on discussing god and religion

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on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Oct 11, 2014 8:53 pm

This thread is derived from a discussion I was having with zinnat13 on turtle's "a new church" thread. I felt that our own discussion broached these relationships from, let's say, a different direction.

zinnat13 wrote:
iambiguous wrote:"I", in my view, is largely this: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529

So to speak of "what" "exactly" "I" "am", is merely to speculate in the here and the now regarding the manner in which all of the existential variables in my life came to predispose me to think of my self in one particular subjective manner rather than another. And [for me] that doesn't change just because the subject pertains to the relationship between God, religion and the church.


We are not discussing the definition of I here.


Think about that. We are discussing how each of us as indiviiduals think about God and religion and any particular denominational church, and it is not important to grapple with how we, as individuals, come to acquire our own subjective point of view about that?!

On the contrary, as I have noted previously, such discussions in places like this about relationships of this sort revolve precisely around it:

There are two ways in which we can come to a point of view pertaining to value judgments. On the one hand, we can spend hours and hours and hours actually thinking about the pros and the cons of the behaviors we derive from our particular value judgments. We can then try to have as many different experiences as possible relating to those behaviors ; and we can discuss them with as many different people as possible in order to get diverse points of view; and we can try to acquire as much knowledge and information about these behaviors/value judgments in order to be fully informed on it.

On the other hand, based on my own experience, most folks don't do this it all. Instead, they live in a particular time and place, acquire a particular set of experiences, accumulate a particular set of relationships and acquire particular sources of knowledge and information -- which then comes [rather fortuitously] over the years to predispose them to particular subjective points of view that might well have changed over and again throughout the years. And, indeed, may well change many times more.


Now, how is this conjecture NOT related to the dicussion unfolding on threads like these? All one need do is to acknowledge how our behaviors [and the consequences that derive from them] revolve around how we think about things such as this. Right?

My argument in fact is that many folks don't want to grapple with dasein and conflicting goods as I do. Why? Because they come to recognize just how profoundly problematic their own identity and value judgments actually are.

Again, the irony here being how so much of my own motivation for engaging in these discussions revolves around coming up with an argument, analysis, point of view etc. that dissuades me from thinking like this.

zinnat13 wrote: You misunderstood me. That is not what i was trying to say. Perhaps, the shortness of my answer is the cause of confusion as it did not explained enough.

By saying plain and simple, i merely meant that these are the areas those are suppsed to be explored. I did not say that exploration would be simple. These two are different things altogether.


Okay, point taken. I did misunderstand you. But, sooner or later, a discussion of the relationship between God and religion and any particular church has to come down to demonstrating the actual existence of this God -- or simply in someone having faith in His existence. Or in predicating one's belief in his existence on definitions and deductions, on tautological arguments and analysis, on "personal experience", on a God that exists "in your head".

And, sooner or later, those who profess a belief in a God have to get around in turn to speculating [for others] on whether or not this is tantaumont to their belief in the God. And whether this is the same God. And the relationship between this and the question "how ought one to live" -- given that a belief in the God almost always revolves in turn around things like immortality, salvation, divine justice, and -- down here -- differentiating Sinful behavior from virtuous behavior.

zinnat13 wrote: The easy part is only to know where to look for the answers. That does not entail that finding the right answers would be easy also.

How one can know what would be the weather at some km above the sea level?

The simple answer is that one can know that by reaching at the peak of Mount Everst because it is about nine kms above the sea level. But, this does not mean that one can know the weather exactly that easily by climbing at the peak of that mountain.


Again, you lose me here. How would belonging to any particular church [old or new] enable us to "easily" look for the answers to the questions that I bring up: those revolving around "conflicting goods" pertaining to moral conflicts like abortion?

Because if someone does posit a new church that will be the first thing that I do bring up. I will point out how flesh and blood human beings come to embody subjective points of view about value judgments that always seem TO be embedded in conflicting goods.

Me, I'm not looking for "simple" answers. On the contrary, given how I construe these relationships I always assume that the answers will be hard. But that is at the very least. What intrigues me [far more] is how any particular individual makes a distinction here between "I" as dasein and I as his or her TRUE self. And then in how they come up with an argument that obviates conflicting goods by showing us how we can attain the objective good [an objective truth] instead.
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

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby zinnat » Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:23 am

Sorry imb,

I missed this thread. I was not aware that it was intended for me.
I will reply tonight.

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby zinnat » Sun Oct 12, 2014 6:18 pm

iambiguous wrote:Think about that. We are discussing how each of us as indiviiduals think about God and religion and any particular denominational church, and it is not important to grapple with how we, as individuals, come to acquire our own subjective point of view about that?!


That is true that everyone's views are based on his subjective understanding/experiences of reality, but i do not think that discussing that would serve any purpose. Though, i am not against that, if you are interested.

iambiguous wrote:There are two ways in which we can come to a point of view pertaining to value judgments. On the one hand, we can spend hours and hours and hours actually thinking about the pros and the cons of the behaviors we derive from our particular value judgments. We can then try to have as many different experiences as possible relating to those behaviors ; and we can discuss them with as many different people as possible in order to get diverse points of view; and we can try to acquire as much knowledge and information about these behaviors/value judgments in order to be fully informed on it.

On the other hand, based on my own experience, most folks don't do this it all. Instead, they live in a particular time and place, acquire a particular set of experiences, accumulate a particular set of relationships and acquire particular sources of knowledge and information -- which then comes [rather fortuitously] over the years to predispose them to particular subjective points of view that might well have changed over and again throughout the years. And, indeed, may well change many times more.


I do not see anything to disagree in that. Though, i am the product of second method but after that, i opted for the first one, thought about it over and over, also tried to get second opinion and crosscheked it with whatever means that i had.

iambiguous wrote:Now, how is this conjecture NOT related to the dicussion unfolding on threads like these? All one need do is to acknowledge how our behaviors [and the consequences that derive from them] revolve around how we think about things such as this. Right?


