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Old Sep 19, 2012, 09:12 AM   #1
Huntn
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The Face of God?

Ok, so I am Agnostic. But if something gives me a feeling of reverence, like I'm part of something which could be spiritual, besides running down a country road with fields, a river, and mountains in the background, it is pictures of the Universe. Is anyone else effected in this manner? It's an emotional reaction based on... ?





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Old Sep 19, 2012, 02:56 PM   #2
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Despite the I'm an Absurdist I'm still inspired to create stuff that's some might label "spiritual"...

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Old Sep 19, 2012, 04:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Huntn View Post
It's an emotional reaction based on... ?
Bright shiny spinning things.

We're born with it. Look at crib mobiles, spinning tops, Fisher-Price & Playskool color themes.
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Old Sep 19, 2012, 04:15 PM   #4
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To contemplate the astounding nature of reality you need go no further than a glass of water, or even the gas that you spend your entire life walking through.

The galaxies and yourself are all made of just up and down quarks.n electrons and massless bosons, the photon and gluon, in fact the quarks have almost no mass but make up protons which do have mass. None of the particles have many properties yet they somehow conspire into a lump of one hundred trillion synapses firing off their little packets of neurotransmitters which your brain somehow unfathomably constructs what you deem as reality.
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Old Sep 20, 2012, 03:08 PM   #5
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Despite the I'm an Absurdist I'm still inspired to create stuff that's some might label "spiritual"...

YouTube: video
I liked it.

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Originally Posted by chown33 View Post
Bright shiny spinning things.

We're born with it. Look at crib mobiles, spinning tops, Fisher-Price & Playskool color themes.
But did someone give it too us?

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Originally Posted by inscrewtable View Post
To contemplate the astounding nature of reality you need go no further than a glass of water, or even the gas that you spend your entire life walking through.

The galaxies and yourself are all made of just up and down quarks.n electrons and massless bosons, the photon and gluon, in fact the quarks have almost no mass but make up protons which do have mass. None of the particles have many properties yet they somehow conspire into a lump of one hundred trillion synapses firing off their little packets of neurotransmitters which your brain somehow unfathomably constructs what you deem as reality.
Indeed. Why does some of the groups of matter that become animated attain the ability to contemplate their existence? (rhetorical) Maybe someday we will find out, in this life or the next.
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Old Sep 20, 2012, 03:39 PM   #6
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I liked it.



But did someone give it too us?



Indeed. Why does some of the groups of matter that become animated attain the ability to contemplate their existence? (rhetorical) Maybe someday we will find out, in this life or the next.
Good question. Although contemplating one's own existence may not be a sign of advanced intelligence. This is also the only species that destroys members of it's own and other species outside of survival needs.
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Old Sep 20, 2012, 03:43 PM   #7
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Why does some of the groups of matter that become animated attain the ability to contemplate their existence? (rhetorical) Maybe someday we will find out, in this life or the next.
I've been reading a fair bit of stuff about the Paleolithic lately... Neanderthals, Homo heidelbergensis, Homo ergaster etc etc and I'm not so sure it's actually such a rhetorical question...

The big arguments that seem to rage through the various books I've read are concerned with increasing ideas of self awareness bound up in the development of tool making and language. (For example you need to be able to imagine to create good tools. You have to be able to 'see a potential tool' in a knob of flint for example. It's a huge leap over just picking up a branch and whacking something.) If you can literally design a tool then your group get a huge advantage. To do all this you all need to develop a 'third person' type of thinking. Then I guess this rather odd way of thinking gets applied to all the other stuff around you... (I've grossly simplified it, probably because my ancestors were rubbish tool makers and my brain isn't big enough to understand the ideas properly but you get the idea...)
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Old Sep 20, 2012, 03:46 PM   #8
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Good question. Although contemplating one's own existence may not be a sign of advanced intelligence.
Though being able to pick at the very fabric of existence certainly is, both in a philosophical and quite literal sense.

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This is also the only species that destroys members of it's own and other species outside of survival needs.
Which you could say is stupidity borne from our brilliance, as we're able to think of our "enemies" in more abstract, multidimensional fashions.
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Old Sep 20, 2012, 03:52 PM   #9
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Though being able to pick at the very fabric of existence certainly is, both in a philosophical and quite literal sense.



