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Tue Feb 28, 2012, 04:38 AM

I would love to believe ... that when I die I will live again - Carl Sagan

From Zen Pencils. Please do visit their site!

http://zenpencils.com/comic/carl-sagan-make-the-most-of-this-life/

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Reply I would love to believe ... that when I die I will live again - Carl Sagan (Original post)
MattSh Feb 2012 OP
yankeepants Feb 2012 #1
fasttense Feb 2012 #2
The Doctor. Feb 2012 #20
onehandle Feb 2012 #3
FailureToCommunicate Feb 2012 #4
VWolf Feb 2012 #5
man4allcats Feb 2012 #6
Fantastic Anarchist Feb 2012 #7
man4allcats Feb 2012 #8
Fearless Feb 2012 #9
Fantastic Anarchist Feb 2012 #14
man4allcats Feb 2012 #15
Fantastic Anarchist Feb 2012 #19
man4allcats Feb 2012 #21
Fantastic Anarchist Feb 2012 #22
man4allcats Feb 2012 #23
Fantastic Anarchist Feb 2012 #24
man4allcats Feb 2012 #25
Fantastic Anarchist Feb 2012 #26
man4allcats Feb 2012 #27
Fantastic Anarchist Mar 2012 #29
MrMickeysMom Mar 2012 #31
Fantastic Anarchist Mar 2012 #32
MrMickeysMom Mar 2012 #28
Fantastic Anarchist Mar 2012 #30
DireStrike Feb 2012 #10
Dont call me Shirley Feb 2012 #12
CrawlingChaos Feb 2012 #11
Dont call me Shirley Feb 2012 #13
tex-wyo-dem Feb 2012 #18
dsfgerher Feb 2012 #16
Diclotican Feb 2012 #17

Response to MattSh (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 05:55 AM

1. And there you have it. n/t

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Response to MattSh (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 07:03 AM

2. If humans were immortal would there be religion?

Just wondering.

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Response to fasttense (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 10:36 AM

20. It would still be likely, just not as visceral.

 


We needed to explain away why we subjected animals to brutality and death in order to eat. Once we knew they felt pain and fear, we had to 'get permission' from some 'authority' in order to make it right. We also needed to explain many things we did not yet understand, and religion was a quick fix for that as well.

But it is true that the biggest reason for religion is the fear of no longer being 'oneself'.

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Response to MattSh (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 07:30 AM

3. "An atheist has to know a lot more than I know." - Carl Sagan - nt

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Response to MattSh (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 10:16 AM

4. Billions and billions of recs!

A Glorious Dawn:

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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Response to MattSh (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 12:06 PM

5. Wouldn't it be cool

if all of our disagreements could be resolved with ping-pong tournaments?

I wanna live on that world!

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Response to MattSh (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 12:50 PM

6. As an atheist, I find some solace in knowing that once my death occurs

I will not miss the life I had because there will in fact be no me to miss it. On a personal level, it will be as if I never existed in the first place. There may be those still living who will perhaps remember me, but my personal point of view will have simply vanished. Mark Twain said "I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it." Also, the song Highwayman by Johnny Cash (I don't know if he wrote it, but he recorded it) makes, in my mind at least, a decent statement on the subject.

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Response to man4allcats (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 12:54 PM

7. How do you know for a "fact?"

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 01:23 PM

8. God talks to me and

he told me so.

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 01:42 PM

9. Burden of proof...

Lies on those who claim there is something not those who claim there isn't. I could claim that there's a magical giraffe in control of the tides and I would have to prove it before anyone by right should take me seriously. The same is true for afterlife.

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Response to Fearless (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 06:54 PM

14. No one has proof. That's my point.

Neither of us know for a "fact" that there is or isn't an afterlife.

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #14)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 08:41 PM

15. Define "fact."

Or for that matter, define "proof."

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Response to man4allcats (Reply #15)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 01:13 AM

19. Something knowable. Verifiable. Empirically tested and defined.

Now, you're just playing mental gymnastics.

