Atheistforums.com

Extraordinary Claims => Religion General Discussion => Topic started by: trdsf on January 09, 2018, 11:38:24 AM

Title: On Miracles
Post by: trdsf on January 09, 2018, 11:38:24 AM
I was listening to Talk Heathens on YouTube and the conversation turned to the selective nature of 'miracles' attributed to Jesus in the  Bible, and the comment was made that if he'd just healed everybody in the world, boom, no debate anymore.

And it got me to thinking -- let's say for the sake of argument that today at noon, boom, every blind person on the planet was healed, just like that, no warning,

How long before the religious wars start because everyone thinks it was their god that performed the miracle?  Weeks?  Days?  Hours?
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Baruch on January 09, 2018, 12:24:59 PM
I was listening to Talk Heathens on YouTube and the conversation turned to the selective nature of 'miracles' attributed to Jesus in the  Bible, and the comment was made that if he'd just healed everybody in the world, boom, no debate anymore.

And it got me to thinking -- let's say for the sake of argument that today at noon, boom, every blind person on the planet was healed, just like that, no warning,

How long before the religious wars start because everyone thinks it was their god that performed the miracle?  Weeks?  Days?  Hours?

Wrong protagonists.  The doctors who argue who gets to charge us for the healing ;-)

Yes, clearly Jesus is mythical, because of obvious plot failures in the narrative.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Mike Cl on January 09, 2018, 12:45:54 PM
I was listening to Talk Heathens on YouTube and the conversation turned to the selective nature of 'miracles' attributed to Jesus in the  Bible, and the comment was made that if he'd just healed everybody in the world, boom, no debate anymore.

And it got me to thinking -- let's say for the sake of argument that today at noon, boom, every blind person on the planet was healed, just like that, no warning,

How long before the religious wars start because everyone thinks it was their god that performed the miracle?  Weeks?  Days?  Hours?
This thought has crossed my mind from time to time.  Why did god only issue his 'word' in one language and in one spot?  Has a bible turned up in say, the Americas dating to that time period?  Or Asia or Europe--or anywhere else?  And why was Jesus, the son of god, not paraded around any other part of the world?  God did not have enough semen in impregnate more than one woman?  Why not Jesus' all over the world teaching the same lessons and healing the sick in that part of the world?  And why couldn't god have written and distributed the same bible in all the languages of the world at that time and in material that would not rot away?  And if this god were perfect and all knowing, why would a bible be needed in the first place? 
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: GSOgymrat on January 09, 2018, 01:10:37 PM
Miracles or not, people's locus of control can be telling. When good things happen, who is responsible? You? Your family? Society? God? How about when things go horribly wrong? I've noticed with some religious people when good things happen it is by the grace of God but when bad things happen it is evil within society or oneself.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Blackleaf on January 09, 2018, 11:28:22 PM
This thought has crossed my mind from time to time.  Why did god only issue his 'word' in one language and in one spot?  Has a bible turned up in say, the Americas dating to that time period?  Or Asia or Europe--or anywhere else?  And why was Jesus, the son of god, not paraded around any other part of the world?  God did not have enough semen in impregnate more than one woman?  Why not Jesus' all over the world teaching the same lessons and healing the sick in that part of the world?  And why couldn't god have written and distributed the same bible in all the languages of the world at that time and in material that would not rot away?  And if this god were perfect and all knowing, why would a bible be needed in the first place?

If I'm not mistaken, the Mormons believe that the Aztecs were visited by Jesus before white men showed up. The claim is completely baseless in fact, of course, but that doesn't stop people from rewriting history to their benefit.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Baruch on January 09, 2018, 11:38:36 PM
If I'm not mistaken, the Mormons believe that the Aztecs were visited by Jesus before white men showed up. The claim is completely baseless in fact, of course, but that doesn't stop people from rewriting history to their benefit.

There was a lot of weird historiography in the 19th century, like Lemuria ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemuria_(continent)

This was before continental drift was understood.  Atlantis is the oldest fictional geography in the West.  Hinduism has a whole mythological geography.

It may be that some Europeans accidentally came to N America before even Leif Ericsson ... and Japanese may have accidentally came to S America.

