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First, let me state some facts: (I'm sure their facts.)

1) We only use a certain amount of percentage of our brain.

2) Our brain functioning consists of neurons moving between nerve endings, correct?

3) Before we came to this earth, we where spirits, (like a glove, hand is the spirit, glove is the body, body can't move without the spirit) when we die our spirits leave. Don't argue, its fact.

4) Our body is controlled by the nerves which is controlled by the brain.

Now, depending if you believe in Christ, the Atonement, and the Resurrection, when Christ returns our spirits will be reunited with our bodies and be made perfect like Christ.

Now the questions.

What is controlling the brain and telling it to fire those neurons and how?

My theory is this:

We control our brain through a certain degree of telepathy, so with that you have to wonder: what else can we do when we are made perfect like Christ?

Personaly, I think we can fly.

Feel free to drop a line if you have any questions, comments, concerns.

Please nothing vulgar, profain, perverted, or rude. This is for fun.

-5dollers

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Discussion or debate? Philosophy is awesome, but for your theories to have a solid standing in the empirical world, I think your framework needs to begin off properly. For starters, your facts aren't fact at all. You say you're sure, yet "fact" two has a question mark at the end. :P

Quotes are annoying, so his statements are in red while my responses are in purple. :)

1) We only use a certain amount of percentage of our brain.

Wrong. It totally doesn't even make sense when you think about it. I mean, how would we even have evolved a brain that we don't use?

2) Our brain functioning consists of neurons moving between nerve endings, correct?

Wrong again. Chemical reactions in your body (hormones and stuff) create electrical signals, which cause neurons to interact.

3) Before we came to this earth, we where spirits, (like a glove, hand is the spirit, glove is the body, body can't move without the spirit) when we die our spirits leave. Don't argue, its fact.

I'm sorry, but what? I would have probably left this topic alone if not for the "don't argue, it's fact" statement right there. Spirits, along with your god, if they existed, would have been detected a long time ago. Come back with some evidence, present it to me in terms that make sense and are falsifiable, and I'll consider it. Mind, spirits and god are considered highly extraordinary claims, so I expect your evidence to be highly extraordinary. Until you, or someone else, has managed that, this is in NO WAY a fact.

4) Our body is controlled by the nerves which is controlled by the brain.

Umm, yeah, kinda. Your statements 2 and 4 go in circles. You say that the brain function by neurons sending signals, yet the brain causes the neurons to send signals.. Your sort of right, but go back and reread my answer to number 2.

At least this wasn't fact numero 5... :o

What is controlling the brain and telling it to fire those neurons and how?

Natural chemical reactions occurring in your body.

We don't control our brain, we are our brain. The brain controls the body it inhabits. You can think anything you like, but that's only a result from, again, chemicals interacting and letting you think that way. Your body has limits, and unfortunately humans haven't evolved in a way that provides us with wings. However, feel free to test your hypothesis if you like. I for one would be interested in the outcome. ;)

Oh, and I'm pretty sure some biologist can come around and explain the brain thing much better and more clearly than I can. *pokes Andromeda.* :D

Har...Har.

I'm picking up your sarcasm in hinting that you want to see me jump off a cliff, in an attempt to fly. Re-read the post and you will find that i implyed that flying would be after we were dead and resurrected.

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cavalry is here :):ph34r::P

First of all, there is NO evidence at all (even nonconcrete evidence) other than human ideas that suggest there is any sort of spiritual soul somehow entangled with our body. Besides some of the philosophical impossibilities it represents that most people ignore, there's just no evidence of it, and in fact evidence to the contrary (I'm not saying we understand the brain but there are breakthroughs everyday by scientists showing that this emotion, that form of memory, this motivation, etc, comes from this area of the brain when these neurotransmitter chemicals release or those synapses fire).

Trust me... if anything pops up that supports "ghosts" (I'm not even going to go into all the contradictions with ghosts) and other spiritual stuff, I'd be the first to know (okay maybe not the first but you get my point :P I have a very good idea of how much evidence is out there of certain phenomena).

