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Awkward Questions On War

 
 
Stinger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 May, 2003 11:32 am
Frank

I think many people try to recruit God onto their side in a conflict / debate etc. Elements of the pro and anti-war sides in the Iraqi war did so as well. No doubt people who were anti-war, were making similar comments about God forgiving people who were 'pro war'.

I don't think it's easy for us mere mortals to try and determine which side God was actually on. He / she certainly hasn't been in contact with me, but I wait with interest on his comments! I'll let you know if / when it happens.

However, I'm not ruling out the possibility that he may actually be pro-war, when it's morally justified. (Which of course is a matter of debate for us mortals). While it's possible he / she may be a pacifist, I just don't get that vibe!! The Bible is a bit of a roller coaster of a read, full of plagues, floods, death, destruction etc. So I'm keeping an open mind on the issue of God's pro / anti war views.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 May, 2003 11:48 am
Stinger wrote:
However, I'm not ruling out the possibility that he may actually be pro-war, when it's morally justified. (Which of course is a matter of debate for us mortals). While it's possible he / she may be a pacifist, I just don't get that vibe!! The Bible is a bit of a roller coaster of a read, full of plagues, floods, death, destruction etc. So I'm keeping an open mind on the issue of God's pro / anti war views.



Ahhh...just so!

But keep in mind that the god of the Bible may be as unworthy of a captial "G" as Zeus!

If I could influence you, I would influence you in the direction of not considering the god of the Bible to be God (assuming there is a God) -- in part because that god not only finds lots of justification for wars and other kinds of killing -- it actually seems to delight in those things.
0 Replies
 
Stinger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 May, 2003 02:31 pm
I'm not sure what you mean, when you say God takes "delight" in war and killing. Maybe I'm missing something?!

(Let us assume for a moment, for ease of discussion, that there is a God)

A lot of people think that killing, in a war for example, is sometimes regrettable but necessary. They don't necessarily take any "delight" in it. The same thing could perhaps be said about God.

I'm not an expert on the subject, but I don't think the Bible mentions God rubbing his hands and having a hearty laugh, before he smites some mortals! Not even when it's the French that he's smiting!!
Although I imagine that it's 'non-belivers' who are usually on the receiving end of his smiting.Which I suppose is a less than subtle message from God. If you want his help, you have to believe. If you don't believe, and you mess with him, then you're in trouble!

Let us not forget of course, that if there is a God, then there is also a Devil. Good versus evil. Light versus dark. If that's the case, then God can't take the rap for all wars, droughts, famines, murders etc. If there is a battle between good and evil, then perhaps what we witness around the world, is that battle being played out between two opposing forces, rather than the actions of a single cruel God, who delights in our misfortune or suffering.

Even when two armies claim to be of the same religion, or fighting for their particular God, we can't assume that God is actually supporting either side. It's easy for people to claim to be of a particular religious faith, but that doesn't mean that they follow the rule book of their chosen religion. Even when they belive that they are!
As I have said before, I live in Northern Ireland. Religion has been used here by people / groups to justify murder / destruction. However, it wasn't God pulling the trigger, or planting a bomb. It was people. Misguided. Twisted. Perverted. Sick. Psychotic. Sadistic. Evil. Brainwashed. Manipulated. Take your pick. I think it was usually a combination of several.
Patriotism, honour, valour, nobility are just words or concepts that the guilty or brainwashed wish to cling onto, in order to rationalize their support for cold-blooded, premeditated murder. They don't wish to accept the truth about what they have done or supported, since the truth is rather unpalatable. The comfortable little notion, that they were acting with God's blessing, no doubt helped them through the moments of uncertainty.
Like leaving a bomb in a resturant or bar. Or a car-bomb in a busy street.

Or shooting a person on a Sunday morning, leaving a church / chapel. Yes Frank, it happened, and more than once. An easy target on a Sunday. Probably not carrying a gun into a place of worship. Somebody setting a regular pattern, that was easy to target. Same place, same time. Like clockwork. Although I doubt God would have been impressed, that he was used in this way.
But was God responsible for it? Or was he used by others with evil minds?

