What does exist?

Before I ask my question, I want to give you some background as to who I am. I was raised Protestant Christian. When I was about 13 I became a Bible believing fundamentalist Christian. I spent many years struggling over the question of how to be saved. The Bible seemed to contradict itself in the matter. Finally I decided I was going to believe I was going to heaven regardless of how I prayed, believed or acted otherwise I was going to go insane trying to figure it out. Over the years I began to fall away from the faith, doubting the inerrancy of the Bible. It has gotten to the point where I cannot continue to call myself a Christian. I just got done reading Richard Carriers book On the historicity of Jesus. I am pretty much a mythicist now. I am still however very socially conservative but I tend to stay out of politics preferring not to vote. I have Aspergers and Bipolar and take medication. And yes, I have been locked in a mental institution several times. If you think I am crazy, thats ok. I am more of an agnostic and freethinker. I don’t really buy into molecules to man evolution but I don’t really know how we got here either. From reading several NDE’s I believe we will all be greeted by a loving light sooner or later after death. Is that God? I don’t know.

Now for the question. Since we can’t determine whether or not God exists or some have determined he doesn’t, what then does exist? What is existence? Does life exist? How about thoughts. dreams. emotions, consciousness, free will, love, time or even the computer you are using, how do you know they exist? Is it inherently obvious that they exist? Does one need proof, if so what kind of proof? If we can answer these kinds of questions It would go a long way in helping us get grounded in reality and give us some sliver of hope in determining wether or not a god exists that is of course if we can even define who or what God is.

I don’t want to sound bad but it is entirely possible there’s nothing after death. I am at least glad though we can feel feelings and emotions. Love and other nice feeling which do feel good.

Not that a god can be fully disproved just there’s not enough evidence to prove there is a god.

Follow the path which seems right.

You can not know anything for certain when it comes to existence. Even sophism is a fail when it comes to the possibility that you may only be a brain in a vat convincing yourself of all that exists.

RELAX: There is hope. NONE OF THIS MATTERS. It does not matter if the world is real or not. It does not matter if you are merely a brain in a vat of not. It does not matter if the reality you see is real or not. To function effectively, the better you are at pretending it is all real, the better you will be at functioning in it. The better you are at discerning the absolute woo woo from the reliable. consistent and verifiable, the more effective you will tend to be in this existence.

The more you understand that things may not be as they seem, the more skeptical you will tend to be and the more open you will be to new information.


Wait… What?

You don’t believe molecules exist?

You aren’t crazy, you have Aspergers and Bi polar, you’re brain just works on alternate pathing to the average human, in fact, we are akin. We’d probably get on very well with each other in person.

I’ve always maintained, these aren’t disorders, but the next stage in human evolution. Alas, I have no evidence to back this theory up.

We perceive our reality through our senses, we can both agree we are conversing over the Internet on our electronic devices, sat in our rooms in different places on the same planet.

How can we know to trust out senses?

By their consistent and continued ability to gain relevant information from our surroundings.

You know the computer exists, because you can touch it with your nerve endings, you can see it with your eyes, you can hear it; when it loads up.

Yes of course you can argue that all of these things are simulated, but I feel we can rule that out as paranoia. For what sense would it make. (forgive the pun) you have to settle for probability, I’d say it’s more probable that we exist in our reality, rather than being deceived.

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Species evolution is a scientific fact, however it does not nor has it ever made any claims for the origins of life, it only explains the origins of species, or the diversity of life.

All experiences are NDE, than cannot be otherwise, the superstitious guff that people try to assign to the memories of what a brain being starved of oxygen imagines are risible nonsense, and don’t in any way represent objective evidence for equally risible claim that we can survive our own physical deaths in any meaningful way. It’s wishful thinking for those who fear death, best to let it go, as death is the price of admission for this ride.

The question is too broad or poorly worded, it also implies a false dichotomy fallacy, as trying to reason what is real does not depend at all on disproving the existence of a deity, which no one can demonstrate any objective evidence for.

All sorts of things can be objectively evidenced to exist, so as I say the question seems poorly worded, and even implies (to me anyway) that we need to evidence something in place of a deity, that is not how I approach claims, all claims must be supported by sufficient objective evidence before I accept them, this is an unbiased and open minded standard for belief, though theists always cry foul, because they know it sets a standard their belief cannot meet, so of course they want ring fence that belief from such critical scrutiny to preserve, of course this is obviously biased, else they’d apply the same criteria for belief to everything, and that would mean they would have no rationale for disbelieving anything beyond capriciousness and subjective whim.

The fact or state of living or having objective reality.

Yes, by definition in fact. [quote=“Aquaheal, post:1, topic:405”]
How about thoughts. dreams. emotions, consciousness, free will, love, time or even the computer you are using, how do you know they exist?

Because their existence is supported by sufficient objective evidence.

No, just sufficient objective evidence.

I don’t see that at all, and again this seems like a false equivalence fallacy to me, the questions can either be answered or nor, and this is true, and god claims have no bearing on this at all, as god claims must be evidenced independently of other claims.

Well you cannot hope to evidence something if you cannot even define it ir explain what it is, the reason theists and religions keep their deities mysterious is precisely because they know they cannot evidence them, and want to pretend that mystery lends credence or at least some gravitas to their beliefs. Why do you think the Catholic church insisted only it’s clergy could possess and read the bible for centuries, and maintained their public ceremonies in Latin long after the language had died? An undefined mystery is lot easier to defend, especially to people who are ignorant and illiterate. There is a reason religions have always taken such a keen interest in children’s formative education, and isn’t the pursuit of knowledge or the advancement of science and human understanding.

