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Page: 123
Kooothor


Kooothor

member
Location: Paris

Total posts: 129
Posted:Hey everyone,

I came across this text over the internet and I thought I will share it with you cause : one : you're english speaking people
and two : you seem very involved in "God" topics
This text is very nice for open-minded people. I would love to see reactions of both atheists and believers biggrin

It's a little bit long, but eh.. It's God talking !
Here it is, ENJOY :

===========================================
Talking to God...

I met god the other day.

I know what youre thinking. How the hell did you know it was god?

Well, Ill explain as we go along, but basically he convinced me by having all, and I do mean ALL, the answers. Every question I flung at him he batted back with a plausible and satisfactory answer. In the end, it was easier to accept that he was god than otherwise.

Which is odd, because Im still an atheist and we even agree on that!

It all started on the 8.20 back from Paddington. Got myself a nice window seat, no screaming brats or drunken hooligans within earshot. Not even a mobile phone in sight. Sat down, reading the paper and in he walks.

What did he look like?

Well not what you might have expected thats for sure. He was about 30, wearing a pair of jeans and a "hobgoblin" tee shirt. Definitely casual. Looked like he could have been a social worker or perhaps a programmer like myself.

Anyone sitting here? he said.

Help yourself I replied.

Sits down, relaxes, I ignore and back to the correspondence on genetic foods entering the food chain

Train pulls out and a few minutes later he speaks.

Can I ask you a question?

Fighting to restrain my left eyebrow I replied Yes in a tone which was intended to convey that I might not mind one question, and possibly a supplementary, but I really wasnt in the mood for a conversation. ..

Why dont you believe in god?

The [censored]!

I love this kind of conversation and can rabbit on for hours about the nonsense of theist beliefs. But I have to be in the mood! It's like when a jehovas witness knocks on your door 20 minutes before youre due to have a wisdom tooth pulled. Much as you'd really love to stay You cant even begin the fun. And I knew, if I gave my standard reply wed still be arguing when we got to Cardiff. I just wasnt in the mood. I needed to fend him off.

But then I thought Odd! How is this perfect stranger so obviously confident and correct about my atheism? If Id been driving my car, it wouldnt have been such a mystery. Ive got the Darwin fish on the back of mine the antidote to that twee christian fish you see all over. So anyone spotting that and understanding it would have been in a position to guess my beliefs. But I was on a train and not even wearing my Darwin "Evolve" tshirt that day. And The Independent isnt a registered flag for card carrying atheists, so what, I wondered, had given the game away.

What makes you so certain that I dont?

Because, he said, I am god and you are not afraid of me

Youll have to take my word for it of course, but there are ways you can deliver a line like that most of which would render the speaker a candidate for an institution, or at least prozac. Some of which could be construed as mildly amusing.

Conveying it as "indifferent fact" is a difficult task but thats exactly how it came across. Nothing in his tone or attitude struck me as even mildly out of place with that statement. He said it because he believed it and his rationality did not appear to be drug induced or the result of a mental breakdown.

And why should I believe that?


Well he said, why dont you ask me a few questions. Anything you like, and see if the answers satisfy your sceptical mind?

This is going to be a short conversation after all, I thought.

Who am I?

Stottle. Harry Stottle, born August 10 1947, Bristol, England. Father Paul, Mother Mary. Educated Duke of Yorks Royal Military School 1960 67, Sandhurst and Oxford, PhD in Exobiology, failed rock singer, full time trade union activist for 10 years, latterly self employed computer programmer, web author and aspiring philosopher. Married to Michelle, American citizen, two children by a previous marriage. Youre returning home after what seems to have been a successful meeting with an investor interested in your proposed product tracking anti-forgery software and protocol and you ate a full english breakfast at the hotel this morning except that, as usual, you asked them to hold the revolting english sausages and give you some extra bacon.

He paused

Youre not convinced. Hmmm what would it take to convince you?

'oh right! Your most secret password and its association'

A serious hacker might be able to obtain the password, but no one else and I mean

NO ONE

knows its association.

He did.

So how would you have played it?

I threw a few more questions about relatively insignificant but unpublicised details of my life (like what my mother claims was the first word I ever spoke apparently "armadillo"! (Don't ask)) but I was already pretty convinced. I knew there were only three possible explanations at this point.

Possibility One was that I was dreaming or hallucinating. Nobodys figured out a test for that so, at the time I think that was my dominant feeling. It did not feel real at the time. More like I was in a play. Acting my lines. Since the event, however, continuing detailed memories of it, together with my contemporaneous notes, remain available, so unless the hallucination has continued to this day, I am now inclined to reject the hallucination hypothesis. Which leaves two others.

He could have been a true telepath. No documented evidence exists of anyone ever having such profound abilities to date but it was a possibility. It would have explained how he could know my best-kept secrets. The problem with that is that it doesnt explain anything else! In particular it doesnt account for the answers he proceeded to give to my later questions.

As Sherlock Holmes says, when youve eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

Good empiricist, Sherlock.

I was forced to accept at least the possibility that this man was who he claimed to be.

So now what do you do?

Well, Ive always known that if I met god I would have a million questions for him, so I thought, why not? and proceeded with what follows. Youll have to allow a bit of licence in the detail of the conversation. This was, shall we say, a somewhat unusual occurrence, not to mention just a BIT weird! And yes I was a leetle bit nervous! So if I dont get it word perfect dont whinge! Youll get the gist I promise.
***********************************



Forgive me if it takes me a little time to get up to speed here, but it's not everyday I get to question a deity

The Deity he interrupted.

ooh. Touchy! I thought.

