Life/Spirit force

Cpt_pineapple
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Life/Spirit force

I have yet another question:

 

Does an atheist, who for example, doesn't believe in Gods, but still believes in a "life/spirit force" or a "force create from mass consciousnes" "defy reality checks" much like a fundamentalist Christian or Muslim?

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Yes he does, the

Yes he does, the "life/spirit force" is even more vaque than any gods, since most people who belive this can't really explain what the fuck their talking about.


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Certainly - just one of the

Certainly - just one of the examples of how people can be quite inconsistent in their beliefs, sometimes helped by a degree of 'compartmentalization', ie not considering the two contradictory ideas within in the same context.

In other cases, some people will adopt the idea of a 'life-force', or even other ideas which are very close to Pantheism, as an alternative to conventional 'God' belief.

Such ideas are far less likely in someone whose outlook is based on valuing rationalism and science, but I have a friend who is basically atheist, but still entertains some strange ideas about mystical knowledge 'beyond reason and logic'...

 

 

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I have a good friend I was

I have a good friend I was just talking to tonight about this and I would really like it if a bunch of people weighed in, even if to just very briefly describe their views on this issue.  She'll read the thread soon.  I will remain out of it so as not to skew the results.

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:I have

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I have yet another question:

Does an atheist, who for example, doesn't believe in Gods, but still believes in a "life/spirit force" or a "force create from mass consciousnes" "defy reality checks" much like a fundamentalist Christian or Muslim?

It depends on if they only believe in it's existence, or if they really perceive and work with it. I belong to the second cathegory, just like crowds of people who meditate, heal, and so on. They only say what they see.


 

Waiting for Oblivion wrote:

Yes he does, the "life/spirit force" is even more vaque than any gods, since most people who belive this can't really explain what the fuck their talking about.

Well, imagine a mass of water or smoke in zero gravity which reacts on your thoughts but otherwise passes freely through physical matter, has often a healing properties, and does also circulate within your body. That's pretty much like it, plus countless qualities, variations, and specifics of one's subjective perception. Otherwise, there is no approved definition in western language. Correct western word could be "ectoplasm" or something like that, but it's rather profane to the rational mind...


 

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 I suppose it depends on

 I suppose it depends on how he defines spirit/life force.  It's a little more difficult to defy reality with a non-conscious spiritual entity because you're left without capricious consciousness to explain anomalies and inconsistencies in your worldview.

In other words, if someone points out an internal inconsistency in a theist's worldview, they can just say, "Well, it's God.  He can do whatever he wants."

With a spirit/life force, at least most of the ones Ive been told about, the spirit is somehow "tied" to humanity, or to life in general, and the presumption is that it follows some kind of unconscious "laws."

Having said that, I think that yes, there are ways in which atheist spiritualists defy reality checks.  Luminon is a great example.  He believes in whatever thing he believes in, and whatever psychological or physical explanation someone else gives him is insufficient because he can just bend his beliefs around his own vague and unfalsifiable definitions.

Just to complicate things, yes, I think pretty much everyone defies reality checks in some ways -- including materialist atheists.  The difference between the systems, however, is that theism actively encourages it, where materialism staunchly discourages it.  A materialist who is defying a reality check can be properly called out by other materialists, and if he continues to defy reality, his opinions will be disregarded.  Since there is no reality check in theism, it's just about how many people you can convince -- in any way that works best -- to believe you.

 

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:I have

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I have yet another question:

Does an atheist, who for example, doesn't believe in Gods, but still believes in a "life/spirit force" or a "force create from mass consciousnes" "defy reality checks" much like a fundamentalist Christian or Muslim?

Not at all! Life force can be measured. Just do a blood count of midichlorians, and you're all set.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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:3

nigelTheBold wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I have yet another question:

Does an atheist, who for example, doesn't believe in Gods, but still believes in a "life/spirit force" or a "force create from mass consciousnes" "defy reality checks" much like a fundamentalist Christian or Muslim?

Not at all! Life force can be measured. Just do a blood count of midichlorians, and you're all set.

 

 

 

 

Here you go.

 

 

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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Ok let me steer this

Ok let me steer this question a little...

Do any of you believe that if you put positive energy into the world, the world will give you back positive energy? 

Do you believe what goes around comes around?

 

Ok... furthermore, do you believe that it can make someone feel good to believe those things?  And if it does make them feel good to believe those things, do you see any harm in believing them?

 

Yes, I know I'm usually the one answering, but I don't want to skew the results as I said, I have a friend who I discussed this with, and the friend will take a look at this soon.

So weigh in...

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:3

Sapient wrote:

Ok let me steer this question a little...

Do any of you believe that if you put positive energy into the world, the world will give you back positive energy? 

Do you believe what goes around comes around?

 

Ok... furthermore, do you believe that it can make someone feel good to believe those things?  And if it does make them feel good to believe those things, do you see any harm in believing them?

 

Yes, I know I'm usually the one answering, but I don't want to skew the results as I said, I have a friend who I discussed this with, and the friend will take a look at this soon.

So weigh in...

 

No and no to the first two questions.

 

Yes to people "feeling good" to believe it. Yes, I could see a situation where it would cause harm.

 

If the situation demands intervention, and due to a "karma" like belief they decide not to because "they will get what is coming to them anyway", inaction can lead to unfortunate results.

 

If they say this only for small matters, it may not lead to any harm. But if they believe it too deeply, making the person incredibly passive, it can cause issues to occur that otherwise would not.

 

For example, if you believe that someone's suffering is "deserved" or not.

 

Another example is Spiderman's story. He had an opportunity to stop a crime, and due to inaction caused his uncle's death. Now, that inaction was because of a dislike of the person being robbed, and that dislike led to a passiveness that "they will get what is coming to them". It can easily make people passive aggressive over things they would otherwise openly challenge.

