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Approaching God from a scientific point of view

Use this forum to discuss the philosophy of science. Philosophy of science deals with the assumptions, foundations, and implications of science.
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Thinking critical
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Re: Approaching God from a scientific point of view

Post by Thinking critical » May 3rd, 2018, 7:13 am

Whitedragon wrote:
May 3rd, 2018, 4:11 am
Thank you all for your replies,
I think the greatest issue we have with any magic/miracle is "don't tell me it came from nowhere." I believe everything comes from somewhere.
My greatest issue with magic/miracles is the evidence (or lack there of).
I think everything comes from something as opposed to somewhere is more accurate?
If I may introduce a few new ideas. To reiterate, I believe everything must come from somewhere. Some bloggers in this post have already acknowledged the possibility of "immortality." Let's look at this example, the increase of the bread and fish miracle. Again, in Star Trek they have replicators diverting energy into matter via a machine. However, an electric eel produces its current without the use of technology. Is it possible that there could be some creatures that can influence energy in this fashion without technology?
I'm not sure what you mean here? I'm not into sci fi T.V so not sure how they portray energy, however I would argue that all living things influence energy. We all have mass and mass is energy, everything we do disperses energy to some degree. Essentialy the eels you mentioned are doing just that, they are influencing energy to create an electric current. Also, remember the 1st law of thermodynamics.
I know this is all pseudo science, but doesn't all science start out this way?
I wouldn't call this pseudoscience, more sci fi. Pseudoscience is the likes of astrology and (dare I say it) flatearth delusional conspiracy theories. I do however agree the Sci Fi, Star Trek in particular certainly influences applied sciences.
I think most people's qualm with miracles are that people claim it comes, again, from "no where," but what if it does come from "somewhere" and it is scientifically explainable?
If this were the case it would no longer be called a miracle.
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Whitedragon
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Re: Approaching God from a scientific point of view

Post by Whitedragon » May 3rd, 2018, 9:36 am

Thinking Critical wrote :
I think most people's qualm with miracles are that people claim it comes, again, from "no where," but what if it does come from "somewhere" and it is scientifically explainable?
If this were the case it would no longer be called a miracle.
Exactly, I agree. I don't believe in miracles, miracles imply that "it came from nowhere," or rather, "there is no scientific basis or reference." I believe there is a scientific explanation for these apparent miracles, we just don't have all the information to form the theory or interpretation for it yet.

Again, if some beings have internalized their technology to be part of their quintessential makeup, it would be hard to classify it. I guess as humans we still are used to externalizing our technology, which is why we find it so hard to think of "miracles" as science, or rather in retrospect of our more primitive eras we called it so. I recon every scientist's qualm would be an action that is untraceable according to science. I would love to know what a miracle would look like on a tricorder, (a scifi device used to scan objects and nature). I'm quite sure that some of those so called miracles would be even be traceable with some of the technology we have today.

But ... how far can we investigate and apply our science? Science studies nature and we barely understand the basics now, perhaps we need to evolve to a state where we could improve our methods of analyzing or perhaps duplicating it.
We are a frozen spirit; our thoughts a cloud of droplets; different oceans and ages brood inside – where spirit sublimates. To some our words, an acid rain, to some it is too pure, to some infectious, to some a cure.

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Re: Approaching God from a scientific point of view

Post by Halc » May 3rd, 2018, 12:09 pm

Whitedragon wrote:
May 3rd, 2018, 4:11 am
I know this is all pseudo science, but doesn't all science start out this way? I think most people's qualm with miracles are that people claim it comes, again, from "no where," but what if it does come from "somewhere" and it is scientifically explainable?
If Jesus did the fish/bread thing and the resurrection via technology, it would be an act of a higher-technology being, not one of a god. It would reduce the act to that of cheap card tricks performed for children. Thinking-critical pointed this out.

The food-from energy doesn't violate physics, even if it does win the prize for doing something the most massively inefficient way possible. Since energy and mass are the same thing, there is no such thing as massless energy. It would violate conservation laws if there was. It was already mass, and the machine just rearranges it just like the nano-probe does apparently. Either device could be used to create a set of multiple Neelix's, and wouldn't need the material of the dead one to do so. Come home from the butcher with the correct mass of meat and tell the nano-probe to rearrange it into a Neelix.

