The Reality

Reality.  What an interesting subject, reality.  For ages man has wondered about reality, does it exist, is it all around us, or is it just a figment of our imagination?  Tough questions, that is probably why they are still unanswered today.  Will they ever be answered?

Reality is the world we live in.  It is what we all believe exists around us.  Honestly, it is hard to imagine a world behind the one we see everyday.  Many different philosophic ideas center around the notion that there are more than one reality.  Our visible world is just a screen hiding the real one.  Others believe that there is nothing around us at all.  We are just minds floating in nothing, just imagining the things we sense.  These are all argued for ideas and none of them can be disproven, yet neither can the age old idea that what is around us, is….around us.

The idea easiest to imagine for most people is the idea that what we see is really what is in front of us.  The things that we see, the things that we hear, the things that we taste all point us to believing that everything around us is actually there.  The closest distance between two points is a straight line.  What we see, hear, sense is the straight line pointing us in the direction that our senses are giving us correct information.  That there is only one world and we are living it day to day.  This is the notion I find myself believing until I start doing thought experiments, but for the record it would be hard for anybody to function in society if they didn’t believe anything was real or any of us were here.  Some may consider a life like that, a person like that socially unavailable.

Religion has us take what we sense and ignore some of it.  Religion tells us that the universe is run by a Being that none of us can see, hear, taste, and sense at all.  Religion tells us that there is another reality that none of us have ever seen.  That is not a straight line, but yet a majority of people believe that the world works in a different way then the straight line of reality.  By no means is that wrong, I can’t prove that there is not another world, I can’t prove that this world is the real and I am not just a ball of mind floating in a sea of nothingness.  The only thing I honestly believe I can prove is that I exist.  The Descartian way of “I think therefore I am.”  Personally, it is interesting that most of the world follows a path that deviates from a straight reality line.  If I was to ask someone if they believed that the chair they were sitting on was not really a chair but a greater idea of chair.  That they did not know what they were really sitting on only the chair really understands what it is to be chair.  They would look at me like I was fresh out of the loony bin.  But yet, the same person believes in a Being that is invisible, unable to be proven, all knowing, all powerful, and able to be anywhere and everywhere at once.  A Being that really only knows what it is to be itself.  We have no idea, but this person believes that he or she knows this being.  That a book written by the hand of man is the word of God.

To believe in science and to believe in religion are two different things, but people will have you believe that they are not.  Both are belief systems.  Both are parts that make up reality for each one of us.  I person that believes in religious Beings must make a leap into their reality just as a person that believes in science does.  The difference lies in how far the leap must be.  Take Christianity for example.  A person must believe in an all powerful Being, that’s 1.  That person must also believe that the bible was written by God, that’s 2.  The third is that if the bible was written by God then they must believe everything in that bible.  Which brings us to the fact and belief system of the Christian believer, the bible.

Now lets look at the same person who believes only in science.  That person needs only make one leap, and a leap that all functioning humans make in their daily lives.  Now if you were not to make this leap it would be almost impossible to function in our current human society.  What must we believe?  The answer is simple; that we can know the world around us.  To use science as a belief system all we need to believe is that we can know the world around us.  Once we make that jump science opens itself to the masses.  Quite a straight line.  There is yet another theory that also comes to mind in situations like this, where we need to explain our reality, it is Occam’s razor.  It states that all things being equal, the simplest solution is the best.  Fancy that, but when you think about it, when talking about reality, there is never anything equal about it.  It is close to impossible to apply the razor to a belief system because you are limiting yourself to believing in a belief system that includes Occam’s razor.  That being said a religous belief system just cannot function on a foundation that includes Occam’s razor.  We would always come to the conclution that we can know the world around us, being that, the world can be known and God cannot it is a far simple and shorter conclution, and as far as the universe goes, not one person knows God.