That is true but we cannot keep that discussing as it would be very long and lengthy process and almost impossible on the net. That requires a long one-to-one interaction in person.

iambiguous wrote:My argument in fact is that many folks don't want to grapple with dasein and conflicting goods as I do. Why? Because they come to recognize just how profoundly problematic their own identity and value judgments actually are.

iambiguous wrote:Again, the irony here being how so much of my own motivation for engaging in these discussions revolves around coming up with an argument, analysis, point of view etc. that dissuades me from thinking like this.


Well, i cannot say about others but i am certainly welcome such discussion.

iambiguous wrote:Okay, point taken. I did misunderstand you. But, sooner or later, a discussion of the relationship between God and religion and any particular church has to come down to demonstrating the actual existence of this God -- or simply in someone having faith in His existence. Or in predicating one's belief in his existence on definitions and deductions, on tautological arguments and analysis, on "personal experience", on a God that exists "in your head".

And, sooner or later, those who profess a belief in a God have to get around in turn to speculating [for others] on whether or not this is tantaumont to their belief in the God. And whether this is the same God. And the relationship between this and the question "how ought one to live" -- given that a belief in the God almost always revolves in turn around things like immortality, salvation, divine justice, and -- down here -- differentiating Sinful behavior from virtuous behavior.


I think that i addressed that issue already.

That is fine. For being convienced, there is only a theory, or an ontology, which is speculative too. All we can check its coherency with given premises and result with reality. Means, the theory answers all questions or not. That is the limit for now.

I see this issue slightly differently. To me, as far as the philosophy/evidence is concerned, the concept of God is something like N's WTP. That begs a question. Is there any evidence of WTP? No. Can it be demonstrated phycially? No. Then why people believe that there is any such thing? WTP is a metaphysical premise and cannot be verified physically. So, does that mean that believing in WTP are fools? I think that the concept of the God should be given the equal treatment too. Philosophy allows that.

Having said that, it is not the case that evidence cannot be gathered. It certainly can but it cannot be demostrated because of its very nature. Those, who are not interested in the personal investigation, should treat God as a metaphysical premise.

By treating a metaphysical premise, i do not mean that they should accept it. They are open to criticize, but with dignity, in the same way of other philosophical premises.


Let me first take in your head.

The fact of the matter is everything use to happen in the head. The reality is formed in the head, not outside from it. The images of reality depends on the lens of observation. There are many layers of reality too. Thus, reality depends upon the fact that the obsever corresponds to which layer.

Say, that there is a man. As a man, you will consider it also a man. But, if you start deducting a man in the crude physica terms, A man is nothing that some solid and lequid materials. After further deduction, it will come to some basic elemants like carbon and oxygen. Next step would be proton and electrons. Then, particles like Higgs-Boson would come into play and we do not know how many layeers are still remaining! The jury is still out, as far as the science is concerned.

So, the question is what is the reality? Or, which stage should be considered as a reality? And, why not others?
Either everything is illusion or nothing is illusion. One cannot pick and choose.

The second question is why one should believe in the God?

The first reason is that one should believe in the God because good, honest and sincere people like Jesus asked to do so. I am not asking believing in imagination (God) but in reality (Jesus). Forget about God and just remember Jesus. Was he real or not? Was he a good and kind person or not? I am not saying that he cannot make mistakes but history tells us that he was at least a good person by intent and sacrificed himself for the sake of others.

The second reason is that he offered a good value system by and large. Keeping one odd mistake of his aside as an exception, there is nothing wrong with his social premises and still very much applicable.

Thirdly, there may be a possibility that whatever he said about the God may be true? After all, there is at least a posibility of that or not? So, why one cannot give it a shot? Let us see what happens.

lastly, Keep Jusus just as moral preacher or philosopher, just like Socrates and Spinoza. At least, Jesus can find a place in the leage of those people, or even this demand is exaggerated too?

But remember, i am merely pleading for Jesus, neither any Church nor all that what it says in his name.


iambiguous wrote:Again, you lose me here. How would belonging to any particular church [old or new] enable us to "easily" look for the answers to the questions that I bring up: those revolving around "conflicting goods" pertaining to moral conflicts like abortion?

Because if someone does posit a new church that will be the first thing that I do bring up. I will point out how flesh and blood human beings come to embody subjective points of view about value judgments that always seem TO be embedded in conflicting goods.


imb, look carefully. I am not asking to look at Church for the answers but from there the Church itself derived its answers; the man itself. Use Church as a peer view: Value it but do not have blind faith.

iambiguous wrote:Me, I'm not looking for "simple" answers. On the contrary, given how I construe these relationships I always assume that the answers will be hard. But that is at the very least. What intrigues me [far more] is how any particular individual makes a distinction here between "I" as dasein and I as his or her TRUE self. And then in how they come up with an argument that obviates conflicting goods by showing us how we can attain the objective good [an objective truth] instead.


For me, there is only one I/ME, whether knowledgeable or ignorant. And, i will tell you how i concluded those judgements. You are welcome to question their validity.

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:31 pm

zinnat13 wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Think about that. We are discussing how each of us as indiviiduals think about God and religion and any particular denominational church, and it is not important to grapple with how we, as individuals, come to acquire our own subjective point of view about that?!


That is true that everyone's views are based on his subjective understanding/experiences of reality, but i do not think that discussing that would serve any purpose. Though, i am not against that, if you are interested.


My own purpose here is precisely to note the distinction between that which we can both agree is true objectively -- that we are engaged in an exchange about God and religion on this thread at ILP -- and that which will [in my view] revolve only around subjective assumptions -- that my point of view is more reasonable than yours. Or that your point of view is more reasonable than mine.

