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More Proof for Unbelievers

Whether you believe in a higher power or not, this forum is dedicated to the topic of religion and spirituality. We live in a diverse world with different morals and ideas when it comes to our beliefs, so come in and share your thoughts.

Postby humphreys » Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:39 am

greeney2 wrote:The coin toss example is actually a great science test project for younger kids to do in elementry school. But that is not a demonstration of Luck, it is a demonstation of odds. They have studies that deal with odds and probabilities.


Yes, and as I said before "luck" is simply turning out on the right side of those odds. If a statistically unlikely event turns out in your favour, you are deemed "lucky", and vice versa.

A lucky person should be able to guess correctly whether the coin will turn up heads or tails more often than is expected by chance. Of course, that person may just be psychic, but either way you're proving a supernatural claim.

In the plane example, we might say the odds of that baby surviving are about 1 in 1 million, at a wild guess, which again, is just odds. In the atomic blast survivor example, I'd say while extremely unlikely, it's near impossible to even attempt a guess at their chance of survival as there is not enough data to go on or real world examples to compare against.

greeney2 wrote:The odds do not changed in a coin toss no matter how many times the coin is flipped. One misconception and one of the biggers sucker thinks in Vegas, according to the vegas experts is the posting of what number has hit on roulette, and betting according to that number not coming up in a while. EAch roll of the ball, each coin toss is exactly the same odds, prior hits have nothing to do with it. The coin toss will never always be 50-50 odds.


Yep, the fallacy you speak of is called the "Gambler's fallacy".

greeney2 wrote:What about Luck when it comes to things that do not have hard mathmatical odds?


To be honest, the examples you gave do not have precise mathematical odds either. No coin is going to be perfectly fair, and no croupier is going to be completely unbiased, same goes for casino wheels. That's why casinos change wheels and croupiers routinely to minimize this potential bias, but it still exists in some tiny form.

Plane crashes and the like are obviously extremely difficult to apply a statistical likelihood of survival to, but that does not mean we cannot make an estimate and compare the "luck" of the people on board.

When someone wins the lottery, the odds against that are about 14 million to 1. The odds of the baby surviving may be less or slightly more, but is probably somewhat similar chance-wise.

Why do you consider the unharmed baby to be a miracle from God but the lottery win to be a routine statistical event, when odds-wise they may be on par?
"All of our behavior can be traced to biological events about which we have no conscious knowledge: this has always suggested that free will is an illusion."

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Postby frrostedman » Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:02 am

OraProNobis wrote:When your 6 year old daughter get brutally gang raped, and tortured until she dies a horrific death, and for years afterwards it is watched by siccos on the net , who get off on it, then you can come to me and tell me in all honesty that God "ordained" for that to happen, because there would be good that would come out of it.

Only God knows the infinite ramifications of such an event with all the lives it affects, and how it can be turned into something good. I could give hypothetical examples but my guess is, they wouldn't go over well. But yes, the bible says God knew beforehand the event would happen. So either your god is not omniscient, is impotent, or is diabolical because he must be one of the three, if he didn't know it was going to happen, or was powerless to stop it, or let it happen anyway without using it for something good.

Satan is evil, and he has his minnions that do His work,. God does not will this to happen, or predestines it, otherwise he would be willing to let Jesus suffer that torturous hurt , willingly, every day.

Satan was created by God and given unparalleled intelligence by God. God does not will Satan to do evil, however God knew and knows Satan's every move. Satan makes those moves anyway so by definition, the acts are pre-ordained. Period.

Tell me, what good can possibly come out of souls going to hell ? God does not want these souls to go to hell, nor has he "predestined" , or "ordained" it.

If your god does not ordain his very own actions, then he must not be in control of himself.

God has limited Himself to what He can do because of free will .

God hasn't limited Himself at all. But I think that's a semantics issue so I'll move on.

He needs to be invited and invoked into our lives, much like our guardian angels.

I see. So the ones that are saved, are saved because of their own actions, right? So tell me... does that mean the saved are smarter than those who aren't? Is being saved a matter of IQ?

