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“Do we all worship same God?”—a multi-faith discussion to be held in Nevada

View of Reno, Nevada, with the University of N...

View of Reno, Nevada, with the University of Nevada, Reno campus in the foreground. (ca. 1982–1993) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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South Reno United Methodist Church (SRUMC) in Reno, Nevada, is hosting multi-faith discussion on the topic of “Do we all worship same God?” on June 12; involving Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Baha’i, Native American and Atheist leaders.

Interfaith advocate Rajan Zed, who is producing the event for SRUMC, points out: In view of various conflicts around the world arising because of differing approaches/ideas about God, we are planning to bring diverse religious leaders and community together to openly, honestly and friendly discuss the issue—Are we, as different religions, worshipping the same God or does each religion worship an altogether different God?

Per Oxford Dictionary of World Religions: God cannot be described in language, since God is far apart from humanly apprehended categories in time and space…anything which is said about God is approximate, provisional, corrigible, and mainly wrong…The logic of God, therefore, remains, that if God does indeed turn out to be God, it is God that God will turn out to be.

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI reportedly stated on September 14, 2012: Jews, Christians and Muslims alike believe in one God, the Creator of all men and women. What about the God of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism, Confucianism, Daoism, Baha’ism, Shinto, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, etc.?

Dr. Kenneth G. Lucey, Religion Professor at University of Nevada, will be the moderator. All are welcome to this free event to be held at SRUMC, which will take questions from the audience also.

SRUMC, whose tagline is “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors”, which is “rooted and grounded in love” and whose website states:”God is doing amazing things in and through SRUMC”; was officially chartered in 1989. It also runs a faith based preschool and Dawn M. Flower and Becky J. Stockdale are the pastors.

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Artificial Intelligence will have to learn like the rest of us

Interesting idea in the tweeted article:

It would take far too long to program every speech thread required for normal human conversation, so machines will have to ask the right questions when faced with uncertainty, and learn from the human answers.

That sounds great. But what about morality. Can a machine learn right from wrong? Or decide whether or not to save a child or a bumblebee from a natural disaster? I’m not sure. Part of the answer, I think, depends on whether or not AI would have some kind of soul or higher consciousness that transcends its circuits. Before we say that it doesn’t, it’s probably best to just say “we don’t know” and leave it there.

Myself, it seems like our car and computers have a personality of their own. Sure, I’m probably just projecting my own thoughts and feelings onto the machines… but … they are just organized energy… and so are we. So can we really be sure?

Something for future philosophers and, perhaps, social rights activists to ponder down the road.

–MC


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Interpretation stage of science eclipsed by the wonders of new tech?

Don’t get me wrong. I am the first to champion the elimination or, at least, alleviation of unnecessary suffering. The problem with “gee-whiz” stories like this, however, is that the interpretative aspect of data observation is often dealt with inadequately. If we start screening and medicating young people who statistically deviate from the norm, might we be blotting out future Einsteins or van Goghs for the sake of some kind of contented stagnation?

And who is to say that human evolution might not require some genetic variation? Pre-doping people into conformity for a given historical period seems a bit short-sighted to me, no matter how well-intentioned.

–MC


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Online demonstration of Carl Jung’s “synchronicty”


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Time to teach ethics to artificial intelligence


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Though only 1% Hindu, 25% Italians believe in reincarnation & 20% in karma

Illustration of reincarnation – via Wikipedia

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In a predominantly Christian nation Italy, though only one per cent declared to be Hindu, but a quarter believed in reincarnation and nearly a fifth believed in karma, according to a survey/poll conducted by research firm SWG and published in various media.

Rajan Zed said that this showed that Hinduism concepts developed in ancient Hindu scriptures were gaining universal acceptance beyond the one billion Hindus.

Hinduism had given lot to the world, including the liberation powerhouse yoga, which was highly popular world over for the multiple-benefits it offered, Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out.

Karma, the law of consequence of action or causality of action, first appears in ancient Rig-Veda and later in Brahmanas and Upanisads, and repeated often in Bhagavad-Gita. Reincarnation doctrine finds mention in Brhadaranyaka Upanisad and Chandogya Upanisad. Karma, incorporated with reincarnation, forms a kind of theory of cosmic justice and provides a motivation to improve one’s behavior.

Founded in Trieste in 1981, SWG does market surveys, opinion and institutional polls, sector studies, etc.; analyzing trends and dynamics of the market, politics and society.

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An “unbiased” view of Islam?

My feeling is that the author of this worthy article means well but makes the same kind of philosophical mistake that so many do when promoting a particular agenda, religious belief or greater cultural awareness. Avoiding bias and attaining objectivity probably isn’t possible. Maybe we can achieve degrees of objectivity, but unless we have a pipeline to God, I doubt anyone can claim pure objectivity. That’s why we need to talk, bounce perspectives off one another, and come to working solutions.

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