As for the viability of your examples, they have the thing that makes matter from electrical energy (currently at a cost of about 50 trillion Euros/gram).

I know of no success at assembling an intact biological cell from non-cell parts. I don't think there is such a thing as an intact but not-functional cell, so it isn't like they've build one but can't bring it to life. That would be like building a fire that doesn't actually combust. It isn't really a fire then.

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Re: Approaching God from a scientific point of view

Post by LuckyR » May 3rd, 2018, 12:40 pm

Whitedragon wrote:
May 3rd, 2018, 4:11 am
Thank you all for your replies,
I think the greatest issue we have with any magic/miracle is "don't tell me it came from nowhere." I believe everything comes from somewhere.

If you will allow me to take another example: an electric eel is able to produce a current for defensive and hunting purposes. To some primitive people it may seem magical; it may even seem more magical if they knew it was electricity, but didn't know how it works, yet it is perfectly normal to the eel, since it is part of its native evolutionary makeup.

If I may introduce a few new ideas. To reiterate, I believe everything must come from somewhere. Some bloggers in this post have already acknowledged the possibility of "immortality." Let's look at this example, the increase of the bread and fish miracle. Again, in Star Trek they have replicators diverting energy into matter via a machine. However, an electric eel produces its current without the use of technology. Is it possible that there could be some creatures that can influence energy in this fashion without technology?

Secondly, when Neelix died in ST Voyager, Seven of Nine resuscitated him using nano probes to repair the damage of his narcotized tissue. He was dead for more than three days, I think.

I know this is all pseudo science, but doesn't all science start out this way? I think most people's qualm with miracles are that people claim it comes, again, from "no where," but what if it does come from "somewhere" and it is scientifically explainable?

We began this post debating about beings whose lifespans exceed ours by billions of years, isn't it logical to assume that those beings my have technology which they internalized so much that it has become part of who they are?

Just a few ideas, let me know what you think.
To take a small, but IMO relevant tangent from your post. If you stipulate that the currently explainable needs a label and that label can be called magic or god or the unknown. Then an electric eel could be a magic eel, or it could be the earthbound manifestation of the eel god or it could be "I don't know what the hell that thing is but I ain't touching it!"

But human nomenclature is lacking in wording to describe beings that are clearly superior to humans (because we are the superior species within our experience). There is god, of course. No one in modern practice uses the term demi-god, angel means so many different things to different people that it has lost it's meaning.
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Re: Approaching God from a scientific point of view

Post by Whitedragon » May 3rd, 2018, 12:51 pm

Halc wrote:
May 3rd, 2018, 12:09 pm
Whitedragon wrote:
May 3rd, 2018, 4:11 am
I know this is all pseudo science, but doesn't all science start out this way? I think most people's qualm with miracles are that people claim it comes, again, from "no where," but what if it does come from "somewhere" and it is scientifically explainable?
If Jesus did the fish/bread thing and the resurrection via technology, it would be an act of a higher-technology being, not one of a god. It would reduce the act to that of cheap card tricks performed for children. Thinking-critical pointed this out.

The food-from energy doesn't violate physics, even if it does win the prize for doing something the most massively inefficient way possible. Since energy and mass are the same thing, there is no such thing as massless energy. It would violate conservation laws if there was. It was already mass, and the machine just rearranges it just like the nano-probe does apparently. Either device could be used to create a set of multiple Neelix's, and wouldn't need the material of the dead one to do so. Come home from the butcher with the correct mass of meat and tell the nano-probe to rearrange it into a Neelix.

As for the viability of your examples, they have the thing that makes matter from electrical energy (currently at a cost of about 50 trillion Euros/gram).

