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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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Red_RaveN
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

Neo - Hippie
Location: Sala, Slovakia

Total posts: 358
Posted:Great text, very good ideas..

Coresponds very much with my view of the universe smile


Smile.. It confuses people..:)

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

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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:And mine, too...

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

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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animatEd
BRONZE Member since Aug 2004

animatEd

1 + 1 = 3
Location: Bristol UK

Total posts: 3540
Posted:"the power of god is inside you, and all around you, not in buildings of wood and stone. Lift a stone, and I am there, split a piece of wood, and you will find me"...

quote from a movie, I know, but also possibly a quote from a gospel that the Catholic church refuse to recognise...

Regardless of its origins, it's what i believe.


Empty your mind. Be formless, Shapeless, like Water.
Put Water into a cup, it becomes the cup, put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
Water can flow, or it can Crash.
Be Water My Friend.

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Boring, dribble!



I thought he may have been on to something with comments like:



 Written by:

Intellectual self awareness, a form of higher consciousness, which never emerges in any other species.





But then it degenerates to rubbish like:



 Written by:

However this competition is vital to promote the leap from biological to technological evolution.



You need an arms race in order to make progress.



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.





The bottom line:



 Written by:

In the end, it was easier to accept that he was god than otherwise.









My 10 cents 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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Red_RaveN
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

Neo - Hippie
Location: Sala, Slovakia

Total posts: 358
Posted:Stone,
Why do you think that part is rubbish? Its actually true, except the nuclear weapons part, IMO..

Competition and war is what drives us technologically forward.. Think of all the advances during WW1,2 and the cold war..

I would explain it broader but for that Id have to get some sleep:)


Smile.. It confuses people..:)

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

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Well, it might have driven us technically forward, as did the space race. But I don't think it increased our understanding of our spirituality or our ability to get on with one another. Me thinks this god is the god of destruction, not transformation.

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


Well, it might have driven us technically forward, as did the space race. But I don't think it increased our understanding of our spirituality or our ability to get on with one another.



Didn't it? For some of humanity, they were essentially passed over by WWII (WWII should have been called NHWII for "Northern Hemisphere War II"). But look at what came of WWI and WWII. Radio, the airplane, the jet engine, a fundamental understanding of the nucleus, penicillin.

The jet engine has brought us closer together. Japan is no longer a far-away and unreachable land. I know Japanese people, I live and work with them, they're my friends and colleagues. In many ways, war has indirectly brought about much good.

Consider the Cold War. Without a real war ever being fired, we advanced our technology by leaps and bounds. We reached the moon! And, when it was over, we looked behind the iron curtain and saw that they weren't that different from us, after all.

A baby learns to walk by falling a lot. And we'll hopefully learn to thrive by failing to do so a lot.

Frankly, I think the worst thing that could ever happen is for a species like we are now (greedy, wasteful, consumptive, dominating) to be loosed on the universe. We have a lot of learning to do, and there are many lessons that are only learned the hard way.


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

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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polarity
SILVER Member since May 2005

polarity

veteran
Location: on the wrong planet, United Ki...

Total posts: 1228
Posted:Plus the constant threat of being killed does wonders for one's spirituality.

You aren't thinking or really existing unless you're willing to risk even your own sanity in the judgment of your existence.

Green peppers, lime pickle and whole-grain mustard = best sandwich filling.

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:No it didn't.



Well Lightning thats one way of looking at it, and its difficult to argue what we could have been achieved if we learned to cooperated instead of trying to kill each other. Though, I suppose you can justify anything if you want to.



Correct me if Im wrong, but none of the inventions you cite (and others) were specifically invented for war. Marconi invented the radio in Italy in 1895, airplanes have been around since 1803, the Chinese invented gun powder for peaceful purposes, Jet engines can be dated back to the first century AD, when Hero of Alexandria invented the aeolipile. The development of penicillin for use as a medicine is attributed to the Australian Nobel Laureate Howard Walter Florey. The electron as a unit of charge in electrochemistry was posited by G. Johnstone Stoney in 1874, who also coined the term electron in 1894.



What do you mean WW II was a Northern Hemisphere War II? Was America bombed? (ed, better make that mainland America)



As far as learning to walk, breath properly and many other basic human functions go, most of us dont make a very good job of it. I think we could all do it a little better if we were given some help along the way.



We as a species have so much potential, but as you said, we are still greedy, wasteful, consumptive, dominating.