Which you could say is stupidity borne from our brilliance, as we're able to think of our "enemies" in more abstract, multidimensional fashions.
Nice observations. Intelligence seems to also allow development of a level of cruelty otherwise unknown in the animal kingdom.
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Old Sep 20, 2012, 04:17 PM   #10
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Nice observations. Intelligence seems to also allow development of a level of cruelty otherwise unknown in the animal kingdom.
Yup. Something as seemingly basic and primitive as spite and revenge is actually quite an advanced response only a thinking creature would be capable of. It serves no real survival purposes. You're not doing it to protect a food supply, your offspring, or your territory. It actually works in opposition of any real survival instincts, as you're potentially putting yourself in harms way to go out to antagonize and humiliate someone over any myriad number of issues. And all for what? For the satisfaction of doing it.

Cuz that guy just pisses you off.

You have to think about what they did. Have a complex understanding of their general emotional or mental states as a base to work against them. Be able to formulate a plan. There are tons of reasons for the whats, whens, and whys for something so basic. To put it simply, a lot of higher mental functions are required to be an ass for the simple sake of being an ass.
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Old Sep 20, 2012, 04:24 PM   #11
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Nice observations. Intelligence seems to also allow development of a level of cruelty otherwise unknown in the animal kingdom.
Yeah, no doubt. Have you seen what Theresa is going to do to Melissa on RHNJ? It takes a truly twisted mind to be that mean, devious and icky.
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Old Sep 20, 2012, 05:00 PM   #12
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Ok, so I am Agnostic. But if something gives me a feeling of reverence, like I'm part of something which could be spiritual, besides running down a country road with fields, a river, and mountains in the background, it is pictures of the Universe. Is anyone else effected in this manner? It's an emotional reaction based on... ?
I think most of the photos you're looking at are artificially colored. They don't look like that through a telescope.
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Old Sep 20, 2012, 05:15 PM   #13
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I think most of the photos you're looking at are artificially colored. They don't look like that through a telescope.
It's usually not all that much different. Visible light spectrum shots are a little duller, and don't show quite as much, but spectacular is still spectacular.

Case in point, some purdy stars...

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Old Sep 20, 2012, 05:58 PM   #14
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It's usually not all that much different. Visible light spectrum shots are a little duller, and don't show quite as much, but spectacular is still spectacular.

Case in point, some purdy stars...
Originals look better than the touched up version IMO. Everytime I see those colorized (or is it oversaturated?) versions they look very cartoony to me.
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Old Sep 20, 2012, 07:39 PM   #15
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I think most of the photos you're looking at are artificially colored. They don't look like that through a telescope.
They are not natural color as seen with the naked eye. I believe color is based on infared/spectrum, but are still spectacular. Read about how Hubble creates pictures here: hubblesite.org.
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Old Sep 20, 2012, 08:28 PM   #16
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Nothing is greater than god. Far greater. I mean, god appears to be this bumbling, obnoxious, sadistic maniac; by contrast, nothing is implacable, voracious and absolute. It just is. Or maybe it is not, maybe nothing is just as real as god, since we cannot really find any of it or prove that it does (not) exist.

I find the concept of the vast void to be more awesome and beautiful than that of some quasi-benevolent bearded man in a white robe. That things do what they do because, without any provocation, management or cunning plan is all the more impressive. Who needs god? It only gets in the way.
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Old Sep 20, 2012, 09:23 PM   #17
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Nothing is greater than god. Far greater. I mean, god appears to be this bumbling, obnoxious, sadistic maniac; by contrast, nothing is implacable, voracious and absolute. It just is. Or maybe it is not, maybe nothing is just as real as god, since we cannot really find any of it or prove that it does (not) exist.

I find the concept of the vast void to be more awesome and beautiful than that of some quasi-benevolent bearded man in a white robe. That things do what they do because, without any provocation, management or cunning plan is all the more impressive. Who needs god? It only gets in the way.
As an Agnostic, I like the idea that human beings can't really imagine God, if such an entity exists, hence the substitute, the bearded man in a white robe, kinda related to Santa Claus.
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Old Sep 21, 2012, 01:03 PM   #18
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As an Agnostic, I like the idea that human beings can't really imagine God, if such an entity exists, hence the substitute, the bearded man in a white robe, kinda related to Santa Claus.
That's actually a relatively recent thing as far as the Abrahamic religions go. If you look back at the descriptions of God in the Torah, it describes Him as a completely unknowable, alien entity that exists in a state far beyond our comprehension.

