Do you believe in God?

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Do you believe in god?

  • Of course, without him nothing would exist!

    Votes: 621 30.5%
  • Maybe.

    Votes: 368 18.1%
  • No way!

    Votes: 1,046 51.4%

  • Total voters
    2,034
I don't think we perceive the quantum wave function - if you're still using "potential" in that way. If you're using potential to describe possible futures, I'd say that is definitely an aspect of consciousness. We know for a fact that consciousness is a product of brain function and chemistry.
But so is any other construct, no? What differentiates it from intelligence, narcissism, politeness, etc? All are ways of being categorized by our mind. Our mind trying to categorize our mind is consciousness? Call me crazy but I get stuck in these loops of paradoxical thinking.
 
But so is any other construct, no? What differentiates it from intelligence, narcissism, politeness, etc? All are ways of being categorized by our mind. Our mind trying to categorize our mind is consciousness? Call me crazy but I get stuck in these loops of paradoxical thinking.

It's easy to differentiate thoughts from one another. It might be harder to do via measurement, but in terms of description, it's trivial to differentiate narcissism from politeness, jealousy from sadness or anger, or love from disgust. Again, this may be more difficult to do from the perspective of measuring those things.
 
We know for a fact that consciousness is a product of brain function and chemistry.
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Tell us all about it. Who was it, what were the circumstances, what happened? The whole thing.
Two different times, I was doing proxy work for people in the temple. They were ASTOUNDINGLY excited! That was quite the experience to be there and just feel excitement.

One other time, I was listening to someone talk about God, and I literally said, "Yeah, I know. Get on with it." I felt a gentle touch on my left shoulder, and I heard a voice say, "What did you just say?" Yeah. God Himself asked me that. Then, I immediately had a MASSIVE confirmation of that truth. It was amazing.

A little bit after my wife's grandmother passed (a month or less? Don't remember exactly), our youngest was sick. We were very worried about her. We said a prayer, and I felt a presence pass through me. Immediately afterward, I heard a voice say, "Everything will be alright." My wife felt and heard the same thing at basically the same time. She told me that that phrase was her grandmother's favorite phrase. Also, at about the same time, our child began clapping their hands and interacting with someone we couldn't see. Definitely the grandmother doing all of that.

One of the funnier moments was when I was before I started getting serious about my wife. I knew two women with the same name. I decided to say a prayer to know which one I should really pursue. I started to say, "Should I marry this person or that person." I LITERALLY got out, "Should I marry this pe..." and I got CUT OFF!!!! God said VERY LOUDLY! "You will marry THAT person!" Yeah. It happened! I just went, "Okay. That was blatant." And I'm now married to the correct person. ;) It's been over 25 years.

I have also had other times when I did NOT do what was told me. Two times ended in a wrecked vehicle. Oops....

I have had many other times that were either vastly less important, or I don't feel would be good to share.

So, yeah. I KNOW. Simple as that.
 
Two different times, I was doing proxy work for people in the temple. They were ASTOUNDINGLY excited! That was quite the experience to be there and just feel excitement.

That sounds like emotion.

One other time, I was listening to someone talk about God, and I literally said, "Yeah, I know. Get on with it." I felt a gentle touch on my left shoulder, and I heard a voice say, "What did you just say?" Yeah. God Himself asked me that. Then, I immediately had a MASSIVE confirmation of that truth. It was amazing.
...

One of the funnier moments was when I was before I started getting serious about my wife. I knew two women with the same name. I decided to say a prayer to know which one I should really pursue. I started to say, "Should I marry this person or that person." I LITERALLY got out, "Should I marry this pe..." and I got CUT OFF!!!! God said VERY LOUDLY! "You will marry THAT person!" Yeah. It happened! I just went, "Okay. That was blatant." And I'm now married to the correct person. ;) It's been over 25 years.

These seem like hallucinations/schizophrenia. If you're hearing voices from people that aren't there, it is a medical condition.