Were they all acting on behalf of God or the Devil? Or neither? Were they acting for God, or against him?

Despite how it may appear to many around the world, most of the people engaged in the killing in this country, have a very limited grasp of Christianity, or religious faith. Indeed, many of them would even be atheist or agnostic. Especially those who are influenced by Marxist politics. (Which may come as a bit of surprise to some patriotic, flag waving Americans, who were perhaps unwittingly supporting Marxist radical-subversives, who maintain contact with other radical groups or nations around the world, that are hostile towards the USA....but that's another story!!)
Others have a somewhat selective interpretation of the Bible, much in the same way as some Muslims can twist the Koran to help justify murder. 'Religion' is just a label that's used to divide people into 'sides' in this country. The conflict was / is more to do with politics / power, and very little to do with the contents of a Bible. Religion was / is used here as a tool (Or a weapon) by extremists. It's a means to an end. But can we blame God, when people use or abuse religion? Is it God's fault, or the fault of people?

Blaming God for the actions of terrorists in this country, is like blaming Ford for making the car that a drunk is driving when he kills people by crashing into them. It wasn't the 'maker' (Excuse the pun), who killed the innocent people. It was the person driving the car, or firing the rifle. Unless of course, it was all predestination (That's a discussion without an ending.)
Maybe God is behind terrorism and drunk driving, and I just don't understand the deeper message of his work. But I doubt it. For starters, I think heaven would have a strictly enforced 'no alcohol' policy, which would have obvious implications for God's handiwork on earth. Dabbling in drunk driving, just doesn't sound like God's modus operandi. If I had to point an accusing finger for drunk driving, it would be towards the guy with the hooves and tail. That's more like his specialty!

Or perhaps God's doesn't wish to intervene every single time that we mortals decide to murder, maim and destroy one another. Perhaps we have the freedom to act independently? Perhaps we are supposed to learn from the mistakes that we and others make, in order to evolve as beings. Maybe that's a condition of entry, into that exclusive club in the sky.

Lots of questions.Very few answers.

Lots of people, searching for the answer to the biggest question of all.......

Is there a God?

People are free to choose what they wish to believe......until they get the chance to find out the answer!


I'm not sure that I can actually imagine a God, that isn't in the Bible. People have a hard enough time trying to imagine the one that is in it, so your suggestion at some Godly lateral thinking, is a little difficult to get my head around!
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 May, 2003 02:49 pm
Stinger wrote:
I'm not sure what you mean, when you say God takes "delight" in war and killing. Maybe I'm missing something?!

(Let us assume for a moment, for ease of discussion, that there is a God)


Okay. But keep in mind that we are only assuming!

Quote:
A lot of people think that killing, in a war for example, is sometimes regrettable but necessary. They don't necessarily take any "delight" in it. The same thing could perhaps be said about God.

I'm not an expert on the subject, but I don't think the Bible mentions God rubbing his hands and having a hearty laugh, before he smites some mortals!


Well I am an expert of sorts on the subject -- as I've made studying the Bible a hobby for the last 40 years -- and I can tell you that considering the kinds of rewards the god of the Bible sets up for his "chosen people" if they war on others, I don't think the expression "...the god delights in war" is inappropriate.

If I may respectfully suggest that you read Deuteronomy -- I think you'll see what I mean.

Quote:
Although I imagine that it's 'non-belivers' who are usually on the receiving end of his smiting.Which I suppose is a less than subtle message from God. If you want his help, you have to believe. If you don't believe, and you mess with him, then you're in trouble!


You could not possibly be more wrong here, Stinger. In the Bible, the god of the Bible kills all sorts of people and there is not an agnostic or an atheist among them. In fact, the god seems to pick on "believers."

Quote:
Let us not forget of course, that if there is a God, then there is also a Devil. Good versus evil. Light versus dark. If that's the case, then God can't take the rap for all wars, droughts, famines, murders etc.


Why not? If the god created and allows this devil to exist and function -- who is ultimately responsible. Did you ever hear of laws about conspiracy, aiding and abetting, prior knowledge, and stuff like that. Anything "de debil" does, your god is complicent.


Quote:
But was God responsible for it? Or was he used by others with evil minds?


