Here’s a presentation I (Marc Perkel) did at the Humanists Community in Palo Alto on July 27, 2014. The only definition of God that makes sense is if God is a personification of Reality the same way Uncle Sam is a personification of the United States government. If my God is really Reality itself then  my God is bigger than your God.

My God (Reality) created the Universe. My God is omnipresent. My God speaks to us through evidence, and my God says the same thing to everyone. Are you worshiping the wrong God? Are Christians really the Atheists because they turn their back on the real God – Reality?

 



  1. tdkyo says:

    There is a simple solution to people that have this type of problem, read more metaphysics writings, starting with Socrates/Plato. You will be surprised what people have already written…decades/hundreds/thousands of years ago. Debates on reality has been going on for a looooong time.

  2. Tim says:

    Reality or Nothing {RoN} is a terrorist group in Cold Lazarus:

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=wJNtRPFrBY0

    ohh yea, Michael Culkin. Sweet.

  3. Tim says:

    pausing at 22:40

    I like your enthusiasm as a presenter. I am listening {crisis of faith} but:

    “”…believing in everything that’s real. And believing in everything that is real has got to be the right answer because it’s real…

    Real
    Virtual

    So. Does it allow for believing in things that are not *real*??

    virtual particles are predictable, observed, can be modeled, and exert a *real* force — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casimir_effect

    crap. go ahead, I’ve been banned over lesser heresy. Oh, and I’m quite sure einstein would be tickled pink over pissing somebody off —

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/86/Einstein_tongue.jpg

    p.s. He hated quantum mechanics to.

    • dusanmal says:

      As for “virtual” particles, indeed you need additional education in Physics. Yes, we call some particles “virtual”. No, not because there ARE “virtual” particles but because such mathematical crutch allows for significantly easier treatment of the problem. Non-reality in such cases is never, ever, real. Yes, effects and forces are real but underlying real cause is quite real too.
      Better example than Casimir effect are phonons. All your solid state gadgetry is designed using physical/mathematical model that relies on “phonons”. Virtual particles. There never was and will never be a real phonon in reality. That does not prevent Physcist to place certain characteristics onto a virtual particle phonon, solve really hard solid state problems that way and make working gadgetry. String theory in my opinion will be proven to be that same thing – non-real but mathematically useful representation of reality.

      • Tim says:

        Thx, dusanmal. I always just thought of them as popping in and out of existance spontaneously fast enough that God did not notice the bending of certain conservation laws — I was blond, as a baby.

      • Tim says:

        I do need more physics… I’d dropped out long ago.

        “”String theory in my opinion will be proven to be that same thing

        I would say I dropped you at *string theory* the same as I drop Dowd at *TED* talk. However, I’m drunk….

        I’m liking the pilot wave thing, these days — don’t have a clue, I just like a good underdog such as Bohm.

      • Tim says:

        Anything of this?

        “”An acoustic analogue of the dynamical Casimir effect (DCE) has been demonstrated for the first time.

        “”This compression causes virtual phonons to become pairs of real phonons that propagate in opposite directions. These phonons cannot be detected directly.

        “”measure the velocity of the atoms as they leave the cloud. This showed that excitations with equal and opposite momenta were moving through the BEC

        http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2012/dec/03/virtual-phonons-get-real

        It does kinda sound like a fancy way of saying what you said.

      • bobbo, everything I know, I learned on the Discovery Channel says:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonon

        The wiki says phonon is not a “thing” but rather the movement of the things. close enough huh?

        • Tim says:

          I don’t think so. He’s saying that the ‘phonon’ *is* that group of things working together coherently — and that is then treated as a particle, mostly due to irritable bowl syndrome.

          IDK, the beer store is not open yet and I have too much blood in my alchohol stream.

      • Tim says:

        So. Does it allow for believing in things that are not *virtual*??

      • Let Obama Vacation and golf till 2017, lest even more turn to shit says:

        Perhaps, but holographic principle would predict virtual particles, and if it quacks like a virtual particle, perhaps it is.

      • Please offer Obama a Golden Parachute before he causes more to turn to shit says:

        As a HS dropout, never had an education in Physics.

