on discussing god and religion

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:13 pm

Some Guy in History wrote:My dad can beat up your dad.


Yeah, but can your God beat up all the other Gods described here?

And, if so, prove 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 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:38 pm

Many people have tried to show that "God is an impossibility". All of them have failed. That does not prove the existence of God, but it shows clearly that God is a possibility.


Here the difficulty always revolves around the irresistible force and the immovable object:

1] that those who believe in God have no capacity [empirically] to demonstrate that those who do not believe in God are wrong
2] that those who do not believe in God have no capacity [empirically] to demonstrate that those who do believe in God are wrong

That both sides often refuse to budge an inch merely exposes the extent to which human minds [most of them] refuse to acknowledge that, "there are things we don't know we don't know".

We will go to the grave grappling with that staggering chasm between what we think we know about Existence [human or otherwise] and all that would need to be known in order to understand it.

The rest seems hopelessly entangled in the mystery that is human psychology.

In other words, whatever that means.
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 Oct 26, 2017 7:33 pm

What are atheists who deny the Abrahamic definition of God?
Theists, of course.
What is science that denies the same God?
A religion, of course.


Okay, he means this derisively.

But then so do I.

You have any number of theists here trying to reconfigure any critique of religion into just another religion.

Thus:

A "theist" is merely a single minded theorist, stubbornly worshiping his own little theory...


And this is often asserted with nary a hint of irony. As though they are not insisting themselves that their own frame of mind isn't that which all rational men and women are obligated to embrace.

Here the bottom line has always seemed rather obvious to me.

If you are the one arguing for the existence of God, then you are the one obligated to demonstrate that a God, the God, my God does in fact exist.

And not merely defined into existence, or created out of a world of words, or "proven" to exist because science has yet to encompass an explanation for the existence of, among other things, DNA and the human brain.

And that's before we get to theodical quandaries; or in reconciling "free will" with an omniscient Creator.
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 Oct 26, 2017 7:51 pm

The soul of a person changes with the level of consciousness. In a sense, the sleeping person isn't the same person as the enlightened one within the same body. As the dream person fades away into nothingness, it is much like a rebirth for the soul to awaken, conscious of the truer nature of reality, a child shedding play things and becoming a man of conscience, attending to the affects he has upon the world.


Your challenge:

To encompass the human soul in language even more vague.

And only then to intertwine that general description into a general description of the relationship between the behaviors that you choose on this side of the grave and that which you imagine your fate to be on the other side of the grave.

An argument that is so entirely indefinite there is not a single possibility that anyone might actually falsify or refute 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 phyllo » Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:01 am

calvin-hobbes-god-chicken.gif
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:00 pm

Which brings me to this question: what are the characteristics of a perfect god?


In my book, there is only one ~~ that of total mystery.
The more characteristics we give to this god, the more imperfect it becomes since it is based on human assumption, projection and subjective thinking.

Yes, I am probably wrong.


No, you are probably right.

But then it's straight back to the gap between professing to believe what we do about God "in our head", and demonstrating to others that all rational men and women are obligated to believe the same.

Beyond that there is only a leap of faith.

Later though there's the part about immortality, salvation and divine justice. And yet here too, beyond a leap of faith, what do we really know about them?
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 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:08 pm

phyllo wrote:
calvin-hobbes-god-chicken.gif


In other words, even cartoon characters grasp that crucial relationship between choosing behaviors on this side of the grave, and the consequences of making those choices on the other side.

Religion? When push comes to shove it's always about Judgment Day.

Whether God is chicken or not seems beside the point. [-o<
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 Oct 29, 2017 8:20 pm

...the point is, that God in essence, therefore, is not merely a conceptual ontological product but a staged effect of an existential dynamics, a primordial base of freedom anchored in the choice between acceptance and rejection.


Or, instead, the point may well be this: that for the overwhelming preponderance of men and women who have ever contemplated the existence of God, grappling with the truthfulness of these imponderable "intellectual contraptions" is almost certainly the last thing that would have mattered to them.

On the contrary, God and religion would seem to be fundamentally derived from the flesh and blood intertwining of behaviors that we choose in the course of going about the business of interacting with others from day to day, and a craving for one or another transcending font/narrative that will guarantee 1] an antidote for oblivion and 2] a scripture that will show us the way.