Mormonism is its own crazy ... think of Fremin on Arakis.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Jason78 on January 10, 2018, 01:21:14 AM
If miracles aren't real, then how do you explain how magnets work?
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Baruch on January 10, 2018, 03:28:52 AM
If miracles aren't real, then how do you explain how magnets work?

Thales ... as viewed by Aristotle ...

"The relevant text from Aristotle reads: 'Thales, too, to judge from what is recorded of his views, seems to suppose that the soul is in a sense the cause of movement, since he says that a stone [magnet, or lodestone] has a soul because it causes movement to iron' (De An. 405 a20-22); 'Some think that the soul pervades the whole universe, whence perhaps came Thales's view that everything is full of gods' (De An. 411 a7-8)."

Atheists (in the Greek sense) are irreligious and materialist.  Most contemporary Greeks dismissed them, oppressed them or even executed them.  Don't diss Homer if you know what is good for you.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Sal1981 on January 10, 2018, 03:41:59 AM
If, somehow, every blind person in the world suddenly could see, my first thought would be aliens.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Cavebear on January 10, 2018, 04:12:11 AM
If, somehow, every blind person in the world suddenly could see, my first thought would be aliens.

I would always suspect technology for a cause over a deity.  The former is much more likely.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: trdsf on January 10, 2018, 09:04:53 AM
If, somehow, every blind person in the world suddenly could see, my first thought would be aliens.
As would I, but if they just did it and never actually made contact to take credit for it, the vast majority of this planet would take it as a miracle from their particular version of god with absolutely no reason that they should attribute it that way, other than that's how they pre-define miraculous-looking things.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Cavebear on January 10, 2018, 09:27:44 AM
As would I, but if they just did it and never actually made contact to take credit for it, the vast majority of this planet would take it as a miracle from their particular version of god with absolutely no reason that they should attribute it that way, other than that's how they pre-define miraculous-looking things.

Miracles don't exist.  But advanced technology might.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: aitm on January 10, 2018, 09:31:16 AM
I can't even get to miracles myself. I still can't get past, "Ima make me a vast universe and stuff it full of all kinds of creatures that in order to live must eat each other."

Da fuck man?
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Cavebear on January 10, 2018, 11:05:40 AM
I can't even get to miracles myself. I still can't get past, "Ima make me a vast universe and stuff it full of all kinds of creatures that in order to live must eat each other."

Da fuck man?

By all means yes, choose a place on the food chain you won't eat under.  That is the bottom of the food chain to you.  An amoeba looks at the world differently.  So do krill.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: SGOS on January 10, 2018, 11:27:38 AM
If miracles aren't real, then how do you explain how magnets work?
I remember back when I was very little and given some tiny plastic dogs that had magnets glued to their feet.  Scottish Terriers, I believe they were.  One was black and one was white, but I digress.  If you snuck one of the dogs up behind the other, one would spin around and face the other dog and attach itself quite strongly.  I knew it was the magnets that made it happen, but I remember puzzling for what seemed like years over why a special metal would be attracted to itself so that one end of the magnet attracted while the other end would repel.  Magnets aren't alive, but why would an inert lifeless metal have a force like that?  I didn't associate it with a miracle, but I really wondered why it could be.  I can now explain partially what causes magnetism, but yet I still can't explain the cause of the cause.  It must be...
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Cavebear on January 10, 2018, 11:35:12 AM
God, obviously...  He is the cause of everything we don't understand RIGHT NOW, right?
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: trdsf on January 10, 2018, 12:45:53 PM
Miracles don't exist.  But advanced technology might.
True, and true, and true.  But while you'd have a small rationalist community going "Huh, I wonder how that happened" and researchers all over the globe giving themselves fits trying to figure out the answer to that, you have many billions immediately assuming it was done by Jesus/YHWH/Allah/Krishna/etc. etc. etc.