I don't really care if you want to believe in that stuff, but I'm just telling you that it's certainly not fact. Actually, the good majority (95% ;D) makes no sense at all

And spirits occupying us is even more out there. Intellect? Conscious thought? Free will? Those are most likely built upon our phyiscal brain, as I said earlier. It's easy to see how... though I suspect you don't want an in-depth description on how the brain works :P

For me, my own philosophy on this subject is too complex to post here... it involves my observation of balance in the universe (kind of Easternish when you think about it) and about how things are more than the sum of their parts in nature, by metastuff built upon stuff (example: your atoms don't know that physics essay is due on Friday... you do. It's a concept that doesn't exist in the absolute physical world of particles, but still exists, somehow, somewhere, on some higher level of metaknowledge. Another example: each cell in your body thinks it's doing its own thing for its own survival with free will - and it is. But then the cells as a whole make up our bodies. It is very possible that we are just like the cells, but for a gaialike living ecosystem)

I was never implying that there were forgien spirits occupying us. Your own spirit is inhabiting the body is what i meant.

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I realize this was directed at UR, but I believe I can answer. (At least for myself.) :)

My (non)belief is based entirely on facts that I've read in books and discovered online. The way I see it is like this (imagine it as a timeline):

1) Positive energy existed. (This is the only 'gap' in my argument, but I'll get to that.)

2) Enough of said energy accumulated in a very small amount of space, causing this energy to be extremely condensed, and yeah, Big Bang. Protons, neutrons, quarks, etc. went flying everywhere, and different sorts were attracted to each other through gravity, eventually creating the elements.

3) Elements, mainly hydrogen and carbon formed a sun, which was at least ten times bigger than the sun we orbit.

4) Eventually this sun "died", exploding into a supernova, and formed a new sun and the planets. (This has happened at least 1023 times independently, so, by pure probability, a planet in the "Goldilocks Zone" like Earth was bound to form.)

5) First you get very basic single-celled organisms, the kind that reproduce a-sexually, eventually you get less basic lifeforms, then somewhat complicated ones, and viola, eventually we have us awesome and complex humans.

Okay, so all of that fits, assuming we can figure out how the initial energy came about. Honestly, I don't know. I do know that all the energy in the universe cancels out exactly to 0, so however it did happen obeys the laws of the universe, because it was really neither created or destroyed. But I don't need to know where that energy came from to abandon my belief in god. After all, the Bible, which should never have had to be revised assuming it came from a supreme being that knew past, present, and future, said god created the Earth. I know how the Earth was formed, some god did not do it. It was also claimed that we, the mighty, amazing, and apparently important mankind, we chosen as the favorite among god's creatures and put here. Er, no, sorry. We evolved from apes. I hate to sound depressing here, but we're not important, and there is no profound reason to our being here. It just happened like that, and some people, with good reason, can't/won't accept it. Which is why fun places like heaven and paradise were created, to get past that fear of dying. I love the concept, man I don't want to die, but it's nothing more than some silly story like the ones people tell their kids about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

But yeah, back to the gap. God really is a "God of the Gaps", as Victor Stenger put it. The more science advances, the smaller the gaps become, and the less places God has to retreat to. An example of this was during the pre-heliocentric times, when the earth was still flat and heaven was just above the clouds. ... Do you see the problem here? We will eventually get to the point where we do know everything (..some day), and even if god did exist (he doesn't) we would have no need for him. Because life as we know it could have (and probably has on other planets) arisen naturally whether a god was there to kick things off or not.

Oh, one more thing. This is directed at any theist. Why is it that none of you have been able to come up with any valid point justifying the existence of god?

How do you prove something exists, when said something you cannot see, hear, smell, touch, or taste?

Or... how do you describe the color green to a blind man?

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How do you prove something exists, when said something you cannot see, hear, smell, touch, or taste?