BIGFIX01

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Published in: on March 9, 2009 at 5:54 pm  Comments (2)  
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Religion and Aliens Part 2

So back to the religion and aliens discussion. Turns out that the first article I wrote on religion and aliens was quite popular so I thought I would elaborate and bring up a couple new ideas in this new post.

So like I said in the first post do aliens showing up on earth mean that god does not exist? First I tried to show why aliens showing up should effect our belief in god. There was definitely a large amount of people that didn’t believe aliens showing up would have any effect at all on our belief system. The truth that I didn’t bring up in that discussion is that based on what religious ideas are currently, aliens really should not affect religion at all. An alien showing up should have no effect on any religious body based on how their ideals work. But should it? That really is the undermining theme. Should other intelligent beings affect our beliefs?

It is quite hard to say. We have never met intelligent beings other than ourselves so this isn’t a question easily tackled.   We may never meet intelligent beings so what are we to do, just forget the question, blow it off as nonsence?  I hope not.  Now if we were able to meet intelligent beings would their ideas matter? I think the main point of the last article was to point us in the direction for listening to the other intelligent beings.  Currently saying that aliens showing up doesn’t matter in our religious beliefs is saying that we do not take into account their ideas.  Shouldn’t we?  I would say if other beings were able to make there way all the way to earth I think we should listen to what they have to say.  Even if it goes against what our religious establishments tell us to believe.

But do we?  No.  We the great people of earth have it figured out. Aliens could be sent from the devil to break our faith 🙂  Maybe aliens do not understand what we understand about god. What really makes humans the people that get to decide that. Devine knowledge? That seems a little bit circular in argument.

To be truthful there is not a direct correlation between god and aliens. Never has been and never will be. The interesting fact is that our entire religious belief system does not take into account outside presences. Meaning if aliens were to show up and spread there messages we would not have anyway of incorporating them into our religious belief system. People will say that we would have to spread the word of god to these visitors, but that is just nonsense. We do not spread an earthly belief system to another world organism. It is very, and I mean very far reaching to believe that we are the only ones with the knowledge of the almighty. Do people really think that Earth is the beginning and the end of all existence?

The only way we can justify our religion in the presence of other intelligent beings is to say that Earth is the be all, end all of the universe, and if I understand science well then I know that the universe does not revolve around the earth. The universe didn’t start with earth, earth is not any more important than the minuscule block of dust flying through the cosmos at an incredible speed. If human, earthly, science has taught us anything, it is that the universe is a place where anything and everything is possible and everything is equal created from the same source.

So even if that same source is an almighty being there is no evidence, no reason, and no way that Earth is where life originated, where life evolved, and where god made his simple super plan.

BIGFIX01

Published in: on March 11, 2008 at 7:42 pm  Comments (3)  
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Religion and Aliens

So a post on religion and aliens, what, even remotely, do the two have to do with one another. Well, I raised the question in the new questions part of H.E.P. If aliens were to show up one day with no idea of what god is, does that mean god does not exist? I find this to be a fascinating question. So what does happen if aliens show up? Do we through out our belief in an all powerful being?

Some religions, I would have to think we must through out right away. Religions that say we are in-fact all made in gods image. Well, what do we do then when a group of little orange things start communicating with us telling us our beliefs make no sense at all. Spooky. If we were so lucky as to be visited by beings from another world, that are nothing like us, it really would be an appifiny for our society. Some people would tell us that the end of the world is now coming, others would want to do anything to join with the extraterrestrials. People would probably tell me that this is the work of the devil and we should not believe it. I do not have a lot of faith in “people”.

The funny thing is I am not so sure we could go on believing in our religions the same way we do today. The fact of the matter is that if we every do come across beings unlike ourselves with no belief in afterlives and gods we really have to look upon ourselves to do the same. Religion has really been based on an earth centric belief system. As time has gone on and we have been able to explore more and more of the universe we have integrated new beliefs into our religions. For example god create earth in 6 days and rested on the 7th. Now we believe he created the universe in 6 days and rested on the 7th. Also now that we as people have moved on from the earth centric views of the universe we do not believe that god created everything in 6 literal earth days.

