If You Really Believe

The only thing genuine is belief, which is in-genuine. The world as an illusion

Is belief necessary because the world is not real? Believing-in would not be necessary if it was.

Humanity has taken a necessary component of participating in the illusion and made it a dogma—rewarding the creature with promises for correct belief (there are none) Such belief is even considered more important than correct action.

So, why so much attitude when all beliefs have contradictory behaviors as bed-mates?

If you believe our ontology rests in biological evolution and the right mix of minerals creates intelligence, that natural selection leads to the fittest for survival, how can one simultaneously believe that humans are destructive viruses and the world should be changed—that the world would be a better place if humans never existed? We are simply results in a petri of selfish genes—

You are the result of billions of years of imperfect, immutable, unguided change with the best chance of survival. If you believe this, nothing that has ever happened is in error, so why fight it? Why fight anything? There are no mistakes in nature, yet one thinks he can outsmart his own organism. Thats funny!

If you believe that the universe is a self governing organism, that everything that happens happens to “itself” (god) then you must believe things are exactly as they can be, or should be (or you want it to be) so why the division if all this variety is simply an interesting drama?

If you believe there is a an all-wise, all-knowing creator that is in complete control (even ordains our elected officials since “before the world was”) that he will make you a heaven if you simply believe, why all the gun collecting, racism, and nationalism? Why postulate a god and then immediately make it a meaningless assertion? Is he is really in control? Why do you have no faith in your faith? Why choose to believe something that has no bearing on the outcome of anything?

I could go on, but why the fighting when every religion, philosophy, or science, ultimately shows that there is nothing that can be done that is a mistake, or perfectly natural?

If science really believes natural selection is true, religion is a perfectly natural progression of evolution. Science then would be right about their science but wrong to fight religion. If evolution is true, why fight it?

And finally, why is belief so prevalent around the world? Is it because it isn’t real? There is nothing to hold on to. Is it possible the ground of being is strictly illusory? If not, why the need to believe in everything? Why the world of beliefs if there is such a thing as reality?

Beliefs are so important that they are protected by law—is like protecting a spirit with proper documentation.

The world must be believed to be seen…”Belief makes one fight. Fighting makes one strong—the selfish gene is in control after all”

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

61 thoughts on “If You Really Believe”

  1. Jim
    If I recall you had an unusual view of what a “belief” is. I think a belief is a disposition to act a certain way when certain circumstances arise. Basically it is WV Quines view. So if I “believe” I see a rock hurling toward my head I will duck. What was your view of what a “belief” is?

    Do you BELIEEEEVE!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So if I “believe” I see a rock hurling toward my head I will duck. Initially this is incorrect, if you’ve ever taught a person that has never played catch before, you know this is a learned reaction based on experience. It is no longer a belief but a knowledge. It is not a type of belief we are concerned with.
      It is “believing-in” something, some dogma or ambiguous wishful thinking that puts people at odds with themselves and the world. Belief as a virtue is a curse on humanity.
      In order to be effective, a doctrine must not be understood, but has rather to be believed in. A doctrine that is understood is shorn of its strength—If a doctrine is not unintelligible, it has to be vague. If neither unintelligible nor vague, it has to be unverifiable
      Eric Hoffer

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      1. Thanks for explaining a bit. I find it interesting that Eric Hoffer explains his doctrine in this way.

        I think it is the first part where we differed. Do you agree we “believe” the things we “know.” It is commonly considered a requirement that someone must believe a proposition if they are said to know the proposition. But you would not be the first person I ran into that considered belief and knowledge mutually exclusive – if that is your view.

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        1. One of the reasons I am investigating life as an illusion is the perceived importance and prevalence of belief. If the world were actually real, solid, or discoverable it would not need to be believed. If god were real we would not have to believe-in it.
          That life is an illusion (not what it appears to be) makes me wonder a great deal about what we call reality. Even physics is puzzled when we get right down to it, that matter is illusory. It’s not made of stuff we can pin down.
          Certainly Christianity now plays a part that turns a normal operation into a virtue. It says the natural man is an enemy to god, but by all accounts the natural man is a believer. Gullible. Will believe anything and everything because there is nothing to hold on to. Christianity rewards belief like it’s something special. It isn’t.
          Since I’m on Hoffer right now, this is interesting.
          The impression somehow prevails that the true believer, particularly the religious individual, is a humble person. The truth is the surrendering and humbling of the self breed pride and arrogance. The true believer is apt to see himself as one of the chosen, the salt of the earth, the light of the world, a prince disguised in meekness, who is destined to inherit the earth and the kingdom of heaven too. He who is not of his faith is evil; he who will not listen will perish.
          Eric Hoffer

          Liked by 1 person

    2. Belief is an expression of confidence that a given proposition is true. The question then becomes whether or not your acceptance of a particular proposition is based on evidence or wishful thinking. Belief that being struck in the head by flying objects will cause pain and injury is justified because it is most likely informed by past experience, whereas belief that a man rose from the dead two thousand years ago is most definitely not.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Would you consider actions to be “expressions of confidence”? So as Quine says “To believe that frozen foods will thaw on the table is to be disposed, among other things, to leave such foods on the table only when one wants them thawed.”