Why? Because neither of us are able to pose arguments regarding the truth about God and religion that are the empirical/material equivalent of noting the existence of the exchange itself.

And, in turn, that how you and I came to these subjective value judgments about God and religion is rooted more in dasein than in our capacity to attain the knowledge necessary to provide the most rational/logical argument for or against His existence.

iambiguous wrote:There are two ways in which we can come to a point of view pertaining to value judgments. On the one hand, we can spend hours and hours and hours actually thinking about the pros and the cons of the behaviors we derive from our particular value judgments. We can then try to have as many different experiences as possible relating to those behaviors ; and we can discuss them with as many different people as possible in order to get diverse points of view; and we can try to acquire as much knowledge and information about these behaviors/value judgments in order to be fully informed on it.

On the other hand, based on my own experience, most folks don't do this it all. Instead, they live in a particular time and place, acquire a particular set of experiences, accumulate a particular set of relationships and acquire particular sources of knowledge and information -- which then comes [rather fortuitously] over the years to predispose them to particular subjective points of view that might well have changed over and again throughout the years. And, indeed, may well change many times more.


zinnat13 wrote: I do not see anything to disagree in that. Though, i am the product of second method but after that, i opted for the first one, thought about it over and over, also tried to get second opinion and crosscheked it with whatever means that i had.


Again, think about that. What would any particular individual need to experience or know in order to be able to say with a definitive assurance that God does in fact exist...and that the God that he or she believes in is the only existing God? Compare the experiences you have had here as an individual with the vast number of experiences that are available to be had by someone of our species.

In short, your own personal experiences are but a teeny, tiny fraction of what can be experienced. Same with all of the people you have discussed this with...or all of the information "out there" to be had that might profoundly influence your current point of view. Each individual can only come into contact with a very, very small percentage of all there is. After all, why do you suppose there are so many vast and varied narratives here?

And yet over and over and over again we come into places like this and encounter objectivist after objectivist after objectivst all claiming that their own value judgments here do indeed reflect what is really true about God and religion.

And how would "a long one-to-one interaction in person" with another change any of that?

iambiguous wrote:Okay, point taken. I did misunderstand you. But, sooner or later, a discussion of the relationship between God and religion and any particular church has to come down to demonstrating the actual existence of this God -- or simply in someone having faith in His existence. Or in predicating one's belief in his existence on definitions and deductions, on tautological arguments and analysis, on "personal experience", on a God that exists "in your head".

And, sooner or later, those who profess a belief in a God have to get around in turn to speculating [for others] on whether or not this is tantaumont to their belief in the God. And whether this is the same God. And the relationship between this and the question "how ought one to live" -- given that a belief in the God almost always revolves in turn around things like immortality, salvation, divine justice, and -- down here -- differentiating Sinful behavior from virtuous behavior.


zinnat13 wrote: I think that i addressed that issue already.


Yes, we come across this many times here. Someone will make an argument. Another will address it. But the person making the argument will not construe the rebuttal/rejoinder as in fact addressing it at all. Or as missing the most important parts. But this does not surprise me. And precisely because with respect to things like God and religion [or identity, morality and conflicting goods] both sides will make arguments that can neither be fully verified nor fully falsified. Instead, only the actual manifestation/embodiment of God Him/Her/Itself can "settle" it.

That is why for thousands of years now these discussions and debates persist. I merely inject dasein, conflicting goods and political economy into the conversations in order to offer one possible explanation as to why nothing ever gets resolved.

And then to note that, for many, what is of chief importance is that it can be resolved. And thus to suggest further that so much of this revolves instead around human psychology rather than either philosophy or religion.

zinnat13 wrote: To me, as far as the philosophy/evidence is concerned, the concept of God is something like N's WTP. That begs a question. Is there any evidence of WTP? No. Can it be demonstrated phycially? No. Then why people believe that there is any such thing? WTP is a metaphysical premise and cannot be verified physically. So, does that mean that believing in WTP are fools? I think that the concept of the God should be given the equal treatment too. Philosophy allows that.


There is certainly plenty of empirical evidence to be had that suggests the human brain is capable of producing human interactions that clearly seem to revolve around what we construe to be "power".

But the often brutal manifestations of conflicts over power would seem only to be overwhelming proof that the evolution of life on earth came down to brains able to embody this. But how does that then make the existence of God [of my God not your God] any more manifest?

To me it still comes down to sheer speculation about one of the possible "metaphysical" explanations.

And in that respect [for me] what is always of fundamental importance is the extent to which any of this speculation ["in your head"] would be able to convince me that God does in fact exist; and then the manner in which one would be expected to relate to this God in the context of achieving immortality, salvation, divine justice and an understanding of objective morality.

The rest [again for me] is just academic, scholastic, theological masturbation. Sure, it can be a fascinating intellectual excursion: a grappling with the very nature of existence itself! Of Reality itself!

But once a mere mortal starts to run out of time, he or she tends to become more "practical" about these things.

Now, indeed, this might "work" or seem reasoanble to you:

zinnat13 wrote: The first reason is that one should believe in the God because good, honest and sincere people like Jesus asked to do so. I am not asking believing in imagination (God) but in reality (Jesus). Forget about God and just remember Jesus. Was he real or not? Was he a good and kind person or not? I am not saying that he cannot make mistakes but history tells us that he was at least a good person by intent and sacrificed himself for the sake of others.

The second reason is that he offered a good value system by and large. Keeping one odd mistake of his aside as an exception, there is nothing wrong with his social premises and still very much applicable.

Thirdly, there may be a possibility that whatever he said about the God may be true? After all, there is at least a posibility of that or not? So, why one cannot give it a shot? Let us see what happens.

lastly, Keep Jusus just as moral preacher or philosopher, just like Socrates and Spinoza. At least, Jesus can find a place in the leage of those people, or even this demand is exaggerated too?


