on discussing god and religion

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ierrellus » Sun Jul 23, 2017 2:46 pm

I have been trying to explain the problem of how to communicate the felt reality of personal experience to those who have not had that experience and admit to no prospect of having it. It is difficult to communicate with anyone who thinks there is some objective shade of truth in a belief shared by a number of rational individuals, who believes an experience is all in the head and holds that these experiences are isolate, customized-- hence invalid;
I claim that belief held by a majority of rational individuals is not necessarily validated by numbers;
that anyone who tries can have similar personal experiences to those I have had;
and that God is greater in personal and purposeful power than the God of rewards and punishments.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:58 pm

Ierrellus wrote:What we can discuss intersubjectively, with the prospect of mutual understanding, are synonymous qualia at the roots of shared, personal experience. My concepts of God may not be to your liking. Are anyone's? While claiming to search for rational concepts discussing god, you seem to align with the irrational notions of an omnipotent deity who loses human souls to a powerful adversary. Of course a philosopher can have a belief in God. Spinoza comes to mind.


All I can do here is to note yet again the distinction between what a Catholic might claim to believe about the existence of the Catholic Church, and what she might claim to believe about the existence of the Catholic God.

There are aspects of religion able to be confirmed as "true objectively for all of us". And there are aspects embedded only in a subjective/subjunctive frame of mind embedded existentially in the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein.

On this thread though, I point out the obvious: that subjective beliefs prompt folks to behave in conflicting ways. And that the overwhelming preponderance of religious folks insist that God will judge these behaviors. In other words, that immortality and salvation itself are at stake. With or without the Devil.

Existentially, you have managed to believe in something that consoles and comforts you. And that's the part that is at stake if you begin to doubt it.

Trust me: I've been there.

You claim this frame of mind is rooted in personal experiences, but you have been unable to make this clear to me.

And Spinoza managed much the same.

But: What does Spinoza manage today?

If anything at all?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:19 pm

Ierrellus wrote:If one cannot see human evolution as personal and purposeful. a god that is compassionate and empathetic would appear as a "rosy" myth. Centuries of saints would be liars. There would be no cause for ecological morality beyond admitting to the threat of possible human extinction.


Okay, translate that into a point of view that is relevant to the thrust of this thread.

Personal and purposeful evolutions precipitate behaviors that have collided mightily over and over and over and over again throughout the entire length and breadth of human history.

And all of these folks are dead. As will all of us be.

Still, "in your head", "here and now" all of that almost unimaginably horrific human pain and suffering is somehow compatible with a compassionate and empathetic God. And your "ecological morality" is still no less embedded existentially [historically] in actual flesh and blood human beings who by and large were hell bent on yanking all the rest of them in the general direction of their own narrative, their own moral and political agenda.

Not much "rosy" in all that.

Or, rather, not for me.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:36 pm

Ierrellus wrote:I have been trying to explain the problem of how to communicate the felt reality of personal experience to those who have not had that experience and admit to no prospect of having it. It is difficult to communicate with anyone who thinks there is some objective shade of truth in a belief shared by a number of rational individuals, who believes an experience is all in the head and holds that these experiences are isolate, customized-- hence invalid;
I claim that belief held by a majority of rational individuals is not necessarily validated by numbers;
that anyone who tries can have similar personal experiences to those I have had;
and that God is greater in personal and purposeful power than the God of rewards and punishments.


Again, I am still no closer to really understanding the manner in which you were able to reconfigure your own personal experiences into your own personal rendition of God. If only "in your head".

Nor in how you reconcile that with all of the other folks whose own personal experiences were reconfigured into very -- sometimes very, very, very -- different renditions of God.

I am fairly certain of this though:

1] we all die
2] there either is or there is not a God
3] if there be this God, He either will or will not be compatible with any particular rendition of the God, my God
4] if there be the God, my God, He either will or will not judge the behaviors that I chose on this side of the grave

And that "here and now" I have no way in which to determine the extent to which there may or may not be a teleological component embedded in human existence...in my existence.

Other then by way of taking a "leap of faith", or by placing a "wager".

Thus all I can do is to explore the narratives of folks like you in places like this.