Just own up to the "fact" that you made an assertion that you can't prove. I can't prove there is a God, and you can't prove there isn't one.

I swear, some atheists act just like their evangelical counterparts.

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #19)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 12:23 PM

21. Mental gymnastics are what differentiate us

from most other species and have further led to the development of the civilizations in which we live. Someday when mental gymnastics are even more pervasive in the population than they are now, ancient religious superstition will be on the shelf with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

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Response to man4allcats (Reply #21)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 03:36 PM

22. Mmmmkay ...

But still doesn't negate the fact that neither one of us knows if there is or is not an afterlife.

I wouldn't be so arrogant as to say, for a "fact," that there is one, and you shouldn't be so arrogant as to say, for a "fact," that there isn't one. We both just don't know.

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #22)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 05:45 PM

23. Why do you care what I think or say?

It's not going to make any difference anyway. Reread my first post. In the sentence where I used the word "fact" I stated "As an atheist, I find some solace in knowing that once my death occurs I will not miss the life I had because there will in fact be no me to miss it." It's personal: "I find some solace" - "my death" - "I will not miss" - "be no me to miss it." What are you so afraid of that it matters to you in the least what I believe about what happens to people when they die - whether it be a transition to another form of consciousness or merely a transition to dust? If others wish to believe in some comfy fantasy, that's fine with me. I really couldn't care less. And because I'm that egalitarian, I can't understand why the hell any of this matters to you.

You say you wouldn't be so arrogant as to use the word "fact" and that I shouldn't be so arrogant as to use it either. There is a reason I suggested you define that word as well as the word "proof." Discussing this with you is like trying to discuss evolution with a creationist. Read Dawkins - not just on evolution but also on atheism. Creationists want "proof" (somebody up thread indicated to you that there is no responsibility to prove a negative) that god didn't create the universe. Those who believe in an afterlife want "proof" that there isn't one. As humans we cannot prove to an epistemological certainty that we ourselves exist. For all we can really prove, we might be just some anthropic dream state being experienced by some physical meta-dimension that has somehow managed to develop self-awareness. The actual facts may ultimately be nothing more than that. And yet while that possibility does exist, as the rational creatures we believe ourselves to be, we typically accept as "proof" evidence that is based on available "facts." Based on what we know about the universe and the language of mathematics that we use to help us understand it, it makes sense to accept that evolution suitably explains the existence of life on this and probably many other planets and further that each living thing's life will eventually end - period. Every indication is that when you're dead, you're dead. Sorry - no pie in the sky theistic god to extract our "souls" from our dead bodies and thereafter set us up in a nice apartment on the corner of Ecstasy and Eternity. You just die. At least that's my personal interpretation of the facts as they are known today. If you wish to interpret those facts differently; fine. Go for it. Depending on your particular interpretation, I may think you're unrealistic. But again, what the hell do you care what I think?!

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Response to man4allcats (Reply #23)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 08:14 PM

24. So, you'll huff and you'll puff and you'll build a straw man.

You don't know if I'm an atheist or not. You're trying to explain evolution to me but it's like talking to a creationist? Are you kidding me?

I actually don't care what you believe. I purposely never espoused as to what I believe, because it shouldn't matter to anyone but myself. However, you did, in fact, state something factually that you can't prove. And it's not like proving a negative, so don't be intellectually dishonest. I'm also saying I can't prove anything, either (I can use bolded italics, too). Not to worry though; seems like you got hot and bothered because you were called out on expressing a fact, which you nor I could support (it's unknowable). You illustrate the hubris that the creationists use. That you know for a fact that you won't exist. Well, not that I care what you believe, but your statement was, in fact, incorrect. I called you on it, and now you're getting all huffy and puffy and trying to back-peddle it just enough to try and save some face.

Again, and let me make this abundantly clear; I don't care what you believe. It matters not to me. My only concern, as posed in my original question to you, is how do you know for a "fact?" The fact is, you don't. You're flippant response about "God" telling you so, shows how you were caught in intellectual quicksand. I explained why neither of us knew, and it seemed to have pushed your buttons, because you came back with a two-paragraph straw man.