 

Basically, it can cause someone to not do anything when they should. Why report a family to child services when "they will get what is coming to them"? Why do anything that will potentially harm someone in a world of karma, if they are continually harming someone else? Especially if doing so could put you at risk in the process!

 

 

 

I'm starving. If you will excuse me, I'm going to get some food because I'm sure I will become increasingly incoherent the longer I remain without. I hope I managed to make my point. I'll be back to fix this in a more stable state if I read it later and facepalm at my own lack of clarity. 

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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Sapient wrote:Ok let me

Sapient wrote:

Ok let me steer this question a little...

Do any of you believe that if you put positive energy into the world, the world will give you back positive energy? 

I believe that if you approach life with the default of a positive attitude, your life will be more positive than if you approach life with the default of a negative attitude. Of course, this is subjective, as "positive" has two distinct meanings here, each of which has latitude in definition.

Is this a "force," or "energy?" Not in the physics sense. It does affect behavior, so in that sense it is a causal agent.

Quote:

Do you believe what goes around comes around?

Not often enough to be significant, no. There was the guy from Sitka who killed his family, then he and his girlfriend were in a terrible car accident in Seattle, which left him paralyzed, and he took his wheelchair for a long walk off a short pier, but that's hardly proof that people reap what they sow, and so on. Too many people willingly fuck over other people for their own gain, and not only get away with it, but enjoy doing so. And many, many good people have to work hard just to make ends meet, simply because they aren't willing to take advantage of other people.

Quote:

Ok... furthermore, do you believe that it can make someone feel good to believe those things?  And if it does make them feel good to believe those things, do you see any harm in believing them?

It might make certain people feel good, certainly. But, there is harm in believing those things. First, the misuse of "energy" and "force" makes my physics ears hurt. Second, believing that "what comes around goes around" helps blunt the desire for justice. Any time you say, "Oh, he'll get his in the end," you are delaying justice. And when the end comes, and all he got was richer and happier, justice has been ignored entirely.

Then there's the whole issue of the necessity of believing things that are not based on scientific observation of nature. That whole "other ways of knowing" thing opens the door to all kinds of woo.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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I do believe what goes

I do believe what goes around comes around, but certainly not in any mystical spiritual form.  I think it is obvious that in general if you do good things and treat people well, naturally most will do the same for you and you will reap the rewards of the good vibes you sent out.  But this is purely natural.  The same can be said for those who put out negative vibes, treat people badly you  will most likely reap what you sew in that regard as well.  But again this a purely natural phenomena.

 

This can be proven by the fact that bad things happen to good people, and vice versa.  The law of attraction is flawed by it naturalism, ytou can be the most ethical, great person in the world and still die of cancer or be hit by a bus before your 30.  So it is obvious that although the law certainly holds validity like a statistic does, like a statistic their are exceptions, or their would be no need for a statistic at all.  The concept of kharma is obvious to be, it surely does work in general but only by natural occurance and it is likely that even if you were perfectly good you would still endure hardship.

 

As to your secong topic if this is a harmful belief, well i dont really see how thinking doing good  to in the world most likely will bring good things to you is at all harmful.  These things are only harmful when people take them to far, like being avery good person and then thinking your invincible.  This ofcourse is dangerous, to you and those around you if your dilluted enough to think the kharma concept is %100 fact and flawless.    This world is simply to choatic in balance for this to be so.  I mean sure you could flip a coin a hundred times and statistically you should get 50/50 but rarely will you.  So even if you believe the worlds kharma is in a constant state of equalizing itslef, you must also believe it takes time to balance things, and as long as things are continuing to be thrown out of balance this equalization will never happen, so one must therefore even if believing in kharme assume that the law is flawed, and bad things will always happen to good people.

 

But i cant see how this can be too harmful, if someone does, please enlighten me.   

 

 


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Quote: "If the situation

Quote:

 

"If the situation demands intervention, and due to a "karma" like belief they decide not to because "they will get what is coming to them anyway", inaction can lead to unfortunate results."

 

I cant believe i forgot about this way of looking at.  I use to work with a devout Falung Gong practitioner.  I read the entire book written by one of the practicing masters.  I do remember once story i had to discuss with him, i dont remember perfectly, but it was something along the lines of a falong-gong master not interfering with harm coming to someone because with his level of self-proclaimed enlightenment he could literally see thru his third eye the amount of kharma/virute (Kharma ia actually the negative, and virtue the positive) this particular person has, and could even see the tranfering of this kharma/virtue from peron to person.  His reason for not stepping in that this naturl law is to be left alone to do its will.

This is something i havent thought about in years, this idea of kharma. After reminding myself of this story/teaching,  i must conclude it very well can be harmful to take this belief you should allow things to happen naturally without intervention to literally.


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Sapient wrote:Ok let me

Sapient wrote:

Ok let me steer this question a little...

Do any of you believe that if you put positive energy into the world, the world will give you back positive energy? 

Apart from the general sense that a positive attitude/approach can help you get thru the day and get some good things done, but any talk of "getting back positive energy" is almost completely meaningless to me. 

Quote:

Do you believe what goes around comes around?

No, in any general sense. Actions often have consequences, but there are two many examples of people responsible for a lot of nasty stuff having a far more pleasant life than the people they have wronged.

It was the blatantly obvious truth that this does not happen in 'this world' that lead most religions to insist that evil would eventually be punished in some supernatural way, usually in another life, such as in a Hell, or in another life back in this reality, by being re-incarnated in some miserable form.

