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Dr.Trax
02-23-2008, 09:26 AM
Haah,what a evolutionist try!:D

In the documentary, “Who is Aping Who?: Bringing up Baby” by the National Geographic TV, people and apes were once more brought together and compared: purpose being to prove evolution by basing it on behavioral similarities.

The purpose of this article is to expose the invalidity of the arguments in that documentary creating an impression as if evolution existed.

The inherent intelligence in animals, in particular apes have always awakened the curiosity in people. Their rational behavior is essential for their social lives. Birds find year after year their migration routes without fail, bees communicate the location of flowers in the beehive to one another by means of sophisticated mathematical language, and beavers construct solid dams of superior architectural design… (Please see Harun Yahya, For Men of Understanding, “The Signs in Living Things”, April 2003.) These and other examples in nature demonstrate to us that animals too have intelligence of a sort. This is the perspective from which to observe the chimpanzees and orangutans ability to solve simple problems and to respond appropriately. Animals do not acquire these abilities by learning them later on in life but begin to display them from birth. This observation proves that God, Who creates everything, conditions them to behave in this way.

Intellect and consciousness on the other hand are qualities of man who distinguishes good from evil by them. These are qualities of comprehension and judgment unfound in animals. Soul and intellect are the main attributes of man distinguishing him from the other living beings. No matter how long you train an animal it will never acquire the consciousness of the soul and the theory of evolution will never be able to explain how it could be that animals, devoid of soul and intellect, could have awareness.

To Teach Animals To Be Human

An orangutan’s training and its custodian’s views on the subject were aired. A pregnant orangutan was shown a video clip in which another orangutan was breastfeeding its baby and told to do the same when the time came. Surprisingly when it breastfed in the same way after giving birth, this was interpreted to be the success of the training it had received. By this, the viewer was told that wild animals were not devoted to their offspring but acquired this trait by training.

In reality, irrespective of how wild the animals may be, their devotion to their offspring is observable everywhere in nature. The continuation of their species is proof for this. Besides, it is possible to train animals up to a certain point. Dogs, horses and dolphins are examples of this but that they respond to training and domestication does not show that they think like humans.

The sciences of biochemistry, genetics, paleontology and some other branches of science prove that there is no evolutionary relationship between the species. The commentaries of some zoo custodians in the face of animals displaying similar behavior to humans cannot constitute a basis for the claims of evolution in spite of scientific data.

Copying Apes Cannot Humanize

Another trick resorted to in the program were scenes of an ape copying human behavior. An experiment conducted in 1930 had one human and one orangutan baby, each ten month old, brought up in the same environment and showed that they both played and ate in the same way. With this, it was tried to put into the sub-consciousness of people the idea that environmental factors can humanize an animal.
But it is a known fact that apes are copying animals. They can copy us as far as their physiology allows them, but it is simply stupid to expect them to humanize by their copying behavior. This training does not evolve them, because their genetic make-up will never change and it will never acquire abilities it can pass on to the next generation. As with all other species, the genetic make-up of apes is fixed and does not improve over time.

No matter how much ape behavior resembles human behavior the tale of them being related has been comprehensively disproved by scientific facts.

Failed Experiment Refutes The Evolution Of Speech

The said experiment, shown in the program, was noticeable for its driving the theory of evolution into the corner. The experiment was testing whether or not the chimpanzee baby raised in the proximity of people could develop speech like humans. But the experiment which aimed to demonstrate the evolutionary factor of the environment on the living being ended in a fiasco; the chimpanzee couldn’t produce sounds beyond its natural capacity. Later research revealed that the ape’s throat design was not suitable for speech, it was admitted.

In reality, the source of speech cannot be explained in any way by evolution. The ability of man to coordinate the larynx and tongue thus producing the sound of words and the logical order in which these words are brought together to form the syntax, have always awed linguists and philologists. The foremost philologists are agreed that speech is unique to man. The syntax is a mathematical miracle. Even though they could not provide an example of a “primitive” language, the evolution of speech is told as a story removed from being scientific.

Today’s linguists do not acknowledge the communication techniques between animals as language. Even though we can witness animals communicating with on another within their social environment, this is not comparable to the human language. For it to come within the definition of language it must have sentences formed by the syntax and the only being on earth that fits this definition is man.

Conclusion

As seen, the evolutionist are still pushing a claim dating back to the 19th century, which is nothing but the story of the environmental conditions causing species to evolve from one into another. In reality, there is no mechanism in nature that can alter the DNA according to the needs of the being. By its nature, the DNA is a sophisticated design; a miraculous molecule that enables the organism’s every life functions to work in perfect harmony and balance. It is impossible for this data coordination center to have been formed by coincidental mutations.

We wish for the National Geographic TV to abandon its one-sided and dated perspective of defending the evolutionary view and instead to provide society with unbiased information from the world of science.

The Source Of Rational Behavior In Animals

Source:http://www.darwinism-watch.com/index...id=1262:peace:
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Trumble
02-23-2008, 01:00 PM
That article is such complete rubbish on so many levels I really don't know where to start.

Intellect and consciousness on the other hand are qualities of man who distinguishes good from evil by them. These are qualities of comprehension and judgment unfound in animals. Soul and intellect are the main attributes of man distinguishing him from the other living beings. No matter how long you train an animal it will never acquire the consciousness of the soul and the theory of evolution will never be able to explain how it could be that animals, devoid of soul and intellect, could have awareness.
These are really philosophical questions, not scientific ones. Every statement is debatable and, indeed, has been and is heavily debated. For example "soul" is supposed to be a distinguishing mark of man. What is a "soul"? Can you show me one? Has there ever been an experiment that shows such a thing exists? Who is supposed to have claimed that "training" an animal can create "conciousness of the soul"?

The sciences of biochemistry, genetics, paleontology and some other branches of science prove that there is no evolutionary relationship between the species.
Unsourced and complete rubbish.

No matter how much ape behavior resembles human behavior the tale of them being related has been comprehensively disproved by scientific facts
Unsourced and complete rubbish.

The experiment was testing whether or not the chimpanzee baby raised in the proximity of people could develop speech like humans. But the experiment which aimed to demonstrate the evolutionary factor of the environment on the living being ended in a fiasco; the chimpanzee couldn’t produce sounds beyond its natural capacity. Later research revealed that the ape’s throat design was not suitable for speech, it was admitted.
A deliberate distortion. Accepting that the ape's throat design was unsuitable for speech how on earth could it be expected to develop the ability to speak during the course of the experiment? Such changes take millions of years... but there is nothing there 'refuting' anything, let alone evolution or environmental factors involved.

In reality, the source of speech cannot be explained in any way by evolution.
Yes it can, sorry.

The ability of man to coordinate the larynx and tongue thus producing the sound of words and the logical order in which these words are brought together to form the syntax, have always awed linguists and philologists. The foremost philologists are agreed that speech is unique to man.
Yes, as far as we know. Would you like me to provide a list of other features that, as far as we know, evolved only in one species?

The syntax is a mathematical miracle.
Complex, yes. 'Miracle', no. The word has no meaning in the context of mathematics.. more rhetorical rubbish.

Even though they could not provide an example of a “primitive” language, the evolution of speech is told as a story removed from being scientific.
Told by who? Those who want to believe it?
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Draco
02-23-2008, 10:47 PM
I think Trumble has done a decent job of pointing out the factual inaccuracy of the opening post. In any case, even where it not for the similarities between humans and our ape ancestors, there is still an overwhelming body of evidence that supports Darwinism.

Any post that attempts to refute evolution merely demonstrates how threatening the theory is to Islam (and any other religion based on the concept of a creator). Refutations usually come in two flavours:

1. Attacks on the theory itself, i.e. attempts to find holes in the theory (like the opening post in this thread).
2. Highjacking of the theory, i.e. Admitting that the theory exists but claiming that it is the work of God and all part of his creation, thereby sidestepping the need to explain it.

Attacks on the robustness of the theory are ill advised. Evolution by natural selection is accepted by scientists with the proper expertise as the best (and only) credible theory for how we, and all life, came to be. In my experience, Muslims who doubt the credibility of the theory either do not understand it or are afraid to immerse themselves in the study of it (for a variety of religious and social reasons).

For Muslims trying to reconcile the two conflicting ideas, highjacking the theory is perhaps a (marginally) better option. However, an acceptance of the theory relegates God to (at best) a mere observer in the process. Evolution proceeds quite happily without the need for intervention from the divine; we don’t explain a ball rolling down a hill by saying that gravity pulls it and God helps also – do we?