EDITED_BY: Stone (1198026623)


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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Rouge Dragon
BRONZE Member since Jul 2003

Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction, Aus...

Total posts: 13215
Posted:In the end, it was easier to accept that he was god than otherwise

I think that sums up the whole "god" thing. No need for the rest of the passage!


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:ubblol * whistles with one eye on his own thread *

My thoughts exactly...

Stone I completely side Doc on this one. Our mind had and has to come up with strategies to overcome evolutionary obstacles and threats from our environment. This is one reason why the European branches of mankind have become so incredibly successful. By the time environmental threats are not endangering our survival as a species any more, we seem to have to keep this pressure up artificially.

(If this wouldn't be the case, it certainly would be different.)

And we're given help all along the ways, yet we often tend to look the other way and resent when "truth" approaches. However we want to figure out for ourselves - and this fits comfortably within Buddhist philosophy.

You may have to decide (for yourself) at some stage whether you accept the concept of a "higher being" or you reject it. To me it seems as if you're bouncing back between the two options... wink All the "bad virtues" you cite are powerful drives within individuals and the collective, we will have to accept them as part of human nature (in order to finally conquer them).

When we fight those who fight, are we not just perpetuating the cycle and reassuring their conception? How can we find "true/ unconditional love", if in fact we don't even start with ourselves - least to speak with our fellow brothers and sisters?

The point being is that some do learn fast(er) and are more productive under pressure (warm, suffering) and others under leisure (peace, consumerism)... Our present holds it all for everybody.

When you're talking 'bout "spirituality" as above: I really am confident that especially WWII dun a lot. This war triggered a leap in human evolution, both technically and spiritually. Especially it taught the western civilisations about the horrors of genocide, sparked a huge anti-war movement and generated healthy respect towards each other on a grand scale.

What you learn from the media these days are all negative examples. Not much time invested in talking about positive and enchanting events... makes us continue striving "positively".


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Fire Tom, I dont think it has anything to do with believing in higher beings. After all, we aint living in the stone age. Dont you think we have conquered most of the evolutionary obstacles. Time to ask why do we fight? Time to move on, time to conquer the mind.

WWII, like WWI (the war to end all wars) triggered nothing spirituality wise. Because if it did, then are we (eg. the coalition of the willing) still wouldnt be making the same mistakes? Any leap in technology was largely related to making better weapons.


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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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Total posts: 3556
Posted:Ah, deism, not my cup of tea but it does feel as though the writer borrowed from CS Lewis (and Asimov).

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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Fine_Rabid_Dog


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

Total posts: 10530
Posted: Written by: Stone


Fire Tom, I dont think it has anything to do with believing in higher beings. After all, we aint living in the stone age. Dont you think we have conquered most of the evolutionary obstacles. Time to ask why do we fight? Time to move on, time to conquer the mind.

WWII, like WWI (the war to end all wars) triggered nothing spirituality wise. Because if it did, then are we (eg. the coalition of the willing) still wouldnt be making the same mistakes? Any leap in technology was largely related to making better weapons.



Just my two cents... a lot of poetry stemmed from both world wars, and many other conflicts. There's bound to be some spirituality in there somewhere.

Not that justifies conflict at all.


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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Kooothor


Kooothor

member
Location: Paris

Total posts: 129
Posted: Written by: faithinfire


Ah, deism, not my cup of tea but it does feel as though the writer borrowed from CS Lewis (and Asimov).



It's obvious that the writer is a geek !


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

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Wooktastic
BRONZE Member since Jan 2007

Wooktastic

the kicker of elves
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Total posts: 371
Posted:About bloody time, I've been saying that for ages. If there's a creator, then it's an organic life form evolved to an immensely powerful level from another universe entirely.

Man is no more than a conduit for excrement to pass through.- daVinci

Jointly owned by BurdA and Tinypixie

Wielder of the voice of Patrick Stewart

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Total posts: 3556
Posted:Me? I think I'm a nerd, I don't know I like Lewis because of the whole Christian God thing, like Asimov because he explains free will and fate for me

Tolkien can be a little long winded


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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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear,...

Total posts: 4693
Posted: Written by: original post

In the end, it was easier to accept that he was god than otherwise.





isnt this contradictory to the rest of the story? we are told that to evolve we need to use our imagination, yet to accept that this person on the train was god because it is easier than the alternative is just being lazy.


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:No, Stone, we're living in the "information age", maybe "have conquered most of the evolutionary obstacles" so far. But I reckon as many are still out there, waiting to be conquered.

