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About iCambrian

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    The Scientist

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    Christian Humanist

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  1. This might be a question for @Jebreil Seems to be more of a philosophical discussion than a scientific one (or more of a soft science question than a hard science question). We generally equate life with a certain level of sentience or awareness of things around us. That in combination with self replicating molecules. @notme Would a self replicating robot be considered alive? I kind of think it would. Where do you draw that line between life and non-life? Its like asking where you draw the line between an african elephant and an indian elephant. The line may not be clear at all, and would only exist arbitrarily on a molecular level. But as @.InshAllah. said, just because the line is gray or somewhat abstract or even somewhat arbitrary, doesnt mean that there isnt a clear difference between the starting point (life) and the finish (non life). Otherwise, nice article, thanks for sharing.
  2. from a more religious perspective Christ came to not only serve as an example for how to live, again to help us better understand ourselves, but more importantly He came to save us. He came to defeat sin and death and did so in His sacrifice and resurrection. Christ knew that we are a sinful and fallen people. We are imperfect. But He came and said that, despite our short comings, that He would be our salvation. People try so hard sometimes to look good in the eyes of God. We always struggle, trying to be perfect, trying to love even those we cannot, trying to be perfectly spiritual and always trying to do the right thing. And we always fail to meet that position of perfect objective morality (because in our nature we are imperfect). Christ came and said basically that, it isnt about your good works, because I already know you will all fall short of my glory. But if you trust and believe in me, I will save you, despite your imperfections. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Christ came to save those who believe in Him. He came to save the poor, the weak, the diseased and broken. Indeed these are the people He focused much of his time on and with. And it wasnt about how well the blind man treated his neighbor, or what kind of food the woman at the well ate, or if the leper was perfect in his prayers . He came out of His love for us, and set us free. John 3:16. And this salvation is something that only God can give.
  3. From a more secular perspective Why would a prophet be sent if no prophet were needed (because the message was already present and people could just make their own rules)? Christ as a human being Himself, was a product of that pre existing truth. Christ didnt fly in from outer space with a message that was completely alien to people. He was born here as a man, born into this world, and He took that internal morality (with a predominant focus on love and empathy), and he projected it into words and turned it into a movement. It wasnt that love and empathy didnt predate Him. It wasnt that love and empathy didnt exist prior to His spreading of the message. He simply projected in a way which caught the attention of people and helped people organize those thoughts. Love and hate, empathy and destruction. These are things that have existed, since mankind gained sentience, but in a scientific sense, they have been around for hundreds of millions of years. Christ came relatively early in human history (yes i understand other societies like the chinese (often spiritual atheists) came up to 10,000 years prior to Christ and thousands prior to Moses and Abraham etc. But Christ came relatively early in time, particularly early in the history of monotheistic religion and written scripture. He brought a message that indeed had pre existed his appearance, but He came and put that message into words, He clarified on it for the people of His time and beyond.hypothetical Some people simply need to hear ideas in words, for clarity, to help them understand. To help us understand ourselves. I remember as a toddler breaking something by accident. And I knew that in breaking that object, i would hurt others and they would be upset when they discovered it. Nobody had to tell me that what I had done was a bad thing, I knew it already. But taking those emotions, and putting them into words allows us to ponder them and role play. To consider and to better understand them. So Christ came and attempted to formulate that internal truth, into words so that we might better understand ourselves.
  4. It doesnt take the existence of an objective universal law, for a person like you or I to ponder the existence of such a thing, or to consider that it may exist. If hypothetically, a zebra or lion or cub were sentient, they could propose ideas in which they all lived together in peace. If they had empathy and sentience like we do, they may very well do that. And I referred to buddhists who in many cases are atheists, who have rules, such as the right of action in the 8 fold path, that hold this idea that killing life is a bad thing and that theyre opposed to it. So, proposing objectively moral ideas, isnt only something that theists do. Sentient people of all walks are capable of it. It isnt a purely theist practice.
  5. Well, I agree that in this world, two parties may have opposing interests. Whether it is Bush and Osama, or ISIS and Obama, or Nazi Germany and France, or, Churchhill and Hitler and or Japan etc. In an ideal world, having one philosophy, such as "killing one is like killing all", universally agreed upon, sounds great. Is atheism to blame for this idea's failure? I dont think so. ISIS clearly doesnt believe in the whole killing one is like killing all thing, or perhaps they put a spin on it, and they arent atheists. We could point fingers at atheist philosophical views, calling them subjective and blaming them for the failure (or our inability to carry out) of these seemingly perfect objective moral views, but that would be scapegoating, as people, theists have been cycling in circles ourselves, even with theistic philosophical views, we have yet to bring ourselves to agree upon what objective morality is or what it looks like. Even now you might find religious scholars who believe that God is alright with fighting, as the opposing force might be considered guilty of sin. But then you get drawn into this obscured conflict where you might have trouble distinguishing the innocent from the guilty. Some atheists may also hold that view of not killing innocent people. Many buddhists for example are atheists, yet we have buddhist philosophy that opposes killing other life forms (right action of the noble 8 fold path is often interpreted as a guideline that promotes the idea of not killing)..So atheism wouldnt necessarily be opposed to the idea of not killing innocents.
  6. If there were a threat in which the lion may kill other people, like your neighbors, you might seek to have the lion captured and moved somewhere, or killed. If you want to protect your community, and other people want to protect their community as well. Then it isnt unreasonable for you to devise a plan to stop something like a lion, from destroying it. Maybe your neighbor takes care of your children. Well now you dont want the lion eating your neighbor. So your neighbor and you can devise a plan to stop the lion. Whether you consider the lion "evil" or not, is irrelevant. You could hypothetically still want to protect your family, friends and community.