        But from what I’ve gleaned, your explanation fits how “virtual” is used to represent forces in the Higgs field. Whether there is actual mass anywhere in the field, is unknown.

        It is said the Higgs Boson mimics the inertia mass would have, but its not said it has actual mass.

        So to my uneducated brain, it can be holographic, virtual, not having actual mass, only acting like its actual.

        So the premise of the movie “The Matrix”, isn’t impossible.

  4. bobbo says:

    Puerile.

    • I.Dohno says:

      I think you’re giving it too much credit.

    • What? The moth is always drawn to the flame? says:

      Best post ever!

      • bobbo says:

        I assume because of its length?

        Marc: I apologize. I actually was looking forward to any review of your presentation beyond what you have already posted…..although I think my detailed parsing pretty much still stands.

        No…….I was and am more “pissed” at how low this forum has sunk by way of limited infrequent OP’s. I actually used to come here for “news.”

        Ah well, change is constant, but why do things always seem to go downhill?

        Have you given the forum over to some grad students who are seeing how long you offer close to nothing before everyone leaves? At least, that would make sense.

        What do you need? More volunteer editors/posters?….. or the current ones to post every other day???

        What?

  5. dusanmal says:

    Still a Religion/God theory from a person who fundamentally does not get what Religion/God is all about.
    If you as a thinking human subscribe to the theory that there is nothing besides measurable reality (which is completely fair and good choice, nothing wrong with that choice!) – you automatically reject the very concept of God and religion. Fundamentally impossible and incompatible. You choose a world view of “no God and no religion”.
    Why? – Because for the very concept of God(s) and from it Religion you need to accept transcendental – something not only beyond reality but by definition not measurable. Something that is accepted or not based just on belief alone as no proof from reality is possible. No transcendental – no rational possibility of the very concept of God. End of story. So, what you are talking about are circles that are square, a nonsense.
    Again, nothing here against your choice to believe only in rational reality. That choice is one every human must make one way or the other. But, with that choice the very concepts of God and Religion are nullified, impossible.

  6. NotSA says:

    My God (Chaos) created the hurricane and tornado.

    “In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.”
    ―Carl Jung
    Read more at http://izquotes.com/author/carl-jung/4

    • Tim says:

      Big whirls have little whirls that feed on their velocity,
      and little whirls have lesser whirls and so on to viscosity. — Lewis Fry Richardson

      and chaosity through enthalpy give rise to little whirls,
      and little whirls feed bigger whirls,
      and around we go.

  7. Ponder This says:

    God is the personification of all known and unknown Reality.

    Faith is the difference between known and unknown Reality.

    Faith fills the gap, soothes the soul, and gets you through the night, while good science converts Faith into Reality. (Be wary of intentionally bad scientists and bad clergymen. They confuse, fuel civil unrest, and serve only themselves).

    Lastly, to keep things moving and interesting, God has ensured there will always be the unknown. Perpetual motion for the mind.

    • Tim says:

      “”fuel civil unrest

      So does DHS.

      Other than that, yea.

    • Marc Perkel says:

      Actually faith has nothing to do with the unknown. Faith is a rejection of scientific principles. Faith is choosing to believe something with no evidence or in spite of the evidence. In the reality based world the unknown is what we don’t yet know. We don’t just make stuff up.

      • Tim says:

        Yes, one would have to take it on *faith* that there could be a ‘spiritual cosmos’ in addition to our physical one. — Perhaps a higher dimensional realm??

        “”What we perceive as the big bang, they argue, could be the three-dimensional “mirage” of a collapsing star in a universe profoundly different than our own.

        “”known universe could be the three-dimensional “wrapping” around a four-dimensional black hole’s event horizon. In this scenario, our universe burst into being when a star in a four-dimensional universe collapsed into a black hole.

        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140807145618.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_science+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+Science+News%29&utm_content=FaceBook

        ———–

        Either way, one would not expect to percieve the *spirit world* with instruments of a material nature.

        • Tim says:

          “”Perhaps a higher dimensional realm??

          ^^ This needs revising and extending of my remarks.

          “So”, the gentle reader asks. “Aren’t we in ‘4-space’ already?”

