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Research on Belief in God

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Eshnar said:
That's no proof of emotions nor suffering as we call it. Animals are surely aware of what happens to their bodies, and that's a physiological fact. But that's it, as far as we know. Do they feel "pain"? Surely they realize they're been attacked, or they're wounded, or they have a sickness, and react accordingly. That's not a proof that they feel what we feel, although it is surely a hint. It wouldn't be unreasonable to imagine that one day (not even too far away) we'll have robots full of sensors able to be completely aware of their internal and external body state. Perhaps even able to "be scared", meaning being able to run from potential dangers. Or being able to care about humans and interact with them. Does that mean those robots would feel "pain", or "fear", or "empathy"? Surely not, by the very definition of what we mean by "feeling".
To be completely correct, there's no actual proof that we all have a consciousness either (this is the paradox of the "zombie" - not those of the movies though ;) ), although just the thought seems very silly. On the outside we can only see actions. There's just no way to tell, unless we really "crack" the mistery of consciousness at a physiological level.
To be completely correct we don't even know if the Earth exists....
 
Jan 27, 2013
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Eshnar said:
That's no proof of emotions nor suffering as we call it. Animals are surely aware of what happens to their bodies, and that's a physiological fact. But that's it, as far as we know. Do they feel "pain"? Surely they realize they're been attacked, or they're wounded, or they have a sickness, and react accordingly. That's not a proof that they feel what we feel, although it is surely a hint. It wouldn't be unreasonable to imagine that one day (not even too far away) we'll have robots full of sensors able to be completely aware of their internal and external body state. Perhaps even able to "be scared", meaning being able to run from potential dangers. Or being able to care about humans and interact with them. Does that mean those robots would feel "pain", or "fear", or "empathy"? Surely not, by the very definition of what we mean by "feeling".
To be completely correct, there's no actual proof that we all have a consciousness either (this is the paradox of the "zombie" - not those of the movies though ;) ), although just the thought seems very silly. On the outside we can only see actions. There's just no way to tell, unless we really "crack" the mistery of consciousness at a physiological level.
Get a dog and don't over think it, it'll become obvious.
 
BigMac said:
You don't believe in love (and please don't be so literal (of course they don't feel it they way humans do)) amongst animals? Is it just a physiological need that some animals want to spend some time together, or cry when their cubs die?
I don't have an opinion. But why not? Animals who do want to spend time together, do so to increase their survival chances. Their desire to preserve their children - when present (because not all animals have it) - perfectly fits the standard "species conservation" that is common for any life forms. Ofc animals are able to move and emit sounds, so it is much more evident than for the plants. But they too, try to make their species survive as long and best as possible. The point is: is having a brain a necessary AND sufficient condition in order to feel emotions? The scientific answer, in short, is that we still don't know at all.
BigMac said:
That is what I mean. You can't compare fauna to flora mainly because of this. Only their roots (pun intended) are the same.
I'm not comparing them. They're clearly very different.
But are their lives equally worth? That's not such a light question as many people seem to believe it is. Not for me at least. Here we are in the dark and dangerous realm of ethics.
 
Eshnar said:
That's no proof of emotions nor suffering as we call it. Animals are surely aware of what happens to their bodies, and that's a physiological fact. But that's it, as far as we know. Do they feel "pain"? Surely they realize they're been attacked, or they're wounded, or they have a sickness, and react accordingly. That's not a proof that they feel what we feel, although it is surely a hint. It wouldn't be unreasonable to imagine that one day (not even too far away) we'll have robots full of sensors able to be completely aware of their internal and external body state. Perhaps even able to "be scared", meaning being able to run from potential dangers. Or being able to care about humans and interact with them. Does that mean those robots would feel "pain", or "fear", or "empathy"? Surely not, by the very definition of what we mean by "feeling".
To be completely correct, there's no actual proof that we all have a consciousness either (this is the paradox of the "zombie" - not those of the movies though ;) ), although just the thought seems very silly. On the outside we can only see actions. There's just no way to tell, unless we really "crack" the mistery of consciousness at a physiological level.
A robot, however, is not an organism. The external stimuli, you mentioned pain, that provokes a congruous reaction in an animal, allows us to appreciate the level of "awareness" they have.

