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Pain's Thunderdome
08-30-2011, 06:50 AM (This post was last modified: 08-30-2011 07:01 AM by Painkiller.)
Post: #1
Pain's Thunderdome
Okay, at the request of Kaleb and agreement of several others, I'm going to try my hand ar running a melee. The topic is "My Worldview", and can incorporate any elements of theology, science or philosophy that you think are appropriate.

Each participant wanting to take part should post a brief (two-three medium-sized paragraphs, ideally) opening statement in which they introduce their basic worldview. Given the diversity of beliefs out there that may include a number of different things, but for many is likely to touch on issues like the existence of God or Gods, the origin of life or the Universe and our ability as humans to understand this.

I'll give until this time tomorrow for everyone who wants to get involved to post their introductory statement unmolested, so please don't respond to any posts until that time is up. After that, anyone who's posted an introductory passage is free to ask anyone else for confirmation. In order to keep it fair and on task I'd ask people not to get involved in the discussion unless you've introduced yourself (though there's no reason you can't come in with a late introduction if you've missed the start).

I don't think we need a bunch of extra rules, as the Forum rules work fine when people follow them, but I do think we need one extra in addition to the ones about when to post I've outlined above:

DO NOT TELL PEOPLE WHAT THEY THINK. The words we use on here are flexible and diverse, and the point of this thread is to look in depth at peoples' specific worldviews, not big unwieldy groups. If someone calls themselves an atheist, agnostic, Christian or Chthulhu Cultist, and then espouse a belief that doesn't fit in in what you think one of those should believe, let it go. if it really bothers you start another thread called "Kev Is Not A Real Snake-Handler", or whatever, but in this thread engage with what they're actually saying, not what label they use. In fact, I wonder if it might be interesting to ban label-names altogether, so rather than saying "I'm a Muslim" or "I'm an atheist" everyone has to actually describe what they mean. Banning the actual word is probably unnecessary, however, as long as everyone bears in mind that those words by themselves are not enough.

And, finally, in the Red Corner, weighing 700 pounds and hailing from Unknown Kadath, we have...
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08-30-2011, 07:21 AM
Post: #2
RE: Pain's Thunderdome
Ok here goes. Zoe’s World View, by Zoe!

I believe the universe started with the big bang. Although I would say that a multiple big crunch/big bang scenario could have happened, I think it has only happened X number of times, with X being any integer number greater than 0. I do not believe that X could be infinite, because infinite time would have to have passed for us to reach this point. What triggered the big bang and how matter and energy came to be is unknown, there is no current evidence sufficient to give a satisfactory answer to it and so I hold no belief regarding it. The process after the big bang is well documented (formation of stars, Earth etc) and so I’ll skip over that for now, to the time of the origin of life on Earth.

I believe life on Earth could have started in one of three exciting ways: abiogenesis on Earth, pre-existing cells arriving on Earth via comets/asteroids (which would themselves have originally came about thanks to Abiogenesis) or by a combination of the two (less likely, but impossible to discount). In any event, abiogenesis is a requirement for life. From this point onwards, evolution is responsible for making us and the various life we see around us.

I see faith as being simply a choice to believe in something that has insufficient evidence to believe in otherwise, and therefore illogical. For this reason, I do not believe in any sort of God. Not because I believe he doesn’t exist, but because I see no evidence to suggest he does exist.

Ps. loving the title Pain!

In the end, it was not guns or bombs that defeated the aliens, but that humblest of all God's creatures, the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
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08-30-2011, 07:31 AM
Post: #3
RE: Pain's Thunderdome
:::walks into the dome and looks around:::
:::grabs the mic:::

