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Philosophy, Riddles and complete mind[bleep]s


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#641
Zealot
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I suppose that God uses the foolish and weak things of the world to shame the wise and powerful. Maybe that's why HE used what I now recognize as bad reasoning but can not concieve of disbelieving. *Shrugs*


After discovering that it was non-sequitir reasoning that led you to believing god, instead of reevaluating your beliefs you accepted it anyway? Surely there are other reasons for you believing him. And why is your name Zealot if you don't mind me asking?


Sorry, some of what I am about to say is going to be cumbersome and difficult. I wish I could write more elligantly, but especially about Him the words don't always come nicely.

From the inside, Christianity is coherent, or at least it seems more so than anything else I have studied. What I mean is that it explains what I regard to be the critical questions of being, such as the nature of rational thought (such that it is not always founded in quantum theory and therefore always invalid). It also explains conundrums such as the question of the one and the many (are individual rational beings, or the groups that they make up more important/significant?) We tend to want to say yes, rather than insisting one way or the other, and when a culture slides too far one way or the other the results are destruction. By claiming that God takes a personal form which is as different from ours as line-segments are from triangles we can see how both can be equilly important. There are also arguments such as the Ontological argument, Plato's First Cause, the Teliological argument in it's various forms, and so on which support the notion that God is really real. I'm only going to give you a run-down of one such argument, the Ontological argument for God's existance.

The Ontological argument starts with nothing more than a deffinition which you have seen before if you have read all my recent posts: God is the being for which no greater being can be concieved. Presumably most people agree that if God is anything this is probably about the best deffinition of what the concept means which we can hope to come up with. Note that I haven't possited God's existance yet, only defined what I mean by the word, just as if I were to define the word "unicorn" that is not the same as actually insisting that there are unicorns. Contained within this deffinition are a host of implications, but only one is really important: God can do all doable things except becoming in any way less than HE is. We can note that even the least of things which actually exist is more powerful than the highest of things which do not exist. (You have to be careful to accept a very broad deffinition of existance, all that I mean is that the thing really is part of the complete list of everything which is). Consiquentially God has to exist.

Before I met God I never would have found this argument compelling. But ironically, now I see that it really is. Yet it probably never has and never will convince anybody. That isn't the job of theology though, but of the work of God's Spirit. This deffinition is actually more important for giving me something of a map of God.

From the outside it is not possible to demonstrate the kind of super-personal, all-powerful God that Christianity possits. We can come to the gates and look in as it were (Plato's first cause does just that). But there is simply no way into that country by our power alone. I think that it is the divine humility of God which makes things this way. However I'm not sure how to explain what I mean beyond simply suggesting that God is too intent on thinking about and loving me to feel need for boasting about Himself, and the same can be said of absolutely every one of His creatures. As it were, "it never would occure" to Him to forcefully reveal Himself to those who don't want to know Him. Forced love is rape, not affection.

Zealot is actually something of an observation about myself. The zealots were a revolutionary movement in Palestine that existed around Jesus' time. One of His disciples, Simon (who Jesus renamed Peter) was a zealot. That's why when Jesus was arrested Simon drew his sword and attacked the high priest's servant. He thought that Jesus had come to facilitate political transformation, and Simon was part of messiah's army. Jesus scolded Simon, and healed the servant. Last time he came, Jesus came to be God's suffering servant from Isaiah 53, not the returning King of Israel, and all that is. A lot of times I get ahead of myself and act rashly, much as Simon did that night. One of these days it will probably get me killed, much as it did him. The name is a reminder every time I look at it to think before I hit that "add reply" button...
"He is no fool who gives up that which he can not keep to gain that which he can not lose."
--Jim Elliot

"You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing; the Divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms. The Prodical Son at least walked home on his own two feet. But who can duly adore that love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape? The words compelle intrare, compel them to come in, have been so abused by wicked men that we shudder at them; but, properly understood, they plumb the depth of the Divine mercy. The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation."
--C.S.Lewis

#642
Vezon Dash
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I don't see much wrong with Zealot's idea of god. I basically agree with him, accept that I don't like to use the term "god". When I think of the word
"god" I tend to think of one higher-being that is somehow separate from others. The way I see it, god is before everything, but it is not something, rather god is nothing. So "everything" came from nothing to me is also synonymous to saying everything came from god. Though true personification of god is not possible, so any religious ideas or beliefs are strictly just ideas and beliefs like everything else and hold no absolute value. God is just aware, and everything we do to try and comprehend it just gives us a deeper illusion of what it might be. God is beyond ideas, beliefs, words,time,space... simply it is there before all of it. It caused all of it, and at the same time is it. There is just god, or there is just nothing. Either way you look at it doesn't matter, the idea by itself is not going to allow you to understand something beyond ideas.