Why we fight? I suspect the origin of this question to be your ego, which wonders why you hate it so much.

You agree upon technical advances happening due to war, yet WWII marked the ending of (old fashioned) colonialism, it manifested the international community (UNO), the human rights chart, it marked the end of apardheid (even though it still took a few decades to realize), it ended the jewish diaspora and it made mankind aware that we have the means to destroy the entire planet within a few hours only.

Great literature and authors have been "created" by WWII: Hemingway, Mailer to name only two within the English realm. Great humanitarian deeds got committed (White Rose resistance group, Oscar Schindler, to name only two German). It's great devastation has marked a turning point in human history - or how do you explain that this enormous weaponry has never got used by neither of the opponents?

Dunno I sense so much negativity in your posts these days... everything allright?

However: So far, if you had a great weapon you used it. Now these "great weapons" are stashed away, because everybody is scared to use them.

Conquer the mind? Meaning that you want to bring the war back to the place where it originates? wink


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Lurch
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon, USA

Total posts: 929
Posted: Written by:

Correct me if Im wrong, but none of the inventions you cite (and others) were specifically invented for war. Marconi invented the radio in Italy in 1895, airplanes have been around since 1803, the Chinese invented gun powder for peaceful purposes, Jet engines can be dated back to the first century AD, when Hero of Alexandria invented the aeolipile. The development of penicillin for use as a medicine is attributed to the Australian Nobel Laureate Howard Walter Florey. The electron as a unit of charge in electrochemistry was posited by G. Johnstone Stoney in 1874, who also coined the term electron in 1894.



That may very well be true, but they weren't used anywhere near their potential until war came about. There is a difference between a party trick, and useful technology.

How about the microwave, integrated circuts, communications satellites, smoke detectors, GPS, sythetic rubber, not to mention HUGE advances in manufacturing and medical technologies.

Oddly enough I kind of agree with the creepy narrative above, Our 'spiritual' growth is more of a hindrance at this point in our development. If we want to focus on developing that is. We need a reason to better ourselves, and competition is the best instigator. If you want spiritual growth from war there is more out there than you realize. Obviously you haven't spent much time with a soldier, or anyone who's been on a battlefield. Photography brought the horrors of war to the many, it showed suffrage most couldn't and still can't comprehend. Psychological developments in the medical side, and the vast leaps and evolution in art. Art is IMHO where the modern spiritual 'soul' of society resides rather than the church.

To say that war hasn't brought us closer together is just plain wrong.


#homeofpoi -- irc.newnet.net Come talk to us we're bored frown

Warning: Please Do Not Jump On The Seals

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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:Consider the development of a single human body. In order for the body to develop, entire structures must be erected...and then destroyed to make way for the new structures that they supported. Cells die all the time in development for the benefit of the greater whole.

This may well apply to humanity. Some death and destruction is necessary for us to learn. We don't expect children to spring from the womb full-formed. They must learn to walk by falling down a lot.

And so must we.


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

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Happy Christmas everybody ubbrollsmile


Yes, Mr Majestic perhaps we are just lazy.

Fire Tom, the reason we fight is because we have not conquered the primitive (reptilian) part of our brain. I think you almost say that at the end of your post: Conquer the mind? Meaning that you want to bring the war back to the place where it originates. There is an Einstein quote on people who make war that goes something like this They have been given a large brain by mistake, since for them the spinal cord would suffice.

I think diaspora can create more problems than it solves. Honestly, Im not comforted by the fact that we now have the means to destroy the planet. Good literature, though Mailer may be, the naked and the dead, its not spiritual literature. And while on the subject of popular culture, what about all the B-Grade GI Jo, and Rambo movies? And thanks for asking. Im doing fine, new job, excellent pay cool


Lurch, I like your Art being were the modern spiritual 'soul' of society resides. Though, Ill need to think about it.

I dont see how war brings us closer together when we all end up just plain dead. As far as bigger and better weapons go: "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." -- Albert Einstein

Lightning, I agree with what you say. Thats how you see it, but it doesnt have to be that way.

Im reminded of the story where the Spartans left their newborn outside overnight, so only the strongest would survive.


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:


Lightning, I agree with what you say. Thats how you see it, but it doesnt have to be that way.


And your reasonable alternative would be...?

What? That humanity could somehow manage to make no mistakes, have no suffering, and just effortlessly evolve into some enlightened state?

If you honestly believe that, you're far beyond reason.


