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Re: Is there such a thing as an after life, the soul and gho

Post by Pumpkin_Man » Wed May 07, 2014 8:08 am

Actually, St. Thomas Aquinas' philosophy of the "Unmoved Mover" does incorporate reason in his belief in there being a creator. Also, if you want to look at it from a scientific view point, our earth is in exactly the right position in relation to the sun. If it was only 1 mile closer it would be too hot to support life, and if it where just 1 mile further away, it would be too cold. A lot of engineering went into the creation of our solar system alone, not to mention our eyes, ears, brains, etc. So belief in an "Unmoved Mover," or the 'Uncaused Cause" is quite valid and quite reasonable.

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Re: Is there such a thing as an after life, the soul and gho

Post by NeverMore » Wed May 07, 2014 9:16 am


Actually Mike, our system's habitable zone is quite large. Earth just happens to be at the perfect spot for life as we know it. Other solar systems' habitable zones may be different depending on the size of their sun. Of note, NASA is currently asking for suggestions on how to carry out a mission to Jupiter's moon Europa. Europa being the place most likely to have life in this system, other than Earth. The implications of them finding any kind of life outside our biosphere are staggering.

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Re: Is there such a thing as an after life, the soul and gho

Post by Pumpkin_Man » Wed May 07, 2014 10:48 am

I think a faster space ship will be needed to take a trip to Europa. As for life there, who knows? NASA also discovered a planet out in the galaxy that is in what they call the "Goldie Lox" zone, which means that temperature wise, it very could be suitable for life.

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Re: Is there such a thing as an after life, the soul and gho

Post by Murfreesboro » Thu May 08, 2014 5:45 am

Mike, you are right that Thomas Aquinas is considered the "rational" theologian, the one whose philosophy makes the most of use of human reason, however you want to phrase it. He lived in Paris in the 13th century (1200s), at the height of the Middle Ages. Paris at that time represented a kind of zenith of Medieval civilization. Then, the next century, the Black Death came and shattered what scholars now call "the Medieval synthesis." People began to lose faith in everything because of the horrors they were experiencing. It wasn't just the plague, but social, economic, and political upheaval caused by so many people dying.

I studied the 14th century (1300s) in several college & graduate courses I took in Chaucer, who lived in England during the 14th century. Fascinating, but terrible, times. I think the only other century that might rival it for large-scale horrors is the 20th.

As for the notion of life outside planet Earth, I have never been too concerned about it. If they find it, cool, but nothing about that would change what I think about God. When my husband was in the military, he had a Top Secret security clearance, because he needed that to do his job. However, just because he had that clearance, that didn't mean he knew every Top Secret our country had. Rather, he knew just what he needed to know in order to do his job. That is a military concept, the "need to know." I figure the same thing about religion. I know what I need to know from the Bible. That doesn't mean I know every secret in the universe.

Mau, when you said you needed evidence and couldn't rely on faith alone, you reminded me of the disciple Thomas, the one who said he needed to touch Jesus's wounds in order to believe. Jesus loved him, too. Skepticism is a very human impulse, and useful in many ways. :)

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Re: Is there such a thing as an after life, the soul and gho

Post by MauEvig » Thu May 08, 2014 10:33 am

Wow, I walk away for five minutes and now we're talking about aliens. :lol:

Murf there's more to science than experimenting. There's also observing and gathering evidence. The theory of evolution for example, is something that scientists can observe and see going on. If put to the test, you'll find things like bacterial cells becoming immune to antibiotics. The immune bacteria live on to reproduce, which is natural selection in action, although it's not that natural because it's happening due to human interference.
Things like Quantum Physics I think might work a little differently as well. So I think the soul itself could be discovered through scientifc means and observation. Studies even now are being done to determine what happens when people die. If the soul does exist, it must be made up of something smaller than the human eye can see directly. There was a time when people theorized that microbials caused infections, and not demon spirits. They discovered not only microorganisms, but cells as well. These are things that are observed. Fossils are also something that can be observed.
So I think in order for the soul and the afterlife to exist, it has to be something that can be observed. But because no one has ever returned from the dead, it's hard to observe what happens, if anything happens at all. But I do believe the soul can be found, and if the soul can exist without a body, then there is evidence right there that we live on after death. The afterlife itself could hypothetically be another dimension, or exist in a frequency unseen by the human eye. There are other frequencies that we cannot see with our eyes alone. As far as Thomas is concerned, he seems like a logical minded sort if he requires evidence. Certainly the old saying in the Bible is that blessed is one who believes but does not see, and maybe that could have convinced me when I was little, but when there seems to be so much evidence against the Bible, now the burden of proof is upon the Bible.
It's not to say I didn't like being a Christian. I believed whole heartedly in Jesus and the Bible when I was younger. But things change. Evolution did bother me when I was younger, but that wasn't what shook my faith. I simply believed Evolution was a lie of the devil and wasn't of God and tried to look into theories such as intelligent design and creationism, both of which seem to have been debunked.

