Why ? Why? WHY???

by rune 160 Replies latest jw friends

  • Mary
    Why not just accept that life is an unsolvable mystery and move on? Ever stare at those clouds rolling by without trying to explain them? Or that sunset? Science or no, the fact is the layman doesn't need explanation for the majority of things out there except for curiosity's sake.

    If everyone thought this way, we would still be living in mud homes in the Middle East. Mankind's nature is to question things, such as "why are we here?" and "where are we going?" and "is there life after death?" To never question anything and to just "accept things" is not very realistic. I for one happen to think that mankind IS something special---I certainly wouldn't equat the loss of human life with that of an ant. The very fact that someone in the past DID question that sunset or those clouds rolling by says alot about our nature. I for one don't believe that this life is all there is. I have no proof that there's anything else beyond this world, it's something that I take on faith.

    I think it would be a very sad world if no one ever questioned anything beyond this physical place we call home.

  • Country Girl
    Country Girl

    Just as someone once knew: the earth was not flat.

    Just as someone once knew: We will never get to the moon.

    People have to rely on hope. That's all we have. Nothing is set in stone, even science, bona fide science, changes their views yearly. Our goal should be to live in pure love. Why? Because that is the finest of what can be expected of us as human beings.

    What is pure love? Pure love is explained in hte Bible as a state of love for someone where there is few conditons. Jesus gave us two conditions in the New Testament: Love Your Neighbor As Yourself, and LOVE GOD.

    The pure language of love is unconditional love. Once we obey his two admonitions, we are want to need any MORE admonitions because that covers everything.

    Country Girl

  • BrendaCloutier

    Hi Rune - Welcome. Your questions are excellent, and the answer to them, IMHO, is that you question any and all of it. Bottom line, it's human nature.

    Solving the unsolvable?

    In the last 5-600 years science has solved a great deal of the unsolvable. Or, at least answered some quesions related to our earth and the universe. In the early days of "real" science, it was at the expense of the wrath of the Catholic church. The more science questions and explores, the more answers we get, which in turn seems to create more questions.

    A simple example is epilepsy. It was once thought that the person was demonized. Now we know it is a short circuit in the brain's wiring, and can be controlled.

    Humankind has looked out at the stars for hundreds of thousands of years, and I would assume intelligent non-humans have, also. They've wondered what they are and why. Many answers have been given: the campfires of all of those who have "died" and are now in the other "place".

    For the majority religious answers are enough since they don't have to think about it. For the thinkers, as yourself, the simple answers are not enough. Some of us need to understand more.

    I personally believe that all levels of science (medical to astronomy to physics) is the closest we can come to seeing the true face of "god". (I happen to believe that the big bang had had an intelligent button-pusher behind it)

    When Jesus gave us the 3 commandments that replaced the 10: "Love God as no other"; I believe that this means "and all His creation" even that squished ant. (I'm no bible thumper. I can no longer quote chapter:verse, nor remember all the books, nor care to.)

    We see the intelligence of this commandment today in the imbalance of the earth and it's ecosystems. Humankind is just beginning to understand the tenuous balance we live in.



  • BrendaCloutier

    PS Stopping to smell the roses. Enjoying the moment. Clearing the brain of all the crap. Eating, sleeping, working, and doing it all over again. Stopping to smell the roses. Enjoying the moment. These things, I believe, life, I believe, is sacred. And being able to stop to smell the roses and enjoy the moment is the simple reward to the fact that life is difficult.


  • Double Edge
    Double Edge

    Rune -

    It wasn't until someone invented the microscope that the miniscule world of microbes was discovered. The reality or existance of something goes far beyond what we can merely see or touch. Scientists in the 1800's believed in the existence of the atom, but they couldn't prove it until the 20th Century.

    Your experiences teach you that certain things are "mystical" and fairy tales... that's ok, what else can be expected? Yet other people cannot deny their profound experiences that teach them otherwise - that there is indeed something more to our existence than we can merely see or touch. Each person's conclusions are based on their own experiences.

    Why do people consider themselves better than common beasts.

    Because we are (for the most part). While I'll admit, I prefer my dogs over most people, still, they can't add, subtract or divide, make change, or carry on an interesting conversation .... let alone some of their disgusting self-cleaning habits.

  • troucul

    i just farted

  • rune

    Since all of you took the time to reply to me I figured I would reply to each of you. Thank you for your comments.