Not really just correcting the image

Now That takes some getting used to!

I tried to get a grip on my thoughts, with an internal command - Discipline Harry. Youve always wanted to be in a situation like this, now youre actually in it, you mustnt go to pieces and waste the opportunity of a lifetime

You wont he said.

Tell you! Thats the bit that made it feel unreal more than anything else - this guy sitting across the table and very obviously accurately reading my every thought. It's like finding someone else's hand inside your trouser pocket!

Nevertheless, something made me inclined to accept the invasion, I had obviously begun to have some confidence in his perception or abilities, so I distinctly remember the effect of his words was that I suddenly felt deeply reassured and completely relaxed. As he had no doubt intended. Man must have an amazing seduction technique!

So then we got down to business

Are you human?

No

Were you, ever?

No, but similar, Yes

Ah, so you are a product of evolution?

Most certainly mainly my own

and you evolved from a species like ours, dna based organisms or something equally viable?

Correct

so what, exactly, makes you god?

I did

Why?

Seemed like a good idea at the time

and your present powers, are they in any way similar to what the superstitious believers in my species attribute to you?

Close enough.

So you created all this, just for us?

No. Of course not

But you did create the Universe?

This One. Yes

But not your own?

This is my own!

You know what I mean!

You cant create your own parents, so No

So let me get this straight. You are an entirely natural phenomenon.

Entirely

Arising from mechanisms which we ourselves will one day understand and possibly even master?

subject to a quibble over who "we ourselves" may be, but yes

meaning that if the human race doesnt come up to the mark, other species eventually will?

in one.

and how many other species are there already out there ahead of us?

surprisingly few. Less than fourteen million

FEW!?

Phew!

And how many at or about our level?

currently a little over 4 billion

so our significance in the universe at present is roughly equivalent to the significance of the average Joe here on planet Earth in his relation to the human race?

a little less. Level One, the level your species has reached, begins with the invention of the flying machine. I define the next level in terms your Sci Fi Author Isaac Asimov has already grasped. It is reached when you achieve control of your own primary the Sun. What Asimov calls a Type I technology. Humanity is only just into the flying machine phase, so as you can imagine, on that scale, the human race is somewhat near the bottom of the level one pack

and all these species are your children?

I like to think of them that way

and the point?

at its simplest, "Life Must Go On". My personal motivation is the desire for conversation. Once youve achieved my level, you cease to be billions of separate entities and become one ecstatic whole. A single entity that cannot die, however advanced, or perhaps, more accurately, because it is so advanced, will get lonely and even a trifle bored! I seem to be the first. I do not intend to be the last

so you created a Universe which is potentially capable of producing another god like yourself?

The full benefit will be temporary, but like most orgasms, worth it.

this being the moment when our new god merges with you and we become one again?

dont play it down, thats the ecstatic vision driving us all, me included and when it happens the ecstasy lasts several times longer than this universe has already existed. Believe me, it really is worth the effort.

Yes, I think I can see the attractions of a hundred billion year long orgasm

and humans havent even begun to know how to really enjoy the orgasms they are already capable of. Wait till you master that simple art!

So it's all about sex is it?

Ecstasy is merely a reward for procreating, it is what makes you want to do it. This is necessary, initially, to promote biological evolution. However once youve completed that stage and no longer require procreation, you will learn that ecstasy can be infinitely more intense than anything offered by sex

Sounds good to me!'

'How direct is your involvement in all this? Did you just light the fuse which set off the big bang and stand back and watch? Or did you have to plant the seeds on appropriately fertile planets?

The seeds evolved in deep space, purely as a result of the operations of the laws of physics and chemistry which your scientists have begun to attain a reasonable grasp of. Yes I triggered the bang and essentially became dormant for nearly 5 billion years. Thats how long it took the first lifeforms to emerge. That places them some 8 billion years ahead of you. The first intelligent species are now 4.3 billion years ahead of you. Really quite advanced. I can have deeply meaningful conversations with them. And usually do. In fact I am as we speak

So then what?

Do I keep a constant vigil over every move you make? Not in the kind of prying intrusive sense that some of you seem to think. Let's say I maintain an awareness of what's going on, at a planetary level. I tend only to focus on evolutionary leaps. See if theyre going in the right direction

And if theyre not?

Nothing. Usually

Usually?

Usually species evolving in the wrong direction kill themselves off or become extinct for other reasons

Usually?

There have been one or two cases where a wrong species has had the potential of becoming dominant at the expense of a more promising strain

Let me guess. Dinosaurs on this planet are an example. Too successful. Suppressed the development of mammals and were showing no signs of developing intelligence. So you engineered a little corrective action in the form of a suitably selected asteroid

Perceptive. Almost correct. They were showing signs of developing intelligence, even co-operation. Study your velocirapters. But far too predatory. Incapable of ever developing a "respect" for other life forms. It takes carrying your young to promote the development of emotional attachment to other animals. Earth reptiles arent built for that. The mammals who are, as you rightly say, couldnt get a foothold against such mighty predators. Youve now reached the stage where you could hold your own even against dinosaurs, but thats only been true for about a thousand years, you wouldnt have stood a chance 2 million years ago, so the dinosaurs had to go. They were, however, far too well balanced with the ecology of the planet, and never developed technology, so they werent going to kill themselves off in a hurry. Regrettably, I had to intervene.

Regrettably?