I do not believe we will be able to so easily incorporate aliens into our religions. Of course I say this because religions I am more familiar with (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) would not jive very well with extraterrestrials with no beliefs what so ever. I have not done enough investigations into the other great world religions but I have a feeling most would be turned upside down if something like this were to happen.

Assuming someday that we are visited by aliens do we then try to push our religious beliefs onto them like we did in the new world? I am sure it would not work out quite as well as we would hope. Do we change our religion into one that says only earth peoples have a god and we are the only ones that get to abide by the Almighty’s wishes? That doesn’t sound quite right. So when you get down to the nitty gritty the question it really is a interesting question. At first look someone might say, “Duh of course this doesn’t change any of our beliefs why would it?” but when you look into the question yes, a lot does change.

If you would like to comment please do so, and also remember if you would like to answer the question of aliens and religion it is in the questions part of H.E.P. and you can answer the actual question there.

BIGFIX01

Orange Alien
Published in: on February 6, 2008 at 11:05 pm  Comments (6)  
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Freewill and the Future

I thought I would post again on the argument of freewill. In my first post I had some responses and carried on the discussion on another blog you can find that here. What I would like to talk about is a point that came out of that discussion.

The point that was made was our basic definition of the word “future” points us in the direction that we have no freewill. By using the word future we are saying that something will happen. It was also pointed out that atheists, agnostics, and religious people in general all would have to believe that they have no freewill, by the mere fact that our whole explanation of what we believe the future is.

Now I do not believe this at all. Future or our idea of what the future is has nothing to do with if we have freewill or not. The fact of the matter is that we have this word future which means things that have not happened yet but will happen. By using this word we are implying that the events are going to happen but not that they have to happen. For example in the future, lets say tomorrow I will go to work, sit at my desk, and type a letter to a friend. Now I know I am going to do this because I said it will happen in the future. We can go into the argument saying I am destined to do this but we are not to this argument yet. I will first dismiss the fact that the word future or our idea of the future has anything to do with freewill.

So tomorrow rolls around and I wake up and feel absolutely terrible. I call work and tell them I am not coming in. The future has changed. I no longer did what was set for me in the future. (This is not the best argument but it is a simple demonstration of the principle that there are infinite amounts of possible futures.) Our idea of the future has no bearing of the physics of what is really happening. This means that we can dismiss the argument that just because our idea of the future implies we do not have freewill then we do not have freewill.

I could also get into the argument that the future really doesn’t exist. There is no such thing as the future. We know there will be time in front of me but it is blank. It is the absence of anything. I think when this argument was made against me for freewill some of this was mixed in with our definition of the future. But if the case is that there is no such thing as a future then there cannot possibly be an omniscient being and there is no possibility of a freewill argument.

You see, if there is the absence of anything in “the future” then we cannot have a freewill argument. The fact that nothing is written out “per say” means that we will do anything at anytime. There is no way to know what will happen so there is no possible way we do not have freewill. Now you can say we do what we do and there isn’t a possibility of that changing. That argument now has no bearing because once we do something it is the past. Once something is in the past thats it, it has been solidified and is never changing. That in no way says that we would have always done it that way because then you are implying that there is “the future”.

No I am in no way arguing the fact that true Christians do not have freewill. If someone is educated on what Christianity trully is they will have no choice but to agree that they do not have freewill, only the illution of such a thing. What I am arguing is that someone that does not believe in the christian ideal of a god still has the possibity of freewill. I believe that this post argues the point very well and I invite challenges to the idea that a athiest or agnostic does not have freewill.

BIGFIX01

Published in: on January 6, 2008 at 2:21 pm  Comments (4)  
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Religion and Freewill Possible?

A while back I got into a small scuffle with a friend of mine about the possibility of freewill with an all knowing, all powerful being. It came down to be a very interesting argument, for the mere fact that I was able to get my point across to my very closed-minded friend. (I say this with no disrespect, my friend is very intelligent but he will admit he is very closed minded.) I have heard for the longest time if you believe in an all powerful, all knowing being then there is no possibility of freewill. Well is this true?

