scientific methods, critical thinking and healthy skepticism" you did not anticipate an interest that sprang from a personal experience. I guess that's quite understandable. I suspect my interest in physics and about how we have come to know and understand our physical world is coming from a very different place than most people who post here. My intention was not to make anyone uncomfortable, nor was it to impose my beliefs on anyone else. If you are currently like I was several years ago, nothing short of an experience like mine could change your mind anyway.

I think I've said much more than I intended to initially. My apologies if I have offended anyone.
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:13 AM
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awuh1, enjoyed your post in the other thread, and will respond later if time permits.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by trachemys
The basic nature of a person can be cloaked but is not easily changed if change is even possible. The cloaks of faith and atheism, taken or imposed, are only that: cloaks.
What defines the "basic nature of a person"? Do you believe individuals are born with this "one basic nature"?

Originally Posted by trachemys
Or were you asking for recipes?
Oh, no thank you. I prefer my Christians raw. They are magically delicious as is.
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:49 AM
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Yes, I think people are born with a basic nature, a true self.
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:58 AM
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I actually find spirituality and religion to be on opposite ends of the spectrum for me - or at least far apart. As soon as you begin defining spirituality does it not become tainted? I actually believe Agnostics can be more spiritual than a devout Catholic. I remain open through recovery...if this journey has taught me one thing its I have much more to learn. In find the fascination enlightening. Waking up is wonderful.
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by trachemys
Yes, I think people are born with a basic nature, a true self.
How are these basic natures classified? Can you give me descriptions or examples of basic natures?
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:43 AM
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oh boy,
am the only one here that doesn't identify with anything? Call it existentialism if you want, but I understand there is some sort of definition for that too - so I can't be that.

I fall into the 'none of the above' category. Basic human goodness cannot be learned or taught - what the turtle guy points out.
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:58 AM
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Yes, most of us seek pleasant over traumatic --unless of course boredom sets in. Angels and Gods have it rough in that department--so little diversity--no elbow room.
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Old 08-01-2014, 07:09 AM
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Basic human goodness cannot be learned or taught - what the turtle guy points out.
So people are born good or they are born bad? What exactly does this mean?

I understand that a very small percentage of people have serious glitches and would be considered psychopathic from birth, but I'm not asking about the outliers. I am asking, in general, do you believe that the other ninety-nine% of the population is born either good or bad and nothing can change that? Smells a little bit like nihilism, which is fine, just not my cuppa.
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Old 08-01-2014, 07:38 AM
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"Good" and "Bad" are very situational, aren't they?

I'm thinking more of traits, proclivities. Some are born with none, some born with them very strong. These traits are defined as good and bad by current societal norms. In ancient Greece pederasty was a norm. In current times, taboo.

I think there are more traits inbred than we would define as abnormal. Violence/nonviolence, empathy, sympathy, submissiveness/aggressiveness.
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Old 08-01-2014, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by trachemys View Post
The basic nature of a person can be cloaked but is not easily changed if change is even possible. The cloaks of faith and atheism, taken or imposed, are only that: cloaks.

Or were you asking for recipes?
Ha Ha, LMAO. Do you have any crock pot recipes?

My room mate and I had similar conversation the other day.

That no program or philosophy much seems to change the basic person. Good ones and jerks no matter which "group" they aspire to. Pushy folk, and gentle folk and all that.

Not that people can't change, a few seem to have a real changing experience, but most of us are who we are. Same cake, different icing.
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Old 08-01-2014, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
So people are born good or they are born bad? What exactly does this mean?

I understand that a very small percentage of people have serious glitches and would be considered psychopathic from birth, but I'm not asking about the outliers. I am asking, in general, do you believe that the other ninety-nine% of the population is born either good or bad and nothing can change that? Smells a little bit like nihilism, which is fine, just not my cuppa.
I am jumping in, even if this is not particulary towards me.

For me it's not a case of good or bad, personalities are so much complex.

For me it's like, energetic, creative, critical (in the thinking way, not as in negative), outgoing, quiet...that sort of thing. Those tendencies can manifest in all sorts of directions, but some basic personality traits seem inborn. It's not a judgment so much as an observation.

this one is musical, that one is an athlete, another is nurturing.
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Old 08-01-2014, 08:04 AM
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"Good" and "Bad" are very situational, aren't they?
I would agree. I used those words because you said "human goodness" can't be taught. I understood that to mean you felt like there was an inherent "goodness" born into some of us. I inferred that to mean some of us have an inherent "human badness".

I'm thinking more of traits, proclivities. Some are born with none, some born with them very strong. These traits are defined as good and bad by current societal norms. In ancient Greece pederasty was a norm. In current times, taboo.
and we know for sure that some ancient Greeks were actually born with a sexual propensity toward prepubescent boys? (Sidenote: the practice of pederasty was not often not sexual at all, but that's a different thread) or could that practice have been influenced by environmental factors, given the societal norms of the time?

Of course we all have dominant traits, but really when you think about it all traits are situational. I am generally nonviolent. Could I kill someone if I had to? Yes.

In looking at the dominant traits, how would one even begin to tease out what is nature and what is nurture? An infant begins being influenced by environmental factors the moment they leave the womb.
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