        I was mainly just trying to address whether we have the same idea of “belief” not necessarily trying to convince anyone of the resurrection and certainly not Jim.

        But for the record I do think you are either:
        1) assuming a resurrection never happened in the past and then using that assumption as evidence that we shouldn’t believe it happened in the past.

        Or
        2) By “informed by past experience” you are only referring to experiences you directly experienced and not experiences you learned about from others retelling it.

        If the latter I would be interested in your thoughts on my view that we learn more from hearsay than science.

        https://trueandreasonable.co/2019/05/21/we-know-much-more-from-hearsay-then-from-modern-science/

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Maybe I’m missing something, but I always understood “belief” to be something which is a personal judgement on something; this may or may not be supported by evidence. There are so many different beliefs, because at the end of the day, people are often guided by their emotions. Just because a lot of people believe (or disbelieve) in one thing. it doesn’t give said thing any weight or make it more likely to be true. I choose to believe in cosmology and evolution, even though it isn’t perfect, because it uses facts and measurable yardsticks that can be verified.

    An interesting point about the nationalism part. I don’t understand the far rights obsession with owning instruments of death. Maybe many of them don’t really “believe” in their Gods as much as they claim to?

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  3. What bothers me so much about this argument – that what’s real isn’t real – is that it’s all a word game.

    A game of make-believe.

    It’s the identical method used to create and justify religion, pretending to come up with ‘explanations’ using fuzzy words and grandiose notions that are upon examination have empty premises and a useless conclusion that answer absolutely nothing because it has zero knowledge to export. These ‘explanations’ are identifiable because they are synonymous with, “I haven’t got a clue but I’m going to pretend I have keen insight you haven’t quite grasped.” It’s crap because it does not yield knowledge; it yields the facsimile of an answer that has no knowledge associated with it. Oh, but it’s another way of knowing, we are assured, one full of wisdom of the ‘elders’, yada, yada, yada. That’s religion in a nutshell. Just because the same make-believe method is used in some other area using words for terms that cannot be defined by reality but requires ‘correct’ interpretation doesn’t alter the inherent need to use these very fuzzy words, presented in logical form with premises that cannot be tested, and a conclusion that in effect cannot be arbitrated by reality. Just like religious claims, these word games in philosophy and metaphysics answer nothing.

    For example, look at the little word game Bohr plays in the quotation, using the term ‘real’ and ‘not real’ by assuming what that term does not meanbut fooling the listener into thinking the two are opposites. That’s the crap; the term ‘real’ has a very specific meaning in physics that does not, as Bohr suggests it does by simply inserting the opposite term, disappear or evaporate at the molecular or quantum level. Yet people swallow this word game crap hook, line, and sinker as if it were profound, as if ‘science’ goes along with this little word game charade, when it’s a way to present opposition where none is and then smear others who dare to point this out. It’s a method used by religions that is actually highly deceptive and intentionally so. It’s lazy thinking, presuming universal scale understanding and insight can magically occur by creating opposites with fuzzy words.

    It’s bothersome because all of us are so susceptible to the allure of easy wisdom, of easy insight, of easy knowledge of a different kind. But this grand deception actually promotes ignorance and intolerance and a rejection of knowledge that costs all of us in its widespread pernicious effects.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s a good catch that “real” and “not real” are the two choices. That alone makes this comment a gem. Thank you as always for the critical insight.

