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The Burnsville Socrates Cafe Message Board The Burnsville Socrates Cafe Discussion Forum › 1/18/11 questions and discussion

1/18/11 questions and discussion

Jon A.
Group Organizer
Saint Paul, MN
1. What's the best way to be certain?3

2. How important is luck?3

3. Can we rationally choose our belief systems?6

4. Is english evolving or are we destroying it?5

5. Will modern day communications take the place of gatherings like ours?4


And the winner is :Do we live in a supernatural world? -- from Phillip

Phil: reality is virtual, god is the computer. Reality is like a computer game

Amr: what's "virtual"?

Phil: our soul is outside the computer game, playing it. Our bodies are mere containers for those souls.

David: is everything pre-ordained?

P: like a game, there are a limited amount of outcomes possible

Ron: using "virtual" is confusing

Phil: the virtual world is the atom. What we consider real is built out of that and other atoms

Dick: what's the atom made of?

Jim: atoms are energy

Phil: energy is associated with the atom

Shannon: what does supernatural mean, as opposed to natural?

Phil: classical physics, relativity, and quantum mechanics are mostly true in the natural world

Jon: could Einstein/Bohr/Newton be wrong yet the natural world still exist?

Jim: my question is: if you can't prove something, is it significant?

Phil: that is a problem.

Jim: is that because we don't know enough?

Phil: in ancient days religion did the explaining and maybe we're reverting back to those negatively limiting days. Each god had a job being mysterious, getting reality done.

Jim: this means we need to have beliefs, because we can't prove things conclusively.

Jon: as I've said before, reality happens first, then we tell stories to explain it to one another. The stories are incomplete representations of reality but we have always gone with the ones that work for us the best. So as time goes by, succeeding generations will belittle the stories/beliefs of previous generations, only to themselves be the ones ridiculed by their descendants.

Ron: as we've progressed, we've understood more and more. Did things we didn't see then but do now only begin to exist once we'd seen it?

Jon: the "tree in the woods" question (if a tree falls in the woods but there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?)

Shannon: if supernatural is our reality, we need look no further, why bother learning more? God can be used to avoid mysteries, as hiding places to not see what's actually going on around us

Jon: I have no problem with that process until they get all political about it. These folk who are settled in their beliefs are harmless until they decide they need to convert these private, personal convictions into efforts to control the lives of others.

David: what if we one day have all the answers? Will we then send copies of our complete knowledge perfection -- copies of ourselves -- out into the universe to spread complete understanding elsewhere?

Dick: having been raised Catholic and expected to believe, I found this kind of supernatural harmless. My personal evolution led me away from that harmless thinking. What I now believe (atheism) is also a harmless thing in my life.

Jim: if god creates universes -- I can get that. I can trust that. But the other type, the puppeteer god who controls every little detail in a seemingly infinite universe, I have a problem with that.

Dick: this demonstrates the limitations of the human mind

Jim: our human history is marked by a chronology of our various enlightenments through time

David: are we motivated by fear?

Shannon: I reject that idea. Instead, we are motivated by a desire for progress

Jon: truth is singular. Human endeavor has always been about learning it. Consciousness is all we have for experiencing this singular truth. Until we learn it, we will settle for stories/beliefs. This is my version of "virtual". Our stories are virtual realities

Jim: beliefs produce results. the good beliefs work.

Shannon: but when our beliefs contrast with reality we encounter troubles, they stop "working"

Amr: without flexibility beliefs can't evolve

Jim: let's say I have a coherent belief system and I find a contradiction. What do I do? I throw out the contradiction!

Jon: at what point do you make constructive changes to your beliefs?

Jim: when the conflict between my beliefs and reality causes too much pain.

Dick: it's been gradual for me.

David: to Phil: virtual reality, is it relative?

Phil: it's singular, but we can have differing interpretations of it.

Jon: we mistake virtual reality for real reality, methinks

Shannon: I used to think of life like navigating a river. There's a best way to do that. We're never gonna get out of our minds. Our minds are natural, supernatural is not possible for natural minds

Amr: as the human mind grows, reality will grow

Jim: what would the ramifications of a virtual reality be?

Phil: it helps us explain but it doesn't prevent us from looking for more understanding.

Jim: so we'll look anyway.

Shannon: we seem to be puppets in a virtual reality.


Thanks to all who came tonight. See you next week!
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