See if something or other might actually "stick" this time.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ierrellus » Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:53 pm

If you doubt the teleology embedded in your personal evolution, you will have no reference to a God without or within. Still, it troubles me that you would demand some sort of proof from those whose beliefs you would not respect in the first place. I will not present, again, the prime reasons for my religious convictions and have them flippantly dismissed as "in my head". You are not likely to get the responses you want from any spiritual person here. Neither Kierkegaard nor Pascal seem to have impressed anything on you except for existential doubt with its unending denials.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:57 pm

Ierrellus wrote: If you doubt the teleology embedded in your personal evolution, you will have no reference to a God without or within.


Think about that...

How would any one particular teleology embodied in any one particular human being be measured against a universe that is vast beyond the capacity of any of us to even grasp? And in what may well be a multiverse encompassing an infinite number of additional universes.

Really, what does it mean for you and I to discuss the "soul", the "spiritual" substance of any one particular "I" given the mind-boggling enormity of "all there is"?

Sure, your own rendition of God and religion here may well encompass the actual Reality of it.

Let's just say that I am considerably less convinced of that. Or, in turn, regarding my very own narrative "here and now". It's a "wild ass guess" to say the least.

Instead, I focus on the extent to which a belief like yours is considerably more compatible with that which one might want to believe [emotionally, psychologically] about their fate. Either before or after the grave.

Bottom line: Only you know just how wide the gap is between what you believe about all this and what you are able even to convince yourself is in fact the way it actually is.

Again, I don't doubt either your honesty or your sincerity. And I respect the extent to which you make an effort to probe this beyond the surficial arguments we get from so many other believers here.

But: Psychological defense mechanisms are by definition constructed [and not just consciously] so as to minimize the discomfort that we feel in contemplating "what it all means".

God and religion are by far the narrative of choice here. One that I once embraced wholeheartedly myself.

Ierrellus wrote: Still, it troubles me that you would demand some sort of proof from those whose beliefs you would not respect in the first place.


How could one not respect actual proof that a God, the God, my God does in fact exist? There are, after all, any number of folks like me, folks getting closer and closer to the abyss, who long for nothing more than to be shown such proof.

If God does exist then my moral dilemma is thumped. If God does exist I may well be able to convince Him to let me in.

Without God, I'm stuck with living in what I construe to be an essentially absurd and meaningless world, hopelessly embedded in an agonizing dilemma morally and politically and eyeball to eyeball with oblivion.

Trust me: Convince me and I will respect it.

Ierrellus wrote: I will not present, again, the prime reasons for my religious convictions and have them flippantly dismissed as "in my head". You are not likely to get the responses you want from any spiritual person here. Neither Kierkegaard nor Pascal seem to have impressed anything on you except for existential doubt with its unending denials.


Look, until your reasons are seen by me as reasons that I should embrace myself, you are asking me, well, what exactly are you asking me -- to accept that what you believe "in your head" is as far as we need take this exchange in a philosophy venue?

And I am far more concerned with what folks like Kierkegaard and Pascal may or may not be able to convey to me when I too am on the other side of the grave.

And I would be most curious indeed if those here who do respect either one of them might be willing to speculate on the manner in which either man would have discussed the whole point behind this thread.

You know the one.

You just won't go there.

At least not in the manner in which I construe the meaning of that.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ierrellus » Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:50 pm

There is no need to believe in a God who is not personal and purposeful.
Now for Pascal--
He presents an either/or wager.
That is not freedom of choice which excludes--
Neither/nor, or excludes
The freedom not to chose, or is without
Freedom from coercion from the option of hell thought of as eternal torture i.e. what fool would not choose belief in God if hell is the only other available option. It's a silly wager based on fear.
Oblivion is preferable.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:23 pm

Ierrellus wrote: There is no need to believe in a God who is not personal and purposeful.


More to the point [mine] there seems to be no need at all here other than to believe that this is true. You do believe that it is true. So [for you] that makes it true.

It comforts and consoles you.

As for the rest of us, well, we're on our own.

Sure, that need be all there is to it. You behave in accordance with what you believe. Others behave in conflicting ways for the same reason. Clashes occur and throughout human history pain and suffering abounds.

So be it.

After all, in the end, you believe that God offers immortality and salvation for all. And for whatever reason He may choose.

And, again, in believing it, that makes it true.

For you.

Not quite solipsistic, but, for all practical purposes, with respect to your soul, it might just as well be.

Also, I have nothing in the way of a belief to comfort and console me.

