Does evolution preclude a personal god?

liberatedatheist
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Does evolution preclude a personal god?

 I saw the film portraying Darwin a few weeks ago and they really played up the idea that his theory was disproving god. Is this necessarily true? I'm curious if any theists can reconcile the theory of evolution with their god concept.

The theory certainly makes god unnecessary for human development. Also, if you believe that humans have souls then you have to believe that every living organism has a soul unless you can point to the specific point in human evolution where god decided to instill a soul? Does the theory raise any other objections to the idea of a personal god?

 

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I don't think the concept of

I don't think the concept of evolution has any impact on theism in general, only certain specific belief systems that overlap in areas evolution touches.  Lots of theists are fine with evolution.

Science in general tends to be anti-superstition though, simply because we keep finding physical reasons for things that are traditionally the realm of the supernatural for a dualist.

But the idea of a personal God in general does not rely on any evidence whatsoever, so it doesn't matter.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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The main point about Darwin

The main point about Darwin and evolution has always been not that it disproved 'God', but that it removed one on the major arguments for the existence of a Creator God, to explain the variety of life.

Of course it does conflict with various specific doctrines, but doesn't preclude all forms of God belief, by any means.

 

 

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Darwin was raised godly

though supposedly his faith slipped when his daughter died. I don't think Darwin was anti-god. I think he was pro-evidence and in looking at the natural world the only evidence of a creative force he could see was evolution by natural selection. The god-people tend to attack darwin like he's the high priest of evolution - like the theory depends only on him and not on immutable evidence observable in the laboratory. It's probably not surprising that they do this. Easier to attack one book and one man than try to take on the entire scientific establishment. They do the same thing with Dawkins. He is the beast of the new age.

In any case I have never seen any fossil evidence for creation tho' god-folk will claim the pre-cambrian explosion is evidence, a theory they sprinkle liberally with doubt over methods of dating rocks. For fundies, evolution began and ended with Darwin and dating began and ended with Carbon-14. Not all christians can bring themselves to this execrable point in the face of more than 100 fossil T-rexs, however, which is why some god-brethren opt for the evolution of creation, as Mellestad rightly points out.

 

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God used evolution to create

God used evolution to create the various species of animals, duh!


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liberatedatheist wrote:Does

liberatedatheist wrote:

Does evolution preclude a personal god? 

Does evolution preclude a person fairy godmother?

 

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 I understand, from some

 I understand, from some accounts of his voyage on the Beagle, that he couldn't figure why God would bother to create so many minor variants of species, even on neighbouring islands. It dawned on him that there could easily be a natural explanation for such minor variations. 

I think that it later occurred to him that if there was a natural explanation that allowed such minor variations to occur, without requiring God's specific intention, then it was possible that the same mechanism could ultimately lead to any amount of change, give sufficient time. Which suggested that God was unnecessary.

Some anti-evolutionists have tried to suggest that Darwin had a specific anti-God agenda in formulating his theories, but it seems more likely that the reverse was the case. He started out with a conventional faith, but his rational enquiring mind had him noticing things which he could not easily fit into the doctrine.

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Speaking personally, I don't

Speaking personally, I don't see that evolution really says all that much about god as a general thing. It does tend to preclude certain specific forms of belief such as young earth creationism. That much being said, evolution is kind of a late comer to that topic as “deep time” was already established on geological grounds before Darwin/Wallace had published.

 

As far as what Darwin may have believed, I think it best to separate his life by period. I do this because there is one specific matter that tends to get lost in this type of discussion. Young Darwin clearly identified with the standard theology of England at the time. After all, he took the job on the Beagle as a way of taking a break from his studies, which were in support of his career goal to become an Anglican Priest.

 

The later Darwin, well, I have not read enough of his personal letters to get a really good hook on matters but he did not go to church much if at all. He did walk to the building with his family but he would sit out the actual service by taking a walk around the general area while his loved ones participated. If I have to go with a guess, I would say that he was probably an agnostic later in life.

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 One of my friends though

 One of my friends though brought up the idea that evolution disproves any sort of relevant god because it disproves the soul. Under evolution, the lines between species are never clear cut, so it never will make sense for god to endow an organism with a soul but not give one to its parents. This means that either every creature has a soul or none do. It doesn't make sense for every bacterium or insect to have a soul so it is likely that souls don't exist which makes any god irrelevant. If you are a theist that believes in an afterlife, you have to believe in something analogous to a soul which is incompatible with evolution. So if you hold evolution to be true, it doesn't make sense for a god to exist and you shouldn't believe in one? is there something wrong with that line of thinking?

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Well, are you saying that

Well, are you saying that bacteria don't have souls?

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liberatedatheist wrote: One

liberatedatheist wrote:

 One of my friends though brought up the idea that evolution disproves any sort of relevant god because it disproves the soul. Under evolution, the lines between species are never clear cut, so it never will make sense for god to endow an organism with a soul but not give one to its parents. This means that either every creature has a soul or none do. It doesn't make sense for every bacterium or insect to have a soul so it is likely that souls don't exist which makes any god irrelevant. If you are a theist that believes in an afterlife, you have to believe in something analogous to a soul which is incompatible with evolution. So if you hold evolution to be true, it doesn't make sense for a god to exist and you shouldn't believe in one? is there something wrong with that line of thinking?

 

Sounds logical, doesn't it?  I have heard people say that it takes a certain level of intelligence to be "ensouled".  Therefore, when humans evolved enough they were no longer "just animals", they were aware of god.  Which meant they then gained souls.  Which leads to - what about people who are brain damaged or developmentally lacking.  Some have told me that it doesn't matter, they are humans and it is the general level of intelligence of the human race, not the individual that matters.  Between you, me, and the gate post, I'll have to say this is for the comfort of the family and not for any rational discussion.

There are also a lot of people who are unhappy with that view.  I know many dog people (we do rescue) and some are enamored of the "Rainbow Bridge" where they will meet their best buddy one day when they die.  We get a lot of spammed heaven, human and dog stories minus the bridge as well.  What about porpoises, whales, and all the other reasonably intelligent species?  Must we leave them out?

I understand wanting the comfort that when you die, all will not just stop and you will meet with lost friends, family and perhaps your favorite pet.  You can tell your friend the intelligence theory or you can ask, "where does the light go when you turn it out?"

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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liberatedatheist wrote: One

liberatedatheist wrote:

 One of my friends though brought up the idea that evolution disproves any sort of relevant god because it disproves the soul. Under evolution, the lines between species are never clear cut, so it never will make sense for god to endow an organism with a soul but not give one to its parents. This means that either every creature has a soul or none do. It doesn't make sense for every bacterium or insect to have a soul so it is likely that souls don't exist which makes any god irrelevant. If you are a theist that believes in an afterlife, you have to believe in something analogous to a soul which is incompatible with evolution. So if you hold evolution to be true, it doesn't make sense for a god to exist and you shouldn't believe in one? is there something wrong with that line of thinking?

 

His viewpoint is fine, but to a theist it doesn't matter.  The soul is an unfalsifiable concept, they know they have one because they know they have one.  The logic of the soul is circular and magical, so I don't think evolution will matter to a theist, even an educated theist.

 

Again, science might though, as more is know and explored about conciousness.

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it only disproves some gods

liberatedatheist wrote:
I saw the film portraying Darwin a few weeks ago and they really played up the idea that his theory was disproving god. Is this necessarily true? I'm curious if any theists can reconcile the theory of evolution with their god concept.

Evolution only disproves deities which are responsible for creating everything AS IT IS. I don't see how it disproves a deistic, first cause then sit back, kind of a deity, but there are other problems with those, like where it came from.

