How you got here

Author: janesix ,

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  • janesix
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    How did you get where you are in regards to spiritual or religious beliefs?
    I started out as an atheist ,had some religious experiences and became a theist. Had a period of time with christian beliefs, and now I kind of just believe in god.
    Tell your story



  • SkepticalOne
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    --> @janesix
    I'm a preacher's kid that became disillusioned with the church. This lead me to skepticism and critical thinking, and I woke up.


  • janesix
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    Funny thing, I say I woke up too.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Deb-8-a-bull
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    Me mom.
  • janesix
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    Not the stork?
  • TheDredPriateRoberts
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    I'm not sure if I really have any religious or spiritual beliefs.  However I think a lot on the subject and listen to what others say etc.  For example some claim morality and cooperation came about because it furthered the species.  I'm not sure that's true.  Are there any other creatures other than humans which would sacrifice themselves for a stranger?  All other creatures, their main focus and purpose is to pass on their genes (and it works and their species carries on) rather than to ensure the survival of the species.
    when I considered predators and prey, there is a balance, there must be a balance for both to survive.  there doesn't need to be evolution or anything of the sort since the species can carry on within that balance.  Humans are not bound that way.  We have far exceeded any need to maintain or thrive as a species.  If anything we are "unnatural" in what we are and what we do imo.
  • janesix
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    I wouldn't say unnatural, but certainly we are different from animals. Like you said, we are overly altruistic, even when it comes to strangers. We are also capable of cruelty far beyond what any animal is capable of. Maybe there is some kind of truth,as a metaphor,of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
  • TheDredPriateRoberts
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    --> @janesix
    I only use the term "unnatural" because of those who would compare and draw links between humans and other life forms.  They would say all life has a single purpose which is to procreate.  
    Humans have far surpassed the purpose to procreate and even ensure the survival of the species.  If those are the actual meaning of life then the progression should have stopped there, but it didn't.
    A single male lion isn't aware or concerned that he could be the only one of his kind left, only humans can think like that.  This goes far and beyond any need to procreate, but why, how?  The simplistic answer that it "furthers the species" just doesn't make sense and I don't find it to be a logical explanation.
    Humans are the only species without an opposing force to keep them within balance, seems unnatural to me, or perhaps anti-nature as so many describe the earth and nature being in balance.
  • janesix
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    I think it's a little weird that anything has the urge to procreate at all. Why should anything? I would think a piece of matter, if it didn't have a motive force, or soul, wouldn't have any "urge" to do anything at all. 
  • ludofl3x
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    --> @TheDredPriateRoberts
    I would change 'unnatrual' to 'apparently unique'. Don't mistake human purpose as being somehow above procreation and proliferation of the species, either. We think the way we can (and again, we cannot definitively demonstrate that other species do NOT think how we do, we can only assess them through the human lens, it is not currently possible to translate lion thoughts into human thoughts) for one reason: agriculture. We're the only species who figured out how to eliminate the need to hunt or to forage for food. This allowed us to conquer the needs that other animals haven't: long term controllable food supply. Having conquered that allowed us to turn our intellect to challenges like livestock breeding for work and food, the detection of and defense against predators, and maintaining our "pack" in ways other animals simply don't have the bandwidth to do. We see some of these more advanced behaviors in various primates, like the forming of and utilization of tools to complete tasks (monkeys using sticks to lure ants to eat, for example), but those examples are infinitely less complex than what we're able to accomplish.

    If you started to strip away the basic human advances like safety of shelter or agriculture, rest assured that we'd see an eventual backslide to monitoring those very basic genetic demands: procreation. Everything goes back to procreation, even if it's not obvious. Humans engage in mating behaviors CONSTANTLY. How we dress, what we drive, how we live, the way we obsess over our appearances, it's all mating behavior. 