They were a beautiful and stunningly successful life form. One doesnt destroy such things without a qualm.

But at that stage how could you know that a better prospect would arise from the ashes?

I didnt. But the probability was quite high.

and since then, what other little tweaks have you been responsible for in our development?

None whatsoever. I set an alarm for the first sign of aerial activity, as I usually do. Leonardo looked promising for a while, but not until the Montgolfier brothers did I really begin to take an interest. That registered you as a level one intelligent species

So Jesus of Nazareth, Moses, Mohammed

hmmm sadly misguided Im afraid. Anyone capable of communicating with their own cells will dimly perceive me and all other life as being connected in a strictly quantum sense, but interpreting that vision as representing something supernatural and requiring obeisance is somewhat wide of the mark. And their followers are all a bit too obsessive and religious for my liking. It's no fun being worshipped once you stop being an adolescent teenager. Having said that, it's not at all unusual for developing species to go through that phase. Until they begin to grasp how much they too can shape their small corner of the universe, they are in understandable awe of an individual dimly but correctly perceived to be responsible for the creation of the whole of that universe. Eventually, if they are to have any hope of attaining level two, they must grow out of it and begin to accept their own power and potential. It's very akin to a childs relationship with its parents. The awe and worship must disappear before the child can become an adult. Respect is not so bad as long as it's not overdone. And I certainly respect all those species who make it that far. Its a hard slog. I know. I've been there.

Youve been watching us since the Montgolfiers, when was that? 1650s?

Close. 1783

Well, if youve been watching us closely since then, what your average citizen is going to want to know is why you havent intervened more often. Why, if you have that sort of power, did you allow such incredible suffering and human misery?

It seems to be necessary.

NECESSARY??!!

Without exception, intelligent species who gain dominance over their planet do so by becoming the most efficient predators. There are many intelligent species who do not evolve to dominate their planet. Like your dolphins, they adapt perfectly to the environment rather than take your course, which is to manipulate the environment. Unfortunately for the dolphin, his is a dead end. He may outlive the human race but will never escape the bounds of planet earth - not without your help at any rate. Only those who can manipulate the world they live in can one day hope to leave it and spread their seed throughout the universe.

Unlike the adaptors, who learn the point of cooperation fairly early on, manipulators battle on. And, once all lesser species have been overcome, they are so competitive and predatory that they are compelled to turn in on themselves. This nearly always evolves into tribal competition in one form or another and becomes more and more destructive - exactly like your own history. However this competition is vital to promote the leap from biological to technological evolution.

You need an arms race in order to make progress.

Your desire to dominate fuels a search for knowledge which the adaptors never require. And although your initial desire for knowledge is selfish and destructive, it begins the development of an intellectual self awareness, a form of higher consciousness, which never emerges in any other species. Not even while they are experiencing it, for example, can the intelligent adaptors - your dolphins - express the concepts of Love or Time.

Militarisation and the development of weapons of mass destruction are your first serious test at level one. You're still not through that phase, though the signs are promising. There is no point whatsoever in my intervening to prevent your self-destruction. Your ability to survive these urges is a crucial test of your fitness to survive later stages. So I would not, never have and never will intervene to prevent a species from destroying itself. Most, in fact, do just that.


And what of pity for those have to live through this torment?

I cant say this in any way that doesnt sound callous, but how much time do you spend worrying about the ants you run over in your car? I know it sounds horrendous to you, but you have to see the bigger picture. At this stage in human development, youre becoming interesting but not yet important.

'ah but I can't have an intelligent conversation with an ant'

'precisely'

hmm as you know, humans wont like even to attempt to grasp that perspective. How can you make it more palatable?

Why should I? You dont appear to have any trouble grasping it. Youre by no means unique. And in any case, once they begin to understand what's in it for them, theyll be somewhat less inclined to moan. Eternal life compensates for most things.

So what are we supposed to do in order to qualify for membership of the universal intelligentsia?

Evolve. Survive

Yes, but how?

Oh, I thought you might have got the point by now. "How" is entirely up to you. If I have to help, then youre a failure. All I will say is this. Youve already passed a major hurdle in learning to live with nuclear weapons. It's depressing how many fail at that stage.

Is there worse to come?

Much

Genetic warfare for instance?

Distinct Possibility

and the problem is that we need to develop all these technologies, acquire all this dangerous knowledge in order to reach level two. But at any stage that knowledge could also cause our own destruction

If you think the dangers of genetic warfare are serious, imagine discovering a secret thought or program, accessible to any intelligent individual, which, if abused, will eliminate your species instantly. If your progress continues as is, then you can expect to discover that particular self-destruct mechanism in less than a thousand years. Your species has got to grow up considerably before you can afford to make that discovery. And if you dont make it, you will never leave your Solar System and join the rest of the sapient species on level two.

14 Million of them

Just under

'Will there be room for us?'

'its a big place'

and, for now, how should we mere mortals regard you then?

like an older brother or sister. Of course I know more than you do. Of course Im more powerful than you. Ive been alive longer. But Im not "better" than you. Just more developed. Just what you might become

so were not obliged to "please" you or follow your alleged guidelines or anything like that?

absolutely not. Never issued a single guideline in the lifetime of this Universe. Have to find your own way out of the maze. And one early improvement is to stop expecting me - or anyone else - to come and help you out.'

'I suppose that is a guideline of sorts, so there goes the habit of a lifetime! '

'Seriously though, species who hold on to religion past its sell-by date tend to be most likely to self destruct. They spend so much energy arguing about my true nature, and invest so much emotion in their wildly erroneous imagery that they end up killing each other over differences in definitions of something they clearly havent got a clue about. Ludicrous behaviour, but it does weed out the weaklings.


