Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

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clw_uk
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Post by clw_uk » Mon Aug 24, 2009 5:08 am

Clearly, this evolutionary narrative could fit into a theology with some classic elements:
Couldnt agree more, the Hitler God of the Old Testament would fit quite well with the cold cruelty of Evolution
a divinely imparted purpose that involves a struggle toward the good, a struggle that even leads to a kind of climax of history
.

This just seems to be white noise

A more evolved religion could do what religion has often done in the past: use an awe-inspiring story to foster social cohesion — except this time on a global scale.
So Theism is a man made construct used for social control?
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christopher:::
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Post by christopher::: » Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:27 pm

Religions exist because people seek understanding, inspiration, freedom from fear and suffering, a sense of connectedness to the world and deeper meaning. These are very important human needs.

As mentioned in the God discussion, to talk about God as a designer is an anthropomorphic view. The traditional Christian, Muslim and Hebrew presentations of God are anthropomorphic. God is presented as a human-like being who created things from afar and watches over his creations. My family and ancestors are Jewish. The actions of Hitler were indeed so cruel that all Jews have had to reconsider their beliefs about God, the data did not mesh with views of a Loving God who cares about "his" people.

But the history of our Universe involves the creation of stars and billions of galaxies. Death and suffering arose along with sentient life, a very fragile creation. Without pain, an organism's reaction, there is no suffering. Why suffering exists is indeed a mystery and if God were an allpowerful being we'd expect "he" could have configured the Universe differently. Or maybe there was just no other way for compassion, wisdom and kindness to come into being, without that suffering... Without sentience there would be no love, no joy, as well as no hatred and cruelty. Without suffering, perhaps there are things we could not learn.

The Universe is quite paradoxical, at times, and extremely mysterious.

Also there exists in most religions less anthropomorphic mystical teachings and views, where God is conceptualized more as a mystery, a creative power or "source" without a single conscious awareness or center. This is God as more like the Tao, like a Mysterious Cosmic Presence or Spirit (as taught in Kabbalah). In that view, the Universe is moving towards an awakening of sorts, of a spiritual consciousness, and pain is part of the process... The Buddha's teachings on dharma are in line with that, imo. There is no God behind the suffering, and there is a way to rise beyond it. Buddha's teachings fit the data better then the anthropomorphic views, i think...

Anyway, as Wright is saying, as long as we conceptualize God as presented in ancient texts, in anthropomorphic terms, we are dealing with a conception which doesn't match with what science presents. This is where literal religious conceptions have limitations. But there are schools of thought in science, such as the Deep Ecology movement, and these efforts by scientists to tell "The Great Story" of Cosmic Evolution which fits nicely with these less anthropomorphic conceptions, with the more mystical teachings.

Religions, like everything else in our Universe, will need to adapt and evolve, to survive.

A related article:

BEYOND ANTHROPOCENTRISM

by John Seed; from THINKING LIKE A MOUNTAIN - TOWARDS A COUNCIL OF ALL BEINGS by John Seed, Joanna Macy, Arne Naess & Pat Fleming, New Society Publishers, Philadelphia, 1988
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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tiltbillings
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:26 pm

christopher::: wrote:
Also there exists in most religions less anthropomorphic mystical teachings and views, where God is conceptualized more as a mystery, a creative power or "source" without a single conscious awareness or center.
Which is what the anthropomorphic god/non-antropomorphic godhead comes down to, a big mystery that explains nothing. We are still left with suffering, we are still left with a universe that could, and likely will, wipe us out. There is no thought behind this. It is just impersonal functioning. We try to layer an anthropomorphic god/non-antropomorphic godhead onto this to comfort ourselves, to pretend for awhile that we are other than what we are.

Of all the religious teachers, it was only the Buddha who put us into a proper perspective, which is one that does not need a mysterious god/godhead that explains nothing, a mysterious god/godhead that only offers a pretend solace in face of the radical change that is our very nature.
In that view, the Universe is moving towards an awakening of sorts, of a spiritual consciousness, and pain is part of the process...


That is a fantasy, which still explains nothing.
There is no God behind the suffering, and there is a way to rise beyond it. Buddha's teachings fit the data better then the anthropomorphic views, i think...
The non-antropomorphic notions do not fit, either. Explaining nothing they beg the same questions, and custardy platitudes may serves to distract us, but the reality is something else.
But there are schools of thought in science, such as the Deep Ecology movement, and these efforts by scientists to tell "The Great Story" of Cosmic Evolution which fits nicely with these less anthropomorphic conceptions, with the more mystical teachings.


Fortunately the Buddha's teachings are not mystical and do not try to layer upon reality stuff that is not there and makes no sense.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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christopher:::
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Post by christopher::: » Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:58 pm

Hi Tilt. Such certainty you have in your views and perceptions! If you were to insert a few "imo" "the Buddhist view" "i believe" or "from a Theravadan Buddhist perspective" into your comments there would be nothing for us to argue about.