And I bet you the first global casualty would be Jerusalem as millions crowd in there on pilgrimage from the Judeo-Christo-Islamic family of religions.  I wouldn't even give it a day before the mobs were openly warring in the streets, or a week before someone decided that their religion's claim would be stronger if the opposing Dome of the Rock/Wailing Wall/Church of the Holy Sepulchre didn't exist anymore and boom.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Unbeliever on January 10, 2018, 01:26:52 PM
According to Ambrose Bierce, a miracle is:

MIRACLE, n. An act or event out of the order of nature and unaccountable, as beating a normal hand of four kings and an ace with four aces and a king.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Blackleaf on January 10, 2018, 01:35:56 PM
If a god suddenly performed a miracle for all of the world to see, my first thought would be, "Where the FUCK have you been?" If a god exists, he's the first absent father in history.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Unbeliever on January 10, 2018, 01:45:24 PM
Yeah, and he pays no child support...
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Cavebear on January 10, 2018, 01:48:02 PM
My dad had that niggling thought that there was "something out there"... 
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Unbeliever on January 10, 2018, 01:57:42 PM
There's something out there alright, and this is it:




(http://abcdvdz.com/image/data/14%20sept/something8fn8.jpg)
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Cavebear on January 10, 2018, 02:01:08 PM
There's something out there alright, and this is it:

(http://abcdvdz.com/image/data/14%20sept/something8fn8.jpg)

What movie is THAT mess from?
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Unbeliever on January 10, 2018, 02:03:57 PM
No idea. Pretty ugly though, huh? Maybe that's what God looks like? It's how I often picture the damned thing.






Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Cavebear on January 10, 2018, 02:06:06 PM
No idea. Pretty ugly though, huh? Maybe that's what God looks like? It's how I often picture the damned thing.

I don't picture a deity.  It has to exist to be seen.  And I don't...
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Unbeliever on January 10, 2018, 02:10:25 PM
OK, it seems to be from a mini-series called, appropriately enough, Something is Out There (http://abcdvdz.com/something-is-out-there-dvd).
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Baruch on January 10, 2018, 02:14:19 PM
According to Ambrose Bierce, a miracle is:

MIRACLE, n. An act or event out of the order of nature and unaccountable, as beating a normal hand of four kings and an ace with four aces and a king.

Ambrose, Ambrose ... quite the cynical wit.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Baruch on January 10, 2018, 02:16:07 PM
No idea. Pretty ugly though, huh? Maybe that's what God looks like? It's how I often picture the damned thing.

G-d isn't inhuman, just more than human.  But demons see things your way.  They project their own hideousness onto others.  Just like in politics.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Baruch on January 10, 2018, 02:17:14 PM
OK, it seems to be from a mini-series called, appropriately enough, Something is Out There (http://abcdvdz.com/something-is-out-there-dvd).

Yeah, scifi is so real.  How are things on the Nautilus, Capt Nemo?
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Baruch on January 10, 2018, 02:19:26 PM
I remember back when I was very little and given some tiny plastic dogs that had magnets glued to their feet.  Scottish Terriers, I believe they were.  One was black and one was white, but I digress.  If you snuck one of the dogs up behind the other, one would spin around and face the other dog and attach itself quite strongly.  I knew it was the magnets that made it happen, but I remember puzzling for what seemed like years over why a special metal would be attracted to itself so that one end of the magnet attracted while the other end would repel.  Magnets aren't alive, but why would an inert lifeless metal have a force like that?  I didn't associate it with a miracle, but I really wondered why it could be.  I can now explain partially what causes magnetism, but yet I still can't explain the cause of the cause.  It must be...

You aren't an ancient Greek either, let alone Thales.  No, you can't explain anything ... you can assume an electron with a magnetic moment ... and that is something consistent with the Dirac equation.  But nobody understands quantum mechanics, so no, nobody understands the electron, or magnetic fields formed by electrons.  Everyone here is just like that guy with the 200+ IQ ... full of jargon, that has no real meaning.  Idiot savants, just like a talking ape would be.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Blackleaf on January 10, 2018, 02:26:06 PM
G-d isn't inhuman, just more than human.  But demons see things your way.  They project their own hideousness onto others.  Just like in politics.

If we're all demigods in your view, who are the demons?
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Baruch on January 10, 2018, 02:47:28 PM
If we're all demigods in your view, who are the demons?