Why me? Why pick on an atheist of all people? Why are you telling me all this? And why Now?

Why You? Because can accept my existence without your ego caving in and grovelling like a naughty child. '

'Can you seriously imagine how the Pope would react to the reality of my existence?! If he really understood how badly wrong he and his church have been, how much of the pain and suffering you mentioned earlier has been caused by his religion, I suspect he'd have an instant coronary! Or can you picture what it would be like if I appeared "live" simultaneously on half a dozen tele-evangelist propaganda shows. Pat Robertson would wet himself if he actually understood who he was talking to.

Conversely, your interest is purely academic. You've never swallowed the fairy tale but you've remained open to the possibility of a more advanced life form which could acquire godlike powers. Youve correctly guessed that godhood is the destiny of life. You have shown you can and do cope with the concept. It seemed reasonable to confirm your suspicions and let you do what you will with that information.

You can and will publish this conversation on the web, where it will sow an important seed. Might take a couple of hundred years to germinate, but, eventually, it will germinate.

Why Now? Well partly because both you and the web are ready now. But chiefly because the human race is reaching a critical phase. It goes back to what we were saying about the dangers of knowledge. Essentially your species is becoming aware of that danger. When that happens to any sapient species, the future can take three courses.

Many are tempted to avoid the danger by avoiding the knowledge. Like the adaptors, they are doomed to extinction. Often pleasantly enough in the confines of their own planet until either their will to live expires or their primary turns red giant and snuffs them out.

A large number go on blindly acquiring the knowledge and don't learn to restrain their abuse. Their fate is sealed somewhat more quickly of course, when Pandoras box blows up in their faces.

The only ones who reach level two are those who learn to accept and to live with their most dangerous knowledge. Each and every individual in such a species must eventually become capable of destroying their entire species at any time. Yet they must learn to control themselves to the degree that they can survive even such deadly insight. And frankly, theyre the only ones we really want to see leaving their solar systems. Species that havent achieved that maturity could not be allowed to infect the rest of the universe, but fortunately that has never required my intervention. The knowledge always does the trick


'Why can't there be a fourth option - selective research where we avoid investigating dangerous pathways?'

'As you can see from your own limited history, the most useful ideas are also, nearly always, the most dangerous. You have yet, for instance, to conquer fusion power but you need to do so in order to achieve appropriate energy surpluses required to complete this phase of your social development. It will, when you've mastered it, eliminate material inequalities and poverty within a generation or two, an absolutely vital step for any maturing species. Yet the discovery of the principles which will soon yield this beneficial bounty could, had you abused them, have ended your attempt at civilisation.

Similarly, you will shortly be able to conquer biological diseases and even engineer yourselves to be virtually fault free. Your biological life spans will double or treble within the next hundred years and your digital lifespans will become potentially infinite within the same period: If you survive the potential threat that the same technology provides in the form of genetic timebombs, custom built viruses and the other wonders of genetic and digital warfare.

You simply can't have the benefits without taking the risks'.


Im not sure I understand my part in this exercise. I just publish this conversation on the web and everything will be alright?

Not necessarily. Not that easy Im afraid. To start with, whos going to take this seriously? It will just be seen as a mildly amusing work of fiction. In fact, your words and indeed most of your work will not be understood or appreciated until some much more advanced scholars develop the ideas you are struggling to express and explain them somewhat more competently. At which point the ideas will be taken up en masse and searches will be undertaken of the archives. They will find this work and be struck by its prescience. You wont make the Einstein grade, but you might manage John the Baptist!

This piece will have no significance whatsoever if humanity doesnt make certain key advances in the next couple of centuries. And this wont help you make those advances. What it will do is help you recognise them


'can I ask what those advances may be?'

'I think you know. But yes - although you are at level one, there are several distinct phases which evolving species pass through on their way to level two. The first, as we've discussed, is the invention of the flying machine. The next significant phase is the development of the thinking machine.

At your present rate of progress, you are within a few decades of achieving that goal. It marks your first step on the path of technological evolution. Mapping the human genome is another classic landmark, but merely mapping it is a bit like viewing the compiled code in a dos executable. It's just meaningless gibberish, although with a bit of hacking here and there, you might correctly deduce the function of certain stretches of code.

What you really need to do is 'reverse engineer' the dna code. You have to figure out the grammar and syntax of the language. Then you will begin the task of designing yourselves. But that task requires the thinking machine'


You say you avoid intervention. But doesnt this conversation itself constitute intervention even if people alive now completely ignore it?

Yes. But it's as far as Im prepared to go. Its only effect is to confirm, if you find it, that you are on the right path. It is still entirely up to you to navigate the dangers on that path and beyond.

'But why bother even with that much? Surely it's just another evolutionary hurdle. We're either fit enough or not'

'In many ways the transition to an information species is the most traumatic stage in evolution. Biological intelligences have a deeply rooted sense of consciousness only being conceivable from within an organic brain. Coming to terms with the realisation that you have created your successor, not just in the sense of mother and child, but in the collective sense of the species recognising it has become redundant, this paradigm shift is, for many species, a shift too far. They baulk at the challenge and run from this new knowledge. They fail and become extinct. Yet there is nothing fundamentally wrong with them - it is a failure of the imagination.