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #24)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 08:20 PM

25. Well I am impressed that you too can use bold. Kudos. Quite an accomplishment.

As for the rest of it, I'm pretty sure there is a probability greater than n=0.05 that you could benefit from professional help.

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Response to man4allcats (Reply #25)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 09:09 PM

26. And I'm pretty sure that your ad hominem wasn't that clever. n/t

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #26)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 10:04 PM

27. I would say that your grandmother wears combat boots

but I'd rather relate a perhaps more clever witticism I once saw in a restaurant behind the counter by the cash register. To wit:

Arguing with a waitress is like wrestling with a pig in the mud. Sooner or later you realize the pig likes it.

Run along now, little oinker. I've grown weary of you.

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Response to man4allcats (Reply #27)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 08:16 AM

29. How cute.

You realize that I'm right, so you resort to ad hominem. You weren't even able to come up with your own "witticism." You had to come up with someone else's.

If I were you, I'd be embarrassed.

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #29)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 10:24 AM

31. Hey....

Sometimes, people are so busy pounding their chest, they ignore how embarrassed they should be.

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Response to MrMickeysMom (Reply #31)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 11:00 AM

32. True ...

And the thing is, I wasn't trying to impugn anyone's belief system or lack thereof; I was merely pointing out an inaccuracy, and apparently, that pushed someone's buttons. It was unfortunate that he had to resort to childish name calling, but hey, that's his dime, not mine.

On edit: It's also unfortunate that it had to happen in a thread about Carl Sagan who happens to be one of my idols (no pun intended).

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Response to man4allcats (Reply #15)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 01:21 AM

28. Interesting...

The only way to win that game is not to play ("War Games")

I don't know what is really a fact, but I do know that I've been frustrated by others who can only hold on to their structure of "fact" by denying other's version of it.

This is why I really don't follow religion.

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 03:01 PM

10. Agnosticism

Always correct, never appreciated.

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Response to man4allcats (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 06:17 PM

12. Thanks for the J Cash and Willie Nelson, kris Kristoferson, Waylon Jennings

And my favorite, Mark Knopfler on guitar.

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Response to MattSh (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 05:34 PM

11. And where's the evidence to back up the statement

"The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth..."?

Frankly, the older I get, the more cynical I become about the widespread indifference by so many people toward the suffering of others. Life is full of pain and sorrow and oppression and injustice due to a distinct lack of "moral depth" that seems to be an persistent problem in a large segment of the human species.

I frequently see this Sagan quote and I don't understand why it's considered insightful or even quotable. Even though I'm not a believer, I kind of want to retch at the suggestion that life is so magnificently awesome we have no reason to look for spiritual comfort. Maybe it looked magnificent to Carl, from the viewpoint of his privileged life. Oh well, don't mind me... grumpy day in paradise.

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Response to CrawlingChaos (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 06:22 PM

13. If we all believed that we would live in exquisite love and moral depth.

To the mind of humanity I say, "Evolve already, damn it".

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Response to CrawlingChaos (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 11:48 PM

18. I understand where you are coming from...

There are many days that I feel the same way.

But then I remember the words of many wise and enlightened people I have read or listened to that our reality is our perception. If you perceive the world is laking in love and morality, then that is your reality. If you clear the clouds away a little, however, you may see the world from a whole new and positive perspective. The truth is that both love and hatred exist in the world, it's just what we choose to focus our attention on and energy toward that we have control over.

Not trying to be preachy or anything, just letting you know what has helped me out of many depressing times.

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Response to MattSh (Original post)


Response to MattSh (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 10:40 PM

17. MattSh

MattSh

He was a great astronomer - and a great person.. But on a personal level, he was also the intro for me into space, and everything what is there... It was the book Cosmos, and the television serie who got me interested in astronomy, and the discovery of the marveles who are out there - just wainting for us to discover it...

When Carl Sagan died - I was indeed sadened, as it had been a friend, or a nabour, or maybe even a familiy member who had died...

Diclotican

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