Its a matter of attitude.  At extremes some people are angelic, others are demonic.  Zoroastrianism is wrong ... so is what the Abrahamic religions borrowed from Zoroastrianism.  The Cold War for instance, is institutionalized Zoroastrianism, as were the Crusades and the Jihad.  If you divide people in general, in two, you are also dividing your own self in two.  Schizo.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: trdsf on January 12, 2018, 12:16:18 PM
If we're all demigods in your view, who are the demons?
I know I'm not a god of any sort.  If I were, things would be run a damn sight better in this universe.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Baruch on January 12, 2018, 12:35:08 PM
I know I'm not a god of any sort.  If I were, things would be run a damn sight better in this universe.

Demigods can only put their BVDs on two legs at a time, not their pants ;-)

If you want things to be better, run for office, and clean up the DNC or RNC.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Simon Moon on January 15, 2018, 09:01:16 PM
This thought has crossed my mind from time to time.  Why did god only issue his 'word' in one language and in one spot?  Has a bible turned up in say, the Americas dating to that time period?  Or Asia or Europe--or anywhere else?  And why was Jesus, the son of god, not paraded around any other part of the world?  God did not have enough semen in impregnate more than one woman?  Why not Jesus' all over the world teaching the same lessons and healing the sick in that part of the world?  And why couldn't god have written and distributed the same bible in all the languages of the world at that time and in material that would not rot away?  And if this god were perfect and all knowing, why would a bible be needed in the first place? 



This great video pretty much illustrate your post.

Well worth watching.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWZifSXlzlI (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWZifSXlzlI)


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lWZifSXlzlI
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: GSOgymrat on January 15, 2018, 09:13:40 PM
That quote was from Mike CL, not me. I was totally confused because I couldn't remember typing that!
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Simon Moon on January 15, 2018, 09:25:13 PM
That quote was from Mike CL, not me. I was totally confused because I couldn't remember typing that!

Corrected!
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Mike Cl on January 15, 2018, 09:26:53 PM


This great video pretty much illustrate your post.

Well worth watching.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWZifSXlzlI (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWZifSXlzlI)


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lWZifSXlzlI
Yes, Simon, that is a good illustration of my point.  I had not see that before.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Baruch on January 15, 2018, 10:10:08 PM
Corrected!

I have editing errors too, where I type stuff inside the Quotes, instead of after them.  This makes who said what, unclear.

DarkMatters is good, has been posted here many times before.  The #4 on this series, just before the posted one, is on Lucifer.  I watched that one just now, too.

These show up the conundrums of theology.  Which needs to be done, because theologians are just geeks who don't really get religion in the first place.  They impress the ignorant and illiterate.  Most people don't in fact get religion, they simply go thru the motions, like they do with most things in their lives.  Ritual/habit is how we get thru most things.

If one takes the "objective" aka "external" aka "material" view ... to the exclusion of the "subjective" aka "internal" aka "spiritual" view ... then Camus is right ... the only important question is suicide, individual and social.  Reductionism is its own absurdity.  In pre-modern societies, they didn't have this distraction ... and they dismissed the geeks.

They knew they were people, who lived among other people.  That they were alive, for awhile, and had to get on with daily life, not speculate on string theory.  As Socrates pointed out, the only relevant study for humans isn't Thales' TOE (which was all wet), it is how to be a better human.  I had counseling once, about not being a Vulcan, about just being human.  It was good advice.

I could take many pages, to personally diss everything about the Bible, everything others say in its favor, and everything other say against it.  But that would be a waste of my time and yours.  The video is good as far as it goes, but like any such discussion, it lies, by what it leaves out.  Inevitably, things have to be left out, invalidating the argument.

This stuff is just Nietzsche in action ... obsessing over a book you don't like.  Though I do like Nietzsche's program of getting back to Greek paganism.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: omokuroi on January 16, 2018, 11:06:19 AM
If a god suddenly performed a miracle for all of the world to see, my first thought would be,
"According to the Problem of Evil, you're either deeply incompetent or actively malicious. How do we kill you?"

?