Not sure how to answer you here, Stinger, but you folks are always thanking your god for all the good stuff. Why is it not logical to blame him for the bad?

Quote:
Is there a God?



Beats me! But if I had to guess -- and if I guessed that there is a God -- I sure as hell would never insult that God by also guessing that he is that murderous, barbaric god described in the Bible.
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snood
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 May, 2003 05:29 pm
Frank-
It seems to me to be the absolute essence of maturity to be able to accept the fact that two people can be fed the same bady of information, and come to two completely different conclusions. For example, you look at the bible, and come away with an impression of a God who is murderous and barbaric. I find there a God who is eternally merciful and loving.
IMO, those who cannot absorb this very unavoidable part of the human condition (perspective) seemed destined to languish in the spiritual mediocrity of self-absorption, ever challenging all they meet to join them there.
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Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 May, 2003 05:37 pm
snood wrote:
Frank-
It seems to me to be the absolute essence of maturity to be able to accept the fact that two people can be fed the same bady of information, and come to two completely different conclusions. For example, you look at the bible, and come away with an impression of a God who is murderous and barbaric. I find there a God who is eternally merciful and loving.
IMO, those who cannot absorb this very unavoidable part of the human condition (perspective) seemed destined to languish in the spiritual mediocrity of self-absorption, ever challenging all they meet to join them there.



You seem to be inferring that I cannot.

I can.

But can also have my say -- and discuss why I feel as I do when asked.

Why don't you try to absorb that concept.

And while you are at it, why not debate me on what the god of the Bible is like -- since the first five books of the Bible describe what the god does and says -- and the first five books describe a pathetic, murderous, barbaric, jealous, vengeful, quick to anger, tyrannical, petty cartoon god.

Then the Bible goes on with another 1000 pages with people like you who are terrified of the threat this monster poses -- and like you, they glorify and talk about how merciful and loving the thing is.

We disagree -- and I am totally willing to cite why I consider the god to be what I say it is -- if you are willing to face the truth.
0 Replies
 
Stinger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 May, 2003 01:42 pm
First of all Frank....

"Not sure how to answer you here, Stinger, but you folks are always thanking your god for all the good stuff. Why is it not logical to blame him for the bad?"

Be careful Frank, of labeling people. I didn't say what my religious beliefs are. So you don't know if I am one of those "folks".

Where I come from, people have learned to be careful about volunteering that sort of information to strangers. It's called self-preservation. A skill that comes naturally, with a lifetime of practice. I don't even have to think about it.

A lot of people in my country haven't made it back home safely, because of their 'perceived' religious beliefs. Some have been kicked or beaten to death. Butchered with a knife. Very personal forms of killing, by people filled with hate. Unlike the slightly more detached, but never out off fashion, gun or bomb. Often, the victims were killed by strangers. The first and last encounter with their murderer. Quite often, people were victims of mistaken identity - perceived to be of a particular religion, when in fact, they were not. But the perception was enough to provoke hatred / bigotry in others.

People killing because of religion. Or so they claim. It had more to do with ignorance and hate. But they believed their own propaganda. Their rationalization of evil. Personally, after watching the dance macabre of the past thirty years or more, I can't say that I have seen any evidence, of any God, actually being involved in the violence. People have certainly used him as an excuse, but I didn't see God carrying an assault rifle at any time. Or repeatedly dropping a large piece of concrete onto a person's head, until the brain tissue was splattered across the ground.

As I said before, the violence in my country, although perceived by many to be of a religious nature, has in reality, very little to do with religion. Although religion is a useful method of neatly dividing people into labeled boxes, and a convenient, generalized way of explaining events here, it is rather superficial, and overlooks the complexities of our past and present. It overlooks the fact, for example, that there was division and conflict on this island, in pre-Christian times, so the whole Protestant versus Catholic thing, is just part of a bigger picture.

So has God been taking "delight", in centuries, or to be more precise, more than two thousand years of division and conflict on this little island in the Atlantic? Well, I can't say that I have seen any credible evidence to support that theory. I can just go by what I know, and by what I have seen. Basically, it all boils down to the one common denominator.