Or... how do you describe the color green to a blind man?

I'd tell him that nothing really is 'green'. I'd tell him that the warmth he feels is not only called warmth, but also light, and that it is visible in the sense that it makes other objects visible, i.e., light shines on objects so we can see them. I'd continue by saying that this light is composed of photons, or particles of light, and that different particles have different amounts of energy, and some objects light to absorb 'dark' colors and appear 'bright', while visa versa. I'd then elaborate how green just happens to be one of these colors in our spectrum, and that this arbitrary isn't really all that important, because nothing really is 'green', it just appears green. Then I'd go into how blue and yellow make green, and green has x amount of energy, and so forth.

Just because the blind man cannot see green should not imply that green doesn't exist.

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"What is controlling the brain?"

That was not my intent to spur off religous and belief debates.

I believe I've answered that then. Well, not in full detail, 'cos again, *not a neuroscientist*, but enough for you to get the basic gist and hopefully realize that spirits aren't doing it.

Haha, I like your accidental creation better.

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I'd tell him that nothing really is 'green'. I'd tell him that the warmth he feels is not only called warmth, but also light, and that it is visible in the sense that it makes other objects visible, i.e., light shines on objects so we can see them. I'd continue by saying that this light is composed of photons, or particles of light, and that different particles have different amounts of energy, with different frequencies, and some objects absorb 'dark' colors and appear 'bright', while visa versa is also true. I'd then elaborate how green just happens to be one of these colors in our spectrum, and that this arbitrary detail isn't really all that important, because nothing really is 'green', it just appears green. Then I'd go into how blue and yellow make green, and green has x amount of energy, and so forth.

Just because the blind man cannot see green should not imply that green doesn't exist.

Oh god, the typos with no edit time. Fixed for clarifications. <_<

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I'd tell him that nothing really is 'green'. I'd tell him that the warmth he feels is not only called warmth, but also light, and that it is visible in the sense that it makes other objects visible, i.e., light shines on objects so we can see them. I'd continue by saying that this light is composed of photons, or particles of light, and that different particles have different amounts of energy, with different frequencies, and some objects absorb 'dark' colors and appear 'bright', while visa versa is also true. I'd then elaborate how green just happens to be one of these colors in our spectrum, and that this arbitrary detail isn't really all that important, because nothing really is 'green', it just appears green. Then I'd go into how blue and yellow make green, and green has x amount of energy, and so forth.

Just because the blind man cannot see green should not imply that green doesn't exist.

I think that was his point. :huh:

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I think that was his point. :huh:

But it doesn't work. Because it's not like only a few people can't have sensory interaction with a god, hardly anyone claims to, and those that do are a bit wacky. He asked me how I would describe green to a blind man, and I did. If you explain god to someone, at a decent age, who's never heard of him before, he'll go "Wtf?", and treat it like the Pink Unicorn/FSM/Greek or Roman gods.

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There's nothing to tear apart B)) You didn't contradict anything I said, or provide why you believe in god(s) - maybe you should PM me and try to put it into words or something :)

I am still have the response to Izzy that I want to develop, but currently I am working on the Organizational Transformation of Sara Lee for class <_<

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First, let me state some facts: (I'm sure their facts.)
Just because you are sure in your belief of something, does not make it fact. I have believed many things in my time, and turned out to be wrong (with rather alarming frequency, now that I think of it). In all likelihood, there are several things I believe steadfastly right now that are wrong.

1) We only use a certain amount of percentage of our brain.
There are many parts of the brain that have unknown functions. This is commonly misinterpreted as meaning these parts have no function. However, no neuroscientist ever said that we only use x% of our brains.

2) Our brain functioning consists of neurons moving between nerve endings, correct?
Nope. Electrical signals move between neurons and nerves. The neurons stay right where they are.