Why is it like this? I have no idea, there is one thing we will never be able to truly answer and that is the question "Why?"


This just made me question my existence.

As for God? You either believe or don't believe. Logic won't get you anywhere because we have never experienced the great beyond. If we could be infinite, we would know.

#643
Zygimantas
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I don't see much wrong with Zealot's idea of god. I basically agree with him, accept that I don't like to use the term "god". When I think of the word
"god" I tend to think of one higher-being that is somehow separate from others. The way I see it, god is before everything, but it is not something, rather god is nothing. So "everything" came from nothing to me is also synonymous to saying everything came from god. Though true personification of god is not possible, so any religious ideas or beliefs are strictly just ideas and beliefs like everything else and hold no absolute value. God is just aware, and everything we do to try and comprehend it just gives us a deeper illusion of what it might be. God is beyond ideas, beliefs, words,time,space... simply it is there before all of it. It caused all of it, and at the same time is it. There is just god, or there is just nothing. Either way you look at it doesn't matter, the idea by itself is not going to allow you to understand something beyond ideas.

Why is it like this? I have no idea, there is one thing we will never be able to truly answer and that is the question "Why?"


This just made me question my existence.

As for God? You either believe or don't believe. Logic won't get you anywhere because we have never experienced the great beyond. If we could be infinite, we would know.

I exist. But it is not a matter of if I exist but rather what is the "I" that exists. It is definitely not personality or an ego... that just seems to be an illusion that I am aware of. I just like to ask myself "Who is aware of this thought,feeling or situation?" I think: "The mind, signals formed by reactions in the brain." Then I ask "who is aware of those reactions between atoms and the signals that they form?" Then no answer comes to me... I just feel nothing. So, I that is truly aware of everything, seems to be nothing. I am simple and truly nothing, all words that label me are not really true, only relative to the mind they might be. But even the mind... is just some manifestation of nothing.
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#644
Vezon Dash
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That "nothing" is what religious folk call a soul. We all seem to have this "soul", and we can not exist without it.

#645
Zygimantas
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That "nothing" is what religious folk call a soul. We all seem to have this "soul", and we can not exist without it.

In a sense we don't just have a "soul", we are nothing but the "soul". It doesn't matter what you call it really, it doesn't change the "it." To me it seems as if the "it" is empty, free, infinite and simply beyond ideas. I might as well call it nothing. But to each his own :)
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#646
Zealot
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That "nothing" is what religious folk call a soul. We all seem to have this "soul", and we can not exist without it.

In a sense we don't just have a "soul", we are nothing but the "soul". It doesn't matter what you call it really, it doesn't change the "it." To me it seems as if the "it" is empty, free, infinite and simply beyond ideas. I might as well call it nothing. But to each his own :)


Beyond, or below ideas?
"He is no fool who gives up that which he can not keep to gain that which he can not lose."
--Jim Elliot

"You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing; the Divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms. The Prodical Son at least walked home on his own two feet. But who can duly adore that love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape? The words compelle intrare, compel them to come in, have been so abused by wicked men that we shudder at them; but, properly understood, they plumb the depth of the Divine mercy. The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation."
--C.S.Lewis

#647
KittyKat
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I'm pretty sure this soul is just a result of chemical reactions and neural transmissions.
I will put my boots on.

I will pass on down the corridor.

#648
Zygimantas
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That "nothing" is what religious folk call a soul. We all seem to have this "soul", and we can not exist without it.

In a sense we don't just have a "soul", we are nothing but the "soul". It doesn't matter what you call it really, it doesn't change the "it." To me it seems as if the "it" is empty, free, infinite and simply beyond ideas. I might as well call it nothing. But to each his own :)


Beyond, or below ideas?

Beyond,below, before... it doesn't matter.
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#649
Zygimantas
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I'm pretty sure this soul is just a result of chemical reactions and neural transmissions.

Yep, and nothing is being aware of those reactions.
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#650
Vezon Dash
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I'm pretty sure this soul is just a result of chemical reactions and neural transmissions.