Ierrellus wrote: Now for Pascal--
He presents an either/or wager.
That is not freedom of choice which excludes--
Neither/nor, or excludes
The freedom not to chose, or is without
Freedom from coercion from the option of hell thought of as eternal torture i.e. what fool would not choose belief in God if hell is the only other available option. It's a silly wager based on fear.
Oblivion is preferable.


First of all, if God is omniscient, any wager made by any one of us would have already been known by God. Why? Because according to most accounts of Him, He is all-knowing.

Is He omniscient? Well, from your frame of mind [as I understand it], it depends solely on what you are able to convince yourself to believe is true about this.

If it comforts and consoles you to believe 1] that God is omniscient and 2] that we still have free will, then it's true.

For you.

And you can bring what you believe is true in your head about these things and exchange it with others who believe that different things are true in their head.

And nothing really has to be demonstrated as true in any substantive and substantial manner. Empirically, for example.

And Pascal is now either at one with the Kingdom of Heaven or he is not. Depending on what you believe is true.

And that's all that counts according to you.

You know, if I understand you.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ierrellus » Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:38 pm

You appear to be playing mind games. All we can offer each other are our own ideas, our personal takes on any matter. Your doubt is no less personal than is my certainty. Being personal does not make an idea wrong. As for offering proof of spiritual concepts, I think Kierkegaard got it right. Reason, which is the stuff of proof, balks before an abyss of unknowing. It takes a leap of faith to acquire spiritual certainty.
Pascal was going to heaven when he made his wager. He did not have to wait until after death to go anywhere.
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I'm going all along.-- " Emily Dickenson
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ierrellus » Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:01 pm

We are both human. Neither of us is an isolated or totally separated entity. If, in some sense we two are one, we can exchange ideas.
I have only one way of judging ideas. I ask whether or not an idea can lead to expressions of compassion and empathy, especially if the ideas are about religion. The ideas should be about our kinship and what we owe to each other. Ideas of reward or punishment in some afterlife have not prevented man's inhumanity to man.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:18 pm

Ierrellus wrote: You appear to be playing mind games. All we can offer each other are our own ideas, our personal takes on any matter.


That's, well, absurd. Do you honestly believe that the technology we use to exchange these ideas came into existence as a result of the "personal takes" of particular individuals regarding an understanding of the laws of nature necessary to bring this technology into existence?

There are any number of things embedded in human interactions that occur only because all of us must be in sync with the objective reality of the world around us.

The only time this is questioned is when the discussion shifts to solipsism or sim worlds or demonic dreams or undertstandings of the world that go all the way out to the very end/edge of our ontological understanding of "existence" itself.

Either we all agree that what counts here is the extent to which our beliefs about God and religion can be shared by all rational men and women or, sure, anything goes.

If what you believe comforts and consoles you, then that need be as far as defending it to others goes.

And that clearly works for you. As it once clearly worked for me.

So you have attained [and sustained] considerably more peace of mind than I have.

Just stop there then. Assume that, with respect to keeping your eye on the prise, you have.

Ierrellus wrote: Your doubt is no less personal than is my certainty.


But that's my point. To the extent that what we believe is embedded largely in our personal experiences, our personal relationships, our personal encounters with particular sources of information and knolwedge, is the extent to which others may well have entirely different narratives.

Then all I can do is to go back to this:

Pointing out that with so much at stake -- immortality, salvation, divine justice -- it is beyond my understanding how or why a loving, just and merciful God -- the God, my God -- would not make it entirely clear which behaviors are and are not Sins on this side of the grave.

What you believe of course is that none of that really matters at all anyway because God will welcome all into His Kingdom.

So that, again, the rest of us are on our own.

Ierrellus wrote: As for offering proof of spiritual concepts, I think Kierkegaard got it right. Reason, which is the stuff of proof, balks before an abyss of unknowing. It takes a leap of faith to acquire spiritual certainty.


If you actually equate a "leap of faith" with "certainty", there's not much I can say to change your mind. From my frame of mind that sort of thing is embedded more in the mysteries of mind, in our emotional and psychological reactions to things that we cannot pin down with reason. And I'll be the first to acknowledge just how profoundly enigmatic it all is. Sure, maybe even spiritual.