3) Before we came to this earth, we where spirits, (like a glove, hand is the spirit, glove is the body, body can't move without the spirit) when we die our spirits leave. Don't argue, its fact.
OK. I won't argue. But I do have a few questions:

How come I have absolutely no recollection of that? Do you remember when you were only a spirit? If so, why don't I, and if not, how do you know that you were? Was my spirit memory erased at birth? If so, why, and how does anybody know it existed before I was alive? Were all spirits created simultaneously? How many are there? If the population continues to increase, will we eventually run out of spirits to put in people, and future generations will only be zombies walking the earth? Or are they recycled? Or is somebody making new ones? Can I trade mine in if I get tired of it, or if we don't get along? Where are all the spirits of the unborn? What are they doing right now? And what about my neighbor's dog? Does he have a spirit too? If not, why not? And why do I need one, and not him?

4) Our body is controlled by the nerves which is controlled by the brain.
Not really. Our body is "controlled" by the brain, which may react to signals it receives from nerves. Occasionally, we have autonomous nervous reactions in which the brain does not participate, but not in general.

Now, depending if you believe in Christ, the Atonement, and the Resurrection, when Christ returns our spirits will be reunited with our bodies and be made perfect like Christ.
What if I believe in none of the above?

What is controlling the brain and telling it to fire those neurons and how?
Why does something need to be in control of my brain? Can my brain, and hence myself, not be autonomous? If not, then who or what is responsible for my actions? And, what is controlling whatever controls my brain and is telling it to fire those neurons? And what is controlling whatever is controlling the thing controlling my brain? Etc...

My theory is this:

We control our brain through a certain degree of telepathy, so with that you have to wonder: what else can we do when we are made perfect like Christ?

Tele = distance; pathy = affected by. Why do I need to communicate telepathically (i.e. from a distance) with my own brain? As far as I know, it's always been inside my head. And what exactly am "I" that I need to communicate with myself?

Personaly, I think we can fly.
Just think of all the frequent flyer points! :P
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I'd have to agree with 5dollers about spirits being able to fly. If they are non-physical entities there'd be nothing holding them inside our bodies so if they were subject to gravity they'd simply drop out of us and oscillate around the center of the earth.

Or maybe that's what they are doing. Hence the need for telepathy...

What's the acceleration due to gravity acting on a body of zero mass?

In all likelihood, there are several things I believe steadfastly right now that are wrong.
I suspect you're wrong about that and right about everything else ;)
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I do not have to look up proof for my own sake. I know why I believe in God, however, it is much more difficult to convince others. I love science, and the amazing theories that are out there today, and the theories that continue to arise as we become more knowledgeable continue to astound and intrigue me, but I realize at the same time that, if there is a God, science will never be able to prove it, and, sadly, science is the only way to get most people's attention.
If only that were true! But science seems to be a pretty ineffective way of getting people's attention in general. Hence the popularity of religion. But what is science? Is it not simply the sum total of humankind's endeavours to seek truth without prejudice? And if such endeavours cannot find God, what does that say about God?

It is sort of a vicious circle in that my belief compels me to speak to others about it in order to convince them, however I have no sufficient physical evidence backing me up.
That's a necessary and fundamental part of religion. In order for religions to persist, they need to embed information not only to convince people of a belief, but also to convince them of the need to spread that belief to others. Much like a computer virus.

Here's my take on the atheist/agnostic distinction. Atheist is a loose term that only means "not a theist", which would therefore include agnostics.

However those who call themselves agnostics may be pretty unsure of what they believe. That implies lack of belief, but the agnostic may not recognise it as such, or may waver in the direction of Pascal's wager. Atheists generally recognise their lack of belief and are unafraid to address it as such.