          I should think it would be somewhat analogous to that *dot one* channel on your Surround llllllllllllsaaaaasweatheavenofmotherlystymosoailikeitbufferunderus cheap, consumer crap.

          6 channels, 5.1 . Get it? How many lights do you see now??

          speakering of GFI disturbances from far, far away {next door}, check this out!! —

          redacted, can’t post so pedro doesn’t figure out how to say “hola” on a C.B.

      • D O J . Gov says:

        DoJ — We don’t just make stuff up.

      • Ponder This says:

        I don’t reject science in favor of faith.

        Rather, I have faith that science will, for example, find the root cause of cancer along with a cure.

        Meanwhile, faith gives me hope that God will allow this faith to convert to reality, for myself and future generations.

      • pedro says:

        Just say you “believe in science” to engulf yourself in your own oxymoron

  8. IM72 says:

    Marc, I get the impression you think there’s something new here. Okay, new to you. That’s fair.

  9. STFU! says:

    Get a grip! Admit that your BELIEF in reality (or whatever) is still a religion. This is NOT Atheism.

    … Get a DICTIONARY!

    • Marc Perkel says:

      Yes – my belief in Reality is a religion. It is not Atheism because Atheism is about nothing. In a perfect Atheist world Atheism become meaningless.

      But unlike other religions, Reality based religion is the Truth. It is the one true religion. It is the only religion that makes sense.

      • pedro says:

        Reality is the truth? You’ve never spoken to an existentialist, huh?

        Reality is a lie. At least yours is a lie to me

      • Ponder This says:

        To call Reality a religion may be short-changing Reality.

        Religion, like soup, comes in many flavors. Everybody has there favorite brand, and some people absolutely hate soup. No problem.

        Reality as Truth rings clearer to me.

        • Ponder This says:

          Reality, as the mother-liguor of all religions, seems to reconcile the two.

          It’s the spice added to the soup that determines its popularity.

    • STFU says:

      OK. Ask yourself: “What is truth? If you want to believe in reality then you better have some kind of definition of what real truth is.

      We all know that truths in science like gravity, atomic structure, etc. are always evolving — including the very idea of evolution (which isn’t exactly an “idea”). Anyone who’s ever studied history can even point to various times where any discoverer of a new “truth” (which we now all [mostly] accept) were at one time so outrageous that they were either ostracized or just plain killed. And the reason these discoverers were lambasted, ostracized or killed was because it was hard for society to accept. So whatever definition you want to give truth can’t be so rigid that reality itself can’t be re-interpreted. And it especially can’t be too flimsy that anyone with a funny collar, goofy clothes or weird looking hat gets to decide what truth is either.

      I would also warn that whatever definition any realist decides to give their truth had better not rely on the emotion’s of people who may want to decide for themselves what truth is too. We already have quite a few established religions which claim they know what the truth is. However, anyone with the ability to apply true scientific methods (not claims) can pick apart almost all of these truths and show them for what they really are — which is often nothing more than pure emotional bullshit.

      And if that weren’t bad enough, even scientists sometimes have problems with accepting new truths. Think about that for a minute. These are people with hardly any emotions when they go seeking any real truth. So maybe you can recognize another human failing here since a scientists failure to accept truth will almost always have more to do with TRADITIONS!

      People are funny like that. We hate to accept new things because we naturally resist change. We even see other animals refuse to accept change too and they do it for really no other reason than the same inability to recognize or accept a new truth. And when people combine truths (real or imagined) with beliefs and add in the problems of traditions (another word: habits), it’s all of a sudden a religion open for anyone to interpret. And if you have any kind of dialog revolving around religious beliefs like that it’s really just a melting pot of emotions and bullshit.

      Face it. People are social animals. We need the presence of others to validate our emotions and views. We also need each other for physical presence and possible act of procreation too. And that’s OK because it’s what has allowed us to survive as a species (strength in numbers and all). But be careful what you think is “OK” or what you think the truth is. Because reality can be a bitch — especially for the stupid!

  10. What? The moth is always drawn to the flame? says:

    When your cult reaches 200 souls, I suggest you move out of the country.