My friend was telling me that he had freewill. I agreed with him I too believe that we have freewill. But then he started explaining his Christian beliefs. He believes that everything has a definite ending. The bible tells us that there is a definite end and there is nothing we can do to change this end. WAIT JUST A MINUTE! If there is a definite end how can you have freewill? He tells me that he can still make his own choices it just will not matter in the end.

OK, I can buy that, but if your choices do not matter do you really have freewill or do you only have the illusion of freewill? The truth is, if you make choices but the end doesn’t change then you really do not have any freewill at all. Only the illusion that your choices are your own and they really matter. If an all knowing Christian God knows what you are going to do, before you do it, then you were never really going to do anything other than what you do; so your choices are predestined. This only solidifies my point when he told me that he believes that everything has a destined ending.

So he walked through his argument with me and found in the end that he might not have freewill after all. I can choose to eat this apple or not to eat this apple. If his God knows the answer to the question already he cannot possible have freewill. The reason this is, is because his God knows everything for all time. And the Christian God is infinite and never changing. Which means that your choice is not yours but is destined to be made already you are just following the path set out in front of you. You were always going to eat that apple even if you thought you might not. Pretty interesting statement. I then proceeded to blow my friend away with another way to look at a God. If we were to look at an all knowing, all powerful being, that knows everything, there is still a way you can have freewill.

Now I personally do not believe that I am walking down a path with the illusion of freewill. What if this god knows everything, but only knows it at one certain point in time. If we think of this God in those terms I still have the possibility of freewill. Take for example the apple in front of me. At this moment in time this God knows that I am going to eat it. I know I am going to eat it. But then a moment later I decide not to eat it and pass the apple up. Does that mean that this God is not all knowing? No it doesn’t. At that next moment not only I knew I wasn’t going to eat the apple but so did this God. Ah-ha, so the God is still all knowing, just that there isn’t a set path in front of me. I have the ability to change the direction I am on thus giving myself freewill with the possibility of there being an all powerful god. The important part here is that we only look at a certain place and time, but we can have an infinite amount of places and times so we can still have an infinitely powerful, all knowing god. The God always knows something just that something can change, and will change.

My friend let me know that this was all well and good but still doesn’t work for the christian belief, and I agreed totally with him. The way Christians believe in there God there is no possible way they can have freewill. It is and always will be an illusion if you are a true christian believer.

Questions, comments, challenges? Let me know,

BIGFIX01

Published in: on December 26, 2007 at 4:03 pm  Comments (6)  
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Quick Religious Thought before Christmas

I thought I would post a little somethin somethin before the Christmas holiday. Religion can, a large amount of the time, be mis-understood. We are living in a world where if someone puts a Christmas nativity scene near a public building we have public outcry. Half the people are for the nativity scene and half are against it. It doesn’t seem like there is a solution to this.

Well, let’s try to remember that Christmas is one cultures holiday. I personally do not care either way if there is a scene or not. Does the public building putting up a nativity set mean that they only support one religious belief? NO of course not. The argument always comes back to the division of church and state. What is often missed is the fact that the division of church and state really isn’t relevant here. A Christmas decoration is in no way interfering with the way our public buildings or officials are working.

I am sure if someone asks to display for a Menorah to celebrate Hanukkah they would not be denied. The reason you see Christmas decorations more than others religions is because that is what the majority celebrates. I hope we can remember that this is the time of the year for certain religious groups to celebrate. We live in a free society and we should not impede on other peoples freedom. I do not see how a nativity scene is impeding on my freedom.

Both sides of this argument have very valid points and I am sure some of you would like to voice your opinions. You see where I stand lets see where you stand. Leave your opinion.

Thanks again and come back soon,

BIGFIX01

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Published in: on December 23, 2007 at 11:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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