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UrbanMonk

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30th January, 2011 at 21:18:42 -

Another thing that sets us apart from animals.

A developed language.

It's a proven fact that language becomes less complex over time.

Based on that fact it's hard to imagine that language is something we as humans developed as we "evolved."

 
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Silveraura

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30th January, 2011 at 21:19:55 -

A fish cannot grasp the existence of anything above the water. Animals above the water cannot grasp the idea of what it's like to be human. Who is honestly to say that we aren't in a state of ignorance ourselves? We are just one part of the life this whole world is made up of. Something happened in the past, which gave us the advantage of higher intelligence and I think it's very arrogant to believe we are suddenly superior to other animals, just because we gained a new "feature" in our little arsenal of tools. Just in the same way as a lion is no more superior to a gazelle because it possesses sharp claws.
It's just highly unfortunate for our mother earth, that as a result of our new found ability to think on a higher level of consciousness, that we have become such a massive plague to this world. We destroy our existence with the short sightedness of our primitive strive for instant gratification and use our intelligence to aid in that instant gratification instead of using it to be guardians of the world we live in so we always have it.

Whether or not a God or Goddess exists is entirely in the eyes and heart of those who choose to believe they exist. However it seems kind of blind for us to ignore the very divine energy which exists within everything. Electricity was yesterdays magick or divine energy and figuring out how it works doesn't make it any less impressive.
Science is a fantastic tool to aid in learning about our world, but as soon as it becomes more of a destructive tool rather than a proactive tool, is when we need to stop and look back on ourselves and remember what we thought of the world before we came to the conclusion that we had it all figured out. Remember the feelings and emotions we got from something we didn't quite understand.

To try to rely on old and long since dis-proven ideas as a way to explain why your religion is right is more destructive to your heart and the world around you. Instead remember why it is you believe what you believe, and let it help you and guide you. Live on your own path.
Be it Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, etc, if it works for you then it's right for you.

 
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UrbanMonk

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30th January, 2011 at 21:35:53 -


Originally Posted by SiLVERFIRE
To try to rely on old and long since dis-proven ideas as a way to explain why your religion is right is more destructive to your heart and the world around you.



I would have to agree. The largest cause of atheism today is wide-spread false ideas, (from religious people) and that is very destructive.

I don't think I'll ever convert anyone by arguing with them about it. I've never heard of that happening in my life. The only time anyone's ever been converted was when they had a true experience with God themselves.

I'm not talking about "god moments" as Johny put it.
I'm talking about knowing without a shadow of a doubt that what you feel is God.

It's hard to understand if you've never experienced it before.

 
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Silveraura

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30th January, 2011 at 21:53:07 -

The best and also the most vulnerable part about religion is that it's so hard to prove, but so easy to attack. So when you see real faith in someones heart, that fuels them and makes them happy, and they aren't trying to use it in major life decisions or as a predictive measure or excuse to do something destructive, it's really quite beautiful.

I think everyone could value from:
"An it harm none do what ye will,"

And really, when you look a lot of religions and different forms of faith, they all sort of agree on that.

 
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31st January, 2011 at 00:01:35 -

"Another thing that sets us apart from animals.

A developed language."


Animals do have their own kinds of languages, just simplified. There's a difference between a protective bark, a growl, a happy growl etc. Just as there are differences between bird calls, dolphin and whale calls etc. I would have thought that was common knowledge. And you can say yes, but the human language evolves, or has evolved more so...but then how can you prove animal communication hasn't or won't?

(By happy growl I mean http://s3.photobucket.com/albums/y53/Edam/?action=view¤t=WillowVictorygrowl.mp4 ) She's actually angry there.

 
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31st January, 2011 at 00:17:01 -

I am not religious and "don't believe" in a God. Well to be completely accurate I don't believe or not believe because I am yet to receive a credible question. I don't know where the idea comes from. I could invent an idea that can or cannot be disproved and I suspect there are people in this world who will believe it. When somebody asks me do you believe in a god, I have to try and take that seriously as someone asking me "do you believe in the Theory of god?". Its quite easy to pass it off as nonsense, but I am open to the idea if it's proposed in a credible way with some tangible evidence. Supposing there was no tangible evidence but in any case it was true, I think it better to stick true to the tangible evidence as a guideline to maintain sanity, and the existence or non existence of a god makes absolutely no difference to anyone. The inifinite set of ideas without tangible evidence would have to be given due credit as well...