  • TheDredPriateRoberts
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    --> @janesix
    that's true, the will to live, reproduce etc, I don't believe we can explain that.  When technology advances enough that we can create life, can we also give it the will to live and reproduce?  A virus is very basic.  We know a lot about DNA/RNA sequencing etc.  At some point it will be just a matter writing the genetic code and putting it into a protein shell (we maybe able to do that know, I don't know)  Though we can do many things and know many things but not everything.  Often we know the how but not always the why, fully.
  • ludofl3x
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    --> @janesix
    I think it's a little weird that anything has the urge to procreate at all. Why should anything? I would think a piece of matter, if it didn't have a motive force, or soul, wouldn't have any "urge" to do anything at all. 

    This is to say that anything with a drive to reproduce has a soul, correct? The "motive force" is reproduction. It's literally motivated to reproduce. You have to separate the two: one is demonstrable (all species of living things have a reproductive drive), the other is a guess currently at what is creating that motive. I'm not sure why there has to be anything else beyond "continuation of genetic material."
  • TheDredPriateRoberts
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    --> @ludofl3x
    some choose not to have children or are celibate so I wonder how we arrived to this point.  Once a species is dominant what or why would there be a drive to be more than?  if you what you say is true, we've far exceeded our purpose.  Our advancements seem to have no real or practical purpose and is far beyond any need to procreate and yet here we are.
    Some birds use tools.  But that's an individual survival mechanism.  Humans teach strangers, non genetic linked others to survive and thrive.  I can't think of any other animal that does that as well.
    Consider a wild animal who is put in captivity.  They lose the edge to hunt and live wild.  Being fed, protected etc is all they need and desire, so when it's given to them they seek nothing more.
    An alpha predator isn't looking to be more alpha because the only competition they have is with each other generally speaking.  There's no external influences to make them change much at all imo.
    Humans do not seem to follow these laws of nature that I can tell.
  • janesix
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    --> @ludofl3x
    It's literally motivated to reproduce
    Why should it want to reproduce? Or do anything at all? Shouldn't matter just be inert, only moving when the forces of nature move it?

    Yet we all sit here, horny and hungry.


  • ludofl3x
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    --> @janesix
    Why should it want to reproduce? Or do anything at all? Shouldn't matter just be inert, only moving when the forces of nature move it?

    Yet we all sit here, horny and hungry.

    You're conflating inanimate matter with the collection of matter that creates organic living matter. In many forms, like a simple stone, it doesn't want to reproduce and is indeed inert. 
  • janesix
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    --> @ludofl3x
    So what makes other, "living" matter have a motive force(or desire, whatever you want to call it?)
  • keithprosser
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    --> @janesix
    Why should it want to reproduce? Or do anything at all? Shouldn't matter just be inert, only moving when the forces of nature move it?

    Yet we all sit here, horny and hungry.
    No doubt there have been lots of critters born without the desire to reproduce or eat... but they are not likely to have passed those traits on...
  • ludofl3x
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    --> @TheDredPriateRoberts
    some choose not to have children or are celibate so I wonder how we arrived to this point. 

    Those are specimens, not species, operating under modern conditions. If you were a cavewoman living 15,000 years ago, it seems exceptionally unlikely that you'd have any choice at all about bearing children or not.  

    if you what you say is true, we've far exceeded our purpose.
    How? We continue to procreate. Population continues to rise. It's about, at a primal level, control of resources. You're saying purpose and adding in an unspoken "destination" rather than a species wide goal. THink of it like a sports team. If you are a basketball team and injuries were never a concern, would you ever decide you'd won enough games? Do you think the UCLA Bruins, of the 88 game win streak, decided in game 89 "enough winning?" THey have a goal, every day, to win the game, just like living things ultimate goal is to reproduce, as much as possible. You seem to be thinking of it in terms of someplace every species wants to "arrive" at. It's not the same thing, though it might be a subtle distinction. Does that make sense?


     Our advancements seem to have no real or practical purpose and is far beyond any need to procreate and yet here we are.
    Which advancements are you talking about specifically? The important ones, like medicine, which gives us years and years more reproductive opportunity potential? Which made childbirth a far less dangerous proposition? Large scale farming which makes food more available? 

