Souls From The Universe

The true essence of what could be considered our soul is rooted in our physical mind. But what if there is a true origin for our soul in this universe that is not yet dreamt of in our philosophies or religions? The root of agnosticism for me is this acknowledgement that outside of our verifiable knowledge is the realm of the unknown and a possibly unknowable reality. The universe gives us our atoms and the building blocks of our physical bodies. I can imagine that some of the essence of our thoughts and our personas could also come from some misunderstood aspect of the universe instead of existing exclusively in our physical minds.

Our thoughts could be built from and connected back to the universe just as our bodies are built from the materials of the universe. Our bodies and minds are clearly independent of the universe, but there could be more of an impact and connection to our minds just as the physical universe impacts our physical bodies in many ways we don’t always understand or see. A physical example of this is radiation. Maybe there could be a mental equivalent of radiation. This is not to say that such things actually exist and leaps of faith can be justified by imagined possibilities. This is just to point out the limits of our knowledge. Since science can discover and prove radiation, perhaps science may be able to discover a mental essence of our being in addition to our physical existence. It could then be imagined that our mental essence could be built from our parents just as their DNA builds our physical bodies.

So many people believe in specific ideas of an intelligent creator that built thinking beings like themselves. I think it’s more likely this belief is based on projecting our own personas back on the universe from which we are built. If we have a subconscious sense of our bodies being built from the universe then perhaps we have a sense that our conscious also comes from the universe. This doesn’t mean there has to be a deliberate or intelligent cause for this to happen and is something that is beyond our knowledge our understanding. I’m simply suggesting that there may be something to a feeling that there is something out there more than this physical existence and it isn’t a jealous god that demands our love.

We know that the matter of the universe has spawned our physical bodies and minds in this little corner of it all. We don’t know, but it’s plausible, that we assemble our conscious thoughts and sense of self as momentary collections of something unknown in the universe just as our bodies are momentary collections of atoms we understand.  We return our bodies to the universe to be used for other things that are unintelligent and unrelated to our lives. Perhaps our thoughts and the essence of our being could also be something tangible we don’t understand. Whatever it is could also be dispersed back into the universe when the atoms of our brains cease to be organized as a living organ capable of processing thoughts. There could be an eternal soul and it’s simply some other material in the universe that organizes into our sense of being for a brief moment in eternity to be dispersed back into the cosmos.

The concept of a soul is another point where I believe knowledge trumps belief and agnosticism is more informative and descriptive than atheism. Disbelief in theism doesn’t convey this idea of what is known and the possibility of something existing beyond what we currently consider to be the natural universe. The atheist response to the soul is that we don’t believe because it is unbelievable. This is valid but it isn’t my primary message to people asking me what I believe. The agnostic view of the soul is we don’t know because it’s unknowable. The complete picture is agnostic atheism: I don’t know and don’t believe because of that.

30 thoughts on “Souls From The Universe

  1. Jeff,
    I think that I am a lot like you, in the fact that I will never be seen pounding my fist on the table, screaming, “there is no eternal soul!!!” (I will leave that to idiots like Penn Jillette) The reason for that is that I do not form such beliefs without conclusive proof. However, it is not as though there is a vacuum of evidence on the subject.
    Our personalities are a combination of nature and nurture. That is our character that we were born with, combined with our life experience. And, if that is not chaotic enough, it can all be derailed by brain damage. For example, football players who sustain multiple concussions can experience personality changes like deep depression and violent behavior. This would tend to indicate that who and what we are is contained in our skull. And, if this is true, when our brain becomes worm food, who and what we are ceases to exist.
    Now, you put forward the idea that there may be a “spark” that connects our lives to the universe. Like you, I don’t know. But, I think the evidence suggests that if it does exist, it is simply the ingredient in all living things that drives it to survive and procreate. It is not who we are, it is the Cat of Nine Tails that mercilessly whips us into submission throughout our lifespan.
    This, I do believe to be true. That eternal life is a lie sold to those who want or need to believe in order to mentally cope with the knowledge of their inevitable death. (insert brilliant insightful eloquent closing sentence here 🙂