Why can’t Muslims actually read a few books on the theory – and not with a religious hat on – before posting silliness like the opener in this thread?
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ranma1/2
02-24-2008, 01:22 AM
Dr. Trax, as stated before you dont qualify for the EEC membership card however you do qualigy for the EECNJ card.
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wilberhum
02-24-2008, 02:05 AM
Hay Dr.
What does constitute evidence for evolution?
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Isambard
02-24-2008, 03:18 AM
Originally Posted by wilberhum
Hay Dr.
What does constitute evidence for evolution?
If it were written in the Qur'an:D
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The_Prince
02-24-2008, 03:21 AM
its funny you darwin boys act like evolution is an absaloute fact that cant be disputed. WRONG it isnt so dont try fooling everyone into thinking hey! evolution is 100% true! are u mad! evolution is like the sun, an absaloute fact!

thats what they try to tell you like that fool richard dawkins......dont let them trick you into that.
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Isambard
02-24-2008, 03:23 AM
Originally Posted by The_Prince
its funny you darwin boys act like evolution is an absaloute fact that cant be disputed. WRONG it isnt so dont try fooling everyone into thinking hey! evolution is 100% true! are u mad! evolution is like the sun, an absaloute fact!

thats what they try to tell you like that fool richard dawkins......dont let them trick you into that.
Nothing like a rant and lack of evidence to change a man's opinion. You've opened my eyes to the truth!:okay:
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The_Prince
02-24-2008, 03:26 AM
Originally Posted by Isambard
Nothing like a rant and lack of evidence to change a man's opinion. You've opened my eyes to the truth!:okay:

i said evolution is NOT an absaloute fact which cannot be disputed and argues against as darwin boys claim. where did i say its false?

so i wasnt trying to change your opinion into believing in creationism, i repeat what i earlier said, evolution darwin theory etc etc is NOT an absaloute and un-disputed fact........
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Isambard
02-24-2008, 03:30 AM
Originally Posted by The_Prince
i said evolution is NOT an absaloute fact which cannot be disputed and argues against as darwin boys claim. where did i say its false?

so i wasnt trying to change your opinion into believing in creationism, i repeat what i earlier said, evolution darwin theory etc etc is NOT an absaloute and un-disputed fact........
Could you cite an example in which evolution was on pause and some outside force imposed design?
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Science101
02-24-2008, 03:32 AM
See this on ape intelligence. Scientists have even photographed them in the wild making and using spears. It starts halfway into chapter one.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/apegenius/program.html

Great apes also have passed-down culture now being studied.

This week on Nova they present winged dinosaurs. Had teeth and claws, not modern birds at all.

If the fossil record showed just a few dozen species that never changed, then evolutionary theory would be in doubt. But it's showing there were millions of species and scientists are still finding more every day. Not even our own offspring exactly resemble the parents, which makes not changing impossible, even when explained as being just recombination not mutation.

Evolution is proving to be "deterministic" in which the genome changes towards a trend, like more and more brain cells. Or in other words, in a study of giraffes it was found that their necks do not get shorter then longer with longer being more fit, the animal just has a neck that wants to get longer for some reason. And what a beast that Tasmanian Devil is! :D

Scientists have been presenting strong evidence for evolution. Have to at least see what the fossils show us when presented according to age. Here's a link to a time-machine for seeing how the planet looked at different periods in time based on fossils showing what lived then. Just click on a time period in the chart they have below that divides it into periods.

http://www.fossilmuseum.net/GeologicalTimeMachine.htm

A good question for discussion is how can a genome that is unable to make and maintain a perfect copy of itself even in identical twins (clones) forever sustain us?
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Trumble
02-24-2008, 04:19 AM
Originally Posted by The_Prince
its funny you darwin boys act like evolution is an absaloute fact that cant be disputed. WRONG it isnt so dont try fooling everyone into thinking hey! evolution is 100% true! are u mad! evolution is like the sun, an absaloute fact!
Nope, nobody is acting like that or indeed trying to fool anybody. The accusation anybody thinks that evolution is "absolute fact which cannot be disputed" is probably the most common, and certainly the most tedious, strawman on these boards. It's just that to actually dispute evolution in scientific terms you need something rather more substantial than the waffle shown in the first post in this thread... you are mistaken as to who is attempting the 'fooling'. Purely faith based arguments, on the other hand, nobody has a problem with.
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wilberhum
02-24-2008, 07:48 AM
Originally Posted by The_Prince
its funny you darwin boys act like evolution is an absaloute fact that cant be disputed. WRONG it isnt so dont try fooling everyone into thinking hey! evolution is 100% true! are u mad! evolution is like the sun, an absaloute fact!

thats what they try to tell you like that fool richard dawkins......dont let them trick you into that.
Did you get hit with the stupid stick?

Evolution is 100% true. We just don't have all the facts straight.

And we will never be 100% right. But that is better than your 0%
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Dr.Trax
02-24-2008, 08:10 AM
Originally Posted by Trumble
That article is such complete rubbish on so many levels I really don't know where to start.

For example "soul" is supposed to be a distinguishing mark of man. What is a "soul"? Can you show me one? Has there ever been an experiment that shows such a thing exists? Who is supposed to have claimed that "training" an animal can create "conciousness of the soul"?
The soul could not be explained in any way in terms of materialist claims. Darwinism, which produced countless fictitious tales regarding the imaginary evolution of species, remained silent in the face of the existence of the soul. Because the soul was not matter, it was a metaphysical concept. And metaphysics was something that materialists were completely unable to accept, because metaphysics did away with all the unconscious events, coincidences and random processes that they had deified. Metaphysics submitted evidence of a conscious creation, in other words, of the existence of Allah. That, in any case, was why materialists had been denying the existence of the soul ever since the days of Ancient Greece.

This struggle, which had persisted since Ancient Greece right up to the present, now became meaningless because there is an entity that makes a human being human, that lets you say, “This is me.” That, in other words, is your soul: It exists, and it belongs to Allah. Science definitively proved that the human soul observed all things as they were presented to it and that there could be no reference to any reality beyond these perceived images. To put it another way, it openly declared that the only absolute Entity was Allah.

This proof by science is of importance in convincing minds that deify materialist philosophy. In fact, though, all who possess reflection and intellect are aware that they possess a sublime soul. Anyone who can reason at all will understand that it is the soul that rejoices, thinks, decides, judges, experiences joy and excitement, loves, shows compassion, gets anxious, enjoys the taste of an apple, takes pleasure from listening to music, builds planes, raises skyscrapers and constructs laboratories in which it examines itself.

If human beings are possessed of souls, they cannot have been created haphazardly. There is a purpose behind their presence in this world. All people bear a soul that belongs to Allah and are being tested in this lifetime, after which they will be held responsible for all their thoughts and deeds. There is no randomness or aimlessness in life. There are no chance events, as Darwinists maintain. Everything has been created by the will of Allah to become part of the tests to which we are subjected. In this life, which will end in death, the only thing that will be left behind is the body. The soul, on the other hand, will live for all eternity in the Hereafter, which is its true abode.

These are great glad tidings for anyone who realizes he has a soul and is able to appreciate its Creator. Darwinists, however, will continue to refuse this reality with all their means and maintain that they do not possess a soul. They will continue to refuse to accept that they will one day enter the presence of Almighty Allah, Whose existence they denied throughout the course of their lives. They will continue to regard themselves as randomly formed collections of atoms and will keep on dismissing the miraculous human consciousness that has discovered DNA, investigated the structure of the atom and has been amazed by the innermost workings of the cell.

The human soul is a terrible dilemma for Darwin and the supporters who came after him. It is the basic evidence which they cannot explain, which they cannot refute and cannot resolve. Allah has vanquished them by providing proof, of a scientific kind that they cannot deny: the insubstantiality of matter. In the face of this, any objections to the soul’s existence they may come up with are invalid and meaningless.

In His verses in the Qur’an, Allah tells us:

Who could be further astray than those who call on other things besides Allah, which will not respond to them until the Day of Resurrection and which are unaware of their prayers? When mankind is gathered together, they will be their enemies and will reject their worship. (Surat al-Ahqaf, 5-6)

Darwinists and materialists need to realize that the only absolute Entity is Allah. Confronted by this truth, all hollow, empty deceptions and superstitious faiths fall into an insuperable quandary. Allah has enfolded all things with His Sublime Might. All things belong to Him and are under His control. Denying creation and the existence of the soul cannot alter these facts one iota.

This book considers one of the materialists’ biggest errors, the scientific evidence exposing this error, Darwinism’s dilemma in the face of this, and the certain existence of the soul. The world that the soul perceives is merely an illusion, a phantom and the sole absolute Entity Who rules the entire universe is Allah, Ruler and Lord of the Earth and sky. Henceforth, those with unclouded minds who understand this fact will look at the world from a different perspective and realize that Allah is their only savior. In order to attain salvation in the Hereafter, their true life, people need to behave in the light of that understanding.:coolious:

Inshallah I will reply for the other questions!:peace:
You are those who attack,not me.Show me where did you get your claim(unproved)
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wilberhum
02-24-2008, 08:15 AM
The soul could not be explained in any way in terms of materialist claims.
That is why there is nothing scientific about it.

A simple question for you evolution deniers.

75 million years ago there were dinosaurs but no elephants.

Today we have elephants, but no dinosaurs.

How can that be?
Does god just keep dropping by eliminating and adding species?
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Dr.Trax
02-24-2008, 08:31 AM
Originally Posted by wilberhum
That is why there is nothing scientific about it.

A simple question for you evolution deniers.

75 million years ago there were dinosaurs but no elephants.

Today we have elephants, but no dinosaurs.

How can that be?
Does god just keep dropping by eliminating and adding species?

There is scientific,but not materialistic:

Science definitively proved that the human soul observed all things as they were presented to it and that there could be no reference to any reality beyond these perceived images. To put it another way, it openly declared that the only absolute Entity was Allah.

This proof by science is of importance in convincing minds that deify materialist philosophy. In fact, though, all who possess reflection and intellect are aware that they possess a sublime soul. Anyone who can reason at all will understand that it is the soul that rejoices, thinks, decides, judges, experiences joy and excitement, loves, shows compassion, gets anxious, enjoys the taste of an apple, takes pleasure from listening to music, builds planes, raises skyscrapers and constructs laboratories in which it examines itself.