"This may shock you, but not everything in the bible is true." The only true statement ever to be uttered by Jean Chauvinism, sociopathic emotional terrorist.
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I have one question on

I have one question on evolution. I've been told that there are no fossils of transitional forms, or better said, that all forms are transitional. But as we know, the evolution doesn't work as quickly for all species. Some species almost didn't change for tenths millions of years, like sharks, turtles or crocodiles. And some apparently changed very quickly and often. So it can hardly be said that life forms are transitional at all, they're not, unless they have some problem or opportunity with environment. Is that a real question or just playing with words?

cj wrote:
Sounds logical, doesn't it?  I have heard people say that it takes a certain level of intelligence to be "ensouled".  Therefore, when humans evolved enough they were no longer "just animals", they were aware of god.  Which meant they then gained souls.  Which leads to - what about people who are brain damaged or developmentally lacking.  Some have told me that it doesn't matter, they are humans and it is the general level of intelligence of the human race, not the individual that matters.  Between you, me, and the gate post, I'll have to say this is for the comfort of the family and not for any rational discussion.

Being ensouled doesn't just mean to have soul, it means the ability to express it in daily life. Those few that can do it often stand out in terms of success, inteligence, charisma, creativity, and so on.
Brain damaged people are what they are - with damaged brain. That has again nothing to do with having or not having soul. It's more like the person did something incorrectly in past life and the soul decided that physical retardation is a wonderful method to teach it a lesson. (unless it was an accident at birth) That is the problem with soul, it will choose any method it considers necessary to straighten out the person, this is why the beginnings of spiritual path are paved with suffering.

cj wrote:
  There are also a lot of people who are unhappy with that view.  I know many dog people (we do rescue) and some are enamored of the "Rainbow Bridge" where they will meet their best buddy one day when they die.  We get a lot of spammed heaven, human and dog stories minus the bridge as well.  What about porpoises, whales, and all the other reasonably intelligent species?  Must we leave them out?
Animals don't have souls, but like people, they have monads. With animals the difference is, that one monad gathers incarnational experience from whole animal groups or even species. For example, one monad for all micekind. Monads also control instinctual behavior, like winter migration of birds, etc. So much for Max Heindel and Rosicrucianism.

 

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ALL fossils are

ALL fossils are 'transitional', unless they happen to have been the end of a lineage which was becoming extinct.

The other point is that there is a large variation in the rate at which a given breeding group is evolving at any point in time. This depends on how stable is the environment they are in, and how well they are currently adapted to it.

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Luminon wrote: I have one

Luminon wrote:

I have one question on evolution. I've been told that there are no fossils of transitional forms, or better said, that all forms are transitional. But as we know, the evolution doesn't work as quickly for all species. Some species almost didn't change for tenths millions of years, like sharks, turtles or crocodiles. And some apparently changed very quickly and often. So it can hardly be said that life forms are transitional at all, they're not, unless they have some problem or opportunity with environment. Is that a real question or just playing with words?

 

It is a very good question.  The following is from a Ecology-Evolutionary Biology college class I took 26 years ago.  It is always possible that I am now incorrect or I have remembered certain principles incorrectly.  If anyone knows I am wrong at any point, please feel free to correct me.

When debaters start saying all forms are transitional, they are usually tired of the "show me transitional fossils between the transitional fossils you have already shown me" argument.  But it is true that until a species is known to be extinct, we can not say for certain that it is or is not transitional.  It may yet get into a more suitable niche and continue to evolve.  It may not be able to move or to change rapidly enough and go extinct.

Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge developed the "punctuated equilibrium" theory of evolution.  Not everyone agrees with this theory - Dawkins, eg.  However, I think there is some merit in the idea.  Gould and Eldredge state that there is usually stasis in the environment, with short periods of rapid change.  This is different from the traditional model of continuous gradual changes that is favored by Dawkins.  I am not an expert, but it seems to me to be valid to say that sometimes, the environment changes rapidly and some species are then able to adapt rapidly.  It also seems true that sometimes there are gradual changes in a species as the environment changes more slowly, and the new changes in the species are even more suited to the environment and so persist in the population.

This is from my professor.  Think of the evolutionary energy landscape as three dimensional.  There are hills, valleys and crevasses.  Species cover the energy landscape.  Those species on top of hills, mountains, or spires have spent a lot of energy to get there.  They are the specialists.  The praying mantis that looks like an orchid.  Monarch butterflies feed only on milkweed.  Giant pandas eat only bamboo.  Koalas eat only eucalyptus.  If the environment changes so that the niche they occupy disappears - say undisturbed bamboo forests are completely destroyed - the species has a very low probability of evolving quickly enough to cope with the change.  Not impossible, just not likely given the necessary energy expenditure to get from this hilltop to that spire.

An example of a specialist species evolving - very unexpectedly - are Hawaiian wallabies.  We know when they got out of King Kamehameha's zoo.  And we know that the Hawaiian wallabies adapted to eating vegetation that is poisonous to the original Australian wallabies.  Just about everyone expected they would all die without their Australian diets.

Those species in the valleys are generalists.  Humans, crows, rats, cockroaches.  Species that can easily adapt to a variety of ecological niches.  They can change quickly with less energy expenditure.  They are in a energy valley, they only have to move around to the next valley.  Often they don't need to evolve much at all to fit into the new valley.

An example of a generalist species evolving very quickly would be the sparrow.  When sparrows were imported to the US - some crazy Englishman thought all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare should be in the new world - they were released into the wild.  Starlings were released at the same time.  Starlings haven't changed as they moved into a niche that was very similar to their old one - bridges and buildings and cliffs and such.  This niche was not utilized by any existing species, so it was easy for the starlings to move in and not necessary for them to change to take advantage of the niche.  The sparrows evolved.  There were 45 different species of sparrow in the San Francisco area according to a survey done in the 1970s.  Just 200+ years, and they had moved clear across the continent and evolved explosively.  They had to evolve - there is a lot of competition for the niches that sparrows occupy.

In the crevasses of our energy landscape are species that evolved for niches that haven't changed significantly.  They have no pressure to change and their current configuration fits those niches very well.  If you are a shark, the ocean is still the ocean.  Crocodiles or alligators may have been in Antarctica before it froze over.  But they were also on other land masses or continents that have the niches that they needed to survive.  Will they ever change?  Don't know - but it would be pretty scary if the oceans changed so much that sharks could no longer survive there.

I think it is reasonable to say a species that has gone extinct is not a transitional.  But we won't know which species that may be until after the species is gone.  The rest of the species are transitional in that they have evolved and they will evolve when they need to.  Last I heard, no formulas existed for predicting which conditions will drive species to evolve or to go extinct, how quickly the evolution will occur, nor which species will be capable of making the transition.  What we can say is that if there are environmental changes that put enough pressure on the species it will evolve or it will go extinct.  That is why we can say in a general discussion that all species are transitional and not be too awful far from literal truth.

 

For the soul discussion.  Luminon, I was only repeating what other people have told me.  I had not checked for their veracity.

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liberatedatheist wrote:The

liberatedatheist wrote:

The theory certainly makes god unnecessary for human development. Also, if you believe that humans have souls then you have to believe that every living organism has a soul unless you can point to the specific point in human evolution where god decided to instill a soul? Does the theory raise any other objections to the idea of a personal god?

You can always throw magic in somewhere, so I'm sure someone has.

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What a surprise...

Luminon wrote:
Being ensouled doesn't just mean to have soul, it means the ability to express it in daily life. Those few that can do it often stand out in terms of success, inteligence, charisma, creativity, and so on.
Brain damaged people are what they are - with damaged brain. That has again nothing to do with having or not having soul. It's more like the person did something incorrectly in past life and the soul decided that physical retardation is a wonderful method to teach it a lesson.

