How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by daniel, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Well, I agree they are to *die* for. Guess I'm going to the mythical hell too
     
  2. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    (Going back to your earlier post...)


    And some people have 'magnetic' personalities...:)

    Scientifically thinking, is there any possibility that certain people really do have some sort of electrical energy field that screws up electronics?
     
  3. mrblaise

    mrblaise Go Lakers!!

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    I can agree with that. I only take issue with those who believe their opposite viewpoint is correct, while mocking others for their viewpoint when neither viewpoint can be confirmed.

     
  4. Stev0

    Stev0 Honorary Hong Kong Cavalier

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    No, YOU'RE the one who is playing with words. I'm defining "god" under a pretty standard definition: the thing that created the universe. Do I believe He is a white-haired male with a flowing beard? Of course not. Do I even believe He is a He? I doubt it. However, getting back to my definition, unless you are insisting none of us exist, you have to admit we were created at the very beginning. Whether this force that created us cares a whit about what we do or don't do, I'll leave for somebody else to worry about (all evidence points that it doesn't, however), but whether you say "God", "Allah", "The Flying Spaghetti Monster", or "The Big Bang", these are all different names for the same damn thing.
     
  5. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    I've always considered the "Big Bang" to be a physical manifestation of physics rather than some sort of deity. Of course the Big Bang theory is just a theory; none of us were around to observe it.
     
  6. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    I suspect they don't hate him.


    Of course if you mean a person must hate another person to ridicule that person for their beliefs, I suspect you are an only child. I am one of 8 children and to be ridiculed for my beliefs as a child was an almost daily occurrence however I know that every member of my family loves me and would defend me with every means at their disposal should I need defending. The fact that my brothers, sisters, even my parents at times ridiculed my beliefs has nothing to do with them hating me, because they didn't hate me.

    People have different beliefs, some people find the beliefs of others funny, get over it. We are a requirement of your faith after all.

    James 1:3For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
    1 Peter 1:7These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold--and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
    2 Corinthians 13:5Examine yourselves to see if your faith is really genuine. Test yourselves. If you cannot tell that Jesus Christ is among you, [ Or in you.] it means you have failed the test.
    1 Peter 1:7These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold--and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.


    Of course you can not hate anyone if you have faith in god;

    James 2:1My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim that you have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people more than others?

    Enough of that.
     
  7. Stev0

    Stev0 Honorary Hong Kong Cavalier

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    You're absolutely right at both points, which is my point:
    A) What we call "God" and "The Laws of Physics" are pretty much the same thing.
    B) Nobody knows. Nobody will ever know. So if anybody says they DO know, invite them in for a nice big bowl of STFU.
     
  8. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    Agree on point B. Don't see it the same way for point A.

    Here is the difference between "God" and "The Laws of Physics":

    God is a concept that people have about a creator, not a scientifically derived theory. There is no test available to test for the existence of God, you must take His/Her existence on faith.

    The Laws of Physics are theories about the way that the physical world works. The laws were first formulated by observing events in the world and then forming a theory about how the world works. Then the theory is tested by devising an experiment to prove or disprove the theory. If the theory holds in every experiment, and is accepted by the vast majority of scientists, then it is considered a law. You don't have to have faith in the laws of physics, you can test them yourself.
     
  9. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Could be. I would like to study it
     
  10. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    Again, the concept of a "creator" is very different from the concept of a process. The big bang did not "create" us in the sense of making a decision. We arose out of it. In all standard definitions of the word "god" a god must have volition. A process, even if you may regard it as creative in the sense that something arises from it, has no volition. The moment you ascribe volition to it, you have a god. And it is precisely the attribute of volition that I believe does not exist in the natural processes that gave rise to physical structure and life in the universe.

    However, there is a lot of evidence for it. A basic cosmology course can give you an outline. The discovery of the cosmic background radiation pretty much convinced everyone in the field of the big bang, and since then a number of attributes and maps of the background radiation as well as a number of other measurable characteristics of the observable universe such as the ratio of hydrogen to helium, have added significant weight to the theory.

    Again, no, because god, by definition, has volition, and the laws of physics do not. As I've said before, you can define god in an unconventional way to "prove" any point you like, but then we're just talking past each other. But all standard, generally accepted definitions of god include volition. I will go so far as to say that the sole difference between god and nature is volition. If you ascribe volition to nature, it is god. If you deprive god of volition, you have nature. Nature (or "mother" nature) is god without volition, and that is a critical difference when defining atheism, because no atheist denies the existence of nature (or the laws of physics or the physical processes that give rise to structure). What the atheist denies is the assertion by religion that nature has volition, in other words, god.