I hope that if I can get across the concept that I am a product of just such evolution, it may give them the confidence to try. I have discussed this with the level two species and the consensus is that this tiny prod is capable of increasing the contenders for level two without letting through any damaging traits. It has been tried in 312 cases. The jury is still out on its real benefits although it has produced a 12% increase in biological species embracing the transition to information species.


Alright, so what if everyone suddenly took it seriously and believed every word I write? Wouldnt that constitute a somewhat more drastic intervention?

Trust me. They wont

'and so it's still the case, that, should another asteroid happen to be heading our way, you will do nothing to impede it on our behalf?'

'I'm confident you will pass that test. And now my friend, the interview is over, you have asked me a number of the right questions, and Ive said what I came to say, so Ill be going now. It has been very nice to meet you - you're quite bright. For an ant! He twinkled.

Just one final, trivial question, why do you appear to me in the form of a thirty something white male?

have I in any way intimidated or threatened you?

No

Do you find me sexually attractive?

er No!

So figure it out for yourself


Kooothor , French Crew
~~~~
i'm in your kitchen, drinkin' your milk

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 2830
Posted:How many people died in WWII?



Its pretty simple, war is horrible so I dont understand why you support it. If you support war and violence, stick up for war by saying it is important for human development and technology, then you help perpetuate that violence.





ok.

EDITED_BY: Stone (1198788568)


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted: Written by: Stone


See, you even try and justify Dr. Mengele by saying he did the medical community a huge favor.



Go read what I said again, please. And do not continue without publicly retracting the above statement, please.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Ey...

All the initial post is saying is that there are more than just one scale (the individual) in the evolution of a species. Dunno how we now end up circling over the rubbish...

Pain will always be a part of the learning process, whilst suffering will not. This does not indicate that we have to inflict pain in order to promote a learning process or evolution. Doing so is a choice.

Not sure whether your given reasons for opposing euthanasia are being correct, Flash. To me it's less the general learning experience but the individuals'.

The reason for advancing is irrelevant. Warfare (along with other "bad") technologies are now also used to benefit mankind. It's the usage, not the creators intent that counts.

OWD - are you talking about the past 50, 500 or 5000 years of African/ Middle East history? The immense struggle with nature and amongst each other within Europe has made this part of the world so successful. In other words: it's easier to be a vegetarian, if you have no winter to deal with.

More and more I am inclined to reject the conditioned concept of "good and evil" as it leads to separation when all that mankind needs more than anything is integration.

Why are we bothering ourselves so much with judgement over historical figures? We're trying to set a moral codex for the present and future - but this codex already exists for aeons. Mengele was a sick individual, as such he (and many of his companions) now act as the role model for "the ultimate evil". The favour they have done to mankind is to spark compassion and again strike the ethic nerve (as the entire III.Reich has).

I reckon we learned heeps from this, just the memory (of war) seems to be fading (therefore being "the bad side of peace"), which is why some nations are so eager to practice war (conveniently outside their own territory).


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted: Written by: FireTom




OWD - are you talking about the past 50, 500 or 5000 years of African/ Middle East history? The immense struggle with nature and amongst each other within Europe has made this part of the world so successful. In other words: it's easier to be a vegetarian, if you have no winter to deal with.



No, that's not what I was talking about.

I was addressing the POV expressed on this thread that war=progress.

I was pointing out that, in places where war is virtually perpetual, like parts of Africa and the middle-east, where AK47's are as common as mobiles, that progress of every kind (technological, industrial, cultural etc) is very, very low, compared to progress in places where war is not an everyday part of life (UK, Australia etc).


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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BurdaA
SILVER Member since Jul 2007

BurdaA

Sacrebleu
Location: At the quiet limit

Total posts: 377
Posted:Humanity has always gone out and looked for what it's wanted/needed. Increase the need, the search intensifies. So yes, war CAN progress technology (or social-ethics, or philosophy, art, etc.), but that's not to say it does. Just because doing something can accomplish something else, it doesn't mean it will.

Surely we could say the same about peace, love and freedom. Three values I cherish more than most, but all must be treated with the same respect as the evils of our world in order to succeed.

On another note, the original article makes me feel like watching Akira for some reason.

Evolved deities? Maybe. But surely just the suggestion of this could slow our progression, when we're pointed in one direction (the right one or otherwise) we tend to miss a lot of the beautiful blank areas of discovery. I do agree with some of the points, but without meaning to sound harsh, I'm pretty sure a lot of us have had these thoughts or similar without feeling the need to, well...

 Written by: whoever wrote the original text


At which point the ideas will be taken up en masse and searches will be undertaken of the archives. They will find this work and be struck by its prescience. You wont make the Einstein grade, but you might manage John the Baptist!




But to be fair a provocative article reasonably well put across smile

Cyberhippies of the world.. UNITE! wink


Poi(poi~y) n. : A Hawaiian food made from the tuber of the taro that is cooked, pounded to a paste, and fermented.
- part owner of Wooktastic

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin

Total posts: 3556
Posted:*sigh* excluded again

Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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Red_RaveN
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

Neo - Hippie
Location: Sala, Slovakia

Total posts: 358
Posted:Progress needs its time and resource. Like it was already said here.. Asians are constantly at war but they have hardly enough resources to wage war with, let alone to make any progress, material or not. Contrary to the west, which has plenty of resources, makes excellent progress and has no wars going on..

Or has it?

Think of the technological progress we are making. Global corporations competing for their customers, a "war" of it's own. Each one strives to get the most power and wealth. For that it needs to develop better products to offer.

Think of sport. Constantly competing athletes. Should every one of them be content with only a certain level of performance, sports records wouldn't be anywhere near todays levels.

Think of.. Medicine? Humans constantly fighting death and sickness. Thus, new and better treatments avilable.

Think on.. Im sure youll find more:)

Second thing.. Spiritual development.. My personal idea about this is, that what we should be dealing here with is more of a moral development. Lose the gods, at least for the discussion. A general idea of them is of course useful and wanted but it can really hurt any discussion with useless ballast.
We should concentrate more on dealing with the raw moral aspects, like, the relativity of morality. The relativity of good and evil, and also with the fact that there just isn't anything purely good or purely evil. Ever. Anywhere. And try to deal with it.
And also Newtons 3rd law applies(as basically anywhere, think karma). Something needs to be destroyed in order to create something else.
(Off topic, but this reminds me.. Ever notice how it takes so much longer to create something than to destroy it? Ever wondered how it would be the other way around? A beautiful contrast, dont you think?:))

There was probably more, but 2AM pressed delete thus I forgot.. So maybe later;)


Smile.. It confuses people..:)

Wonders never cease as long as you never cease to wonder.

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isol8ed
SILVER Member since Jan 2008

Member
Location: Brisbane

Total posts: 33
Posted:my question is about these higher life-forms. why havent they either enslaved us or simply wiped us out to use our space? they havent interfered at all

insert witty statement here

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isol8ed
SILVER Member since Jan 2008

Member
Location: Brisbane

Total posts: 33
Posted:your looking at the whole spectrum of time for humans, he's looking at the current state of the planet... at least thats my understanding of it

insert witty statement here

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Kooothor


Kooothor

member
Location: Paris

Total posts: 129
Posted:
Non-Https Image Link


biggrin


Kooothor , French Crew
~~~~
i'm in your kitchen, drinkin' your milk