That way we entertain no doubts regarding how we ought to live our lives; and we recognize that there is something out there actually able to judge them.

God and religion are the assurance that Existence itself is grounded ontologically and teleologically in both meaning and purpose.

And, sure, who knows, maybe it is.

But that will almost certainly never be resolved "philosophically" in a world of words.
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 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:03 pm

Defining God precedes the argument for his/it's existence.


Besides "God", there are many other words used in human interactions that some claim must be defined first. Words like "freedom" or "justice" or "virtue".

Let's go to the dictionary:

Define: "to state or describe exactly the nature, scope, or meaning of."

The idea being that unless everyone is in agreement regarding what it is that they are talking about, there will be communication breakdowns.

The difficulty however is that while words of this sort are in fact defined in the dictionary...given a meaning applicable to all of us...when they are actually used out in particular worlds revolving around particular historical, cultural and experiential contexts, communication breaks down anyway.

Why? Because there is a critical distinction between, say, establishing whether one is free to worship one or another God, and establishing whether one ought to be free to worship Him.

Just as there is a crucial distinction between establishing that in fact John worships the Christian God as a Catholic, and establishing that, in fact, this God does exist.

All of these words can be "looked up" in the dictionary. They can all be defined.

But what needs to be acknowledged is that having "dictionary definitions" is sometimes not enough when making a substantive transition from a "world of words" to a world the words are actually used in.

Sometimes the dictionary is sufficient, sometimes it is not.

Here though there are folks who seem to insist that the argument for God's existence is merely a matter of defining God correctly. In other words as they do. As an "intellectual contraption" that revolves entirely around the "internal logic" derived precisely from the definition and the meaning that they give to the words in the argument. God is then "analyzed" into existence.

Thus, if you define Him correctly, any and all empirical evidence must and/or eventually will be in sync with the definition.

Just ask them.
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 Nov 01, 2017 6:38 pm

The "central driver of the major religions" is to maintain a social order even before there were, when there are no, and beyond the use of armies to maintain social laws. They are to prevent social chaos at the most fundamental level. They have proven themselves in that regard.


Well put.

Here though the discussion of God's existence shifts.

This argument is less about demonstrating His existence and more about acknowledging that, historically, culturally and/or personally, He doesn't have to exist at all in order to sustain a frame of mind that shapes and molds human social, political and economic interactions.

God and political economy in other words. Clearly, there have been any number of rulers who have recognized the extent to which religion as the "opiate of the masses" can be effectively used to sustain one or another rendition of "the system".

Maybe Barak Obama? Maybe Donald Trump? Maybe Bill and Hillary Clinton? Though probably not George W. Bush.

But that is religion on a whole other level.

Right?
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 Nov 05, 2017 2:06 pm

"Perhaps it is better to be un-sane and happy than sane and un-happy. But it is best of all to be sane and happy.
Whether our descendants can achieve this goal will be the greatest challenge of the future. Indeed it may well
decide whether we have any future." Arthur C. Clarke (1996)
The insanity of science vs religion must have an end in order for believers in each to be truly happy. One cannot say that science is rational and religion is not. They are two ways of seeing the same thing. Ecological morality may just be the type of belief that is necessary for a happy human future. This is not a pagan assumption. It is a belief in hope for a viable future for mankind.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:19 pm

I can't even demonstrate that a grey cat ran in front of my car today. Trivially simple fact, but I have no photographs or video, so no way to demonstrate it to rational or irrational men and women.


Points like this bring me around to that facet of God not often brought to the surface: that, even in the either/or world, we need Him to establish certainty.

There is not a single thing that an omniscient God is not privy to. And in any number of circumstances that can be considerably comforting.

Thus, even though we may never know what motivated the mass murderers in Nevada and Texas, God knows. And even though any number atrocious crimes are/were committed by men and women who, in fact, got away with them, God knows. And even though we can't imagine why such terrible things happen, God knows.

Hell, maybe someone just dreamed that a grey cat ran in front of their car. Or maybe the cat did, but someone did in fact see it, but the driver did not in fact see the witness. Or maybe another witness saw the cat but insists that it was not in fact grey. Or that it was in fact a raccoon.