A little bit after my wife's grandmother passed (a month or less? Don't remember exactly), our youngest was sick. We were very worried about her. We said a prayer, and I felt a presence pass through me. Immediately afterward, I heard a voice say, "Everything will be alright." My wife felt and heard the same thing at basically the same time. She told me that that phrase was her grandmother's favorite phrase. Also, at about the same time, our child began clapping their hands and interacting with someone we couldn't see. Definitely the grandmother doing all of that.

This seems like memory and jumping to conclusions. Kids clap sometimes.

Regarding hearing voices/seeing things, I have never had anything even remotely like what you describe happen to me in my 43 years of life. My wife would say the same. So you must at a minimum be ok with the fact that the voices/images that speak to you do not do so for others. Because, honestly and truthfully, I've never seen or heard anything like that. My initial reaction is "you should get that checked out" because it doesn't sound like proper brain functioning to me. You should definitely question whether the voices or images that you're seeing/experiencing are what you think they are. Because they could be anything, from your own mind via illness or impairment, to an alien, or even the devil himself. I don't know how you can be so confident in your characterization of the voices in your mind.
 
So you can't answer my question basically.
You can't say what a soul is, so why should I bother with any sort of definition for consciousness? But I'm a nice guy, so here: Consciousness, at its simplest, is awareness of internal and external existence.

I definitely put a lot of work into that, it's not freely available on Wikipedia or anything. Self-awareness and perception are a very simple things to understand, so I think even you could see how that's a useful concept that can be studied in more detail in a number of ways to help understand the specifics of the human experience and what differentiates us from things like machines and rocks.

Have you got any sort of definition of a soul? Anything?
There ya go fixed that for you.
Without brain function, there is no consciousness. Without brain chemistry, there is no consciousness. If there's more involved then feel free to chime in, but with our current understanding it seems pretty irrefutable that those two items are required at a bare minimum.
 
There ya go fixed that for you.

Without brain function, there is no consciousness. Without brain chemistry, there is no consciousness. If there's more involved then feel free to chime in, but with our current understanding it seems pretty irrefutable that those two items are required at a bare minimum.

That last bit - "bare minimum" - is probably where you're getting hung up @Ghost Lap.
 
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That sounds like emotion.
It was. It was amazing, because it wasn't mine. Literally my wife's maternal grandfather wanted to get up, dance a jig, and hoop and holler in excitement. Not my way of doing things. ;)
These seem like hallucinations/schizophrenia. If you're hearing voices from people that aren't there, it is a medical condition.



This seems like memory and jumping to conclusions. Kids clap sometimes.

Regarding hearing voices/seeing things, I have never had anything even remotely like what you describe happen to me in my 43 years of life. My wife would say the same. So you must at a minimum be ok with the fact that the voices/images that speak to you do not do so for others. Because, honestly and truthfully, I've never seen or heard anything like that. My initial reaction is "you should get that checked out" because it doesn't sound like proper brain functioning to me. You should definitely question whether the voices or images that you're seeing/experiencing are what you think they are. Because they could be anything, from your own mind via illness or impairment, to an alien, or even the devil himself. I don't know how you can be so confident in your characterization of the voices in your mind.
When there is peace with it, it makes it a lot different. If you have never experienced it, I can completely understand your questioning it. That is okay.

But, one of my kids IS schizophrenic. I have seen that first hand. And this is NOTHING like that.

Edit to add: If you would like to truly understand this, you can. But you have to seriously want to. After all, as Huck Finn said, "[you] can't pray a lie".

Your choice. It always has been, and always will be.
 
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Consciousness, at its simplest, is awareness of internal and external existence.

Self-awareness and perception are a very simple things to understand.

Have you got any sort of definition of a soul? Anything?

Without brain function, there is no consciousness for the human being. Without brain chemistry, there is no consciousness *for the human being.
What exactly is awareness then, can we measure awareness on some kind of physical chart or barometer, can we capture a physical sample of awareness and store it in a jar?

I defined soul or consciousness, whatever you want to call it as that something that is unseeable and immaterial, yet we all know it's very much real as we all have it or rather are it at the deepest level of ourselves behind all the human layers. What it really is, is simply beyond any words or labels you try to put on it as I already said earlier.