Quote:

Ok... furthermore, do you believe that it can make someone feel good to believe those things?  And if it does make them feel good to believe those things, do you see any harm in believing them?

It seems to make people feel better, but it is not necessarily harmless.

The case which most comes to mind to me is Cambodia, which I have visited, where it is arguable that the ability of the largely Buddhist population to retreat into contemplation or whatever, and shut out the nasty outside world, made it easier for Pol Pot to have his evil way with the country. 

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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 I lost a detailed post to

 I lost a detailed post to the Glitch-Demon (who definitely exists, although I can't prove it empirically).   Here's the nutshell version:

"Energy" means something very specific in science.  There is no "energy" governing the value of human interactions.  Colloquially, I'm ok with calling a combination of attitude, action, and demeanor a person's "energy" and admitting that generally speaking, people with good attitudes inspire good attitudes in those around them, and that altruism tends to inspire altruism in some cases.  I don't, however, think we can reduce the complexity of human interactions to a general rule like "What Goes Around Comes Around."  It's just too complex.

I do believe it's probably helpful to a lot of people to believe that their attitude has the capacity to make their life better.  There are several reasons for this, including the psychology of acting happy to make yourself happy, and the basic human moral strategy of tit-for-tat with memory and conditional forgiveness.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:This

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:

This can be proven by the fact that bad things happen to good people, and vice versa.   

Yes, and the proof of that is in the funniest MadTV skit EVER!

 

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:I have

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I have yet another question:

 

Does an atheist, who for example, doesn't believe in Gods, but still believes in a "life/spirit force" or a "force create from mass consciousnes" "defy reality checks" much like a fundamentalist Christian or Muslim?

 

I'm thinking that being an atheist doesn't preclude you from believing other stupid shit. Sorry for the potty mouth. "life/spirit force" doesn't fit in well with reality. I don't believe that we are able to do anything with our minds other than think shit up so I'd put "force create from mass consciousness" in the doesn't comport with reality box.

Respectfully,
Lenny

"The righteous rise, With burning eyes, Of hatred and ill-will
Madmen fed on fear and lies, To beat and burn and kill"
Witch Hunt from the album Moving Pictures. Neal Pert, Rush


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brilliant, bizaroland.  I

brilliant, bizaroland.  I want to go to their!!! 


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Sapient wrote:Ok let me

Sapient wrote:

Ok let me steer this question a little...

Do any of you believe that if you put positive energy into the world, the world will give you back positive energy? 

Nope

Sapient wrote:

Do you believe what goes around comes around?

Not as a result of anything beyond pure, blind randomness.

Sapient wrote:

Ok... furthermore, do you believe that it can make someone feel good to believe those things?  And if it does make them feel good to believe those things, do you see any harm in believing them?

I think we, humans, feel good when we can fit ideas and concepts in nice little boxes in our heads. It helps us deal with thoughts and notions that can be painful. The thought of dying is scary so believing that we have spirits that can live on can be comforting. The notion that bad people, doing bad things will get what they have coming in the end can be comforting despite the fact that it may not happen. It's harmful to believe in make believe when others use that belief to justify harming others that aren't a part of that community.

 

Respectfully,
Lenny

"The righteous rise, With burning eyes, Of hatred and ill-will
Madmen fed on fear and lies, To beat and burn and kill"
Witch Hunt from the album Moving Pictures. Neal Pert, Rush


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Everyone has a right to see

Everyone has a right to see life in a way that makes sense to them.  We are being told what we should be, how we should be, what is right and wrong, sane and insane, good and bad. 

 

If people don't conform, they are branded...naughty, lazy, stupid, mad, bad, a disruptive influence, a danger to society...

Most submit, through fear, to another's design or are seething with anger and resentment with people who won't live their lives as they think they should. 

Everyone has a right to be or think differently and to respect everyone's right to that same freedom.

Perhaps our minds are evolving right in front of us to entertain the idea that there can be more than thinking and rationalizing which are confined to the physical realm.  Is it not possible to rationalize correctly and still come up with a wrong answer?

 

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote: Does an

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Does an atheist, who for example, doesn't believe in Gods, but still believes in a "life/spirit force" or a "force create from mass consciousnes" "defy reality checks" much like a fundamentalist Christian or Muslim?

In my opinion, yes.  The existence of a "life/spirit force" is just as unsupported by evidence and reason as the existence of gods and such.  I think it's just "God lite".

Reality is the graveyard of the gods.


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Ok folks, my friend Crazy-C

Ok folks, my friend Crazy-C has arrived, I'm staying out of it, but I'd love for someone to touch on this...

WannabeOne wrote:

Perhaps our minds are evolving right in front of us to entertain the idea that there can be more than thinking and rationalizing which are confined to the physical realm.  Is it not possible to rationalize correctly and still come up with a wrong answer? 

 

Play nice.

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Sapient wrote: Do any of you

Sapient wrote:
Do any of you believe that if you put positive energy into the world, the world will give you back positive energy?

What is "positive energy"?  Happy electricity??? 

The concept simply makes no sense to me.

Sapient wrote:
  Do you believe what goes around comes around?

Well, in a rotating system, something that goes around will come around again as long as it hasn't been destroyed or left the system...

Oh, wait, you mean something else, don't you.  Aside from direct cause and effect (eg. if you steal from me I'll stop trusting you), I don't believe in "what goes around comes around".  I think belief in such things is supported by things like wishful thinking and people noticing events that support the belief while ignoring events that don't support it.

 

Sapient wrote:
  Ok... furthermore, do you believe that it can make someone feel good to believe those things? 

Sure but, as Penn Jillette points out, heroin makes people feel good, too.

 

Sapient wrote:
  And if it does make them feel good to believe those things, do you see any harm in believing them?