I know of no success at assembling an intact biological cell from non-cell parts. I don't think there is such a thing as an intact but not-functional cell, so it isn't like they've build one but can't bring it to life. That would be like building a fire that doesn't actually combust. It isn't really a fire then.
The point is not to reduce miracles to magic tricks, what is the concern here, is the very thing you say. It's better to have a scientific reference for those acts than to say it came from nothing or was "magic." This is the whole issue, I think most people have with miracles. I think the biggest mistake the church made is to make people believe "there is no explanation/scientific explanation" for all it claims. Aside from some awful doctrine and dogma, we have lived too long with the notion that magic is separate from science. Everything is part of the same universe, the problem arises when people claim they can pluck something from nowhere and bring it into fruition.
We are a frozen spirit; our thoughts a cloud of droplets; different oceans and ages brood inside – where spirit sublimates. To some our words, an acid rain, to some it is too pure, to some infectious, to some a cure.

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Re: Approaching God from a scientific point of view

Post by LuckyR » May 3rd, 2018, 12:54 pm

Whitedragon wrote:
May 3rd, 2018, 12:51 pm
Halc wrote:
May 3rd, 2018, 12:09 pm
If Jesus did the fish/bread thing and the resurrection via technology, it would be an act of a higher-technology being, not one of a god. It would reduce the act to that of cheap card tricks performed for children. Thinking-critical pointed this out.

The food-from energy doesn't violate physics, even if it does win the prize for doing something the most massively inefficient way possible. Since energy and mass are the same thing, there is no such thing as massless energy. It would violate conservation laws if there was. It was already mass, and the machine just rearranges it just like the nano-probe does apparently. Either device could be used to create a set of multiple Neelix's, and wouldn't need the material of the dead one to do so. Come home from the butcher with the correct mass of meat and tell the nano-probe to rearrange it into a Neelix.

As for the viability of your examples, they have the thing that makes matter from electrical energy (currently at a cost of about 50 trillion Euros/gram).

I know of no success at assembling an intact biological cell from non-cell parts. I don't think there is such a thing as an intact but not-functional cell, so it isn't like they've build one but can't bring it to life. That would be like building a fire that doesn't actually combust. It isn't really a fire then.
The point is not to reduce miracles to magic tricks, what is the concern here, is the very thing you say. It's better to have a scientific reference for those acts than to say it came from nothing or was "magic." This is the whole issue, I think most people have with miracles. I think the biggest mistake the church made is to make people believe "there is no explanation/scientific explanation" for all it claims. Aside from some awful doctrine and dogma, we have lived too long with the notion that magic is separate from science. Everything is part of the same universe, the problem arises when people claim they can pluck something from nowhere and bring it into fruition.
True, it was a great short term plan, but for the intellectually curious it doesn't stand up to scrutiny over time (it is a bad long term strategy). Luckily for them there is an unending quantity of the intellectually non-curious.
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Re: Approaching God from a scientific point of view

Post by Whitedragon » May 3rd, 2018, 1:12 pm

I lost my last post, I'll re-post later. Sorry :(
We are a frozen spirit; our thoughts a cloud of droplets; different oceans and ages brood inside – where spirit sublimates. To some our words, an acid rain, to some it is too pure, to some infectious, to some a cure.

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Re: Approaching God from a scientific point of view

Post by Halc » May 3rd, 2018, 3:23 pm

Whitedragon wrote:
May 3rd, 2018, 12:51 pm
I think the biggest mistake the church made is to make people believe "there is no explanation/scientific explanation" for all it claims.
On the contrary, I think the faith on which the church depends rests on spinning acts as having no natural explanation. If we find out that the bread-and-fish were just the product of a fast working 3-D printer, the miracle status vanishes and the act becomes one of a plaid-suit salesman.
Aside from some awful doctrine and dogma, we have lived too long with the notion that magic is separate from science.
It is said that sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic (A C Clark). So I suppose only real (supernatural) magic is separate. Science (as of only recently) confines descriptions to natural ones. This is methodological naturalism. It doesn't assert naturalism, but proceeds as if it were so.