The best I could come up with words is to say that it's just pure energy, the highest form of energy that there is (since it's literally beyond and prior to anything else, hence you can't even touch or measure it in any physical manner) and that it is reality in the truest sense. I say this because it truly is the only thing that you can ever be sure is truly real, that being your own consciousness or awareness.

You don't need any scientific investigation to know that it's real, just simply sit still and be with nothing but your own consciousness and the fact will become very much undeniable to you.
 
"Don't trust the science. Just trust yourself. All you need is a little faith."

Speaking personally the only thing I'm aware of when I sit still and concentrate on my consciousness is my consciousness. If the only proof of having a soul is non scientific then we're getting into ghosts and fairies territory. It's by no means independently verifiable and you're conflating belief with proof and expecting the rest of us to do the same thing.
 
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What exactly is awareness then, can we measure awareness on some kind of physical chart or barometer, can we capture a physical sample of awareness and store it in a jar?
You asking the question is awareness. A rock does not ask whether we can measure awareness. You have some measure of ability to perceive what I've written, to reflect on it, and to craft a response to that. That's it.

You can measure awareness subjectively, because it's a subjective phenomenon. Just like you can measure sight subjectively, even though you can't make a machine that measures sight nor can you capture sight in a jar.

Your view of this is shockingly archaic for someone that is in the same breath arguing for the existence of souls.
I defined soul or consciousness, whatever you want to call it as that something that is unseeable and immaterial, yet we all know it's very much real as we all have it or rather are it at the deepest level of ourselves behind all the human layers.
If it's unseeable and immaterial, that tells me nothing about what it is, only what it is not. There are many, many things that are unseeable and immaterial, yet we know that they exist.

And as for "we all know it's very much real", no, I don't think we do. That's just a cop-out to avoid having to actually explain. Unless you're saying the soul and consciousness are identical, in which case that raises some pretty big questions.

We're not even conscious the whole time we're alive. If your consciousness is your soul, what happens to it when you're knocked out or asleep? If you get brain damage that alters your personality, is your soul also changed or is it immutable? These questions have answers and/or can be investigated when talking purely about consciousness, but are completely unanswerable when you're talking about a "soul".

And then we get into the fact that the soul generally gets labelled with some other properties, like being eternal, or containing a person's identity or memories which are NOT compatible with consciousness. So why would you use the word "soul", with all the implied baggage that it carries, instead of consciousness if that's what you meant?

Is it just because you're trying to sneak the concept of a soul in riding on the coat-tails of a completely different phenomenon?
The best I could come up with words is to say that it's just pure energy, the highest form of energy that there is (since it's literally beyond and prior to anything else, hence you can't even touch or measure it in any physical manner) and that it is reality in the truest sense. I say this because it truly is the only thing that you can ever be sure is truly real, that being your own consciousness or awareness.
Do you know what energy is? Because from this I don't think you do. It sounds awfully like you're using it in a similar way to hippies, which is sort of interesting.

There aren't higher and lower forms of energy, at least not in the way normal people use that word. Nor is there "pure" and "impure" energy. So you're going to have to explain what the "energy" you're talking about is - what's a "highest form" of energy, what lower forms of energy are and how they differ.

Then we get back into you attempting to equate the soul and consciousness again. Why? Are they the same or not? They're not the same in common English usage, they're not even particularly similar in meaning. If the "soul" was only your awareness, then there would be no discussion.

But you know that's not what "soul" means, "soul" has a whole bunch of other properties tacked onto it. Nobody talks about their consciousness going to heaven or hell, that's purely for souls. Nobody talks about their consciousness being divinely judged, that's for souls.
You don't need any scientific investigation to know that it's real, just simply sit still and be with nothing but your own consciousness and the fact will become very much undeniable to you.
You could have just written this as "shut up and accept that I'm right", you know. :rolleyes:

We understand that you have no curiosity about yourself or the world you're in. But not everyone is like you. No facts will become undeniable to me simply by sitting and doing nothing, waiting for something that you cannot describe. How would I know when I've experienced my soul if you can't tell me anything about it? How would I know what I'm experiencing is not just an itchy bum and heartburn?

