Yes, I know it’s not orthodox Catholic teaching. I was just agreeing with another poster, not presenting it as orthodox teaching, though I probably should have said it was not. Thanks for pointing it out!
Do you think that human consciousness or self reflection is a purely materialistic phenomenon? How do you suppose atomic and subatomic particles would arrange themselves to bring about consciousness or self reflection in a material object?
Consciousness is an emergent property of a functioning brain. The level of consciousness and the ability to self reflect is based on the level of complexity of the brain.
Physics is the way these atomic particles arranged themselves. Evolution directed these processes as well. Just like branches float on water due to physics and a bottleneck at a stream will cause them to bundle up to create a structure.
Your points seem to indicate you don’t really have a grasp of the length of time biological creatures have been developing on this planet and the age of the solar system and universe. We are from star dust, that is indisputable. So just think of the time it took for stars to form and then die out, explode, and have those elements come back together and form our planet. Then for life to begin. But hey, magic is a better explanation as well since it answers everything you are uncomfortable accepting about reality.
Most people are doubting Thomas’. They only believe in what they can see. Until they are asked for tangible proof that they love someone. Some even after.
I thought that the universe was 14 billion years old and the solar system about 4 billion years old. The US budget is more than 200 times 14 billion. Since the US budget is 200 times more than 14 billion, it doesn’t seem that 14 billion years is all that much.
14 billion is 200 times less than the dollar amount of the US budget.
How does complexity account for the existence of consciousness and the ability of self reflection? You have atomic particles, sub atomic particles, chemical reactions and biological processes of material objects. How does the complexity of these material processes account for consciousness which, unlike pure matter in the gravitational field, cannot be weighed accurately.
I, too, have been disappointed at so much doubt. But all doubt is temporary. Given enough time, it is either disproven or confirmed.
If there is no God, the believers will never know the atheists were right. If there is no God, we’ll never know. We will die believing and that will be that. So that is one doubt that will never be proven true or false. (I do believe in God by the way. I am not an atheist or agnostic, though sometimes I feel agnostic, but feelings are not true beliefs.)
I’ve only now come across this thread, but don’t care to read 300+ posts, so I have no idea if anyone mentioned anything like this.
Let me put it slightly differently: If there is a god who wishes me to acknowledge its existence, then why does it rely on simple non-evidenced belief, propagated by humans, by exploiting certain mental vulnerabilities?
- Argumentum ad populum is one of the main ones that I saw on the first few replies of the thread: if lots of people believe it, they must be on to something, our vulnerable brains reason, so I might as well go along.
- Belief and trust in the say so of parents/caretakers. Heck, even some sayings attributed to Jesus in the bible start off with “verily” or “truly”, as if the writer wasn’t trustworthy enough. I’ve since found that to be a strategy employed by many stand-up comedians - they’ll often say “true story”… as if… (I’ll be expecting the typical dimwitted retort concerning how one should trust these same people about regular life and nature related subjects).
In order to be free there must be a choice.
If we saw God clearly we would be overpowered and would have no choice but to love Him.
Slave to fear, slave to love…either way—not free.
“I want to believe.”
I do, too. Very much so.
Because, if the ‘project’ of that God is that you freely choose Him – rather than be cowed in the face of the unimpeachable and awe-inspiring proof of His existence – then He would want you to engage the intellect He gave you and come to belief of your own accord.
(p.s., you have some odd notions of what evidence is, if you call the Christian faith ‘non-evidenced’… )
The same way the branches in a flood came together and became a structure at the narrowing of the creek. We call that bunch of wood a dam. The level of complexity of that wood went from one stick to a lot of debris, to a dam with lots and lots of sticks. The descriptor of Dam is more complex than the descriptor of Debris than to the descriptor of a floating stick.
Consciousness is the descriptor we give to a highly complex brain that has the functions that we attribute to “consciousness” and why we are able to say less complex brains do not indicate a level of consciousness. It’s an emergent property of a brain once it reaches a higher functioning level. It’s reached the level of “dam” instead of “debris”.
Odd response. Came across as if you got distracted by something shiny, like the budget of the US. I don’t see how this actual contributed to moving the conversation forward at all. It’s just caused me to pause and move on as if you didn’t say this at all.
Here is a blatantly obvious problem with religious thought. That knowing someone exists means you have no choice in having a worshipful relationship with that person. The devil, according to the religious, had all the evidence it needed to have a relationship with that deity and still was able to choose to continue it or not. I know that people exist in Australia and even two doors down, but I am not forced to have a worshipful relationship with those people at all. Your character and interaction in our lives, not your existence, is what we go on for having a relationship with someone. This is the problem with religious thought, that you will worship a deity just because it is a deity. Nothing to do with its moral actions and pronouncements. Nooo, only that it has magical powers that can not be challenged in any way. It’s just might makes right since there’s nothing they could do to stop that deity other than stroking its ego so it doesn’t beat you.
The devil, according to the religious, had all the evidence it needed to have a relationship with that deity and still was able to choose to continue it or not. Your character and interaction in our lives, not your existence, is what we go on for having a relationship with someone. This is the problem with religious thought, that you will worship a deity just because it is a deity. Nothing to do with its moral actions and pronouncements. Nooo, only that it has magical powers that can not be challenged in any way. It’s just might makes right since there’s nothing they could do to stop that deity other than stroking its ego so it doesn’t beat you.
Also, this deity could have set some realistic bars for what it is to sin. Just being human is being sinful. So we are designed broken and then commanded on pain of hell to be well. That’s just not possible.
That was what was so unique about Jesus Christ. All of the gods designed by man required man to sacrifice to get the attention of the god. The true God went beyond the expectations of mankind for what a “god” would do for a creature and He came and suffered to get OUR attention.
God made you an amazing, unique expression of divine creativity. You are cherished and amazing. Don’t let anyone make you believe differently. You are not an accident.
That only makes sense if there is no objectively real God. If there is not, it is ludicrous to worship any notion of a God, no matter how moral you design your god to be. If there is a God who created the Universe and holds you in existence, it is ludicrous not to worship God for exactly and everything God is.
It is about what IS, not what people believe.
In every single relationship but one. If you are held in existence by a loving God, that is part of that unique relationship. It also has a profound effect on your relationship with everyone else held in existence. If the one that formed you, loves you, and holds you in existence cares about all of these other people, suddenly they matter to you very much.
Enough that you would risk really making them mad by telling them: you were made for so much more than this life. The infinite longing you have that this world cannot appease has an answer that fits like a key in a lock and gives you the peace you long for.