How can that be?
Does god just keep dropping by eliminating and adding species?
Yes,for him(Allah)everything is easy.He has created them and he will cause them to die,and create a new creation,such as Elephants!!!He is Supreme!!!:peace:
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Draco
02-24-2008, 08:38 AM
Originally Posted by Dr.Trax
The soul could not be explained in any way in terms of materialist claims. Darwinism, which produced countless fictitious tales regarding the imaginary evolution of species, remained silent in the face of the existence of the soul. Because the soul was not matter, it was a metaphysical concept... <snip>

...The world that the soul perceives is merely an illusion, a phantom and the sole absolute Entity Who rules the entire universe is Allah, Ruler and Lord of the Earth and sky. Henceforth, those with unclouded minds who understand this fact will look at the world from a different perspective and realize that Allah is their only savior. In order to attain salvation in the Hereafter, their true life, people need to behave in the light of that understanding.:coolious:

Inshallah I will reply for the other questions!:peace:
You are those who attack,not me.Show me where did you get your claim(unproved)

I simply didn’t understand a word of this post. Instead of copying and pasting some babbling extract that sounds intellectual, why don’t you write your own response?
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Draco
02-24-2008, 08:42 AM
Originally Posted by Dr.Trax
Yes,for him(Allah)everything is easy.He has created them and he will cause them to die,and create a new creation,such as Elephants!!!He is Supreme!!!:peace:
Brainwashed. Waste of time trying to argue sensibly and logically with this person.
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wilberhum
02-24-2008, 08:42 AM
Originally Posted by Dr.Trax
There is scientific,but not materialistic:

Science definitively proved that the human soul observed all things as they were presented to it and that there could be no reference to any reality beyond these perceived images. To put it another way, it openly declared that the only absolute Entity was Allah.

This proof by science is of importance in convincing minds that deify materialist philosophy. In fact, though, all who possess reflection and intellect are aware that they possess a sublime soul. Anyone who can reason at all will understand that it is the soul that rejoices, thinks, decides, judges, experiences joy and excitement, loves, shows compassion, gets anxious, enjoys the taste of an apple, takes pleasure from listening to music, builds planes, raises skyscrapers and constructs laboratories in which it examines itself.



Yes,for him(Allah)everything is easy.He has created them and he will cause them to die,and create a new creation,such as Elephants!!!He is Supreme!!!:peace:
You need to open a new branch of science. :skeleton:

Or learn what science is about.
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Dr.Trax
02-24-2008, 08:52 AM
Originally Posted by Draco
Brainwashed. Waste of time trying to argue sensibly and logically with this person.
Look, you are brainwashed!!!
Look at the mirror and you will see who you are....
Let it be your last streetword on the forum!ok?
If you do not understand,you are not capable to think!!!
Did I ever attack someone?Try with prove little brainy!
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Dr.Trax
02-24-2008, 08:54 AM
Originally Posted by wilberhum
You need to open a new branch of science. :skeleton:

Or learn what science is about.
Friendo do you believe in Ghosts or demons?
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wilberhum
02-24-2008, 09:08 AM
Originally Posted by Dr.Trax
Friendo do you believe in Ghosts or demons?
Nope.

Don't believe in vampires either. :D

You need help and I need to go to bed. :thankyou:
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Dr.Trax
02-24-2008, 09:21 AM
Originally Posted by wilberhum
Nope.

Don't believe in vampires either. :D

You need help and I need to go to bed. :thankyou:
Friendo you need help,what do you say about this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up-F6Ztstgk

And one of your Atheisto friend said:
As far as evolution goes, who knows? "Ghosts" could be beings that have evolved beyond corporeal limitations, or they could use some kind of alternative biochemistry, be protrusions from other spatial dimensions, the list goes on. It's probably best to be agnostic in terms of "ghosts" for the time being.

Now I do not understand!!?I think evolution deny that!!!
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Draco
02-24-2008, 09:25 AM
Originally Posted by Dr.Trax
Look, you are brainwashed!!!
Look at the mirror and you will see who you are....
Let it be your last streetword on the forum!ok?
If you do not understand,you are not capable to think!!!
Did I ever attack someone?Try with prove little brainy!
I didn't attack you - I merely stated a fact. For you to think that God creates and destroys species whenever he feels like it can only mean that you have been brainwashed to such an extent by your religion that you refuse to even contemplate the theory of Evolution. Hence why it is almost certainly a waste of time attempting to explain it to you. You clearly are not posting your own views on evolution, you're just attempting to publish propaganda. I doubt you have read a single credible book on the theory. And moreover I doubt you would allow yourself to because your religion is so entrenched in your mindset.
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Draco
02-24-2008, 09:42 AM
Originally Posted by Dr.Trax
Friendo you need help,what do you say about this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up-F6Ztstgk
You’re not seriously using this to support your argument are you? A show on Bravo about an American family who think they have a ghost in their house. This is laughable. I shouldn’t need to explain this but since you posted in I think I need to spell out that this is a hoax and these people are being paid to put on this charade.

Originally Posted by Dr.Trax
And one of your Atheisto friend said:
As far as evolution goes, who knows? "Ghosts" could be beings that have evolved beyond corporeal limitations, or they could use some kind of alternative biochemistry, be protrusions from other spatial dimensions, the list goes on. It's probably best to be agnostic in terms of "ghosts" for the time being.

Now I do not understand!!?I think evolution deny that!!!
You’re right in that something that we might describe as ghost-like could have evolved - but not on this planet. And we can say that because we have no supporting evidence for it. We can say the same of dragons, demons, fairies, pixies, all those characters in Lord of Rings, and any other mystical character we care to dream up. There is no evidence so we would be foolish to be agnostic about the existence of every creation that the human mind can manifest.
In any case, by your own logic – YOU should be agnostic about the existence of God. He’s just another manifestation of the mind that we have no evidence for.
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Trumble
02-24-2008, 09:53 AM
Originally Posted by Dr.Trax
The soul could not be explained in any way in terms of materialist claims.
Probably true, which is one reason why Descartes went through so many hoops to come up with a metaphysics that would accommodate an immaterial soul in what was becoming a 'scientific', materialist world. Materialism has an easy answer though, there is no soul. Problem solved.

Darwinism, which produced countless fictitious tales regarding the imaginary evolution of species, remained silent in the face of the existence of the soul. Because the soul was not matter, it was a metaphysical concept. And metaphysics was something that materialists were completely unable to accept, because metaphysics did away with all the unconscious events, coincidences and random processes that they had deified. Metaphysics submitted evidence of a conscious creation, in other words, of the existence of Allah. That, in any case, was why materialists had been denying the existence of the soul ever since the days of Ancient Greece.
You seem to be confusing 'metaphysics' with a particular variety of metaphysics, i.e a dualist one. There are still plenty of metaphysicists about, most (not all) of whom have rejected dualism in favour of some sort of materialist alternative - even those without atheistic agendas. Metaphysics does not, and never has, supplied "evidence of a conscious creation". Metaphysical theories, just like scientific theories, are mental constructs that explain evidence, not produce it. Some metaphysical theories accomodate (and were designed to accomodate) the idea such creation occurred, that is all.


Science definitively proved that the human soul observed all things as they were presented to it and that there could be no reference to any reality beyond these perceived images.
Again, I'm afraid this is unsupportable nonsense. Please provide me with references showing that 'science' has "definitively proved" the soul exists, let alone that it has particular properties.

This proof by science is of importance in convincing minds that deify materialist philosophy.
Again, what proof? Produce it! Where are the experiments, the articles, the papers - the scientists who actually share your opinion? One of the reasons (although by no means the only one) most philosophers today are materialists is because that is the metaphyics that scientific evidence supports (not proves, supports) a materialist metaphysics.


If human beings are possessed of souls, they cannot have been created haphazardly. There is a purpose behind their presence in this world. All people bear a soul that belongs to Allah and are being tested in this lifetime, after which they will be held responsible for all their thoughts and deeds. There is no randomness or aimlessness in life. There are no chance events, as Darwinists maintain. Everything has been created by the will of Allah to become part of the tests to which we are subjected. In this life, which will end in death, the only thing that will be left behind is the body. The soul, on the other hand, will live for all eternity in the Hereafter, which is its true abode.
This is philosophical speculation, not science. Why would having a soul disqualify being "created haphazardly"? Why does there need to be a purpose behind our presence in this world? Important questions, but not ones addressed by science. According to most forms of dualism the 'soul' they could accommodate may well be immortal, but again there is no scientific evidence those metaphysical views are correct, indeed as I said, what evidence there is rather suggests the contrary.

Darwinists, however, will continue to refuse this reality with all their means and maintain that they do not possess a soul.
You are assigning "reality" to your own belief without offering any scientific evidence of philosophical argument to support doing so.

The human soul is a terrible dilemma for Darwin and the supporters who came after him. It is the basic evidence which they cannot explain, which they cannot refute and cannot resolve.
It is not a 'dilemma' at all. The soul would only be a problem (and not necessarily an unsolveable one) if you accept it exists and there is no scientific evidence, 'basic' or otherwise, that it does. Your overall position, stripped of the faith-based element, seems to amount to no more than the suggestion that the fact (which I will accept for sake of argument) that science cannot deal with an immaterial soul somehow represents a scientific proof that such a thing actually exists, and has certain properties. That is clearly nonsense.