People.

They come in all shapes and sizes. Different likes and dislikes. Various opinions or beliefs. Some good people, some evil. Or maybe that's a matter of opinion, or perspective. What is evil? Anyway.....Did 'God' make them that way? Or did God give them a choice? Did THEY choose which path to lead through life, or was it preordained by God? (Again, that is a discussion with no ending, and no way of proving who is right.) When they went down the path they had chosen, did they have the option to turn around, and travel in a less harmful or destructive direction? Maybe we all have been given the freedom of choice by God, and some people simply make the wrong choice.

Perhaps Frank, much of God's "delight" in suffering, as you see it, is in reality the delight of evil, or misguided / ignorant / corrupted / manipulated......people. Blaming it all on God, suggests that we are not responsible for our own actions. If that's the case, how can we convict a criminal in a court prosecution, if God made him / her do it, and therefore he / she wasn't responsible for their own actions?
People have a choice of how to lead their life, and must suffer the consequences if they break the rules. If people succumb to temptation, (Perhaps that's where the Devil comes in), then it's their choice. Maybe it was a test, and they failed it. Their lack of restraint, or compassion for others etc, was their undoing. They chose to deviate from a 'righteous' path through life. It's a pity that people go that way, but in an era of increasing 'victimhood', in which seemingly nobody is guilty of the crimes they commit - it's always someone else's fault (Usually society's) - maybe people need to be taught that once you cross the line by breaking the rules, no matter how slightly, they have only themselves to blame for anything bad that happens to them. They set the chain of events in motion, when they acted in a certain way.

Does God occasionally kick ass!? If he really does exist, then why shouldn't he? If he made us and everything around us, then I suppose he has the prerogative to do whatever he sees fit, with his 'children'. Especially if the kids break the 'rules'! (The population of Sodom probably would have been wise to be more restrained.) I'm not sure why you feel a 'compassionate' God, can't sometimes get angry with the beings that he is said to have created. Maybe it's the ultimate in 'Tough Love'!!
I don't really see what is wrong with a biblical carrot and stick approach. Do as you are told, and you may have the chance to enter heaven. Break the rules, and receive a lightning bolt in the head. Seems like a pretty good system of parental control, if you ask me. Maybe it's more a case of 'children' having respect for their 'father', and doing as he says, rather than us having to live in fear of a cruel, vicious God.
There are many mortal things that I would place higher on a 'fear list', than any God (Real or imaginary). Back in the good old bad old days, when I sometimes felt the need to search under my car for a bomb, before getting inside, I wasn't checking to see if a cruel sadistic God had left a small package of plastic explosives as a surprise for me (Gee what a kidder that guy is!). No Frank, it was just my naturally curious and inquiring mind, that made me check incase some pesky terrorist had decided to pay me a visit. Then when I got inside the car, I would leave the door wide open, just incase I had missed something. At least if a bomb exploded, the door wouldn't be jammed closed, and if I was only badly injured rather than dead, then I could perhaps fall out off the car, and crawl away before the car went up in flames. Turning the key in the ignition, I wouldn't be thinking that God was cruel or barbaric. More likely I was hoping for some divine intervention, or at least, a faulty detonator.

The Old Testament, in places, is a little like a Quinten Tarrantino movie. (Watch Pulp Fiction if you haven't seen it already, and you'll spot a scene involving Samuel L. Jackson, quoting from the Bible - you may find it interesting if you have read Deuteronomy!!). Maybe you should just stick to the New Testament. Perhaps it has a lower body count. More Disney than Tarrantino.

How much of the Bible is supposed to be verbatim testimony of actual historical events, or allegorical stories designed to educate, or interpretations of events beyond the comprehension of an ancient people etc etc etc....is open to debate.
How you see it, is up to you. If you want to 'believe' or not, is also up to you. Some people take a very positive message from the Bible, and spend their life trying to live a 'good life'. Which is hardly something that I would wish to criticize. I don't care if people read the Bible or the Koran, or whatever, if they interpret the religious message of their chosen book, in such a way that they then make a positive contribution to society, or the wider world.