There have been some very interesting psychological experiments in conformity. In a group setting, people will often deny their own experiences in order to fit in with the group. If everyone else in the group says that they definitely experience their soul, then it would not be unusual for another person to agree regardless of if they experience anything or not.

They might even convince themselves that some part of what they feel normally must be what other people are feeling too. Or they might convince themselves that they're feeling something despite being completely unable to describe it in any way. Humans are ultimately social animals, and we will go to great lengths to fit in as well as to convince ourselves that our perceptions and actions are rational and true.

However, all of that gets entirely in the way of learning anything new. If you want to learn or understand, thinking in this way is a disadvantage. Wanting to understanding and looking for evidence is not a sin, it is the sign of someone seeking truth. And not "truth" in the biblical sense of a bunch of "facts" that you must accept in order to be a part of the church, actual truth.
 
It was. It was amazing, because it wasn't mine. Literally my wife's maternal grandfather wanted to get up, dance a jig, and hoop and holler in excitement. Not my way of doing things. ;)

When there is peace with it, it makes it a lot different. If you have never experienced it, I can completely understand your questioning it. That is okay.

But, one of my kids IS schizophrenic. I have seen that first hand. And this is NOTHING like that.

Edit to add: If you would like to truly understand this, you can. But you have to seriously want to. After all, as Huck Finn said, "[you] can't pray a lie".

Your choice. It always has been, and always will be.
Thank you for your boldness. You are not alone. In my experience, His voice gets louder and more insistent in relationship to the upcoming danger to survival. The still, small voice is wonderful, the Big Booming Voice is intervention. Medicine for schizophrenia never helped me, only His message.
 
Look! Scientific proof... If Eric B. & Rakim agree with him then it must be true. :lol:


"A record that was made a long time ago..."

Guess there's always the Mark Chapman defence:
NY Post (yeah I know...)
As the killer says in the documentary, “I’m sitting in front of the radio, listening to rock music, and I felt the Holy Spirit talk to my heart. I knew that the lord wanted me to plead guilty.”

A guilty plea was entered. The judge accepted a conversation with God as being rational. Chapman received a sentence of 20 to life. He remains behind bars.
 
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If you would like to truly understand this, you can. But you have to seriously want to. After all, as Huck Finn said, "[you] can't pray a lie".

Your choice. It always has been, and always will be.
That's backwards. Choosing an outcome before testing it just creates bias. If some all powerful creator really did exist, that creator should understand how people work and try to communicate with them in ways that are actually verifiable.

Humans have a high level of intelligence compared to anything else on Earth. That intelligence should be considered in an attempt to communicate. Not doing this allows attempts at communication to be brushed off as lies, bias, or coincidence.

Even then, just wanting isn't enough. I well and truly believed at one point, but all that did was blind me to evidence and logic, at least for a time.

There is no choice, there either is a god or there isn't. We have no control over that, we can only inspect the world around us for proof and so far there is none.
What exactly is awareness then, can we measure awareness on some kind of physical chart or barometer, can we capture a physical sample of awareness and store it in a jar?
People have already provided examples. There is no consciousness without a brain. If you want to measure consciousness then look at brain activity.
I defined soul or consciousness, whatever you want to call it as that something that is unseeable and immaterial, yet we all know it's very much real as we all have it or rather are it at the deepest level of ourselves behind all the human layers. What it really is, is simply beyond any words or labels you try to put on it as I already said earlier.
If you defined it, it's not beyond words. Being unseeable and immaterial also doesn't make a soul special. Photons are the same and we can find the just fine, along with even harder to detect particles.
The best I could come up with words is to say that it's just pure energy, the highest form of energy that there is (since it's literally beyond and prior to anything else, hence you can't even touch or measure it in any physical manner) and that it is reality in the truest sense. I say this because it truly is the only thing that you can ever be sure is truly real, that being your own consciousness or awareness.
You should stop completely misusing words. There is no "highest form" of energy, and energy itself is just the ability to do work. Coincidentally that is easily measured despite being non physical and untouchable. You are mashing words together to sound profound. It may not be done with the intent to mislead, but it's not helping you make a point. You aren't saying anything.
You don't need any scientific investigation to know that it's real, just simply sit still and be with nothing but your own consciousness and the fact will become very much undeniable to you.
You find things out by questioning and investigating. Sitting around and deciding that something is evidence for the outcome you want is not how you find truth and it's unfortunate that religion commonly likes to spread the lie that it is. It's really a serious problem because if the typical religious standard of proof was applied to everything, we'd still be in caves at best or possibly all dead at worst. I don't think anyone here is pushing back against you or religion out of spite. Religion simply promotes dangerous behavior.
 