Now because I do like discussing aliens and other planets, I think it would be awesome if we discovered life on another planet. It would be an awful shame if we were the only ones in the entire universe. Even if they found a planet with life on it no smarter than an average animal, that would be awesome enough. I do hope that whatever life we do find however, isn't going to be hostile toward us. I think they have found clues to the origins of life having begun through the process of a dying star, and being reborn in a new star system, but I could be wrong about that. They have discovered planets within the habitable zone on other stars, but it's hard to determine right now if they actually have life on them. For all we know, they could be like Venus and just be a giant rock surrounded by poisonous acidic clouds.

I am fascinated by the idea of Europa having life on it, which is basically right next store in terms of planets goes. How advanced life could be is debatable, and it may change our perspective on how and where life can arise in relation to the sun. The theory though is since the moon does have liquid water, and energy coming from the moon itself much like our own oceans, it's possible some forms of primitive life could exist there. If they found something like fish down there, that alone I would find impressive.

A friend of mine who is a devote Christian said his faith would be shaken if they discovered intelligent life, either equal to or greater than human beings on another planet. Now he's cool with science fiction, in fact he loves it but if he discovered it was real, it would make him question. But even from a non-religious perspective, even from someone who doesn't believe in God, if God did exist, why would he create only the Earth? Who is to say he does or doesn't have other children elsewhere, brothers and sisters in other worlds? Of course, that does beg the question of whether these other worlds and other intelligent beings would be affected by sin, or if God has a separate judgement in store for them. But it says all of creation groans because of sin, but would if affect other planets too, or just ours? Would these aliens look just like us, if they were made in "God's image?" Even if they did look human, I would imagine the skin tones and facial features would have variations that we didn't have. It would be a pretty huge coincidence if they looked like us, and if the animals there were like the animals here. But Evolution tends to take different courses. There is such a thing as convergent evolution though, so perhaps something like that could occur. Tazmanian Wolves represented and played the same role as many wild dog species like Wolves do in Austrailia before they went extinct. Yet Tazmanian Wolves were marsupials and not even closely related to Wolves, while Wolves are Placental Mammals. But would things like mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and such pop up? Or something completely different that we've never seen before?
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Re: Is there such a thing as an after life, the soul and gho

Post by Pumpkin_Man » Thu May 08, 2014 1:00 pm

That sounds very interesting about the middle ages, Murf. I know that a lot of the horror icons that I grew up knowing and loving are tooted in that era of History that you mentioned. I would love visit England, too as well as Transylvania and France.

As for the existence of Aliens, I do believe that they do exist some where, but I have never personally saw any or even spotted a UFO. However, the discovery of life on another planet, IMHO, would tend to put more weight on Thomas Aquinas' philosophy of the "Unmoved Mover." Planets orbiting the Habitable Zone, according to most NASA scientists, are a rarity.

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Re: Is there such a thing as an after life, the soul and gho

Post by Kolchak » Thu May 08, 2014 2:49 pm

I got stuck in several philosophy classes in college. My favorite Philosopher was Rene Descartes who is famous for saying...."I drink, therefore I'm drunk" at least I think that's what he said! :lol: :lol: :wink: :wink:

I carried a top security clearance too. In fact, to this very day I cannot go to China unless I get written approval from the Department of Defense. I have no desire to go to China, but if I did....

It's amazing how you listen to shows like Coast to Coast AM and others, and you marvel how easy it is to fool people. I've listened to people claim they were this or that in the armed forces BUT their files were destroyed by the SECRET GOVERNMENT that runs everything, and people believe them. Sad but true. You spend 4 years in uniform, I can promise that SOMEONE will remember you. So that dog won't hunt.

When it comes to people babbling about conspiracies like alien abductions, JFK assassination and the One World Government, you just shake your head at how gullible people are and how easy they are to be taken in by someone who doesn't have an ounce of evidence to back up his story.