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Re: Approaching God from a scientific point of view

Post by Whitedragon » May 4th, 2018, 6:40 am

Halc wrote:
May 3rd, 2018, 3:23 pm
Whitedragon wrote:
May 3rd, 2018, 12:51 pm
I think the biggest mistake the church made is to make people believe "there is no explanation/scientific explanation" for all it claims.
On the contrary, I think the faith on which the church depends rests on spinning acts as having no natural explanation. If we find out that the bread-and-fish were just the product of a fast working 3-D printer, the miracle status vanishes and the act becomes one of a plaid-suit salesman.
Aside from some awful doctrine and dogma, we have lived too long with the notion that magic is separate from science.
It is said that sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic (A C Clark). So I suppose only real (supernatural) magic is separate. Science (as of only recently) confines descriptions to natural ones. This is methodological naturalism. It doesn't assert naturalism, but proceeds as if it were so.
Plaid-suit salesman? Why would the alternative be better? Why are miracles more special than a traceable act? If anything, it would mean that god has a monopoly on solutions. If I may deviate, did Jesus not say "you will do greater things than I?" If people keep looking to religion and god for their solutions, they will remain dependent and in the dark, as the dark ages have proven, having barred and hampered the development of science. If science can in time provide us with solutions to problems that we thought were impossible, but dogma and belief robs us from our own independence, we will not only remain in that rut, but also fail to connect with possible "deities" that maybe visited and possibly influenced many worlds.

I'd rather believe god and all his works are scientifically traceable; it leaves room for self-sufficiency and connection with gods/higher forms of life. Terms like god, sin, miracles, have always been a thorn in my side - I believe "god" is as practical in his own essence and deeds as we are in the material world. I think there is a greater chance science can connect us with god/higher beings, than staring blindly into old ways of metaphysical interpretation and definitions.
We are a frozen spirit; our thoughts a cloud of droplets; different oceans and ages brood inside – where spirit sublimates. To some our words, an acid rain, to some it is too pure, to some infectious, to some a cure.

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Re: Approaching God from a scientific point of view

Post by Halc » May 4th, 2018, 8:17 am

Whitedragon wrote:
May 4th, 2018, 6:40 am
Plaid-suit salesman? Why would the alternative be better? Why are miracles more special than a traceable act? If anything, it would mean that god has a monopoly on solutions. If I may deviate, did Jesus not say "you will do greater things than I?" If people keep looking to religion and god for their solutions, they will remain dependent and in the dark, as the dark ages have proven, having barred and hampered the development of science.
Yes, but the church (the spinner of the miracle tales) had more power than any king or queen at the time, which wouldn't have worked if the story was just an alien with a well stocked bat-utility-belt.
I'd rather believe god and all his works are scientifically traceable; it leaves room for self-sufficiency and connection with gods/higher forms of life. Terms like god, sin, miracles, have always been a thorn in my side - I believe "god" is as practical in his own essence and deeds as we are in the material world. I think there is a greater chance science can connect us with god/higher beings, than staring blindly into old ways of metaphysical interpretation and definitions.
Nothing wrong with this, but it is a different character than the ones that various religions own. Your idea requires the immediate presence of the superior being, else he cannot be aware of you in time to interact. If he's here, he's not elsewhere, but there can be more of them elsewhere.
No amount of technology will allow any entity to create itself and its environment, so this sort of being cannot be used to explain the creation of the universe. Interestingly, the bible lays no claim to God creating the universe. It says it all existed with God in/nearby it, but it was empty (void), and God filled it with stuff to his liking. That is within the realm of technology.

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Re: Approaching God from a scientific point of view