Mary has explained that God will not intervene in our lives without asking Him through prayer, as well as fasting.

First I'll ask for the book, chapter, and verse on that one. Also, Paul says that all mankind from birth until sanctification, is spiritually dead. So how can a person who is spiritually dead, who does not know God, pray to God?

If humphreys were to pray to God right now, how would he really know who he is talking to? Does salvation come by the mere recital of generic words? (this goes out to frodobaggins as well) It sounds like a cheat code. Press A-A-B-Y-X on your gamepad and you are saved. Right?
Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man. - Albert Einstein
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Postby humphreys » Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:05 am

Enjoying the believer debate here, certainly makes a change!
"All of our behavior can be traced to biological events about which we have no conscious knowledge: this has always suggested that free will is an illusion."

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Postby OraProNobis » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:22 am

frrostedman wrote:
Only God knows the infinite ramifications of such an event with all the lives it affects, and how it can be turned into something good. I could give hypothetical examples but my guess is, they wouldn't go over well. But yes, the bible says God knew beforehand the event would happen. So either your god is not omniscient, is impotent, or is diabolical because he must be one of the three, if he didn't know it was going to happen, or was powerless to stop it, or let it happen anyway without using it for something good.


He can be powerless to stop it, in the context that He promised not to interfere with free will , unless with our own free will we invite Him to intercede, and even then He may have reasons to not intercede as we hope He will.

frrostedman wrote:
If your god does not ordain his very own actions, then he must not be in control of himself.


He is very much in control of Himself. His own actions are to keep His promise that He would not interfere with mans free will, unless invoked or invited.


frrostedman wrote:
First I'll ask for the book, chapter, and verse on that one. Also, Paul says that all mankind from birth until sanctification, is spiritually dead. So how can a person who is spiritually dead, who does not know God, pray to God?


I think the Holy Spirit that lives within others, inspires prayer for souls , which in turn opens up souls to the Holy Spirit.

I am not sure about this, but to think of a loving Father preordaining such atrocities committed by souls under the influence of evil , just doesn't sit correctly with me. In all honesty frrostedman, if the above scenario happened to you personally , I think you would have great difficulty saying it was preordained for the greater good of God.

As far as for asking for the book and Chapter of the verse for some of the things Mary says, I will say this.

Anyone who would think that the only Holy Words sanctioned by the Holy Spirit are to ONLY be found in a book compiled close to 2000 years ago, is basically saying God quit speaking to us through prophets, and Saints the day those stories were written.

How sad to limit a LIVING GOD to such a small book, written so many years ago. To deny that He speaks to us through sending the Mother of Christ to earth to teach us and guide us, as well as other saints ,is a grave danger you and many others are making.

Time will reveal this .
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Postby greeney2 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:28 am

Why do you consider the unharmed baby to be a miracle from God but the lottery win to be a routine statistical event, when odds-wise they may be on par?

Because the odds are mathmatically backed with statistics number of flyers vs numbers that survive a crash, and lottery statistics are simple mathmatical problems. Probabilities is another subject, but have no influence on odds, but certain physical variable can, such as using a worn coin over a brand new coin could tend to land different, or air conditioning air movement turning on and off affecting a roulette ball. Temperature variations etc.

How do you explain an infant beating all the odds and probability, a child is least likely to survive, the baby was most probable to die of all the other passengers. Overall odds may have been the same for all on the plane, but if you break down the odds inside the airplane, they were different for everyone, like best place to be seated, or your variables of age, weight condition, etc. The odds for the pilot in a nose dive are differnt from the far back seat. Its a miracle anyone survived, but when that survivor is the least likly and probable, its the Grace of God to me.

Again, your examples are all taken from those that can be quantified with some kind of mathmatical odds, even the baby. That doesn't answer luck when it comes to intangables like lucky in love, lucky in sucesses, things not connected to the physical world. You can not see it or touch it but you can feel it, and you also can feel God's Blessings, which I know you will argue to the death about.