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    2. You forget, Tildeb, that you are asking to have words define reality, when the words themselves are not real, and neither is language. At the best of times, the best language–words–can do is give us an idea that, while similar, are not precise to all people. Consider the word sun, how many people see a star when they look at the sun? Maybe everybody who speaks or understands English, but I doubt if 1 in 1,000,000 will ever state, “I see a star” when asked the question, “What is that yellow circle in the sky?”. Yet the sun is a star before it is our star, before it is our sun, and way before they might say. “I see Sol.”
      Next, ask a non-English-speaking person what a sun is, and they would look at you like you just asked them what a quat is.⁹ I know what a quat is, because I was there when some friends and I invented the word quat. The quat is the grin left behind when the Cheshire cat in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll slowly disappears, leaving nothing but that grin behind. I’m betting you can see a quat right now inside your mind, yet you only just encountered the word for the very first time, and despite the fact Cheshire cats are not real, and exist only in fiction. A quat, therefore, is a smile or grin hanging in the air with nothing to define it except it resembles a wide toothy human smile we English speakers call a grin. (For that matter, quat does not even have to be English, it can be any living language we want it to be, or, alternately, it could be a word in every living language, even Esperanto.)
      So, moving on, if using the English language, I can make you, Tilded, see something that is not there, then according to science its opposite must also exist, not being able to make you see something that is there because I do not have the words to define it.
      Now, when you said, “It’s all a word game, I’m betting that is a game you have never played.”But I and my friends played it, some 55 years ago, and the word lives on in my memory, and it will now live on in yours, and in the minds of anyone else who reads this reply to your comment.
      In other words, though I know you will dispute it to your grave, you can see things that do not exist, so therefore you cannot see things that do exist. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
      Getting back to the sun, is Sol a circular disc, or is it a ball? We know, scientifically it is actually a sphere, the equatorial diameter being slightly larger than its polar diameter. But looking at it with the naked eye, as best we can see it without tools, is not even as a ball, but as a flat circular disc. We cannot even see it for the oval shape that it is. Why not? Because at 864,938 miles wide (the latest measurement I can find) Sol looks like a perfect, but flat, circle–with the unaided eye. Again, most of us are not seeing reality, though we firmly believe we are. Appearances are deceiving.
      Comments, please?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “words themselves are not real, and neither is language”

        Eh? Whatcha talkin bout rawgod?

        Words (i.e., vocal utterances) and languages (i.e., the communication of thoughts through a system of arbitrary signals such as sounds, gestures and written symbols) very much exist, and are therefore very real despite the multitude of languages spoken. And the confusion between linguistic groups is reduced (if not entirely eliminated) once we begin to translate words between languages. That is to say, once you know that the Sun is called le soleil in French, and die Sonne in German, and taeyang in Korean, and Taiyō in Japanese, and matahari in Malay, etc. — everyone is immediately on the same page in terms of what is being discussed. And the reason we call it the sun instead of a star is the same reason we assign unique names to each other and our pets rather than just calling everyone human we meet “human” and every cat and dog we own “cat” and “dog”.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. e weeks before the Wall fell, (I had to come through Brandenburg Gate). I had close to a million zlotys in my picket that no one would cash back into dollars for me. Outside of Poland that money was worthless. I could see it, feel it, probably even taste it, but it was just no much rice paper, or whatever it was made of. I used 100,000 zloty bills for bookmarks for the .ones time. Money is only real in our minds, maybe!

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          1. Correction: the zloty bills are real, but the perceived value and purchasing power of those bills — not so much. To put it in perspective, the value of any currency is dependent on supply and demand: to a collector, those old banknotes may now be worth thousands depending upon their condition and the number still in circulation.

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            1. No, they were and are worthless, from the moment I crossed into East Germany.
              And what good is a piece of paper that is supposed to have value, but does not?
              Oh, and you mentioned owning cats and dogs. Maybe you own dogs, my cats own me. And that is how I like it.

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            2. At the moment they are worthless. But like all old discontinued currency, they will eventually attain collector’s value as the number still around gradually decreases over time.

              For instance, a very fine grade 100 Mark Kaiser note from 1876 is now worth 15,000 Euros. And a similar grade 500 Rentenmark from 1923 is worth 10,000 Euros. Reichsmarks, of course deemed worthless due to political correctness reasons, but I suspect that restriction too will wane over time.

              And according to this site, even your old $1 Canadian bill can fetch up to $350.

              https://www.muzeum.ca/blogs/news/are-my-old-canadian-bills-worth-anything

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            3. Nothing I had was fine grade, all very well used. Yeah, there are things become collector’s items, who can anticipate what will take on a new value. But the intended value, as purchasing power, is long gone, probably even in post-communist Poland.

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  4. “If the world is real why are we driven by belief?”

    Who is this “we” you speak of? Is there a mouse in your pocket? 🙂

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    1. Sorry if the word belief is a trigger for you. We as in us, me, you, etc. you may not believe in gods, but even you have your ideologies to believe.

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      1. No triggers here, Jim. Nor ideological beliefs. Nor sophistry. Just tranquil acknowledgement that reality is what it is. YMMV

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          1. Have you considered the possibility that those “surprises” form a subset of the complete set called reality? Hence the reason why I wrote you struggle with the is-ought problem.