What a surprise... leave it up to Luminon to bring a "blame the victim" position to people with mental and physical disabilities. You never fail to disgust me Luminon.

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Luminon wrote:Being ensouled

Luminon wrote:
Being ensouled doesn't just mean to have soul, it means the ability to express it in daily life. Those few that can do it often stand out in terms of success, inteligence, charisma, creativity, and so on. Brain damaged people are what they are - with damaged brain. That has again nothing to do with having or not having soul. It's more like the person did something incorrectly in past life and the soul decided that physical retardation is a wonderful method to teach it a lesson. (unless it was an accident at birth) That is the problem with soul, it will choose any method it considers necessary to straighten out the person, this is why the beginnings of spiritual path are paved with suffering.

Em, what about genetics?

 

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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B166ER wrote:What a

B166ER wrote:

What a surprise... leave it up to Luminon to bring a "blame the victim" position to people with mental and physical disabilities. You never fail to disgust me Luminon.

That's what you say. Don't put words into my mouth. We are not the same people as our previous incarnations are. Incarnations are like a chain of beads of experience, that the soul collects one after another. Personality is less or more re-designed every time, according to general plan of development and the need to compensate the last life. There should be no guilt, only understanding of causes of our current state. That is, to learn and to live well, so in our next lifetime there won't have to be unnecessary...corrections. It's a common sense, to know the law of action and reaction applied on the law of reincarnation. Of course, none of that suffering, disease and imperfection is necessary forever, it's only our improper life style in presence and past that causes it.


butterbattle wrote:
Em, what about genetics?
Our people have come to an opinion, that the soul has some control over the person's genetics, should the soul choose to exercise this control. It seems the change is as slow, as the new cells grow and replace the old, it's not overnight.

The relationship of person and soul is very peculiar and much was already written on that topic. My group still researches that and we have  results. But that is nothing compared to the future. Scientists are hard to convince, but once convinced, they're much more effective in researching things.

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Luminon: Compassion? What compassion!

Wow Luminon, you never cease to amaze me with your idiotic remarks, but this takes that cake in the "complete heartless fuckhead" department. You seem to have gotten a little angry about me saying you took a blame the victim position on birth defects. You responded to me by saying, and I quote:

Luminon wrote:
That's what you say. Don't put words into my mouth.

So I put words in your mouth, huh? Lets see what you said...

Luminon wrote:
Brain damaged people are what they are - with damaged brain. That has again nothing to do with having or not having soul. It's more like the person did something incorrectly in past life and the soul decided that physical retardation is a wonderful method to teach it a lesson.

So you were not taking a blame the victim mentality huh? Then what about the "person did something incorrectly in past life and the soul decided that physical retardation is a wonderful method to teach it a lesson" part. A WONDERFUL METHOD?!?! That is some grade-A heartless BS!

Then, when given the ability to see your error and change your heartless, inhumane position to people born with GENETIC defects, you say, again I quote:

Luminon wrote:
That is, to learn and to live well, so in our next lifetime there won't have to be unnecessary...corrections.

MAKING NECESSARY CORRECTIONS? Why don't we look at some people who "obviously" made some bad choices in their "previous lives".

http://commonsenseatheism.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/defects.png

These are corrections being made? Hey, at least these babies will learn their lesson and live better lives, right? THAT'S FUCKING HEARTLESS! Of all the people who deserve compassion the most, these innocent babies are at the top of the list. You saying that these babies are "paying for their past lives crimes" just shows me how fucking disgustingly immoral you and your supposed "moral" system of esoteric thinking is.

butterbattle wrote:
Em, what about genetics?

Luminon wrote:
Our people have come to an opinion, that the soul has some control over the person's genetics, should the soul choose to exercise this control.

If the "our people" you speak of are similar to you in the belief that these INNOCENT children are paying amends for past misdeeds, then they are just as bat shit crazy and fucking heartless as you. There are not many people who I would wish pain upon, but for so casually shrugging off the pain that these innocents suffer as some sort of divine penance, you definitely earn a place on that list.

"This may shock you, but not everything in the bible is true." The only true statement ever to be uttered by Jean Chauvinism, sociopathic emotional terrorist.
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dictate the ends in which you find yourself."
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B166ER wrote:These are

B166ER wrote:

These are corrections being made? Hey, at least these babies will learn their lesson and live better lives, right? THAT'S FUCKING HEARTLESS! Of all the people who deserve compassion the most, these innocent babies are at the top of the list. You saying that these babies are "paying for their past lives crimes" just shows me how fucking disgustingly immoral you and your supposed "moral" system of esoteric thinking is.

How, heartless? I don't say we shouldn't care for them, we should. Whatever they did, it's their problem, not anyone else's, others can love them and care for them as much as possible. It's a good way to reduce our own karma.

You again put your words in my mouth! I'm just not so emotional about it. I only say that the war atrocities, crimes and even sick relationships that plentifully exist in the world will not disappear anywhere. All these people have to reincarnate somehow, and their next lives have to look accordingly. Even the parents get a lesson from that. The law of cause and effect can not be fooled by the person's death.We all fucked up something in our past lives, in fact, most of what we could. There's no point in blaming, but also no point in repeating the mistakes.

butterbattle wrote:
If the "our people" you speak of are similar to you in the belief that these INNOCENT children are paying amends for past misdeeds, then they are just as bat shit crazy and fucking heartless as you. There are not many people who I would wish pain upon, but for so casually shrugging off the pain that these innocents suffer as some sort of divine penance, you definitely earn a place on that list.

OK, you ask, why the innocents are "punished", or better said, earn consequences of their actions? Because in their previous lives, as they did the crimes, they thought they do the right thing. There was no sense in punishing them, they wouldn't understand and accept the lesson. The suffering is not so necessary as the understanding is! So people are basically left to be until they get wiser (or more vulnerable), and then shit (karma) happens. To unknowing observer it looks like shit happens to the innocent or those who just started regretting their actions. Justice of the world is questioned, god is blamed, yadda yadda yadda. All that because of ignorance of how the law of cause and effect works.

But we are not guilty for our karma, we are only responsible for understanding the lesson, cleaning up remaining karma and not making new. It's you who add the blaming and guilt. In fact, if you'd believe in this, could you blame a child for being a Nazi soldier in past life? It seems to me you could, because you're so sentimental and otherwise this would not bother you so much. I hope I'm wrong about that, just like you are wrong about me. You see how it's easy to misunderstand somoene.

I think my idea of morality is just OK.  If you stop making up tales about it, you'll see that in practice it's exactly the same as yours. You only believe that shit happens out of nothing, and I don't. It's very cold, non-sentimental exercise in logics, but if you manage it, you will see that this morality applied gives the same results as your morality. And why my morality is better than yours, then? Because shit doesn't just happen, it's important to know why and to stop the cause of shit happening, not to blame the victim. Blaming is the church invention and we must be watchful to unlearn it.

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Luminon wrote:But we are not

Luminon wrote:
But we are not guilty for our karma, we are only responsible for understanding the lesson, cleaning up remaining karma and not making new.

But that doesn't make any sense. How can they "understand the lesson", when they have no way of knowing what they did wrong in that so-called "past life" you mention ?


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The concept of 'karma' is

The concept of 'karma' is ultimately as lame and offensive as the Abrahamic attempt to justify why 'bad things happen to good and/or innocent people', namely 'original sin'.

Just proves to me that even Buddhism incorporates deeply irrational and stupid ideas. No world-view/religion deserves any inherent respect.

 

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

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Anonymouse wrote:But that

Dear B166ER, Anonymouse and Bob, thank you for your attention. Your interest brightened up my day.