Lets agree coin toss is proven to be 50-50 odds, would you risk your entire home, everything you own, to one coin toss? Neither would I, but we still buy lotto tickets with millions to one odds, and almost 100% probablitity you will not win. Yet you do make a eteranl life decision about your soul, with odds of 50-50, and the greater probability you are wrong. How logical is it at least 6 billion people are wrong?
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Postby humphreys » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:19 am

greeney2 wrote:Why do you consider the unharmed baby to be a miracle from God but the lottery win to be a routine statistical event, when odds-wise they may be on par?

Because the odds are mathmatically backed with statistics number of flyers vs numbers that survive a crash, and lottery statistics are simple mathmatical problems.


Care to elaborate? Want to show your math here?

Statistics is a numbers game, you have not produced any numbers, just your intuitive reaction that this was incredibly unlikely. I agree with you, this case was a million to one chance against at least, but the lottery is 14 million to one, and someone has to win.

How many plane crashes have there ever been? You would want to factor them all in, add up all the survivors versus number of deaths, and then compare that against how many should have died (how would one even calculate that?), and it all gets extremely complex, but once you managed to do that, you would be in a position to display a statistical anomaly so far beyond chance that it would deserve looking at in a supernatural light.

This is way above both of our abilities to calculate, so I'm going to call BS on your assertion here.

greeney2 wrote:Probabilities is another subject, but have no influence on odds,


Umm, no!

They are basically different ways of describing the same thing - see here:

http://www.graphpad.com/faq/viewfaq.cfm?faq=1466

greeney2 wrote:How do you explain an infant beating all the odds and probability, a child is least likely to survive, the baby was most probable to die of all the other passengers.


How do you explain how a certain person won the lottery who only bought one ticket, against people in syndicates and others who had multiple tickets? He would certainly not be the most likely to have won, it may have even been his first time ever playing.

Simple luck, same with the baby.

greeney2 wrote:Lets agree coin toss is proven to be 50-50 odds, would you risk your entire home, everything you own, to one coin toss? Neither would I, but we still buy lotto tickets with millions to one odds, and almost 100% probablitity you will not win.


People do irrational things.

People make bad choices.

greeney2 wrote:Yet you do make a eteranl life decision about your soul, with odds of 50-50, and the greater probability you are wrong. How logical is it at least 6 billion people are wrong?


Jeesh, not this again.

There are many things wrong with this reasoning, for example:

1) If I thought the odds of God existing were 50-50, I would not be an atheist. I put the odds at some kind of personal God existing, if such a calculation is even possible, at something far, far lower than 50%
2) True belief is not a choice. I can not fool God into thinking I'm a believer when I really am not, so you're making a moot point
3) When you say "Christianity is true", you are saying 67% of the world is wrong (only 33% of the world associates with beliefs such as yours, and that's being generous). So I can ask you the same question. How can 67% of the world be wrong? Religious belief is so varied that whatever turns out to be true, billions will be wrong. The chance that billions of people will be wrong in some key way about our origins is, in fact, close to certain
4) The number of believers is skewed greatly towards God belief because humans generally have an innate need to believe. That skews the mathematics right off the bat. In a vacuum, if you offer two otherwise equal ideas, people are going to gravitate towards the idea that they find most appealing, in this case, eternal life
5) Christianity itself has been spread by force and other underhanded means, further skewing any chance at coming to any kind of probability based on number of believers even if I were to concede that such a calculation would be meaningful. Then we have to factor in tradition, and parents passing down belief to their children, some places where God belief is pretty much mandatory, and you get a right statistical mess which is silly to base your own beliefs and choices on

...and so on.
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Postby greeney2 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:37 pm

humphreys wrote:
greeney2 wrote:Why do you consider the unharmed baby to be a miracle from God but the lottery win to be a routine statistical event, when odds-wise they may be on par?

Because the odds are mathmatically backed with statistics number of flyers vs numbers that survive a crash, and lottery statistics are simple mathmatical problems.


Care to elaborate? Want to show your math here?