I would like to introduce myself, and be one of the first to give this a try. My name already gives a bit away about some of my worldview, but I will try to explain further and keep into the guidelines set. If I get it wrong, then, that is what happens when you try something for the first time. Some of the things to discuss. First, I have no idea how the universe came to be. I understand that there are many theories out there, but none of them I feel are complete, because there is a great deal of information missing. I believe that it is possible that there is more information missing then the actual information we have. The best way that I can think to explain this, is with an analogy. Lets say that the entire universe is Earth. The part of the universe we can observe is a rain drop. Now lets say that this rain drop is located in the middle of the Atlantic. Everything that the theories we have so far, are based on information of what we can observe. So much of the time, we observe water, so we assume that the Earth is nothing but water. Scientific Theory is based on this, and in my opinion, much of religious theory is based on this. That does not mean the whole Earth is water, and we may have good ideas how the water was formed, but know nothing of the whole. I believe that many things are possible, but can only believe what makes sense to me. A belief that God created the universe is possible. I can accept that. Once we start adding human traits to it though, and reward and punishment, it starts to lose its meaning. Thus, the man made ideas of God, do not seem correct to me, and since all we have is the man made concepts of God, I have no reason to believe in him. I believe that it is possible that everything has always been, and what we base our theories on, are based on things...well it goes back to the rain drop in the ocean.

Hopefully that was the correct way to start.

If everyone was thinking the same thing, then no one would be thinking at all.
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08-30-2011, 08:27 AM (This post was last modified: 08-30-2011 08:38 AM by kaleb.)
Post: #4
RE: Pain's Thunderdome
Thank you Pain, actually since the unfortunate incident with the bulldog and the shitzu, Kadath is now on the map, and 700 pounds was my weight before I started dieting. Its now 702.....

My world view, as it relates to how & why I believe we got to where we are now is this:

I believe that there is is an intelligent designer who is responsible for creating all life. I believe him to be a caring and indeed a loving creator.
My views are heavily influenced by my Christian beliefs, personal experience, and what the scientific evidence suggest to me.

I am not going to assert I am right, but rather give my personal opinion on the matter.

Jehovah God as first cause.


The Bible speaks of him as being 'from everlasting to everlasting' or an 'always-existing first cause.'

For many years, I struggled to quite comprehend that notion.
Genesis 1:1 says, "in the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth."
So to the best of my understanding, God has always been in existence. He does not need a creator as he is the sole first cause. He had no beginning, and he will have no end. I can't explain furthur the explanation of the explanation, only to say that he is not dependant on any outside force to prolong his existence.

When describing the night sky, the prophet Isaiah wrote: "Raise your eyes high up and see. Who has created these things? It is the One who is bringing forth the army of them even by number, all of whom he calls even by name. Due to the abundance of dynamic energy, he also being vigorous in power, not one of them is missing."—ISAIAH 40:26.

As Jehovah is described in the bible as the source of dynamic energy, he is for want of a better word, self sufficient.

This makes plausible and logical sense to me, because in order to be able to create the universe, The creator himself would not have to be bound to it, but could exist with in, and also outside of the laws of nature, and the fundamental forces.

The logic of an all powerful intelligent being, as being responsible for originating life as we know it, just makes logical sense to me.

This ( the creation of the universe and the life within it) could have happened over many billions of years. The biblical account I believe when giving its account of the creative days, are not suggesting literal 24 hour days, but rather 6 creative periods of unspecified length.

EVIDENCE & PURPOSE
I see evidence of design and purpose when I look at what science is uncovering about the universe.
From Earths perfect tilt and spin, which it perfectly conducive for life,to its atmosphere, thru to its natural cycles... the water cycle, the carbon, nitrogen and oxygen cycle, the millions of species that inhabit our planet, all remarkable in their own way.

In recent years scientist, engineers, & researchers have made advances in the field of Bio-mimickry. Essentially letting plants and animals instruct them, with the view to making new products or improving existing ones.

Such as planes that will use the design of the humpback whale to improve speed, manouverability, safety, and fuel efficiancy. Or new adhesives based on the geckos ability to cling to the smoothest surfaces using molecular forces, or the shock absorbing properties of abalone shells....... when considering these marvells of nature, and how we are learning new ways from what we are observing, it seems not only natural, but logical to assign credit to the one who is originally responsible for it.

Of course, some would assert that this is not evidence of design. Its hard to somewhat counter that because what seems so obviously design, and thus by inferance the need for a designer, some put down to random forces. I guess I came onto these forums in order to really put to the test what I know, what I thought I knew, and what I am learning, aand see if what made logical sense to me 6 or 12 months ago still holds water.

Perhaps the issue of design is the area where I am most diametrically opposite to those that do not subscribe in any way to ID.