I think that, if a false belief influences the way one feels and behaves, then there is potential for harm in believing it.

For example, if you believe that doing good and trying to be a generally positive influence in the world means that the universe will treat you well in return, what happens to you if some horrible tragedy happens to you, such as the sudden death of those you love most deeply*?  Isn't your emotional pain only going to be increased by the failure of your beliefs?

 

---

* The example is inspired by the book Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road by Neil Peart.

Reality is the graveyard of the gods.


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WannabeOne wrote:  Is it

WannabeOne wrote:
  Is it not possible to rationalize correctly and still come up with a wrong answer?

One can reason correctly and come to an incorrect conclusion if one or more of one's premises are flawed.

Reality is the graveyard of the gods.


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WannabeOne wrote:Everyone

WannabeOne wrote:

Everyone has a right to see life in a way that makes sense to them.  We are being told what we should be, how we should be, what is right and wrong, sane and insane, good and bad. 

If people don't conform, they are branded...naughty, lazy, stupid, mad, bad, a disruptive influence, a danger to society...

True. We have a strong societal pressure to conform. However, to participate in society, one must accept certain strictures. What is prescribed and proscribed by those strictures is up to the society, but in the end, for one to benefit from the fruits of society (such as community, instant communication, the bounty of agriculture, medical advancements, and so on) one must submit to the requirements of society. That's part of the deal of being accepted into society in the first place.

Conformity (or the lack thereof) is not strictly about individuality. It's also about cooperation. Conformity allows others in society to know what to expect of you. Conformity provides a minimum level of behavior.

In the case of odd beliefs (such as "life energy," when there is no demonstrable thing, or UFOs or bigfoot, for that matter), holding those beliefs is not a problem, assuming that belief does not hinder participation in society. Believe whatever you want -- it's your mind. However, when your beliefs cause you to behave in a way that is contrary to your responsibilities to society (the same society from which you benefit so greatly), your beliefs are harmful.

Or, at least, the actions / nonactions arising from those beliefs are harmful.

Quote:

Most submit, through fear, to another's design or are seething with anger and resentment with people who won't live their lives as they think they should. 

Everyone has a right to be or think differently and to respect everyone's right to that same freedom.

Perhaps our minds are evolving right in front of us to entertain the idea that there can be more than thinking and rationalizing which are confined to the physical realm.  Is it not possible to rationalize correctly and still come up with a wrong answer?

Sure, you can rationally arrive at an incorrect answer. That's what the scientific process is for: to reduce the amount of error in the answers. So far, it's the only tool we have that is known to reduce the probability of error.

But it's fallacious to think that, since rationality can arrive at the wrong answer, another process will work better than, or even as good as, rationality. So far, the scientific method is the only epistemology that is demonstrated to add to human knowledge consistently. Other methods, such as straight-up logic-based philosophy, or gut-felt intuition, are error-prone, with no method to distinguish the incorrect from the correct (or, at least, the wrong from the less-wrong).

Believing something because it makes you feel good is one thing. Believing that belief is true simply because it makes you feel good is another. We have methods for distinguishing the validity of truth-statements; to bypass those methods because they are cold and heartless, or because they do not produce the expected results, contributes neither to society nor to your own well-being.

Or, more simply, you replace hard reality with your own soft and comfortable fantasy at your own peril. Society really only cares when your fantasies affect others as well.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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I'm living vicariously

I'm living vicariously through Nigel right now.

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Yup you nailed it, got

Yup you nailed it, got nothing to add to that!!!


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Sapient wrote:Ok let me

Sapient wrote:

Ok let me steer this question a little...

Do any of you believe that if you put positive energy into the world, the world will give you back positive energy? 

Do you believe what goes around comes around?

 

Ok... furthermore, do you believe that it can make someone feel good to believe those things?  And if it does make them feel good to believe those things, do you see any harm in believing them?

 

Yes, I know I'm usually the one answering, but I don't want to skew the results as I said, I have a friend who I discussed this with, and the friend will take a look at this soon.

So weigh in...

 

I have a friend that believes much of what you just wrote here Brian. I will share experiences and what I have said to her:

I do not believe in positive energy as an actual 'manipulator of the atoms' causing a positive ripple of energy. I think that is utter bullshit to be quite blunt.

I will say, from the perspective of an eternal optimist (me), if a person approaches negative situations with a logical thought process and tries to find the solution and perceives a positive outcome, the chance of a good thing coming out of that situation goes up. But, not always~bad things happen no matter how we deal with them.

As far as what goes around, comes around... I was driving and someone came up from behind, speeding and driving erratically.   ~ my friend says "oh that guy is SO giving off some negative energy, he is going to pay for that: what goes around, comes around". To which I respond, 'bad driving habits cause accidents.' I don't believe there is some unseen energy that pulls a person toward reciprocation of a bad deed or this 'bad energy'. Only people making bad decision, after bad decision, after bad decision, which leads to a pattern of 'bad situations'.

I would say that people believing in this sort of thing is no different than believing in a god. The 'god' of whatever religion a person relates too has been replaced with this... 'energy god'. 

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Positive Energy

Hmmm, my old Sifu did some pretty good stuff with Qi Gong, but I still practice Wing Chun after 20 years and have forgotten the party tricks of the Qi Gong demo.

 

At some point there will be a science based theory of what positive energy is or does but I'm not that interested.

 

As to Karma, no. Too many well intentioned, nice people get fucked over for Karma to work. It's just more wishthinking.

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Abu Lahab wrote:As to Karma,

Abu Lahab wrote:

As to Karma, no. Too many well intentioned, nice people get fucked over for Karma to work. It's just more wishthinking.

 

Karma doesn't work like that.


