Page: 123
Kooothor
Kooothor

member
Location: Paris
Member Since: 24th Feb 2006
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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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Maybe they are already thinking for themselves, just not to YOUR (and other ppls) liking? rolleyes

If you'd ask Mr. President of the USofA's he might give you a very different view on the world and how it's supposed to work? It's not a view I share, but I'm not claiming to hold the ultimate truth (not a skilled Buddhist as you may notice)... [LE SIGH!]


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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BurdaA
BurdaA

Sacrebleu
Location: At the quiet limit
Member Since: 20th Jul 2007
Total posts: 377
Posted: Written by: FireTom


Maybe they are already thinking for themselves, just not to YOUR (and other ppls) liking? rolleyes



Absolutely right, as I said intolerance vil not be tolerated eek wink

I hope the majority of people are thinking for themselves, my point is simply that given time and freedom, ideals tend to awaken within us, albeit over generations rather than lifetimes in some cases. But we're in this for the long run and shouldn't censored it up for the sake of impatiency or 'force' it on a whim to see it happen in our lifetimes.

Should my ideals be horribly wrong and we are supposed to evolve into a warmongering plague upon existence, then undoubtedly.. we'll try.

Don't get me wrong, I hope this 'hippy'fication all happens this year, but not if we're not ready as a species.

There we are! back on topic..ish


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
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:So BurdaA, you don't think we are already a "warmongering plague upon existence"?

So Fire Tom, what are you saying here then?

 Written by:

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



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
BurdaA

Sacrebleu
Location: At the quiet limit
Member Since: 20th Jul 2007
Total posts: 377
Posted: Written by: Stone


So BurdaA, you don't think we are already a "warmongering plague upon existence"?


Not yet, ourselves and our world to a certain extent, but as a species we seem to be making steps in both directions daily. It'll be very interesting to see what happens. Fun in a way smile


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

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Well, Stone what nerve does my sentence tIckle with you? wink

Dunno why I'm advised to 'understand' or read about dualism, when all I'm sending out is to overcome it by practising discern-, rather than judgement... ?

I asked which kid is better off... so what you reckon?

IMO Dogma will create a resistance, be it (the conditioned) "evil" or "good". It seems as if we are condemned to explore in all directions. Due to our genetic predisposition, as a species we are prone to act opportunistic. Combine that with the fact that it's easier to destroy and reconstruct, to divide and rule, etc. and you instantly gain 'better' (or deeper) understanding of the "why (it is as is)".

Looking at existence from my POV I can't find us being a plague (at least not more than other species). Pick whatever kingdom on earth you fancy... you may find it to be a general pattern...

BurdaA: beerchug


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:BurdaA, you said we are making steps both ways. As I can only see the negative warmongering steps, Id be interested in learning about the positive steps we are making.



And could enlighten me on the term 'hippy'fication, you seem to use it a bit.



Well Fire Tom, you seem to be ticking me off for my views on education, with statements like Maybe they are already thinking for themselves, just not to YOUR (and other ppls) liking?" rolleyes Yet you previously said If we want to provide a future, we should start by changing the way of (general) education. Which is quite a contradiction.



I put up the link to Dualism to answer you inquiry about just renaming terms, and disguising terms in soft(er) terms.



I think there is a big difference between someone being resistance and someone being recalcitrant wink The opportunity is to learn how to overcome some of the genetic predisposition. After all, we have a very large brains, much larger than a crocodiles.



 Written by:

Looking at existence from my POV I can't find us being a plague (at least not more than other species). Pick whatever kingdom on earth you fancy... you may find it to be a general pattern...





Well we are human beings, and have the ability to do much more than exist, and act like animals. What do you think all this talk about god and heaven, enlightenment and the Universe is about anyhow? Dont you think its about us a human beings trying to go beyond genetic predispositions and reaching our full potential?





shrug


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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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:No ticking, just a little tired of you getting all cocky with Buddhist superiority shrug I'm waiting for your thread about "the spinning Buddha" or "Buddhist approach to firedance" wink

BTW in your perception is Buddhism an alien concept or a human one? umm

If the former AND you being all positive about it...