IF aliens DO exist AND are coming here, then it is THEY who don't want to be seen. Is that a good thing? :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :roll: :wink: :twisted:

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Re: Is there such a thing as an after life, the soul and gho

Post by MauEvig » Thu May 08, 2014 3:10 pm

I take it the "Unmoved mover" philosophy has something to do with the fact that the Universe must have an unchangeable immortal outside influence? I'm not entirely sure what that has to do with finding life on other planets.
Considering they haven't found life on other planets as of yet, I would agree that it is rare, but it's also possible that it's not as rare as we think. Until our technology advances enough where we can go and actually see the planets for ourselves, we just won't know.

An old guy at work claims he's seen a UFO, but I'm not sure how true it is or not.

I'm not sure that's a good thing Kolchak. The worst enemy is the one you can't see, assuming any aliens out there are hostile.
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Re: Is there such a thing as an after life, the soul and gho

Post by NeverMore » Thu May 08, 2014 4:25 pm

MauEvig wrote:If the soul does exist, it must be made up of something smaller than the human eye can see directly.
Maybe the 'soul' is actually an extension of the real us living in another dimension, and the meat-bags we occupy in this dimension are not equipped to view or remember anything from there? Maybe someday we'll build machines that can see into this theoretical dimension? I wonder if that's what heaven is?

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Re: Is there such a thing as an after life, the soul and gho

Post by MauEvig » Thu May 08, 2014 4:41 pm

If that's the case, maybe living on Earth is really just a simulation of what hardships really are?
An interesting philosophy, although I'm not sure how true it would be. If reincarnation took place, I wonder how that would work in that scenario? Your "meatbag" body died so you start over? Like a video game?
It could be what Heaven is. I had a strange idea once that Earth was Hell, and we kept being reincarnated until we earn our way into Heaven. But now I think that's a strange philosophy and don't really follow it. Though you never know.
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Re: Is there such a thing as an after life, the soul and gho

Post by Kolchak » Thu May 08, 2014 5:21 pm

I'm not sure that's a good thing Kolchak. The worst enemy is the one you can't see, assuming any aliens out there are hostile.[/quote]

That's NOT what I meant. You have stupid people out there who are saying that the government is keeping alien contact from us. They say the "secret" government knows all about it and they are keeping the truth from us.

If aliens ARE coming here, regardless of where, where is...It's a 1,000% certainty THEY are superior to us in all things technical. It does not take a great leap in Socratic thought to come to the realization that if these aliens had such a desire they could use their technology to turn this planet into a burned out piece of garbage.

So, it does not take a further leap in logic to understand that regardless of how our government or ANY government on this planet feels, if the aliens wanted to show themselves, there is little (actually nothing) any nation can do to prevent it.

So, to conclude....IF aliens exist. IF aliens are coming here. IF this is all true. The only thing holding the aliens back is THEIR desire to be seen.

THAT'S what I meant in my previous post.

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Re: Is there such a thing as an after life, the soul and gho

Post by MauEvig » Thu May 08, 2014 5:45 pm

Oh OK! Sorry about the confusion then.
You do have a good point, if aliens are out there, and they landed on Earth, why would they remain hidden like that and try to manipulate the Government?
The only thing I can think of then is if aliens were real, and didn't want to be seen except by specific people, it's because they want to enslave us. I think that's what people think in regards to that.
But as for me, I'm not entirely sure. If there are aliens there's so many possibilities out there as far as what their true nature would be. We can only speculate.
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Re: Is there such a thing as an after life, the soul and gho

Post by Murfreesboro » Fri May 09, 2014 5:43 am

Fascinating speculations down here!

I get what you are saying about the role of observation in science, Mau. I guess I just don't expect the soul to turn out to be anything material, hence measurable, but who knows?

My older son, the mathematician, is interested in some theory he's got that he believes could reconcile quantum physics with relativity and Newtonian mechanics. At least, I think that's what he says he's thinking about. I gather that looking for the way to reconcile these theories is sort of like the medieval alchemists looking for the philosopher's stone. My son tells me he is either a genius, or he is going mad, and he is not quite sure which way he is headed. I'm pretty sure he's a genius, but that doesn't mean he isn't going mad as well. :)

Actually, Mau, your discarded theory about reincarnation--that it might be a way for souls to work their way toward Heaven--is similar to something I had wondered about a few years ago. It had to do with concepts of time, how time can be viewed as either cyclic or linear. To be stuck in the cycle of reincarnation, which is to say, the earth-bound cycle, would be a type of hell. To accept Jesus and be redeemed from this cycle would be heaven. Christianity is, of course, a very linear religion--one life, one redemption, one after-life. There really is no room in it for reincarnation that I can see, although clearly there were people alive at the time of Jesus who believed in that (which is why, I'm guessing, some people in his own generation wondered if he were Elijah come back from the dead). But if you reject the idea of reincarnation, then you are stuck with those stories like the one told a few years ago about the little boy who remembered WWII. If that story was for real, how to explain it? I can't explain stuff like that.