So that's my opionion of the existence of a god, and it just goes downhill when you get into the details of organised religion. Most of the time you can simply place the same argument in favour of some other religion and note that they can't mutually coexist, someone has to be wrong somewhere. All those people claiming to have personal relationships with their god don't stop to think there are people in exactly the same position having conversations with their god or gods. It bemuses me to think that this behaviour is observable under many circumstances but those of a religious inclination wouldn't for a second believe that they are a subject of the same psychology. Religion is fascinating to me because it highlights humanities tribal instincts that were vital to our evolution, and it really governs a lot of belief systems. Assigning yourself to a group of people will cause you to defend that group fiercely. No religion really stands above the rest. Note that there is a strong correlation between where you grow up and what religion you follow. If that doesn't inspire the thought of suspiscion I am wasting my breath.

Nice to see a religious thread that didn't burst into an all out flame war, though I suspect the admins will be getting nervous by now




 
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Johnny Look

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31st January, 2011 at 03:11:44 -

urbanmonk:
"Dogs just do whatever they want. They learn that doing certain things bring pain, which makes then not want to do that thing, but that's all due to self preservation. Self preservation is something that's in every animal and even humans. The will to live. Running from a vaccum can't be attributed to emotions."

I can easily tell you never had a pet. Anyway we already went through this part of the discussion and I thought everyone agreed that dogs feel more than just a basic survival instinct.

"And people in tribes have conscience while the pack of chimps do not.

If you told the tribe about God they would listen, while the chimps would never be able to grasp the concept. "

That's rather obvious I think. If you spoke to the tribe about some van full of food they would probably listen to you even more closely.

"I know this because I personnally met a missionary who talks to these tribes. I seen videos of tribal people praying and crying. Youll never in your lifetime see a gorilla trying to seek God. These people didn't see an example of this. The missionaries didn't tell them to cry or tell them that they were supposed to feel anything. They just did, because God is real and that's what they were feeling. "
I don't get it, so they pray and cry after the missionaries told them about god, and that basically proves god's existence ? I've seen documentaries of entire tribes doing weird rituals, praying, yelling, going completely crazy and throwing stuff at each other because of a hunt that went well for example. They were thanking their gods, and that's because they were feeling them too.

"Based on that fact it's hard to imagine that language is something we as humans developed as we "evolved." "
I don't understand the point you're trying to make or why evolved is in quotation marks.

"I would have to agree. The largest cause of atheism today is wide-spread false ideas, (from religious people) and that is very destructive. "

What sort of false ideas are you talking about ? I think one of the biggest misconceptions religious people make to justify why so many people stopped believing in god (or never believed in the first place) is because they don't understand what it's all about, which is false in most cases.

"I'm not talking about "god moments" as Johny put it.
I'm talking about knowing without a shadow of a doubt that what you feel is God"
At least in my case, that's the same thing. I had no doubt what I felt was god. I realized later that what I felt was actually nothing, because now I don't believe in god. If I was hindu for example, I would probably have felt ganesha instead. You believe in what you want to believe.



Edited by Johnny Look

 
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Silveraura

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31st January, 2011 at 04:45:50 -


Originally Posted by Johnny Look
urbanmonk:
You believe in what you want to believe.




And I believe that as long as people can believe what they want to believe without being intrusive to others around them, it's perfectly acceptable that people believe whatever they want to believe. In fact, it should be encouraged.

I for one am pleasantly surprised to see that this thread pulled it's way to 5 6 pages without any fights. Respective quoting and responding, quoting and responding.

 
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Matt Boothman

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31st January, 2011 at 20:01:28 -

To the people who say that animals clearly have feelings such as happiness, sadness, embarrassment and suchlike - my parents bought a dog at the same time I was born, and I grew up with Cleo until we were both 14, at which point she suffered a stroke and had to be put down. So I do know animals. My point is that humans are unique in that they understand the concept of self, and have a detachment to their feelings and senses. The best way I can put it is that a human can easily say "I am happy", but an animal (presuming he could talk) would not, because have no concept of the I. There is a famous quote about this "If a lion could speak, we still could not understand him". Animals don't know they exist, so they cannot ascribe feelings to themselves. That is my take on it.

Whether this proves God is another matter entirely.

@Johnny: Of course, society is what makes us feels that killing another human being is wrong. But what is society? Society is humans. You talk about society like it was something alien to us, something that has always been there, and it's not, it's just a reflection of us. And morals change in different situations. The baby brought up by wolves might grow up and kill a man and not feel guilty - but only if he was threatened. Your sentence even points to the fact that there is something in the baby's head that tells it not to kill humans for no reason. Animals you could say, also have this, they don't go around killing things for no reason. But humans are the only species that can override this feeling, and kill anyway. That is what sin is - knowing something is wrong, but doing it anyway. Animals can't commit sin.

