on discussing god and religion

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Fri Nov 24, 2017 3:26 am

Ierrellus wrote:Is it true that Nero fiddled while Rome burned? In the face of wholesale destruction of the Earth, talk of abortion seems petty. If philosophy is your fiddle,
at least you'll have something to think about while the world self-destructs as overpopulation and tremendous waste predict.


Well, according to WHO, "every year in the world there are an estimated 40-50 million abortions. This corresponds to approximately 125,000 abortions per day."

Now, if you construe an abortion as the killing of a human baby [and many religious folks do] that seems about as far removed from petty as one can get.

Now, the question then is this: given your own understanding of "ecological morality" where does something like this fit into it?

How is God and religion relevant here?

And do you honestly believe that those on both sides of the issue have equal access to God on the other side?

Finally, based on your own personal experiences, how would you go about demonstrating to others that this is a reasonable frame of mind?
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 » Fri Nov 24, 2017 2:51 pm

Apparently, you are too locked into your own mindset to be able to give credence to any other point of view. You are welcome to your bleak outlook on the nature of God and humans. I'm tired of talking to a brick wall. I can only pray that sometime in your life you may think on what's really important--you and God.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:34 pm

Ierrellus wrote:Apparently, you are too locked into your own mindset to be able to give credence to any other point of view. You are welcome to your bleak outlook on the nature of God and humans. I'm tired of talking to a brick wall. I can only pray that sometime in your life you may think on what's really important--you and God.


Note to others:

Why do you suppose he entirely avoids actually responding to the points that I raised above regarding the relationship between abortion and his own reflections on "ecological morality"?

As this relates to his own personal experiences with a God, the God.

Why, instead, does he make me the issue?

Yes, my own frame of mind is brutal, bleak. But that is only because the points that I raise here and now seem reasonable to me. Yet to argue that I am not open to other points of view is merely to sweep under the rug all of the many, many times over the years that others actually have managed to nudge me in entirely new directions.

Just not of late.

Again, my hope is always that I will come upon arguments able to yank be up out of the abyss that is oblivion in an essentially absurd and meaningless world.

If you know some folks who have them, by all means, bring them on board. And I can promise you [and them] that I am willing to explore their own experiences in a sincere and civil manner.

All I ask is that the discussion eventually gets around to connecting the dots between behaviors chosen on this side of the grave, and one's imagined fate on the other side.

As this pertains to God and religion.
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 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:34 am

"God" has a definition, although many enjoy arguing over it. But as it is defined, the human mind cannot actually conceive of it. And also as it is properly defined, it is absurd to claim that it does not exist...


God the word.

Go ahead define it. Then argue with others regarding which definition comes closest to the Gods that either are or are not conceived here. Then note all of your personal experiences with a God, the God in order that we might determine which one comes closest to what either is or is not conceived or defined most reasonably.

And then we can connect the dots between that and the main focus of this thread.
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 Nov 30, 2017 7:53 pm

Are you saying the genocides by Hitler, of the Yazidis by extreme Islamists, the mass rapes, and the various evils are meaningless?? so we do not bother these evil acts?
The wisdom is there is no need for a definition of 'supreme good' in this case to understand the above listed acts are evil and thus the need for actions.


The irony here is that any number of religious folks will remind us that without God, it is not possible to wholly differentiate good from evil.

That, in other words, without a transcending [omniscient and omnipotent] point of view, there can be no teleological component available to mere mortals in a universe construed to be but a "brute facticity".

Instead, one or another individual subscribing to one or another "Humanist" philosophy, will concoct one or another moral narrative that is said to reflect the most rational and virtuous frame of mind.

Just pick a context and a set of conflicting value judgments. And then with the right ideological/deontological assessment it can be determined which behaviors all rational men and women are obligated to embrace.

Just ask them.

And then in any particular community ensconced in any particular historical/cultural context a consensus can form around a set of prescribed and proscribed behaviors. Predicated on the assumption that right makes might.

On the other hand, the entire trajectory of human interactions over thousands of years puts the lie to this again and again and again. Instead, we have the same conflicting arguments regarding the same conflicting goods. Nothing ever really ever gets resolved.

And even regarding extreme behaviors like child abuse, rape, murder, slavery and genocide, there appear to be arguments available to those able to rationalize them. And what arguments are available able to obviate the motivation of the sociopaths/narcissists; those who see morality as revolving entirely around what sustains their own wants and needs.

That's why some folks abandon moral narratives per se in order to insist that right and wrong can be understood "naturally". Once you have grasped that the human species is just a natural extension of the evolution of life on earth, you need merely grasp that there are certain "biological imperatives" that underlie all human behaviors. And that, in turn, undermine all attempts by those who suggest that historical and cultural memes have a role to play as well.

In other words, anything [in a Godless universe] that allows them to insist that there is in fact a certainty to be found when values come into conflict. And they know this because, in fact, they have already found 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 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:17 pm

On genetic evolution. Barring interference, DNA is predestined to form a certain type of organism. Stem cells are destined to form organs and organisms. The question of how does DNA "know" what to do is answered in that it does what it is It is a self replicating chemical compound that becomes organic growth and development. It constructs from itself. The fuel an organism needs for growth and development are the chemicals found in its own body. I don't know how this fits Leibnizian philosophy. For me there is only one realm, which is chemical, and all other states of organic development are extensions of chemical activity. Organic and inorganic are two interdependent sides of a single phenomenon.


Well put.

But, Leibnizian philosophy aside, how does God fit into something like this?