Or maybe that's just me.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: SGOS on January 16, 2018, 11:34:30 AM
"According to the Problem of Evil, you're either deeply incompetent or actively malicious. How do we kill you?"
There are problems with killing God, not the least of which is that it is impossible to know if he is alive or dead at any given moment.  This is why we have the Heisenberg Principle.  There are two reasons we talk about the Heisenberg Principle.  First, it's fun to say, "Heisenberg Principle" in a sentence when you want people to think you know what you are talking about.  Second, we seldom know what we are talking about, which is the main reason for the Heisenberg Principle to begin with.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: omokuroi on January 16, 2018, 11:40:17 AM
There are problems with killing God, not the least of which is that it is impossible to know if he is alive or dead at any given moment.  This is why we have the Heisenberg Principle.
Ah, but isn't God's current state of vitality/mortality observed the moment he reveals himself to take credit for the miracle?
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: SGOS on January 16, 2018, 11:49:32 AM
Ah, but isn't God's current state of vitality/mortality observed the moment he reveals himself to take credit for the miracle?
This is only true to the person witnessing the miracle.  But he doesn't know what he's talking about, can't demonstrate it to anyone else in his peer group, and so they have to take it on his authority.  Heisenberg isn't buying it.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: omokuroi on January 16, 2018, 11:50:56 AM
This is only true to the person witnessing the miracle.  But he doesn't know what he's talking about, can't demonstrate it to anyone else except his peer group, and so they have to take it on his authority.  Heisenberg isn't buying it.
So what you're saying is, God doesn't reveal himself because if he did then he'd be observed and become a certain existence and thereby temporarily lose his immortality?

Hmm.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: SGOS on January 16, 2018, 11:52:09 AM
So what you're saying is, God doesn't reveal himself because if he did then he'd be observed and become a certain existence and thereby temporarily lose his immortality?

Hmm.
Sure, why not?
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: omokuroi on January 16, 2018, 11:53:50 AM
Sure, why not?
Sounds like it could make a decent plot point in a sci-fi novel.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: SGOS on January 16, 2018, 12:21:45 PM
Sounds like it could make a decent plot point in a sci-fi novel.
Sometimes I think about a plot line in an imaginary book I might write.  Some guy would die and meet God, but God would be completely different than what everyone thinks and disappointed with the fact that no one understands him.  God would actually be a likeable entity in the book, but just unable to make himself known, because he is prevented by the confines of the reality that prevents him from being there except through mankind's imagination.  He wouldn't say it outright, but readers would understand his frustration and know that he would like to help if he could.  I'm not sure what else happens, but I imagine something good coming out of it, but I don't know what.  The dead guy probably wouldn't be able to help because he's dead, so how would this vital understanding of God be brought back to the people on Earth?

I don't think about this much.  There is more detail in the paragraph above than anything I've ever thought about before.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: omokuroi on January 16, 2018, 12:26:35 PM
I don't think about this much.  There is more detail in the paragraph above than anything I've ever thought about before.
For years I've played around with a sort of metafiction wherein the many-worlds interpretation is true, and another universe has managed to link up with this one and make it into something of a personal playground. Actually, it turns out modern humans were very much based on the image of the beings in that universe, and that the technology they used to shape this universe can be used to, to some extent, alter reality to suit the collective will of humanity. This turns out to be the origin of a few miracles... and also inadvertently ends up creating two of the primary antagonists of the (potential) series, one created by the people of the other universe, and one created by humans.

I've thought about this a lot. This is actually less detailed than I usually go.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: trdsf on January 16, 2018, 12:59:25 PM
For years I've played around with a sort of metafiction wherein the many-worlds interpretation is true, and another universe has managed to link up with this one and make it into something of a personal playground. Actually, it turns out modern humans were very much based on the image of the beings in that universe, and that the technology they used to shape this universe can be used to, to some extent, alter reality to suit the collective will of humanity. This turns out to be the origin of a few miracles... and also inadvertently ends up creating two of the primary antagonists of the (potential) series, one created by the people of the other universe, and one created by humans.

I've thought about this a lot. This is actually less detailed than I usually go.
Write it.  Even if it's just for your own amusement.  Otherwise it'll eat your brain.