Developed emotional states are probably confined, in most cases, to a higher cognintive state, which only the faculty of reason permits. On the other hand, for anyone who has had a pet they grew affection for, it's difficult to reduce all relations with the animal purely in terms of instinct.
 
rhubroma said:
A robot, however, is not an organism. The external stimuli, you mentioned pain, that provokes a congruous reaction in an animal, allows us to appreciate the level of "awareness" they have.

Developed emotional states are probably confined, in most cases, to a higher cognintive state, which only the faculty of reason permits. On the other hand, for anyone who has had a pet they grew affection for, it's difficult to reduce all relations with the animal purely in terms of instinct.
Let me stress that my point is not "animals don't have feelings" but "there's no scientific proof they have". I personally think some higher species have. But that's just an opinion.
 
Eshnar said:
Let me stress that my point is not "animals don't have feelings" but "there's no scientific proof they have". I personally think some higher species have. But that's just an opinion.
Are you really trying to say that an ant might not philosophize about the purpose of it's life?!?!?!
 
Jan 27, 2013
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Eshnar said:
Anyway, I suddenly realized I'm a mod and this thread went OT because of me. Sorry. :eek:
lol. Does God exist/does consciousness exist are vitually the same questions as both are undefinable and are synonymous.
 
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Eshnar said:
I'm pretty sure God and consciousness are not synonymous.
Both undefinable, ok.
I should have said often considered synonymous, it's a pretty intertwined affair. I have no idea how to untangle it or where to make the distinctions. Maybe Rhub. can help out?
 
The Hitch said:
This has got to be wonderlance.
It's funny how people mock. It takes a lot more faith to be an atheist than it does to be a christian. To say that there is no God is to say that you have infinite wisdom....that you are all knowing. To me there is nothing more arrogant than to deny that your Maker exists. I simply look around- the oceans, mountains, starts, planets....things don't just come into existence over millions of years....I don't have enough faith to believe something that insane. You and I both know that if there is a building than there is a builder - It goes with everything in life. All things made have a creator. The world had a creator....He has been revealed to us through the Bible. "The heavens declare the glory of God."

Btw, I like that word wonderlance. :) I'll have to remember that one.
 
Eshnar said:
That's no proof of emotions nor suffering as we call it. Animals are surely aware of what happens to their bodies, and that's a physiological fact. But that's it, as far as we know. Do they feel "pain"? Surely they realize they're been attacked, or they're wounded, or they have a sickness, and react accordingly. That's not a proof that they feel what we feel, although it is surely a hint. It wouldn't be unreasonable to imagine that one day (not even too far away) we'll have robots full of sensors able to be completely aware of their internal and external body state. Perhaps even able to "be scared", meaning being able to run from potential dangers. Or being able to care about humans and interact with them. Does that mean those robots would feel "pain", or "fear", or "empathy"? Surely not, by the very definition of what we mean by "feeling".
To be completely correct, there's no actual proof that we all have a consciousness either (this is the paradox of the "zombie" - not those of the movies though ;) ), although just the thought seems very silly. On the outside we can only see actions. There's just no way to tell, unless we really "crack" the mistery of consciousness at a physiological level.
We do know that animals feel pain, if we move away from this philosophy and back to science that is.

Animals have nerves, which studies on our own bodies have shown play a major part in the pain process.

Animals also share genes with us, in the case of chimpanzees 98%

More importantly, scientists have identified pain as coming from evolution. A device created through evolution to help with survival.

What you are suggesting is that either the evolution of pain occured very recently and entirely within our species (which makes 0 sense on a number of levels), or that God really did create us, all in his own image, and only made humans capable of feeling pain, in which case why did he bother with the previous 900 million years of life on earth before humans?
 