Anonymouse wrote:

But that doesn't make any sense. How can they "understand the lesson", when they have no way of knowing what they did wrong in that so-called "past life" you mention ?

It helps a lot to know, but it's not absolutely necessary.  It's a situation with which the personality "resonates", that we find ourselves in, and that in return teaches us our lessons. It's a principle of sieve, a personality will often incarnate into an environment with which it is karmically tied.
I'm sorry for so much text, but it's an unfamiliar theory and very easy to misunderstand. This is why it's esoteric, not everyone can understand that, people come to premature conclusions and complain that it's immoral or irrational.

The soul wants basically peace, altruism, intellect and love, but has no idea how to express these qualities in our dense-physical world.  Let's say, there's an ability that the soul wants to learn. It's for example the sense of self-worth. The soul initially has no idea what it is, and so it builds a personality that incarnates and tries it on it's own. Because of a lack of experience, the person has a low self-worth and ends up as someone's slave. Then the person dies as a slave and decides that being a slave is bad, so it tries the exact opposite. Next incarnation as a professional slaver feels great, specially when the original slaver is among his slaves now. But the soul isn't happy about the result, because a lot of people got hurt. So it decides to incarnate the person as someone modest, but not so much to be a slave. And by this method of seesaw the soul eventually abandons the extremes and finds a healthy sense of self-worth, that doesn't restrict self neither the freedom of others. The personality as such has no idea what is right or wrong, people make these mistakes all the time, in relationships they either terrorize others or let themselves be terrorized, or alternate both.

The problem is, that the person requires to contact the soul in order to change the attitude and initially there are almost no means of such contact besides death, often not even that. This is why the development is terribly slow. But once a living link to the soul is estabilished, the person can receive correcting hints from the soul without the need to die and the development is then extremely fast. Such a person then doesn't need religion or strict rule, there is a subconscious morality from the soul's accumulated wisdom of countless incarnational experiences. 

Our club developed methods of estabilishing and maintaining the soul contact, which is the key to living a productive and harmonical life in any environment or situation. This is what the true esotericism is about. False esotericism is about collecting powers, abilities, certificates, spirit communications and crystal pendants. I don't say that it doesn't work, but it's not very productive.

BobSpence1 wrote:

The concept of 'karma' is ultimately as lame and offensive as the Abrahamic attempt to justify why 'bad things happen to good and/or innocent people', namely 'original sin'.

Just proves to me that even Buddhism incorporates deeply irrational and stupid ideas. No world-view/religion deserves any inherent respect.

OK, let's consider it, believing that bad people will burn in hell forever and good people will be eternally rewarded, that doesn't give much sense. We can agree on that. And then there is the premise that bad people will be never responsible for their actions, unless someone catches them, and similarly good people will be never rewarded, unless someone rewards them or they say it's OK. It's not as absurd as the previous idea, but not quite satisfying either.

As physics tells us, for every action there is equal and opposite reaction. There is a cause and effect. This is what we can see. But a smart guy called Paul Kammerer created a mathemathical theory that describes different kinds of causality, not direct but real nonetheless. And these kinds of causality describe the so-called "non-causal", "parallel", "synchronous" or "coincidential" events that our world is full of. Thanks to Kammerer, rational people can at least partially stop believing in gods of chaos and coincidence and take advantage of knowing what makes our lives tick. It's the results we're after, not religion. We want to increase our quality of life and we want a systematic theory of how to achieve that. And we have results.

By the way, the idea of karma and/or reincarnation isn't just Buddhism, it can be found in Hinduism, mystical Islam (Sufism), mystical Christianity, and it was common in mystical sects of Judaism. It's an esoteric concept that is commonly rejected or misinterpreted by the public. It's logical but complex, first you must study it, then you can judge it. The world is not a simple chaos, it's a complex order.

 

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lols... mermaid boy!

B166ER wrote:

http://commonsenseatheism.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/defects.png

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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BobSpence1 wrote: Just

BobSpence1 wrote:

 

Just proves to me that even Buddhism incorporates deeply irrational and stupid ideas.

 

They have some of the most irrational.  I am more versed in the teachings of the falung gong practitioners, but it's the same stuff.  I read the main (I'm not sure if there's more) falung gong text and listened to the tapes.  The teachings start off charming enough but as you listen and read on you get very frustrated.  I'm sure the translation into english didn't help but they just make these outlandish claims, say nothing about how it happens, and move on.  It was actually quite funny, to put in all in context (this is not to poke fun at any accents, it's to accurately put the tapes in context, the choppinest, the outrageous claims, and then the quick moving on) this is as accurate as I can remember the tapes were like, imagine a tiny little asian girls voice with a thick chinese accent saying the following.

"Ok, you see, time travol is possibal.  You see...  When you see marygorown people on outside move fasta than people on inside.  Therefor, time travol is possible.  you see, ok let's move on..."

"Flying is possibal.  You see... Many people feel heavy, life is heavy, bad choices are heavy.  You can be light, you must imagine lightness, no more heavy, and it is possible, you can fly, you see, let's move on..."

 

   Hours, and hours and hours of this.  Now not all of it was outlandish claims like this, some was very beuitiful poetic philosophies, but alote of it was this non-sense, and in the end it was all bogus. 


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....

Luminon wrote:
How, heartless? I don't say we shouldn't care for them, we should. Whatever they did, it's their problem, not anyone else's, others can love them and care for them as much as possible. It's a good way to reduce our own karma.

Ahhh, how charming... help those less fortunate then ourselves so that you get a prize! How fucking self centered and IMMORAL!

Luminon wrote:
You again put your words in my mouth!

I have never put words in your mouth. You are the one saying that little babies deserve what they get, to "learn a lesson" for a crime they have no concept of committing, since they didn't. You think they did because you're bat shit crazy and believe things with no evidence which make you feel safer in heartlessly blaming the victims. You have said all those words yourself, you obviously are unable to read your own words.

Luminon wrote:
OK, you ask, why the innocents are "punished", or better said, earn consequences of their actions? Because in their previous lives, as they did the crimes, they thought they do the right thing. There was no sense in punishing them, they wouldn't understand and accept the lesson.

This is one of the concepts that make Buddhism one of the most barbaric ideologies ever to slime it's way onto the social scene. Try having defects in a Buddhist country, you get no sympathy since "you earned it". BULLSHIT.

Luminon wrote:
could you blame a child for being a Nazi soldier in past life?

No, since the child WASN'T a Nazi in a past life, since this is reality and not your fucking delusional nightmare. The child is a new life, plain and simple. How do I know this? Because I'm not a heartless raving loon like you.

Luminon wrote:
I think my idea of morality is just OK.  If you stop making up tales about it, you'll see that in practice it's exactly the same as yours.

In no way are they the same. I have compassion for other people, you just fatalistically accept pain and misery of other humans as a good thing, since it's "teaching them a lesson".

Luminon wrote:
It's very cold, non-sentimental exercise in logics

HAHAHAHAHA!!! You talk about "souls" and other things you have NO EVIDENCE FOR as logic? Wow! No wonder you bought the BS they fed you hook, line and sinker! Logic is about reality, and you missed the train here and are stuck in La La Land.

Luminon wrote:
OK, let's consider it, believing that bad people will burn in hell forever and good people will be eternally rewarded, that doesn't give much sense. We can agree on that. And then there is the premise that bad people will be never responsible for their actions, unless someone catches them, and similarly good people will be never rewarded, unless someone rewards them or they say it's OK. It's not as absurd as the previous idea, but not quite satisfying either.

Guess what? Life isn't always "satisfying". Deal with it. Just because you don't like how reality works doesn't change it.