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:OWD, you're absolutely right that constant (civil) war is a great obstacle in (technological) progress. On the other hand I can't say what positive effect dawns if the African nations come to be in peace. Like BurdaA put it:

"war CAN progress technology (or social-ethics, or philosophy, art, etc.), but that's not to say it does [inevitably so]"

One thing I draw from these conflicts is that they are pretty damn good at fighting killing each other, white influence is not necessary... shrug For my part I am incapable of predicting what will stem from this one day.

Another point is that by no means the first world is so rich in resources and the third isn't - in fact it's the other way round.

War may not be prevalent in the West (anymore and for a mere 50 years only) which is why we now are confronted with the constant fear and paranoia of a terrorist attack... It's the enemy within that we learn to fear.

Not necessarily something old has got to get destroyed to create something new, but it certainly is easier/ faster to destroy and create from new, than to modify the old.

Which is where the cycle of life and death draws it's entire justification from IMHO.

Higher lifeforms: how can you tell that they've NOT already enslaved us? wink *hides from incoming alien theories* If there would be an "ultimate being" then there would be no need for it to create anything for any reason, but then again my understanding is certainly limited being human.

"ultimate" = 1. last; furthest or farthest; ending a process or series: the ultimate point in a journey; the ultimate style in hats.
2. maximum; decisive; conclusive: the ultimate authority; the ultimate weapon.
3. highest; not subsidiary: ultimate goal in life.
4. basic; fundamental; representing a limit beyond which further progress, as in investigation or analysis, is impossible: the ultimate particle; ultimate principles.
5. final; total: the ultimate consequences; the ultimate cost of a project.
6. not to be improved upon or surpassed; greatest; unsurpassed: the ultimate vacation spot; the ultimate stupidity.
noun 7. the final point; final result.
8. a fundamental fact or principle.
9. the best, greatest, or most extreme of its kind)

In this respect the above theories both contradict each other, which is why some came to the conclusion that the truth must be somewhere in the middle = "in the beginning there was one "thing" that exploded and by that created everything" As long as there is no satisfactory theory beyond, I'll stick to that one.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Sethis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University

Total posts: 1762
Posted:So we have 2 points of view?

1. War prods forward technological evolution -> War is useful

2. War is not necessary to advance technology, but it does.

And saying "Pain is part of learning" is wrong. How about instead of a child burning itself in a fire, they have an adult teach them that fire will hurt if they touch it? Or have they not "really learned" until they experience the pain themselves? Should we burn every childs hand to teach them that fire hurts? Which child is better off, the child who has burnt his hand, or the one who never will?

(Replace the above child with "Humanity" and "God" for a parent and I wonder why God deems our "testing" necessary)

 Written by: Doc Lightning


No experiments on non-consenting humans are ever permissible.



But war is?

 Written by: Doc Lightning


Some death and destruction is necessary for us to learn.




I'm confused as to what exactly you define as ethically permissable. Large scale bombing of cities is ok, but science experiments on people aren't? It's fine for nuclear weapons to be used, so long as we don't torture people? Where are you drawing the line, and what's your rationale for doing so?


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Good and valid questions, bro'

my 2 paisa:

War should not be the motivation for progress/ advance but unfortunately it seems to have been a vital part of the human evolution so far. We may overcome this, but it's unlikely to happen in the very near future.

Do you have children, Sethis? Or have you been exposed to the educational process of children over a period of time? Or can you remember your parents or other bodies educating you on the

- dangers of open fire and the pain that results in touching a hot plate (and thereafter never touched it)
- dangers of using recreational drugs, including alcohol and tobacco (and thereafter never (ab)used any)
- dangers of participation in traffic, whilst obtaining a drivers license (after which possession you have always and at all times obeyed all applicable traffic rules)?