    • Vernon Howell XII says:

      I hear D.C. is nice…

    • NotSA says:

      Those who wish to threaten the Dude
      Because they want ze money
      Cannot succeed.
      The World is shaped by taking it easy;
      It cannot be shaped by undudeness.
      If one tries to steer it, the plane crashes into the mountain;
      When one works in shifts, promising, uh, uh, leads will not be found.

      Ch. 29 : Fuggedaboudit

      • Tim says:

        I don’t even think the Federal Reserve likes cake with little bits of frozen babies because their plane crashed and they were tired of caviar…. Though, it’s hard not to get bigoted, I could be mistaken.

  11. pedro says:

    So your point is too much oil is not enough?

  12. Let Obama Vacation and golf till 2017, lest even more turn to shit says:

    But you still have the dilemma “what is truth.” Reality has Samaritan’s Purse selflessly serving Ebola victims in Africa, and Hilter gassing millions of Jews and Christians who refused to follow his new Pagan religion, which to him was gleaned from reality.

    You can’t tell a cannibal “stop shrinking heads in the name of Reality” because in his reality, its an accepted practice.

    Preach your reality God to him and he might very well eat you, thanking you for your religious confirmation of his truth.

    And you have a problem with Hoyle had, is reality steady, or a product of continuous bangs all of which, in the quantum reality you hate, could very well create a completely lifeless universe, one where matter, actual of virtual, doesn’t exist.

    You started the talk saying you “hate Einstein”,. but wasn’t he describing reality in a mathematical precise way…

    So you contradicted your talk, with you opening statement, and revealed its fundamental weakness. Reality is only what you accept as reality, and therefore there is no fundamental superiority of your position, to that of the religious.

    In fact, your position is the inferior, for he is putting his trust in a body of thought accepted by millions down through the ages, but you only in what your limited experience will inform, and limited human understanding will accept.

    So human reality is filtered, and what of it will be accepted, and what is discarded or ignored, complete subject so some very AUTOMATIC processes psychologists are only now beginning to fully understand.

    • Tim says:

      “”You can’t tell a cannibal “stop shrinking heads in the name of Reality” because in his reality, its an accepted practice.

      And the Spanish Inquisition could’t tell Jenner to stop poking people with pustulence in the name of the Holy Father because in his reality it stops The Pox…

    • Marc Perkel says:

      I didn’t say I disagree with Einstein. I just said that the speed of light limit pisses me off. I would like to choose to believe we can go faster than light but we can’t. Point being – I have to believe in things I don’t like because it’s true.

      • Tim says:

        Well, one would have to sell trillions and trillions of dollars worth of GAO approved toilet seats and screwdrivers first…

        http://cnn.com/2014/06/12/tech/innovation/warp-speed-spaceship/

        note: ‘negative energy’ is that which falls into the black hole in Hawking radiation.

      • NotSA says:


        Dudeism is non-theistic. We don’t see anything as a kind of God figure. That’s not to say we’re not religious. We do think there’s some far out shit out there, but it’s not some old guy with a moustache. Anyway, The Stranger is probably more like a mirror of ourselves. He also may be the ghost of America’s past — taking stock of what’s become of the nation’s integrity.”
        Oliver Benjamin, in response to a suggestion that “The Stranger” of The Big Lebowski represented a God figure, as quoted in “Big Lebowski Spawns Religion” by Yusuf Laher in Don’t Panic Online (11 April 2011) https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Dudeism

        • Tim says:

          And “”I get no spam”” is like a sick parody of “”Brought to you by American Exceptionalism and the Ad Council…

      • Let Obama Vacation and golf till 2017, lest even more turn to shit says:

        Sorry I misstook you. But the problem remains, much of what we accept is subjectively decided, not predicated upon reality at all.

        You are proof of that. “Reality” presents opposits as facts: community versus individual; survival of the fittest over symbiotic, etc.

        So which you choose above the other likely a reflection of your subjective (and automatic) choice rather than any controlled critical thinking.

        And so you can’t improve society, and fulfill one of your stated goals, survival for all, because the head hunter considers his survival dependent upon eating the flesh of others—And your personified God has no absolute truth that could be urged for him to change his mind.

      • NewFormatSux says:

        You believe in things you like even though they are false. Like the glory of Elon Musk.