Luminon wrote:
By the way, the idea of karma and/or reincarnation isn't just Buddhism, it can be found in Hinduism, mystical Islam (Sufism), mystical Christianity, and it was common in mystical sects of Judaism.

You just named a bunch of kooks to support your belief, which does you no good. Just because a lot of people throughout history wanted there to be a punishment/reward system for the universe doesn't mean there is one.

Luminon wrote:
  It's an esoteric concept that is commonly rejected or misinterpreted by the public. It's logical but complex, first you must study it, then you can judge it. The world is not a simple chaos, it's a complex order.

Calling it logical is the equivalent of calling "Dr." (forever in quotes) Kent Hovind's idea of one drop of water covering the whole world intelligent. There is no logic behind something firmly grounded in La La Land.

This whole thread is making my head hurt... I can't believe people still have this little compassion for others... I fear for the human species.

And Luminon, no matter whatever pretty words you use to dress up your disgusting philosophy, it doesn't make it any more compassionate or based in reality.

"This may shock you, but not everything in the bible is true." The only true statement ever to be uttered by Jean Chauvinism, sociopathic emotional terrorist.
"A Boss in Heaven is the best excuse for a boss on earth, therefore If God did exist, he would have to be abolished." Mikhail Bakunin
"The means in which you take,
dictate the ends in which you find yourself."
"Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme leadership derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!"
No Gods, No Masters!


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Lumi, your reference to Paul

Lumi, your reference to Paul Kammerer prompted to me to look him up. Interesting and smart guy, who seemed to have looked into a couple of things just a bit too early, and ended up missing the mark.

Firstly, in the biggest miss, was to find some 'evidence' for Lamarckian 'inheritance of acquired characteristics' as a major mechanism of inheritance. It turns out that he probably stumbled across epigenetics, where some changes to the pattern of activation of the DNA genes can be passed on to offspring. It cannot however be the fundamental mechanism of evolution because it cannot create new code, it can only effect which existing genes are activated.

Secondly, his studies of coincidence, synchronicity, leading to his "law of seriality", seem to be addressing phenomena better covered by chaos theory and non-linear complex system theory.

Your reference to the Newtonian principle of action and reaction is really not very relevant away from its original target of physical forces.

"Cause and effect" in the old simplistic sense is also misleading - causal chains are frequently complex branching and looping realities, not easily analysed or grasped by our intuitive sense of the original simple idea.

'Karma' is understandable as an intuitive belief, which is why it is as widespread as you indicate, but there is no evidence that it deserves to be taken seriously, rationally, or ethically. It clearly derives from our instinctive sense of 'fairness'. Unfortunately, pretty much all the evidence points to the fact that the Universe is not 'fair'. Shit happens. Get used to it. Try to compensate for it and protect against it where you can, by science and technology that actually works, sure, but don't count too much on any magic principle of justice or karma to help you.

 

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

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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Counterpoint:

Perhaps "evolution" is responsible for most of the spiritual beliefs in the world! Meaning, specifically- that evolution resulted in Homo Sapiens Sapiens (us) having some sort of "Theism complex"  and, of course, a belief in afterlife and spiritual authority.

 

I believe such a complex exists in the brains of most (non-asperger's syndrome-carrying) modern humans, and archaeology has a bit of evidence for this. Smiling

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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B166ER wrote:I have never

B166ER wrote:
I have never put words in your mouth. You are the one saying that little babies deserve what they get, to "learn a lesson" for a crime they have no concept of committing, since they didn't. You think they did because you're bat shit crazy and believe things with no evidence which make you feel safer in heartlessly blaming the victims. You have said all those words yourself, you obviously are unable to read your own words.
No evidence? I went through regression therapy about six times. My mother does the therapies and takes people into their past lives. She had big men cry so hard on the view of their past incarnation, that they blew their noses over a whole roll of toilet paper. The past sucks, it's full of violence and accidents. Of course it's not evidence for you, but I have it right here at home and can't ignore this evidence.

 

B166ER wrote:
This is one of the concepts that make Buddhism one of the most barbaric ideologies ever to slime it's way onto the social scene. Try having defects in a Buddhist country, you get no sympathy since "you earned it". BULLSHIT.
Why no sympathy? I never judge anyone over nothing, or hold grudge against something that doesn't harm anyone. Karma doesn't work according to your notion of crme! A misused consciousness, the wrong attitude to life can sometimes bring some physical incapabilities. And killing soldiers in war doesn't have much karmic response on personal level. And karma has countless forms. Most of relationships are karmic, a boy meets a girl scenario.

B166ER wrote:
In no way are they the same. I have compassion for other people, you just fatalistically accept pain and misery of other humans as a good thing, since it's "teaching them a lesson".
  There is a difference between compassion and pity. And I don't fatalistically accept pain and misery. Karma doesn't say that people should be left in misery, quite opposite, it's a circumstance that must be understood and solved for the greatest benefit. Karma can be and must be solved and nullified like a debt, that's what we have to do with it, we must not stay passive. That's what karma is for me, just a debt, nothing shameful, evil or whatever. It's you who think that I'd lack compassion because someone has a karmic debt.

B166ER wrote:

Guess what? Life isn't always "satisfying". Deal with it. Just because you don't like how reality works doesn't change it.

I meant satisfying, in terms of physics and the necessity of action and opposite, equal reaction.

B166ER wrote:
And Luminon, no matter whatever pretty words you use to dress up your disgusting philosophy, it doesn't make it any more compassionate or based in reality.

My philosophy is neither good or evil, it's all how you use it. Everything that's worth something can be misused. Every dumbass can misuse things, but using them correctly is an art. Just because you interpret my philosophy in evil ways, doesn't mean that I do too. If the physical body is just a disguise in the big play of Earth life system, then we should play as best we can. When we play badly, bad things happen, and vice versa.

 


BobSpence1 wrote:

Lumi, your reference to Paul Kammerer prompted to me to look him up. Interesting and smart guy, who seemed to have looked into a couple of things just a bit too early, and ended up missing the mark.

Firstly, in the biggest miss, was to find some 'evidence' for Lamarckian 'inheritance of acquired characteristics' as a major mechanism of inheritance. It turns out that he probably stumbled across epigenetics, where some changes to the pattern of activation of the DNA genes can be passed on to offspring. It cannot however be the fundamental mechanism of evolution because it cannot create new code, it can only effect which existing genes are activated.

Well, I heard that someone counterfeited his research to give Lamarckian results, for political reasons. (Soviets were Lamarckists) But if he found out something for real, the epigenetics, that's nice.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Secondly, his studies of coincidence, synchronicity, leading to his "law of seriality", seem to be addressing phenomena better covered by chaos theory and non-linear complex system theory.
My information is, that modern scientists got to his research independently, suggesting that this is a real thing. I think Kammerer's theories are not influenced by contemporary public opinion, they could be valuable even for modern chaos theory researchers.
But the main benefit of such theories is, that they give ground to phenomena that are otherwise not scientifically describable. In his book, my dad mentions Kammerer and how his theories are in harmony with astronomical and astrological principles. For example, there seems to be regular ratio between some planets' lengths of orbit and rotation. We say that they "resonate" with each other and that their archetypes are "a higher octave" of each other.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Your reference to the Newtonian principle of action and reaction is really not very relevant away from its original target of physical forces.

"Cause and effect" in the old simplistic sense is also misleading - causal chains are frequently complex branching and looping realities, not easily analysed or grasped by our intuitive sense of the original simple idea.

I'm glad you acknowledge the existence of complex causal chains and so on. Because local academical authorities, the communistic cavemen, recognize only Newtonian direct causal relationship. And they say, because they have no idea how something can work, then it naturally doesn't work.
Astrologic influence works in terms of these indirect causal relationships, but my dad is one of the few who discovered that. Not only astrology, but also karma, and possibly other such areas that are elusive for contemporary science. With new discoveries old opinions must be revised.