I don't really see what can be achieved from trying to prove ,or tell people that God, Buddha, Allah, Vishnu, or whatever supreme, omnipresent, supernatural being people wish to worship, is pathetic, murderous, barbaric, jealous, tyrannical etc. If people find comfort in their religious beliefs, or are inspired to help others, and are not harming me, then I don't even care if they believe their toaster is a holy object, and worship it accordingly.
I know that during the years of conflict in my country, many people who were living through a personal hell, because of fear of what was happening around them, or because they had been involved in a tragic / violent event, found solace in religion / God. Despite how some people had misused religion to justify and perpetuate terrorist violence, religion also did a lot of good. There were many 'Christians' urging tolerance, and peace. I'm not blaming God, (or even my holy toaster), that some chose not to listen to them. That says more about the people who indulged in violence, than it does about God, Christians, or even my omnipresent toaster!

If there is a God, the terrorists (And apparently you as well Frank), will have some explaining to do, when you meet him! Be sure to contact me through my toaster. I would love to know how well he takes your constructive criticism. If you do meet up with him, thereby proving his existance obviously, be sure to thank him for me. A little advance positive PR, couldn't do me any harm. Let him know I'm sorry for the times I doubted, but since I was willing to ask him for a favour whenever the crap was hitting the fan, it surely must indicate he should give me the benefit of the doubt, since I didn't give up on him completely! And I certainly didn't describe him as, "a pathetic, murderous, barbaric, jealous, vengeful, quick to anger, tyrannical, petty cartoon god."

Good luck trying to explain that sentence to him! For your sake, he better have a sense of humour as well.

I'm just going off now to listen to God, via the trumpet of Miles Davis. Perhaps you should listen to the masterpiece called 'Kind Of Blue'. Anyone who listens to Miles and friends, improvising jazz on that all time classic album, has to at least be open minded on the possibility of a God, heaven and all the rest. Surely a cruel, viscious God wouldn't have given us Miles Davis......or Ella Fitzgerald......or Marvin Gaye.......or Jackie Wilson....or Aretha Franklin......
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 May, 2003 01:58 pm
I love jazz, Stinger.

Have a good time -- and a peaceful day.
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Stinger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 May, 2003 09:41 am
While I was listening to Miles, I had a thought about predestination.

If we are simply puppets, and God is pulling the strings, then the Ten Commandments would have been a little pointless. What is the point in giving us rules, dos and dont's, unless we have free will, or the ability to make some choices in life. We must be captains of our own destiny, or at the very least, first mate!

So we can't blame God, or my toaster, for every bad thing that happens. Since we, or another human, probably had something to do with creating the situation in the first place. Even 'natural distasters' have a human element. People decide to live in Kansas, despite the fact that the place is known for being a little windy...as is Florida etc. If you buy a home in San Francisco, you can't be too surprised if the ground vibrates now and then. Planes crash - made / repaired / piloted by humans. People make choices, that put them into potentialy dangerous situations, then some of them blame 'God' for not protecting them.

There you go. That's predestination cleared up!
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 May, 2003 12:45 pm
Stinger wrote:
...So we can't blame God, or my toaster, for every bad thing that happens. Since we, or another human, probably had something to do with creating the situation in the first place. Even 'natural distasters' have a human element. People decide to live in Kansas, despite the fact that the place is known for being a little windy...as is Florida etc. If you buy a home in San Francisco, you can't be too surprised if the ground vibrates now and then. Planes crash - made / repaired / piloted by humans. People make choices, that put them into potentialy dangerous situations, then some of them blame 'God' for not protecting them.



You made some good points here, Stinger.

But if it is all so -- why do religious people spend so much time thanking their gods for all the good stuff that happens???

Seems to me if it is appropriate to thank the gods for the good stuff -- blaming the gods for the bad stuff is appropriate. But if blaming the gods for the bad stuff is not appropriate, it seems to me that thanking the gods for the good stuff is inappropriate also.

What say you?
0 Replies
 
Stinger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 May, 2003 03:32 pm
"You made some good points here, Stinger."

I can't take the credit. I was just repeating what my toaster said to me during a conversation over breakfast last week.