Statistics is a numbers game, you have not produced any numbers, just your intuitive reaction that this was incredibly unlikely. I agree with you, this case was a million to one chance against at least, but the lottery is 14 million to one, and someone has to win.

How many plane crashes have there ever been? You would want to factor them all in, add up all the survivors versus number of deaths, and then compare that against how many should have died (how would one even calculate that?), and it all gets extremely complex, but once you managed to do that, you would be in a position to display a statistical anomaly so far beyond chance that it would deserve looking at in a supernatural light.

This is way above both of our abilities to calculate, so I'm going to call BS on your assertion here.

greeney2 wrote:Probabilities is another subject, but have no influence on odds,


Umm, no!

They are basically different ways of describing the same thing - see here:

http://www.graphpad.com/faq/viewfaq.cfm?faq=1466

greeney2 wrote:How do you explain an infant beating all the odds and probability, a child is least likely to survive, the baby was most probable to die of all the other passengers.


How do you explain how a certain person won the lottery who only bought one ticket, against people in syndicates and others who had multiple tickets? He would certainly not be the most likely to have won, it may have even been his first time ever playing.

Simple luck, same with the baby.

greeney2 wrote:Lets agree coin toss is proven to be 50-50 odds, would you risk your entire home, everything you own, to one coin toss? Neither would I, but we still buy lotto tickets with millions to one odds, and almost 100% probablitity you will not win.


People do irrational things.

People make bad choices.

greeney2 wrote:Yet you do make a eteranl life decision about your soul, with odds of 50-50, and the greater probability you are wrong. How logical is it at least 6 billion people are wrong?


Jeesh, not this again.

There are many things wrong with this reasoning, for example:

1) If I thought the odds of God existing were 50-50, I would not be an atheist. I put the odds at some kind of personal God existing, if such a calculation is even possible, at something far, far lower than 50%
2) True belief is not a choice. I can not fool God into thinking I'm a believer when I really am not, so you're making a moot point
3) When you say "Christianity is true", you are saying 67% of the world is wrong (only 33% of the world associates with beliefs such as yours, and that's being generous). So I can ask you the same question. How can 67% of the world be wrong? Religious belief is so varied that whatever turns out to be true, billions will be wrong. The chance that billions of people will be wrong in some key way about our origins is, in fact, close to certain
4) The number of believers is skewed greatly towards God belief because humans generally have an innate need to believe. That skews the mathematics right off the bat. In a vacuum, if you offer two otherwise equal ideas, people are going to gravitate towards the idea that they find most appealing, in this case, eternal life
5) Christianity itself has been spread by force and other underhanded means, further skewing any chance at coming to any kind of probability based on number of believers even if I were to concede that such a calculation would be meaningful. Then we have to factor in tradition, and parents passing down belief to their children, some places where God belief is pretty much mandatory, and you get a right statistical mess which is silly to base your own beliefs and choices on

...and so on.



I do not know the specific numbers of airplane crashes, survivors an fliers, but the odds could be calculated knowing those figures. It would not show how individual odds that would change according to variables, such as physical conditions. It would not be probable a frail old person or 4 month old infant would survive. An odds equasion could be made knowing the overall statistics.

The odds numbers for any gambling game is already a known equasion. Roulette for example has the odds for every bet, and it is base on the combinations involved. The games that have the green zero, and the games that have the double green zeros, shift the odds to the house favor. Craps is a simple deduction of odds based on the combinations of numbers, how many combinations make 7's or 11's as apposed to snake eyes or boxcars. The skill of betting on the board is also odds, but a good example of probabilty. The odds favor the combinations of most chance to come up, but the probability they will every roll is not likely. The odds of winning the lottery are easy to figure out, but what is the probability for weeks in a row nobody wins, like this week in the mega lotto? and the probability this week that only one person would hit the winning number? Neither was probable, but it happened. One person hit the $640 million, in a week that probably had 10 times the number of participants.
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Postby humphreys » Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:13 am

greeney2 wrote:I do not know the specific numbers of airplane crashes, survivors an fliers, but the odds could be calculated knowing those figures. It would not show how individual odds that would change according to variables, such as physical conditions. It would not be probable a frail old person or 4 month old infant would survive. An odds equasion could be made knowing the overall statistics.


