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Can evolution produce a Supreme Being?


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Showing 651-675 of 722 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 5, 2012 10:05:28 PM PDT
barbW says:
that's an unexpected reply, Leoncefalo

thought provoking..

thanks, it's what I come here for.

I don't know yet, but I might have to concede the point(s) ...because everyone wants this level of awareness

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 19, 2012 10:47:01 AM PDT
Barton castigated Burton Mack as a member of the Jesus seminar.. For those unaware the Jesus Seminar is a group of about 150 critical scholars drawn from 60 theological colleges founded in 1985 by Robert Funk under the auspices of the Westar Institute. Using survey forms circulated to these people They published their results in three reports: The Five Gospels (1993), The Acts of Jesus (1998), and The Gospel of Jesus (1999). They also run a series of lectures and workshops in various U.S. cities. They portray Jesus as a wandering teacher and healer who preached a gospel of liberation from injustice in startling parables and aphorisms. An iconoclast, Jesus broke with established Jewish theological dogmas and social conventions both in his teachings and behaviors, often by turning common-sense ideas upside down, confounding the expectations of his audience: He preached for a short time of the "Kingdom of God" as being already present but unseen; he depicts God as a loving father; he fraternizes with outsiders and common folk and criticizes insiders and aristocrats.

The Jesus Seminar holds a number of views that have been fairly dominant in non-fundamentalist theological colleges for some time.

1. We must distinguish between the historical Jesus and what the Gospels claim about him (This has been a dominant view since Hermann Samuel Reimarus (1694-1768).)
2. We must recognise that there are important differences between how the Synoptic gospels treat Jesus and how he is treated by the Gospel of John.
3. Since 1900 the Gospel of Mark has generally been recognised as being prior to Matthew and Luke. Matthew and Luke both had Mark as a source, and had a second course with material common to both but not found in Mark.
4. Also since 1900, this source (Called Q, for Quelle, meaning source in German) has been recognised as a book of Jesus sayings, without other commentary, similar in some ways to the Gospel of Thomas (a late version of the same)
5. That Jesus saw that the kingdom of God was a present reality, a "realized eschatology", rather than an imminent end of the world. The apocalyptic view was added afterwards by some of Jesus' followers.
6. We need to distinguish between oral Aramaic and written Greek cultures. Since Jesus lived and preached in an oral culture, scholars expect that short, memorable stories or phrases in Aramaic are more likely to be historical.
7. The burden of proof needs to be on the historical nature of the Gospels, particularly as they have parts that are clearly eschatological, fulfilment of scripture or in error historically.

The Jesus Seminar treats the Gospels as fallible historical artifacts, containing both authentic and inauthentic material. Since the 1870s it separates the difference between the religion that Jesus the Nazarene taught and practised, as illustrated by his words believed by his Galilean and Palestinian Jewish Nazarene followers, and the later Christian community particularly of Paul, who composed the first Christian writings for a joint gentilic-diaspora Jewish community. Clearly this is an anathema to fundamentalists and believers like Barton.

Regards

John

Posted on Apr 19, 2012 2:56:05 PM PDT
The Jesus Seminar is hardly mainstream. It isn't just fundamentalists that reject their findings; most mainstream seminaries do as well. E.g. their famous declaration that only 18% of Jesus's sayings in the gospel were really historical--their "method" being polling one another in a system using colored beads.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 19, 2012 6:32:56 PM PDT
Maybe being reasonable and honest is more important than being mainstream. (Though I agree the colored beads were hokey.)

Posted on Apr 20, 2012 5:17:56 AM PDT
"Human Energy presents itself to our view as the term of a vast process in which the whole mass of the universe is involved. In us, the evolution of the world towards the spirit becomes conscious. From that moment, our perfection, our interest, our salvation as elements of creation can only be to press on with this evolution with all our strength. We cannot yet understand exactly where it will lead us, but it would be absurd for us to doubt that it will lead us towards some end of supreme value. From this there finally emerges in our twentieth century human consciousness, for the first time since the awakening of life on earth, the fundamental problem of Action. No longer, as in the past, for our small selves, for our small family, our small country; but for the salvation and the success of the universe, how must we, modern men, organize around us for the best, the maintenance, distribution and progress of human energy?"
(Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: Building the Earth, "Human Energies" p. 67-68)

Regards

John

Posted on Jun 18, 2012 2:29:54 PM PDT
Seeker says:
Maybe this discussion is played out.............or not? I still contend that evolution would have to eventually lead to a Supreme Being over an unlimited time in an unlimited space...........