IMHO it's okay to raise moral issues and question other peoples approaches, but one should stay realistic by doing so.

Hence instead of asking other peoples rationale and line drawing, appeal for them to render their position - one should try to take the lead and clearly specify his own first (without asking suggestive questions) wink

Because basically we have 6 billion POV's smile


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Yeah well, its good for some to say that we cant evolve without war. Not my opinion btw. Personally, I dont see how we can say we have evolved at all when all we do is try and kill each other. Something we have been doing since the stone-age.

The theory that war equals technological progress is flawed at best. Chances are we would not have an energy problem today if we looked to nuclear fuels for peaceful purpose rather than for warmongering. Take Thorium for example, it has fantastic potential as a relatively safe nuclear fuel, but was never really investigated because it had no weapons potential. The irony wink


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Fine_Rabid_Dog


Internet Hate Machine
Location: They seek him here, they seek ...

Total posts: 10530
Posted:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KnGNOiFll4
smile


The existance of flamethrowers says that someone, somewhere, at sometime said "I need to set that thing on fire, but it's too far away."

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:War = evolution is an incorrect statement and I reckon that none of the previous posters really believe that.

War does propel development and technological advance (that should be a consented fact), as complete destruction of old structures and starting from scratch usually is more easy than trying to change them.

I don't mean to hijack, but as Sethis inquired:

 Written by: Sethis

Which child is better off, the child who has burnt his hand, or the one who never will?



I'd say that the latter is highly unlikely, therefore I opt for the former. By learning to run, we start with walking and we will stumble and fall, by that much likely hurt ourselves.

"Pain is inevitable, suffering is self chosen." (Anonymous}


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Come on Fire Tom, easy doesnt necessarily mean better. All war develops is improved weapons and better ways to kill each other.

Id suggest that many previous posts do equate improvement in warmongering as evolution. Even now, people living in some countries consider the ability to carry a concealed weapon the epitome of evolution.

What you are saying is that its better to burn a childs hand than teach them to understand the dangers of fire. Id suggest that before the age of reason we protect children from harm, after the age of reason we educate them about the dangers.

Id like to meet Anonymous someday. In the mean time, Id say mistakes are inevitable, suffering is self chosen (Stone) wink


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Sethis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University

Total posts: 1762
Posted:Yes, you learn through pain. That does NOT mean Pain is the correct way to teach. smile

I can be told that a plate is hot and touching it will be painful, and I will learn something.

I can burn my hand on said hot plate and I will have learnt something too.

I personally, would prefer someone to tell me the plate is hot and I believe I will learn just as much from them doing so as from burning myself.

Learning is also not an absolute, I'm sure almost everyone is aware of the dangers of getting smashed off their face on alcohol or drugs, but millions of people still do. Even those who have had bad learning experiences (bar fights, drunken mistakes, overdoses etc) STILL do it.

But I'm not sure that's relevant to the discussion, although I do find it very interesting.


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 2830
Posted:I like the hangover example.

So we dont really learn by pain. Plenty of things override pain, like pleasure, greed, self-defense and harming each other.

Apologies Fire Tom, if you found what I said out of line. I was surprised by your assertion that war and the complete destruction of old structures and starting from scratch usually is more easy than trying to change them. To me, this brings up images of decimation.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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BurdaA
SILVER Member since Jul 2007

BurdaA

Sacrebleu
Location: At the quiet limit

Total posts: 377
Posted:I think it's fair to say on an individual level that different people learn different ways, I'm very much a make my own mistakes customer. And more often than not make that mistake more than once to learn (spinning comes to mind wink ). But that's talking about me, or any other given person.



I think part of what makes the world work (for now) is that some of have 'burnt our hands' and some of us haven't and that's made us all who we are. Which is why this analogy can never be applied to global politics/war, we can learn from both, it is up to us whether we do.



I'd say we're moving towards educating prior to.., and rightly so probably, I mean it seems more logical. But like with all things this is something that must be understood, accepted and then embraced.



"Force is never the answer, where it is not the question." Me..Just now..but I like it biggrin


Poi(poi~y) n. : A Hawaiian food made from the tuber of the taro that is cooked, pounded to a paste, and fermented.
- part owner of Wooktastic

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BurdaA
SILVER Member since Jul 2007

BurdaA

Sacrebleu
Location: At the quiet limit

Total posts: 377
Posted:Quick mention..

An interesting look at learning methods (practice or education) on a national scale could perhaps be the implementation of democracy in other nations, is this something that needs to be learnt first hand or can it be taught/forced. Whether or not it's right I guess we'll soon find out whether it works.

Stay tuned.


Poi(poi~y) n. : A Hawaiian food made from the tuber of the taro that is cooked, pounded to a paste, and fermented.
- part owner of Wooktastic

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jarle
GOLD Member since Mar 2007

jarle

Lv15 Ranger
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 1489
Posted:What was the original question?

Kupo!

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BurdaA
SILVER Member since Jul 2007

BurdaA

Sacrebleu
Location: At the quiet limit

Total posts: 377
Posted:There was a question?

I just looked at the thread title, hardly seems fitting anymore for sure ubblol


Poi(poi~y) n. : A Hawaiian food made from the tuber of the taro that is cooked, pounded to a paste, and fermented.
- part owner of Wooktastic

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Please guys, no apologies - I'm not taking insult and if I would I'd express it clearly to let you know (one thing I've learned going through the devastating gun thread wink )

"Learning from examples of others is the honorable way, learning from experience is the painful way..." or similar is a quote I have in mind (guess it's Lao Tse, could not find it online).