BobSpence1 wrote:
  'Karma' is understandable as an intuitive belief, which is why it is as widespread as you indicate, but there is no evidence that it deserves to be taken seriously, rationally, or ethically. It clearly derives from our instinctive sense of 'fairness'. Unfortunately, pretty much all the evidence points to the fact that the Universe is not 'fair'. Shit happens. Get used to it. Try to compensate for it and protect against it where you can, by science and technology that actually works, sure, but don't count too much on any magic principle of justice or karma to help you.
There is not yet a worldwide, unified and universally available evidence, that is true. But research of our group has results. We have a crowd of people that we can study, one by one, and apply our theories on, for many years. Our research improved their life as much, as they abode with the advice. This means we have a theory and experts on quality of life, which is awesome. We are healers of lives, minds and relationships. People don't need to spend years on a psychologist's couch. If such a method could fix people's lives, it would already be done hundred times.
The theory we use works with modern understanding of ancient concepts like karma or astrology. We are too busy to make up new words that don't have the stigma of the occult. And it's comprehensible for our clients. We have results, but we're also common people with daily jobs and families, not scientists. That's what you have to understand, scientific investigation is as unreachable to us as Houston's space program. Local academic authorities don't need any new discoveries, they don't research anything, just brag in media.

Karma is not a justice, unless you mean ultimate justice. Karma seems extremely complex, unless you understand it as a debt, just like there are financial debts. And the best what you can do is to not make any debts at all, and pay debts as soon as possible. And not allow others to have debts against you. It's as you say, the common sense.

 

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Luminon wrote:It helps a lot

Luminon wrote:
It helps a lot to know, but it's not absolutely necessary.

Oh ? Then can you explain to me how I can learn from a mistake I have no way of knowing I made ?

Luminon wrote:
It's a situation with which the personality "resonates", that we find ourselves in, and that in return teaches us our lessons. It's a principle of sieve, a personality will often incarnate into an environment with which it is karmically tied.

I'm sorry for so much text, but it's an unfamiliar theory and very easy to misunderstand. This is why it's esoteric, not everyone can understand that, people come to premature conclusions and complain that it's immoral or irrational.

Look, as always, no offense, but is there any way you could answer the question without resorting to some kind of supernatural explanation ? It's all fine and dandy to call something "esoteric", but there has to be some way to distinguish it from the Emperor's new clothes, if you catch my drift.

If there isn't , then there really isn't anything to talk about.

Luminon wrote:
The soul wants basically peace, altruism, intellect and love, but has no idea how to express these qualities in our dense-physical world.  Let's say, there's an ability that the soul wants to learn. It's for example the sense of self-worth. The soul initially has no idea what it is, and so it builds a personality that incarnates and tries it on it's own. Because of a lack of experience, the person has a low self-worth and ends up as someone's slave. Then the person dies as a slave and decides that being a slave is bad, so it tries the exact opposite. Next incarnation as a professional slaver feels great, specially when the original slaver is among his slaves now. But the soul isn't happy about the result, because a lot of people got hurt. So it decides to incarnate the person as someone modest, but not so much to be a slave. And by this method of seesaw the soul eventually abandons the extremes and finds a healthy sense of self-worth, that doesn't restrict self neither the freedom of others. The personality as such has no idea what is right or wrong, people make these mistakes all the time, in relationships they either terrorize others or let themselves be terrorized, or alternate both.

I think you're underestimating the human psyche. The learning process you're describing here can easily fit into a single lifetime. Heck, it could even go back and forth a few times.

Unless I've foolishly missed some crucial point, I don't see how this even relates to my question.

Luminon wrote:
The problem is, that the person requires to contact the soul in order to change the attitude and initially there are almost no means of such contact besides death, often not even that. This is why the development is terribly slow. But once a living link to the soul is estabilished, the person can receive correcting hints from the soul without the need to die and the development is then extremely fast. Such a person then doesn't need religion or strict rule, there is a subconscious morality from the soul's accumulated wisdom of countless incarnational experiences.

Right. So the "soul" will let you have a few hints. You know, even as a supernatural system, that doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense. Why not just spill the beans right away and let people get on with bettering themselves ?

But I digress. Is there any way you could answer my question without me having to accept all these supernatural concepts such as "souls" and "past lives" ? All I want to know is how I can learn from a mistake I have no way of knowing I made. Still seems like a fair question to me.

Luminon wrote:
Our club developed methods of estabilishing and maintaining the soul contact, which is the key to living a productive and harmonical life in any environment or situation. This is what the true esotericism is about. False esotericism is about collecting powers, abilities, certificates, spirit communications and crystal pendants.

I guess I'd have to take your word for that, cuz there's nothing else to hold on to.

Luminon wrote:
I don't say that it doesn't work, but it's not very productive.

Hey, either something works, or it doesn't. Let's at least agree on that.


 


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Oh wow...

I wrote:
I have never put words in your mouth. You are the one saying that little babies deserve what they get, to "learn a lesson" for a crime they have no concept of committing, since they didn't. You think they did because you're bat shit crazy and believe things with no evidence which make you feel safer in heartlessly blaming the victims. You have said all those words yourself, you obviously are unable to read your own words.

Luminon wrote:
No evidence? I went through regression therapy about six times. My mother does the therapies and takes people into their past lives. She had big men cry so hard on the view of their past incarnation, that they blew their noses over a whole roll of toilet paper. The past sucks, it's full of violence and accidents. Of course it's not evidence for you, but I have it right here at home and can't ignore this evidence.

Dude, I'm a writer and I can assure you, you are "reliving" your imagination, nothing more. If you think otherwise, then you are obviously at the same mental state as that of a child so immersed in playtime that their imaginary friend becomes "real". Calling that evidence is such a stretch as to be ludicrous! I swear everybody, Snufalufagus is REAL, only I'm the only one who can see him!

And all this talk of Karmic debt. The reason I find your heartless is that you are assuming babies just born have already committed crimes which they must pay for. If you have no evidence for that claim, then it's the same as the Nazi's thinking the Jews and Gypsies had "debts" they had to pay for...obvious bullshit.

Luminon wrote:
Just because you interpret my philosophy in evil ways, doesn't mean that I do too.

It doesn't matter how you see it, your position is all about how babies who are in pain are that way because they were evil and deserve to be punished. That's pretty evil whether you think so or not.

Luminon wrote:
It's as you say, the common sense.

Nothing about your evidence, free fuzzy headed thinking is common sense.

"This may shock you, but not everything in the bible is true." The only true statement ever to be uttered by Jean Chauvinism, sociopathic emotional terrorist.
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Anonymouse wrote: But I

Anonymouse wrote:
But I digress. Is there any way you could answer my question without me having to accept all these supernatural concepts such as "souls" and "past lives" ? All I want to know is how I can learn from a mistake I have no way of knowing I made. Still seems like a fair question to me.
OK, I cross my fingers, leave out pages of very important details and answer.

The mistake is within you, in your attitude to life. It's your destructive or self-destructive tendency, often visible since childhood. There are always two versions of this tendency, both exaggerated, extreme. For example, someone is either too agressive or timid, that's the same problem of self-estabilishing. As you wrote, people may try both extremes in one lifetime, but the purpose is to learn the healthy, dynamic balance, which is really diffcult. You'll get a "help" in form of conflicts in life, that will beat the incorrect attitude out of you, that is the hard way. The easy way is to change your mind soon enough.
The hard way might even prevent the person from escaping a particular problem - for example, being physically disabled and therefore unable to escape from the necessary learning to deal with the people that care for him.