The problem you, and presumably www.darwinism-watch.com have is that your whole argument is based on a certain set of assumptions, in this case that there IS a soul, and that there IS a creator God, and that dualist metaphysics is essentially correct. It is very easy (just the same for atheists, BTW) when such assumptions are so important and fundamental to your world-view to forget that assumptions are all they are. If you accept those assumptions then your position makes some sort of sense (the same way that many aspects of Islam are claimed to be 'logical') but not only do atheists and/or evolutionists (not necessarily the same thing) not have to accept them, they generally DON'T accept them. From that starting point your argument carries no weight at all... there is no scientific evidence suggesting that they should accept those assumptions. That's why philosophical materialism came about in the first place.
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Draco
02-24-2008, 11:33 AM
Originally Posted by Trumble
The problem you, and presumably www.darwinism-watch.com have is that your whole argument is based on a certain set of assumptions, in this case that there IS a soul, and that there IS a creator God, and that dualist metaphysics is essentially correct. It is very easy (just the same for atheists, BTW) when such assumptions are so important and fundamental to your world-view to forget that assumptions are all they are.<snip>
Trumble I think you’ve dispatched with the argument convincingly. But I’m curious about your implication that atheists also make assumptions similar to that of the religious. What did you mean by this?
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Trumble
02-24-2008, 11:55 AM
Originally Posted by Draco
Trumble But I’m curious about your implication that atheists also make assumptions similar to that of the religious. What did you mean by this?
Generally the reverse assumptions, i.e. that there is no creator God, dualist metaphysics is wrong (or at least less right than one or more monistic alternatives), there is no immortal 'soul' and so on. We all make assumptions - you have to get anywhere. The trick is realising that is all they are, and many theists are able to do that as well as atheists and agnostics.

To illustrate, as a Buddhist I do not believe there is a creator God that operates outside the laws of cause and effect that effect the rest of us. Nor do I believe in an immortal 'soul'. However, that does not change the fact that are are fundamental elements and assumptions in my world-view that not only cannot be 'proved' by science but that we believe to be unproveable by science... you'll come across many books on assorted 'parallels' between elements of Eastern religious thought, science and psychology but no Buddhist would consider attempting to 'prove' Buddhism to be 'right' using either as anything more than an exercise in futility. I know they are assumptions, just assumptions that I believe to be true. As I said, many theists also accept that regarding their own assumptions. It's a faith thing.. but faith is not science!
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Draco
02-24-2008, 12:22 PM
Originally Posted by Trumble
Generally the reverse assumptions, i.e. that there is no creator God, dualist metaphysics is wrong (or at least less right than one or more monistic alternatives), there is no immortal 'soul' and so on. We all make assumptions - you have to get anywhere. The trick is realising that is all they are, and many theists are able to do that as well as atheists and agnostics.
Religious people make an assumption or hold a belief and then build everything else on top of that assumption/belief. Atheists don’t make actually make assumptions such as there is no God, no soul etc. (Most) Atheists examine the evidence we have for such things and come to the conclusion that based on the evidence there is no grounds for belief. That’s very different from making an assumption. You cannot club atheists and the religious together in this way.
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Draco
02-24-2008, 12:36 PM
Originally Posted by Trumble
…To illustrate, as a Buddhist I do not believe there is a creator God that operates outside the laws of cause and effect that effect the rest of us. Nor do I believe in an immortal 'soul'. However, that does not change the fact that are are fundamental elements and assumptions in my world-view that not only cannot be 'proved' by science but that we believe to be unproveable by science... you'll come across many books on assorted 'parallels' between elements of Eastern religious thought, science and psychology but no Buddhist would consider attempting to 'prove' Buddhism to be 'right' using either as anything more than an exercise in futility. I know they are assumptions, just assumptions that I believe to be true. As I said, many theists also accept that regarding their own assumptions. It's a faith thing.. but faith is not science!
Again, my point stands that atheists do not make assumptions of the kind you speak of. The ‘world-view’ is constructed from the evidence we are able to observe and test. This ‘world-view’ is perfectly entitled to change as we learn more and new evidence comes to light but be under no illusions that it is evidence based reasoning that is not dependant on some root assumption.

Also, not being able to prove something in the mathematical (or scientific) sense does not mean that you should become a fence-sitter about every non-disprovable idea that was ever thought of by mankind. Some ideas are simply not disprovable but are nevertheless so improbable that to give them a 50/50 chance of being true is ludicrous. We cannot disprove the existence of the tooth fairy but we don’t say that the chances of the toot fairy being more than a childhood story is 50/50 do we?

I would like to know what assumptions Buddhists are required to make in order to form their world view – in particular, the ones that science are supposed to have no say in.
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Trumble
02-24-2008, 01:34 PM
I think we'll have to agree to disagree on that one, I believe that you can, in general terms anyway.

Religious people make an assumption or hold a belief and then build everything else on top of that assumption/belief.
You are generalizing unjustifiably, although that is certainly true of many. However a great many people, including scientists, have come to the opinion that there must be a God because of the evidence as they perceive it. You could argue that that isn't scientific evidence, but in doing so you must sacrifice your own position.. you are assuming that scientific evidence is in some way more important or influential than any sort of evidence.

Atheists don’t make actually make assumptions such as there is no God, no soul etc.
A little picky, but I'd argue that that comment might apply, at best, to when they are formulating their views on the subject. Once they are atheists, more and more assumptions are made... although I don't mean to imply that their minds are 'closed' in any way.

I would like to know what assumptions Buddhists are required to make in order to form their world view – in particular, the ones that science are supposed to have no say in.
One of the advantages of religious belief that does not involve an omnipotent God is that you are not 'required' to do anything! However, it's not so much that science is not supposed to have a say in them as that it is not necessary that it does, and unlikely that it would.

The basic foundation of Buddhism is the 'Four Noble Truths', namely

1. Life is dukkha (a difficult word to translate; the usual is 'suffering' but it's more a mix of that with 'disatisfaction')

2. Dukkha is caused by selfish desire (attachment).

3. The cessation of dukkha is attainable.

4. The (Eightfold) path to ending dukkha (you can look that up if you are unfamiliar with it).

All Buddhists believe those 'truths' to be true, whatever other trappings there may be on top (which can vary enormously). But where do you think science could get a grip on it? "Life is dukkha"... I think you can provide an unassailable case for that being true on purely experiential grounds, but how could science 'prove' it? How could it prove that following the Eightold Path could eliminate it, let alone the consequences in Buddhist metaphysics (nop more rebirth) that follows. You are assuming a certain metaphysics to be true, but that is no different in assuming a 'scientific' materialist metaphysics to be true. Neither science or Buddhist metaphysics can prove that the soul, or the immaterial substance of which Descartes believed it to be composed, does not exist. If they did exist, the case for an immortal soul is philosophically quite a strong one but either way it is hard to see how science, which deals in the material, could resolve the matter either way.

I suppose someone could eventually come up with a sound eliminative materialism/neurobiology, but you are probably aware of the huge problems with attempts to do so to date. Religion can worry about it if and when it ever happens.
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Isambard
02-24-2008, 06:19 PM
Originally Posted by Dr.Trax
There is scientific,but not materialistic:

Scientific method (making something 'scientific') is a product of materialism and positivism

Science definitively proved that the human soul observed all things as they were presented to it and that there could be no reference to any reality beyond these perceived images. To put it another way, it openly declared that the only absolute Entity was Allah.

No it hasnt

This proof by science is of importance in convincing minds that deify materialist philosophy.

No it hasnt

In fact, though, all who possess reflection and intellect are aware that they possess a sublime soul. Anyone who can reason at all will understand that it is the soul that rejoices, thinks, decides, judges, experiences joy and excitement, loves, shows compassion, gets anxious, enjoys the taste of an apple, takes pleasure from listening to music, builds planes, raises skyscrapers and constructs laboratories in which it examines itself.

Er? Quite the opposite.


Yes,for him(Allah)everything is easy.He has created them and he will cause them to die,and create a new creation,such as Elephants!!!He is Supreme!!!:peace:
So allah is wasteful?
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Draco
02-24-2008, 06:37 PM
Originally Posted by Trumble
You are generalizing unjustifiably, although that is certainly true of many. However a great many people, including scientists, have come to the opinion that there must be a God because of the evidence as they perceive it. You could argue that that isn't scientific evidence, but in doing so you must sacrifice your own position.. you are assuming that scientific evidence is in some way more important or influential than any sort of evidence.
What other kind of evidence is there? If by evidence you’re talking about something that’s personal to an individual then that’s simply not evidence. It’s just a personal belief and may have little to do with what’s actually true.


Originally Posted by Trumble
A little picky, but I'd argue that that comment might apply, at best, to when they are formulating their views on the subject. Once they are atheists, more and more assumptions are made... although I don't mean to imply that their minds are 'closed' in any way. .
Again – what assumptions do atheists make? Let’s clear up the terminology here. By assumption, I take it to mean that you need to believe in something without really knowing if it is true or not – or more specifically, without having any evidence that supports it. I’ll say it again – atheists need not make such assumptions. Every conclusion about the way things are can be based on testable evidence.

Originally Posted by Trumble
One of the advantages of religious belief that does not involve an omnipotent God is that you are not 'required' to do anything! However, it's not so much that science is not supposed to have a say in them as that it is not necessary that it does, and unlikely that it would.