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No, there is no evidence to back this idea. In fact, these “disorders” have most likely been unidentified throughout human history. Humans that had “seizures” were once viewed as demon possessed, and unfortunately today some still cling to the idea - except move the demon possession onto “other” symptoms.

You take for example trying to “diagnose” past historical figures with today’s current knowledge of the brain/behaviours…

Functioning with ANY form of “illness” is key and deciding for yourself “how you define yourself”. Your strengths and weaknesses and balancing these.

Just my 2 cents…regardless if the health issue, creating purpose, living in peace, expressing love through actions, maintaining a healthy approach to self-interest - this is the idea of functioning.

To be “grounded in reality” is an ability to interact and affect your current living environment. Having an answer to a “god idea” isn’t going to put food on the table. Knowing whether there is “life after death” isn’t going to cut the lawn or sweep the floor or wash the laundry…

Why are you needing a “sliver of hope that god exists”?

Well if they grant an advantage in passing on those genes then that would be an indicator they might be?

This seems very likely, as human history is a heartbeat in evolutionary terms.

How very true…

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Which is probably why, I have no evidence to back up that theory.

I see your point though, whimsical figurings, often should be left to those without the desire for enlightment.

OHHH :open_mouth:. Hahahaha. Did you just “slam” me???

Desire for enlightenment? Pray tell, what does that mean?

OR I’m misreading- can happen with words/meaning…

You could also be implying that whimsical musing doesn’t necessarily lead on to “what is as close to what is true as humanly possible”.
Imagination is great, BUT must be followed up by demonstrable evidence to have a usefulness in reality - otherwise you are engaging yourself in a dream word, cut off from where you physically live and “operate”.

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No no, sorry, that was poorly worded, it wasn’t directed at anyone in particular, just another whismiscal figuring! :joy:

Desire for enlightenment, in the sense - to garner more accurate knowledge from life.

The one and only thing I am 100% certain of, is that in this entire cosmos, something is going on. What it is, I have no idea, yet because I am thinking this thought, there is more than nothing in this cosmos. Am I a computer program, a sim? Am I a brain in a vat? What am I? All I can do is rely on my senses, and live my life as my senses present them.

Now the money question. Is there a god, is there any proof?

I want to know if there is a universal or cosmic help system. Just like you can go to a person and ask for help to a difficult problem so in theory you can go to this cosmic help system, give it your problem and get help faster than if you tried to fix the problem alone. There are those who say this cosmic help system doesn’t exist then there are those like many Christians who say this cosmic help system does exist and claim to have proof for it in the form of answered prayers and call it God. Are these answered prayers just coincidence? I don’t know. Maybe the Christian God is a collective consciousness we naturally tap into when we meditate and don’t fully understand in our day of scientific reasoning. Again, I don’t know. If this cosmic help system does exist, I would like to see the proof but maybe there is no concrete proof maybe because it probably can’t be fully defined. Again, I don’t know, just speculating.

Well, the vast majority of prayers go unanswered, you only have to go a children’s ward in a hospital to see that, all the parents pray, to no avail.

Seeing as the majority of prayers go unanswered, it’s no surprise, that when things sort themselves out, the person who is ‘cured’ might end up thinking that it was prayer that helped them.

When in actuality, they’ve just got lucky, there are 1000s of other people who prayed but didn’t make it.

Which brings me to another point, if God is picking and choosing for his divine plan, I’d say his divine plan sucks arse, and I’d like to bring into question his morality.

If God is immoral, what does that say about those who worship him?

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Ah, you just in essence answered your own question.

You can ask people. In person. Books. Podcasts/motivational…forums

NOW you get info. That info is only as “good” as the action. You want money? On this level of “cosmic reality” you have to put an action with the intent (service provided -paid: application filled out- monthly govt income: buy a gun, rob a bank :bank:) your actions determine outcomes.

I can think all sorts of shit. Sort of like looking at books in a library, thumbing through pages, perhaps reading them there - BUT until I “check” it out I’m not responsible for the book …however if I don’t like the book, I can always return it AND choose another!

Also, it’s a way of looking or thinking about things that generate emotions.

I hold a principle that “abundance is the ability to do what you need to do when you need to do it”. That’s it.

It leaves all sorts of “expectations” out - and I feel grateful (can’t help it) when all my needs are met at any given time which allows me to continue.

I spend very little time (actually practically nil) ever focussed on what I “don’t have”.

EDITED TO ADD - this reality you operate in is the “cosmic help system” and your thinking process and ability to move.

I see mixed results when I search for if prayer works on the internet.

here is one that suggests prayer works.

here is one that claims long distance prayer has no effect.

They both seem to agree that prayer or meditation gives one peace and less stress helps one heal but distance prayers may or may not have an effect depending on which study one is citing. It seems there are 2 sides and both might have a bias. I am not sure.

Unfortunately prayer probably does nothing as no god or deity can actually be proved. We don’t know exactly what caused the Big Bang we do know it happened. We know only what can be observed and we can pretty much work backwards and say the universe was this big so many billion years ago. And if we work all the way back to the Big Bang, we know it was probably the size of a marble at one time. Everything condensed to a tiny space until it expanded in every direction.

Prayer probably has 0 effect.

This is a false claim…

No one praying is seeking peace, they are asking a god to give them something. They are trying to get a magical being to intervene in their lives and make things better. The peace they think they get is by releasing their problems, which likely would resolve themselves anyway, to the magical being. When the problems resolve, it was because of the magical being. when they don’t “Oh well it is just my cross to bear.” Pure bullshit and a total inappropriate comparison to meditation.


What about the serenity prayer? It is a common prayer for people who go to AA which goes:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

AAs motto was based on a god which probably does not exist.

If that helps though so be it.

For myself, prayer was a form of ritual. Once “done” I could “relax”…