I think we will all eventually find out the answer to your question. Since the one absolute certainty in life, is death. If there is an afterlife, I imagine a LOT of questions will be answered. Is there a God? What is the meaning of life? Was the last US presidential election fixed? Why has the latest series of Frasier been so disappointing? Why is Tom Cruise so popular?

If there is nothingness after death. Well....we won't realize, since by that stage, we will have started reverting back into our basic building blocks, and moved on to construct some other person, animal or object.

My toaster did once mention to me that some Christians have an open mind on the issue of people dying in disasters, being murdered etc. That while it's sad, tragic, and so on, for those of us spectators left alive, it's all part of a bigger plan, and we mere mortals are not privy to the details of that plan. If God is responsible, then there is probably a purpose, that will eventually become clear. Perhaps not until after we die.

For all we know (And this is just me speaking here, not an expert), the people that have died in a disaster, will get a free pass through the pearly gates, in return for their apparently premature demise in an 'act of God'. Maybe they were created for that very purpose. Maybe that is where predestination comes in. Virtually everything in their lives, was free will, but at a certain point in their life, they were destined to book a seat on the doomed plane. Thereby creating an emotional / spiritual / religious effect, on those people left behind. Perhaps it's a test for the rest of us. Maybe...maybe not. Someday, perhaps we'll learn the answer.

Since we are all dying from the moment we are born, and our time on this planet is finite, (As far as I know) then people are maybe just upset about being 'short changed'. That they, or a loved one, died prematurely. Didn't reach the national average. Didn't die of natural causes after a long and happy life, as anticipated. It's certainly natural to be upset about a tragic death. We are just humans after all!! It's a completely normal, and expected emotional response. Indeed, if people didn't get upset, that would be very abnormal behaviour, and a cause for concern.

Many people even blame God, when put into such stressful circumstances, since some people have high expectations about what he can do. Or at least, what they THINK he can do. Even though it's a little ridiculous for us think that he is going to intervene to avert every death, disaster or war. If he did that all the time, nobody would die young. Or perhaps never! So why should we think that we are deserving of preferential treatment? Although, there is always the possibility, of something unexpected occurring, during a moment of drama - an astonishing co-incidence that saves lives - a bit of good luck - a 'miracle' - divine intervention. It depends on who you ask. Luck, or God at work?

Perhaps he intervenes sometimes, to make us think. Impress. Astonish. Amaze. Convert people into believers? His way of sending a message to those who doubt? Display his handiwork. Perhaps it's evidence of him battling with his Satanic Majesty. The Devil knocks out a couple of engines on a plane, God helps the pilot conduct a successful emergency landing, and nobody is hurt. The crew and passengers, are free to interpret the evidence, as they wish. They have a choice. Great piloting skills, a great piece of luck, or a helping hand from God?

Why do people thank God for the "good stuff"? Well, if he created us, and everything else in the universe, then that means he set everything in motion. He started the ball rolling. Or created the 'big bang', or whatever! Therefore he is responsible for all the good things happening. Without God creating the universe, you, me, my toaster, wouldn't be here to enjoy the good stuff. So if we feel the urge to thank whoever is responsible for all the good stuff happening, then ultimately, if you go back down the chain, it would lead to God (Or whatever you feel created things in the first place!).

What about the bad stuff? Well, that would depend on who you ask! As I have probably mentioned before, we can't be sure about anything. Even belief in God, is a matter of faith. People are free to believe the 'evidence', or not. But people could put the bad stuff down to various causes. God giving people a smack, to punish them for stepping out off line, and not following his instructions. The Devil getting one over on God. Or God giving people free will, and allowing us to make decisions that may or may not have disastrous repercussions for ourselves and others.

No doubt, we could compile a list of alternatives to explain the "bad stuff". It's up to the individual to decide which one they prefer to believe to be correct. If someone wants to blame God for the bad stuff, then that is also an option. Although, it's perhaps an unwise option, if it turns out that there really is a God!! But you pays your money, you takes you chances!

