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Re: Skeptic

Post by MauEvig » Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:22 pm

I think abio genesis and Evolution are actually two separate things. Abio genesis is what most atheists describe as how life began in the first place, how amino acids are formed and eventually the first cells. Abio genesis is basically a hypothesis that says life began on it's own, without a creator. How that actually happened is left up to debate, because there are a lot of different ideas how that actually happened, from energy vents under the ocean, to a bolt of lightning, or just the right conditions. One old theory is the primordial ooze.
Whatever the case may be, abio genesis is the beginning of life, but on it's own without a creator or any sort of force behind it, and I also take that to mean that no spiritual force exists behind it either, that life is little more than a mixture of chemical compositions that work together to function in an organism. Evolution is change over time, it may be little changes, but scientists believe these little changes add up over time until there's a larger change, while some changes may just happen rather rapidly. There was a discovery made about a lizard who could give live birth, which may give scientists clues as to how reptiles evolved into mammals.
Science is indeed a very fascinating thing, but taking something as fact is based on evidence, testing and research. The scientific method if you will. Also, life may become less complex over time, but that's still evolution. It's still change, regardless if it's a bad change or good change. Then there's the entire natural selection thing. Evolution is what changes the organism, but natural selection determines if that change is beneficial, or harmful according to what environment one is living in. Beneficial traits are passed onto further generations of that species, while harmful traits die out.

But science aside, I don't believe in God for several reasons, but I do respect Christians as they are entitled to their beliefs just as I am entitled to believe there isn't a God. I try to respect everyone's opinions. As far as hell goes, I'm actually less afraid of hell than I am of ceasing to exist. I rather feel eternal pain and torment than to feel nothing.

I don't think eastern philosophies are the only ones who believe in reincarnation, I think some western pagan religions might have such beliefs. My understanding of Nirvana is the idea of the end goal being to cease to exist, so I sort of see your point there. I don't think all eastern religions believe this, but I'm not entirely sure. The general rule in Eastern philosophy has a different look on the soul entirely, in other wards there are actually two souls within a body, one that stays with your body even after you die, and another that goes onto reincarnate.

As far as free will is concerned, I do believe free will does exist, I really don't see how it can't unless there's something behind the scenes manipulating our own thoughts.
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Re: Skeptic

Post by Murfreesboro » Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:01 pm

I see what you are saying about abio genesis and how it differs from evolution. I guess that is just a personal decision, whether one is inclined to think that life began on its own or from some supernatural source. Neither side will ever be able to prove it. To me it seems unreasonable to suppose that so many fortunate, congruent things just happened without any guiding force, although I am certainly very familiar with the concept of natural selection.

I am no authority on the nuances of Eastern religious thought, but I got intrigued with reincarnation many years ago and did research about that. And, yes, I think many ideas from various Eastern philosophies were adopted or imported by the New Age movement, which includes the neo-pagans.

I believe in free will, too, obviously, but those in my daughter's psych class who take the opposing view would argue that, as you summarized it, "life is little more than a mixture of chemical compositions that work together to form an organism." I gather from what she has told me that they reduce human thought, emotion, etc., to chemical reactions within the brain, so one is (according to that theory) at the mercy of his brain chemistry, a deterministic view. I asked her on what basis, then, would they condemn anyone for anything--should one blame Hitler, for example, for the Holocaust, if he had no free will? Theoretically, I guess they couldn't. However, I don't believe that any one of those people in that class actually behaves as if he doesn't believe in free will. And she said that they had told her you must behave as if there were free will, even though there isn't, really. I think that is a contradictory premise. Why must you behave as if there were free will, if there isn't really?

I prefer Edmund Burke's observation (Reflections on the Revolution in France), when he said that "Behavior is the only language which rarely lies." When people are saying one thing and doing another, their actions testify to their true beliefs.

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