We're agreed it would not be probable, but lots of things happen that are not probable. You're making a leap from "improbable" to "miracle from God", and that makes no sense.

I won on my first ever scratch card. That is not probable.

Do you think that was from God too?

Sure, the odds were not as low as the odds of the baby surviving, but that just means I wasn't as lucky as the baby, nothing in that implies a miracle, we are still just talking about a very fortunate event. No known laws of physics have been violated as far as we can tell.

greeney2 wrote:The odds numbers for any gambling game is already a known equasion. Roulette for example has the odds for every bet, and it is base on the combinations involved. The games that have the green zero, and the games that have the double green zeros, shift the odds to the house favor.


All odds are approximate though. It's easy to make a good estimate of the odds on a roulette wheel, as we know the most important factors perfectly, like amount of numbers on the wheel. However, it's still an approximation as there are factors we don't have, like the bias of the croupier, an imperfectly round ball, a tiny barely visible notch taken out of a piece of wood on the wheel, a slightly uneven floor, and so on. None of this is ever going to be perfect and therefore neither are the odds we assign each number.

The plane is far harder to calculate and therefore our error margin is very large, but we're still talking about odds and probabilities, there is nothing fundamentally different at play here. If we had all the information, a computer simulation could determine the odds perfectly, of course, that's never going to happen, but that's a moot point.

greeney2 wrote:The odds of winning the lottery are easy to figure out, but what is the probability for weeks in a row nobody wins, like this week in the mega lotto?


I'm not a statistician, but an expert could probably quite easily work that out using simple math.

greeney2 wrote:Neither was probable, but it happened. One person hit the $640 million, in a week that probably had 10 times the number of participants.


Exactly! And it's a mistake to assume God had a hand in it, just because it was statistically unlikely. Same with the baby.
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Postby greeney2 » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:36 am

humphreys wrote:
greeney2 wrote:I do not know the specific numbers of airplane crashes, survivors an fliers, but the odds could be calculated knowing those figures. It would not show how individual odds that would change according to variables, such as physical conditions. It would not be probable a frail old person or 4 month old infant would survive. An odds equasion could be made knowing the overall statistics.


We're agreed it would not be probable, but lots of things happen that are not probable. You're making a leap from "improbable" to "miracle from God", and that makes no sense.

I won on my first ever scratch card. That is not probable.

Do you think that was from God too?

Sure, the odds were not as low as the odds of the baby surviving, but that just means I wasn't as lucky as the baby, nothing in that implies a miracle, we are still just talking about a very fortunate event. No known laws of physics have been violated as far as we can tell.

greeney2 wrote:The odds numbers for any gambling game is already a known equasion. Roulette for example has the odds for every bet, and it is base on the combinations involved. The games that have the green zero, and the games that have the double green zeros, shift the odds to the house favor.


All odds are approximate though. It's easy to make a good estimate of the odds on a roulette wheel, as we know the most important factors perfectly, like amount of numbers on the wheel. However, it's still an approximation as there are factors we don't have, like the bias of the croupier, an imperfectly round ball, a tiny barely visible notch taken out of a piece of wood on the wheel, a slightly uneven floor, and so on. None of this is ever going to be perfect and therefore neither are the odds we assign each number.

The plane is far harder to calculate and therefore our error margin is very large, but we're still talking about odds and probabilities, there is nothing fundamentally different at play here. If we had all the information, a computer simulation could determine the odds perfectly, of course, that's never going to happen, but that's a moot point.

greeney2 wrote:The odds of winning the lottery are easy to figure out, but what is the probability for weeks in a row nobody wins, like this week in the mega lotto?


I'm not a statistician, but an expert could probably quite easily work that out using simple math.

greeney2 wrote:Neither was probable, but it happened. One person hit the $640 million, in a week that probably had 10 times the number of participants.