However, even the Buddha allegedly said that one should not believe anything just because someone else said so. If you get told that the plate is hot and you will burn yourself and have pain, you have to believe that it is so. If you touch the hot plate and experience the pain, you know that it is so...

This experience nobody can take away, whereas belief requires faith.

I got told a million things and asked to believe them. "Weapons of mass destructions in Iraq" has been one of them... you guess where I'm going? wink

Teaching pain is NOT the correct way. Teaching has to be with and in love. Much time and energy is wasted in our schools due to stressed out teachers and way too big classes.

If we want to provide a future, we should start by changing the way of (general) education...


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 2830
Posted:I think Buddha said some things are self evident. Like you will burn your hand if you put it in a fire.

As far as education goes, I dont think we actually get taught many life skills at school. Perhaps, the way of the future is to provide people will the skills to communicate with each other as human beings, instead of just killing the people we don't know or understand; and be skillful in life.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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BurdaA
SILVER Member since Jul 2007

BurdaA

Sacrebleu
Location: At the quiet limit

Total posts: 377
Posted: Written by: Stone



I think Buddha said some things are self evident. Like you will burn your hand if you put it in a fire.



As far as education goes, I dont think we actually get taught many life skills at school. Perhaps, the way of the future is to provide people will the skills to communicate with each other as human beings, instead of just killing the people we don't know or understand; and be skillful in life.





Agreed. Ultimately that's what I'd like to see, but is this something that can/should be enforced (told what to do or in this case, what's moral) or should it be left to humanity to come to terms with on an individual basis? The world is already far more accepting than it was how many years ago?



Given time all this will surely be realised and I just don't see that forcing humility on the prejudiced is anything less than hypocrisy.



Here, intolerance vil not be tolerated wink


Poi(poi~y) n. : A Hawaiian food made from the tuber of the taro that is cooked, pounded to a paste, and fermented.
- part owner of Wooktastic

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 2830
Posted: Written by:

The world is already far more accepting than it was how many years ago?





Dont think the western world has changed that much. We still basically act like barbarians wink



Who said anything about force? Its more about how we look at things. Like, in Buddhism there is no good and evil, right or wrong. Just being skilled or unskilled in life.



Moral dualism is the belief of the coexistence (in eastern and naturalistic religions) or conflict (in western religions) between the "benevolent" and the "malignant". Most religious systems have some form of moral dualism - in western religions, for instance, a conflict between good and evil.



Alternatively, dualism can mean the tendency of humans to perceive and understand the world as being divided into two overarching categories. In this sense, it is dualistic when one perceives a tree as a thing separate from everything surrounding it, or when one perceives a "self" that is distinct from the rest of the world. In mystic traditions such as Zen, a key to enlightenment is "transcending" this sort of dualistic thinking, without merely substituting dualism with monism or pluralism. (Wiki)


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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BurdaA
SILVER Member since Jul 2007

BurdaA

Sacrebleu
Location: At the quiet limit

Total posts: 377
Posted: Written by: Stone



Who said anything about force?



Sorry, poor choice of word, not to be meant literally.



I just meant it's important (when it comes to morality) we make sure we don't teach people what to think but how to think for themselves. 'In fighting monsters, after all, we must take care not to become them' Nietsch paraphrase biggrin


Poi(poi~y) n. : A Hawaiian food made from the tuber of the taro that is cooked, pounded to a paste, and fermented.
- part owner of Wooktastic

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:If Buddhism is just renaming terms it doesn't make a difference, but disguising itself in soft(er) terms....

Like "one hates" getting remodelled into "one violently dislikes"... It's got the same aspects, just the wording is buddhistical correct(err). Same applies to "bad and good" versus "un/skilled". It's a "subtle" suggestive stance - "better" than just saying you're outright stupid by expressing it as "less gifted", but basically the same thing.

To me it's not just the words that count but the intent behind them (no paranoia intended)... wink

Maybe the (human) world as a whole has not changed too much - more fancy colours added but that's (not quite) it - hence if you look back in (world) history it paints a different picture (as already tackled in the "Explain the Universe and you"-thread).

We're "still acting like barbarians" - measured at which scale, brother Stone? wink

 Written by: BurdaA

Agreed. Ultimately that's what I'd like to see, but is this something that can/should be enforced (told what to do or in this case, what's moral) or should it be left to humanity to come to terms with on an individual basis? The world is already far more accepting than it was how many years ago?



Which one is better off? The kid to whom the TV set is locked or the one that makes "responsible choices" in his viewing patters? The kid that refrains from drug abuse due to applicable death penalties (S/E Asia) or the one who simply has no urge for them? I reckon it's self explanatory (or "suggestive", "rethorical" - pls pardon me on my subtle propaganda)

Yes "the world" (as in "mankind") gets more receptive to certain humanistic ideas these days and perhaps we will experience in our lifetime that "landslide" in compassion and conscious/ awareness. Personally I hope for the best, but count on the worst...

devil spank ubbangel


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 2830
Posted:BurdaA, I agree, thats it exactly. We need to make sure we don't teach people what to think, but how to think for themselves. And thats all Im suggesting.


Fire Tom, Dualism

What scale? By any scale you choose. How about the scale of getting some space on the dance floor wink

ubbrollsmile ubbrollsmile ubbrollsmile


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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