Ierrellus wrote: Pascal was going to heaven when he made his wager. He did not have to wait until after death to go anywhere.


So, what are you equating now? Are you suggesting that Pascal "in the moment of the wager itself" is on par with Pascal for all of eternity to come?

But isn't this basically my aim here in turn. To suggest that to the extent that you can comfort and console yourself "in the moment" "here and now" is the whole point of these leaps and wagers.

Ierrellus wrote: "Instead of going to heaven at last,
I'm going all along.-- " Emily Dickenson


I'm still far, far, far, far more interested in knowing if she thinks that now.

Rather than in wishing with all my heart that I could think it now too.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ierrellus » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:33 pm

Emily Dickenson is dead. Unless you buy some anecdotal folklore, you'd realize the dead do not speak to us.
Anyway, there seems to be no way of steering your thought away from Christian fundamentalist ideas;
Which is a shame since good minds are needed to help prevent the wars on humans and on Nature that fundamentalism supports.
Ecological morality is not based on rosy, ephemeral, self-centered ideas; it is here and now concern for the future of the planet, for the possibility of survival for our children and grandchildren.
Methinks your thoughts are wedged between the me of the fundies and the we of the spiritual. Or at least this thread tends to go that way. You have not said what your real values are.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Arcturus Descending » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:36 pm

Ierrellus »

There is no need to believe in a God who is not personal and purposeful.


Evidently, there is that need for many. That belief satisfies many ~~ one might say that it satisfies the human psyche ~~they find great spiritual comfort and hopefully growth in it.

We can't really know, either way, if the God of many is personal and purposeful. Even an impersonal God perhaps might be quite purposeful. I don't think that evolution has to discount a designing God. (I use the term God here loosely defined).

But you are also correct. There is no need to believe in a God who is not personal and purposeful TO YOU.

As they say, to each his own.
SAPERE AUDE!


If I thought that everything I did was determined by my circumstancse and my psychological condition, I would feel trapped.


What we take ourselves to be doing when we think about what is the case or how we should act is something that cannot be reconciled with a reductive naturalism, for reasons distinct from those that entail the irreducibility of consciousness. It is not merely the subjectivity of thought but its capacity to transcend subjectivity and to discover what is objectively the case that presents a problem....Thought and reasoning are correct or incorrect in virtue of something independent of the thinker's beliefs, and even independent of the community of thinkers to which he belongs.

Thomas Nagel


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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ierrellus » Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:47 pm

Arcturus Descending wrote:Ierrellus »

There is no need to believe in a God who is not personal and purposeful.


Evidently, there is that need for many. That belief satisfies many ~~ one might say that it satisfies the human psyche ~~they find great spiritual comfort and hopefully growth in it.

We can't really know, either way, if the God of many is personal and purposeful. Even an impersonal God perhaps might be quite purposeful. I don't think that evolution has to discount a designing God. (I use the term God here loosely defined).

But you are also correct. There is no need to believe in a God who is not personal and purposeful TO YOU.

As they say, to each his own.

I agree. For me God is evident in the creative evolution of DNA. For me, that is both personal and purposeful. For me evolution seen as blind, random determinism is too bleak to give my life meaning.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:31 pm

Perhaps the leap of faith is the recognition that the bleak nihilistic arguments can't possibly be correct... In spite of the fact that there is no 'demonstration' or argument which all reasonable men and women are obligated to accept.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ierrellus » Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:18 pm

I agree, Phyllo. But I would suggest that DNA construction of organisms portrays a determinism that could be considered teleological by a number of rational individuals. That might also be seen as "impersonal" purpose as in the notion of God being the designer who creates then abandons the creation.
Questions raised that are more important to me than whether or not I deserve some sort of afterlife are
Is biological determinism purposeful and personal?
What gives my life a sense of meaning?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Fixed Cross » Sat Aug 05, 2017 5:31 pm

Ierrellus wrote:What gives my life a sense of meaning?

You.
The strong do what they can, the weak accept what they must.
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Image
see it now?

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Aug 05, 2017 7:48 pm

Ierrellus wrote: Emily Dickenson is dead. Unless you buy some anecdotal folklore, you'd realize the dead do not speak to us.


Yes, but what of her soul? Tell me that God and religion don't revolve fundamentally around the particular context in which her soul resides here and now on the other side of the grave. Depending of course [for the overwhelming preponderance of religionists down through the ages] on how God judged her behaviors on this side of it.