    Norman Lycan

  2. Jeff,
    I have said before, that if we met and had an opportunity to get to know each other, I think we could be great friends. But, tonight, it occurs to me, as a friend, to tell you something else.
    As a fellow agnostic, I know you must have spent countless hours of introspection to arrive at your perceptions. I can’t count my hours because they spanned decades and many lifechangeing experiences. Yet, I arrived here. An agnostic. While I am no messiah or buddah, I have seen and understood something that those who consider themselves freethinkers have not. And that is, that there is good logical reason why a great many humans are not prepared to conclude that the universe is an accident, because there no scientific evidence to support it, in fact, the assumption is in many ways, counterintuitive.
    But, you and I have belabored that issue, over and over again, and while I think these ideas need,in a desperate way to be presented to the world for consideration with convincing evidence and eloquent voice, you think your agnosticism is a hobby. The really hypocritical element is a couple of threads ago when you said you wished you could attract more writers. How would you hope to do that when you disappear behind your curtain where no one can even warn you that your software is fucking up on your website.

    I see you, Jeff, for exactly what you are. A typical agnostic. You learned that the correct answer to the test question is “none of the above”, but, instead of teaching others, you hide your light under a bushell basket. You hide in the shadows and pretend Penn Jillette isn’t an asshole. And I don’t understand, I would love to trade ideas with you every day, but, you seem to live some cave fortress of apathy, as we are swept as a species toward our own self destruction. Do you understand that the conclusion of that equation sweeps away your children and your grandchildren as well. Do you care or are you convinced you are powerless to stop it? I think we should try.

    Norman Lycan

  3. My brother in freethought,
    I think this will be my last attempt. You once wrote about depression, and I replied because I once suffered with it. And, I said, you don’t believe it, you sweep it aside as a lie, and you build something outside of it.
    That is what agnoticism is, as well. But, it is so much more. I have written that agnoticism is an armor that prevents anyone from using your mind as a puppet for their own agenda. Impregnable armor. Yet, it is even more than that. It is a new point of view into every aspect of humanity, not just religion, but political and social issues as well. It’s being unleashed from not only superstitition, but from bigotry and greed. Unleashed from any reason to kill each other, ever again.
    And while everyone at the birthday party bombed by a terrorist would have died eventually, and also those who were bombed at her funeral, I think maybe, that’s not how the face of this planet must appear. You and I found the unmagic formula. You have the website. Let’s change this planet, you lethargic sloth!!!

    Norman Lycan

  4. Norman says “you put forward the idea that there may be a “spark” that connects our lives to the universe. Like you, I don’t know. But, I think the evidence suggests that if it does exist, it is simply the ingredient in all living things that drives it to survive and procreate. It is not who we are, it is the Cat of Nine Tails that mercilessly whips us into submission throughout our lifespan.”

    That’s simply what I’m suggesting because like many I sometimes feel there is “more than this” regarding myself as a collection of atoms that thinks. There may be another ingredient to the mess that is me that is some non-divine spark we just don’t see or understand. Like the primitives that worshiped weather, I think the religious are just reading too much into something that could also be natural and unintelligent.

    “there is good logical reason why a great many humans are not prepared to conclude that the universe is an accident, because there no scientific evidence to support it, in fact, the assumption is in many ways, counterintuitive.”

    My mind flips and flips over the counterintuitive thoughts for our existence that may not be accident and the overall existence that couldn’t logically be anything but an accident. We may be a very fortunate accident or something intentional in the larger accident. I lean towards accidents all around but I just don’t know.

    I don’t hide in the shadows but I’m living a life of work and family so I can’t really devote a lot of time to agnosticism as the best answer and counter to religious bullshit that people try to sell me. I do think that once I retire from the toils of work and am living a comfortable life with free time that I will fill it with sharing agnosticism more than this.

    “agnosticism is an armor that prevents anyone from using your mind as a puppet for their own agenda”

    Agnosticism is a simple reminder to live with knowledge and truth as the highest virtues for our lives. Knowledge and truth are my armor and agnosticism is the reminder to hold to these. That’s why atheism, no matter how true the word may be because I personally “lack theism” is in the end a useless word. It only says to not believe and doesn’t say what we should have as our highest virtues. I think agnosticism, as simple as it is, tells us this.