The basic foundation of Buddhism is the 'Four Noble Truths', namely

1. Life is dukkha (a difficult word to translate; the usual is 'suffering' but it's more a mix of that with 'disatisfaction')

2. Dukkha is caused by selfish desire (attachment).

3. The cessation of dukkha is attainable.

4. The (Eightfold) path to ending dukkha (you can look that up if you are unfamiliar with it).

All Buddhists believe those 'truths' to be true, whatever other trappings there may be on top (which can vary enormously). But where do you think science could get a grip on it? "Life is dukkha"... I think you can provide an unassailable case for that being true on purely experiential grounds, but how could science 'prove' it? How could it prove that following the Eightold Path could eliminate it, let alone the consequences in Buddhist metaphysics (nop more rebirth) that follows. You are assuming a certain metaphysics to be true, but that is no different in assuming a 'scientific' materialist metaphysics to be true. Neither science or Buddhist metaphysics can prove that the soul, or the immaterial substance of which Descartes believed it to be composed, does not exist. If they did exist, the case for an immortal soul is philosophically quite a strong one but either way it is hard to see how science, which deals in the material, could resolve the matter either way.
There are two problems here. One is your over-emphasis on needing ‘proof’. As I said before, there are numerous things that one cannot disprove; the soul is perhaps one of them. But this does not mean that every assertion there ever was has validity and should be taken seriously. Surely you don’t expect us to go about our daily lives believing that everything and anything could happen.

Second is your invocation of the NOMA (Non-Overlapping Magisteria) argument. You cannot assert the existence of something and then say that it lies outside the realms of science to test for its existence as a way of escaping scientific scrutiny. It just weakens your argument. Fancy sounding phrases that are allegedly difficult to explain such as "Life is dukkha", may well be true (although not in my opinion). But if you think that science can’t dissect the reasons that make it true then you’re mistaken. Buddhism is one of the biggest culprits (in my opinion) when it comes to confusing the heck out people so that they think a concept is extremely complex and unexplainable in simple terms. Suffering and dissatisfaction (call it what you will) does exist no doubt; they are real human emotions. But I don’t think it takes a scientist to explain why it is we feel suffering and dissatisfaction at times. Anyone who has experienced the emotions could probably tell you the exact reasons why, and a scientific argument could deeper explore those reasons. Why should religion declare itself ruler of a particular domain? I’d like to hear of even one thing that religion explains better than science. Do you have an example?
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Trumble
02-24-2008, 09:16 PM
Originally Posted by Draco
What other kind of evidence is there? If by evidence you’re talking about something that’s personal to an individual then that’s simply not evidence. It’s just a personal belief and may have little to do with what’s actually true.
It is evidence to them! 'Just' a personal belief? The world revolves around our personal beliefs.

Let me give you an example. One of the most respected posters here has explained to us that the principle (if not the only) reason he converted to Islam was that having read the Qur'an in Arabic(he learned Arabic before becoming a muslim) was that he does not believe, based on it's structure and style, that the Qur'an could have been written by a human being. That may 'just' be a personal belief or, to be precise, a matter of individual aesthetic judgement, but to him it constitutes very strong evidence that the Qur'an is the work of God, there being no other suitable candidate. Whether you or I consider it evidence of anything doesn't really matter much to him.

Again – what assumptions do atheists make? Let’s clear up the terminology here. By assumption, I take it to mean that you need to believe in something without really knowing if it is true or not – or more specifically, without having any evidence that supports it.
There is no need to 'believe' it, or them, but as I said it is sometimes necessary to accept it without verification to get anywhere. An example. Try and prove to me, scientifically, that there is actually any physical world at all and that the whole of creation doesn't consist only of your own individual conciousness. You'll find that it can't be done (and a great many people have tried) but, nonetheless, the idea is so counter-intuitive and seemingly improbable that it is (almost) universally rejected. Nevertheless, that rejection is still no more than an assumption necessary to make any scientific progress at all.

I’ll say it again – atheists need not make such assumptions. Every conclusion about the way things are can be based on testable evidence.
So, as an atheist who has presumably concluded that God does not exist you can therefore prove to our theist friends using testable evidence that He doesn't? As far as I'm aware, nobody has ever done that, either.


There are two problems here. One is your over-emphasis on needing ‘proof’.
I'm not sure I understand you. I believe I was saying exactly the opposite? I have no need for 'proof'.

As I said before, there are numerous things that one cannot disprove; the soul is perhaps one of them. But this does not mean that every assertion there ever was has validity and should be taken seriously. Surely you don’t expect us to go about our daily lives believing that everything and anything could happen.
No, but somewhere a decision needs to be made as to what should be taken seriously and what shouldn't. Such a decision needs certain criteria.. which in turn must be the result of a decision. It can't be an infinite regression so at some point the buck stops.. with an assumption.

You cannot assert the existence of something and then say that it lies outside the realms of science to test for its existence as a way of escaping scientific scrutiny.
Yes I could. And you cannot question that without making certain assumptions regarding the nature of science! I don't think I did, though.. anybody who wishes to apply scientific scrutiny to Buddhist belief is perfectly at liberty to try. I just don't think they'll get very far. I make no claims for "ultimate truth", I am just stating what I believe it to be.


Fancy sounding phrases that are allegedly difficult to explain such as "Life is dukkha", may well be true (although not in my opinion).
I think maybe you should re-read that bit. The phrase is neither fancy sounding nor particularly difficult to explain; I merely drew attention to one word that is is usually left in the original language because it has no direct equivalent in English and is often misunderstood as a consequence.

But if you think that science can’t dissect the reasons that make it true then you’re mistaken.
It hasn't done much of a job so far. What is the scientific answer to the question "why do we suffer"? What is the scientific answer to the question "how do we stop suffering"? Do you expect science to provide answers any time soon?

Buddhism is one of the biggest culprits (in my opinion) when it comes to confusing the heck out people so that they think a concept is extremely complex and unexplainable in simple terms. Suffering and dissatisfaction (call it what you will) does exist no doubt; they are real human emotions.
In fact Buddhism offers a very simple explanation for those phenomena; precisely the opposite to what you claim. However, I assume from what you say that the scientific answer assumes that suffering and dissatisfaction are "real human emotions". Science can therefore, presumably, provide a full universally verifiable description of what an 'emotion' is. What is it?

Why should religion declare itself ruler of a particular domain?
When that domain is religion itself I wouldn't have thought such a declaration was necessary.

I’d like to hear of even one thing that religion explains better than science. Do you have an example?
"What is the purpose of life?" Actually, my answer to that question would probably be much closer to yours than to that of the theists here, but nonetheless it is a question that religion answers better than science as it is one science does not, and cannot, attempt to answer at all. The best it can do is attempt to redefine the question in its own terms.
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Science101
02-25-2008, 02:41 AM
Dr.Trex. I went over what you said a few times. It seems like you are trying to describe something real but the words you are using do not work the same way in science.

In science there are two very important words. The word "Intelligence" and the word "Consciousness".

Intelligence requires no consciousness (knowing that it is alive). Computers are based on "Artificial Intelligence" which also models how brain cells and brains work. Here is something I wrote to better show what "intelligence" is and how it is studied.

http://www.kcfs.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=692

Consciousness is the ability of the "intelligence" to know it is alive, that it exists. Snakelegs posted one on consciousness that shows one way it is being studied.

http://www.islamicboard.com/health-s...ted-found.html

The study did not show how consciousness works, but it might be helpful.

The words "soul" and"spirit" describes something with consciousness. But since science does not know how consciousness works, or has spirits that come to labs to be experimented on, there is no science that can say either way. So we don't know for sure if there is a soul/spirit or not. That has to be taken on faith as it has always been.

Many of the claims you are finding on the internet come from people who wrongly attack evolutionary theory without knowing what it really is. Like I keep saying, our offspring not all look exactly alike, makes it impossible for something with so much change in it, to sustain us for so long. So you must explain where and when we suddenly appeared, and how something that keeps changing into something new can never change.

Evolutionary science is no threat to Islam. In my opinion the threat are those who are saying you must stop doing what Muhammad said and follow them instead.
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Dr.Trax
02-25-2008, 10:09 PM
I am back again!
Please answer to me these questions here:

The Concept of “Consciousness”


Who is it who observes and enjoys a brightly colored flower garden in a darkened space with no need of the eye, retina, lens or optical nerves?

Who is the entity that recognizes in electrical signals the voices of its friends without the need for an ear, who recognizes them and rejoices to hear them?

Who is it who smells the scent of cake in the bakery, and takes pleasure from this?

Who is it who delights in seeing a flower, who feels affection when he sees a kitten, who strokes its fur with no need for any arm, finger or muscle?

Can a piece of tissue consisting of nerve cells and weighing just a few hundred grams be the cause of the lives we lead, our sorrows, joys, friendships, loyalty, honesty and excitement?

If the entity that perceives all these things is not the brain, then who is it?

Is it a “little man” inside our brains who perceives the external world?

Or the “observer” to which quantum physics refers?

Is this observer somewhere inside the brain?

If not, then where is it?
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Science101
02-26-2008, 12:24 AM
Originally Posted by Dr.Trax
I am back again!
Please answer to me these questions here:

The Concept of “Consciousness”


Can a piece of tissue consisting of nerve cells and weighing just a few hundred grams be the cause of the lives we lead, our sorrows, joys, friendships, loyalty, honesty and excitement?
There are no "sorrows, joys, friendships, loyalty, honesty and excitement" left in an organism after its brain has been suddenly removed. That is common knowledge.

The questions are saying that is not true?
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ranma1/2
02-26-2008, 03:36 AM
Originally Posted by wilberhum
Nope.

Don't believe in vampires either. :D

You need help and I need to go to bed. :thankyou:
ah but what about smurfs, unicorns, pixies, goblins, GFSMs (sbuh), Xenu,.....
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ranma1/2
02-26-2008, 03:40 AM
Originally Posted by Dr.Trax
Friendo you need help,what do you say about this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up-F6Ztstgk

And one of your Atheisto friend said:
As far as evolution goes, who knows? "Ghosts" could be beings that have evolved beyond corporeal limitations, or they could use some kind of alternative biochemistry, be protrusions from other spatial dimensions, the list goes on. It's probably best to be agnostic in terms of "ghosts" for the time being.

