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Posted by Aurino Souza on November 12, 2003 14:14:35 UTC

Hi Alan,

I haven't seen the movie, nor am I planning to. I only managed to tolerate the first one. Too much violence. The last movie I saw was Mystic River - highly recommended for the acting, the story, and the moral/philosophical issues.

I recognise your point re: the word "God".

I'm glad you do. I often have a hard time explaining why words are so important.

But how do you get a knowledge of English?

That is an excellent question, Alan, but I suspect the answer lies outside the system, so to speak.

You get that knowledge; not by going around in circles in a Dictionary. You get it by what philosophers call "ostensive definition"; things like as a child you see the circumstances in which a word is used and you make a MATCH of patterns.

Yada yada yada... as a child you knew nothing about ostensive definitions or patterns. That's the same bunk you're trying to debunk, don't you realize that?

I totally agree with your debunking efforts, we have discussed that before, but you can't debunk something by throwing more bunk around. It doesn't work like that.

This movie is extremely useful in this discussion. Do you think reality is made of numbers? Open your eyes....

Vanilla Sky, right?

Alan, please repeat with me one more time: "reality is not made of numbers". Got it now? Just one more, do it for me please: "reality is not made of numbers"

Can we adopt a convention? Whenever we use a word without quotes, we're referring to the thing the word is supposed to refer to. When we quote a word, as in "word", we're talking about the word itself. Makes discussion a lot easier. So now look at this:

1. Reality is... well, I'm not quite sure.

2. "Reality" is whatever you want it to be, with the caveat that once you define what "reality" is, please stick to your definition, otherwise I'll have no clue what you're talking about.

But they ARE born with the ability to construct a knowledge of English by comparing words with other words; and more basically by looking at the circumstances and context in which words are used;
they are born capable of comparing and matching patterns (even making educated guesses in the course of experience).


Yada yada yada... that's how adults learn a new language. How kids learn language, I wish I knew, so I could speak and understand English as well as my five year-old sun dies.

You think I understand English but that's just an illusion I became quite proficient at creating. I basically think in Portuguese, my native language, and then translate my thoughts to English. How did I learn to do it so well? Doing the very thing you described above! But I know the difference between my knowledge of English and my knowledge of Portuguese, and I know that the process by which I acquired English would not work if I didn't know Portuguese before.

(let me whisper you a secret: I think kids learn language by reading the minds of adults, but let's keep that to ourselves, alright?)

So I do not dispute certain aspect re: your point: I have direct experience of it; BUT it doesn't alter
the fact that I can, regarding patterns that I experienced which had no words to stick to them BACK THEN when I was a baby: I can MATCH these patterns from baby-hood TO the patterns that make up the word "God".


Bunk! There are no patterns that refer to God, only patterns that refer to "God".

"God" is the creator of the universe, the omniscient, almighty being that controls our destiny, yada yada yada.

God is nowhere in our sensory experience of the world. There are no patterns to match.

If I had never heard of the word "God"; that does not mean I would have no such idea; I might use another word to try to fit my baby-awareness and life experience.

Exactly my point! But let me tell you a secret: that is exactly what happened! You had your baby-awareness and life experience, and you chose a word to fit your experience. You chose the word "God" thinking it fits your experience, but how can you be sure of that? How can you know "consonance" or "pachyderm" aren't better words to describe your baby-awareness and life experience?

Think about that for a while! How did you happen to choose the word "God"? It has nothing to do with God itself, as you're smart enough to understand.

However I am grateful to have heard about Jesus Christ as a lot of things make sense.

That is beside the point. Where did Jesus Christ get his awareness of the things he talked about? I believe he explained that himself.

THAT is a problem I saw possible with my comment!

Alan, Alan, there are many problems with your comments you still have to see. I've been trying to show you those, but you won't be able to see the problems for as long as you assume that the things you write must make as much sense to others as they make sense to you.

But how can I talk of "God" without seeming to measure HIM? I can bear witness to my experience: one could say that this conversation between you and me is going on inside GOD; we are in Him and He in us; you and I are at the edge of eternity

Yada yada yada.

Number: just a sticker. Why stick a sticker on it?

This reminds me of a story about some famour robber I can't remember the name. When asked why he robbed banks he replied, in all candour, that it was because that's where the money was.

Why stick a sticker on a stick? Because sticking stickers is what we do when we are talking about things! The business of talking is the business of sticking stickers to things, then sticking stickers to those stickers, then sticking stickers to those stickers on stickers, and so on and on all the way to German philosophy.

I do not have anything against MATH; I just see through this MATRIX to the light beyond it

There is no Matrix, Alan, except for the one you created for yourself. We are all prisoners of our own truths, in the sense that we can't accept anything that seems to contradict them. I told you this before: the biggest flaw in the Matrix (the movie) is that Neo doesn't think for a second that his ordinary life is real and the apocalyptic world is a hallucination. There is no Matrix, or everything is a Matrix, ultimately it makes no difference whatsoever.

Thomas Szasz wrote that if "health values" are deemed to justify coercing others; those who wish to coerce others will welcome say expansion of "health values" into what were "moral values".

Thomas Szasz is as full of bunk as the psychiatrists he's trying to debunk.

I am for freedom

So am I, but I still have to forfeit most of it so I can pay my heating bills.

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