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  5. why is belief so prevalent around the world?

    Because in memetic evolution we all have a common ancestor: Existential Death Anxiety. Some great, great, great grandfather stared into the abyss… and it stared back… and frighten the living shit out of him.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Wonderful, Jim. Beautiful, even. But nothing there I have not been asking myself since I was old enough to really understand the meaning of the word “belief.” (And why has my HTML suddenly stopped allowing me to write in bold, italics, etc,??? Oh, Father Word Press, why hast though forsaken me?)
    But, considering the contradictions found in just one of your paragraphs, Jim, I wonder that you can even wonder about these things.
    “You are the result of billions of years of imperfect, immutable, unguided change with the best chance of survival. If you believe this, nothing that has ever happened is in error, so why fight it? Why fight anything? There are no mistakes in nature, yet one thinks he can outsmart his own organism. Thats funny!”
    If “There are no mistakes in nature,” how can “the result of….imperfect, immutable, unguided change” be considered to b
    e not “in error”?
    Everything is in error, just that the that the “organism[s]” who achieved “survival” are so far successful. Not necessarily right, but “successful” up to this slice of “time” called “now”!
    Nature, read evolution, when it comes right down to it, is “error” personified! Yet, you just told me: “There are no mistakes in nature.”
    You must live in such confusion, Jim! (I hope you can hear the sarcasm, lol.) When right is wrong, and wrong is might, belief is might, as in stronger than sight, so fight! Yes, fight for your right to be right, even if you are wrong!
    And so humans believe, because they have no choice but to believe. But they don’t know what to believe, because there seems to ne no truth, no reality!
    But surely the physical world must be real? We experience it everyday. Or, at least, we “believe” we do…
    But, whether you think that funny, or not, it was pretty much the most “fun” I have had writing in quite some time, so thank you for the opportunity to “fight” you once again!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have some theory on this and all the major and minor religions (and science) have a very similar starting point with different wording, are all starting at a beginning. Even how it happened is in the texts, but the use of words (which is a problem) has changed. But that for another post.

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    1. Isn’t it interesting that to offend the core of a persons physical experience you can simply disrespect what they believe, which in no case is reality? If something is real, there is no need to believe. No?

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        1. Why would you need to believe-in anything if every thing was indeed a fact or real? Belief is the creature. Challenging that belief cute to the core of what we are, which is a conviction of thoughts —beliefs.
          One of the reasons Christianity is so successful is it plays on this phenomenon like it’s a virtue. But no one can seem to help themselves.

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          1. Why do we believe? Our knowledge of things is almost always inadequate. And that is why some philosophers refer to knowledge as justified true belief. Certainty is only possible with mathematics. In other areas of life we have as-if constructions or a knowledge that is closer to what is observed.
            You seem to take belief to have one meaning as is used in statements of faith, but this is not it.
            If for example I said I believe the sun is shining. This statement would be true even if the sun stopped shining 7 minutes ago as that light will not have reached the earth.

            Liked by 3 people

            1. I don’t think the sun shining as a belief. It is not the type of knowledge that divides civilizations and families. There is plenty of evidence the sun is actually there. We even have probes up there right this minute.
              Religious and political beliefs both require the type of beliefs that lead to fighting.
              ”In order to be effective, a doctrine must not be understood, but has rather to be believed in. A doctrine that is understood is shorn of its strength—If a doctrine is not unintelligible, it has to be vague. If neither unintelligible nor vague, it has to be unverifiable—Eric Hoffer

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            2. The light from the sun takes 8 minutes to get to earth. In any of that duration, the sun could stop shining for whatever reason. I did not say the sun is not there.

              You are equivocating here. Religious or political beliefs are often accepted without reflection and sometimes even in the face of contrary evidence.

              Liked by 1 person

            3. Im sorry, how can i equivocate when I don’t really know the truth about anything? How can I conceal what I don’t know? This is an irreligious blog, and beliefs in dogmas are what we’re dealing with. Religious and political, it matters not.
              Beliefs and facts cause different reactions when they are discussed. We can discuss applied sciences all day and never argue a wit, but go to doctrine and whoa! Anything can happen.
              One thing is pretty certain. Challenging a belief, even in good conversation is quite the phenomenon. Anyone that will embrace you over a belief will betray you over unbelief, or even a divergent belief. I know you all may think I’m crazy lately, but they are simply thoughts I can share and discuss among trusted colleagues, that get downright accusatory jest for sharing a thought that I have no idea where it came from.
              Should I conceal them? There is a method to the madness. I’m just giving everything a fair shot.