  5. Hi Jeff,
    You said, “Agnosticism is a simple reminder to live with knowledge and truth as the highest virtues for our lives.”
    Different words, same idea. To never presume that something is true without conclusive proof is to, “live with knowledge and truth.” It is a buffer zone between your mind and the ideologies and mythologies that battle to enslave us.
    And I understand the preoccupation with the affairs of life, because I am living it, and the question could be fairly asked, that if I am frustrated by your lack of participation, why don’t I start a website of my own? As I understand, if you post enough sponsors, you can operate it for free, or even at a profit. I guess my only answer would be that I placed such high hopes on finding a person who sees the universe through the same portal as I do. This after years of suffering abuse from contributers on atheist blogs.
    And, my sense of urgency stems from the fact that unlike any other point in history, humans have the ability, with a turn of a key and the push of a button to annihilate ourselves in the name of god, greed, and revenge.
    The light we have been privileged to see is the key to survival. Because it allows those who feel that there is spark behind the universe to keep that notion without ridicule or prejudice. Yet, at the same time it removes any reason to kill in the name of god or race or sexual orientation. You have it posted on your home page: Unknown is the answer. I cannot begin to create a more accurate and brief summation of the core issue. But, to a majority of humans, the statement is quite cryptic. It requires discussion and explanation, and I fear that if we do not explain and convince, there may be no world for our children to live in.

    Norman Lycan

  6. Today I have decided to leave off discussions with atheists, at least for awhile, and learn something about the agnostic view.

    Your’s is the first agnostic blog I’ve ventured into.

    Working with the atheists I have come away thinking of myself as “differently theistic”. This, because I find a similarity between atheistic and theistic conceptualizations of God. I have been referring to it as “Flatlandian”. (As in a two dimensional perception of multi dimensional reality). A more traditional term might be “dualistic”. God the creator and Us the created.

    This doesn’t fly for me after nearly 40 years of monistic speculation and practice.

    Things that you have said here, especially in this posting seem to be closer to something I can understand. But there are still traces of “That and This” influencing and limiting your enquiry. Or so it seems to me.

    Let me present a few of my own “working theories” and see what the agnostic take on them might be.

    ——-
    – The only reasonable definition of God would have to be something like. “The Emergent Property of Infinite Potentiality”. Emergent property and infinite potential not separate. The Entirety.

    – God thus neither exists nor does not exist. The concept of “existence” requiring “non existence”, belongs in the world of opposing forces. The manifested, ever changing Universe. The realm of Laws. The inevitable expression of God’s nature.

    – Neither existing or not existing does not in anyway change God.

    – God being the Entirety simply is.

    – The fundamental question is not about existence but rather about “sentience”. Is the sense of “I Am” the first effect of infinite potential?

    – Is the sense of “I Am” a singularity only seeming to manifest in endless iterations? Like light, a property shared by the candle and the sun alike, but itself fundamentally integral to the Entirety.

    – What would the relationship of the sense of “I Am” experienced as “me” be to a sentient singularity?

    – If, as Zen masters and Yogi’s testify, the relationship is in reality seamless, how should I spend my life, if I want to know this?

    – Who would actually know it? The distinction between knowledge and knower now being re-evaluated.

    – Upon resolving of a paradox, what remains?

    – The primary practice of Zen and Yoga is “unknowing”. Extracting oneself from concepts and habits of thought, making way for direct experience. This is a similar to, but not the same as, what you have described. Perhaps it could be called “Agnostic Theism”.

    – The “Entirety” being a priori.
    ——-

    Hoping that I have made this coherent and interesting enough to warrant comment from you. Let’s see where it goes.

  7. Pingback: The Winding Path – 007 | In the service of Truth.

  8. brmckay,
    If you are a hair’s breadth from being an atheist, but, the lessons you’ve learn in life keep you from taking that last step into anti religion, you have found your home. We are not here to prove or disprove the nature of origin. That’s above our pay grade.
    What agnostics believe is what is proven by science, and we admit that theory remains unknown. You ask many questions for which there are no scientific answers, therefore the answer will always be, “I don’t know”, which is the only honest answer.
    One could theorize that the “big bang” occured when god became so bored with his hollow existence that he committed suicide. But, through evolution, he is slowly evolving back into the supreme being. While that is an intriguing senario, it will never be part of my beliefs, because there is no scientific evidence.
    But, what is evident is that organized religion is based on caveman to goatherder mythology that attempted to make sense out chaos. But, there is no sense, only chaos. Jehovah (Yahweh), actually, divinely inspired prophet, Moses, didn’t even know dinosaurs existed. Big surprise! Mythology is bullshit, and as we speak, or as I type, it fuels death to men, women and children across the middle east. And all they have to do to end it all is to ask themselves “who is god” and answer honestly, “I don’t know”. And the violence would end.
    But, they are brainwashed by their parents to believe in witchdoctor tales of gods and glory. I understand their plight because that is how I was raised, but, it is entirely upon them to escape their demons. There are no social services designed to help you escape your cult. Silly fucking humans.
    Norman Lycan

  9. “Norman Lycan – If you are a hair’s breadth from being an atheist, but, the lessons you’ve learn in life keep you from taking that last step into anti religion, you have found your home.”