But it does not "work" or seem reasonable to me. I still go back to the arguments I raised above. And then all I can do is to ask myself if the arguments of others "address" these points. And, sure, up to a point, some are considerably more intelligent than others. Your own are certainly more sophisticated [to me] than the arguments of James S. Saint, Phyllo and their [rather shallow and transparent] objectivist ilk.

As for the "reality" of Jesus. That is still in dispute: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus
http://www.godlessgeeks.com/JesusExist.htm

While, on the other hand, very, very, very few would argue that Socrates and Spinoza did not exist.

And, in any event, the philosophy of Jesus is still just a political narrative to me. The sort of behaviors he championed, are not championed at all by others.

Indeed, it would be quite interesting to discuss the morality of abortion with Jesus. How would He address the manner in which I construe it in terms of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy?

iambiguous wrote:Me, I'm not looking for "simple" answers. On the contrary, given how I construe these relationships I always assume that the answers will be hard. But that is at the very least. What intrigues me [far more] is how any particular individual makes a distinction here between "I" as dasein and I as his or her TRUE self. And then in how they come up with an argument that obviates conflicting goods by showing us how we can attain the objective good [an objective truth] instead.


zinnat13 wrote: For me, there is only one I/ME, whether knowledgeable or ignorant. And, i will tell you how i concluded those judgements. You are welcome to question their validity.


Then we think about these things in very different ways. But I can well understand why most folks do react as they do to "dasein". And that is because emotionally and psychologically it is just too discomfitting to imagine that, after peeling away all of the existential layers of their life, there is not some True Self nestled down there at the center of it all: I/ME

But the closest I can come to this is in acknowledging that I come into this world predisposed by my particular gentic/biological makeup to go in some directions rather than others. And that as a child I was indoctrinated/brainwashed [historically, culturally, experientially] to embody one particular "reality" rather than another. But then nurture is as well a truly powerful component of "I".
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

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby zinnat » Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:39 am

iambiguous wrote:My own purpose here is precisely to note the distinction between that which we can both agree is true objectively -- that we are engaged in an exchange about God and religion on this thread at ILP -- and that which will [in my view] revolve only around subjective assumptions -- that my point of view is more reasonable than yours. Or that your point of view is more reasonable than mine.

Why? Because neither of us are able to pose arguments regarding the truth about God and religion that are the empirical/material equivalent of noting the existence of the exchange itself.


Okay.

iambiguous wrote:And, in turn, that how you and I came to these subjective value judgments about God and religion is rooted more in dasein than in our capacity to attain the knowledge necessary to provide the most rational/logical argument for or against His existence


Okay. From my perspective, it is dasein that manifests rationality, not the other way around.

iambiguous wrote:What would any particular individual need to experience or know in order to be able to say with a definitive assurance that God does in fact exist...


Something such that he or others does not experience normally (beyond physical senses), something in the tune of that scriptures of various religions say. Though, that does not give any assurance of the existence of the God itself, but tells that there is some truth in scriptures and they may be right about the God too.

iambiguous wrote:and that the God that he or she believes in is the only existing God


That is a long shot. We should not engage in that now otherwise the discussion would be derailed. Let us first restrict ourselves to the issue whether something exists beyond our limit of physical approach or not. Let us take one step at a time.

Though, i can take about the particularity of the God, but that requires a very long and detailed answer.

iambiguous wrote:Compare the experiences you have had here as an individual with the vast number of experiences that are available to be had by someone of our species.


Done that, and still doing that continuously since then, whenever i get any peer.

iambiguous wrote:In short, your own personal experiences are but a teeny, tiny fraction of what can be experienced. Same with all of the people you have discussed this with...or all of the information "out there" to be had that might profoundly influence your current point of view. Each individual can only come into contact with a very, very small percentage of all there is. After all, why do you suppose there are so many vast and varied narratives here?


Yes, we can only experience only a tiny part of what is out there. But, as i am able to understand it over the years, there is no difference in narratives at root level as i can understand other narratives from my perception. It is only the issue of getting some basic premises right and different narratives start to unfold.

iambiguous wrote:And yet over and over and over again we come into places like this and encounter objectivist after objectivist after objectivst all claiming that their own value judgments here do indeed reflect what is really true about God and religion.


That is true ut what is other way to settle the issue?

iambiguous wrote:And how would "a long one-to-one interaction in person" with another change any of that?


It can change things to some extent because conversation of the net takes very long time. Means, one day of one-to-one is equal to at least to one month at ILP. That can speed up the process.

iambiguous wrote:Yes, we come across this many times here. Someone will make an argument. Another will address it. But the person making the argument will not construe the rebuttal/rejoinder as in fact addressing it at all. Or as missing the most important parts. But this does not surprise me. And precisely because with respect to things like God and religion [or identity, morality and conflicting goods] both sides will make arguments that can neither be fully verified nor fully falsified. Instead, only the actual manifestation/embodiment of God Him/Her/Itself can "settle" it.


I do not think that i tried to evade the issues raised by you. You are welcome to repeat that if you think so by stressing on particulars, those you expect me to address.

iambiguous wrote:That is why for thousands of years now these discussions and debates persist. I merely inject dasein, conflicting goods and political economy into the conversations in order to offer one possible explanation as to why nothing ever gets resolved


There are many reasons of that.

iambiguous wrote:And then to note that, for many, what is of chief importance is that it can be resolved. And thus to suggest further that so much of this revolves instead around human psychology rather than either philosophy or religion.


The issue of the God can be discussed by both philosophically and religiously. Psychology is the third method.

iambiguous wrote:There is certainly plenty of empirical evidence to be had that suggests the human brain is capable of producing human interactions that clearly seem to revolve around what we construe to be "power".