However trivial or momentous any particular facts might be, with God there is always a vantage point able to grasp them. And to react to them in precisely the right way.
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 06, 2017 7:38 pm

Ierrellus wrote:"Perhaps it is better to be un-sane and happy than sane and un-happy. But it is best of all to be sane and happy.
Whether our descendants can achieve this goal will be the greatest challenge of the future. Indeed it may well decide whether we have any future."
Arthur C. Clarke (1996)

The insanity of science vs religion must have an end in order for believers in each to be truly happy. One cannot say that science is rational and religion is not. They are two ways of seeing the same thing. Ecological morality may just be the type of belief that is necessary for a happy human future. This is not a pagan assumption. It is a belief in hope for a viable future for mankind.


Again, happy or rational about what?

In what particular context involving what particular interactions embedded in what particular facts?

What can in fact be established [either philosophically, scientifically or theologically] as in sync with "ecological morality"?

Whose "viable future"? On whose terms?

As long as you can integrate God into general descriptions of this sort, you are able to imagine a future as you would hope for it to be.

And this works for you. And isn't that always the bottom line? You are anchored, I am not. "I" am fractured and fragmented into any number of conflicted frames of mind.

As the abyss creeps ever so closer to my oblivion.

Still, wouldn't it be fascinating if Arthur Clarke were around today and was able to flesh out his own understanding of what a sane and happy world would look like.
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 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:04 pm

Ecological morality is practical (pragmatic philosophy), affords predictionin real time (science of evolution) and displays purpose (theological teleology). Only those who prefer to be concerned entirely with my future as contrasted with our future can fail to see the validity of ecosystems as they speak for our basic interconnectivity. In other words these thoughts will have no meaning for anyone trapped in mental self-isolation.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:53 pm

Ierrellus wrote: Ecological morality is practical (pragmatic philosophy), affords predictionin real time (science of evolution) and displays purpose (theological teleology).


Okay, note for us some actual examples of interactions with others where this was made manifest to you. In particular, interactions in which your value judgments came into conflict with theirs. How was it practical? What predictions did it afford? Which purpose was decided upon?

And how did God and religion factor into it?

Ierrellus wrote: Only those who prefer to be concerned entirely with my future as contrasted with our future can fail to see the validity of ecosystems as they speak for our basic interconnectivity. In other words these thoughts will have no meaning for anyone trapped in mental self-isolation.


From my point of view, this is but one more "general description" of what you imagine such a world could be if...if what?...if only everyone comes to embrace your own rendition of "ecological morality"..."for all practical purposes"?

And what [for me] becomes particularly unfathomable is how you seem to argue that whether folks embrace your vision of the future or fight like hell to tear it down, God will still welcome all into His Kingdom.

It's like someone here in America arguing that, fiercely embracing either a liberal or a conservative political agenda, God means Salvation.

It's a warm and fuzzy rendition of God. One where the sinners and the saints all come together [in the end and for all of eternity] to embrace "ecological morality" in Heaven. Only everyone now sync with God's own ontological/teleological understanding of Divine Justice.

What I wouldn't give to be inside your head for a couple of hours in order to understand more clearly how this works for you?

And in this world no less!
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 Nov 11, 2017 2:24 pm

Ecological morality is not concerned with distant or afterlife heavens. Its concern is what we owe each other here and now that would offer a better future for all of mankind.
Biology has not excluded you from having your place among its here and now interconnected constituents of ecosystems. You are here and now an integral part of all life forms.
Biology does not produce organic entities that evolve into isolation; we evolve as ecosystems. Kill off bees and plants will die; when plants die, animals will die. We are not only interconnected, we are interdependent.
These are facts, not "ideas in the head".
It amazes me that humans who experience being, becoming and belonging can embrace nihilism or solipsism. Maybe this world is the only one we can ever know. Wouldn't that realization and that we are all in this life together suggest a morality of our dealings with each other.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:03 pm

Ierrellus wrote: Ecological morality is not concerned with distant or afterlife heavens. Its concern is what we owe each other here and now that would offer a better future for all of mankind.


But, for all practical purposes, what on earth does this mean pertaining to actual human interactions in which rules of behavior must be established in order to sustain the least dysfunctional relationships. And then the extent to which most religious folks insist that this is intimately intertwined in/with our fate on the other side of the grave.