:namaste:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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clw_uk
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Post by clw_uk » Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:01 pm

Hey Chris

As mentioned in the God discussion, to talk about God as a designer is an anthropomorphic view.
If there is a God that is the "source" or "ground of being" etc then on some level it "designed" or created the universe and if its all knowing it knew how it would end up


The actions of Hitler were indeed so cruel that all Jews have had to reconsider their beliefs about God, the data did not mesh with views of a Loving God who cares about "his" people.
It doesnt mesh with any kind of God accept maybe and indifferent Diestic one

But the history of our Universe involves the creation of stars and billions of galaxies. Death and suffering arose along with sentient life, a very fragile creation. Without pain, an organism's reaction, there is no suffering.
If you leave your reasoning here then you doing quite well without the God hypothesis


Or maybe there was just no other way for compassion, wisdom and kindness to come into being, without that suffering... Without sentience there would be no love, no joy, as well as no hatred and cruelty. Without suffering, perhaps there are things we could not learn.
So God is limited and cant create or anything it wants

Also there exists in most religions less anthropomorphic mystical teachings and views, where God is conceptualized more as a mystery, a creative power or "source" without a single conscious awareness or center. This is God as more like the Tao, like a Mysterious Cosmic Presence or Spirit (as taught in Kabbalah).
Why do you belive this? Why is this useful to you?

There is no God behind the suffering
Just take this a little bit further....


metta
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tiltbillings
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:09 pm

christopher::: wrote:Hi Tilt. Such certainty you have in your views and perceptions! If you were to insert a few "imo" "the Buddhist view" "i believe" or "from a Theravadan Buddhist perspective" into your comments there would be nothing for us to argue about.

:namaste:
You should talk. Shall I play back some of your comments?

Of course, anything I say is my opinion, and I stand to be corrected on anything I say, provided the correction is based upon reasoned and exampled argument.

So far you position carries no weight, given that you refuse to engage the criticisms of your position.

You are essentially trying to sell brackish water next to a sweet-water spring. Good luck with that.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Hoja
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Post by Hoja » Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:16 pm

clw_uk wrote: If there is a God that is the "source" or "ground of being" etc then on some level it "designed" or created the universe and if its all knowing it knew how it would end up
But why we supose it has to be all knowing? It could be like the Force concept in Star Wars.

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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Post by christopher::: » Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:29 pm

Hoja wrote:
clw_uk wrote: If there is a God that is the "source" or "ground of being" etc then on some level it "designed" or created the universe and if its all knowing it knew how it would end up
But why we supose it has to be all knowing? It could be like the Force concept in Star Wars.
Exactly. Or like the Tao in Taoism, the Dharmakaya in Buddhism, Ayin in Kabbalah.
tiltbillings wrote:
You should talk. Shall I play back some of your comments?

Of course, anything I say is my opinion, and I stand to be corrected on anything I say, provided the correction is based upon reasoned and exampled argument.

So far you position carries no weight, given that you refuse to engage the criticisms of your position.

You are essentially trying to sell brackish water next to a sweet-water spring. Good luck with that.
I have made an effort to present my views as views. If i failed to do so at times i stand corrected. Anything that comes out of our minds (imo) is by nature a belief, a view, a perspective.

As for responding to your criticisms there are many things we simply seem to disagree on. I don't respond to you sometimes because of the insults you throw out constantly (e.g., god-thingy, brackish water), the aggressive way (imo) in which you challenge and criticize. If i were to agree to respond to every point or criticism you raise we'd be here for weeks, for months-- our minds spinning in dukkha circles. I would become (and have become) contentious and aggressive too, and our conversations/battles would be endless.

Our views are simply too far apart, it seems to me. Best (in my view) to simply try to understand the other person's perspective as best as possible and then give them some space. You call that "refusing to engage criticisms." We see this differently as well.

I've mentioned several times that this approach (of disengagement from arguements concerning views) is actively encouraged in Zen Buddhism, but that answer has not satisfied you.

What more can I do?
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:02 pm

christopher::: wrote:
Hoja wrote:
clw_uk wrote: If there is a God that is the "source" or "ground of being" etc then on some level it "designed" or created the universe and if its all knowing it knew how it would end up
But why we supose it has to be all knowing? It could be like the Force concept in Star Wars.
Exactly. Or like the Tao in Taoism, the Dharmakaya in Buddhism, Ayin in Kabbalah.
You are prepared to show us that Tao, Dharmakaya and Ayin are referring to the same thing and are like the "Force", which is a tangible power, that can be used for evil as well as good purposes. Show us that that is so of the Dharmakaya.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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tiltbillings
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:24 pm

christopher::: wrote:As for responding to your criticisms there are many things we simply seem to disagree on. I don't respond to you sometimes because of the insults you throw out constantly (e.g., god-thingy, brackish water),the aggressive way (imo) in which you challenge and criticize.
That reads as an excuse not to respond to the criticism of your views. You do not respond to Craig, either. You have repeatedly, no matter what language has been used, avoided responding to any criticism of your point of view.
If i were to agree to respond to every point or criticism you raise we'd be here for weeks, for months-- our minds spinning in dukkha circles. I would become (and have become) contentious and aggressive too, and our conversations/battles would be endless.
So, your views should not be questioned?
Our views are simply too far apart, it seems to me.
Not at all, and even so, by not responding, you make my point that your views carry no weight. By not engaging, it looks like a lack of interest in dialogue, a lack of interest in anything but your own point of view.
I've mentioned several times that this approach (of disengagement from arguements concerning views) is actively encouraged in Zen Buddhism, but that answer has not satisfied you.
Of course having seen how Zen Buddhists argue, at length and in detail, on ZFI and elsewhere, what you have just said is hardly convincing. Also, you again are making an excuse for you trying to present your point of view and not having to respond to any criticism of it.
What more can I do?
Actually, all you need to do is to try to engage in a dialogue; otherwise you look like you here are to preach.