Jun 10, 2013
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Jspear said:
It's funny how people mock. It takes a lot more faith to be an atheist than it does to be a christian. To say that there is no God is to say that you have infinite wisdom....that you are all knowing. To me there is nothing more arrogant than to deny that your Maker exists. I simply look around- the oceans, mountains, starts, planets....things don't just come into existence over millions of years....I don't have enough faith to believe something that insane. You and I both know that if there is a building than there is a builder - It goes with everything in life. All things made have a creator. The world had a creator....He has been revealed to us through the Bible. "The heavens declare the glory of God."

Btw, I like that word wonderlance. :) I'll have to remember that one.
It doesn't take any faith to be an atheist. All it takes is the lack of it. Stop complicating. My maker was a millisecond atomic explosion billions of years ago. Why am I arrogant?

I am the exact opposite. I believe we are nothing in the universe. That is exactly not arrogance.

The Hitch said:
[...]

What you are suggesting is that either the evolution of pain occured very recently and entirely within our species (which makes 0 sense on a number of levels), or that God really did create us, all in his own image, and only made humans capable of feeling pain, in which case why did he bother with the previous 900 million years of life on earth before humans?
Only that doesn't work for those who follow the bible, since it tells Earth is +/- 6000 years old.

Radiometric dating should be completely banned, afterall it is able to mistake billions of years for a mere six thousand.

Read this article Jspear linked regarding the susbject, if you have not already.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/ee2/dating-methods
 
Jan 27, 2013
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BigMac said:
It doesn't take any faith to be an atheist. All it takes is the lack of it. Stop complicating. My maker was a millisecond atomic explosion billions of years ago. Why am I arrogant?

I am the exact opposite. I believe we are nothing in the universe. That is exactly not arrogance.
So you're an atheist that believes the universe was created by a 'religious' myth. Interesting. We've already covered this ground in this thread though.
 
Jun 10, 2013
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RetroActive said:
So you're an atheist that believes the universe was created by a 'religious' myth. Interesting. We've already covered this ground in this thread though.
A religious myth? Care to explain? I'd love to be enlightened on that one because I am not going to dig a 100 page thread looking for it. :)

Edit: found a couple of articles on it, reading them.
 
RetroActive said:
I should have said often considered synonymous, it's a pretty intertwined affair. I have no idea how to untangle it or where to make the distinctions. Maybe Rhub. can help out?
Nope, all I can tell is that this is a brief pause on the way back to nothingness.
 
BigMac said:
It doesn't take any faith to be an atheist. All it takes is the lack of it. Stop complicating. My maker was a millisecond atomic explosion billions of years ago. Why am I arrogant?

I am the exact opposite. I believe we are nothing in the universe. That is exactly not arrogance.



Only that doesn't work for those who follow the bible, since it tells Earth is +/- 6000 years old.

Radiometric dating should be completely banned, afterall it is able to mistake billions of years for a mere six thousand.

Read this article Jspear linked regarding the susbject, if you have not already.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/ee2/dating-methods

A basic definition of faith is believing in something or someone that you cannot see. You weren't there when everything was made, so sir, you're belief system(or the lack of one....how ever you want to word it) requires faith.
 
Jspear said:
A basic definition of faith is believing in something or someone that you cannot see. You weren't there when everything was made, so sir, you're belief system(or the lack of one....how ever you want to word it) requires faith.
I don't claim to know what happened when "everything was made". I just know that your (alleged) version of events is wrong.
 
BigMac said:
It doesn't take any faith to be an atheist. All it takes is the lack of it. Stop complicating. My maker was a millisecond atomic explosion billions of years ago. Why am I arrogant?

I am the exact opposite. I believe we are nothing in the universe. That is exactly not arrogance.



Only that doesn't work for those who follow the bible, since it tells Earth is +/- 6000 years old.

Radiometric dating should be completely banned, afterall it is able to mistake billions of years for a mere six thousand.

Read this article Jspear linked regarding the susbject, if you have not already.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/ee2/dating-methods

BigMac, I was not singling you out as arrogant. I don't believe at all that you're an arrogant person. I just think that it is an arrogant statement to say that you know for certain(implying infinite wisdom) that there is no God, and He couldn't have created people.
 

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