I do not agree with this. Apply the same yardstick in the case of WTP too, what you are using in the case of God. Remember your argument of showing God in one's backyard. There is no physical evidence of philosophical premises whatsoever. Everything is in the head. If not, explain me.

iambiguous wrote:But the often brutal manifestations of conflicts over power would seem only to be overwhelming proof that the evolution of life on earth came down to brains able to embody this. But how does that then make the existence of God [of my God not your God] any more manifest?


Now, that is unfair on your part.

When i ask for hard physical evidence in the case of philosophical premises, you are citing evolution. But, going by that theory, when religions postulate about God using philosophical premise that there must be some cause behind existence, and they name it God, you raise objection immediately. Why?

If this whole universe can come into existence without any initiator or cause, why this tiny evolution on one of the zillions planets called earth is not possible by chance, but only by WTP?

iambiguous wrote:And in that respect [for me] what is always of fundamental importance is the extent to which any of this speculation ["in your head"] would be able to convince me that God does in fact exist; and then the manner in which one would be expected to relate to this God in the context of achieving immortality, salvation, divine justice and an understanding of objective morality.


To me it still comes down to sheer speculation about one of the possible "metaphysical" explanations.[/quote]

As i said above, let us restrict ourselves to the issue of whether something exist beyond physical means or not for the time being. God, salvation, immorality would come later.

iambiguous wrote:The rest [again for me] is just academic, scholastic, theological masturbation. Sure, it can be a fascinating intellectual excursion: a grappling with the very nature of existence itself! Of Reality itself!

But once a mere mortal starts to run out of time, he or she tends to become more "practical" about these things.

Now, indeed, this might "work" or seem reasonable to you:


This issue confuses a lot and people are generally not able to understand how it can be tackled.

imb, we all use eletricity daily but did we invent it? We are using the finding of Faraday and Franklin. Nobody questions or try to invent electricity before using it. Why? Because it helps in our daily life. It is as simple as that.

Take any stream of knowledge; there are/were always two types of people. Ones are those who discover (scholars) and others are those who use/follow it because it suits them (masses).

The teaching or Jesus or Buddha works/worked reasonably well in the daily life. That is enough reason to follow that for masses. They need not to go in trouble of verification. But, that does not apply to scholars. They should not believe blindly but investigate in person to verify.

So, the real question is what is the purpose of the person involved, whether he merely wants to use or interested in verification? That will decide what works for one or not?

zinnat13 wrote:lastly, Keep Jusus just as moral preacher or philosopher, just like Socrates and Spinoza. At least, Jesus can find a place in the leage of those people, or even this demand is exaggerated too?

But remember, i am merely pleading for Jesus, neither any Church nor all that what it says in his name.


iambiguous wrote:But it does not "work" or seem reasonable to me. I still go back to the arguments I raised above. And then all I can do is to ask myself if the arguments of others "address" these points. And, sure, up to a point, some are considerably more intelligent than others. Your own are certainly more sophisticated [to me] than the arguments of James S. Saint, Phyllo and their [rather shallow and transparent] objectivist ilk.


First of all, i do not want to comment on others.
Secondly, why considering Jesus as a moral preacher does not seem reasonable to you? Give me any reason?

iambiguous wrote:As for the "reality" of Jesus. That is still in dispute: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus
http://www.godlessgeeks.com/JesusExist.htm

While, on the other hand, very, very, very few would argue that Socrates and Spinoza did not exist.


imb, i am sorry to say that here your subjectivity took over your objectivity. Let me tell you why.

Look at this list of philosophers - Aristotle, Confucius, Democritus, Epicurus, Buddha, Mahavira, Plato and Thales.

All these philosophers were there before Jesus. But, the interesting thing is that nobody questions their existence but Jesus is only one in the dispute! Why? Did you ever ask this question to yourself?

In today's world, anyone can come up with a blog or website and can also post whatever he likes but that does not make it true. Even you or me can challenge the validity of Aristotle but that does not change the reality. If you are ready to deny the existence of all those philosophers, those existed before Jesus, i will take him back too.

imb, you cannot have two different benchmark for philosophy and religions, just because you are interested in philosophy, not in religions. That is unfair.

Yes, i am ready to accept the questioning on the Jesus being the son of god or a prophet. That can be disputed but you cannot deny his existence as a normal human, who was a preacher.

iambiguous wrote:And, in any event, the philosophy of Jesus is still just a political narrative to me. The sort of behaviors he championed, are not championed at all by others.


That is what i was suggesting. Give him the respect at least of a philosopher, if not more.

iambiguous wrote:Indeed, it would be quite interesting to discuss the morality of abortion with Jesus. How would He address the manner in which I construe it in terms of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy?


His aim was merely to erase the intellectual confusion that Judaism created, thus he kept himself to simple issues like morality and devotion.

iambiguous wrote:Then we think about these things in very different ways. But I can well understand why most folks do react as they do to "dasein". And that is because emotionally and psychologically it is just too discomfitting to imagine that, after peeling away all of the existential layers of their life, there is not some True Self nestled down there at the center of it all: I/ME


By saying that there is only one I/ME does not mean that that i cannot not examine myself objectively. I can do that far better than most of the others, if not all. Actually, that is the first thing that i learned during that journey.

Spirituality/religions start from this very point. Everything else comes later. That is also the ultimate aim of religions; to investigate I/ME. The discovery of the God was merely the byproduct of this investigation. It was not their aim. Religions start from oneself, not from the god. People are hugely mistaken about this.

iambiguous wrote:But the closest I can come to this is in acknowledging that I come into this world predisposed by my particular gentic/biological makeup to go in some directions rather than others


That is true not only for you but to all, even to animals and insects, if you ask me.

iambiguous wrote:And that as a child I was indoctrinated/brainwashed [historically, culturally, experientially] to embody one particular "reality" rather than another. But then nurture is as well a truly powerful component of "I".