Now, I'll clean up my language, and since you are a bit sensitive, I'll be less "aggressive" in my response. All of that will take away your above excuse not to respond to criticisms of your presentations here. Also, I have yet to see that you are trying to tie any of what you say to Theravada. And given that is is a Theravadin forum, that is kind of important. You do not have to be Theravadin or agree with the Theravada to participate here, but it would go a long way if you were actually try to show that you are interested in learning about the Theravada and showing that your point of has some relevance for Theravadins, something you simply have not done at all to date.

One thing you also have not shown here is an an actual, active interest in learning about the Theravada. What I have seen here is that you are promoting your particular take on the efficacy of a non-Buddhist god/godhead point of view. Okay, you believe that, but what does it have to do with the Theravada? Why should we care? You have not shown any attempt to engage Theravadins from a place of attempted understanding and dialogue. If you do not do that, you are here to preach, and the response to that will be a bit negative.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Post by christopher::: » Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:29 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
You are prepared to show us that Tao, Dharmakaya and Ayin are referring to the same thing and are like the "Force", which is a tangible power, that can be used for evil as well as good purposes. Show us that that is so of the Dharmakaya.
Like the force, or like the Tao, or like the Dharmakaya, or like the concept of Ayin....
They are all different from one another in various ways...
Similar only in that none refer to All knowing beings watching over us like the biblical God does.
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Post by christopher::: » Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:34 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
christopher::: wrote:As for responding to your criticisms there are many things we simply seem to disagree on. I don't respond to you sometimes because of the insults you throw out constantly (e.g., god-thingy, brackish water),the aggressive way (imo) in which you challenge and criticize.
That reads as an excuse not to respond to the criticism of your views. You do not respond to Craig, either. You have repeatedly, no matter what language has been used, avoided responding to any criticism of your point of view.
Recently- especially while on vacation- i have not responded, that is true, but we've had various discussions going for months now, both here and over at ZFI. I have tried to explain my perspective on this, Tilt.

Plus, we are off topic here.

I hope you will drop by this discussion if you would like to discuss this issue further...

Differences in Views, Engage or Disengage from Discussions?

:group:
Last edited by christopher::: on Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:38 pm

christopher::: wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
You are prepared to show us that Tao, Dharmakaya and Ayin are referring to the same thing and are like the "Force", which is a tangible power, that can be used for evil as well as good purposes. Show us that that is so of the Dharmakaya.
Like the force, or like the Tao, or like the Dharmakaya, or like the concept of Ayin....
They are all different from one another in various ways...
Similar only in that none refer to All knowing beings watching over us like the biblical God does.
Neither my dog, nor my cat nor my gecko watches over us like a biblical god. So, since "[t]hey are all different from one another in various ways," there is no reason to lump these things together other than they are not referring "to All knowing beings watching over us like the biblical God does." Simply trying to make sense of what you are saying. Please clarify.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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tiltbillings
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:42 pm

christopher::: wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
christopher::: wrote:As for responding to your criticisms there are many things we simply seem to disagree on. I don't respond to you sometimes because of the insults you throw out constantly (e.g., god-thingy, brackish water),the aggressive way (imo) in which you challenge and criticize.
That reads as an excuse not to respond to the criticism of your views. You do not respond to Craig, either. You have repeatedly, no matter what language has been used, avoided responding to any criticism of your point of view.
Recently i have not responded, that is true, but we've had discussions going for months now. I have tried to explain my perspective on this, Tilt.

Plus, we are off topic here.

I hope you will drop by this discussion if you would like to discuss this issue further...

Differences in Views, Engage or Disengage from Discussions?
We are not so off-topic here. For months you have presented your point of view, I have raised questions about it and you have avoided directly responding. To get back on topic, simply try to engage in a dialogue, to points raised in response to you godhead position, and let us see what this all might have to do with the Theravada.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Post by christopher::: » Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:49 pm

Seems we disagree again, as usual.

Concerning your dog, cat and gecko- they are different from one another in countless ways. They are similar in that all have skeletal systems, all are sentient, and are nothing like rocks.

The ideas of Tao, Dharmakaya, Force and Ayin are similar in that a) they all point towards some cosmic principle, power, law or source that is involved with the way things work in our Universe, and that b) none refer to a man in a white beard (or with blue skin) who created the Universe and is watching over everything.

Other then those similarities, they are also different in countless ways.

You may disagree. And yes, if we explore this politely i'd be willing to discuss, though not now, as i have a plane taking off for Japan tomorrow and need to get back to my packing.

:namaste:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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