 Written by: Stone

Id be interested in learning about the positive steps we are making.



rolleyes

*ponders more* ubbidea

Crazy people doing crazy things
Not all the US is doing is bad
Peace talks


Non-Https Image Link


oh and what about this guy (these Tibetans must clearly have overheard the fact that Buddhism doesn't allow re-incarnation):


Non-Https Image Link


List to be contd... wink

Still not sure bout the links of Dualism to disguising terms? shrug I'm a bit slow at times... have patience pls smile

Well regarding "our true potential" I look at mankind as a whole the same way as at an individual. Maybe we have to accommodate to the fact that mankind indeed is all what it can be (under present circumstances) - which is why we over time (try to) change circumstances. Where change needs time, patience, faith and confidence, right?

And for me, positive motivation is the best reward - then again others are wired differently, which is why I refer to "proper" (individual) education being the key element to our evolution... Clear now?


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Sure Fire Tom, you can use poi as a form of meditation, as the Shaolin monks use martial arts for meditation. Astral projection is another method that has been mentioned at HOP.



Buddha was a human, nothing more.



Thanks for the links. I was really asking about evidence of a reduction in warmongering, given that every recognized country.in the world, is at war (wiki answers).



How much time do we need to change? Like nothing has changed, except the sophistication of our weapons.



As far cockiness goes, how is your ("proper" (individual) education)" better than any one elses?


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
BurdaA

Sacrebleu
Location: At the quiet limit
Member Since: 20th Jul 2007
Total posts: 377
Posted: Written by: Stone


BurdaA, you said we are making steps both ways. As I can only see the negative warmongering steps, Id be interested in learning about the positive steps we are making.


Shot down. I just (quickly) looked for progression in todays news and couldn't find any eek. I guess the news knows best wink.

See Firetom's post above for examples, I'll add some if you like, once I've some research time to spare.

 Written by: Stone


And could enlighten me on the term 'hippy'fication, you seem to use it a bit.


Sorry my bad, a made up word for my own ends. Means as it sounds, an entirely hypothetical shift in perspective from apathy to empathy of a general populus.

 Written by: Stone


Well we are human beings, and have the ability to do much more than exist, and act like animals. What do you think all this talk about god and heaven, enlightenment and the Universe is about anyhow? Dont you think its about us a human beings trying to go beyond genetic predispositions and reaching our full potential?


Absolutely. To both: beerchug


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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robnunchucks
robnunchucks

enthusiast
Location: manchester uk
Member Since: 14th Jul 2004
Total posts: 363
Posted:i love it, its a great short story always had a soft spot for deism

My nunchucks vital statictics biggrin

weight: 500g
handle lenght: 16 inches
chain length: 2 inches

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Lau_Shadow_Boxer
Lau_Shadow_Boxer

~ Cup Cakes and Faerie Lights ~
Location: Portsmouth, Uk / Kowloon, Hong...
Member Since: 9th Jan 2008
Total posts: 110
Posted: Written by: FireTom


And for me, positive motivation is the best reward - then again others are wired differently, which is why I refer to "proper" (individual) education being the key element to our evolution... Clear now?



I don't think you could be more wrong with that statement, but it depends how your refering to education. I'm assuming you mean school education, because thats how "proper" sounds to me. It's true that people do need an education, but on what level moraly / ethicaly / spiritualy or socially?


"They say it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile; thus smiling is for pansies" - The Short Gorilla

"Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast" - Ace Rimmer

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FireTom
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Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:confused that's one heck of unfounded opposition... what's wrong about/ with my statement?

Humans are (little more than) sophisticated monkeys. Due to our genetic predisposition we much depend on education (a) from our parents (b) from institutions and (c) from society. It's not as if "how to cross a busy road" or similar sunk into our DNA already (instincts). We need education.

See, you hear "proper" and your mind comes up with the image of a schoolroom or kindergarden. This is only a 3rd of what I mean. One problem is that we usually project far too much on the little ones (as parents or teachers) rather than inquiring for "who is this being" and "what is s/he capable of". It's getting much better these days, but usually just in private schools. Individualized tuition, with focus on the pupils or child's talents would greatly help self-realization - a fulfilled life and subsequently to a lot less discontent -> frustration -> aggression -> violence -> war -> suffering.