    Norman,
    Sorry, I will have to remain a guest.

    For me, God is a given. The clumsy and often tragic religious mumbo jumbo of many fellow humans in no way changes this.

    Also the, Atheistic demand for proof before belief.

    God being the Entirety, manifests all such preoccupations in it’s microcosmic aspect.

    “Norman Lycan – But, what is evident is that organized religion is based on caveman to goatherder mythology that attempted to make sense out chaos. But, there is no sense, only chaos. Jehovah (Yahweh), actually, divinely inspired prophet, Moses, didn’t even know dinosaurs existed. Big surprise! Mythology is bullshit, ….”

    I see the work of our intuitive faculties at work. The functions of our right hemisphere deserve an equal respect to the left.

    There are several assumptions of a personal nature mixed in here; “But, there is no sense, only chaos.”, “Mythology is bullshit,…”. Are you sticking to the plan and waiting for proof?

    “Norman Lycan – But, they are brainwashed by their parents to believe in witchdoctor tales of gods and glory. I understand their plight because that is how I was raised, but, it is entirely upon them to escape their demons. There are no social services designed to help you escape your cult. Silly fucking humans.”

    I pretty much agree with this, at least on an emotional basis. Rationally I would look for people (myself included) to evolve.

    To summarize:
    I guess my main point is that mankind’s religious speculations, are flawed and limited in effectiveness because, they are mostly habitual and misunderstood parroting of someone elses enlightenment.

    Religion is not God.

    Also science, by it’s nature, cannot provide ‘proof’ of God so making that a condition of belief seems flimsy and artificially limiting.

    Science is not God.

  10. brmckay,
    You said, “For me, God is a given. The clumsy and often tragic religious mumbo jumbo of many fellow humans in no way changes this.”
    Welcome back, first. Jeff, the website owner is not a prolific writer. He has to wake up with a wild hare up his ass to respond to anything you post on his blog. But, he is typical of most agnostics, and I do not fault him. Agnostics tend to percieve the problem of organized religion as being so huge, that our voices are mute in the cacophony of human madness. They value their epiphany and the freedom it awards them, but, they seem to avoid the fray of public debate, in general. But, I was raised in an extreme fundamentalist christian family, and after the pain of my self-debrainwash, I hate organized religion.
    But, when I found my mental freedom, I wanted to get it right. Just because something is false, that doesn’t mean the opposit is true. And I am like you, I won’t buy the atheist idea that the universe is an accident until they prove it in a lab. But, here is an idea you must consider, that if there is a creator, his personality is demonstrated by the artwork he creates.
    Millions of years of evolution resulted in an ecosystem where the top of the food chain were giant lizards. Yet, suddenly, the suddenly disappeared. Scientists like to argue and theorize about what caused this interruption. But, it’s irrellivent because millions of years of work was erased, and god did not intervene. But, at the same time, one could argue that god was partially erasing the chalkboard, and starting again. No one can disprove that and therefore I say, “I don’t know”, but, what I see as a blanket policy by any god you choose a name for is that evolution occurs where it has opportunity, and no force interfers with it except the chaotic occurances of nature. But, that is just what I have deduced from my knowledge and experience. That does not make it true. Perception.

    Norman Lycan

  11. “Norman Lycan – But, here is an idea you must consider, that if there is a creator, his personality is demonstrated by the artwork he creates.”

    For me there is even less chance that God will fiddle with what you call “the artwork he creates”.

    Creation is the nature of the Creator expressing in the finite.

    Ourselves are the original Self experiencing otherness.

    There isn’t need to add much more to it.

    The relationship of Created to Creator is in the journey of discovery.

    The laws that govern this are inevitable, natural. Born from infinity.

  12. “The only reasonable definition of God…” is a really ignorant place to work from if you think knowledge is more important than beliefs and a blind faith. You’re trying to describe something unknown to us and possibly forever unknowable. Our human reason is finite, primitive, and limited by our senses and the nature of our small physical existence in this universe. None of us can even begin to formulate a “reasonable definite” of the first origin for this universe in a potentially infinite existence or a first origin of existence itself. Agnosticism simply says that we know nothing of what may be beyond phenomena so why do you think your mind is so great and powerful that you can even begin to define a reasonable definition of a power, intelligent or not, that may have caused this universe to exist?