I think it was during the last millennium, when everyone started thinking of God as Jesus' dad, that people started putting a more human face on the concept.
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Old Sep 21, 2012, 08:13 PM   #19
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That's actually a relatively recent thing as far as the Abrahamic religions go. If you look back at the descriptions of God in the Torah, it describes Him as a completely unknowable, alien entity that exists in a state far beyond our comprehension.

I think it was during the last millennium, when everyone started thinking of God as Jesus' dad, that people started putting a more human face on the concept.
A-ha, the Torah's authors were practically Agnostics!
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 02:55 AM   #20
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I know what you mean. My favourite image ever taken is the Hubble Deep Field and Ultra deep field.

They pointed Hubble at a tiny dark part of the sky and compiled 342 images taken over about 10 days and found 10,000 galaxies



I love those images. Nothing makes me feel more humble. Contemplating our place in the world is human nature and when you see how vast the universe is, it's normal to feel overwhelmed.


You may like this video as well.
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 12:33 PM   #21
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Backyard astronomy is a hobby of mine, although in my case it might be more correctly called frontyard astronomy...but I digress.

I have a decent amateur telescope. Nothing that cost thousands of dollars, mind you, but nothing like what you'd pick up at a department store. I live near enough to a major urban area to be affected by light pollution, but not so near as to be blinded by it at night.

All that being said, the views of the night sky I get in my telescope look nothing like these photos. It's simply impossible for the human eye to take in what a space telescope and long-exposure photography can capture. But when I look into the eyepiece, it's a very spiritual thing for me. To look into the sky and see - with my own eye, not in a photo - a galaxy, nebula, or star cluster that's billions or even trillions of miles away, something that looks like a tiny, faint smudge of grey against a black background, and to know what it is, how big it is, and how far away it is, words just can't describe the feeling I get. It's magical.
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Old Sep 25, 2012, 01:00 AM   #22
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Backyard astronomy is a hobby of mine, although in my case it might be more correctly called frontyard astronomy...but I digress.

I have a decent amateur telescope. Nothing that cost thousands of dollars, mind you, but nothing like what you'd pick up at a department store. I live near enough to a major urban area to be affected by light pollution, but not so near as to be blinded by it at night.

All that being said, the views of the night sky I get in my telescope look nothing like these photos. It's simply impossible for the human eye to take in what a space telescope and long-exposure photography can capture. But when I look into the eyepiece, it's a very spiritual thing for me. To look into the sky and see - with my own eye, not in a photo - a galaxy, nebula, or star cluster that's billions or even trillions of miles away, something that looks like a tiny, faint smudge of grey against a black background, and to know what it is, how big it is, and how far away it is, words just can't describe the feeling I get. It's magical.
Awesome, isn't it? I only have a smallish reflector, but man, to see the rings of Saturn or those wispy nebulae "in person", nothing like it.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 08:33 AM   #23
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Newsweek/Daily Beast: Planets, Planets Everywhere

Interesting read. The author does not seem to think that aliens will come visit us because the nearest stars would take a Saturn rocket 70,000 years to reach. And he thinks any aliens would be peaceful. Hmm. So how do you explain all the UFO sightings? Some kind of warp or worm technology would answer that. And as far as being friendly, I'd say that's 50-50. Are there any guarantees that highly advanced civilizations have to be friendly ones?

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It’s official: in our own celestial backyard, our galaxy (Milky Way) holds 100 billion planets, a number beyond human comprehension. About half the stars in our galaxy have planets going around them; however, most of them are huge and unable to support life as we know it. But many—about 17 billion—are roughly the size of Earth. For the first time in his*tory, we now have a “census” of the galaxy extrapolating from a sample: about one in six stars has Earth-size planets revolving around them.
The next question is how many of them support or could support life?
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 08:53 AM   #24
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Great thread, and some fantastic images and videos and some lovely posts. (Mind you, when I clicked on the title, I expected something a little different). Thanks for posting all of this wonderful stuff.

Anyway, I love looking at the stars, reading about them, thinking about them, and backyard astronomy (albeit with a pair of excellent binoculars, rather than a telescope, which is a dream purchase of mine) is something I really enjoy, the endless cloud cover over where I live, notwithstanding.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 08:58 AM   #25
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Free online course on the search for ET life from Edinburgh Uni.

https://www.coursera.org/course/astrobio

You've missed a lesson, but still 5 weeks of it to go. You even get a certificate at the end of it
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