I find that contemplating the size, and creation of our universe, usually prevents me from ever feeling certain about the bigger questions in life. I certainly won't rule out anything. No matter what people say, even physicists, there is nobody that can answer with certainty, how we got here, or why. Scientists have theories, and some have religious theories. People have the freedom to choose which they can have the most faith in. If they wish, they can even believe it to be a fact.

Apparently, once upon a time, the contents of our universe could have been held in your hand. Then it went bang, or to be more precise expanded, in about a minute or so, to create a universe, and it is still growing.....maybe. It could contract sometime. Maybe it already is, and we just don't know it....yet! However, even the Big Bang theory, does not fully explain, what existed before the Big Bang? Where did the stuff come from, that went bang!? How could it come out off nothing? It's mind blowing trying to contemplate it all. Obviously, it's something that we don't have all the answers to, and perhaps never will. We're not even sure if this is just one of many adjoining universes, and this just happens to be one that has a piece of spinning rock, on which exists various living species, of which we are one.

Is a supreme being responsible for our universe? Or was it the result of some mind boggling piece of science, that our puny minds can't yet comprehend?

Right now, I'm not ruling anything out. Not even the concept of a God. If the existence of a God, means the possibility of an afterlife, and the opportunity to meet up again with friends and family for all eternity, and make new friends such as Miles Davis, Leonardo Da Vinci or Beethoven, then visiting a God seems a much more desirable option than, visiting a web site (www.everythingexplainedbyeggheads.com) to see a complicated series of mathematical equations that fully explain our presence on this little planet. I would rather hold out, and dream that the 'unknown', is something more amazing than a lot of boring algebra. Anything, visit a God, something spiritual, or even floating around the universe as particles of intelligent space dust, has got to be better than discovering life can be explained by an algebraic equation, which ultimately for us, equals zero. What an anti-climax that would be!
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 May, 2003 03:48 pm
Good post, Stinger -- or, good post, Stinger's toaster.


Quote:
Right now, I'm not ruling anything out. Not even the concept of a God.


Good for you. That is exactly how I feel.

And as for eternity -- and what, if anything comes after, I try to keep in mind that even if there are no gods -- that does not necessarily mean there is no "hereafter."

Physics may be the reason we -- and everything else -- are here. And physics may be a lot more complicated than we think. Perhaps the gods do not have a monopoly on hereafters -- perhpas physics has some surprises in store for us.
0 Replies
 
Stinger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 May, 2003 02:09 pm
Frank

I knew that it was only a matter of time before we would agree on something Smile

The creation of our universe, is so amazing, that it's good sometimes to stop and think about it. It keeps everything in perspective. No matter who or what was responsible for it, God, or mere science, it's still a marvel. Everything from planets and star systems, to humans and even small bugs, are evidence of a miracle....religious or scientific.

Check out the Hubble telescope pictures. The images on many of the pictures, are actually millions of years old. It's taken that long for the light to travel across space, before Hubble picked up the image that you see. That gives us some idea of the scale of our universe.

A bee might not seem like a big deal, in the bigger universal picture, but could you make one of those little guys? I wouldn't know where to start. Even if I was partially successful, I think the flying bit would always be problematic! I would have to redesign. Give it an extra set of legs, to compensate for all the extra walking it would have to do, on account of the ineffective wing action.

Even though the humble bee is such a complicated design / production task, we take it for granted, along with so many other things around us. Quite often, even fellow humans are expendable. It makes you realize, how little we as a species, appreciate the work that went into creating us, and everything else around us. People often place such a low value on living things. Each one is unique, and a 'miracle' of sorts. Perhaps I should feel guilty when I see all the dead flies on the front of my car!

We're living on a tiny piece of rock and gas, that is spinning around a star we humans named the 'Sun'. Somewhere out there, in the incomprehensible vastness of space, may be the answer to the question of why we are here. Possibly the answers to all our questions. Perhaps, some day, everything will make sense, or maybe we will see that there was a purpose for everything....the good stuff and even the bad. I certainly hope so. At least it will take the sting out off all the bad stuff!!!!

Maybe it's best that we don't know all the answers just yet. Our ignorance leaves opportunities for some 'shock and awe' in our lives. If we had a detailed map, and knew what was around every corner, it would spoil the adventure.
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