I created this thread in order to explore that existentially.

But, sure:

Only to the extent we are actually able to probe and to ponder these things at the juncture between reason and faith. That crucial intersection where what we are able to communicate [demonstrate] as a belief gives way to that which we want to believe is true but are unable to communicate [demonstrate] beyond that which it comforts and consoles us to believe.

Ierrellus wrote: Anyway, there seems to be no way of steering your thought away from Christian fundamentalist ideas;
Which is a shame since good minds are needed to help prevent the wars on humans and on Nature that fundamentalism supports.


I treat Christian fundamentalists no different from any others on this thread. I ask them to demonstrate to me that what they believe is that which all reasonable men and women ought to believe in turn. Otherwise it all must come back to faith -- to existential leaps and wagers.

Besides, if I understand your own leap of faith, whether someone's behavior [on this side of the grave] either creates or prevents wars on humans and nature, they are still welcomed into God's Kingdom.

And this necessitates human interactions here and now as you imagine they ought to be "in your head". But you never bring this down out of the "general description" clouds and situate the behaviors "out in the world".

And I keep bringing this up not to belittle you, but to goad you into thinking through your own frame of mind such that you may well be able to reconfigure your argument into something that allows me to reconfigure my own. To, in other words, stave off both my own dilemma and oblivion.

Ierrellus wrote: Ecological morality is not based on rosy, ephemeral, self-centered ideas; it is here and now concern for the future of the planet, for the possibility of survival for our children and grandchildren.
Methinks your thoughts are wedged between the me of the fundies and the we of the spiritual. Or at least this thread tends to go that way. You have not said what your real values are.


Note to others:

Is this or is this not basically a "general description" frame of mind that comforts him to believe in but which has almost no specificity when "for all practical purposes", we imagine ourselves acting it out in our social, political and economic interactions with others?

What then does it mean to embody an "ecological morality"?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Aug 05, 2017 7:58 pm

Arcturus Descending wrote: There is no need to believe in a God who is not personal and purposeful TO YOU.

As they say, to each his own.


Sure, I can well understand how/why any particular mere mortal might take a "leap of faith" to this point of view.

It's something after all.

Better that then to be entangled in my own moral dilemma while gaping down into the abyss that is oblivion.

But, again, with so much at stake -- immortality, salvation, divine justice -- is that enough?

Yes, for some. No, for others.

And all we can do here is to ponder the gaps between what we believe because we want to believe it and what we believe because it can be demonstrated [epistemologically for example] to be true.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:10 pm

phyllo wrote:Perhaps the leap of faith is the recognition that the bleak nihilistic arguments can't possibly be correct... In spite of the fact that there is no 'demonstration' or argument which all reasonable men and women are obligated to accept.


Perhaps.

But you need to bring this down to earth. You need to explore actual human interactions in which there are conflicting assessments of behaviors deemed to be either correct or incorrect.

As that relates [on this thread] to God and religion; as that relates [on this thread] to the behaviors that we choose on this side of the grave.

Also, how reasonable or unreasonable are particular behaviors if it is assumed that No God is the answer?

Meaning here is derived in large part from how we define the actual words used in our arguments. But when the arguments come to revolve around the is/ought world [with or without God] which meaning reflects the optimal [or the only] rational frame of mind.

Is a nihilistic frame of mind [in a No God world] reasonable here?

Let's discuss it.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:18 pm

Fixed Cross wrote:
Ierrellus wrote:What gives my life a sense of meaning?

You.


I. You. We. Them.

But: to what extent is meaning here embodied either in existential contraptions or in essential truths?

In what particular context seen from what particular point of view?

And, when meaning comes to revolve more around value judgments and conflicting goods [with or without God], do things shift closer to dasein or to VO?