    Narkissos: I'm a frequent waster of time. I have as much of a right as the people who are curious about holy books and invisible beings to be curious about why the heck they need to think of any of that. Communication is the foundation of our thoughts and interactions with one another. Without it we would be savages. Imagination roots from everything we've learned of material objects and observations of the physical workings of the universe. We also possess the ability to conceive a reverse twist to things (visible -> NOT visible). These have enabled us to progress to the point we are at now. Without communication, next to no discoveries would ever have been made, and they especially would not have been transmitted to anyone else. Is that a decent answer to your little question?

    frenchbabyface: Right. We just happen to possess communication that enables us to band together in enormous groups. Couple that with increasingly complex technology over the time humans have existed, and we have a race that has a superior rate of survival. Individually, without technology, we are extremely frail and slow compared to many other creatures, and our immune systems are lacking. The differences between a fully-grown, muscle-bound young man to a tiny frail old woman aside, the range of variance in bodily strength, height and longevity is not big enough to distinguish most humans as superior to many of the predators on this planet. I'm not trying to sell evolution, but ever notice our similarities to chimpanzees? Warring between tribes/raping/murdering/dominating one another in a social hierarchy? My point? We are special in that our brains have enabled us to retain enough symbols that we have thought and spoken/written communication. This adaption just happens to be the best for the time being. A simple virus could wipe us all out. We are not creatures made in the image of some divine perfect being. (Or, at least, with my agnostic slant, I will say that the chances of that being are almost infintesimal.) I don't think we should see ourselves as entirely seperated from beasts.

    Undecided: Thanks for the amen, heh!

    Fleur: A good example of this fairy tale BS is the Noah story. Do people honestly believe that a pair of every species on the ENTIRE EARTH walked over to where Noah had the ark, stood around all that time without attacking one another or eating one another, and then began to propagate the earth when the flood was over? Honestly for someone to call themselves an adult they should leave the kindergarten mentality behind. I'm only 21 and I think this ... I know people who are 55 and say the ark story is true. That is why I never think of age bringing WISDOM. Even if you decide to take that story figuratively, the Bible is written by men, men supposedly inspired by God, but men are fallible, therefore, the medium is fallible. God created the earth but he can't create a book out of thin air? Well, I'm sure you could use your imagination to think of thousands of ways this whole creationist totalitarianist view is really, really stupid. Seriously, religion was great for controlling the ignorant masses in medieval times. We live in the age of information and science now for pete's sake....

    Tigerman: Imagining things is cool. Imagining anything is awesome if it brings you joy and happiness. But walking around, messing up your life and other peoples' lives because you can't turn your imagination off from being too gullible is quite another thing. Say if you went into town and started telling people about the Spirit-voice, and then you wouldn't let your children pariticipate in something fun they wanted to do because the Spirit-voice you imagined told you you shouldn't let them. This is what I am getting at - when belief intrudes on the enjoyment of life.

    4JWY: No doubt your individuality was a scare to them. JWs don't want people who think for themselves. The key element of being a JW is being 'part of the flock' - a mindless sheep who submits its will. Someone who has given in to a pre-packaged set of ideas. JWs DO have a good moral system, as do other faiths, but the fact is you don't need a religion to be a good person. These people are told what the truth is and adopt it into their hearts as the absolute truth. Ever stop to think maybe there is no truth that we can know, because it's all so buried in time and workings of the universe we can't yet understand? The part I think is the most insidious is the use of Satan. When someone badmouths the JW faith or tries to prove it wrong, it's Satan's influence on them. The whole mindset is geared towards STAYING IN THE FAITH, DOING YOUR PART, RECRUITING MORE MEMBERS, NOT STEPPING OUT OF LINE WITHIN THE PRESCRIBED RULES. Spirituality is fine. I don't have any, I'm too literal and too picky...but I did at one time before I matured a little more. Believing in magic is great. Things seem more mysterious, the world at large filled with the unknown. But like I said before, when this starts to become a bit too heavy of an influence and you become some kind of fanatic, it skews everything you do and messes with the possibility of maximal enjoyment of life. What else is there? Life everlasting after a mass genocide called Armageddon? Back to the fairy tales? And if a paradise happened, then what, THEN you enjoy life? Seems like Witness people have sold their time away for more better time later, like they're waiting for something that will never come...reminds me of those people who were suckered into buying plots of land on the moon back around the first lunar landing. Instead of coming to terms that there are bad things in this world as well as good, a childish rejection with dreams of everything being wiped better is used to deal with reality. I think it's all sick... But in any case, I'm not only speaking about the JWs. Major faith in general is a bit strange to me.