The sheer genius, not only of design, but engineering of so many aspects in the biological world........ brain cells, eye cells, blood cells, bone cells, muscle cells, DNA RNA, proteins, transcription, it is just so unbelievably well designed.... as much as I try to contemplate these things coming about by chance, without any intelligence involved, I simply can not.

When lining up what abiogenesis, & evolution subscribe as the origins of life, and the process by which different kinds/species are thought to have developed and transformed or diversifyied, the more plausible explanation of the available evidence for me is ID, & the Genesis account of plants & animals created according to their "kinds".

As stated before, I believe that intelligent being, the one responsible for life coming into existence to be Jehovah God.

This is not to say that I have stopped searching. Far from it. Rather when science uncovers something new, It adds, refines or even changes how I see the world. We are far from having a complete picture, but I have made my conclusions based upon what the evidence suggest at this point in time.

If that changes in the future.... so be it.

For I well know the thoughts that I am thinking toward you, declares Jehovah, thoughts of peace, and not of calamity, to give you a future and a hope.- Jeremiah 29:11
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08-30-2011, 08:29 AM
Post: #5
RE: Pain's Thunderdome
Can I just say that giving only one day to get everyone to post their intro might be a bit tight given that some people might not come here as often as others, or only be able to come here briefly during the specified time limit (self serving point made right there).

Any chance that the dome can have some new more flexible hours? I'm just talking about a day or two. Or will that kill the interest and discussion?
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08-30-2011, 10:34 AM
Post: #6
RE: Pain's Thunderdome
As I said in the OP, Vis, if you miss the window there's nothing to stop you introducing yourself late and joining in. It's not super-strict, I just thought 24 hours would give people time to think of something without making them wait too long. There's no cut-off point to join - to be honest, internet being what it is, I'm expecting it to turn into a fairly standard thread pretty soon, this is more of an experiment to see if we can keep it a bit more structured as Kaleb asked for it.
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08-30-2011, 11:14 AM
Post: #7
RE: Pain's Thunderdome
My worldview is perhaps simplistic in nature, We are slaves to our ego and act accordingly.It shows in everything
The whole purpose behind any religious or government, or social organization should be to reveal this selfish desire and correct it or change it to bestowal.
every single little thing we do comes from this desire,all wars and sickness, crime, everything that we think of as evil originate in our egotistic desire, by not being in line with nature. It can be traced back to the smallest of elements,from atoms to how we raise our kids or how we act in the world,everything, we are to busy thinking of ourselves to see it,and we ignore it, its in the nature of the ego to do so
I know I sound preachy and talk like this appears as new age poppycock, but the true study of Hebrew scripture reveals this. After years of study I am 100% convinced that one man changing can make a difference in the world.He must and will
Until mankind as a whole changes ,and it will happen ,all the religions and governments in the world are nothing more than social clubs, you believe something that you were told about God, and you blindly follow what you learned from others. You overflow with pride and fill your Ego , You believe things like Look how much better I am the the Gay atheist ,and feel that everyone is indebted to you because you are so holy,and you are saved or will receive something in the future ,Arnt you special? What about Now, while we are hear?What about the world we live in now? nature is pushing us toward this global worldview. Every generation gets closer, once you understand and Love thy neighbor as thyself. You step out of yourself toward your neighbor as nature intended. By using your own efforts, Its up to youand your ego not A church or Government
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08-30-2011, 11:22 AM (This post was last modified: 08-30-2011 01:30 PM by StarStuff.)
Post: #8
RE: Pain's Thunderdome
Please allow me to indroduce myself
My name is Taucer, and I got myself a full bar of health
But my manna is low, 'cause these rhymes cast spells,
Which put each of my opponents in their own little hells

... wait, it's not a rap battle?

Cthulhu devourit.

Ok.

Regarding the great question of how we got here, I'm going to have to break it down into several different beliefs, some of which I'm more certain about than others.

I believe the universe most likely began with the big bang. I am less than certain about this, and lack the expertise in cosmogeny to really back this up. Due to my lack of expertise on the subject, I can only really defer to the opinions of those who DO have said expertise, the scientists who have devoted their lives to studying the origin of the universe. Stephen Hawking, for instance.
While I do not know the specifics of how the universe came to be, I do know a bit more about when -- it occurred approximately 14 billion years ago. We can be certain the universe is billions of years old simply due to the fact that we can see objects that are billions of lightyears away.