    “here is an idea you MUST consider, that IF there is a creator…” and you could just leave it right there. Agnosticism can agree with the “if” part but since knowledge and the ability to verify truths as knowledge are paramount concerns then that’s where it really ends. It’s one thing to imagine and throw out conjecture about the nature of what could be possible but to insist that one MUST consider let alone make assumptions about the characteristics about such a being as a creator could be. You personify a creator with “he” and fall into the theistic traps of inventing your god in your image or at least your imaginings.

    Existence is. If this existence is a creation, then the creation is. What exists doesn’t have to equate to a single characteristic of what could have possibly created it if it was created.

    I agree with “there isn’t need to add much more to it” and “it” is existence itself. Why do you feel the need to add more to it without knowledge to do so? The journey of discovery is the discovery of our existence which doesn’t require a definable and knowable creator. It’s not really important because I firmly believe we can’t understand such a thing if such a thing exists. A creator would be beyond description for our limited intellect so even though I admit to the possibility of such a concept, I can’t even begin to guess about what that would be without verifiable truths showing a creator exists and what the true characteristics of that creator might be.

    As soon as you speak of “gods” then you are merely a theist of at least a wishy washy variety and you no longer admit the limits of our knowledge and that we don’t really know. That’s the only thing I believe you MUST consider… we don’t really KNOW so anything else you imagine on the subject is useless for our very real lives.

  13. brmckay,
    You said, “Creation is the nature of the Creator expressing in the finite.” As long as we are asking questions that have no answers, why would nature ever need to be expressed in the finite. Bible thumpers believe that Adam was created to live forever, but when he sinned he condemned the entire human race to mortality. As though humans were apart from the same cycle of life as every other form of life on this planet. Ludicrous.
    You said:
    “The relationship of Created to Creator is in the journey of discovery.” Well, I cannot prove that statement to be wrong, and it might be dishonest of me to attempt to do that. Why? Because I’ve lived nine lives, so many times when I did stupid shit, and escaped unharmed, I have felt an angel on my shoulder. But, that is just a feeling, not a forensic analysis. And why would there be an angel on my shoulder when children are dying in Africa because their mother died because she gave them all of her food?
    Planet earth in general is not a pleasant place to live. Every single one of us will have death imposed upon us against our will, unless you get tired of shitting in diapers and imposing financial burden upon your children, which I intend to avoid. But, this is the nature your creator has imposed upon us. It seems you want to discover a oneness with it, but, I suggest it doesn’t give a rat’s ass about you. You are cannon fodder as we all are. The only thing it cares about is it’s own entertainment as it watches the random variables work out as the universe expands and then collapses.
    I only wrote that because it makes a little bit of since, but, it is something that someone could turn into a new non profit religion, and a few years from now, turn into a new Jim Jones, or a Marshall Applewhite.
    Scientific proof is all that can be trusted when it comes to “belief”. Anything beyond that is religion, including an atheist theory of an accidental universe.

    Norman Lycan

  14. Jeff,
    ” … is a really ignorant place to work from if you think knowledge is more important than beliefs and a blind faith.”

    What are you saying here; “more important” than what?

    The first thing both Atheists/Agnostics as well as Theists have to do is start from an honest definition of God.

    I’ve done my best to offer you something completely beyond debate.

    You still choose to debate it using the Flatlandian criteria you have always used.

    Also you’re mixing the quote from Norman with your idea of what I said. This really confuses things.

    To help you get back on track with my points. Please consider that the complete relationship with the God described here, is seamless.

    The infinite God, as I defined it, shares the experience of finite existence through us. We also share in the (potential of) infinite singularity. From this I deduce that our faculties of reason and intuition evolve towards this. Self Knowledge. Not knowledge as acquisition, but of being.

    There is plenty of testimony to this effect. But you are either not aware of it, or have chosen to discount it in deference to your own superior faculties. You wouldn’t be the first to take that path.

    I do value the practice of “I don’t know”. Combined with a vigilance regarding it’s cousin, “I don’t want to know.”, one evolves.

  15. Norman,
    “As long as we are asking questions that have no answers, why would nature ever need to be expressed in the finite.”

    You anthropomorphize with the best of them.

    “The Emergent Property of Infinite Potentiality”

    Needs, desires, will, reason, emotion, motivation. All precipitate out from the emergent “I Am”. That’s us.