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 18, 2012 3:00:43 PM PDT
barbW says:
biological evolution only works with adequacies, therefore beings will evolve an intelligence that's merely adequate for their survival. Having said that, there were some leaps of brain power in our natural history, but I'm thinking that the only route to becoming a superbeing is through advancing technology.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 18, 2012 3:27:16 PM PDT
Leoncefalo says:
In us, the evolution of the world towards the spirit becomes conscious. From that moment, our perfection, our interest, our salvation as elements of creation can only be to press on with this evolution with all our strength. We cannot yet understand exactly where it will lead us, but it would be absurd for us to doubt that it will lead us towards some end of supreme value. (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin)
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

To John Croft, after a long absence. . . .if you have read the New Testament and the Bhagavad Gita you are immediately struck with the 'otherworldly' aspect of ourselves, as Krishna explains to Arjuna,

"A wise man treats all alike. Anger and desire dull your intelligence. Accept pain and pleasure in the same way. A man must understand and do what is right. Everyone that is born must die. Justice is more important than human beings. Partha, give up this base faint-heartedness, arise and do your duty." Thus the teacher of the Geetha guided Arjuna."

As much as Chardin came close to incorporating evolution into philosophy and religion, he was in error making us responsible for the universe. The 'salvation and success of the universe" will depend on our much higher evolved selves, at some far distant time. We are not even capable of taking care of this single planet to the degree that our noblest selves would have it. So where does our responsibility for Jupiter, or Uranus, or even the Andromeda galaxy lie?

When we have made the planet Earth, and the human, as well as the other species the jewel of our Solar System, then we might thump our chest and say, "Onward to the stars!!!" We ARE the spirit of evolution, within ourselves, as the great teachers have told us time and again. But the world and its vices are a perpetual distraction to the spirit. The "fundamental problem of Action" is our cosmic admission that "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is very weak." This has always been the problem with human nature. And our current embracing of the mechanistic cyborg culture will dangerously remove us from the only tenderness and kindness we can pass to our heirs - and for the future 'salvation and success' of the universe - without which, it will be reduced to utter ashes by our juggernaut of technology. We cannot trust our machines to display love and compassion, the most precious of human qualities. If Yoda is not the beacon light for our young generation, then we have lost them to the Dark Side. There is no earthly culture that cannot understand the implications of this.

kindly,
Leoncefalo

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2012 2:09:31 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 25, 2012 2:11:32 PM PDT
Seeker says:
Yes...........so why not include that in the discussion? Surely an adequately evolved intelligence has manipulated it's survival, evolution, and it's destiny using technological methods, and most likely become much more than a naturally evolved being. Has it made it to what would qualify as Godhood? My bet is that if it is possible, and I would bet it is, then it is probable to the point of being a certainty............

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2012 2:18:19 PM PDT
Seeker says:
I ask myself often, "What would Yoda do (say, think, etc.)?

No, I really don't........but it is an interesting posit that you make. I would suggest that our technology isn't any more enlightened or evil than it's creators. If the Dark Side wins in the end, it is because WE are dark........

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2012 3:20:28 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 25, 2012 3:23:12 PM PDT
barbW says:
"My bet is that if it is possible, and I would bet it is, then it is probable to the point of being a certainty............"

I agree with you, and then what have they done in the past to affect our lives today? What will we do if we survive to become that advanced? It seems inevitable to happen somewhere, if not necessarily to our universe.
Your reply to barbW's post:
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In reply to an earlier post on Jul 2, 2012 1:41:02 PM PDT
Seeker says:
"They" do stuff to affect .....us? That's a little beyond the level of my expertise. I've seen no evidence to that effect. As to what we will do if we survive (betting we won't), I would suggest that the most likely final outcome is to join the godhead, becoming part of it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 2, 2012 5:28:32 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 2, 2012 5:32:51 PM PDT
barbW says:
So, each universe has a godhead which accumulates super-advanced races? In universes 10 or 20 billion years older than ours I suspect there will be such 'godheads'.

Is it a direct consequence of opportunistic evolving that the evolved intelligences retain a zest for learning and pooling knowledge and other helpful minds?

""They" do stuff to affect .....us?" If we're not the oldest universe and it's possible to tweak new universes to be favorable for evolving intelligence, I would think that that would be a goal for a 'godhead'. For the simple reason that tweaking new universes would begin to ensure the evolution of more intelligences. We could be inhabiting a recent one.