Post by Whitedragon » May 4th, 2018, 10:42 am

Yes, but the church (the spinner of the miracle tales) had more power than any king or queen at the time, which wouldn't have worked if the story was just an alien with a well stocked bat-utility-belt.
And therein lies the dark ages of those knowingly or unknowingly using "magic" for fear mongering. The Jews feared the Roman empire who were human, they revered their teachers who were human. One can still exert control and order under the terms I'm describing. Besides, a virtually ageless being with powers native to itself will still demand respect, whether he/she is seen as a god or just a higher creature, (depending on his/her teachings and acts of compassion or lack thereof). A being of such a state might fall into the category of a god, but the term god in this thread is begging for better definition.
Nothing wrong with this, but it is a different character than the ones that various religions own. Your idea requires the immediate presence of the superior being, else he cannot be aware of you in time to interact. If he's here, he's not elsewhere, but there can be more of them elsewhere.
No amount of technology will allow any entity to create itself and its environment, so this sort of being cannot be used to explain the creation of the universe. Interestingly, the bible lays no claim to God creating the universe. It says it all existed with God in/nearby it, but it was empty (void), and God filled it with stuff to his liking. That is within the realm of technology.
I am aware of the right view of creation, (to bring in to focus). I agree it does not explain the creation of the universe, but since this is a scientific blog, lets not leave out natural evolution. No being can create itself, (or so we think), but why does it have to? It would be good if "gods" came and went with big bangs, big crunches and the repeat of those cycles. Unless "gods" are like energy itself that cannot be destroyed or created, but merely transform with cosmological evolution.
We are a frozen spirit; our thoughts a cloud of droplets; different oceans and ages brood inside – where spirit sublimates. To some our words, an acid rain, to some it is too pure, to some infectious, to some a cure.

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Re: Approaching God from a scientific point of view

Post by Halc » May 6th, 2018, 9:00 am

Whitedragon wrote:
May 4th, 2018, 10:42 am
And therein lies the dark ages of those knowingly or unknowingly using "magic" for fear mongering.
The ages were not dark from the perspective of the power held by those in control of the undemonstrated magic. I suppose the correct assessment is comes from asking which method is more fit. An isolated population kept in dark ages by mysticism will possibly last longer than an isolated population with science, but without the maturity to apply that science to longer term goals. Fitness however is not assessed by isolated populations. You put them together, and the people kept backwards will fall to the more advanced race. Look what happened to the Native Americans, even after they discovered that the newcomers were not Gods and could bleed like any other.
The Jews feared the Roman empire who were human, they revered their teachers who were human. One can still exert control and order under the terms I'm describing.
Romans had power via conquest, something Jews understood as they were of the same nature themselves. I don't thing Jew were kept at bay by fear of the Roman Gods. I think if the Romans empire was a religious state, there would be more mandatory worshiping of the state deities.
Besides, a virtually ageless being with powers native to itself will still demand respect, whether he/she is seen as a god or just a higher creature, (depending on his/her teachings and acts of compassion or lack thereof). A being of such a state might fall into the category of a god, but the term god in this thread is begging for better definition.
Well, I demand some respect of the ants that live near me, and I make their lives hell if they sufficiently annoy me, but I don't demand worship from them. How utterly immature to expect such a thing.

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Re: Approaching God from a scientific point of vie

Post by Thinking critical » May 6th, 2018, 6:38 pm

Whitedragon wrote:
May 3rd, 2018, 9:36 am
Thinking Critical wrote :
I think most people's qualm with miracles are that people claim it comes, again, from "no where," but what if it does come from "somewhere" and it is scientifically explainable?
If this were the case it would no longer be called a miracle.
Exactly, I agree. I don't believe in miracles, miracles imply that "it came from nowhere," or rather, "there is no scientific basis or reference." I believe there is a scientific explanation for these apparent miracles, we just don't have all the information to form the theory or interpretation for it yet.

Again, if some beings have internalized their technology to be part of their quintessential makeup, it would be hard to classify it. I guess as humans we still are used to externalizing our technology, which is why we find it so hard to think of "miracles" as science, or rather in retrospect of our more primitive eras we called it so. I recon every scientist's qualm would be an action that is untraceable according to science. I would love to know what a miracle would look like on a tricorder, (a scifi device used to scan objects and nature). I'm quite sure that some of those so called miracles would be even be traceable with some of the technology we have today.
I think you may have missed my point, it's not that I think we need science to explain away the so called miracles, it is the very authenticity of the claim itself which I would question first. Humans have a tendency to fabricate and exaggerate stories, considering that in the era that most of these miracles happened was also a time in which storytelling was common practice and the better the story the more famous the storyteller would be. It would be no surprise that such fallacious stories have captured the hearts and imaginations of generations only to be then documented down in the history books actual history events.
But ... how far can we investigate and apply our science? Science studies nature and we barely understand the basics now, perhaps we need to evolve to a state where we could improve our methods of analyzing or perhaps duplicating it.
I'm not sure I agree with this opinion, how can we ever know the depth of our own scientific wisdom? What would we be duplicating exactly?
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Re: Approaching God from a scientific point of view

Post by Erribert » May 7th, 2018, 1:25 am

Hi Halc,
The theories of relativity are being shot down all the time! What are you talking about. How many journals in physics do you read?