    The singularity does not have another. The multiplicity has nothing but.

    God is the Entirety.

    As for:
    “But, this is the nature your creator has imposed upon us. It seems you want to discover a oneness with it, but, I suggest it doesn’t give a rat’s ass about you. You are cannon fodder as we all are. The only thing it cares about is it’s own entertainment”

    I suppose you can keep picking at the scab, or,… let the wound heal. Eventually you may realize that the “you” i.e “me” you refer to is an artificial construct. The result of too many iterations in the hall of mirrors.

  16. brmckay, knowledge is more important than beliefs and blind faith. It’s so interesting how you accuse me of using false criteria for evaluating reality and then jump to a conclusion that there is an infinite God with a capital G. The name choice personifies the concept as a being for us to relate to and then attempt to get everyone to believe in your specific god. You completely missed the boat for agnosticism.

    “We” don’t have to start with an honest definition of “God” because there isn’t one. That’s the whole point of agnosticism acknowledging the limits of our knowledge. It’s also the point of atheism’s rejection of theistic beliefs. You only have human projections of what some may think a god could be without empirical evidence for such a being. Go ahead and define one of your possible definitions of god but don’t try to convince anyone else of it without any semblance of proof that it’s real.

    You say God is a given and God is the Entirety. That isn’t a god. It’s just a re-purposing of the nature of our existence. We’re all connected and you then imagine that our connection to the entirety is a connection to something greater than us that can be described as having intellect, will, and purpose to the entirety’s existence in order to be considered god.

    I’m unconvinced and definitely don’t see that type of god as a given. Everything I know now shows that the Entirety we can perceive is without intellect, without will beyond physics and force, and without a discernible purpose. You’re seeing what you want to see. There isn’t rationale I’ve seen from you or others to suggest there’s a valid truth to jump to the next step of describing the Entirety as anything other than an environment that has allowed our intellect, our will, and our self-defined purpose to exist within this mindless soup of molecules.

    You’re falling into theistic traps of imagining your use of the molecules the universe has loaned you correlates with the Entirety that we are a part of. The nature of our being doesn’t have to mean there’s anything greater than us that shares in those characteristics… but there also isn’t proof there isn’t some greater being(s). It’s well beyond our capabilities and experiences even though we can begin to imagine the possibility as you’re doing. Imagination is fine but when you say that there is a God with any undeniable characteristics then you’re most definitely an evangelizing theist. I’d rather be an evangelizing agnostic. 🙂

  17. Jeff,
    First, I’ll apologize for misreading your ” knowledge is more important ” statement. I got it backwards. Glad that I framed my reply as a question rather than jumping all over it. I don’t like the taste of crow.

    Ok..

    I use the reference “God” to emphasize that I’m not really talking about a concept of a god, or some alternative new god. And since, in my frame of reference, God is a given, (Why on earth would I think otherwise), I give the Entirety credit because any rational person, prone to a sense of the sacred, would. IMO

    I have been quite specific about not attributing “intellect” or a “sense of purpose” to the Entirety. Leave that to Flatlanders. What we call the laws of physics; those known to us and those yet to become apparent, are an expression of the infinite potential.

    The sense of Self I attribute, is the “I” pure and simple. At the very least, the prototype for yours and mine, and as such, as much a part of it all as gravity or light.

    You say we are all connected but refuse to think of this infinity of connection as bigger than us. What am I suppose to do with that?

    It is not really necessary for me to convince you. Especially if the criteria of the proof you require is constrained to physical evidence. You are welcome this attitude but it does not address the subject under discussion.

    One last thought. I could adhere to a strict practice of “neti neti” (not this ..not this), thus abandoning my theistic rhetoric and getting right to the point. But I don’t want to burn the bridge but rather improve it. This will be helpful to the next generation as they step out of Flatland. Much like your agnosticism. Nothing that you or I say in our evangelistic zeal makes Reality any more or less real.

  18. A famous quote from Epicurus is: “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

    In your case, if your god lacks “intellect” and “sense of purpose” then why call that entity, that Entirety, a god? I don’t refuse to think of this infinity of connection as bigger than us, I just refuse to assume it must be. It could or it could not and we just don’t know. I would rather provide to the next generation a definitive set of knowledge and the honest assessment for the limits of our knowledge. I think the better bridge for them to journey is one of apprehension towards those that tell them “it’s obvious” and “you must consider the greater being of God to be…” I don’t know and you certainly don’t know if you’re unable to provide evidence.