In my own writing, I'm going to have a lot of fun with the plot point that meeting humans ultimately provided actual physical evidence in favor of the aliens' creation myth... you can imagine how well that goes down among believer humans, of course.  Heh.  Heh.  Heh.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: omokuroi on January 16, 2018, 01:09:51 PM
Write it.  Even if it's just for your own amusement.  Otherwise it'll eat your brain.

In my own writing, I'm going to have a lot of fun with the plot point that meeting humans ultimately provided actual physical evidence in favor of the aliens' creation myth... you can imagine how well that goes down among believer humans, of course.  Heh.  Heh.  Heh.
One of the protagonists of mine is loosely based off David Hume.

He's generally the one in charge of the so-called godslaying business. This makes a lot of people very unhappy.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Baruch on January 16, 2018, 01:39:14 PM
One of the protagonists of mine is loosely based off David Hume.

He's generally the one in charge of the so-called godslaying business. This makes a lot of people very unhappy.

David Hume was awesome at skepticism.  But don't go so far as to disbelieve that David Hume ever existed ;-)

Samuel Johnson would not only refute George Berkeley, but David Hume, by kicking that stone (in front of Boswell) ... "I refute him thus!".
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Baruch on January 16, 2018, 01:41:34 PM
Ah, but isn't God's current state of vitality/mortality observed the moment he reveals himself to take credit for the miracle?

G-d is physically more like the zero-point energy, where the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle is applied to energy-time.  As long as you don't look closely, one can get away with anything.  In philosophical terms, G-d is pure potentiality, not actuality.  And only what is actual, can exist ... so G-d cannot exist ... yet is a-causally connected to all of existence.

So what about the Big Bang?  Well you can create a universe, as long as it exists for a correspondingly short time.  Relativistically, relative to light (photons) the length of any temporal time is zero ... which allows you infinite free energy.  Things only are confusing relative to non-photonic phenomena.  Relative to photons ... it isn't that photons are blindingly fast, but that other matter is agonizingly slow.  Like watching a pot of water come to boil ... by watching (and this means you aren't photonic) ... it literally takes forever for one second to pass.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: omokuroi on January 16, 2018, 01:51:03 PM
David Hume was awesome at skepticism.  But don't go so far as to disbelieve that David Hume ever existed ;-)
Some people go so far as to doubt Shakespeare really existed... so, it wouldn't exactly be novel territory, would it?

I guess it says something that I have more respect for Hume than Shakespeare, though. "Nerd!"
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Unbeliever on January 16, 2018, 01:56:36 PM
Sounds like it could make a decent plot point in a sci-fi novel.
Well, there's this, which I read a couple of years ago:

Towing Jehovah (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Towing_Jehovah)
Quote
God is dead, and now God's two-mile-long cadaver is floating in the Atlantic Ocean, just off the coast of Africa. As a result, the archangel Raphael hires supertanker captain Anthony Van Horne to tow the cadaver into the Arctic, with the intention of having it be preserved by the cold.

It was quite an interesting read, actually.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Baruch on January 16, 2018, 02:02:06 PM
Some people go so far as to doubt Shakespeare really existed... so, it wouldn't exactly be novel territory, would it?

I guess it says something that I have more respect for Hume than Shakespeare, though. "Nerd!"

Well, you seem to be a geek of particularly refined type.  Virgin olive oil perhaps ... maybe not so virgin ;-)

Shakespeare may have existed, but it seems like some of the plays were ghost written by others.  He was more of a producer at times.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Unbeliever on January 16, 2018, 02:03:15 PM
For years I've played around with a sort of metafiction wherein the many-worlds interpretation is true, and another universe has managed to link up with this one and make it into something of a personal playground. Actually, it turns out modern humans were very much based on the image of the beings in that universe, and that the technology they used to shape this universe can be used to, to some extent, alter reality to suit the collective will of humanity. This turns out to be the origin of a few miracles... and also inadvertently ends up creating two of the primary antagonists of the (potential) series, one created by the people of the other universe, and one created by humans.