    Humans teach strangers, non genetic linked others to survive and thrive.  I can't think of any other animal that does that as well.
    Why do antelopes move is such massive herds? They're not all genetically linked, at least not directly, but they all have an interest in making sure the maximum number of antelopes survive. Monkeys adopt orphaned monkeys on occasion. Elephants have sophisticated societal markers. Why? To ensure the maximum depth of their genetic pool, perhaps. This sort of altruism exists in the animal kingdom all over the place. It's not as explicit as with humans, but it's there. 

    An alpha predator isn't looking to be more alpha because the only competition they have is with each other generally speaking.
    You lost me here. Are you talking about APEX predators, or ALPHA Male / Female specimens? The latter is an alpha because they compete and make others subjugated. The former never stops trying to control more and more resources. WE're an apex predator. 
  • ludofl3x
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    --> @janesix
    So what makes other, "living" matter have a motive force(or desire, whatever you want to call it?)
    DNA / RNA. At the very base level of these two chemical compounds is coded somewhere "REPLICATE." I don't know why it'd be more than that, but we can demonstrate it. No species of any living thing anywhere on earth today does NOT have a desire to replicate, be it a virus or a vicar. One is just supposed to control itself. 

  • janesix
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    How did they get those traits in the first place?
  • janesix
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    --> @ludofl3x
    Somehow I don't believe that. 
  • ludofl3x
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    --> @janesix
    You're not unusual in that way: part of why we dominate the resources and the other members of the animal kingdom so thoroughly is we are convinced we are special. Information to the contrary, even when it's so plainly true and demonstrable, is not comfortable to accept. 
  • TheDredPriateRoberts
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    --> @ludofl3x
    Why do antelopes move is such massive herds? They're not all genetically linked, at least not directly, but they all have an interest in making sure the maximum number of antelopes survive.
    I disagree that they have an interest beyond their own individual survival.  I believe this because as I've stated earlier only humans sacrifice themselves for strangers.
    (yes I meant apex)
    long time ago I recall seeing a documentary or something where an alpha lion either died or for whatever reason wasn't around.  Another alpha came along, killed the cubs the original one had sired and immediately breed with the willing female.  This is one example where the species doesn't matter but rather passing along the individuals genetics.  
    There is safety in numbers, hence herds, but that, I believe is an individual survival technique rather than a species one.  Some animals with stay in close proximity to things like hippos because they receive some protections by being in proximity with them, again it's an individual trait imo.
  • janesix
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    --> @ludofl3x
    I am surprised we made it to species level, if evolution is correct. No claws, stumpy teeth, not very good predators before we thought of tools, super easy prey. No natural tendencie and instincts to find food. Drop me off in the woods outside of civilization,and I'm dead in a week, if I can make it that long. 
  • ludofl3x
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    --> @TheDredPriateRoberts
     I believe this because as I've stated earlier only humans sacrifice themselves for strangers.

    Can you give me an example of this sacrifice you're referring to? 

    This is one example where the species doesn't matter but rather passing along the individuals genetics.  
    The species DID matter: this specific specimen preferred that HIS genetic material be passed along over the competitor's. His species will be stronger as a result, because he was able to reproduce and eliminate competitive genetics from another specimen. When examining these propositions, you have to look at it from a large population, not specimen examples. You're looking at one leaf on the floor of the forest, and missing the forest. 
    There is safety in numbers, hence herds, but that, I believe is an individual survival technique rather than a species one.
    The individuals who would shirk the herd mentality are easy targets for predators and have a much much much more difficult time reproducing. REmember you're talking about a species, over thousands of generations and tens of thousands of years. Species go extinct because these tiny little "errors," like being uninterested in the safety of the herd when you have no natural defenses, are not viable long term. You may survive today. You may survive a year. You may even reproduce similar apathetic antelopes for a while, but rest assured that natural selection will act over the long term. Those antelopes who are not interested in the herd, and aren't fast and strong enough to consistently outrun cheetahs or dogs or lions when they're the only target, when they're not hidden in a stampede of strong sharp hooves, ESPECIALLY when they're babies? They can't last. Or they can, and eventually they're a new species that's no longer compatible. It's very easy to understand, but very difficult for some to accept that this is all humans are, too, because we have invented cars and playstations and monkeys haven't.