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Why are we here?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Ok Guys, I appologize ahead of time, because this is going to seem like a strange thread. Anyway, I'm not religious, but I just had a very long talk tonight, with an extremely catholic friend of mine. You can imagine that things got intense, because I am on one end of the spectrum (athiest) and she is on the other (hard-core catholic). When you've got your beliefs at stake, people can get offended easily. Anyway, the above isn't the real point of this post. I got to thinking about deep things - how did life first get started, how did all the matter originally come here, is it possible for there to never be a 'starting point' for time, etc. Deep stuff. Things that make you want to stop thinking about them, because it's hard to imagine answers. Well, it's in my personality to be very inquisitive. So, anyone know of any websites or books that touch on these questions? Thanks. Also, feel free to discuss some of the above topics, but don't touch too deeply into religion (general chat of it is fine) because I know how those threads can turn into flame wars, with many people left offended.
post #2 of 10
i recommend getting a PhD in physics. or, for free you can 'take' the courses offered at MIT's Open CourseWare project. go to ocw.mit.edu, drink directly from the hydrant. you won't get a degree, but you might get smart. /andrew
post #3 of 10
dude, your next post is number 1000. pre-emptive congratulations, and make it a good one.
post #4 of 10
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I got to thinking about deep things - how did life first get started, how did all the matter originally come here, is it possible for there to never be a 'starting point' for time, etc.  ...  So, anyone know of any websites or books that touch on these questions?
There's a book out there that seeks to answer these very questions. It's the best selling book of all time - can anyone guess what it is?
post #5 of 10
For some reason I remember this being the second best selling book of all time: A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking It doesn't delve deeply enough (for me, anyways) into the mathematics and physics behind everything it explains, but it's a good starter kit for those interested in the accepted view of how it all came to be. And, of course, like everything else, that accepted view is probably bunk.
post #6 of 10
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(VersaceMan @ 05 Oct. 2004, 01:47) I got to thinking about deep things - how did life first get started, how did all the matter originally come here, is it possible for there to never be a 'starting point' for time, etc.  ...  So, anyone know of any websites or books that touch on these questions?
There's a book out there that seeks to answer these very questions.  It's the best selling book of all time - can anyone guess what it is?
apparently the second-best selling book is 'Quotations from Chairman Mao'. so, the bible is in good company. anyway, i don't think he was asking about mythology.
post #7 of 10
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(faustian bargain @ 05 Oct. 2004, 12:26)
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Originally Posted by PeterMetro,05 Oct. 2004, 07:35
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Originally Posted by VersaceMan,05 Oct. 2004, 01:47
I got to thinking about deep things - how did life first get started, how did all the matter originally come here, is it possible for there to never be a 'starting point' for time, etc.  ...  So, anyone know of any websites or books that touch on these questions?
There's a book out there that seeks to answer these very questions.  It's the best selling book of all time - can anyone guess what it is?
apparently the second-best selling book is 'Quotations from Chairman Mao'. so, the bible is in good company. anyway, i don't think he was asking about mythology.
FB drops the troll bait... The count begins...
post #8 of 10
How did we all get here? What's the purpose of it all? Geez. Science can't answer the second question, and it's inconclusive whether it can answer the first. Catholics (and it is doubtful that any other religion can boast the tradition and calibre of scholarship that Catholicism has) believe in grace - roughly described as the gift of faith , i.e. the ability to *know* that something is true even though it can not be fully understood or articulated. At first, this might seem like a cop out, but even the shallowest bit of reflection will show that this is not so. I realize that this is not an answer to your question, though. If you are serious about this, study theoretical physics with an open mind, and you will develop an appreciation for how wondrous and complex our universe is. Your answers are still unlikely to be answered though. Study comparative religion, and you will marvel at the human heart and the depth of its yearnings. Between the two, you may, if you are lucky, begin to understand *something*. The important thing when studying anything, of course, is to be a skeptic without being a cynic.
post #9 of 10
heehee...ok i really didn't mean for that to sound trollish. i was simply pointing out that, as an atheist, V-man was probably not looking for the bible's take on cosmology. having said that, i will now say that i agree with LAGuy - comparative mythology (not just religion) is an interesting field to study to gain a glimpse at the human spirit. i'm not a scholar, but my favorite author in this regard is joseph campbell, who was one of the preeminent comparative mythologists of our time. his breadth of knowledge was enormous, he understood and was able to compare mythologies from all across the spectrum - from native american tribes, to zoroastrianism, to buddhism - incredible similarities that he attributed to what Jung called the 'collective unconscious'. ok, get PhD's in psychology and comparative mythology as well. /andrew **edit - for speeling erirs
post #10 of 10
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heehee...ok i really didn't mean for that to sound trollish...
Suuuuuuuuuuuure..... JJF
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