Practically speaking, the distinction often goes further. My own position as an atheist is this:

I have never encountered a valid reason to believe in God or gods, despite having actively sought this, so at present I can be reasonably certain that no such reason exists (not proven, but likely enough to be treated as certainty for practical purposes). Based on that, I can be reasonably certain of God's non-existence. Why? Occam's razor: If several explanations exist for what we observe, the simplest is preferable. Religion exists and many people believe in God. You could explain that by saying God exists. But that explanation requires the spontaneous existence of a highly complex being, and additional rules of physics in order for God to interact in ways that defy "normal" physics. It demands a level of complexity to reality far greater than what we actually observe. Considering religion as a mass delusion is a far simpler explanation, and fits better with observation. So no proof of the non-existence of God is needed, particularly when God is conveniently hypothesized to exist in such a way as to be untestable.

This reasoning is not a necessary part of atheism but not uncommon. In a sense there are several shades of atheism:

(1) Lack of belief in God

(2) Recognising a lack of reasons to believe in God

(3) Asserting that we can be reasonably certain of God's non-existence

It's a small step to go further and state a belief: that God does not exist. That would be unsupported, however small the leap would be.

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I realize at the same time that, if there is a God, science will never be able to prove it...

Really? Why not? Are you saying that God cannot ever be observed?

I think the historian Stephen H. Roberts said it best: "I contend we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do."

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I'd tell him that nothing really is 'green'. I'd tell him that the warmth he feels is not only called warmth, but also light, and that it is visible in the sense that it makes other objects visible, i.e., light shines on objects so we can see them. I'd continue by saying that this light is composed of photons, or particles of light, and that different particles have different amounts of energy, and some objects light to absorb 'dark' colors and appear 'bright', while visa versa. I'd then elaborate how green just happens to be one of these colors in our spectrum, and that this arbitrary isn't really all that important, because nothing really is 'green', it just appears green. Then I'd go into how blue and yellow make green, and green has x amount of energy, and so forth.

Just because the blind man cannot see green should not imply that green doesn't exist.

Just because you cannot see or even hear God when he speaks to you does not imply that he doesn't exist.

Maybe I should have used an anology with a deaf and blind man.

-5dollers

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But it doesn't work. Because it's not like only a few people can't have sensory interaction with a god, hardly anyone claims to, and those that do are a bit wacky. He asked me how I would describe green to a blind man, and I did. If you explain god to someone, at a decent age, who's never heard of him before, he'll go "Wtf?", and treat it like the Pink Unicorn/FSM/Greek or Roman gods.

EVERYONE has the ability to communicate with our Father in Heaven. Most just choose to ignore him in full.

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But it doesn't work. Because it's not like only a few people can't have sensory interaction with a god, hardly anyone claims to, and those that do are a bit wacky. He asked me how I would describe green to a blind man, and I did. If you explain god to someone, at a decent age, who's never heard of him before, he'll go "Wtf?", and treat it like the Pink Unicorn/FSM/Greek or Roman gods.

You didn't describe the color green. You only described that the light is absorbed by the object and green is reflected. (Paraphrased of course.) As my coach always says "JAQF, Just answer the fricking question." How bout it? And you never even answered the actual question I asked. The one about the blind man was just an analogy to help you understand the first question with a little symbology.

I realy should have made the analogy about a deaf and blind man.

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I realize this was directed at UR, but I believe I can answer. (At least for myself.) :)

My (non)belief is based entirely on facts that I've read in books and discovered online. The way I see it is like this (imagine it as a timeline):

1) Positive energy existed. (This is the only 'gap' in my argument, but I'll get to that.)

2) Enough of said energy accumulated in a very small amount of space, causing this energy to be extremely condensed, and yeah, Big Bang. Protons, neutrons, quarks, etc. went flying everywhere, and different sorts were attracted to each other through gravity, eventually creating the elements.

3) Elements, mainly hydrogen and carbon formed a sun, which was at least ten times bigger than the sun we orbit.

4) Eventually this sun "died", exploding into a supernova, and formed a new sun and the planets. (This has happened at least 1023 times independently, so, by pure probability, a planet in the "Goldilocks Zone" like Earth was bound to form.)