How can seemingly mindless organic chemicals reconfigure into a consciousness [mindful matter] able to contemplate the relationship between chemistry and "I" and God?

And that mysterious part where inorganic chemistry is able to "become" "life".

Yes, in the minds of some, God may well be the shortest distance between these two points. But it doesn't make the mind-boggling mystery of it all go away sans God.

And I always come around to a world [with God] in which we try to comprehend the extent to which God is either in sync with the immutable laws of matter more or less than the immutable laws of matter are in sync with God.

In other words, even the supposed "either/or" world is still far, far beyond our grasp when we shift gears from "how?" to "why?"
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 Dec 07, 2017 3:04 pm

iambiguous wrote:
On genetic evolution. Barring interference, DNA is predestined to form a certain type of organism. Stem cells are destined to form organs and organisms. The question of how does DNA "know" what to do is answered in that it does what it is It is a self replicating chemical compound that becomes organic growth and development. It constructs from itself. The fuel an organism needs for growth and development are the chemicals found in its own body. I don't know how this fits Leibnizian philosophy. For me there is only one realm, which is chemical, and all other states of organic development are extensions of chemical activity. Organic and inorganic are two interdependent sides of a single phenomenon.


Well put.

But, Leibnizian philosophy aside, how does God fit into something like this?

How can seemingly mindless organic chemicals reconfigure into a consciousness [mindful matter] able to contemplate the relationship between chemistry and "I" and God?

And that mysterious part where inorganic chemistry is able to "become" "life".

Yes, in the minds of some, God may well be the shortest distance between these two points. But it doesn't make the mind-boggling mystery of it all go away sans God.

And I always come around to a world [with God] in which we try to comprehend the extent to which God is either in sync with the immutable laws of matter more or less than the immutable laws of matter are in sync with God.

In other words, even the supposed "either/or" world is still far, far beyond our grasp when we shift gears from "how?" to "why?"

At least give me credit for my above statement.
"We must love one another or die." W.H.Auden
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:38 pm

Many religious thinkers claim God is all-powerfull, all-knowing and all-loving (omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, respectively).
An all-loving God that knows about the suffering in the world, and has the power to alleviate this suffering is very difficult to believe in.
Omnipotence and omniscience contradict one another.
Lets say God has to make a choice between A and B.
Being omniscient God knows which will be chosen, A or B.
But being omnipotent God can choose the option that he/it knows will NOT be chosen.....
This seems obviously contradictory.
Omnipotence seems to contradict itself...
Could God create a rock so heavy.....
Or perhaps when religious thinkers use these words they mean something different to what I understand by them.....


This of course is the "philosopher's God". And it is always endlessly fascinating to imagine that perhaps we can "reason" ourselves into resolving it once and for all.

But one suspects that for the overwhelming preponderance of religious folks out there, this is the last thing they think about.

Instead, as God and religion relate to the actual lives that they live, they are almost certainly preoccupied by other things:

1] is there a reason for all this?
2] what happens when I die?
3] is there a way to anchor morality to forever?

And the part that swirls around emotional reactions rooted in a brain rooted in nature rooted in whatever made it possible for this particular something to exist instead of something else. Or instead of nothing at all.

You know, or so it 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 dan25 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:15 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Many religious thinkers claim God is all-powerfull, all-knowing and all-loving (omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, respectively).
An all-loving God that knows about the suffering in the world, and has the power to alleviate this suffering is very difficult to believe in.
Omnipotence and omniscience contradict one another.
Lets say God has to make a choice between A and B.
Being omniscient God knows which will be chosen, A or B.
But being omnipotent God can choose the option that he/it knows will NOT be chosen.....
This seems obviously contradictory.
Omnipotence seems to contradict itself...
Could God create a rock so heavy.....
Or perhaps when religious thinkers use these words they mean something different to what I understand by them.....


This of course is the "philosopher's God". And it is always endlessly fascinating to imagine that perhaps we can "reason" ourselves into resolving it once and for all.

But one suspects that for the overwhelming preponderance of religious folks out there, this is the last thing they think about.

Instead, as God and religion relate to the actual lives that they live, they are almost certainly preoccupied by other things:

1] is there a reason for all this?
2] what happens when I die?
3] is there a way to anchor morality to forever?

And the part that swirls around emotional reactions rooted in a brain rooted in nature rototed in whatever made it possible for this particular something to exist instead of something else. Or instead of nothing at all.

You know, or so it seems to me.


These are very much my own copncerns too.
I write quite a lot of theology, its almost an obsession.
A scarey thought, which also seems to have worried St Augustine, is: what if i get my theology wrong, and God exists, and he/it doesnt like what i have said about him/it...
Could i end up burning in hell?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby dan25 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:21 pm

But just because some God exists (if in fact he/it does) doesnt tell us anything about the afterlife, or even if there is one.
Like Harris says (i forget whete): "there could be a God but no afterlife; there could an afterlife but no God".
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:32 pm

I write quite a lot of theology, its almost an obsession.
A scarey thought, which also seems to have worried St Augustine, is: what if i get my theology wrong, and God exists, and he/it doesnt like what i have said about him/it...
What do you write?
"Who loves not wine, woman and song, remains a fool his whole life long."

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby dan25 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:46 pm

phyllo wrote:
I write quite a lot of theology, its almost an obsession.
A scarey thought, which also seems to have worried St Augustine, is: what if i get my theology wrong, and God exists, and he/it doesnt like what i have said about him/it...
What do you write?


It used to be all about my opinions regarding the nature of God, these days its more about exploring the relationship between God and science..... I'll put some stuff on here soon, possibly tomorrow.
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