Ierrellus wrote: Biology has not excluded you from having your place among its here and now interconnected constituents of ecosystems. You are here and now an integral part of all life forms.
Biology does not produce organic entities that evolve into isolation; we evolve as ecosystems. Kill off bees and plants will die; when plants die, animals will die. We are not only interconnected, we are interdependent.


That is true. It's a good point.

As with "global warming", these are issues in which the very existence of the human race itself may well come into play.

But there are still those more intent on sustaining what they construe to be in their own best interest here and now --- the bees and the human species "down the road" be damned.

In a Godless universe all behaviors can be rationalized.

On the other hand, an omniscient and omnipotent God can or will see that this is not our fate.

Or He won't.

Either way, if I understand you correctly, those who embrace ecological morality and those who disdain it are all welcome into God's Kingdom. I'm just not sure exactly what that means. As, for example, it relates to my own behaviors. It kind of defeats the whole purpose of religion throughout human history: do the right thing or [among other things] burn.

Ierrellus wrote: These are facts, not "ideas in the head".


Yes, and there are facts that can be accumulated relating to any number of human behaviors that come into conflict. Hundreds and hundreds of them. But who is to say which sets of facts are more in sync with ecological morality?

Ierrellus wrote:
Ierrellus wrote: It amazes me that humans who experience being, becoming and belonging can embrace nihilism or solipsism. Maybe this world is the only one we can ever know. Wouldn't that realization and that we are all in this life together suggest a morality of our dealings with each other.


I don't know about solipsism, but once you are able to think/talk yourself into believing in No God, it seems entirely reasonable that, sans a transcending font, mere mortals, embodied in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy, are able to rationalize any behavior.

And that's not even counting all of the nihilists who construe morality as revolving around "what's in it for me?" or "show me the money" or "I've got mine Jack".

With No God to "catch them" and with No God to "punish them", we are basically on our own to prescribe and to proscribe any particular behaviors in any particular historical, cultural and experiential contexts.

How is that not reasonable, unless you are able to demonstrate the actual existence of a God, the God, your God?
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 Nov 16, 2017 2:31 pm

In an ecosystem, karma is the Golden Rule--no need for some sky daddy to reward and punish. The Auden quote below is about this. Those who destroy an ecosystem will be destroying themselves in the process.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Arminius » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:17 pm

Arminius wrote:The increased prices of everything can be caused by giving everyone more and more money or by the raising of wgaes, thus also by minimum wages. Then ( a new) immigration of poor people has to start in order to curb this process a bit, only a bit, and for a short time, only for a short time. So, indeed, in the long run, more and more humans become poorer and poorer, whereas less and less humans become richer and richer.

This development is unfair, destructive, dangerous, stupid, and it is going to be stopped (the question is only: when?). Even the question of how is not relevant, because at last nature is going to stop it.

ImageImageImageImage
Arminius wrote:Again: If not the human beings, then nature itself is going to stop that unfair, destructive, dangerous and - last but not least - stupid development.

Infinite growth is not possible on our planet. So, globalism also means the last step of ecnomic growth on our globe.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ierrellus » Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:56 pm

The age of rugged individualism as I got mine, you get yours, spawned by the protestant and industrial revolutions, is now faced with decline due to overpopulation, inequality of distribution of resources and considerable waste. The reconciliation of humans with each other out of concern for the future of our planet seems now to be a pipe dream. What conflicting ideals offer us-for a future may be junk heap societies sort of like those depicted in the Mad Max movies.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:20 pm

Ierrellus wrote:In an ecosystem, karma is the Golden Rule--no need for some sky daddy to reward and punish. The Auden quote below is about this. Those who destroy an ecosystem will be destroying themselves in the process.


Okay, but that just takes me straight back to the whole point of creating this thread: in exploring what "on earth" something like this means.

Particularly when your own rendition of a morality in sync with an ecosystem comes into conflict with another's.

But you won't go there.

And to the extent that I understand the part where you are willing to explore our fate beyond the grave, you seem to suggest that God -- sky daddy or not -- embraces any and all folks. In other words, however much their conflicting moralities and ecosystems might have precipitated and then perpetuated all manner of ghastly pain and suffering on this side of the grave.