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Ciarin wrote:Karma doesn't

Ciarin wrote:

Karma doesn't work like that.

 

How does it work? 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:I have

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I have yet another question:

 

Does an atheist, who for example, doesn't believe in Gods, but still believes in a "life/spirit force" or a "force create from mass consciousnes" "defy reality checks" much like a fundamentalist Christian or Muslim?

 

Pineapple, while "technically possible" strictly from a definition usage it is possible for atheists to not believe in god(s) but believe in other naked assertions. However, to me they might as well believe in a god if they are going to postulate other naked assertions.

I don't like the fact that the word "atheist" is only used for god(s). I would like to see it expand to all naked assertions.

Pineapple. Something that is real is definable and repeatable and falsifiable.

Buddhists are technically atheists, but the religion still uses superstitious rituals that are not rooted in anything but the same false placebos god worshipors fall for.

So to me Buddhists might as well believe in a disembodied being. They DO pray to a dead man as if he outlasted his body and is floating round the statues people pray to.

There are no "life/spirit forces". There are live species from trees to ants to humans. When they die, that is it. Any force beyond death is merely the rotting and the atoms going on to become part of something else.

Consciousness is not an independent process, it is an emergent process.

I thought you had given up on the consciousness motif? Others may be willing to assign atheist to you, but speaking for myself, if you believe in a "Life/spirit force" you might as well treat Star Wars as a documentary and Darth Vader as Satan and Obe Wan as God.

I think you still have some residual "warm fuzzies" that still have a hold on you.

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Ciarin wrote:Abu Lahab

Ciarin wrote:

Abu Lahab wrote:

As to Karma, no. Too many well intentioned, nice people get fucked over for Karma to work. It's just more wishthinking.

 

Karma doesn't work like that.

Karma is a nonsense word. It is as vacuous as when a Christian says, "SEE, THIS BAD STUFF HAPPENED TO YOU BECAUSE YOU WERE NOT NICE TO OTHERS"

It is no different. Here is reality. Bad happens and good happens and life is a crap shoot. We as a species, in close circles try to get along because it benefits the social group. BUT, bad can and does happen despite any good we may do. There is no magic to it. Calling it Karma is pointless and hardly descriptive of reality.

You do good things for others simply because you want good to happen to you. BUT that still is not a given that when you do good only good will happen to you. Otherwise police officers and firemen would never die while trying to protect the public.

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Hambydammit wrote:With a

Hambydammit wrote:

With a spirit/life force, at least most of the ones Ive been told about, the spirit is somehow "tied" to humanity, or to life in general, and the presumption is that it follows some kind of unconscious "laws."

What unconscious "laws"? These laws are simply the law of action and effect, law of resonance, analogy, and so on. People with common sense and good will often understand and practice them automatically, but people without that should realize the existence of these laws consciously.

Hambydammit wrote:
Having said that, I think that yes, there are ways in which atheist spiritualists defy reality checks.  Luminon is a great example.  He believes in whatever thing he believes in, and whatever psychological or physical explanation someone else gives him is insufficient because he can just bend his beliefs around his own vague and unfalsifiable definitions.
What is an example of a reality check, according to you?
By the way, all approved "explanations" were not suitable. They were based on misinterpreting or censoring the events as it fits you. I'd have to ignore certain events and their aspects, which were in my opinion literally "reality checks". This is why I ask about your definition.

Sapient wrote:

Ok let me steer this question a little...

Do any of you believe that if you put positive energy into the world, the world will give you back positive energy?

Usually yes, but not necessarily everywhere. For example, if I put a positive energy to help a country with an ongoing conflict, it will do no good. Such a place should be kept without any positive inflow of energy, so the conflict dies out from a lack of energy. It is necessary to know the causal relationships, or at least know when I don't know them.

Sapient wrote:
Do you believe what goes around comes around?
Law of action and effect, resonance, analogy, applied on the non-mechanistic universe may do that.
But the cause and effect (KARMA) may exist over greater time than we can see, and it can be on national or even heredital level, not necessarily personal. It's not always simple, without a perfect causal awareness we can't see all the complex truth. Also, a lot of bad things happens not by that person's bad actions in past, but by deliberate action of someone else. Too good people may get hurt precisely because they oppose the forces of evil. They may also be very sick, because they choose to spend their karma more quickly than it naturally happens, because an excessive karma holds back the development of consciousness, and they need to speed it up. In rare cases, some Indian gurus may need to spend the karma of a student, (if he already understood the case of his karma) so guru suffers physically instead of the student. So nobody should underestimate the great complexity of the law of action and effect. There are many factors, circumstances and exceptions in this rule, as everywhere.

Sapient wrote:
Ok... furthermore, do you believe that it can make someone feel good to believe those things?  And if it does make them feel good to believe those things, do you see any harm in believing them?
Certainly! Believing is  dangerous. People should take the important things as an intellectual possibility or a real experience. Not as a belief. Those who don't practice discernment will be sooner or later deceived, though not as you probably imagine. They will be deceived by a lie carefully mixed with truth, not that whole spirituality is a lie.
For example, what ClockCat thinks that is Karma, (inaction) is nonsense. Karma doesn't mean that we should do nothing, it means what situation we are confronted with, and it's up to us to manage it correctly and actively. This mistake of passivity is often done in eastern countries, it's a misunderstanding. If I'm born poor then my karma may be to be born poor, but not to stay poor! Someone should teach that all over India.

WannabeOne wrote:

Everyone has a right to see life in a way that makes sense to them.  We are being told what we should be, how we should be, what is right and wrong, sane and insane, good and bad. 

If people don't conform, they are branded...naughty, lazy, stupid, mad, bad, a disruptive influence, a danger to society...