Such a godhead would be too smart to want our worship, at least not yet, since we're still in such a primitive state. Would you want a worm to worship you? Worms don't understand much..

Posted on Jul 4, 2012 7:13:13 AM PDT
God has always existed, but in unseen dimensions. To me, who or what would have had the power to create the Big Bang, but a vast Spiritual Intelligence?

The Quantum Enigma proves the power of consciousness over matter.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 4, 2012 7:17:31 AM PDT
...and smart...

Er..would you like to have a coffee sometime, Marilyn.

I like your........wilfulness.

071V8

Posted on Jul 4, 2012 7:38:34 AM PDT
No. Your snark is showing.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 4, 2012 8:19:04 AM PDT
mark says:
If you mean "Quantum Enigma....." the book, it doesn't prove anything of the sort; it suggests a correlation between consciousness and observation, nothing more.

How does one "prove" an enigma, anyway?

"...what role do the undisputed facts we explore imply for the role of consciousness in the physical world? We do not have an answer to this debated question arising at the boundary of the physics discipline..." ("Quantum Enigma, Physics Encounters Consciousness", Rosenblum/Kutter, Oxford Univ. Press)

"...though what you're saying is correct, presenting this material to the non-scientist is the intellectual equivalent of allowing children to play with loaded guns..." (ibid, preface, chap1)

Existence in "unseen dimensions"? How would one have substance, other than opinion, to make that statement plausible? Perhaps you should have prefaced "...(a god) has always existed..." with "I believe....".

Peace.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 4, 2012 5:07:57 PM PDT
G'day Marilyn,

Nonononono.....there was no snark.

Ask anyone on these threads.

My postings are ALWAYS transparent.

And I do nothing but encourage conversation at the edge of reality.

You struck me as wilfully interesting.

071V8

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 9:48:38 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 6, 2012 9:52:32 AM PDT
LDV:
<<1. limitless existence
<<2. have limitless capacity for perception and knowledge
<<3. have a capacity to control an environment >>

A possible problem with these concepts is that they might be viewed in relative terms. For example, if I think of the relationships between 1 and infinity, and 1/infinity and 1, I see that the ratios are the same. Corollary: Any being might view itself in finite terms, on a relative scale. Especially if you stipulate that "limitless" = "infinite", since an infinite being would have an infinite capacity to understand itself, reflexively.

If the Simulation argument is correct, then the entities might have total knowledge of our universe, in principle, just as the programmer(s) of the Sims game might be considered to have total knowledge of the ongoings in the Sims' world--at least, in the sense that the knowledge would be available to them, in principal. Plus, it would seem that these programmers would have total control over "physical reality". Such beings would not be limited to our universe, in the sense of having to live by its bylaws, although they might choose to inhabit it, in the form of avatars.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 9:57:03 AM PDT
The Quantum Enigma doesn't contain any proofs at all, as far as I can tell. It contains a lot of loose discussion of other people's proofs, and arguments about what they all might mean, but it is totally devoid of anything that would count as a proof to a serious reader who knew what a physical proof actually entailed. Interpretations of proofs are not proofs.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 10:01:28 AM PDT
<<The Quantum Enigma proves the power of consciousness over matter.>>

And a bullet to the brain proves the power of matter over consciousness.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 12:13:42 PM PDT
Leoncefalo says:
<<The Quantum Enigma proves the power of consciousness over matter.>>

And a bullet to the brain proves the power of matter over consciousness.

Mr. Young, albeit a powerful piece of matter can terminate a consciousness, it may be the best example of the tenuousness of our very existence, and by inference, its utter sacred nature. And by the way, there is NO enigma concerning consciousness over matter - the Higgs Boson is yet another attempt to conclusively involve homo sapiens in the Act of Creation. So that consciousness AND matter constitute a UNITY that the scientists, and others, have dreamed of for centuries. They are, and will remain, to the scientific mind, two separate concepts, but to the spiritually based mind (all minds are spiritually based, for good or evil), and heart, they are a single entity, indivisible, inseparable. Of course you are familiar with the Judaic SHEMA, "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our G-d, the Holy One, he is ONE." The Zohar and the Kabbalah have known these truths for thousands of years, and it took a Man from Nazareth to personify this concept in the human body.