Give me a break! It has become extremely obvious that the universe is not expanding. There was no Big Bang, black holes cannot exist. This is all published in peer reviewed journals. Maybe it just doesn’t make it to NPR, but so what.

Have you ever gone through Einstein’s derivation of his field equations? His first step is to say that gravity has nothing to do with mass. If this were true, how does one weigh apples on a scale? Einstein claims that gravity is not a force, but something else. Really? How does a field travel? Just go through the derivations. They are online.

Einstein’s second postulate (assumption) in his theory of special relativity is that the speed of light is constant. Really? Well that’s easy for him to say. Light slows down when it goes through water, go figure. Einstein thought space was a vacuum. Satellites are now showing us that it is anything but a vacuum. 99.99% of our universe is plasma. It can be measured right outside our atmosphere. Ever heard of solar winds? How can there be a wind in a vacuum.

Now, if you want to believe theoretical mathematicians fine. Do you know what a virtual particle is? That’s right, a particle that does not exist. Good old Feynman and his photons traveling back in time. Even the great Feynman joked about all the things math was making up. If you want to believe in some kind of extraterrestrial fourth dimension, then you must love science fiction. LOL. You can believe anything you want, of course. However the purpose of science and philosophy is to question, in my opinion. Not to join a parade. Perhaps the emperor really doesn’t wear any cloths.

Scientists are just regular people begging for money. They are not magicians.

As I see it.

Cheers

If history is any indication, today’s science will become tomorrow’s mythology. Trust me, we don’t know anything.

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Re: Approaching God from a scientific point of view

Post by Erribert » May 7th, 2018, 1:52 am

Tamminen wrote:
May 1st, 2018, 10:02 am
Halc wrote:
May 1st, 2018, 7:49 am
This line of thinking is right on track. I think it totally disassembles the validity of "Cogito, ero sum".
I also thought for some time that the insight of Descartes was trivial, and that he only found that he is the subject of his own thoughts and his own thinking. But now I am beginning to understand that what he really detected, perhaps not really seeing it himself clearly enough, was the subject of all objects, a precondition of the being of "things in themselves". So his insight was genuinely ontological, and it was later adopted by Kant, Husserl and others who developed it in their analysis of subjectivity and its relation to the objective world, also known as nature.
Hey, I figured out how to plant quotes! Three cheers for the dummy (me).

I like what you wrote. To be honest, I have a hard time with Kant and his Numenal. It seems he is copying Plato’s Forms. I refuse to be a brain in a vat, however. I also think that solipsism gets tied up in knots and do not have the patience for following it. I guess i will never have clarity there. So far as I can tell, we create experiences from incoming signals. these sensations are then brought into our cerebrum through our cerebellum and form whatwe call knowledge. Like the Buddhists, I view the brain as a sensory organ like the eye. It just tends to ruminate an awful lot (an incapacitating neuronal feedback system). I guess that is my ontology of epistemology unless I am totally confused (not uncommon).

The reason I bring that up is that it seems to me that one has to be before thinking. Of course this is an intellectual argument so it’s hard to get away from thinking about being. Yet, there are many reactions my body has that happen without thinking so I believe Being is there. For example I don’t think to beat my heart. Therefore, I prefer the quote “I am, therefore I think”. And don’t get me started on my issues with Heidegger. To begin with, the translations I have read aren’t even in English. I suppose it is hard to translate words he just makes up.

Sometimes I completely switch the meanings of subjective and objective. The objective is on the inside as in what’s going on in our brains, and the subjective is that vast area on the outside of us. Objectivity is limited, but subjectivity is not. Our imaginations are a good example of this. The imagination can stretch beyond the edges of space.

Just some random philosophizing in a philosophy forum...

Cheers

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