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

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Mr_Joe
BRONZE Member since Aug 2008

Mr_Joe

Part-time genius
Location: , Netherlands

Total posts: 59
Posted:You've created something of a false dichotomy there Herr Doktor. Just because a situation cannot be made perfect (none can) does not mean it cannot be ameliorated (all can).

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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:No, my point is that there will always be human suffering as part of the learning process.

My complaint is that we don't seem to be learning much from it at the current point.


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

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Mr_Joe
BRONZE Member since Aug 2008

Mr_Joe

Part-time genius
Location: , Netherlands

Total posts: 59
Posted:You don't seem to disagree with me on any point. I was just pointing out that in between the wide prevalence of human suffering, and no suffering at all there's a broad spectrum of possible better alternatives, which you seemed to leave out.



Yes there will always be some suffering, no there needn't be as much.



EDIT: There's a bit of a straw man in your post as well. As far as I can see Stone doesn't actually say he expects human suffering to disappear instantly, so I'm not overly sure who you're disagreeing with.

EDITED_BY: Mr_Joe (1198600729)


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=Flashpoint=
SILVER Member since Sep 2004

=Flashpoint=

Pasta of Muppets
Location: in the interwebs..., United Ki...

Total posts: 2719
Posted:Doc is, as ever, eloquent and knowledgable.

A person may suffer, but the people live.
Take medicine for example, one of the reasons we generally don't approve of euthanasia is that we learn about a disease by people's suffering and death.

We are on the path. War will happen in a competitive society. What the author glosses over a bit is that what if we were to become an adaptive rather than competetive species?
We wouldn't have suffering because we would be making advances because of the knowledge, not simply because we need to havea better weapon, or because we can make a lot of money from it, but because we want to work together to make life better for all of our species. Go figure.

When the author of the piece speaks about limitless energy (fusion) eliminating material needs etc...

Look to your science fiction. Star Trek envisages a world where there is no material need, but there is a need to defend onself. so there is a connection between advancing for knowledge's sake, and also for competition (survival)

Thats my 2p (We dont have those damned cents smile )


ohmygodlaserbeamspewpewpew!
ubbrollsmileubbrollsmileubbrollsmileubbrollsmile

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:We can often take good from any experience, including bad ones.



We can learn a lot from harseness- lose both your legs in an accident and, if open enough, you'll learn loads- that doesn't mean we should hack off both our legs though smile



Similarly, we learn from war and,technical progress can often be boosted.



The main thing we learn from war though, is not to go to war unless there's no other option.



Even though progress has occurred via war I thinks it's important not to slip into saying that war is positive, without always being aware of the corresponding huge negativity of war.



As for progress, reflect on the fact that it's the nations who, relatively speaking, endeavour to not be at war (much of the West)*, who are in a far better position, in terms of technology and learning, than those, like much of Africa and the Middle East, who are, effectively, perpetually at war.







(*a statement in need of some qualification as, arguably, the West simply tends to have a 'out of sight, out of mind attitude' shown for example, by its historical dabbling in the middle east)


"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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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Thanks for your clarity Mr Joe.

Lightning, you said:

 Written by:

My complaint is that we don't seem to be learning much from it at the current point.



My comment is how can we evolve if you and others keep supporting the virtues and technological advances of war. Its a myth, that violence and war are a necessary part of human existence. Next you will be telling me that Dr. Josef Mengeles human experiments, during WWII, were justified because they advanced medicial science.

I wonder about people who postulate the virtues of the treat em mean and keep em keen philosophy. Its one thing to say kids might fall down a few times while learning to walk, and quite another to say kids learn to walk by falling down a lot. From there, it doesnt seem such a big gap to, kids must be knocked down in order to learn to walk. And Ill say it once again, most people do not know how to walk properly.


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


Next you will be telling me that Dr. Josef Mengeles human experiments, during WWII, were justified because they advanced medicial science.




Do me a favor: I had a great-aunt who survived Treblinka. Please be careful who you throw Holocaust analogies at. That's a pretty horrible thing to say to someone with a relative who had numbers on her wrist.

Moving beyond that: No experiments on non-consenting humans are ever permissible. Dr. Mengele did the medical community a huge favor, though. He gave us no ethical dilemma about using his research for the advancement of medicine because not a single useful piece of medical advancement emerged from Dr. Mengele's work.

As it happens, I can't justify the tuskeegee experiments, let alone Mengele. And I'm a bit mystified at how you made that leap.


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

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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