Anonymouse wrote:

Luminon wrote:
I don't say that it doesn't work, but it's not very productive.

Hey, either something works, or it doesn't. Let's at least agree on that.

Television works, but watching it is a waste of time. Similarly it's with channeling, spiritism and other similar practices. You get a lot of text, feelings and voices through medium in trance, but they never say anything useful.

B166ER wrote:

Dude, I'm a writer and I can assure you, you are "reliving" your imagination, nothing more. If you think otherwise, then you are obviously at the same mental state as that of a child so immersed in playtime that their imaginary friend becomes "real". Calling that evidence is such a stretch as to be ludicrous! I swear everybody, Snufalufagus is REAL, only I'm the only one who can see him!

You mean, reliving imagination in regression therapy? Can you tell me, where it comes from and why it always takes form of some past life? Yes, people relive the imagination when they have in regression some well known people, like John Huss or madame Bathory, but majority of past lives is unique. And even if these are imaginations, the emotions are real and too unpleasant for anyone to make them up. Unless the therapists have a secret method that can make people cry out of nothing.

B166ER wrote:
And all this talk of Karmic debt. The reason I find your heartless is that you are assuming babies just born have already committed crimes which they must pay for. If you have no evidence for that claim, then it's the same as the Nazi's thinking the Jews and Gypsies had "debts" they had to pay for...obvious bullshit.
Crime is crime. Karma is karma. They're not the same thing.
I thought you'd be used to the concept of inherited debt. In my country every baby is born with 5000 dollars of state debt, thanks to  government corruption and bad decisions. Next generations are born with polluted environment, which is not their fault, but their job to clean up. It seems unfair, unless you realize that we're parts of a greater whole (the state, Earth or the soul's chain of incarnations) and we're here and now to clean up after our ancestors, regardless of guilt, for the sake of our descendants. We're all knee deep in shit, so we better realize that it won't go away by our saying that we're innocent. Blaming also won't do the job. We all should take care of our small debt, and in this way everything will get better.

B166ER wrote:
It doesn't matter how you see it, your position is all about how babies who are in pain are that way because they were evil and deserve to be punished. That's pretty evil whether you think so or not. 
You see, you again stuck evil and punishment into that. FFS, it's not evil. This is how we as a race progress forward in development. It's a bit rough method, but it worked for millenia. As for punishment, it's simply an application of the law of cause and effect on the law of reincarnation. 

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Luminon wrote:OK, I cross my

Luminon wrote:
OK, I cross my fingers, leave out pages of very important details and answer.

That's mighty decent of you.

Luminon wrote:
The mistake is within you, in your attitude to life. It's your destructive or self-destructive tendency, often visible since childhood. There are always two versions of this tendency, both exaggerated, extreme. For example, someone is either too agressive or timid, that's the same problem of self-estabilishing. As you wrote, people may try both extremes in one lifetime, but the purpose is to learn the healthy, dynamic balance, which is really diffcult. You'll get a "help" in form of conflicts in life, that will beat the incorrect attitude out of you, that is the hard way. The easy way is to change your mind soon enough.
The hard way might even prevent the person from escaping a particular problem - for example, being physically disabled and therefore unable to escape from the necessary learning to deal with the people that care for him.

Why would you even need to assume that my "attitude" is in any way connected to this hypothetical "past life" ? Again, just a single life will do to explain everything you brought up here.

Luminon wrote:
Television works, but watching it is a waste of time. Similarly it's with channeling, spiritism and other similar practices. You get a lot of text, feelings and voices through medium in trance, but they never say anything useful.

Applying that analogy to channeling and such would mean the television would not work at all. And then there would be people who say it works just fine, only not when you're looking at it. I'm not buying one of those.


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So far as I understand it

 

the multifarious complexity of the genetic ecosystem works in a way that allows the accrual of mutations. Then there's genetic damage caused by environmental/inherent factors that damage egg or sperm pre-conception, particularly in older couples. While having the effect on a species of beneficial variation, a fluid genome has a profound negative side. There's no karma, no past life, no anything at all attached to any of this. It's a thoughtless, human feelings-blind process that serves evolution at a heartbreaking cost.

I refuse to plug odd spiritual interpretations into a 'gap' in our understanding of the deep complexity of genetic variability. And having lost a child to genetic abnormality, those images are very ouch.

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Anonymouse wrote:Why would

Anonymouse wrote:

Why would you even need to assume that my "attitude" is in any way connected to this hypothetical "past life" ? Again, just a single life will do to explain everything you brought up here.

The problem is, where are these behavioral patterns coming from. People can have the same genetics, the same upbringing and environment, but be completely different. I know what I say, I've got two brothers. Their past lives are quite visible on each of them. One's all intrigued by WW2, war videogames, airsoft guns, and Russian anthem stirs great emotions in him. Another one likes hookahs, oriental decorations, and submissive women.

Another need to assume the past life comes from astrology. These people have constellations that show a problem in some areas of life. Traditional astrology assumes that horoscope says "you are such and such, good at this and that", but this is often not true. More often than not, these people have a problem in that particular area. People with similar problems have similar constellations. Therefore, modern theory says, the horoscope shows what we should learn in our lifetime, not what we are.
So under the weight of observation we can safely assume, that we are not born out of nothing and for nothing. We're born shaped by certain unconscious incarnational experiences, and we're exposed to astrologic influences that correspond to us somehow. This implies that the time and place of birth is carefully chosen. Detailed analysis told us what behavior in past lives can cause what corrective constellations in next life. Therefore, this theory has some predictive power and we use it succesfully in practice.

As for testing it scientifically, I know tests done by astrologers, secured from scientists' misconceptions. But so far I have never seen tests secured from astrologers' misconceptions. These usually are, that horoscope shows what you are, and that horoscope can be safely understood separatedly from it's person. No, we're not tabula rasa when we're born and then completely shaped by our horoscope.

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Luminon wrote:The problem

Luminon wrote:
The problem is, where are these behavioral patterns coming from. People can have the same genetics, the same upbringing and environment, but be completely different. I know what I say, I've got two brothers. Their past lives are quite visible on each of them. One's all intrigued by WW2, war videogames, airsoft guns, and Russian anthem stirs great emotions in him. Another one likes hookahs, oriental decorations, and submissive women.

Just so happens I know what I'm talking about too. I have a twin brother. I'm gay, he's not. While I wouldn't call it a "behavioral pattern", I'm pretty sure they'll eventually figure out how this is possible (latest research suggest something happens in the womb), and I am equally sure that it won't involve me having been a girl in a past life. Seriously, why even go there ? What's more far-fetched ? : Assuming we'll eventually fill this gap in our knowledge with a scientific explanation, or assuming reincarnation ?

Luminon wrote:
Another need to assume the past life comes from astrology. These people have constellations that show a problem in some areas of life. Traditional astrology assumes that horoscope says "you are such and such, good at this and that", but this is often not true. More often than not, these people have a problem in that particular area. People with similar problems have similar constellations. Therefore, modern theory says, the horoscope shows what we should learn in our lifetime, not what we are.
So under the weight of observation we can safely assume, that we are not born out of nothing and for nothing. We're born shaped by certain unconscious incarnational experiences, and we're exposed to astrologic influences that correspond to us somehow. This implies that the time and place of birth is carefully chosen. Detailed analysis told us what behavior in past lives can cause what corrective constellations in next life. Therefore, this theory has some predictive power and we use it succesfully in practice.

Okay, now you're using astrology to back up reincarnation.  To me, that's like claiming you have a flying car, and when people demand to see it, you say it's in your invisible garage.

But sure, I'll go check out that thread where you read somebody's stars.