Yep, and nothing is being aware of those reactions.


Damn.

#651
Zealot
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I'm pretty sure this soul is just a result of chemical reactions and neural transmissions.

Yep, and nothing is being aware of those reactions.


Damn.

I'm pretty sure that in the longest run, it will be shown that the dualist brain-mind model proves correct... Many Epistomologists already hold that view, though it is much more difficult for those pre-committed to a completely naturalistic ideology to accept. Simply put, if dualism is not correct, then everything really is meaningless and there is no good reason why we should have the ability to control nature as much as we manage.
"He is no fool who gives up that which he can not keep to gain that which he can not lose."
--Jim Elliot

"You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing; the Divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms. The Prodical Son at least walked home on his own two feet. But who can duly adore that love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape? The words compelle intrare, compel them to come in, have been so abused by wicked men that we shudder at them; but, properly understood, they plumb the depth of the Divine mercy. The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation."
--C.S.Lewis

#652
Zygimantas
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I don't think there has to be a reason for existence, it doesn't have to be meaningful. I think people just get that idea because we always like to make ourselves feel important. But I will not say there is no reason, for I can not know, nor can anyone else. I just don't think there is.
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#653
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I don't think there has to be a reason for existence, it doesn't have to be meaningful. I think people just get that idea because we always like to make ourselves feel important. But I will not say there is no reason, for I can not know, nor can anyone else. I just don't think there is.

And yet... your actions betray you. If you truely believed what you say, then I can not imagine you actually caring enough about the question to answer it. That's the problem with Nihilism. It's so, so easy to say the words, but nobody ever actually behaves as though they believe the words coming out of their mouths. That is the real test of an ideal: will people actually act as though it were true?
"He is no fool who gives up that which he can not keep to gain that which he can not lose."
--Jim Elliot

"You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing; the Divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms. The Prodical Son at least walked home on his own two feet. But who can duly adore that love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape? The words compelle intrare, compel them to come in, have been so abused by wicked men that we shudder at them; but, properly understood, they plumb the depth of the Divine mercy. The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation."
--C.S.Lewis

#654
Zygimantas
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I don't think there has to be a reason for existence, it doesn't have to be meaningful. I think people just get that idea because we always like to make ourselves feel important. But I will not say there is no reason, for I can not know, nor can anyone else. I just don't think there is.

And yet... your actions betray you. If you truely believed what you say, then I can not imagine you actually caring enough about the question to answer it. That's the problem with Nihilism. It's so, so easy to say the words, but nobody ever actually behaves as though they believe the words coming out of their mouths. That is the real test of an ideal: will people actually act as though it were true?

So someone who thinks there is no meaning or reason will do nothing? No. I know that I don't have to do anything. Though I still end up doing stuff just because it does no harm if I do them. It does not mean I care so much. I don't have to care much or put in much effort to do anything. It just happens, seemingly effortless. If I don't get what I am trying to get, then that is perfectly fine. Nothing is ever lost or gained. It just is the way it is. :)
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#655
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I don't think there has to be a reason for existence, it doesn't have to be meaningful. I think people just get that idea because we always like to make ourselves feel important. But I will not say there is no reason, for I can not know, nor can anyone else. I just don't think there is.

And yet... your actions betray you. If you truely believed what you say, then I can not imagine you actually caring enough about the question to answer it. That's the problem with Nihilism. It's so, so easy to say the words, but nobody ever actually behaves as though they believe the words coming out of their mouths. That is the real test of an ideal: will people actually act as though it were true?

My immediate thought:


Not believing in a soul doesn't mean I can't feel curious about the nature of things, or passionate about other humans and our condition.
Besides, even if people "would never act as though it were true" does not make the idea false by itself.
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#656
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There was something rather interesting discussed in my philosophy of world religions class.

The class covers a broad range of religions, but there is one I would like to discuss now. Animism, which is the religion of the indigenous people of the world. By definition it is the belief that spirits control the natural world, and it is used to reaffirm their cultural identity as well as explain how one should live to be considered a good person.

One of the death theories that falls under this religion, that originates from Africa is this:

All peoples souls start empty and in a seperate world.

When someone is conceived one of those souls transports itself from the soul world to the persons body. What YOU are is a collection of memories, your sense of self is just memories and when you die that soul loses all its memories and eventually goes into another persons body.