The industry has yet to learn that ppl who are educated "properly" are far better exploited than those who picked a profession just because they thought it's 'cool' or because they had no clue what else to do.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Fire Tom, I still don't understand what you mean by "educated properly".

Don't know about private school either. I went to a private school, and look at the results 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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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:I think that what Tom is trying to say follows one of Arthur C. Clarke's laws of society.

"It is only possible to have a truly free society when all members of that society are educated to a level approaching their intellectual capacity."

This doesn't mean that everyone needs a doctorate. It means that people should be permitted to attain an education appropriate to their level of intellectual function. There are some people who simply aren't college material; they aren't mentally retarded (although some may have low-normal IQ's) but they have a set of skills that don't jive will with a classroom. They can gain other forms of education (skilled trades, apprenticeships, etc.).

Now, in order for this to happen, much of the "grunt work" (burger flipping, floor sweeping, garbage picking-up) would have to be automated. As it stands right now, we need people to do all these things.

There's another Sci-Fi concept. The idea of a "post-scarcity" society. This is a society in which essentially any object with a blueprint can be produced quickly and at negligible cost. In order to achieve such a state, a source of free (or at least very inexpensive) energy would be necessary. The switch to nuclear fusion power might be the first step in this process. Most problems that we face today are fundamentally problems of energy. For example, we could vastly increase the world's freshwater supplies with desalinization plants (which use energy). We could scrub a lot of carbon dioxide if we just had the energy. We could feed the entire world for free if we could automate the entire process of farming and shipping. It would just take a lot of energy.

In a post-scarcity society, the sorts of crisis that would face society would be different from the current ones. There would be no wars over oil or almost any other resource. There might be wars over policy or other less tangible things (religion comes to mind) but war might become a lot less scarce.

However, a post-scarcity society also brings the risk of stagnation since there isn't much incentive to leave your house when you can have anything you need for free.


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

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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FireTom
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Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Doc: hug

"Grunt work" is an interesting term. It might take a few generations to even set up a halfway accurate educational system and I can't really offer an easy practical solution.

A lot of misunderstanding prevails in society. I look at it as I look at my own body. If one regards brain cells as "the highest evolved form of cells", under present circumstances it would be highly impracticable to be made of braincells only.

Every cell has it's purpose and is as important as another to get the system running. Some might be less important (maybe like those forming the appendix) still they should have their recognition.

IMO if we want to create a "better" society it's on us to drop (over)valuation.

Perhaps it will be necessary to identify areas where those ppl who are born (or choose to be warriors) can indulge in violence and killing each other without affecting others who simply have no interest in warfare.

Additionally I wouldn't regard stagnation to become prevalent. After all you will meet as many nice and stimulating ppl on the streets as you meet in bb like this one wink


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Using the body as a model of society is a poor analogy.

In the body there are no cells that are "in charge." Not neurons, not hypothalamic secretory cells, not hepatocytes, and not even keratinocytes.

In the body, each cell behaves in a perfectly orderly manner. Sometimes another cell comes up and says "die!" and the target cell, without question, dies. Cleanly. The only time that cells stop behaving in an orderly manner is in cancer.

I do get your point, but we don't necessarily need a society of neurons. Imagine a society in which everyone has a different job that would be considered "white collar" today. Physican, attorney, engineer, designer, artist. The arts would become vastly more important I'm sure.


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

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Doc, thanks for the clarification.



I havent read about Arthur C. Clarke's laws of society, Im more a Robert A Heinlein kind of a person.



Fair enough about everyone being educated to a level approaching their intellectual capacity. However, I think we are doing that to a certain extent now, perhaps more in the field of adult education than in the school system. At best all this seems to be doing is improving the system we already have. So I dont see how more of the same education will change things that much.



I suppose the education Im thinking about is more about improving our life skills and understanding how and why we react to different situations. I did the Myers Briggs type indicator about ten years ago, and it was a real eye opener, in that they could put us into little boxes.



I mentioned earlier that Thorium has the potential to provide us with a source of inexpensive and relatively safe nuclear energy. However, this source has been underdeveloped for a number of reasons, most notably it lacked any weapons potential.