You were brainwashed and it is also now your second layer of brainwashing unwrapping and making you feel that you were brainwashed in the childhood. It is not as simple as you are thinking. There are layers of brainwashing and still a new layer is being created in this life.

The real issue is if there is anything real I/We without any brainwashing, or we are nothing except brainwashing!

with love,
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:56 pm

zinnat13 wrote:
iambiguous wrote:What would any particular individual need to experience or know in order to be able to say with a definitive assurance that God does in fact exist...


Something such that he or others does not experience normally (beyond physical senses), something in the tune of that scriptures of various religions say. Though, that does not give any assurance of the existence of the God itself, but tells that there is some truth in scriptures and they may be right about the God too.


Yes, and lots of different people have lots of different experiences in lots of different cultural and historical contexts and [thus] have lots of different personal narratives about God and religion. So, again, how are they then able to demonstrate to others that their own personal narrative is in fact the one true objective reality? That [to me] is what it comes down to. Believing in your own narrative and being able to demonstrate why others ought to believe it as well. Again, juxtaposed to being able to demonstrate to others that in fact we are engaged in this exchange at ILP.

Basically you are acknowledging that this is a "long shot". You want to put that off until later and concentrate instead on [what to me is] the far more intangible part: probing "the issue whether something exists beyond our limit of physical approach or not."

Yet this, to me, just takes us back into exchanging what we claim to believe is true and reasonable "in our heads" -- based largely on our personal experiences and on how we define the words we use in our argument and the extent to which we can just assume that our deductions are rational. Which, to me, is what folks like Saint and Phyllo always do.

iambiguous wrote:Compare the experiences you have had here as an individual with the vast number of experiences that are available to be had by someone of our species.


zinnat13 wrote:Done that, and still doing that continuously since then, whenever i get any peer.


Yes, but this can still only reflect a tiny fraction of all the experiences there are to be had by a human being -- experiences, relationships, sources of information that would impact on his or her beliefs about God and religion.

But we don't need to have new experiences, relationships or sources of information in order to demonstrate that which is in fact true is in fact true. 1 + 1 will always equal 2. This exchange we are having at ILP does exist. A bachelor will always be an unmarried man. The earth does go around the sun. There ARE things that ARE objectively true. Things that DO transcend dasein and conflicting goods. And maybe the existence of God [a God, the God, your God] is also true objectively. But basically [from my frame of mind] you are just one more person who believes this but is not able to convince me to believe it too. At least for now.

But, sure, let's focus the beam for now on the "premises" we may well agree on.


iambiguous wrote:Yes, we come across this many times here. Someone will make an argument. Another will address it. But the person making the argument will not construe the rebuttal/rejoinder as in fact addressing it at all. Or as missing the most important parts. But this does not surprise me. And precisely because with respect to things like God and religion [or identity, morality and conflicting goods] both sides will make arguments that can neither be fully verified nor fully falsified. Instead, only the actual manifestation/embodiment of God Him/Her/Itself can "settle" it.


zinnat13 wrote:I do not think that i tried to evade the issues raised by you. You are welcome to repeat that if you think so by stressing on particulars, those you expect me to address.


It is not a question of evasion, but of recognizing [what to me are] the inherent limitations of any particular premises we may exchange here. How much closer [or further away] will they take us [as two particular daseins] to a demonstrable existence of a God, the God, your God? And I will certainly admit that I am not able to demonstrate that No God exist.

iambiguous wrote:There is certainly plenty of empirical evidence to be had that suggests the human brain is capable of producing human interactions that clearly seem to revolve around what we construe to be "power".


zinnat13 wrote:I do not agree with this. Apply the same yardstick in the case of WTP too, what you are using in the case of God. Remember your argument of showing God in one's backyard. There is no physical evidence of philosophical premises whatsoever. Everything is in the head. If not, explain me.


We live in a world where we want things. Where we need things. And clearly the historical record shows us that being able to enforce a particular social, political and economic order enables some to get a hell of a lot more of what they want and what they need. And if that does not revolve around what we have come to construe to be "power" what does it revolve around? Around God?

And these behaviors are surely part and parcel of the evolution of life on earth culminating [in terms of complexity] in the human brain. The reality of power is everywhere. That some have coined the expression "the will to power" is just one of the ways in which to situate it out in the world of actual, existential human interactions.

But, sure, what WTP has to do with the universe may always be purely speculative.

And the human brain is such that it can then focus on these existential interactions from a "philosophical" perspective. True. But what then can the philosophers tell us about how power ought to be used out in the world of human interaction? And what can the philosophers demonstrate to us regarding the objective relationship between power and God? They either can or they can't. Here and now.

zinnat13 wrote:When i ask for hard physical evidence in the case of philosophical premises, you are citing evolution. But, going by that theory, when religions postulate about God using philosophical premise that there must be some cause behind existence, and they name it God, you raise objection immediately. Why?


I'm not sure what you are saying here. I have already acknowledged the ontological and teleological mystery that is existence qua existence. We don't know why something exist rather than nothing. We don't know why it is this existence and not another. And, sure, it may well be true that the explanation resides in God.

But then we are just back to religionists being able to demonstrate the actual existence of this God. The God, their God, they will insist. And not some other God. Your God, perhaps.

zinnat13 wrote: As i said above, let us restrict ourselves to the issue of whether something exist beyond physical means or not for the time being. God, salvation, immorality would come later.


Most religionists posit the existence of the God. Most religionists insist that this is their God. Most religionists argue that a belief in their God is of fundamental importance if one wants to attain immortality and salvation.