Another way to look at this is your soul is a blank CD and over your life you will burn your memories on that disk and when you die it gets erased and goes back into the CD case to be uploaded into another user.



As an atheist myself, there is nothing with this theory that contradicts my personal beliefs (besides the word soul of course but that is irrelevant as you could switch in consciousness or sense of self for the word)

#657
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That's strange, but what's the point? Does each soul have its own set of moods and reactions or something?

#658
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To make sure things don't get more confusing I embedded my response within your post. my words are in bold.



People who argue against God have misunderstood the preliminary concept: God transcends logic. Human minds are simply incapable of comprehending him, and that is where the contradictions arise. They are mistakes of the human mind, not of God.


There is a 3 headed dragon in your room right now. Your mind is not evolved enough to see it, puny human. :rolleyes:. Its a really silly game to play and avoids the point of an argument entirely

I actually have to agree with your sarcasm here. God does not transcend logic. HE gives logic meaning.



Ring World: There is no contradiction here. There does appear to be one, because admittedly I am not arguing for a particular theism, but trying to go about showing a bit of philosophy of theistic religion. As it were the image of God I was attempting to paint pails in comparison to HIM. However, I fear that if you think my posts are long, technical, and annoying now (and even if you don't I'm sure others do--I admit it: I'm long winded about this) you would not even read the first sentence if I endeavoured to paint a more appropriate image. Quite litterally I could write an encyclopedia and not even begin to achieve that goal...

God is creator. That does not mean that he came into being. In fact, it has to mean the exact opposite or else it is utter nonsense. Every effect has a cause. There are two possibilities which have been suggested for explaining being: either there is an infinite regression of cause-effect relationships, or else there is a finite regression of cause-effect relationships. If it is the second one, then there is a beginning--a first cause--which has to be self-existant and powerful enough to explain all subsiquent causes. If it is the second then you run into all sorts of trouble trying to explain why we live in a universe which is *only* 13.7 billion years old. That is to say, what caused time and space to begin unfolding in the first place? Admittedly the standard model of physics may not actually prove to be the case, and nature may actually be more like something that self-perpetuates somehow; but current models do not indicate such.

As for the second part, I'm sorry. It is really confusing, but I am not saying God may exist in some universes but not in others. I mean to say precisely the opposite. If He exists at all then it is not actually possible to concieve of a universe in which there is no God. If it proves to be the case that no God exists, then that has to be true in every concievable universe. One way or another there are a lot of incredibly brilliant people who are mistaken about whether God is or is not. And this question will probably never be answered within this nature (or at least there are what appear to be powerful logical arguments to that fact).



You are falling into what I said would be illogical by saying this. You agree that something - in this case - God has always existed to create a universe after an eternity of one not being there, however as I said before that is creating an illogical middleman.

I see where the problem lies. Try and imagine a world without time. At the inception of this universe, not only space, but time as well began. To imagine God sitting, twiddling His thumbs, then suddenly thinking to Himself, "Hmm, all this twiddling is making me boored. I think I'll make the universe today." probably isn't a good way of thinking about timelessness. I'm not entirely sure what it would look like, or how consciousness can exist within it, but the notion of an eternity passing and then something happening is probably inaccurate. I suspect that whatever being was like before time is probably so alien to us that unless we somehow experience it, we can never comprehend it, but Plato's proof still stands. There has to be a first cause or else there is no reason why the much simpler Metaphysic "nothing exists" should not hold. I suppose that if you follow Hume and don't care about justification then that's not a problem, but if that is the case what I'm saying is so alien that real communication and understanding probably can not happen because I'm trying to talk about things which you don't even recognize as being possible.

If you allow for an infinite sea of universes to have always existed and our universe coming into existence by a collision between two universes (or some other radical theory that exists that explains what might have happened before the big-bang) you would have the same result without the middleman to create it. Or even with the single universe possibility with something like an infinite cycle of universe expanding and collapsing to form another big bang.

There are two problems here: first, no evidence has actually been found indicating any of the predictions of String Theory which are different from the Standard Model. If it proves to be the case there is a second problem: you have only pushed back the beginning. Perpetual motion is an impossibility irregardless of size. Energy must be dissipated every time that universes collide just as surely as stars, planets, or whatnot smaller units of mass. Or rather, I can not concieve of a multiverse which truely self-perpetuates energy unless it is part of something bigger still. The energy has to come from somewhere, doesn't it? As for the second, I have not actually seen a model which works and actually remains stable. Besides which, last time I checked Astronomers were saying the rate of expansion seems to be increasing, not decreasing.