I agree that war would be reduced if resources were abundant, but as you say, we would still find things to fight over. So, while we may have reduced the incidence of war, we have not solved the problem.



I think stagnation could be a problem if things stayed the way they are now, and I agree there isn't much incentive to leave the house when you cant go shopping wink Though, this occurs in a society that is based on craving, and it is this craving that keeps us suffering. To put it another way, the more we have the more we want, and wealth doesnt guarantee happiness.



Im not a Buddhist, and I dont want to push the Buddhist think too much. So, what Im saying is there are alternative ways to look at life compared to the present paradigm. No disrespect to anyone here, but in many ways life for most of us, is just like Groundhog Day. Hope that makes sense smile

EDITED_BY: Stone (1201308930)


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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FireTom
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Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted: Written by: Doc Lightning


Using the body as a model of society is a poor analogy.



Debatable... but I accept your POV.

 Written by: Doc

In the body there are no cells that are "in charge." Not neurons, not hypothalamic secretory cells, not hepatocytes, and not even keratinocytes.



So who is telling the cells to form in specific ways? However I can't see anyone really "in charge" in society either. I reject "Aliens", "Illuminati"... not even presidents are really "in charge" of anything... maybe I'm suffering from delusion...

How about 'mutation' vs. 'cancer'? How is the initial programming changed, without a few trial and errors beforehand?

But I'd start to defend my analogy and that's not necessary I feel.

I observe many physicists and mainstream medicals to have a tunnel view on life (not that you're a part of that, Mike. I don't know you enough to say any like that about you). Our bodies have to behave in a perfectly orderly manner, or it is considered "sick". If considered "sick" it needs to get "cured" from the "disease" (dis-ease) and mostly that by removing the problem (rather than asking "why" and "what for"). Prolonging life and making it more comfortable seems to be the task. Questionable IMHO when it comes to "cure" senior citizens (for say 80yrs of age) for say by transplanting a kidney or other mayor intrusions...

Note: This is an observation, not a complaint, excuse me for eventually sounding "smart".

If we'd form a "collar blind" society, we'd be on the road to lasting peace. Imagine a society where we honestly say "thanks" to the guys picking up the garbage and cleaning our toilets, where we're having as much respect for someone flipping burgers as we have for CEO's... just because they are HUMANS, because they do the job that need to get done and nobody really wants to do them.

I like the moment in "the Matrix" where they meet in the basement of Zion and talk about how they dislike the machines, but depend on them. It's easy to oppose the existing system and not wasting a mature thought on alternatives (that could work).

I like the Einstein quote to embrace all around us. But how can we honestly embrace nature, if we still oppose our own species even to the extent of killing (even by thought)...

My stance is very simple: Accept your self, fully. Your desires and cravings, celebrate your ego instead of fighting it, see how far you get and what is in there for you. Accept your pain and suffering as much as your joy and ecstasy... and by that don't forget to practice the categorical imperative.

You will (as anything else) die at some point, it's inevitable. Try to do it happy...


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted: Written by: FireTom


So who is telling the cells to form in specific ways? However I can't see anyone really "in charge" in society either. I reject "Aliens", "Illuminati"... not even presidents are really "in charge" of anything... maybe I'm suffering from delusion...



That's an interesting question. It's a self-organizing system that operates according to a set of very strictly-defined rules. Basically, the DNA encodes something resembling a "recipe." Make this protein first, which then interacts with this gene which will then make this and that protein which will get sorted along this axis so that these cells can know where in the embryo they are and then the gradient of this protein will affect the gene expression of each cell.

No single cell is in charge. Cells signal and cross-talk with each-other. And if something goes wrong, the whole system crashes. Sometimes this results in a lady having a period that's just a touch late and never realizing that she just had a spontaneous abortion. And sometimes it results in horribly deformed and stillborn fetuses.


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

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:which is why I don't believe in conspiracy theories anymore:



 Written by: Mike

It's a self-organizing system that operates according to a set of very strictly-defined rules (...) No single cell is in charge. Cells signal and cross-talk with each-other





[/edit]


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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