So, you've got to understand that, in focusing on the premise, "something exist beyond physical means", while interesting and intriguing philosophically, will not be what most folks concern themselves with in pursuing God and religion.

I do not pursue these things myself as a "scholar". On the contrary, as I note over and over again, I am interested in philosophy only to the extent that philosophers are able to implicate and situate their "premises" existentially. In particular with respect to "how ought one to live?"

For me, God and religion are important only to the extent to which I might pursue this "beyond the grave".

So, sure, maybe we are not after the same thing at all here.

zinnat13 wrote:...why considering Jesus as a moral preacher does not seem reasonable to you? Give me any reason?


A moral narrative is reasonable or not reasonable from a point of view. How is a follower of Jesus able to demonstrate that His narrative is deontologically sound other than in insisting that He is the Son of God...or the embodiment of God on earth? What would Jesus tell us about the morality of abortion, capital punishment, the role of government, capitalism, gender norms, homosexuality. Would whatever He tells us then become the "objective truth"?

iambiguous wrote:As for the "reality" of Jesus. That is still in dispute: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus
http://www.godlessgeeks.com/JesusExist.htm

While, on the other hand, very, very, very few would argue that Socrates and Spinoza did not exist.


zinnat13 wrote: imb, i am sorry to say that here your subjectivity took over your objectivity. Let me tell you why.

Look at this list of philosophers - Aristotle, Confucius, Democritus, Epicurus, Buddha, Mahavira, Plato and Thales.

All these philosophers were there before Jesus. But, the interesting thing is that nobody questions their existence but Jesus is only one in the dispute! Why? Did you ever ask this question to yourself?


Again and again: It comes down to the extent to which there either is or is not historical evidence to believe that one or another man or woman did or did not exist. That's all we have available to us. But with respect to "how ought we to live?" [and the relationship between that and God and religion] the philosophers you mention here are all over the philosophical map. So, how are we to determine which of them spoke the objective truth?

And, in my view, it is not reasonable to just dismiss the arguments of folks like these:

http://www.godlessgeeks.com/JesusExist.htm
http://www.jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/jpadvert.htm
http://www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm

They make some good points which bear consideration from all reasonable men and women.

iambiguous wrote:Then we think about these things in very different ways. But I can well understand why most folks do react as they do to "dasein". And that is because emotionally and psychologically it is just too discomfitting to imagine that, after peeling away all of the existential layers of their life, there is not some True Self nestled down there at the center of it all: I/ME


zinnat13 wrote:By saying that there is only one I/ME does not mean that that i cannot not examine myself objectively. I can do that far better than most of the others, if not all. Actually, that is the first thing that i learned during that journey.


Just think of all the thousands upon thousands of existential variables in your life you either had no control over or are able to understand only from an existential point of view. Do you actually imagine that if you were born hundreds of years ago or were raised in an entirely different culture or had a completely different set of experiences, relationships and sources of information, you would still think the way you do now about so many different things? Things like God and religion and identity and morality?

For me, instead, the more intriguing question revolves around those things that we can demonstrate to be true for all of us -- and those things that become merely the subjective embodiment of a particular point of view. One that is always [potentially] subject to reconfiguration in a world OF contingency and chance and change. God and religion are just two more aspects of this. Or so it seems to me. And though they may start "from oneself" [in the mind of a particular dasein/individual] there either is or is not an actual God on the other end.

zinnat13 wrote:The real issue is if there is anything real I/We without any brainwashing, or we are nothing except brainwashing!


In my own way, this is also the point I am making. 1 + 1 = 2. This exchange we are having. The earth orbiting the sun. The rules of language. The laws of nature. I do not believe that the objective existence of these things revolves around my having been brainwashed to believe them.

That different folks have different [and often profoundly conflicting] views about God and religion is also true objectively. Or seems to be given the extent to which mere mortals are able to demonstrate something as being true objectively.

But the actual existence of a God, the God, our God?

No, it's not all brainwashing, of course. More like an existential nudge -- or push. But it is a long, long, long way from having been demonstrated to be true objectively.
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 zinnat » Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:45 pm

iambiguous wrote:Yes, and lots of different people have lots of different experiences in lots of different cultural and historical contexts and [thus] have lots of different personal narratives about God and religion. So, again, how are they then able to demonstrate to others that their own personal narrative is in fact the one true objective reality? That [to me] is what it comes down to. Believing in your own narrative and being able to demonstrate why others ought to believe it as well. Again, juxtaposed to being able to demonstrate to others that in fact we are engaged in this exchange at ILP.


imb,
It seems to me that there is some confusion in your mind about how this issue should be addressed/probed.

One way is to demonstrate hard evidence (in the backyard) but that is not possible, at least on the net. So, it would be a waste of time to focus on that.

The second way is to use personal experiences/cogitations to probe this philosophically, as we do for other philosophical premises. That is within our capacity, so let us focus on that.

iambiguous wrote:Yes, but this can still only reflect a tiny fraction of all the experiences there are to be had by a human being -- experiences, relationships, sources of information that would impact on his or her beliefs about God and religion.


That is true. Some subjectivity will be always there but as ones will climb the steps, its ratio is bound to increase and comes closer to pure objectivity.

Secondly, it is not the case that i cannot or hesitating to tell you how i derived my conclusions from my experiences, but the problem with that is, there is no way that you can check the validity of those experiences. So, either you would have to accept that in toto or reject completely. Yes, you can question my conclusions. If that is your intention, i will take this discussion to slightly different route. But, if that is not what you want, let us forget about hard physical evidences of the God and use philosophy only.

iambiguous wrote:Basically you are acknowledging that this is a "long shot". You want to put that off until later and concentrate instead on [what to me is] the far more intangible part: probing "the issue whether something exists beyond our limit of physical approach or not."


Yes, and the reason is very simple.