    It’s not my fault that we are physical beings and so the nature of what we consider to be evidence of knowledge is rooted in the physical or at least measurable effects in the physical realm. Let me ask this… do you believe in prayer to this god you imagine? Can you show the studies to demonstrate the power of prayer? If you don’t believe in prayer then what useful thing is there about your god for anyone to bother believing in it? If your god has no impact on my existence then it truly doesn’t matter if I believe in it or not… which is another point of agnosticism. I can exist and operate without any knowledge or care about all of the various things that have no impact on me including possible gods. Even if gods were to exist that originally caused this universe to be as it is, it may not even matter to us that they exist if there’s no direct connection and only incidental third or further on effects from that first causation.

  19. Wow Jeff, I’ve been going about it all wrong. If one seeks you as a pen pal, you need to say something presumptuous, and all of the sudden you’re all fired up!! On an old dead thread? But, to me it’s all good. Freethinkers talking, that’s what I have been looking for.
    Now, you have to cut brmckay some slack. He believes in a creator. So does a huge majority of humans on this planet. And you, Jeff, cannot step up with clinical proof that he is wrong. But, you are right that he has made a mistake by believeing when he cannot present you with proof that he is right. And none of this matters until people who believe things start killing people who have different beliefs. That is why agnosticism is the key. It can save the world. Jeff, are you listening?

  20. Jeff – “In your case, if your god lacks “intellect” and “sense of purpose” then why call that entity, that Entirety, a god?”

    Using the phrase “a god” indicates the possibility of more than one.

    Jeff – ” I don’t refuse to think of this infinity of connection as bigger than us, I just refuse to assume it must be.”

    Actually, my foundational point about our relationship to the Entirety, (though I may not have made this clear), is not as lesser to greater, or vice versa.

    By emphasising the Entirety, I am indicating our Identity with it.

    The awareness of this ‘Identity with it’ is not essential to it. The spectrum of Awareness or lack of it makes up the manifest universe.

    Jeff – ” I would rather provide to the next generation a definitive set of knowledge and the honest assessment for the limits of our knowledge.”

    I don’t disagree with this. But suggest we don’t make it a cage. The type of knowledge that you represent is the relative form. It expands and contracts. The type that I represent is the absolute. It is unchanging. Both are equivalent in the singularity of the Entirety. Both are our birthright.

    Jeff – ” I don’t know and you certainly don’t know if you’re unable to provide evidence.”

    The evidence can only be, ‘You knowing it.’ I can’t do this for you. It is also not necessary; Only a possibility, as you have indicated.

    As for prayer, like all humans, I engage in hope and focused intention. The longer I engage in contemplation of the Singularity the more this resembles the practice required to improve musicianship.

  21. Norman – ” But, you are right that he has made a mistake by believing when he cannot present you with proof that he is right.”

    If proof is impossible, it is a mistake to ask for it.

    If it is possible, then the proof must match the scope and nature of it’s subject.

    What are the rules of the game?

    Norman – ” That is why agnosticism is the key. It can save the world. ”

    I would say that Agnosticism can be ‘a key’. But I won’t ask you to prove that it is “the key”. How could you?

  22. Brm said:
    Jeff – ” I would rather provide to the next generation a definitive set of knowledge and the honest assessment for the limits of our knowledge.”

    I don’t disagree with this. But suggest we don’t make it a cage. The type of knowledge that you represent is the relative form. It expands and contracts. The type that I represent is the absolute. It is unchanging. Both are equivalent in the singularity of the Entirety. Both are our birthright.
    Response: Wait, did you just say the knowledge you represent is the absolute form? And you think this knowledge is your birthright? Well, that must make you the new improved Moses. The one who did not send Joshua to commit genocide across the land of Caanon. And it makes you the new Marshall Applewhite, who represents the aliens coming to save the chosen few idiots who decide to drink the kool-aid. I think you just dropped your pants and showed us your junk.
    While in word, you reject organized religion, in fact, you want to become the mad man at the helm of a new one. Keep in touch, let us know how that goes.