...theistic, irrational, deluded, hallucinating, I know Smiling

WannabeOne wrote:
Perhaps our minds are evolving right in front of us to entertain the idea that there can be more than thinking and rationalizing which are confined to the physical realm.  Is it not possible to rationalize correctly and still come up with a wrong answer?
Sure. As it was said, logic is dependent on the data it uses as an input. If the data are incorrect or incomplete, (which we may not know) so is the outcome, no matter if the logical process was done correctly.

There is indeed a higher principle than rationalizing. It is characteristic by spontaneous correct knowledge of what could not be deduced from the lacking data. But it's non-mechanistic, unpredictable and dependent on human factor, this is why there is no contemporary scientific tool to study this phenomenon. Some people have to use this sixth sense regularly at work (for example good drivers or astrologers ) but it's not completely at their will. Only those that have seen this in practice know that this is possible. I always wonder what huge part of the world is hidden from contemporary scientists, because all things personal, non-mechanistic and seemingly uncausal are a taboo for them. I hope that a scientific revolution is near.

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Quote:Do any of you believe

Quote:
Do any of you believe that if you put positive energy into the world, the world will give you back positive energy?

There is truth to evidence that when you are happy and not depressed that your immune system is on average stronger. There is also evidence that when you have good social support in your life you, on average are more likely to be healthier.

But it is not an "energy" IT is our biology and our evolution at work.

I hate platitudes like this because "energy" left alone in this sentence as it is allows delusional people to twist "energy" into vacuous unscientific words like "aura" or "karma" and si fi crap like "force".

Smiles and laughter do help boost our immune system. But I simply don't want this NATURAL observation twisted into delusional crap.

But no matter how "positive" we are as individuals, while it can help with those around us, bad will always happen in one form or another. We will suffer job loss. We will suffer health problems. We might be victims of crime, and without a doubt, if we don't die prematurely old age and death gets us all.

There is no magic to life, good or bad.

 

 

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Sapient wrote:Ok let me

Sapient wrote:

Ok let me steer this question a little...

Do any of you believe that if you put positive energy into the world, the world will give you back positive energy? 

Do you believe what goes around comes around? 

This is too ambiguous.

Let me see. If I randomly hug someone on the street today, will the happiness I bestow upon that individual by hugging them inevitably eventually return to me? No. If might make me feel good to hug someone, but the happiness I give to the other person does not "come back." Happiness does not have some substance that follows a rule that's embarassingly similar to Newton's Third Law. 

Sapient wrote:
Ok... furthermore, do you believe that it can make someone feel good to believe those things?

Definitely.

Sapient wrote:
And if it does make them feel good to believe those things, do you see any harm in believing them?

It depends on what they believe.

WannabeOne wrote:
Is it not possible to rationalize correctly and still come up with a wrong answer?

I think, in philosophy, if your assumptions are true, and your logic has no flaws, then you cannot reach a wrong answer.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Quote:Ok let me steer this

Quote:

Ok let me steer this question a little...

Do any of you believe that if you put positive energy into the world, the world will give you back positive energy? 

Do you believe what goes around comes around?

...Well, do you know where Joseph Stalin died?

Comfortably at rest beneath the rather expensive silk linen of the bed he set-up within his palace.

 

No, what goes around certainly does not come around as a rule. There are moments of poetic justice, but they're as far and few between as they are sweet (...and an image of Dick Cheney in a wheelchair during Obama's inauguration speech comes to mind).

 

Now, that being said, the first question is diving a tad into Asian philosophy - and parts of it I certainly concur with. The idea is not that you 'get back' positive energy, or that being a good person somehow ensures that good things will happen to you, but that approaching circumstances with a positive / optimistic attitude will help in the sense that at least you won't be pouring dispair onto matters you have limited or no control over (smiling at the live grenade might not prevent it from exploding in your face, but since you can't change what is about to happen regardless, you may as well be happy for your last few seconds as a living organism).

Of course, it's easier said than done in practice, thus the idea of regular meditation / relaxation, and likewise thus why Buddha earned so much respect and so many followers.

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"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

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NoMoreCrazyPeople

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:

Ciarin wrote:

Karma doesn't work like that.

 

How does it work? 

 

I think Ciarin meant "It doesn't work at all."

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NoMoreCrazyPeople

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:

Ciarin wrote:

Karma doesn't work like that.

 

How does it work? 

Karma doesn't do any work to balance good and evil, it's becoming fairly widely known now, that is, and has always been, a misconception. The cycle of Karma isn't supposed to be thought of like a set of scales in some finite arena of life (that is just western ideology seeping into translation), it's actually described as an endlessly turning wheel.

Moreover, an eastern philosophy ultimately doesn't encourage the pursuit of any Karma, good or bad, but the escape of the Karmic wheel altogether, cause it's kind of considered a trap.

How Karma works is described by the wheel. Essentially Karma is the angular motion of this metaphorical cycle of life and it is equal to your action. However you live becomes your life.

But whatever Karma does, the ultimate point, intended, of studying Karmic philosophy is to learn how to escape it.

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Many words are being thrown

Many words are being thrown around in this thread (as well as many other threads) in the hope that readers will catch the meaning of what is being expressed.

We always fumble in trying to convey our thoughts precisely because we are trying to conserve time and energy. As one might be sitting on the beach and sees something interesting up the beach, instead of describing to the other person exactly what you are seeing we point at it with our finger and say, "Look!"

This quasi-instincive action contributed to homo sapiens' survival for millions of years.


Quote:
Does an atheist, who for example, doesn't believe in Gods, but still believes in a "life/spirit force" or a "force create from mass consciousnes" "defy reality checks" much like a fundamentalist Christian or Muslim?