Thank you for your boldness. You are not alone. In my experience, His voice gets louder and more insistent in relationship to the upcoming danger to survival. The still, small voice is wonderful, the Big Booming Voice is intervention. Medicine for schizophrenia never helped me, only His message.
I don't know if it's my place to say, but if you have been diagnosed with something it's best not to change/stop taking meds without talking with your doc first.

I appreciate the side effects of anti-psychotics can be nasty, but they're prescribed for a reason.
 
As I am new to this convo - if the collect thought is that consciousness is a product of our brain's activity, what are we labelling the components that created the part of the brain that result in consciousness being produced? What is it that lies below the action potentials, the EEG readings, and the qualia? What is their or its reason for moving to produce consciousness in the first place?

On another note.. Are there theories out there that claim the consciousness is self-manifesting?

I may be confusing energy with consciousness at this point.
 
As I am new to this convo - if the collect thought is that consciousness is a product of our brain's activity, what are we labelling the components that created the part of the brain that result in consciousness being produced? What is it that lies below the action potentials, the EEG readings, and the qualia? What is their or its reason for moving to produce consciousness in the first place?

On another note.. Are there theories out there that claim the consciousness is self-manifesting?

I may be confusing energy with consciousness at this point.

Well first, this question applies to lots of animals. Second, brains start to function because the cells in the brain form according to instructions in DNA. The process of growing a brain is a cell replication process - essentially governed by chemistry. And the cell replication process develops differently depending on which chemical environments the cells form in, this leads to cell replication which results in a brain, and the brain functions according to the cells that formed.

Why does this happen? Natural selection.
 
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Well first, this question applies to lots of animals. Second, brains start to function because the cells in the brain form according to instructions in DNA. The process of growing a brain is a cell replication process - essentially governed by chemistry. And the cell replication process develops differently depending on which chemical environments the cells form in, this leads to cell replication which results in a brain, and the brain functions according to the cells that formed.

Why does this happen? Natural selection.
But cells are not the lowest form of being out there. I understand the biological aspect but why is natural selection a process to begin with? Why does that process have to be to begin with? The easy answer seems to be 'Well, because then nothing would be." But that energy do be doing things for some purpose... Unless I am distorting this with personal belief.
 
But cells are not the lowest form of being out there. I understand the biological aspect but why is natural selection a process to begin with? Why does that process have to be to begin with? The easy answer seems to be 'Well, because then nothing would be." But that energy do be doing things for some purpose... Unless I am distorting this with personal belief.
As I understand things this doesn't just happen. Sometimes it doesn't happen. But when it happens it tends to carry on happening. Over a long time period this leads to evolution via natural selection.
 
As I understand things this doesn't just happen. Sometimes it doesn't happen. But when it happens it tends to carry on happening. Over a long time period this leads to evolution via natural selection.
Always leading me back to the question 'why?' Because, when natural selection happens, it keeps happening gets too circular in reasoning for my liking. Consciousness as a product is a nice box to categorize it, albeit vague. But I guess it can be expanded in to perception as a product of natural selection. But that doesn't explain why natural selection is in the first place. It becomes circular again if you consider natural selection occurring because of itself.

Can you tell I'm wrestling with it here? lol.
 
Always leading me back to the question 'why?' Because, when natural selection happens, it keeps happening gets too circular in reasoning for my liking.
Because viable lifeforms tend to make more of themselves? Why wouldn't they?
 
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