    Dansk: Actually Dansk, while I may make comments that seem to indicate I absolutely reject the notion of mysticism, in fact I leave my consideration wide open. So wide, in fact, that mysticism is only a small percentage of what could be responsible for why we are here. No one believes the world began in a big explosion of ice cream started by a spirit that looks like Elvis for instance. Why is that? It's not serious enough for them, it's ridiculous, and worst of all it's not believed by a lot of other people including family members. There aren't churches to the Ice Cream Explosion Caused By Elvis out there. With such a wide range of possibility, the very notion of trying to decide on a 'TRUTH' becomes absurd. Dansk, I could say that I have experienced the wonderful magic of shapeshifting, and that when no one is looking I morph my body into trees and animals. No one has seen me do it; no one ever will. Are you going to believe me, or start looking into shapeshifting? If you did you're a sap. Another lesson for the adult: don't just believe everything you're told. Misinformation is rampant, and there are indeed many stupid or misguided ideas out there believed by large amounts of people. People just don't think sometimes, they are deluded into believing something not present in reality. As I said before, imagination is great, but taking it too far is just..........wacko. I did not assume that everyone thinks like me. For one my question was phrased based on what I'd read and talked to people about for so long - and from my philosophy class discussions. Many people DO think we're special, better than the other beings on this planet. I don't, as you might have noticed from my arguments against it...maybe you didn't read them, I dunno. Dansk! You sound deluded...I have a brother who talks the same way who thinks he's become one with the universe???? Should I believe both of you or just one??? How about none since I have no proof? The fact is you're alive today because your time hasn't happened yet. If spirit is keeping you alive do you still eat/drink/sleep/go to the washroom? Do you still feel the need for social contact and care??? Sounds like you're just a human being to me. I am completely open to everything but at once I will always question whether what others say is the absolute truth until it is clear for all to see. I will not be turned into some convert, or some mindless believer, and I hope that whatever this belief of spirit is bringing you, that it is enriching your life rather than making you miss out on opportunities. From the sounds of it you sound all right...*shrug*

    Mary: No, I don't think that's true. Technological development roots from discovery and improvements due to problems. A man says, "jeez, I hate carrying all this lumber around on my back". Someone tries to solve the problem. The wheel comes, then wagons. Mysticism had nothing to do with that, however, guesses have been made with a mystical basis that have turned out to be useful - the work of Artistotle and Galileo for instance. Solving problems and improving circumstances does not root from any 'big questions', nor decided on the nature of things as gargantuan as the UNIVERSE - especially when most people haven't even experienced all of the WORLD. It is pretentious and arrogant to think that any of us are suited for the task of figuring out ancient mysteries with just our own thought or discussion or beliefs. The simple fact is that people who had any tendency towards innovation and science are the ones that carried the human race to where it is today - not the mindless believers. Why is it sad not to question anything outside of this world? There are SO MANY things in this world already! Why invent spiritual realms and magical fairytales? It is not sad that we all die one day, that this world is all there is. That is the dreams and hopes of a spiritual side of the world lifting your expectations up too high, only leading to disappointment!

    Country Girl: These people did not know these things obviously. They just seemed impossible with the current technology. Mysticism is something entirely seperate. Science is often mistakenly crossed with mysticism by confused people. No one said science is for certain, it is a continually ongoing process of discovery. That is why the terms 'theory' and 'axiom' are used - they are not LAWS, or RULES. When a new theory presents itself as the best, it is used, until a better one or a revised one comes around. Never is anything considered to be the ABSOLUTE TRUTH. You got into a short ramble about love there. I'm sorry for you, you sound confused. Love is great. It is a comfort many cherish from others, and helps in psychological health. But whatever you're getting at there doesn't especially relate to this discussion I'm afraid...