Now I do not understand!!?I think evolution deny that!!!
untill there is evidence for them there is no reason to believe ghosts exists.
now of course many people might have their imagination play tricks on them(that old primal fear fo the dark part of us) as for atlanteans or ancients, ill leave that to fiction till we have evidence otherwise.
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Draco
02-26-2008, 10:37 PM
Originally Posted by Trumble
Originally Posted by Draco
What other kind of evidence is there? If by evidence you’re talking about something that’s personal to an individual then that’s simply not evidence. It’s just a personal belief and may have little to do with what’s actually true.

It is evidence to them! 'Just' a personal belief? The world revolves around our personal beliefs.

Let me give you an example. One of the most respected posters here has explained to us that the principle (if not the only) reason he converted to Islam was that having read the Qur'an in Arabic(he learned Arabic before becoming a muslim) was that he does not believe, based on it's structure and style, that the Qur'an could have been written by a human being. That may 'just' be a personal belief or, to be precise, a matter of individual aesthetic judgement, but to him it constitutes very strong evidence that the Qur'an is the work of God, there being no other suitable candidate. Whether you or I consider it evidence of anything doesn't really matter much to him.
The world may revolve around our personal beliefs I agree, but that doesn’t make them true. I may think all sorts of great things about myself or my favourite sports team or whatever, but that doesn’t make them true. The subject of your example was convinced that a human did not write the Qur’an – so what? Another person may very well think the exact opposite. Now we have two conflicting opinions, both of which cannot be correct so how can we tell which one is? We cannot put any credence in what either one’s opinion or personal belief is. This is where science steps in and attempts to find the answers by non-subjective means. Each candidate would have to present evidence to support their case and then others would need to examine both and make a decision based on which evidence is the strongest. But an opinion or belief is just that and cannot be used as useful argument for or against anything – surely you see that.

Originally Posted by Trumble
Originally Posted by Draco
Again – what assumptions do atheists make? Let’s clear up the terminology here. By assumption, I take it to mean that you need to believe in something without really knowing if it is true or not – or more specifically, without having any evidence that supports it.
There is no need to 'believe' it, or them, but as I said it is sometimes necessary to accept it without verification to get anywhere. An example. Try and prove to me, scientifically, that there is actually any physical world at all and that the whole of creation doesn't consist only of your own individual conciousness. You'll find that it can't be done (and a great many people have tried) but, nonetheless, the idea is so counter-intuitive and seemingly improbable that it is (almost) universally rejected. Nevertheless, that rejection is still no more than an assumption necessary to make any scientific progress at all.
Oh yes – and of course we could all be living as human batteries like in the Matrix movies! We could go on all day thinking up different fantasies like these but as you said, what good would it do us? You’re trying to take a philosophical question and use it to infer that because we make some basic assumptions about our reality, any and every other assumption must also be equally valid.


Originally Posted by Trumble
Originally Posted by Draco
I’ll say it again – atheists need not make such assumptions. Every conclusion about the way things are can be based on testable evidence.
So, as an atheist who has presumably concluded that God does not exist you can therefore prove to our theist friends using testable evidence that He doesn't? As far as I'm aware, nobody has ever done that, either.

Originally Posted by Draco
There are two problems here. One is your over-emphasis on needing ‘proof’.
I'm not sure I understand you. I believe I was saying exactly the opposite? I have no need for 'proof'.
How about you read your own response. In the previous two paragraphs you’ve asked me for proof in both. (Go ahead – read it again to make sure). I’ll say it one last time for your benefit and I’ll quote myself to save typing it again “As I said before, there are numerous things that one cannot disprove; the soul is perhaps one of them. But this does not mean that every assertion there ever was has validity and should be taken seriously…”. Again, not being able to disprove something does not give it a 50/50 chance of being true. Ask yourself why you do not believe in fairies, ghosts, pixies, goblins, hobbits, etc. etc. (please tell me you don’t believe in those things). Then ask yourself how you have come to the conclusion that they do not exist when nobody has proven that they do not exist? I cannot explain it better and if you don’t see the logic there then I’ll never be able to explain it. In any case the burden of proof is not on the atheist to prove that God does not exist. It’s for the person asserting the existence of the thing to provide the proof (or at least the evidence). And Buddhist or not, that I’m sure you’ll agree has not been provided.


Originally Posted by Trumble
It hasn't done much of a job so far. What is the scientific answer to the question "why do we suffer"? What is the scientific answer to the question "how do we stop suffering"? Do you expect science to provide answers any time soon?
The answer may be that you cannot. Although what makes you think that question even has an answer? Just because you can form a grammatically correct question doesn’t mean it’s a valid question or has a sensible response (what is the smell of the colour blue?). Science and evolution will tell you we are in constant competition for survival and a stimulus that produces ‘suffering’ is likely to be detrimental to the replication of our genetic material. Forgive me for making an assumption, but I don’t think you will understand that because the more I read your responses the less I think you understand about evolution by natural selection (perhaps I could recommend some books?)



Originally Posted by Trumble
In fact Buddhism offers a very simple explanation for those phenomena; precisely the opposite to what you claim. However, I assume from what you say that the scientific answer assumes that suffering and dissatisfaction are "real human emotions". Science can therefore, presumably, provide a full universally verifiable description of what an 'emotion' is. What is it?
I don’t want to get sucked in to a philosophical debate. See my answer above relating to how science explains suffering.


Originally Posted by Trumble
"What is the purpose of life?" Actually, my answer to that question would probably be much closer to yours than to that of the theists here, but nonetheless it is a question that religion answers better than science as it is one science does not, and cannot, attempt to answer at all. The best it can do is attempt to redefine the question in its own terms.
Again this is the kind of response that makes me think you know little about biological evolution. If you understand the ‘how’ we came to be here, then the ‘why’ are we here becomes all too apparent. You just don’t understand the how.
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Trumble
02-27-2008, 12:20 AM
Originally Posted by Draco
The subject of your example was convinced that a human did not write the Qur’an – so what? Another person may very well think the exact opposite.
Of course they might. But the purpose my example was to demonstrate that there are other forms of evidence than scientific evidence, evidence that in cases such as this may result in life changing decisions. Let's make the example somewhat broader. It generally agreed that Shakespeare was a great playwright, indeed perhaps the greatest playwright. As a result, countless millions of schoolchildren read Shakespeare but never encounter the works of another Elizabethan playwright in their lives. Science has no means of determining whether Shakespeare is a great author, and some people indeed disagree that he was.. but the vast majority believe he was on the evidence of both their own and other people's aethetic judgement. So are you saying it simply doesn't matter whether Shakespeare was a great playwright or not, because whether he was or not can only be based on a form of evidence you discard as worthless?

This is where science steps in and attempts to find the answers by non-subjective means.
In areas science can deal with, yes. In others, no. I'm also tempted to ask, in the context of the particular questions involved here, "what's so wrong with subjective"?

Each candidate would have to present evidence to support their case and then others would need to examine both and make a decision based on which evidence is the strongest.
Why? In the example I gave the person has examined the evidence and made a decision. Why does he "have to" or "need to" do anything else? When it comes to religion we all make that choice.. including atheists, although I'm aware you would deny that was true. That aside, more or less everyone here would say they have done exactly that. They just came to a different conclusion from yours.

But an opinion or belief is just that and cannot be used as useful argument for or against anything – surely you see that.
No, I don't "see that" because I do not believe it to be true. An opinion or belief isn't much use in a scientific argument (my previous comments about starting assumptions excepted), true.. but I disagree that is the only sort of argument worth having. An opinion or belief isn't just conjoured out of nowhere.. they are based on evidence albeit, as in the case of an artistic judgement, often evidence that cannot be produced directly.

Oh yes – and of course we could all be living as human batteries like in the Matrix movies! We could go on all day thinking up different fantasies like these but as you said, what good would it do us? You’re trying to take a philosophical question and use it to infer that because we make some basic assumptions about our reality, any and every other assumption must also be equally valid.
I am doing nothing of the sort. I just pointed out that, contrary to your claim, atheists do make assumptions and that the selection of those assumptions can only be based on value judgements. You have conceded that point, apparently. Whether an assumption is 'basic' or not is another value judgement. On what basis do you dismiss idealism (only my second point suggested solipsism, the rather more extreme version), a well established, much debated and never successfully refuted (albeit it generally rejected) metaphysical possibility as a 'fantasy' - a scientific one?! I don't think so. Such "fantasies" that remain logically consistent are rather more difficult to come up with than you seem to think. That particular 'basic' assumption, incidently, is not one that a theist has to make as that scenario is disqualified by the assumption there is a creator God. I am puzzled that you seem to think neither "there is a God" or "there is not a God" can be considered "basic assumptions about our reality" - I consider that point of view to be untenable. It flies in the face of both common sense and experience of the real world.

Ask yourself why you do not believe in fairies, ghosts, pixies, goblins, hobbits, etc. etc. (please tell me you don’t believe in those things). Then ask yourself how you have come to the conclusion that they do not exist when nobody has proven that they do not exist? I cannot explain it better and if you don’t see the logic there then I’ll never be able to explain it.
I don't believe in them because, in my assessment of the evidence (as much as I have considered it in that context), both scientific and otherwise, is that they do not exist. I believe Buddhism to be "true" for exactly the same reason. And, indeed, I don't believe in God for exactly the same reason.