The theory of evolution just doesn't disturb me at all, nor does the possibility that there might be life, even intelligent life, elsewhere. I have no trouble accepting the idea that God, in His infinite creativity, can do whatever He likes in these matters. What I have more difficulty with is the idea that everything came from nothing. That doesn't make any sense to me.

Although I am not a Creationist, in the sense of being someone who rejects the theory of evolution, I do think the Creationists have one good point. They point out that the theory of evolution asks us to believe that everything goes from a state of lesser to greater complexity, when our observation suggests the opposite--that the principle of entropy prevails. (I believe entropy is the correct term--I'll have to check that.)

I also read a very interesting essay a number of years ago by the science writer Tom Bethell, who was interviewing a group of scientists called "Cladists." I gather they are people who spend their lives studying the physical structures of fossils. He entitled his essay "Agnostic Evolutionists." At that time (1980s?) these scientists were being ostracized and marginalized by the scientific community because they refused to subscribe to the theory of evolution. Bethell asked one of their most prominent representatives if he believed in evolution. The man responded, "As a matter of fact, I do believe in it. But isn't it interesting that you have to ask me the question in that way? Because when you ask me what I believe, you are asking a question of faith, not science."

I actually suspect that faith is every bit as operative in the scientific world as in the world of religion. I also believe that much of what gets reported in our media as scientific "truth" may not always be as objective and fact-based as those of us outside the scientific community would like to believe. Scientists are just people, after all, and they are subject to the same herd mentality and prejudices that afflict all groups of people.

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Re: Is there such a thing as an after life, the soul and gho