Simple answer, yes. But, as has been pointed out, the meaning of "life/spirit force" is not known until the claimant explains exactly what it is. So, how can I answer with a yes if the meaning of "life/spirit force" is not known? Because "life/spirit force" has been expressed many times before to mean something that is undefined and since it doesnt seem to have a clear meaning and an individual calims to believe in it she/he is duplicating theist-like irrationally.

As yet "life/spirit force" does not have a clear meaning and the result is that everyone seems to be talking past one another in this discussion.

The claimant not only has the burden of proof but also the burden of establishing an agreed upon definiens of his/her definiendum in order to begin an argument.

I stipulate that "life/spirit force" is actually a feeling; it is not energy. Which feeling it is is not clear. It could be a mixed emotion.


 

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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Ciarin wrote:Abu Lahab

Quote:
Karma doesn't work like that.

Which is the same as:

"God doesn't work like that""

"Allah doesn't work like that"

"Vishnu doesn't work like that"

Quote:
I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires".....Susan B Anthony"

Of course "Karma" doesn't work like that, because your desires are more important than truth.

Your defense of "Karma" is as mundane as any other superstition humans have invented. It never "works like that" when the human cheer leading for their superstition doesn't want to face reality.


 

 

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:I have

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I have yet another question:

 

Does an atheist, who for example, doesn't believe in Gods, but still believes in a "life/spirit force" or a "force create from mass consciousnes" "defy reality checks" much like a fundamentalist Christian or Muslim?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I guess it would have to depend on how one would define "force" or "energy" as someone else mentioned.  I work with energy regularly, and I try to put out positive energy.  Not for the sole reason of getting positive energy in return though.  Doing good deeds in and of itself is its own reward.

Liberate your mind. Fuck religion.


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:I have

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I have yet another question:

Does an atheist, who for example, doesn't believe in Gods, but still believes in a "life/spirit force" or a "force create from mass consciousnes" "defy reality checks" much like a fundamentalist Christian or Muslim? 

I sometimes entertain the idea that maybe the entire planet and all its life forms comprise some larger entity. I acknowledge that the idea is unfallsifiable and I'm certainly not going to go around claiming to know what "it" wants us to do, so I feel fine about it.

 

-Triften


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triften wrote:Cpt_pineapple

triften wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I have yet another question:

Does an atheist, who for example, doesn't believe in Gods, but still believes in a "life/spirit force" or a "force create from mass consciousnes" "defy reality checks" much like a fundamentalist Christian or Muslim? 

I sometimes entertain the idea that maybe the entire planet and all its life forms comprise some larger entity. I acknowledge that the idea is unfallsifiable and I'm certainly not going to go around claiming to know what "it" wants us to do, so I feel fine about it.

 

-Triften

So? What your are saying is "My naked assertion doesn't make demands. My naked assertion can make anyone feel happy without being offended."

There is no "larger entity". Please do not conflate separate componants of the universe from the atom to the gama ray being equal to a "force". Luke Skywaker nor Darth Vader are responsible for the warm fuzzies humans like to claim are real than they are when we don't feel so good.

How about "shit happens", both things that benefit us and things that dont?

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Brian37 wrote:triften

Brian37 wrote:

triften wrote:

I sometimes entertain the idea that maybe the entire planet and all its life forms comprise some larger entity. I acknowledge that the idea is unfallsifiable and I'm certainly not going to go around claiming to know what "it" wants us to do, so I feel fine about it.


-Triften

So? What your are saying is "My naked assertion doesn't make demands. My naked assertion can make anyone feel happy without being offended."

There is no "larger entity". Please do not conflate separate componants of the universe from the atom to the gama ray being equal to a "force". Luke Skywaker nor Darth Vader are responsible for the warm fuzzies humans like to claim are real than they are when we don't feel so good.

How about "shit happens", both things that benefit us and things that dont?

I'd say there's another "entity," one that we are a part of, just as surely as a cell in your heart is a part of you: the biosphere.

I'd even say that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, just as it is with you and the cells in your body. Which is why I can say with full sincerity that I hope to fuck the human race goes extinct someday soon, before we completely fuck up the rest of the biosphere.

Maybe I'm being overly-cynical tonight?

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nigelTheBold wrote:Brian37

nigelTheBold wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

triften wrote:

I sometimes entertain the idea that maybe the entire planet and all its life forms comprise some larger entity. I acknowledge that the idea is unfallsifiable and I'm certainly not going to go around claiming to know what "it" wants us to do, so I feel fine about it.

 

-Triften

So? What your are saying is "My naked assertion doesn't make demands. My naked assertion can make anyone feel happy without being offended."

There is no "larger entity". Please do not conflate separate componants of the universe from the atom to the gama ray being equal to a "force". Luke Skywaker nor Darth Vader are responsible for the warm fuzzies humans like to claim are real than they are when we don't feel so good.

How about "shit happens", both things that benefit us and things that dont?

I'd say there's another "entity," one that we are a part of, just as surely as a cell in your heart is a part of you: the biosphere.

I'd even say that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, just as it is with you and the cells in your body. Which is why I can say with full sincerity that I hope to fuck the human race goes extinct someday soon, before we completely fuck up the rest of the biosphere.

Maybe I'm being overly-cynical tonight?

The planet is a thing, not an "entity". It is important for biological life to have a home to live on yes and the home is far more important than any one given species. I tend to agree that this planet would do better without us.

If scientific biological history is consistent it wont be a matter of "if" for our species but "when" as far as our extinction, just like the other 99% of extinct life that once lived. BUT what is really sad is that our demise may well be by our own hands.