  13. Let Obama Vacation and golf till 2017, lest even more turn to shit says:

    Sorry for the typos:

    “completely subject to some very AUTOMATIC processes psychologists are only now learning correctly.”

  14. bobbo, the pragmatic existential Anti-theist and Junior Culture critic says:

    Marc Perkel says:
    8/18/2014 at 6:51 am

    Yes – my belief in Reality is a religion. It is not Atheism because Atheism is about nothing. In a perfect Atheist world Atheism become meaningless. /// In a perfect world, a standard dictionary would still have meaning: Atheism: disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods. //// How does this become meaningless in your religion?

    You know one of the fairly advanced stages of schizophrenia is developing your own language? It true in milder disorders too.

    Why not use the standard dictionary meaning of words so that people who speak standard English can understand what you mean to communicate…..or is there a reason you don’t wish to communicate clearly?

    Religion: the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.

    MARC: can you or anyone who has watched the video confirm: is it about the HEADING of Marcs post, or is it about the totally different issue described by Marc below the OP’s video?

    MARC: if one translates your dogma into plain English, does it mean anything other than you don’t believe in Religion and you use Science to understand Reality? If not, whats the difference?

    Seconding Pedro (quite a few compliments you are getting on this thread Pedro!) you do understand that Science makes no claim on having the truth……. that indeed that is a Religious claim? Science is about proving “untruths” if you will—the null hypothesis restated. Its about “our best understanding”….not the truth.

    Rather grade school.

  15. NotSA says:

    “Founded in 2005 by Oliver Benjamin, a journalist based in Chiang Mai, Thailand,[8] Dudeism’s official organizational name is The Church of the Latter-Day Dude. An estimated 250,000 “Dudeist Priests” have been ordained worldwide as of August 2014.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dudeism
    Keep it real and dudle.

  16. NotSA says:

    “But in the parlance of Dudeism today, Twain most definitely qualifies as a genuine Great Dude in History. In fact, he not only epitomizes the American Dudeist ethos — he dang near originated it.” http://dudespaper.com/great-dudes-in-history-mark-twain.html/

  17. NotSA says:

    When discussing a matter of grave importance, or even of trifling idiocy, always make sure to employ expletives as much as possible to prove your heartfelt honesty and conviction. To ensure your dudeness, all out-of-control, manic discussions should be followed with entreaties to “just take it easy, man.”
    http://dudeism.com/duderonomy/

    • ERROR: please fill the required fields (name, email); DROPTABLE Tards says:

      Have you ever heard of ‘felching’??

      • bobbo, the pragmatic existential Anti-theist and Junior Culture critic says:

        I asked the same question of Rick Santorum, and he got very angry and left the room. Don’t know why.

  18. bobbo, the pragmatic existential Anti-theist and Junior Culture critic says:

    Video:

    At start: Atheism is about what you don’t believe. But its what you DO believe in that is important. /// Fair point “if” you define/use atheism in that way. I think most often it is also an indicator that you use science to understand the Universe instead of faith. The difference perhaps between strong vs weak atheism? Not even addressing the evangelicalism that is done under one label or another.

    2. Naaaaa==I quit. Can’t stand the mixing of terminology. I see no reason for it.

    So==I agree simply being an Atheist (which no one is!) is not enough. But why Religion and not simply Science?

    Are we Men of Science…. or devo? (lving into lesser states of Religion?)

  19. bobbo, the pragmatic existential Anti-theist and Junior Culture critic says:

    Police riot in Ferguson up and going for no known reason started up again about 20 minutes ago.

    Ahhhhhh…… is there any defense at all for the cop not to be arrested?….. other than…….. you know…….. those f*cking animals who are just asking for it?

    • Tim says:

      Ahh, “Do it now.” That ever so familiar, soothing invocation we’ve all suckled up to all during drug war long.

      — It’s the last thing a citizen hears before his dog, his kids, and himself are shot in the back of the head {regardless of where pigs are aiming or even if they meant to shoot; they handle firearms as well as they swim — that’s why they need so many bullets}.

      • Tim says:

        “Do it now!”