5) First you get very basic single-celled organisms, the kind that reproduce a-sexually, eventually you get less basic lifeforms, then somewhat complicated ones, and viola, eventually we have us awesome and complex humans.

Okay, so all of that fits, assuming we can figure out how the initial energy came about. Honestly, I don't know. I do know that all the energy in the universe cancels out exactly to 0, so however it did happen obeys the laws of the universe, because it was really neither created or destroyed. But I don't need to know where that energy came from to abandon my belief in god. After all, the Bible, which should never have had to be revised assuming it came from a supreme being that knew past, present, and future, said god created the Earth. I know how the Earth was formed, some god did not do it. It was also claimed that we, the mighty, amazing, and apparently important mankind, we chosen as the favorite among god's creatures and put here. Er, no, sorry. We evolved from apes. I hate to sound depressing here, but we're not important, and there is no profound reason to our being here. It just happened like that, and some people, with good reason, can't/won't accept it. Which is why fun places like heaven and paradise were created, to get past that fear of dying. I love the concept, man I don't want to die, but it's nothing more than some silly story like the ones people tell their kids about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

But yeah, back to the gap. God really is a "God of the Gaps", as Victor Stenger put it. The more science advances, the smaller the gaps become, and the less places God has to retreat to. An example of this was during the pre-heliocentric times, when the earth was still flat and heaven was just above the clouds. ... Do you see the problem here? We will eventually get to the point where we do know everything (..some day), and even if god did exist (he doesn't) we would have no need for him. Because life as we know it could have (and probably has on other planets) arisen naturally whether a god was there to kick things off or not.

Oh, one more thing. This is directed at any theist. Why is it that none of you have been able to come up with any valid point justifying the existence of god?

I would very much appreciate it if you would take a look around. Look at what the thing man has done, has created, conquerd, destroyed, discovered. With all this, and we are the ONLY species on this rock that is like us, you intend to believe that we evolved from a lesser being?

I just have to say, you must be one sad individual.

-5dollers

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I would very much appreciate it if you would take a look around. Look at what the thing man has done, has created, conquerd, destroyed, discovered. With all this, and we are the ONLY species on this rock that is like us, you intend to believe that we evolved from a lesser being?

I just have to say, you must be one sad individual.

What does belief, or intention to believe, have to do with it? Vast amounts of evidence exist to support the fact that all creatures currently in existence, including ourselves, are evolved from different beings (though not necessarily "lesser" ones. Was a dinosaur "less" than a bird?)

If you think that other creatures on this earth are fundamentally lesser than ourselves, I'm afraid you are blinkered by technology. Humankind has done a lot, but what we are is just an animal. Yes, we are the only species that has done what we have done. And termites are the only species which has done what they have done.

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What does belief, or intention to believe, have to do with it? Vast amounts of evidence exist to support the fact that all creatures currently in existence, including ourselves, are evolved from different beings (though not necessarily "lesser" ones. Was a dinosaur "less" than a bird?)

If you think that other creatures on this earth are fundamentally lesser than ourselves, I'm afraid you are blinkered by technology. Humankind has done a lot, but what we are is just an animal. Yes, we are the only species that has done what we have done. And termites are the only species which has done what they have done.

Ok, I agree with the first part of your statment. There is evidence to support the theory of evolution through adaption. But the termites argument is lacking. Have you ever seen termites, or any other species for that matter, develop more complex dwellings, any sort of technology, or innovation, other than what can be explained by adaption or mimic? The fact that we are even able to develop religion should be proof that we are unique. Termites are the only ones to do what that we cannot do? Do you think that a termite is able to examine its personality and emotions, determine that they are all affected by chemicals in their brains and then mentally fight in order to act in accordance with what they believe is good, no matter the basis for it?