Please don't anthropromorphize objects by calling them "entities". There is nothing live about non-living things.  The planet is no more an entity than a rock or grain of sand or my feces. These are just mere objects in a natural world.

 

 

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Brian37 wrote:The planet is

Brian37 wrote:
The planet is a thing, not an "entity".

I was referring specifically to the biosphere, not the planet (though the planet itself is an entity too -- anything that has a conceptual identity is an "entity.&quotEye-wink. The biosphere exists as a conceptual whole, and is so an entity. The definition of "entity" is a bit squidgy, though -- it can refer to a mathematical set, for instance. I can see where there'd be some confusion, especially since you were using it to distinguish living individuals, which descries neither the planet (non-living) or the biosphere (non-individual).

Maybe I shouldn't post after having many beers.

Quote:

It is important for biological life to have a home to live on yes and the home is far more important than any one given species. I tend to agree that this planet would do better without us.

If scientific biological history is consistent it wont be a matter of "if" for our species but "when" as far as our extinction, just like the other 99% of extinct life that once lived. BUT what is really sad is that our demise may well be by our own hands.

Excellent point.

My main concern is that we'll drag down another 99% of the existing species with us. All this is a bit O.T., though, so I won't whinge on about it anymore.

 

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Okay, since there is some

Okay, since there is some uncertainty about the definition of "Life/Spirit Force", I'll try to get to something more specific:

 

 

Since Sapient already asked about the karma and "positive energy", I'll add some other things:

 

What about Meditation?

 

Mind over Matter? Such as "thinking away pain" for example, or over coming overwhelming odds again and again.

 

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:What

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

What about Meditation? 

Mind over Matter? Such as "thinking away pain" for example, or over coming overwhelming odds again and again.

Ah, maybe. Depends on what, exactly, we're asking.

If you get into a comfortable position, relax, and think positive thoughts for half an hour every morning, I have no doubt that you'll have more energy and focus throughout the day. 'Mind over matter' is true to a certain extent as well, mostly just because of the placebo effect.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


Luminon
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butterbattle

butterbattle wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

What about Meditation? 

Mind over Matter? Such as "thinking away pain" for example, or over coming overwhelming odds again and again.

Ah, maybe. Depends on what, exactly, we're asking.

If you get into a comfortable position, relax, and think positive thoughts for half an hour every morning, I have no doubt that you'll have more energy and focus throughout the day. 'Mind over matter' is true to a certain extent as well, mostly just because of the placebo effect.

Captain and Butterbattle, this is NOT meditation. A true meditation is something that makes us really differ from animals. There are many activities not even known as meditation, and many kinds of it, but to meditate as I understand it, means:
Calm down the physical body, in ideal case a feeling and awareness of it should vanish.
Calm down all emotions and feelings.


And now something really hard - let all thoughts cease. The thought process must become either non-existent, or slow and sparse, at least. It is done by a special shift in consciousness, which focuses the person on the "higher" area of mind in which we normally don't live. If we commonly exist in emotional and cognitive mind, then what is expected is the "intuitive", thoughtless consciousness.
And finally, all that should be helped by focusing the consciousness on the point between eyebrows, approximately in the level of pineal gland. The meditation may be complemented by a special invocation and mantra, but there also should be trained a mental habit of reacting on that mantra positively. This helps in maintaining the focus.
Meditation usually happens with prevalent alpha brain waves, but trained yogis can meditate even if there are prevalent delta waves, characteristic for deep sleep. Anyone else would just doze off when that happens.

So what is the effect of meditation? Greater conscious control over the body, mind, emotions and intuition, better awareness of everything. If someone is (was) very dreamy, absent-minded, weird, unaware of the surroundings, distracted and so, meditation helps with that. It has also a great occult meaning - according to the occult teaching, it is essentially one of few things that make a human being evolve through a certain diffcult stage. (before one gets born as a genius)

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


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:o

Luminon wrote:

butterbattle wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

What about Meditation? 

Mind over Matter? Such as "thinking away pain" for example, or over coming overwhelming odds again and again.

Ah, maybe. Depends on what, exactly, we're asking.

If you get into a comfortable position, relax, and think positive thoughts for half an hour every morning, I have no doubt that you'll have more energy and focus throughout the day. 'Mind over matter' is true to a certain extent as well, mostly just because of the placebo effect.

Captain and Butterbattle, this is NOT meditation. A true meditation is something that makes us really differ from animals. There are many activities not even known as meditation, and many kinds of it, but to meditate as I understand it, means:
Calm down the physical body, in ideal case a feeling and awareness of it should vanish.
Calm down all emotions and feelings.

 

And now something really hard - let all thoughts cease. The thought process must become either non-existent, or slow and sparse, at least. It is done by a special shift in consciousness, which focuses the person on the "higher" area of mind in which we normally don't live. If we commonly exist in emotional and cognitive mind, then what is expected is the "intuitive", thoughtless consciousness.
And finally, all that should be helped by focusing the consciousness on the point between eyebrows, approximately in the level of pineal gland. The meditation may be complemented by a special invocation and mantra, but there also should be trained a mental habit of reacting on that mantra positively. This helps in maintaining the focus.
Meditation usually happens with prevalent alpha brain waves, but trained yogis can meditate even if there are prevalent delta waves, characteristic for deep sleep. Anyone else would just doze off when that happens.

So what is the effect of meditation? Greater conscious control over the body, mind, emotions and intuition, better awareness of everything. If someone is (was) very dreamy, absent-minded, weird, unaware of the surroundings, distracted and so, meditation helps with that. It has also a great occult meaning - according to the occult teaching, it is essentially one of few things that make a human being evolve through a certain diffcult stage. (before one gets born as a genius)

 

How do you know other animals don't meditate? Please provide proof.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.