My point is you could imagine a natural order that could have always existed and allow new universes to exist without needing God to act as an operator to ensure that things run smoothly and continue to exist. Plenty of theories out there such as string theory or more specifically M-theory argue just this.

As I said, string theory (as well as its variant m-theory) remains unproven. As far as actual observation is concerned, it appears no more effective at the moment than the standard model. If and when that changes I will say as much, but until then so far as I can tell, you are substituting a humanistically accepted pantheism for monotheism and calling it something new.

I could cloud the issue with facts and point to human reason. The only way to truely assasinate flawless logic is to demonstrate that it is founded in a flawed system, or worse yet is the inevitable result of natural processes. Suddenly epistomologists and logicians dismiss it in droves. But praytell, how is it that without a coherent foundation human reason has accomplished so much to transform the world? Again, if you lean as Hume does and don't care about justification, then there is no point talking. We'll just be talking past each other anyway.


And for a God to be truly a God he must be present in every universe and be able to interact and manipulate every single one, the definition of omnipotent says this must be allowed.

This is precisely why His presence or absence has to be--erm--universal. We have no disagreement here.

Unless I am still misunderstanding or misrepresenting your points, you have not proved to me that there is a need for a God to exist for the universe to exist.

That's fine. My goal isn't to prove the necessity. That is most certainly a bridge too far. All I hope to accomplish is demonstrating that belief in God is reasonable. He wouldn't want me to force you to believe in Him.



I am quoting all the bolded text

1.) You take the cheap way out, to say God transcends logic is a statement not a proof. I ask you for a way to support this claim other then the claim itself.

2.) I am not saying nothing exists but rather why cant nature (by nature I mean the universe, or rather the whole of every universe) existing for all eternity rather then a God existing forever to make it. You didnt answer the question of why you would necessarily need a God for it to come to be.

3.) I am not smart enough to work out the theories of how a universe can spontaneously create itself and what would be outside the universe to be able to allow this to happen, but rather presenting the possibility that this could be the case without the need for a God to direct it.

4.) I am just proposing that nature can work without a God to direct it. If you look at the earth function at one point in time everyone would say that Gods and spirits were controlling the wind, the water, the seasons, etc. I am saying that natural forces that are beyond humans ability to comprehend allow everything to exist by sheer chance rather then by divine will. Of course you could say that God controls these forces but I say that you dont need intelligent design for things to exist.

5.) Alright that was just clarifying what you might have meant

6.) My goal is to explain that it isnt necessary for a God to operate the universe but rather nature could exist on its own. So until you can prove that there are aspects of nature that would be unable to have always existed or spontaneously existed (such as a universe by forces we humans do not fully understand) I stand by my belief that a God would be unnecessary. I am not asking you to force me to accept a God but rather you to prove that nature cannot have existed on its own without the aid of a God.

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Vezon Dash
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Vezon Dash

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I don't think there has to be a reason for existence, it doesn't have to be meaningful. I think people just get that idea because we always like to make ourselves feel important. But I will not say there is no reason, for I can not know, nor can anyone else. I just don't think there is.

And yet... your actions betray you. If you truely believed what you say, then I can not imagine you actually caring enough about the question to answer it. That's the problem with Nihilism. It's so, so easy to say the words, but nobody ever actually behaves as though they believe the words coming out of their mouths. That is the real test of an ideal: will people actually act as though it were true?

So someone who thinks there is no meaning or reason will do nothing? No. I know that I don't have to do anything. Though I still end up doing stuff just because it does no harm if I do them. It does not mean I care so much. I don't have to care much or put in much effort to do anything. It just happens, seemingly effortless. If I don't get what I am trying to get, then that is perfectly fine. Nothing is ever lost or gained. It just is the way it is. :)


The human brain is designed to keep the body alive. A person will naturally try to stay alive even if he or she doesn't care.

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Ring_World
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Ring_World

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That's strange, but what's the point? Does each soul have its own set of moods and reactions or something?


How it was explained no they would not. Each soul is exactly the same, there is no soul that desires greatness and another mediocrity, nor one that desires good or evil. Argued with the case of twins with the same experience but take different paths in life, such as one becomes someone who helps people like a Dr. and another becomes a serial killer. It isn't the soul that is different but the experiences a person might have had that would influence their path in life.




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