    Norman Lycan

  23. BRM asked:
    “If proof is impossible, it is a mistake to ask for it.?”
    Of course not, because what was once impossible is now possible, like landing man on the moon. It’s the insatiable thirst for knowledge, it’s what humans do. But, it’s mostly finding more efficient ways to kill each other. We are REALLY good at that. But, the real question is who you are asking for the answer. If you ask a spirit friend for the answer, all you hear in your mind is you telling yourself what you want to hear. It’s not your fault, it’s a human frailty. And it’s why agnostism is the key. But, you ask if agnostism is just A key. I don’t know if you realize why, because you did not mention it, but, if we wipe organized religion off this planet, we will still be greedy, racist vomit. One can legitamately ask if we deserve to survive.

    Norman Lycan

  24. Norman – ” Wait, did you just say the knowledge you represent is the absolute form? And you think this knowledge is your birthright? Well, that must make you the new improved Moses. …..”

    Lot of wax in your ears?

    You aren’t even trying to talk to the gist of my comments. Sorry, but this makes me less inclined to worry about what you have to say.

    Without the Evil in the world, how would we know what Good is?

    Who are these people that bent your head so early in life?

    Why has the Abrahamic lineage of religions brought so much suffering along with it’s sometimes brilliant theological imagery? People! They come from so many starting points.

    A religion that maintains the idea of a god with an agenda, outside of creation. Separate from it’s shadow. Will set weaker minds up for failure.

    But my question, if I have to say it again, is; What does this have to do with God?

    Everything on this planet is food for everything else. The only path to harmlessness is enlightenment. Not because nothing gets eaten. But, because the Truth is known. God is the Entirety. You the eater, are also the eaten.

    Norman – “One can legitimately ask if we deserve to survive.”

    Given the inertia of the current trajectory, we probably won’t. Isn’t this why we are having this conversation?

  25. Norman – “While in word, you reject organized religion, in fact, you want to become the mad man at the helm of a new one. Keep in touch, let us know how that goes.”

    Oh, by the way. Nothing new about what I’m saying. Just using my own language. How does this make me a megalomaniac?

    Perhaps you just need to get out more.

  26. Brmc asked:
    ” Without the Evil in the world, how would we know what Good is?”
    Response: I have heard that question dozens of times by people who imagine themselves to be deep thinkers. Ask a kindergartener and they will bring you up to speed. If evil did not exist, there would be no word for it in our language.
    And also said: “A religion that maintains the idea of a god with an agenda, outside of creation. Separate from it’s shadow. Will set weaker minds up for failure. But my question, if I have to say it again, is; What does this have to do with God?
    Well, that didn’t make any sense to me at all, and I kept reading it trying to figure out what the fuck you were trying to say. A god with an agenda outside creation? Creation is apparently the universe, what would such an agenda be? Create a second one to make the first one jealous? That’s dimentia!!!
    And finally he said: “Who are these people that bent your head so early in life?”
    Response: They were my parents, you buffoon. The kind of parent that you will be. The important point is that as you damage your impressionable children with your ridiculous mythology, only a tiny percentage actually excape the brainwash. The rest become buffoons like you marching in order off to mutual annihillation. I guess that makes you the final victor. Congratulations and here’s your trophy.

    Norman Lycan

  27. Ok Norman you win. I bow to your superior grasp of the subject.

    Never met such a level headed fellow. What was I thinking wasting your time like this?

    Don’t want spoil Jeff’s blog with more of my drivel so I shall be going now.

  28. brmckay,
    Don’ leave yet. I have something left to say. If you have scanned through the threads, you have heard me bitch about the attitude that atheists have toward agnostics. That we lack the fortitude to make a choice between creation and accident. Jeff has made the case over, and over, and over again, that we do not believe their are wrong, but we cannot believe they are right, until they can reproduce the phenomena in a laboratory. We wait and watch.
    I think there is nothing wrong with entertaining the idea of your guardian angel. The dangerous point is when you believe spirits are talking to you or opening your mind to secret insights. That’s when shit starts going south. That’s when people drink the holy koolaid, and join the spaceship behind the comet.
    Proven fact is god, and if atheists want to speculate beyond that threshold, it converts science back into philosophy and religion. The very thing they pretend to hate.
    I guess I kinda wrote this for me, because I am thoroughly convinced that reason is a weapon wasted upon you.

    Norman Lycan

  29. Jeff-“My mind flips and flips over the counterintuitive thoughts for our existence that may not be accident and the overall existence that couldn’t logically be anything but an accident. We may be a very fortunate accident or something intentional in the larger accident. I lean towards accidents all around but I just don’t know.”

    Intention/accident or… it’s own nature expressing.

  30. Pingback: The Winding Path – 111 | In the service of Truth.

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