- Sep 5, 2002--- In gnosticism2@y..., incognito_lightbringer <no_reply@y...> wrote:
> <<"Gnostics, when they stand up to identify themselves, wouldthan
> have to agree to the majority of these tenets, but whether the
> interpretation of them would be literal, psychological,
> philosophical, or other must be left to the individual." (p. 190)
> Gnosticism can be interpreted on all the above levels. I know
> involving science in the mix has been labeled "new age" by more
> a few people. Also, science is a function of material universe, andthan
> thus any conclusions drawn could be said to lead to nothing more
> the demiurge. But, quite obviously, we live in this world and areancients
> under it's physical laws, and the experience of it is highly
> unpleasant (that whole death and suffering and eating business),
> which prompts us to search for answers to our questions. The
> were not above using science as allegory.I would agree that the function of science relates to the material
universe. And that is still demiurgic territory wherein we exist.
Incognita, you also mention:
"One theory I've heard is that all possible universes exist
simultaneously, thus all possible combinations of things, and we just
happen to be in the one that supports life and thus it *appears* to
us to be ordered by intelligence whereas it might not necessarily be
so. At least it's a valid counter argument."
I have also heard this. It has been posited, I believe, that if all
other possible universes coexist simultaneously, that it is likewise
possible that the physical nature of these universes could be
entirely different than ours, whether or not potentially
incorporating different laws (intelligent design?) or perhaps in
chaos. We would still have the question as to the source of these
universes, ordered or not.
> I suppose if you want, the demiurge starts with the formationand
> space/time/matter; the big bang. (Although the big bang as just a
> theory is constantly refined and altered as new phenomena are
> discovered). No one will argue that DNA is a code, highly complex
> specific. That this code could have developed randomly *seems*a
> impossible, and that's the major argument used in the creationism.
> The problem with creationism is that it's not just about proposing
> theory that incorporates seeding or some kind of intelligence. Theany
> theory also has to adhere to whatever scriptural dogma, and with
> contradiction real science is dismissed while pseudo science andI believe you have hit on a key point here, Incognita. Especially
> charlatanism takes its place.
dogma found in modern religions that rely primarily on literalistic
interpretations has swung the creationist pole so far to the right
that scientists (many or most atheists or agnostics) often tend to
react by associating any ideas of "creation" with fundamentalism.
And, truly, fundamentalists can be very vocal. An acquaintance
mentioned that one such person recently tried to post in a club
some "pseudo science" mumbo-jumbo flatly lambasting evolution
theories, stating (of course, replete with scriptural quotes) how the
Bible literally predicted "modern" scientific findings. A few club
members who were biologists, anthropologists and the like quickly
refuted her unsubstantiated claims in fine form with very little
effort, simply using common sense in many cases. Yet, that still
leaves life's origin a mystery, as even admitted by John Rennie in
his article. Wherefrom come "primitive nucleic acids, amino acids
and other building blocks of life" he mentions. Space? Still the
physical realm. And what about this "space"? And on we go ad
> Rennie: <<"Thus, science welcomes the possibility of evolutiona
> resulting from forces beyond natural selection. ..>>
> What I don't like about this is the word "natural". Natural is more
> term used to define not what *is* but rather *what we know so far*.Well, yes, I think most scientists would agree that "natural" is
> It's bogus, IMHO.
*what we know so far*. Yet, according to scientists, acceptable
explanation for "forces" would need to comply with, well,
naturalism. As Rennie says, "A central tenet of modern science is
methodological naturalism--it seeks to explain the universe purely in
terms of observed or testable natural mechanisms." So, modern
science at best can only explain our material world based on
empirical evidence *we know so far*. When scientists have discovered
all there is to know about life and our world and universe(s), what
Likewise, I think fundamentalist creationists are doing themselves a
disservice by trying to explain God and creation in materialistic,
anthropomorphic ways, and letting emotionalism override common sense
when discussing things of our material world. No wonder what they
call "spiritual" is so easily discounted by materialists as
While Rennie complains about religionists filling in the blanks with
nonsensical beliefs, it is very possible that admonitions from both
evolution and creationist camps are tending to fuel extreme,
exclusive views in the process. It's all or none? As Corax pointed
out (#6540), we humans have brains, intelligence, can reason. Why
not the possibility of a greater Mind? Well, sure, scientists
wouldn't discount that if we could prove it empirically. So, let's
leave fundamentalism for a moment. How about Gnosis? What, someone
can claim to KNOW?? Know what? ;-) Ah, . . . back to the drawing
table . . .
Now we get to that psychic/pneumatic dilemma you addressed,
Incognita. Is there in fact "nothing but spirit" surmised by Bishop
Berkley (Corax, Post #6540)? Is the reality of this world "a
similitude of a greater ground of being"? What about the Gnostic
concept of the flaw of our material/psychic world? More later . . .
(and hopefully from lots of other members as well).
Gotta go now.
P. S. Almost forgot ~ I wanted to comment on that computer program
by Richard Hardison you mentioned. Not being familiar with the
details of the study, I still certainly have the same reservations
about possible high-order assumptions coded into that program by the
researcher(s) (intentionally or not), . . . especially, *if* as your
web search showed, the program included "right spots."
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