So, to answer the question of this thread, "Can evolution produce a 'Supreme Being?" the answer is an unequivocal "YES" and consummately did so over 2,000 years ago. It might just pique the tension in this question even further to observe that the spiritual 'evolution' of homo sapiens takes overwhelming precedence over the Darwinian brand of biological evolution and has, to a stunning degree, produced the vast swaths of civilizations we see today. Don't look at the gruesome wars and genocide produced by the 20th century to prove this, but to the single individuals, almost divine in their acts, that will leave their DNA to posterity for our further evolution ". .. in the image and likeness of G-d."

kindly,
Leoncefalo

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 12:24:44 PM PDT
JagdTiger says:
They could later through science create or develop clones which then from your containment unit (body) would take your memories and move them to the new one.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 1:37:36 PM PDT
To this one 'scientific mind', consciousness is not separable from matter. While perhaps separable as 'concepts', physically they are joined at the hip. Insofar as consciousness is definable and characterizable at all (which is debatable), as far as I can tell, there just isn't any without a material brain to seat it in. In is a property of brains, if it is property of anything, and there are no working examples of anything in my experience to contradict this view. (Although I am certainly of a mind to think that electronic and software structures based upon computer technology are likely to become at least analogically isomorphic to conscious brains at some point in the not too distant future, as a matter of technical possibility.)

The spiritual thought you express here seems to blur this conceptual distinction. To what end? How does lack of conceptual demarkation contribute to understanding? What purpose is achieved by rendering God a unitary cryptic cypher, devoid of all possible analysis into functional components? Unless, of course, the purpose is to forestall persons from understanding altogether!

Can you imagine taking you car to the mechanic for an oil change, and having him tell you, "I'm sorry, but your engine is ONE; one part; one conceptual and spiritual wholeness; one 'engine'; and I can't do a thing with it, except rip it out and put a new one in." I don't know about you, but I'd start hunting for a slightly more analytical mechanic. Why anyone trusts his or her spiritual existence to such hopelessness is difficult for me to fathom. It's no wonder that this field has progressed so very little in all these centuries, and gives essentially the same useless answer today as it did then.

On a side note, the "gruesome wars of the 20th century" are not really all that horrible when compared with some others from earlier on. More impersonal, for sure, but from the standpoint of percentage of the populace killed, and the degree to which the casualties suffered, I think a case can (and has) been made that this past century was relatively clean, as centuries go. Although, with the advent of new communication mediums, these wars were a lot more "in our face".

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 6:17:44 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 6, 2012 6:30:38 PM PDT
Leoncefalo says:
The spiritual thought you express here seems to blur this conceptual distinction. To what end? How does lack of conceptual demarkation contribute to understanding? What purpose is achieved by rendering God a unitary cryptic cypher, devoid of all possible analysis into functional components? Unless, of course, the purpose is to forestall persons from understanding altogether!
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Mr. Young, thanks for the reply. It is deeply ironic that you say 'unitary cryptic cypher' when these words closely paraphrase Max Planck and his revelation of the quanta. You are presuming 'scientific understanding' is the only means to arrive at truth, when the spiritual consciousness we are speaking of was put down in the Zohar and Kabbalah thousands of years ago -long before anyone even thought of a collider, much less build one. Your analogy of an internal combustion engine to human beings is aeons off by comparison. An engine does not think, feel, analyze, dream, hope, or anything else remotely resembling human behavior, except to do exactly what machines are designed to do-serve their human creators. You mentioned a 'blurring of concepts' when it is still crystal clear and well defined. Smelling with the nose, seeing with the eyes, hearing/ears, touch/hands are all integral wishes of the desiring brain, as well as its capacity to think, feel, analyze, survery and do all those things engines can never do.

As a human, I cannot consider consciousness without a spiritual aspect that is equal to, and in some life/death issues, superior to material concepts. That is why spiritual philosophy and morality, understood as an 'energy' that motivates humans, equates exactly to the 'blurring' of quantum physics. They are both tentative states, yet they become a UNITY in this cosmic discovery of the Higgs Boson, which is homo sapiens final admission AND acceptance that it is science that has finally come around, with the technology, to affirm principles long held by ancient bodies of belief. Theologians have been analyzing G-d for centuries into 'functional components' analogous to scientific methods. We are speaking of two different methods, to arrive at the same truth.

As far as your 'spiritual existence' goes. . .ch .I would be curious to know
who, or what you trust it to. . .if 'trust' is such an appropriate word to use to a 'scientific mind' such as yourself?

kindly,
Leoncefalo
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