I've thought about this a lot. This is actually less detailed than I usually go.
A couple of months back I read a book called The Long Earth (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Long_Earth), by Steven Baxter:

Quote
The "Long Earth" is a (possibly infinite) series of parallel worlds that are similar to Earth, which can be reached by using an inexpensive device called a "Stepper". The "close" worlds are almost identical to "our" Earth (referred to as "Datum Earth"), others differ in greater and greater details, but all share one similarity: on none are there, or have there ever been, Homo sapiens – although the same cannot be said of earlier hominid species, especially Homo habilis.

It's a fascinating look at the implications of the connection of all the parallel Earths.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Baruch on January 16, 2018, 02:04:25 PM
Well, there's this, which I read a couple of years ago:

Towing Jehovah (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Towing_Jehovah)
It was quite an interesting read, actually.

Borrowed from Kabbalah?  In one early form of Kabbalah, the body of G-d is imagined to the the Earth itself, or the universe itself.  We are like fleas or microbes on it.  Called Shiur Koma.

See, Unbeliever ... you can believe parallel universes, but G-d is too much for you ;-)
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Unbeliever on January 16, 2018, 02:07:20 PM
I don't know enough of kabbalah to make any claim of borrowing, but you could be right. You'd probably have to ask the author.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Baruch on January 16, 2018, 02:13:08 PM
I don't know enough of kabbalah to make any claim of borrowing, but you could be right. You'd probably have to ask the author.

Any good meme is worth stealing.  But you have to disguise where you borrowed it from.  This is called poetic license (to plagarize)
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: GSOgymrat on January 16, 2018, 02:48:54 PM
A couple of months back I read a book called The Long Earth (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Long_Earth), by Steven Baxter:

It's a fascinating look at the implications of the connection of all the parallel Earths.

You're the third person who has recommended this book recently. Sounds like a good read.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Unbeliever on January 16, 2018, 02:50:39 PM
Very satisfying. I hope there's a sequel.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: omokuroi on January 16, 2018, 02:52:12 PM
A couple of months back I read a book called The Long Earth (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Long_Earth), by Steven Baxter...

It's a fascinating look at the implications of the connection of all the parallel Earths.
That does sound quite interesting. I might need to check it out myself...

Though, in my case, the many-worlds interpretation is present but really just used as a plot device. Unlike many stories, it doesn't end up being a major theme or plot element or anything.

I did have an idea for a side story which was supposed to take place in the universe they used as a testbed for the technology, but other than that, it all takes place on "our" Earth.

The major themes revolve more around transhumanism, political philosophy, metaphysical idealism, Taoism, and some Jungian character analysis here and there.

(As an aside, I'm not sure whether I should be happy or sad to see a Reimu and a Byakuren here, when one of my major characters was designed while listening to an orchestral arrangement of Septette for the Dead Princess... She is, of course, immortal. Not a vampire though.)
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Unbeliever on January 16, 2018, 03:04:34 PM
It would be nice if we could do our dangerous manufacturing in a different universe, it would keep us from so polluting our own. It would also be nice if we could garner energy from other universes, a potentially infinite supply. I've speculated that if hell really existed, we could tap it for thermal energy, but unfortunately it doesn't exist.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: omokuroi on January 16, 2018, 03:06:37 PM
It would be nice if we could do our dangerous manufacturing in a different universe, it would keep us from so polluting our own. It would also be nice if we could garner energy from other universes, a potentially infinite supply. I've speculated that if hell really existed, we could tap it for thermal energy, but unfortunately it doesn't exist.
My thinking goes that that would be about like using a heat pump to control the temperature of a building.

I.e. not very efficient, especially in the long-term.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: trdsf on January 16, 2018, 04:22:15 PM
It would be nice if we could do our dangerous manufacturing in a different universe, it would keep us from so polluting our own. It would also be nice if we could garner energy from other universes, a potentially infinite supply. I've speculated that if hell really existed, we could tap it for thermal energy, but unfortunately it doesn't exist.
See Asimov's The Gods Themselves: using the structural differences between our universe and a neighboring one as a power generator.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: GSOgymrat on January 16, 2018, 04:22:51 PM
It would also be nice if we could garner energy from other universes, a potentially infinite supply. I've speculated that if hell really existed, we could tap it for thermal energy, but unfortunately it doesn't exist.