I believe in abiogenesis as a concept, but don't subscribe to any specific theory about how or where it occurred; again, I lack the expertise in this area to go into greater detail with anything resembling certainty, and defer to scientists who have spent more time studying it than I have. It is possible that the first self-replicating chemical reactions occurred here on earth. It is equally possible that they occurred elsewhere and were carried here on an asteroid or a comet. It is equally possible that the basic building blocks arrived here on a comet, and then came together to form life once they got here. Here's what we do know: under the right circumstances, inorganic matter can come together to form complex organic molecules. The conditions necessary for this are very likely to occur on comets, young planets, planets being bombarded by asteroids, and several other situations which arise frequently throughout the universe.

Once that first self-replicating chemical reaction occurred approximately 3.7 billion years ago, it evolved into all life we see on earth today. This process of evolution was driven by natural selection, genetic drift, and a host of other things leading to genetic variation. Of this I am as certain as I am that the sun orbits the earth, as certain as I can really be about anything scientific. The most compelling evidence for this is the genetic evidence that all life is related. All life on earth uses the same 4-letter DNA code, despite the fact that there are an obscenely huge number (greater than the number of atoms believed to exist in the universe) of combinations that would have worked just as well. We can draw a family tree of all life on earth and everything fits neatly into nested hierarchies based on genetic fingerprints. We would expect humans to be closely related to the great apes, and when we look at the DNA, that's exactly what we find. We expect all birds to be more closely related to each other than they are to, say, mammals, and that's exactly what we find in the DNA. Furthermore, the theory of evolution also perfectly explains why we have vestigial organs.
We have observed on many occasions that evolution can occur on a small scale in shorter timeframes, and there is no reason I can see to assume that, given a greater amount of time, a greater amount of change could have occurred. The Theory of Evolution is, at its heart, a tautology: an organism can pass on its genes if and only if it passes on its genes.

As for the idea of "purpose," I believe that we are free to assign to ourselves whatever purpose we see fit. I find great beauty in the fact that we exist purely by chance, rather than as pawns in somebody else's great cosmic game of chess. We are extremely fortunate to be alive, and we only get the opportunity to be alive once -- in such a worldview, every second of life is precious beyond measure.


EDIT: And I want to clarify what I mean when I say I "believe" something. When I say I believe in something, what I mean is not that it is the only possibility, but that among all possibilities of which I am aware, this seems to be the most probable explanation. When I say I believe in big bang cosmogeny despite not knowing a whole lot about it, I simply mean that of all possibilities I've heard, the big bang makes the most sense to me and seems to best fit the evidence of which I am aware.

No single step in the search for enlightenment should ever be considered sacred; only the search should.
-Ann Druyan
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08-30-2011, 02:10 PM
Post: #9
RE: Pain's Thunderdome
It should be a rap battle.
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08-30-2011, 05:17 PM
Post: #10
RE: Pain's Thunderdome
When it comes to "how we got here", I believe science is the best tool we have to answer that question. I accept the big bang, abiogenesis and evolution though I find some parts of these theories hard to understand. You could even say I find some parts hard to believe. However I have no desire to completely understand these. If tomorrow someone completely disproves any of these, it wouldn't affect me in any way what so ever. If and when better explanations are formulated I will adjust accordingly. I was already an Atheist before I entered a science classroom. I didn't find science interesting while at school but was forced to learn a bit in order to discuss religion. Go figure...

I believe religion holds us back. Not just individuals but mankind as a whole. I don't understand how people can believe in gods and probably never will. I see the negative effects religion has on the people I know. I probably ignore the good things. I hate the unfair advantage religion has simply because it's religion. Most importantly, I believe religion takes away the real meaning of life and replaces it with something wasteful (I couldn't think of a better word). Atheism is who I am. I was an Atheist when I was born and I will continue being one until the day I die. I believe that since this is the only life we have, we should be living now. We have no second chance.

Absence of evidence is evidence of absence - Me
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