 
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UrbanMonk

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31st January, 2011 at 20:57:22 -

To those who said I've never had a dog, I've got three..Thanks. (and 2 cats)


Originally Posted by Matt Boothman
But what is society? Society is humans. You talk about society like it was something alien to us, something that has always been there, and it's not, it's just a reflection of us. And morals change in different situations.



There are societies that teach that it's ok to kill and eat other humans. (In the Philippines)

Our society (USA) is based on Judio-Christian values, so many ethics/morals come from remnants of a once Christan nation.

 
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Johnny Look

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31st January, 2011 at 22:17:58 -


Originally Posted by Matt Boothman
To the people who say that animals clearly have feelings such as happiness, sadness, embarrassment and suchlike - my parents bought a dog at the same time I was born, and I grew up with Cleo until we were both 14, at which point she suffered a stroke and had to be put down. So I do know animals. My point is that humans are unique in that they understand the concept of self, and have a detachment to their feelings and senses. The best way I can put it is that a human can easily say "I am happy", but an animal (presuming he could talk) would not, because have no concept of the I. There is a famous quote about this "If a lion could speak, we still could not understand him". Animals don't know they exist, so they cannot ascribe feelings to themselves. That is my take on it.

Whether this proves God is another matter entirely.

@Johnny: Of course, society is what makes us feels that killing another human being is wrong. But what is society? Society is humans. You talk about society like it was something alien to us, something that has always been there, and it's not, it's just a reflection of us. And morals change in different situations. The baby brought up by wolves might grow up and kill a man and not feel guilty - but only if he was threatened. Your sentence even points to the fact that there is something in the baby's head that tells it not to kill humans for no reason. Animals you could say, also have this, they don't go around killing things for no reason. But humans are the only species that can override this feeling, and kill anyway. That is what sin is - knowing something is wrong, but doing it anyway. Animals can't commit sin.



I think you misunderstood what I meant.
Firstly, for me society could be defined as the group of people that surrounds you and that somehow influences you. In a barbarian society it would be ok to kill your neighbor if you felt like it, in a modern society it's not.
The baby wouldn't kill another human not because of some voice in his head telling him not to, but because he knows that if he tries to he is putting is life at risk so it's only worth if your life is already at risk- survival instinct. Put a human outside a human society and will behave like the society is in. The baby's behavior would be the same as any wolf in his group. The notion of sin is not present in a wolf society, on the other hand this notion has been present in our heads since the first human societies were created. The same way a wolf wouldn't go on and kill other wolves in his pack, the pre-historic man wouldn't kill another person in his tribe because, once again, he knows there are repercussions. A smaller tribe has less chances of surviving, same for a small wolf pack.
Once the first human societies managed to guarantee survival, they settled down in fixed locations and established laws to guarantee order in the group. Most of these basic laws remain until today (don't steal, don't kill etc..), and are taught to us by society since we were born.
That notion of sin only exists if you believe. In reality, it's a really practical thing, for any kind of society, including animal societies: it's the fear of repercussions.

 
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Johnny Look

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31st January, 2011 at 22:25:49 -

By the way, how can anyone claim a dog doesn't know he is happy or that they don't even know they exist? We can't put ourselves in their heads and talk for them. Personally I could easily tell when my dog was happy or not, and truth be told it's not that different from humans. I remembered when my neighbor's dog died. My dog used to play with him all the time, and when he noticed he wasn't around anymore he started acting really strange for a good while. He wouldn't play with me the way he used to, barely moved all day etc... Another good example would be the two canaries I had two years ago or so. When one of them died, the other died the following day. I don't think that was a coincidence.

 
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Matt Boothman

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31st January, 2011 at 23:04:20 -

Bit ridiculous to state that in a Barbarian society 'it would be ok to kill you neighbour' - in no human society ever has it been acceptable to kill without a valid reason. But that's beside the point.

My point is that an animal can't choose to sin - it can't choose to go against the 'rules of the pack'. This is because it has no idea of right and wrong. We do.

 
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1st February, 2011 at 00:41:37 -

I sort of want to believe in God but the fact that bad things constantly happen to good people makes me disbelieve. Like severe illnesses... cancer, motor neurone disease. Anything incurable thats afflicted onto someone who doesn't deserve it, who has worked hard through their lives and always trod the line, only to be struck down and informed by their doctor they only have days to live... it just doesn't wash with me.

 
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UrbanMonk

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1st February, 2011 at 01:16:35 -

Good things sometimes happen to bad people too.
Life is life, we're given free choice.

"It rains on the just and the unjust"

Of course living a good moral life increases your chances of having a better life.


 
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