    BrendaCloutier: Maybe you didn't discern what I meant by unsolvable. The origin of the human race. The origin of this planet. The origin of the universe. These are the biggest mysteries right now, in order of ascending difficulty. Next to these we have people who have taken these mysteries and assigned unnecessary parts to the puzzle - Occam's Razor is ignored. Overcomplicating the issue, we have - if people were created, then what is our purpose? But to really understand that purpose, if there were one, we would have to know for sure the details of the origin of humans. And I'm talking proof, the dictionary definition of proof, the kind we can all see and observe for ourselves. NOT faith. Faith is belief without proof. As in, not saying and believing, "God is real! My mom raised me that way, my preacher says he's real, and the bible says so! And oh boy do I ever feel it in my heart and notice his designs in everything created." That is not proof. That is most definitely faith. What you were talking about here is are not things that seem nearly unsolvable. Epilepsy is not as difficult to figure out as say, the origins of the human race. Unsolvable is such a strict word too, when I meant to infer that these things are nearly impossible to solve at this time. That's just such a mouthful to write every single sentence it's mentioned in. And er, life isn't really that difficult in North America, I don't see having to work a job 9 to 5, buying food from the store and so on as difficult as say, starving in Central America or Africa, or trying to stay alive in a wartorn country. Life's little enjoyments don't seem like a reward to me, but rather the icing on what is already a pretty easy ride. People just stress / take things too seriously. Life becomes hard when you take on too many reponsibilities than your nerves can stand... or at least that's how I see it. *shrug* It's up to each of us not to block out the enjoyment of life by stressing, since we have the privilege of being able to choose many of the aspects of our lives...

    Double Edge: Yet these people don't look to neuroscience for the explanation of these profound emotions stemming from their limbic systems or from massive waves of endorphins. They call it spiritual, they don't understand, when they could a least get a glimmer of it from the information already known. None of my experiences have taught me things are mystical - quite the opposite actually. And the less you leave up to mystery, the less you seem to fear. Interesting how that works... As for the beasts thing, see my previous replies.

  • seattleniceguy

    Hey Rune,

    I agree with you all on all three points, except that it sounded a little like you were arguing against pure science in point three, that is, asking things like what the clouds are made of even though it does not help the layman immediately to know the answer. I would argue that pure curiosity - knowledege for the sake of knowledge - is one of the most fundamental aspects of human nature.

    I guess in that respect, rationalists and mystics are not that much different. The only difference is that the rationalist says he will not accept an explanation unless it can be demonstrated reliably. A mystic is willing to accept something that may not be demonstrable to anyone else (and which is certainly not universally demonstrable). However, both are trying to satisfy their curiosity about the universe.

    Myself, I'm exactly like you. As far as I can see, it is impossible to know things like Is There a Creator, due to lack of evidence, and certainly lack of perspective from our current position. So why should I just arbitrarily decide to believe that there is? To me, it doesn't make sense. I'm a rationalist, through and through.

    When I was first leaving the organization, I wrote an allegory in which I tried to describe how a person like myself could become the atheist/agnostic I was now (depends on your definition). Check it out here:

    Keep in mind that my goal was not to argue a particular side, but to show how it was reasonable not to believe in God.

    Anyway, great post! I'd be interested in your comments.


  • Tigerman

    Sooo . . .you're a bottom!

  • formerout

    Hey Rune,

    Those three questions are sort of intertwined so I will only give one answer.

    I have questioned all those things many times as I'm sure many have. The act of questioning them in fact makes us reach out for answers to them, despite the fact that you profess to not even wanting to ask the questions, never mind getting the answers. Humans can't help it.

    Sure, some people ignore the thoughts but they are always there. I think Dansk has some valid points. I certainly don't feel quite so enlightened as Dansk, but I think I am on a journey in that direction. That journey began with realizing that I DID NOT know everything. It seems like a contradiction but it is more of a human truth: The more we think we know, the less we learn; the less we learn, the more ignorant we become. By acknowledging our ignorance we actually become the most enlightened.

    When it comes right down to it, unconditional love is the ultimate guide. It won't immediately stop all crime, harm and wars but I honestly feel that we have made great strides in the last millenia, and especially the last century, towards becoming a better species. Besides the amazing scientific discoveries mentioned by others here, look at what we have learned about the human mind: Positive reinforcement yields, (for a job well done, no matter how small it may seem to be to us), better results in our children than does negative consequences (for a misstep, no matter how large). Even fifty years ago the vast majority of people thought it worked better the other way around (in my family it still hasn't been learned..lol).

    It is better to live with hope, pride and optimism than to live with fear, guilt and pessimism. I don't know why but it just seems to be true every time I turn around.... and I've done alot of both sides, believe me.


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