Exactly! And it's a mistake to assume God had a hand in it, just because it was statistically unlikely. Same with the baby.


You won on the first scratch card, were the odds any differnet from if it were your 100th or 1000th? You have strong probability of hitting a small winning ticket on any try. Odds for the mega lotto were 176,000,000 to one, and it turned out to be 3 winners not 1 as news continued. Statistically with all the ticket bought, the odd were that approx. 10 people should have hit, just dividing numbers, so how probable was it nobody would have hit? However there was over 1.5 billion dollars tickets sold. Nobody hit in California, but a number of people hit the 5 number match. I do not inturpet that as a miracle, even if the odds and probability was so great. I do consider the baby, whos statistical odds may have even been better, to be an intervention from God. Nobody is betting their life on the lotto, all the loosing tickets do not die.

You can not place odds or numbers with the logic of gambling game odds, to God's Mercy, and God's grace, explain it away as simple math and odds, or luck which you can not really define scientifically. An atheist would never accept this, but pretty much any believer does see this baby as a miracle. You can boil it down to math and some percentage of chance to survive, but how many decimal points out to the right are you going, until you conclude the impossible level for anyone, and even further for an infant, that could only be a miracle.

The roulette wheel has one other component Humphreys, which is the board layout, which allows many combinations that can occur with only a single ball. One ball can pay out in many places on the play board. It can be odd-even, red-black, and fall into one or more other places to bet, in the blocks they are in 1-12, 13-24,25-36. You can place a bet on the corner of a number so it touches 4 numbers total, etc. etc. Playing the board with some stradagy, like playing craps with a stradagy, have different odds depending how you play. Odds favor the house mathmatically. They say its better to play the single zero roulette wheel, and if you are into blackjack play a single deck game. I'm not a gambler at all so after 15 minutes of nickle slot machines, I'm done, so I know a miracle when I see one. :lol: Like the vegas odds they will beat me on the buffet table, I show them a miracle everytime. :lol:
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Postby humphreys » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:27 am

greeney2 wrote:You won on the first scratch card, were the odds any differnet from if it were your 100th or 1000th? You have strong probability of hitting a small winning ticket on any try.


The odds are the same whether you are on your first ticket, or you 50th, but the chances of winning given one attempt is far less than winning within 50 attempts, so winning on the first try is notable, and statistically unlikely.

The odds are against you winning on any given ticket, regardless the size of the prize (dependent on the ticket, of course, but as a general rule this is true).

greeney2 wrote:Statistically with all the ticket bought, the odd were that approx. 10 people should have hit, just dividing numbers, so how probable was it nobody would have hit? However there was over 1.5 billion dollars tickets sold. Nobody hit in California, but a number of people hit the 5 number match. I do not inturpet that as a miracle, even if the odds and probability was so great. I do consider the baby, whos statistical odds may have even been better, to be an intervention from God. Nobody is betting their life on the lotto, all the loosing tickets do not die.


Life and death really has nothing to do with it aside from the emotional weight you have assigned the story. I think you have shown your reasons for treating this as a miracle from God are probably more emotional than rational. That's fine, it's human nature, but it's not going to convince a cold unbeliever.

greeney2 wrote:The roulette wheel has one other component Humphreys, which is the board layout, which allows many combinations that can occur with only a single ball. One ball can pay out in many places on the play board. It can be odd-even, red-black, and fall into one or more other places to bet, in the blocks they are in 1-12, 13-24,25-36. You can place a bet on the corner of a number so it touches 4 numbers total, etc. etc. Playing the board with some stradagy, like playing craps with a stradagy, have different odds depending how you play. Odds favor the house mathmatically. They say its better to play the single zero roulette wheel, and if you are into blackjack play a single deck game.


All true, can't disagree with any of that.

The best value you can get from casino betting is to not play at all, but it's not quite as much of a buzz!
"All of our behavior can be traced to biological events about which we have no conscious knowledge: this has always suggested that free will is an illusion."

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