Luminon wrote:
As for testing it scientifically, I know tests done by astrologers, secured from scientists' misconceptions. But so far I have never seen tests secured from astrologers' misconceptions. These usually are, that horoscope shows what you are, and that horoscope can be safely understood separatedly from it's person. No, we're not tabula rasa when we're born and then completely shaped by our horoscope.

Know of any "past life" tests done by scientists ? Let's be fair here, there wouldn't be anything to test, would there ?


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Anonymouse wrote: Just so

Anonymouse wrote:
Just so happens I know what I'm talking about too. I have a twin brother. I'm gay, he's not. While I wouldn't call it a "behavioral pattern", I'm pretty sure they'll eventually figure out how this is possible (latest research suggest something happens in the womb), and I am equally sure that it won't involve me having been a girl in a past life. Seriously, why even go there ? What's more far-fetched ? : Assuming we'll eventually fill this gap in our knowledge with a scientific explanation, or assuming reincarnation ? 
Well, I don't know much about homosexuality, my information only is that there are more kinds of it, with various causes, and some are even convertible to straight sexuality, using proper therapy. But our group has very little experience with that. So besides homosexuality, true psychological models of behavior, health problems, habits, style, opinions, hobbies, interests and so on, on these we can safely apply the theory of past lives, backed up by that person's horoscope and possibly other sources like regression therapy or consultation with clairvoyant person. Of course, all information must fit together with the person.

The point is, that there is no reason why to wait passively for scientists to fill gaps in knowledge. We have our own theories, testing groups, methods of research and very different budget. It's very likely that we work with something that scientists don't and never will be, unless they radically change their theories. The greatest difference is probably the priority, our priority is to effectively help people, and scientists' priority is to have properly reproducible facts under controlled circumstances, compatible with the old paradigm.

Anonymouse wrote:

Okay, now you're using astrology to back up reincarnation.  To me, that's like claiming you have a flying car, and when people demand to see it, you say it's in your invisible garage.

But sure, I'll go check out that thread where you read somebody's stars.

Astrology seems absurd to you, because you, scientific community and majority of astrologers work with medieval astrology, which is outdated and has many imprecisions and misconceptions. What I mean is modern astrology, such as my dad researches. The point is, that there is a central esoteric theory, that unifies part of woo, and part of it rejects by logical arguments. This theory is internally and as far as we can check, also externally consistent and can be applied on human life. It can be also potentially unified with scientific worldview, by the meeting points of string theory, chaos theory, dark matter, and possibly quantum physics and theory of relativity. What is missing are people who know well both sides and can act as intermediaries and translators.

By the way, my readings aren't very impressive, because they're done in very improper circumstances. Reading a horoscope without the person's presence and feedback is like trying to open a lock with key, without having the lock around.

Anonymouse wrote:
Know of any "past life" tests done by scientists ? Let's be fair here, there wouldn't be anything to test, would there ?
AFAIK, regression therapy is commonly done by psychologists. But people who remember any of their past lives (not even hoping in retracking) are very rare. Reincarnation is just a part of a broader theory which must be applied on life. Combined result can be then evaluated. If it's positive, then scientists can take Occam's razor, and see if the theory can safely lack any parts. I hope it won't end like in that joke with deaf jumping spider.

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Why am I not surprised!

Luminon wrote:
Well, I don't know much about homosexuality, my information only is that there are more kinds of it, with various causes, and some are even convertible to straight sexuality, using proper therapy.

Why am I not surprised, that along with all the other bat-shit crazy stuff you believe in, curing the gay away is one of them. Wow...

"This may shock you, but not everything in the bible is true." The only true statement ever to be uttered by Jean Chauvinism, sociopathic emotional terrorist.
"A Boss in Heaven is the best excuse for a boss on earth, therefore If God did exist, he would have to be abolished." Mikhail Bakunin
"The means in which you take,
dictate the ends in which you find yourself."
"Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme leadership derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!"
No Gods, No Masters!


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B166ER wrote:Luminon wrote:

B166ER wrote:

Luminon wrote:
Well, I don't know much about homosexuality, my information only is that there are more kinds of it, with various causes, and some are even convertible to straight sexuality, using proper therapy.

Why am I not surprised, that along with all the other bat-shit crazy stuff you believe in, curing the gay away is one of them. Wow...

It's because you understand things in the most malevolent way.
I want everyone to be what they truly are. Some people think they're gays because of psychosis, hormonal imbalance or whatever. Just like some gays force themselves to be straight, because of fear from the society. That may have bad consequences, if you saw American Beauty Smiling

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 So your dad "researches"

 So your dad "researches" astrology. Thats cute. I used to think my dad could do magic too. As you get older and your brain continues to develop, your childhood fantasies will give way to reality. So it makes sense that the inanimate objects billions of light years away will have a direct and measurable effect on my life. And out of the uncountable number of stars, some astrologers picked out some patterns and named them because of their mystical properties not because they happen to look like animals or anything. I wonder how many libra like combination of stars i could find if i looked hard enough. but hey i'm sure our libra is magical. Plus, i live in NYC i cant see the stars, does that mean they don't affect me? What about the trillions of stars that are never visible to the naked eye. Should i be studying them too. So what research has your dad done. Can you describe an experiment to me, i would love to try to reproduce it in a laboratory setting

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liberatedatheist wrote: So

liberatedatheist wrote:

 So your dad "researches" astrology. Thats cute. I used to think my dad could do magic too. As you get older and your brain continues to develop, your childhood fantasies will give way to reality.

There is something that you don't know about people like me. There is a cathegory of people, almost a sub-culture, that is seriously engaged in esotericism and occult practices, yet they can perfectly use their brains, manage their lives and take care of their homes. Whatever weird practices we do, say or write, they are justified by the fact that we are normal people, even more normal than religious families.
In 22 I'm well capable of observation and logical analysis, just like I'm capable of study, work or driving a car. The amount of weird things I claim is so extreme, that either most of my family and friends must be completely insane, (which doesn't explain why we have normal lives) or we are correct. We're very peculiar people.

liberatedatheist wrote:
So it makes sense that the inanimate objects billions of light years away will have a direct and measurable effect on my life. And out of the uncountable number of stars, some astrologers picked out some patterns and named them because of their mystical properties not because they happen to look like animals or anything. I wonder how many libra like combination of stars i could find if i looked hard enough. but hey i'm sure our libra is magical. Plus, i live in NYC i cant see the stars, does that mean they don't affect me? What about the trillions of stars that are never visible to the naked eye. Should i be studying them too. So what research has your dad done. Can you describe an experiment to me, i would love to try to reproduce it in a laboratory setting

You can answer your questions in my dad's book here. He explains there why some stars are chosen and why others not. You will learn about Kammerer's laws, factor of stability, factor of change and other geometric factors that determine the influence of stars.


This is modern astrology, while today's mundane astrology is still practically medieval. There is much in which my dad differs and has logical reasons for it. He seeks to unify the astrology with general esoteric teaching and consequentially with scientific theories. It's like a mosaic into which we add one piece after another. I assure you, your questions arise from your lack of knowledge on this subject, instead from real astrology's gaps. For example, nobody says we take influence of stars billions of light years away, usually they're less than 100 l.y. away.

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HE FINALLY ADMITS THE TRUTH!!!

Luminon wrote:
most of my family and friends must be completely insane

Wow, after all this time, you finally make a statement that's grounded in reality!

"This may shock you, but not everything in the bible is true." The only true statement ever to be uttered by Jean Chauvinism, sociopathic emotional terrorist.
"A Boss in Heaven is the best excuse for a boss on earth, therefore If God did exist, he would have to be abolished." Mikhail Bakunin
"The means in which you take,
dictate the ends in which you find yourself."
"Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme leadership derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!"
No Gods, No Masters!