I agree that to believe in God is a step to take without proof of existence. Atheists' arguments and evidence about the subject of God hold more water than anything i have heard a christian say, other than philosophical theories that may or may not be applicable. But to say that we are not unique, is its own stretch of belief. When do you think we made the jump from complete intinct to awareness. The first being to become self aware, how was he/she able to get the others around him/her to see the same as he/she did, get them to think, to consider, to ponder. Do you think that we can teach a dog to recognize its existance and not just act on instinct and survival? Something is different about us. We are special, and if you think that I need to create a God in my mind to believe that I am special and better than the animals around me, then please, explain my existance as a sentient.

EDIT: I responded to this very quickly, if there are any errors in what I have said, please point them out. I will either clarify my meaning or admit my error in understanding.

Edited by IDoNotExist
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Ok, I agree with the first part of your statment. There is evidence to support the theory of evolution through adaption. But the termites argument is lacking. Have you ever seen termites, or any other species for that matter, develop more complex dwellings, any sort of technology, or innovation, other than what can be explained by adaption or mimic?
No. Technology is our thing. We reached an evolutionary tipping point of mental development whereby we found a niche: the ability to improve upon the achievements of previous generations. Only by small increments, but small increments are enough. We're not unique in that ability but it is our niche, and we have adapted into it far more than any other creature has. Not to say that other species couldn't potentially do the same, but the niche is now clearly ours alone because:

1) We got there first, and we got there very recently in evolutionary terms. That's why our brains are not well adapted for learning and thinking logically - it's hard work and we can only just do it. The niche we have found is so important that we have adapted to it very quickly, in some ways too quickly for our own good. Our brains are not well adapted for the stresses that come with a technology-based existence. Hell, our bodies are not even particularly well adapted for walking 100% upright yet. That's why we have so many nagging back problems.

2) It's a niche, and we now occupy it the world over. There is no benefit for other species to begin to move into that niche now.

The comparison with termites is merely to point out the fact that being different from other species does not set us apart in some special way. All species are unique. The trappings of clothes, technology, and the cultural and artistic heritage we have amassed over the centuries may create a superficial impression of being fundamentally different, but functionally and physically we are not so very different from other animals. Physically, the most striking difference between humans and other species is our overdeveloped gluteus maximus. No other species needs toilet paper. A termite may look at a termite tower and say "hey, no other creature knows how to do this, we must have been made specially by God or something". But when you look at the structure of the termite itself, it is not so very different from a lot of other insects.

The fact that we are even able to develop religion should be proof that we are unique. Termites are the only ones to do what that we cannot do? Do you think that a termite is able to examine its personality and emotions, determine that they are all affected by chemicals in their brains and then mentally fight in order to act in accordance with what they believe is good, no matter the basis for it?
is probably not the best possible description of quasi-religious behaviour in other animals, but the idea is there (great droning commentary, huh?). By aligning his own power with the mysterious forces of nature, the leader cements his own position and creates awe in his followers.

As for self-awareness and morality, it's very hard to determine the degree of self-awareness in other animals without the means of complex and compatible language to discuss it with them. Morality, on the other hand, is clearly evident in all social animals. Look at dogs, for example. They are very moral creatures, arguably more so than ourselves.

But to say that we are not unique, is its own stretch of belief.
We are unique, just not unique enough to suggest that we didn't get that way by means of evolution. Sharing 98% of your DNA with other species (and of course sharing the fact that we have DNA) means we are only unique by a tiny little increment. Functionally, it's a very important increment, but when looking at how it got there, there's no need to involve God.

Do you think that we can teach a dog to recognize its existance and not just act on instinct and survival? Something is different about us. We are special, and if you think that I need to create a God in my mind to believe that I am special and better than the animals around me, then please, explain my existance as a sentient.
You assume that a dog is not self-aware as you are. Maybe a dog hasn't pondered philosophy to the extent that you have, but dogs think. They can make decisions based on imagination, planning, and an awareness of a situation and their place in it. Not as well as we can, arguably, but they can still do it to a degree. Those thought processes may require a sense of self in order to function at all. Perhaps it's a little more vague, but that doesn't mean it isn't there.
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