  7. People have empathy for others. A killer who say, kills an innocent child, will be viewed as harmful not only to the child but to everyone. It doesnt matter if youre an atheist or a theist, everyone would see that. And if the killer kills innocent people, or relatively innocent people, then what if you or I or our families are next?
  8. This sounds funny, but that is exactly it. And someone might ask, how can this be a true moral foundation? Wouldnt it result in a world where there is sin, or corruption or people fighting one another? While also resulting in a world where other people work together and are nice to others? Well yes, And that is exactly how existence is. It is as it is. And in my opinion, this is how descent with modification would look. There are lions, there are zebras, there are cubs. There is life and success, death and destruction and a swaying balance between the two. All a fight for survival. We back the question up further, did God create this? I believe God is creator of all, so I say yes. But is quisant obligated to agree? Who knows what he believes. Regardless, he and I and everyone else here still live in this same balance of life. Even within myself I fight between outward aggression and peaceful empathy every day, just as any believer and non believer, just as any life form, zebra, lion, cub. Just as Nazi Germany, the Pope, ISIS and Mother Theresa or Ayatollah Sistani.
  9. Everyone should take a moment to consider this hypothetical. Lets say we all were born in ancient greece. Perhaps we lived in times in which people believe in ancient greek gods like zues, and poseidon. And lets say hypothetically, at this point in life, we were not aware of any monotheistic beliefs (perhaps we are young and maybe are just beginning to ask these questions). If hypothetically, we did not have our monotheistic moral basis, we would not just go out and start robbing and killing old people. We would still have that, internal morality, that akhlaq, or in a naturalistic mind, that selective descent with modification structure of morality (much like a lioness with her cubs). When threatened, we may take a position similar to that of a lioness to a zebra. Germany during WWII, and prior to WWII was struck with poverty and corruption. Germany outwardly responded in a destructive way with the formation of nazi germany, because of the pain it was going through. Much like ISIS of the middle east. The pain in the region has transformed into an outward destructive force. But regardless...in a predominant sense, in scenarios where we arent being destroyed ourselves, we have feelings like empathy which assist us in how we make decisions. And this internal existence, or internal morality exists independent of if we believe in God or not. It exists whether or not God exists. We theists attribute it to God. But hypothetically, if we were in ancient greece and did not know of God, we would still act in a similar way. At this point I think im beating a dead horse here so ill let it go. Basically, an answer for why something is, is independent of whether or not something is. Theists say God is the why. Atheists say, we dont know or I dont believe that answer is correct, and move on to simply saying, existence just is as it is.
  10. A zebra nor lion is obligated to define right and wrong or the origins for right and wrong. Existence simply is as it is.
  11. This is tricky. Hypothetically, natural selection and descent with modification, much in the way it might make a lioness care for her cubs, might be viewed as a means by which living beings develop a sense of empathy for one another. Empathy promoting survival, further promotes empathy. While simultaneously, life becomes more complex, when caring for cubs, mandates the killing of a zebra to feed them (an anti sympathy, or a destructive reality). This is the existence we live in and can be used as a case for how descent with modification can structure or form our moral foundation. Some like Quisant may refer to experiences of pleasure and joy, and relate that to morality and how they want to live, and may attribute it to descent with modification. Theists can further pose the question of why descent with modification and its moral structuring would exist to begin with and may attribute all of creation to God. But regardless of what you or I might believe about who God is or what God is, the discussion relating to what exists, is independent of what we believe about its origins. And further, Quisant doesnt need an answer for what or who God is, or if God exists or not, to still experience and exist in the descent with modification structure of morality, or that lioness-cub-zebra life. A zebra isnt obligated to have an answer for why the world is as it is, to take a moral position of feeding its young or protecting its family, nor is a lion obligated to have an answer for why the lion eats the zebra. Yet both the lions acts and the zebras acts, are selected for, biologically. Why there is natural selection? Its an independent question for which there is division between theists, atheists and everyone in between. Though none are obligated to have an answer.
  12. The question of where these morals come from, is independent of whether or not we act them out. And the question of where they come from, is also independent of the question of if we know where they came from. A baby, who knows nothing of any creator or any purpose, acts in certain ways, becomes upset by certain things or happy by certain things. We receive our moral nature, regardless of what we believe or do not believe about our God. So, the point im making is, Quisant isnt obligated to have an answer for every question we could possibly ask. But regardless of not having these answers, we shouldnt assume that hes just going to go out beating up old people or stealing childrens lunch money. You ask him for a basis for how he judges morality. He is not obligated to have one (regardless of if he does or does not). Not having an answer for where morality comes from, does not equate to having a mindset where you want to outwardly and excessively sin.
  13. There are good people, and bad people in this world. Some aspects of atheism may promote negative morality. Other aspects may promote positive or more God like or good moral actions. A cancer would be evil. Satan himself. Atheism and Theism, or any philosophic mindsets, are just mediums through which satan, the true cancer, acts. And there are so many dynamic forms of atheism and theism, that satan can take hold in different ways. And there are aspects that may be within both, that also combat sin or sinful practices.
  14. You and I, never believed in say, Zues. But it never took away from our moral nature. Nor did, acquiring belief in God, make us more moral than we had been, say, the day prior. And of course, just as there are moral and good religious people, there are also immoral and bad religious people. The question of morality and how we act, or what defines how we act, is independent of the question of if we believe in God or not.