I'm not so sure about drawing vast amounts of energy from other universes. As a child, I always built my secret subterranean lair inside an active volcano so I would have limitless thermal energy for the death ray, spacejet and zoo of genetically engineered man-beasts. Every time something would go horribly, horribly wrong.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: omokuroi on January 16, 2018, 04:35:08 PM
I'm not so sure about drawing vast amounts of energy from other universes. As a child, I always built my secret subterranean lair inside an active volcano so I would have limitless thermal energy for the death ray, spacejet and zoo of genetically engineered man-beasts. Every time something would go horribly, horribly wrong.
I built mine deep underground in the Antarctic so people would leave me alone.

It must have worked. Nobody has found any bases there.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Baruch on January 16, 2018, 06:56:16 PM
I'm not so sure about drawing vast amounts of energy from other universes. As a child, I always built my secret subterranean lair inside an active volcano so I would have limitless thermal energy for the death ray, spacejet and zoo of genetically engineered man-beasts. Every time something would go horribly, horribly wrong.

Yes, moderns don't have any mythology ;-)  Our gods are mad scientists or magic wielding neuro-surgeons ;-))
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Baruch on January 16, 2018, 06:57:04 PM
I built mine deep underground in the Antarctic so people would leave me alone.

It must have worked. Nobody has found any bases there.

Per the sequel to Iron Sky, Hitler lives under the South Pole.  So are you Hitler?
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: omokuroi on January 16, 2018, 06:59:47 PM
Per the sequel to Iron Sky, Hitler lives under the South Pole.  So are you Hitler?
It's complicated. I actually had multiple characters who represented different aspects of myself, one of them being an important figure in the eeeeevil organisation and the other being one of the protagonists infiltrating the base.

So if we split the difference I guess I'm slightly less than 50% Hitler? 98 Proof Fuhrer Ale.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Baruch on January 16, 2018, 07:03:23 PM
It's complicated. I actually had multiple characters who represented different aspects of myself, one of them being an important figure in the eeeeevil organisation and the other being one of the protagonists infiltrating the base.

So if we split the difference I guess I'm slightly less than 50% Hitler? 98 Proof Fuhrer Ale.

Did you see any of Iron Sky or the sequels?  Sarah Palin as POTUS.  Yes, all fiction, including Vulcans and Klingons, are just projections of subordinate parts of our archetypical personalities.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: omokuroi on January 16, 2018, 07:10:38 PM
Yes, all fiction, including Vulcans and Klingons, are just projections of subordinate parts of our archetypical personalities.
Obviously. Any character written by a person will only say things, take actions, and express sentiments the writer is also capable of saying, taking, and expressing.

Even when you base a character off "another" person, you're actually basing them off your image of that person, and your image of that person uses the mirror neuron system of your brain, which means that you're only writing that person to the extent that you are capable of actually being that person yourself.

...Sorry, maybe that was a little confusing?

Anyway, that's not to say people actually ever do act like their characters. Just that they can't write a character who doesn't exist inside them, even if it's a part of them they never let out.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: Blackleaf on January 16, 2018, 09:10:50 PM
It would be nice if we could do our dangerous manufacturing in a different universe, it would keep us from so polluting our own. It would also be nice if we could garner energy from other universes, a potentially infinite supply. I've speculated that if hell really existed, we could tap it for thermal energy, but unfortunately it doesn't exist.

Hey. Maybe that's why God created Hell, so he could feed off of the energy of the countless souls burning in it. That would explain why he would make it so goddamn impossible to avoid it, and so impossible to escape once you're in it. A being of such incredible power would require quite a large source of energy.
Title: Re: On Miracles
Post by: omokuroi on January 16, 2018, 09:29:54 PM
Hey. Maybe that's why God created Hell, so he could feed off of the energy of the countless souls burning in it. That would explain why he would make it so goddamn impossible to avoid it, and so impossible to escape once you're in it. A being of such incredible power would require quite a large source of energy.
But can God create an energy source so bottomless even He can't exhaust it?