In any case the burden of proof is not on the atheist to prove that God does not exist. It’s for the person asserting the existence of the thing to provide the proof (or at least the evidence). And Buddhist or not, that I’m sure you’ll agree has not been provided.
I'm not sure how you can assign the "burden of proof" the way you do.. a theist would consider it lies with the atheist. It depends, not on 'thing' or 'no thing', but on your starting position - your opening assumptions. I do agree, of course, but I also do not consider the atheist case comprehensively proven, either.

The answer may be that you cannot. Although what makes you think that question even has an answer? Just because you can form a grammatically correct question doesn’t mean it’s a valid question or has a sensible response (what is the smell of the colour blue?).
It is when science obviously "cannot" that people perfectly well aware of the scientific method seek alternatives to what remain very real questions. "It doesn't have an answer" is an answer in itself but in that particular case, unlike your spurious example of an obvious catagory mistake, linguistics (or science) cannot demonstrate whether it does or can have an answer or not. The question is therefore fair game.

Science and evolution will tell you we are in constant competition for survival and a stimulus that produces ‘suffering’ is likely to be detrimental to the replication of our genetic material. Forgive me for making an assumption, but I don’t think you will understand that because the more I read your responses the less I think you understand about evolution by natural selection (perhaps I could recommend some books?)
Please don't bother. Please also note I have not offered to recommend any books on Buddhism, a subject which you clearly know next-to-nothing about. If you think acquiring such knowledge (and I would certainly recommend that) would be helpful you are as capable of seeking it out independently as I am material on evolution.

What I have been saying has absolutely nothing to do with evolution by natural selection. Your 'explanation' indeed sounds reasonable enough but is of no relevance to the Buddhist conception of suffering as an experience, and how that can be ended. It is answering a different question to the one Buddhists (not to mention a great many other people) ask.

I don’t want to get sucked in to a philosophical debate. See my answer above relating to how science explains suffering.
Suit yourself. As the very nature of science itself is a continuing subject of philosophical debate, and much other philosophy (particularly of mind and aesthestics) is directly relevant to the issue at hand it is not something you will be able to avoid forever.

Buddhism seeks only to understand the origin of suffering as a means to ending it. That explanation has no relevance in that context, and the Buddhist 'alternative' can happily co-exist with it. But how does science answer my other question - "how can suffering be ended?" The only realistic answer, from what you say, would appear to be "we cease to exist", in which case the two points of view actually have rather more in common than you might think!

Maybe I can make that a little clearer. The Buddhist explanations of both suffering and how it may be ended should be considered psychological, not 'scientific', 'mystical' or "faith based" - although there are undeniably elements of the latter two. Of course Buddhist psychology differs from Western psychology in much the same way as assorted historical Western views of psychology have differed from each other. I trust you agree that psychology is a valid academic discipline, BTW? One that has to make truly huge philosophically based assumptions about its subject of study before it can even get started, incidently.

Psychological and scientific explanations of the same phenomena frequently co-exist, but are of little direct relevance to each other. Psychologists grapple every day with emotions - we all grapple every day with emotions, they can define our lives - while science can't even describe them in any useful way. I note you avoided that particular challenge; wisely of course. Your 'scientific explanation' of suffering (do you think it applies to 'dissatisfaction', too? I told you I used the Pali word for a reason) is of as little use to an analyst trying to solve his patients' problems as it is to a Buddhist who is, incidently, attempting to put into practice an identified solution to much the same problem... any more than knowledge that, say, experiencing a particular emotion is always accompanied by a particular neurophysiological phenomenon would be of use to either except, concievably, as a diagnostic tool.

Attempts have been made to unify the two approaches, but so far have proved spectacularly unsuccessful. It all comes down to that troubling little thing, direct experience.. what it is like to feel pain, grief, joy, whatever.. something science has never been able to get a handle on. The very thing that is at the heart of religious experience. Please note, by the way, I'm not saying Buddhism is a form of psychology, only that it includes one.

Again this is the kind of response that makes me think you know little about biological evolution. If you understand the ‘how’ we came to be here, then the ‘why’ are we here becomes all too apparent. You just don’t understand the how.
And that kind of response makes me think that you simply do not understand the question that is being posed. It was not a scientific one, but is still a very important one. Again it has nothing to do with 'biological evolution', or abiogenesis.

P.S Just to make clear one thing, in view of the overall tone of your last post. I fully understand your position. I do not, however, agree with it. That is a difference that I'm not sure you appreciate. Should you find the reasons I have given for disagreeing with it unconvincing, as presumably you do, that is your prerogative. I hope any reply you might make takes that into account... I am no more likely to change my opinion following repetition of a point already made than you are.
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Draco
02-27-2008, 10:53 PM
Originally Posted by Trumble
P.S Just to make clear one thing, in view of the overall tone of your last post. I fully understand your position. I do not, however, agree with it. That is a difference that I'm not sure you appreciate. Should you find the reasons I have given for disagreeing with it unconvincing, as presumably you do, that is your prerogative. I hope any reply you might make takes that into account... I am no more likely to change my opinion following repetition of a point already made than you are.
Acknowledged – I will try not to repeat but I fear I’m running out of ways to make my point. Perhaps I will try toning it down a little.
I still find your reasoning and logic a little fragile. Unlike you, I do make a distinction between the subjective – “do you like that painting?” or “do you like that song?” or “do you like Shakespeare?” or even “do you believe in a creator?” and other more ‘provable’ questions such as “What is the largest mammal on Earth”, “How many planets are there in the universe?” or “Does a creator exist?”. I think that distinction is important for helping us to determine what is a belief (or assumption) and what is true or not true.
Originally Posted by Trumble
I am puzzled that you seem to think neither "there is a God" or "there is not a God" can be considered "basic assumptions about our reality" - I consider that point of view to be untenable. It flies in the face of both common sense and experience of the real world.
I’m having trouble with this word ‘assumption’ that you like to use so much. When you have examined evidence and come to a conclusion based on that evidence then it is no longer correct to call it an assumption (which can be defined as something taken for granted). Everything to you seems to be an assumption. Now I realise we may disagree on what constitutes evidence and we may come to different conclusions but we’ve gone way beyond the point of making assumptions. My gripe with believers in a creator is that given the evidence (if they have indeed bothered to examine it), they have arrived at the wrong conclusion. So let the debate begin. But I think it’s simply inaccurate to keep accusing either atheists or theists of making assumptions (particularly atheists :D).
Originally Posted by Trumble
Please don't bother. Please also note I have not offered to recommend any books on Buddhism, a subject which you clearly know next-to-nothing about. If you think acquiring such knowledge (and I would certainly recommend that) would be helpful you are as capable of seeking it out independently as I am material on evolution.
My experience with Buddhism is – as you rightly identified – limited to say the least. But I don’t think you need to be familiar with the ins and outs of every religion to be able to talk intelligently about them as whole. From the sounds of it however, Buddhism is less a religion than it is a life philosophy and I have nothing against philosophies or practices that attempt to deal with the challenges of life.
If a core goal of Buddhism is to attempt to eliminate suffering (dissatisfaction or whatever) then that seems to me a worthy (albeit lofty) target. Whether or not I agree with the Buddhist approach to solving this puzzle, if it is indeed solvable, is irrelevant. But I think, in my humble opinion, that the answers to many questions would become clearer if approached from an evolutionary context. For a Buddhist or anybody else trying to answer a question such as “how do we eliminate suffering”, it seems unwise not to consider the reasons for how we came to experience any emotion at all. The reasons why, from a Darwinian perspective, we feel anger, pain, joy, lust, love and yes – dissatisfaction. I offered to recommend books not because I want to shove it down your throat (c’mon I’m not religious :okay:), but because perhaps it may prove useful (on your path to enlightenment!).
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Trumble
02-28-2008, 12:44 AM
Originally Posted by Draco
I will try not to repeat but I fear I’m running out of ways to make my point.
As I said, or tried to, you have made it eloquently enough.

Unlike you, I do make a distinction between the subjective.... and other more ‘provable’ questions.. I think that distinction is important for helping us to determine what is a belief (or assumption) and what is true or not true.
No, I fully accept the distinction.. I just don't dismiss the subjective, particularly in areas where the objective struggles to get any sort of hold at all.

My gripe with believers in a creator is that given the evidence (if they have indeed bothered to examine it), they have arrived at the wrong conclusion. So let the debate begin. But I think it’s simply inaccurate to keep accusing either atheists or theists of making assumptions (particularly atheists :D).
I think you are making a mistake regarding those "believers in a creator" in assigning your own methodology (or, at least, their failure to follow it) to them. But they don't come to the conclusion "there is a God" in that way, or at least few of them do. The idea that there is a creator God is fundamental to their world-view. It is not an (erroneous) conclusion based on the study of scriptural, historical and scientific evidence but a fundamental assumption by which, to answer your previous point, I mean one made before the analysing evidence and reaching a conclusion point starts. As you know, I think exactly the same is (generally) true of atheists as well, but we really will have to agree to differ on that I think. I brought up idealism for a reason; I think its rejection represents exactly the same sort of assumption as a theist's that a creator God exists.

I offer the above as a thesis, not a statement of fact. The primary evidence I have to support it is observation, not least of the goings-on on these boards. You can offer scientific evidence until you are blue in the face to people who are, in a few cases in particular, both extremely intelligent and challenging disputants and get absolutely nowhere. The reason, I believe, is not that either side is making a mistake in their analysis, but that because of their different starting assumptions the relative value of particular pieces of evidence differs. Both are therefore reaching rational conclusions from the same evidence, hence neither side will shift because that would be irrational. In short, arguing whether there is or is not a God on the basis of assessing evidence is likely to be futile.