        Hmm. World reknowned dogwhistle expert, this may require analysis:

        *Do it now!* is usually heard in the most commanding of voice and with most threatining posture of weapon possible as see here at ~ 0:58

        https://youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=e69p18CHa4Y#t=65

        {it’s muffled, I’d have swore it was plain, this audio may be a different helment}

        I think that *Do it now!* is their ‘dog wistle’.

        Yet, the even cadence of “Do it now” was calm. Almost, as if, it were a *chant*.

        The crowd was, shall we say, not at ease.

        The cops were, shall we say, having a particularly rare bit of calm out of a busy workweek.

        Could this be ‘like’ the sleep beam in They Live for them?

  20. I don’t see any apparent benefit to be gained by attempting to personify reality, other than the bragging rights in being able to say “My God is bigger than your God.” It comes off looking a bit needy, so at least you’ve got something in common with more traditional religious believers.

    Anyway, I hope my criticism doesn’t kill my chances of being invited to the Reality church picnic. I still love fried chicken and apple pie.

  21. IDYM says:

    Marc, I want you admit that you are a false prophet.

    Elon Musk is the Religion of Reality’s Jimmy Swaggert.

    • Tim says:

      That would be like getting you to admit that your pussy itches. Well, it does; Does it not??

  22. NotSA says:

    “Imagine a world in which cars can be assembled molecule-by-molecule, garbage can be disassembled and turned into beef steaks, and people can be operated on and healed by cell-sized robots. Sound like science fiction? … http://scu.edu/ethics/publications/submitted/chen/nanotechnology.html

    The big clunky robots aren’t good enough. They only do what we did. These cell sized robots are going to disrupt everything…”And there is a device on the market, they tell me, by which you can write the Lord’s Prayer on the head of a pin.” http://zyvex.com/nanotech/feynman.html

  23. NotSA says:

    “Weapons are an obvious negative use of nanotechnology. Simply extending today’s weapon capabilities by miniaturizing guns, explosives, and electronic components of missiles would be deadly enough. However, with nanotechnology, armies could also develop disassemblers to attack physical structures or even biological organism at the molecular level. A similar hazard would be if general purpose disassemblers got loose in the environment and started disassembling every molecule they encountered. This is known as “The Gray Goo Scenario.”” http://scu.edu/ethics/publications/submitted/chen/nanotechnology.html
    Plus you could end up with fifty shades of Gray Goo. It multiplies. So long creation.

  24. NotSA says:

    Why we are doomed:

    Grey goo does not violate the laws of physics.

    Enterprising scientists and engineers could, sooner or later, build grey goo and set it in motion. Whether these grey goo-ists would be motivated by advancing technology, criminal gain, or simply be insane is of little relevance. Grey goo wouldn’t care what or why it does anything – grey goo would simply “do.” The initiating intelligence is the fret-worthy factor. Perhaps present-day grey goo-ists even have altruistic motives, and are working on the development of what they believe would be controllable grey goo. But if and when grey goo is unleashed, the exponential replication could likely become too rapid to contain.

    In the Wired magazine article Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us, computer scientist Bill Joy warns “it is far easier to create destructive uses for nanotechnology than constructive ones.” For example, take a relatively plausible present and future environmental problem/solution – cleaning a nature habitat after an oil spill. In this scenario, billions of nanobots are deployed to consume the toxic oil and convert it into less harmful substances. But a programming error directs the nanobots to devour all carbon-based objects, not just the oily hydrocarbons. These nanobots destroy everything, and in the process, replicate themselves. Within days – or hours – planet Earth is turned into “goo.”

    Or paperclips.

    http://singularityweblog.com/our-grey-goo-future-possibility-and-probability/

    We’ll be remembered and not needed.

  25. Eideard says:

    Sorry [Krugman says be polite]; but, I see no use for worshipping anything, material or immaterial.

    I read enough science by age 13 to be an atheist regardless of a family that continued religious sociology even after walking away from the backwards practices of the Roman Catholic Church.

    By the age of 18 I’d deepened my understanding of science to add-in further readings and debate in materialist philosophy and modern application of dialectics to materialism. Simplicity still produces true elegance – in ordinary life as science.

    Decades later, never seen any reason to look backwards.