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            4. FYI, although the two things often go hand-in-hand, one can equivocate (use ambiguous or unclear language) without intent to deceive, and I read Mak’s comment from a more charitable perspective.

              And I don’t think challenging your non-religious position(s) constitutes a “betrayal” over unbelief, so much as it represents an honest analysis of the flaws in your arguments.

              Liked by 2 people

            5. I agree and ultimately I post these ideas for correction, not because I know anything special. I appreciate your insights as well as the others.
              I was terribly fooled for so much of my life that belief had become a four letter word. It does have a utility to it. Thank you sir!

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            6. No problem! I’m cognizant of the fact that communicating over the Internet is fraught with challenges, because written communications lack the subtle cues and nuances available to us in spoken form; so we tend to read things into a statement that may not have been intended. That’s why I occasionally issue reminders that my comments are delivered without emotion or malice. I’m also aware that the words “belief” and “faith” and “atheist” have been appropriated by the religious and tend to avoid using them myself (at least on religious blogs) by seeking out less contentious substitutes.

              Liked by 1 person

            7. Contentious to whom? Stalin followers? If so, I make no retractions. Plus I notice you “liked” the post at the time so your protest comes a year and one month too late. 🙂

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            8. I can’t help but replace the name Stalin with Yahwey when I read that. I must also object to your subliminal use innuendos, like nobody would notice…😁

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            9. Ha! I have no control over what someone reads into a post on the love of Stalin, but as Bob Marley sang:

              Who the cap fit, let them wear it! 😛

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            10. As i said in the previous response, the issue here is not what you know or don’t. Socrates was declared by the gods the wisest man because he knew he knew not. so no problem with not knowing.
              Reality and our beliefs about it are two different things. We have beliefs about reality because our information about it is incomplete. That’s all i am saying. You are using belief here in the same manner it is used in politics- subscribing to a position without thought and sometimes contra evidence.

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            11. Well, between you, Ron, Ark, and Tildeb, I have some work to do with the way I am defining things. Many years of religious beliefs maybe has my dividing line between healthy beliefs and normal operations a little too extreme. Thank you sir! I understand I do not have the best reasoning skills. That is why I post. Others here often see things more clearly and I appreciate that.

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            12. We all learn from each other. I have disagreed passionately with Ron and at times he has left me laughing out loud. As long as discussion is civil, no problem at all.

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          2. Methinks your conflating common belief (confidence that a proposition or observation pertaining to reality is true) with religious faith (assurance of things hoped for).

            Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow Ron, is this a carryover argument, or do you have something specific?
        Can I decide how, why, or what thoughts come into my head after 50 years of indoctrination?
        This is therapeutic.
        I actually learn a lot from all of you and have changed my position on many things because of it. Every argument has a beginning, nor is is perfect.

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        1. It was just a simple observation of fact. And unless specifically stated, my comments carry no qualitative assessments. Religious de-converts — and especially adult religious de-converts — often grapple with the doubts and uncertainties left after they abandon religion. I’ve been there and understand it all to well.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. I don’t have any doubts about deconversion or atheism. Ought it stop there, or is it worth playing it out a little further?
            Your statement of is-ought is actually being demonstrated by you, who has those opinions and comments about me personality. Like I ought to be thinking something different.

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            1. The doubts and uncertainties I’m referring to aren’t in regards to atheism but in regards to moving forward with your life post religion. Whether or not you choose to stop there isn’t for me to say– that’s entirely up to you. Since leaving religion, I’ve gradually gone on to question and re-evaluate everything I was taught to accept at face-value.

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            2. Except you don’t like to question reality. Nothing else is what it seemed to be, except that? That’s actually funny. As a scientific mind that should intrigue you that the “stuff” isn’t what it appears to be.

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            3. Why would I need to question the state of things as they exist? The only thing open to question is whether or not statements attempting to explain reality actually align with what is being observed.

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            4. Why would I need to question the state of things as they exist? What level of magnification suits you now, is the question.

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            5. Ok, I’ll bite.

              The sky is currently overcast with temps near the freezing point where I live. What further level of magnification is required?

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            6. Have you ever looked the other way, in a microscope? Break it all apart, zoom in closer and closer, what is it we find? Theory. The stuff in the sky appears to be real, but it’s made of things we normally wouldn’t consider real at all.
              “Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real” Niels Bohr
              Maybe denying that has your head in the clouds?

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            7. Yes. I’ve peered through a microscope. But my physical limitations (i.e. my ability to observe things at a subatomic level without instruments) in no way negate the reality of what is being observed. The clouds and air temperatures still exist, regardless of what explanation I proffer for their existence.

              Liked by 1 person

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