Post by MauEvig » Fri May 09, 2014 6:45 am

That may be the difference in our thinking Murf, I think if anything does exist, it must be something observable. It's true that any belief requires some deal of faith, I guess faith is just a term I try to avoid because it doesn't make me feel or sound logical. But I think if I were to have faith in absolutely nothing, I would probably be an atheist and quite possibly a nihilist. But even atheists who don't believe in anything supernatural still have faith in humanity and many are naturalists and humanists. They are decent people, but I'm just not satisfied with that way of thinking either. A lot of people think atheists are bad people, but I've come to find out that it's the complete opposite. They help people without expecting a reward in return, knowing there may not be anything there when we die, and I can respect that. The only problem with that is that I just can't accept that morals came about as a survival mechanism like many believe. Sure common human decency is certainly a good thing, but good and bad, right and wrong, would not really exist. It would just be something made up by human beings and have no real foundation, no real consequences. No Karma, no Hell, nothing. My problem with that is that someone could murder someone and not have to face the consequences for it if they don't get caught. Our judicial system can only do so much. Human laws alone are flawed. Whether it's true or not, I'm not satisfied with not believing in anything supernatural.
It sounds like your son might be a mad scientist lol which fits right in with the theme of Halloween ironically. He might have something there, who knows. He could be the next winner of the nobel peace prize. I myself don't know a lot about Quantum Theory, the theory of Relativity and Newtonian Mechanics. I'm no scientist, but I do think there's something to Quantum theory. Mathematics and Science often go hand in hand since Science uses Mathematical equations and formulas like E=mc^2. I wish him the best of luck. Let me know if he discovers the soul!
My Discarded theory might make some sort of sense after all. I kind of think there may be some final afterlife people can go to and rest after being reincarnated so much. However, even if my theory is correct, it still begs the question of God's existence. My idea of what a God is, may not be the Christian God. I sort of liked Nevermore's idea that the sum total of all souls made up the force that is God. I can sort of see something like that. God within all of us, within all living creatures, within the rocks, trees and earth, within the sun and surrounding planets and moons, stars, etc. However, I do think animals have a soul as well. Perhaps the soul is some kind of energy that surrounds the brain. I do believe in Auras and the Chakra system. From the way you made it sound, it was almost as if you combined Buddhism with Christianity, and Jesus takes the place of the Buddha, the difference being that you aim to accept him and go to Heaven instead of trying to become nothing. I suppose the one thing I have to disagree with is having to rely on someone else in order to get to Heaven, or any sort of final reward.
Here's my official stance on God:
I'm an Atheist because I reject the traditional sense of what a God is, I do not believe in the JudeoChristianIslamic God, nor do I believe in any of the Pagan Gods. (Even though Bastet is awesome being a cat Goddess, and I have a little cat statue of her, she's probably not real either.) A lot of times, I'll just say I'm an Atheist to make things easier to explain rather than go through my entire system of belief.
I'm an Agnostic because I cannot know, or prove one way or another that God exists. Being Agnostic means I don't know, while an Atheist simply means I do not believe. The two co-exist in regards to a stance on something. Any intellectually honest person is an Agnostic, because no one can really know one way or the other. They can believe, but knowing is a different ball game.
I'm a Pantheist because I believe that if a God does in fact exist, this God is within nature, and one with nature and the Earth and not above it. It may drive natural laws forward and be the unseen force that drives natural processes, but that's it. It's not all knowing, all present and all powerful. It's not male or female. It exists in all things. This would also explain why prayers I've said were never answered.
I have other beliefs as well. Being a spiritualist, I do believe in animal and human souls and an afterlife. As an animist, I believe all living things have a spirit.
Evolution used to but I'm becoming more comfortable for it. I suppose it depends on whether you were taught to take a literal, or figurative interpretation of the Bible. Some sources indicate that the Hebrews were originally polytheists.
I know many Christians do accept the theory of Evolution, but I think growing up believing that God created everything in 6 days, and looking at what happened in the events of Creation versus Evolutionary theory, it doesn't quite add up. Now, you could say that it's a poetic interpretation of how God created the world, but how does it account for Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden? If Evolution is a struggle for survival over millions of years, how is it that there was no sin or killing or death before the fall of man?
I think Evolution is more than just from lessor to greater complexity. Really, I think it is supposed to work like Russian roulette. Natural mutations occur in an offspring that are either beneficial to that offspring in that set environment, or detrimental. If beneficial, the offspring will pass on it's new genetic information to new offspring and vice versa, eventually separating itself from the species of it's parents. These little mutations add up over millions of years to make what we are today. If it's detrimental, it dies out. There's been far more extinctions and unsuccessful mutations than there have been successful ones. In that respect, we've all won the lottery of life. That life is rare, precious and fragile.
Claddistics sounds like a different evolutionary model in which all life is not related, only life that is similiarly related (such as the cat family, or the family of primates). Sounds interesting, but we have genetic evidence to the contrary. We share 90% of our DNA with cats. They have found transitional fossils like Tiktaalik. They found the fossil evidence for the first placental mammal. They have observed Reptiles in nature go from an egg laying stance to a live birth model, which may explain how Mammals evolved from Egg laying Mammals, to Placentals. (I think Marsupials must fit in there somewhere.)
I think the difference between faith in the scientific world, and faith in religion is that science gets results from making predictions. That's how they were able to discover cell theory, and discover fossils like Tiktaalik. I agree, scientists would be subject to that sort of scrutiny. But I think that's part of their job to be questioned, and those questions help them discover new things. It's not easy being a scientist. But while science may be about discovering the truth about our world and our universe, not a single scientific belief is absolute and always subject to change. Evolution just so happens to have stood the test of time and more has been found out about it.
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Re: Is there such a thing as an after life, the soul and gho

Post by Pumpkin_Man » Fri May 09, 2014 7:57 am

MauEvig, the 'Unmoved Mover" philosophy is in reference to how complicated that life is, and that it couldn't have happened by accident. If you were to put all the parts needed to build a car into a catapult, launch them all up into the air, what are the chances that each and every part will fall in place to form a drivable car? It's a lot more complicated with the Universe and life. A car is not even close to being as complicated as even some of the simplest microbes. However, if our Earth was the one and only planet that sustains life in the entire universe, then that would tend to prove what the atheists are saying, that it was all a colossal accident that happened by chance. However, if we start discovering life on other planets, an intelligent society, and other solar systems with life sustaining planets on them, then that would be all the more proof that there has to be some kind of engineering and thought behind it's creation. That's what is proposed St. Thomas Aquinas in his "Unmoved Mover' writings.

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