That's why, ultimately, you need to resort to philosophy and not science to settle the issue. Granted, to date there hasn't been much agreement there either but as good a definition of philosophy as any is as the study of just those same assumptions that we take for granted, and whether we really should.

My experience with Buddhism is – as you rightly identified – limited to say the least. But I don’t think you need to be familiar with the ins and outs of every religion to be able to talk intelligently about them as whole. From the sounds of it however, Buddhism is less a religion than it is a life philosophy and I have nothing against philosophies or practices that attempt to deal with the challenges of life.
I think you probably do need some familiarity with at least all the major religions to be able to do that; exactly how much rather depends on the issue being discussed. There are very few where lumping all religions together is a good idea. The religion/philosophy and indeed /psychology question is commonly asked of Buddhism by non-Buddhists, but any serious religious studies student (and all Buddhists I have ever met) would say it is without doubt a religion. The view to the contrary generally finds its origin in surprisingly careless dictionary definitions of 'religion' that insist they must involve belief in deity or deities.

But I think, in my humble opinion, that the answers to many questions would become clearer if approached from an evolutionary context. For a Buddhist or anybody else trying to answer a question such as “how do we eliminate suffering”, it seems unwise not to consider the reasons for how we came to experience any emotion at all. The reasons why, from a Darwinian perspective, we feel anger, pain, joy, lust, love and yes – dissatisfaction.
Actually, I am fairly well acquainted with the psychoevolutionary theory. I stand by my previous comments, though.. in my opinion it is not ultimately relevant to the Buddhist project. I have considered it in that light, as I tend to do with most relevant philosophy and science I come across. It s important to remember that Buddhism is not about about asking the question of "how do we eliminate suffering". The Buddha answered that 2,500 ago. Buddhism is about putting that solution into practice... and I will happily admit that believing that that solution exists is at least partly a faith issue. As I said, it is a religion. The Buddha himself put it pretty well. He asked someone who was questioning him;

"If you were shot by a poison arrow, and a doctor was called to extract it, what would you do? Would you ask him who shot the arrow, which tribe he came from, who made the arrow, and who made the poison, or would you have the doctor immediately pull out the arrow?"

"Of course," replied the man, "I would have the arrow pulled out as quickly as possible." The Buddha concluded, "That is wise, for the task before us is the solving of life's problems; until the problems are solved, these questions are of secondary importance."
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Draco
02-28-2008, 10:09 PM
Originally Posted by Trumble
The religion/philosophy and indeed /psychology question is commonly asked of Buddhism by non-Buddhists, but any serious religious studies student (and all Buddhists I have ever met) would say it is without doubt a religion. The view to the contrary generally finds its origin in surprisingly careless dictionary definitions of 'religion' that insist they must involve belief in deity or deities.
You sound like your eager to have your belief system accredited with the title ‘religion’ – why? Whatever the dictionary says, when you talk about religion these days it practically infers the belief in a deity. That’s not true of Buddhism so why would you want to clubbed together with the God-believing religions?

Originally Posted by Trumble
Actually, I am fairly well acquainted with the psychoevolutionary theory. I stand by my previous comments, though.. in my opinion it is not ultimately relevant to the Buddhist project. I have considered it in that light, as I tend to do with most relevant philosophy and science I come across. It s important to remember that Buddhism is not about about asking the question of "how do we eliminate suffering". The Buddha answered that 2,500 ago. Buddhism is about putting that solution into practice... and I will happily admit that believing that that solution exists is at least partly a faith issue. As I said, it is a religion.
So that sounds like Buddhism (or at least the way you practice it) has little to say about the origins of life on this planet or at any rate doesn’t think it’s relevant. I would like to ask what the Buddha’s solution to the problem was but I won’t because I fear it will only provoke a cascade or riddles and anecdotes about having to walk the path oneself etc…

Originally Posted by Trumble
The Buddha himself put it pretty well. He asked someone who was questioning him;

"If you were shot by a poison arrow, and a doctor was called to extract it, what would you do? Would you ask him who shot the arrow, which tribe he came from, who made the arrow, and who made the poison, or would you have the doctor immediately pull out the arrow?"

"Of course," replied the man, "I would have the arrow pulled out as quickly as possible." The Buddha concluded, "That is wise, for the task before us is the solving of life's problems; until the problems are solved, these questions are of secondary importance."
I’m always astonished how those little anecdotes seem to impress their religious devotees. Every religion has them and I suppose they sound kind of witty but they’re always so contrived. Here’s an Islamic anecdote that I find equally unimpressive –perhaps you’d care to read it:

A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation.They talked about so many things and various subjects.
When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: “I don’t believe that God exists.”
“Why do you say that?” asked the customer.
“Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn’t exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can’t imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things.”
The customer thought for a moment, but didn’t respond because he didn’t want to start an argument.
The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkempt.
The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber: “You know what? Barbers do not exist.”
“How can you say that?” asked the surprised barber.
“I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!” “No!” the customer exclaimed. “Barbers don’t exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside.”
“Ah, but barbers DO exist! ” answered the barber. ” What happens is, people do not come to me. “
“Exactly!” affirmed the customer. “That’s the point! God, too, DOES exist!
What happens, is, people don’t go to Him and do not look for Him.
That’s why there’s so much pain and suffering in the world.”


Now did that impress you? Actually I quite enjoy the buddhist anecdotes that I’ve read. Though I don’t see how your one helps you to learn. If anything that story tells you to stifle thinking about the solution to your problem.
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Trumble
02-28-2008, 11:13 PM
Originally Posted by Draco
You sound like your eager to have your belief system accredited with the title ‘religion’ – why? Whatever the dictionary says, when you talk about religion these days it practically infers the belief in a deity. That’s not true of Buddhism so why would you want to clubbed together with the God-believing religions?
It's not so much that I'm "eager" as that that is what I think. It's certainly true I can get on the defensive on that a little, some here (mentioning no names) do like to dismiss Buddhism as 'just' a philosophy with the intention of demonstrating consequent inferiority to Islam. I shouldn't worry about that of course, but even Buddhists are human! They don't 'get it' about assumptions, either :D .. but it's another good example.

As to what 'religion' infers, it depends on who you talk to but even so I think most people accept Buddhism as a religion, although that may just be because they think Buddhists "worship the Buddha" or some such. In academic circles rather more sophisticated definitions, or a least criteria, are used because of the inadequacy of dictionary definitions - most famously those offered by Ninian Smart.

So that sounds like Buddhism (or at least the way you practice it) has little to say about the origins of life on this planet or at any rate doesn’t think it’s relevant. I would like to ask what the Buddha’s solution to the problem was but I won’t because I fear it will only provoke a cascade or riddles and anecdotes about having to walk the path oneself etc…
I'll answer it anyway, as it is very simple. It's the Noble Eightfold Path; right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration. That really does need some commentary, of course, but to avoid the risk of 'riddles and anecdotes' I'll refrain from providing any. You can always look it up yourself.. you'll actually find it surprisingly obvious and riddle free, I suspect. Understand that and the doctrine of dependent origination ('cause and effect') and you'll have a reasonable grasp of what Buddhism is all about, at least.

I’m always astonished how those little anecdotes seem to impress their religious devotees. Every religion has them and I suppose they sound kind of witty but they’re always so contrived.
It is not meant to 'impress' but, as with the parables of Jesus, it is intended to make a point. I think that one makes the intended point rather well. I don't understand how your interpretation is possible, to be honest. The point is simply not to speculate about the irrelevant (he actually said it in the context of some finer points of philosophical discussion) when you have more important things to do. Obviously if the poisoned arrow is left in place you will die, so what good will pondering about who fired it and where they came from before you remove it do you? The analogy with suffering is obvious; why worry about the finer points of where it comes from when the solution to getting rid of it is known, and there is only so much time to practice it before you die. It's a general point, of course - a great many Buddhist scholars have in fact produced a great deal of metaphysical and psychological speculation. Like everything else in Buddhism there is a "middle way" and it is not intended as a recommendation to abandon philosophical and scientific activity, just as advice to keep it in its proper place.

In defence of Buddhist "little anecdotes", and to some extent to those from other religions too, you might like to consider their historic origins before dismissing them. There are two reasons they take the sort of form they do. The first is that they were intended for a general audience as well as disciples and intellectuals. The message had to be clear for the 'ordinary' folks, too... although there are often several 'layers' of understanding. The second, particularly in regard of the Buddhist Pali canon (the nearest thing there is to an 'original' Buddhist scripture) is that for at least two hundred years it was a purely oral tradition, passed down from master to disciple, one generation to the next. It therefore had to be learned and remembered, and is often in a form that made that easier to do. One advantage of not believing your scripture to originate from a divine source is that you can exercise a little flexibility in recording it. Several techniques are used as well as simple wittiness, most notably considerable (and quite deliberate) repetition... the latter tends to get missed out in English translation but is very visible in the Pali.

It's not all like that, of course, much relates the Buddha's teachings at a considerably deeper level. The later part, the Abhidhamma (which is unlikely to have originated from the Buddha himself) contains some truly ferocious metaphysics and psychology, as do many later works including those in Chinese and Tibetan. Although of comparable intellectual depth to even the best Western writing of the same period the style of all of them is distinctly 'Eastern' (those different world views and assumptions again). It is different, rather than inferior, to the style of the likes of Plato and Aristotle but that difference makes it very hard to get to grips with when you have been brought up with that Western tradition. As you will be aware - and dare I say demonstrate? - that style is embedded very, very deeply in Western culture and the minds it produces.
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