Still, you will either attempt to flesh that out existentially or you won't.
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 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:20 pm

I am afraid, he will never understand that not all beings are living beings, that not all living beings are human beings, and, especially, that empiricism is not the only way to prove something, that empiricism is used to disqualify incorrect hypotheses, that empiricism alone never proves anything, that logic proves or disproves ....


Hell, even the living creatures that we call "human beings" may well be but one more "mechanical" manifestation of the immutable laws of matter.

We just pile word upon word into arguments in which it is all made applicable to God in turn. Did God create the immutable laws of matter more or less than the immutable laws of matter created God?

And can we really "define" God into existence, predicated entirely on the internal logic of our own alleged meaning? The tautological God? God, the Word?

All manner of Gods exist in all manner of minds. And that may well be the point: to keep Him there.

To make oblivion go away. To embody [whatever that means] divine justice. To act as the umpire on Judgment Day.

God the psychological defense mechanism. God to suckle on from the cradle to the grave.

Unless of course He is the real deal.

But: Why should I believe that?
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 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:34 pm

It continues to amaze me--how down to earth, practical beliefs can be somehow be seen as trumped by abstract philosophy. Dasein, conflicting goods, etc. will amount to nothing if the majority of people accept self-destruction as a way of life.
And God has proved to really exist over and over again in my personal life. Why should I believe otherwise?
Even if oblivion is my final outcome, all of my physical parts will be recycled in Nature. It all points to reconciliation, to the fact that in the dance between energy and matter, no energy is ever lost.
"We must love one another or die." W.H.Auden
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:08 am

Ierrellus wrote: It continues to amaze me--how down to earth, practical beliefs can be somehow be seen as trumped by abstract philosophy. Dasein, conflicting goods, etc. will amount to nothing if the majority of people accept self-destruction as a way of life.


Down to earth practical beliefs about what though? And to pretend that so much in the way of destruction [human pain and suffering] has not revolved precisely around what "for all practical purposes" different folks have come to insist the faithful are obligated to embrace in the way of connecting the dots between behaviors chosen here and now and immortality and salvation there and then, is merely to posit that God and religion as you construe them to be in your head is "for all practical purposes" all you feel obligated to provide us in the of embracing your very own rendition of "ecological morality".

Thus some folks are able to rationalize their belief that abortion is incompatible with a God, the God, my God, while others are able to rationalize their belief that denying a woman the right to choose abortion is incompatible with their own rendition of a God, the God, my God.

Meanwhile when I ask you to encompass abortion given the manner in which you have come to grasp the meaning of "ecological morality" what do we get?

Only this: that whether you condemn abortion or embrace it, protest the procedure or have one or perform one, God welcomes you into His Kingdom.

Whatever that actually means.

Ierrellus wrote: And God has proved to really exist over and over again in my personal life. Why should I believe otherwise?


I would never ask you to believe otherwise. After all, what do I know of your own experiences? I can only ask you to describe them in detail and then to ponder the extent to which I might be able to experience something similar myself.

But here, in a philosophy venue, you are either able to translate what you believe into that which others are able [or even obligated] to believe, or you are not. And over and again I make it perfectly clear that to the extent that your beliefs comfort and console you, that need be as far as you go.

But, again, with so much at stake here, it's not for nothing that the overwhelming preponderance of religious folks are very, very clear about one thing: Judgment Day.

And I am still at a loss to understand how exactly you make that part go away. How have your own personal experiences been able to convince you that, from God's frame of mind, one size fits all regarding the behaviors that we choose on this side of the grave? Whether you embrace an ecological morality in the manner in which you prescribe and proscribe particular sets of behavior, or are a brutish sociopath wreaking havoc on anyone who crosses your path, you're in with God.

Ierrellus wrote: Even if oblivion is my final outcome, all of my physical parts will be recycled in Nature. It all points to reconciliation, to the fact that in the dance between energy and matter, no energy is ever lost.


Sure, this works for some. And, to the extent that it works for you, it seems an acknowledgment that yours is but one more existential leap of faith.

One that, here and now, I am not able to make myself.
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 Nov 23, 2017 2:02 pm

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.
"We must love one another or die." W.H.Auden
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From the mad poet of McKinley Ave.
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