    So in the end you're just playing with words, and trying to be offensive to atheists by claiming that nature is god and therefore they should agree to call themselves theists.
     
  11. Stev0

    Stev0 Honorary Hong Kong Cavalier

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    Huh, you're right. I have always been confused about the concept of prayer (as in "Oh, Lord, please cure Aunt Mary's cancer/let me get this job/don't let them find the bodies/etc."). People are always going on about how God is all-knowing and if something bad happens "it's all part of His plan", so with prayer you're being arrogant enough to assume you know better than He does and have a better plan.

    If you throw volition into the mix (sure, why not?), it all makes sense. God chose on a whim to give Aunt Mary cancer, and you're hoping to get him to just as arbitrarily change his mind.

    Which then brings up the question to theists: Assuming this is true, then why IS there evil in the world? Why does God then choose to cause hurricanes, famines, plagues, etc., and not stop mass murders, accidents, and so on? Assuming the difference between God and Nature is volition, that means God is pretty much a real a-hole.
     
  12. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    Why does god allow there to be atheists? If he really wanted a heap of people sucking up to him by saying how bloody marvellous he is wouldn't his plan have been that we would all suck up to him/her with all our might?

    Somehow I doubt people praying to god are trying to convince god he is wonderful, after all, he knows, but more likely they are trying to convince others or themselves.

    If there is only one god then why did the priest who conducted the ANZAC Day dawn service pray to several.
    He prayed to Oh God
    He prayed to Lord God
    He prayed to Mighty God
    he prayed to Holey God
    He prayed to Merciful God
    I'm sure there were more.

    He actually comes across as a nasty vengeful bugger, believe in me or rot in hell, what a guy!
     
  13. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    Haven't used this one for awhile. :madgrin:
     
  14. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    Lewis Black says the Old Testament God is like a raging alcoholic. :D
     
  15. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    I had a classmate in high school who prayed before every serve when we played ping-pong. He actually thought god might make him win the point if he asked. His prayer was "answered" about half the time when he and I played, but almost never answered when he played against the Persian kid, Assad.

    Christian Scientists don't believe in prayer. They say (quite reasonably) that there's no point in praying for stuff, because god knows what's best for you better than you do, and there's no point in praying thanks because god knows if you are thankful in your heart. They advocate instead exerting yourself to improve yourself. Too bad they're such total idiots when it comes to medical care.

    The standard answer is that it's a mystery we cannot comprehend. (I say bullshit to that one.) Another possible answer (playing god's advocate here) is that this life is fleeting and inconsequential. If you then are a universalist (believing that everybody goes to heaven) then it all comes out right in the end. But the most likely explanation comes from Kent (I think) in King Lear: "As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods: They kill us for their sport." If there is a god he does not love us at all.

    Again, the standard answer is that god gave us free will. The problem with that is that since nobody can know whether or not there's a god, or if there is, which religion is the right one, free will becomes a crap shoot. Your chances of hitting it right are pretty slim. But here again, if you are a universalist, then the answer to your question is that god doesn't care whether you believe in him or not.

    I have a friend who is a Catholic universalist. Calling herself Catholic, and having taken vows as a nun, she nevertheless rejects most Catholic doctrine. (She says the Pope is well-meaning, but he's gotten it all wrong.) She believes everyone goes to heaven (because god loves us) and that god is sad when we behave like jerks. In her theology, god suffers more than we do, since god has chosen not to prevent evil, and the only reason not to be a jerk is that if you love god, you don't want god to suffer. She also believes that god is not all-powerful. (There is no logical reason why the creator of the universe must be all-powerful.) She has said to me (speaking of why a loving god would allow suffering in the world) "I would rather believe that god is not all-powerful, than believe that god is not all love." Of course, there's no reason to believe that the creator of the universe would love us. We're mostly a bunch of jerks.

    That's my reaction: If there's a god, he is more cruel than Vlad the Impaler. Though, again, if you are a universalist, none of this really matters. God has his little game with us and then we all get to sit on a cloud playing our harps for eternity. Maybe if we ask him nicely he'll build us a beer volcano.

    Alternatively, we're a bunch of jerks getting what we deserve.
     
  16. perryma

    perryma New Member

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    What kind of shoes are they wearing?
     
  17. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    Daniel said angels don't wear shoes and have sticky feet like a fly.
     
  18. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    I answered that way back in post #36:

     
  19. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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  20. Prius_SGP

    Prius_SGP New Member

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    I thought the answer was 16? But a better question would be what music would they be dancing too, since all the best musicians are always reported as having sold their souls to the Devil....

    Maybe the question should be how many Demons/Daemons can dance on the head of a pin?


    (For the answer see Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaimons)
     
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