Out in the world of actual human interactions for example.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ierrellus » Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:40 pm

Read Aldous Huxley's "Island" for illustration of ecological morality. The concept is that we take care of the business of this planet, here and now, with the business being concern for the ultimate destiny of man. We do not waste our energy on concepts of pie in the sky heavens and eternal tortures in hell. Instead we place our faith in the essential goodness of humans, which is the nature that God will reclaim and which is the solution to problems of war and the wholesale destruction of our planet.
You don't appear to read my posts. I've explained ecological morality as meaning provided by belonging to ecosystems in which one has the ultimate responsibility for holding together the integrity of the systems. This would include taking care of ourselves of others and of the planet. This is about hands on practical considerations, not some "vain philosophy". The conflicting goods theory underestimates what the Dalai Lama describes as the innate goodness of humans. There would be no conflicting goods without the spurious concept of dearth (ACIM)--belief that there just isn't enough of necessities to go around.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:08 pm

Ierrellus wrote: Read Aldous Huxley's "Island" for illustration of ecological morality. The concept is that we take care of the business of this planet, here and now, with the business being concern for the ultimate destiny of man. We do not waste our energy on concepts of pie in the sky heavens and eternal tortures in hell. Instead we place our faith in the essential goodness of humans, which is the nature that God will reclaim and which is the solution to problems of war and the wholesale destruction of our planet.


All I can do here is to point out yet again the enormous gap between this "general description" of human interaction and the actual behaviors that you choose from day to day in order to be in sync with that which you maintain reflects the "essential goodness" of human beings. And how this is grappled with, in turn, in the context of God and religion.

The part that [in my view] you simply refuse to take "out of your head" here. Why? Because as long as it is sustained there is the extent to which you are able to embody some measure of equanimity, equillibrium...comfort, consolation...peace of mind.

And I suppose that [at times] I react as I do -- snarkily, snidely -- because I want this too. Yet it remains far out of reach. So I take it out on those who are [in my view] able to delude themselves. And some all the way to the grave.

Well, if that is in fact what is really unfolding here. On the other hand, who among us can wholly, fully grasp that which motivates us to think and to feel as we do about these things?

That is all hopelessly entangled in dasein.

Unless of course I'm wrong.

Ierrellus wrote: You don't appear to read my posts.


Yes, I get this all the time from the objectivists -- God or No God. If I did read their posts, I would finally understand what they are trying to explain to me:

Ierrellus wrote: I've explained ecological morality as meaning provided by belonging to ecosystems in which one has the ultimate responsibility for holding together the integrity of the systems. This would include taking care of ourselves of others and of the planet. This is about hands on practical considerations, not some "vain philosophy". The conflicting goods theory underestimates what the Dalai Lama describes as the innate goodness of humans. There would be no conflicting goods without the spurious concept of dearth (ACIM)--belief that there just isn't enough of necessities to go around.


A bit abstract though wouldn't you say?

As, perhaps, it must be?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:11 pm

[There is belief in an afterlife] because it facilitates courageous behaviour, the disregarding of survival as a primary value for the sake of standard based action, which is evolutionarily favourable for conquest and procreation. Belief in afterlife is a mark of fitness, even though it is a function of debility as well.


When we get right down to it, there are so many complex genetic/memetic variables involved in beliefs of this sort, we can only offer one or another "sheer speculation" like this one.

On the other hand, my own wanting to believe in an afterlife really doesn't seem all that complex at all.

Simply put, there are pleasures in my life that I dread the thought of losing. And, not the least of which, for all of eterrnity. And as long as the pleasures outweigh the pain oblivion is something that I want to avoid for as long as I possibly can.

All the rest seems to pale in comparison.

In other words, you can focus the beam here on the relationship between nothingness on the other side of the grave and the meaning we give to somethingness on this side of it. Many argue that if death equals oblivion then meaning on this side of the grave can never be understood as anything other than an infinitesimally fleeting existential component of an essentially absurd and meaningless world.

What I focus on instead is the fact that, whatever meaning we might ascribe to somethingness on this side of the grave, it doesn't make the things that we love to do "here and now" any less fulfilling. From steamy sex and a scrumptious meal to amazing music and a great film, there are so many things that we can pursue on this side of the grave able to fulfil us in extraordinary ways.

It is all of this that death takes away from us.

Or so it certainly seems to me.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ierrellus » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:15 pm

There is nothing abstract about faith in the innate goodness of human beings (Albert Schweitzer, Anne Frank, the Dalai Lama, et., al.) or the conviction that an ecosystem does not tolerate a we vs them outlook on life. We humans are all interrelated and therefore interconnected in that we all share a common humanity. Thus each of us needs a hands on commitment for saving the planet, which is our common home. This serious business should take precedence in our thoughts over some selfish worry about afterlife preparations.
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