If there is nothing without physical reach, there is no possibility of the god either. If there is no arthmatics, there cannot be any algebra either. It is as simple as that. Secondly, it is an easier thing to discuss and conclude than god.

Though, no theist would ask you that. But, this is the very course that i gone through personally, that is why i am using that. Mostly people start learning from books but i consulted books after learning. I did not have the luxury of guidance and have no option but to rely on trial and error method. That perhaps took more time, but on the other hand, it also provided me some subtle insights, that most bookish theists do not have.

iambiguous wrote:Yet this, to me, just takes us back into exchanging what we claim to believe is true and reasonable "in our heads" -- based largely on our personal experiences and on how we define the words we use in our argument and the extent to which we can just assume that our deductions are rational. Which, to me, is what folks like Saint and Phyllo always do.


I will certianly take you beyond in our heads. There are some ways which it can be done philosophically, without needing the compulsion of in the backyard.

iambiguous wrote:But we don't need to have new experiences, relationships or sources of information in order to demonstrate that which is in fact true is in fact true. 1 + 1 will always equal 2. This exchange we are having at ILP does exist. A bachelor will always be an unmarried man. The earth does go around the sun. There ARE things that ARE objectively true


You are getting it slightly wrong here. Actually, it is far more complicated issue than how you presented.

Objective truth does not entail easy availability too.

Secondly, there are many layers of reality, thus objectivty depends on which level of reality/subjectivity one belongs. At some point, objectivity and relativity tend to lose their meaning and the real issue becomes which layer of reality the observer belongs and subjectivity becomes the ultimate objectivity.


Let me explain.

Say that there is a person. What is his reality to you? Obviously a walking, talking and thinking and normal person with some memories and emotions. But, if you put that person in a scientific machine, machine will you that person has some percentages of carbon, oxygen, iron etc. Then, some more advanced machine would tell you that person is nothing but made of many electrons and protons. After that, perhaps some CERN scientist will tell you that all you know till now is not the objective reality, and this person is nothing but merely the clump of enumerable Higgs-Boson.

So, the question is what should be considered as an objective reality? If you go by scientific deduction, you will certainly get smaller and smaller constituents, but in that case, what will happen to collectivity of that person that is represented by his experinces, memories, thoughts, emotions, feelings etc?

iambiguous wrote:And maybe the existence of God [a God, the God, your God] is also true objectively


There is certainly some true objective reality. That is precisely what Godness is. True objectivity manifests only when one becomes able to comprehend and correspond all levels of reality'; Omnipresence and Omniscience. But. let us not get into that for now.

iambiguous wrote: But basically [from my frame of mind] you are just one more person who believes this but is not able to convince me to believe it too. At least for now.


Keep the judement pending. Let us see what happens.

iambiguous wrote:But, sure, let's focus the beam for now on the "premises" we may well agree on.


Yes.

iambiguous wrote:It is not a question of evasion, but of recognizing [what to me are] the inherent limitations of any particular premises we may exchange here. How much closer [or further away] will they take us [as two particular daseins] to a demonstrable existence of a God, the God, your God? And I will certainly admit that I am not able to demonstrate that No God exist.


Even i cannot demonstrate that the God exists but certainly able to demonstrate that there is something that is beyond physical means. Then, we will talk about the God and i will put my theory forth.

iambiguous wrote:We live in a world where we want things. Where we need things. And clearly the historical record shows us that being able to enforce a particular social, political and economic order enables some to get a hell of a lot more of what they want and what they need. And if that does not revolve around what we have come to construe to be "power" what does it revolve around? Around God?

And these behaviors are surely part and parcel of the evolution of life on earth culminating [in terms of complexity] in the human brain. The reality of power is everywhere. That some have coined the expression "the will to power" is just one of the ways in which to situate it out in the world of actual, existential human interactions.


imb, all these arguments are assumptions. There is no physical evidence to support this. Medical science says that emotions are nothing but merely the result of some chemicals. So, does that mean that WTP is a chemical substance like any hormone?

Remember, i am not saying that WTP or likewise things do not exist. They certainly are but i just want to draw your attention towards the fact that there is scope in philosophy for such premises. And, the premise of God is also entitled to that.

iambiguous wrote:But, sure, what WTP has to do with the universe may always be purely speculative.

And the human brain is such that it can then focus on these existential interactions from a "philosophical" perspective. True. But what then can the philosophers tell us about how power ought to be used out in the world of human interaction? And what can the philosophers demonstrate to us regarding the objective relationship between power and God? They either can or they can't. Here and now.


Yes, that is the point on which i want to draw your intention. And, it is good that you did not hesitate to accept what seems to be obvious and logical. Many intellectuals do not do that. They keep discussing metaphysical premises like WTP or Kant's Sehema but as soon as the issue of God comes, they tend to make such faces that they just have tasted something very bitter and that is not going down to their throat.

iambiguous wrote:I'm not sure what you are saying here. I have already acknowledged the ontological and teleological mystery that is existence qua existence. We don't know why something exist rather than nothing. We don't know why it is this existence and not another. And, sure, it may well be true that the explanation resides in God.

But then we are just back to religionists being able to demonstrate the actual existence of this God. The God, their God, they will insist. And not some other God. Your God, perhaps.


We have covered that.

iambiguous wrote:Most religionists posit the existence of the God. Most religionists insist that this is their God. Most religionists argue that a belief in their God is of fundamental importance if one wants to attain immortality and salvation.


That is true because they have faith. I also have faith but my reasons of having faith are slightly different. Their faith is borrowed but mine is earned. But, i am not saying that they are doing something wrong. My purpose is also the same; immorality and salvation.

iambiguous wrote:So, you've got to understand that, in focusing on the premise, "something exist beyond physical means", while interesting and intriguing philosophically, will not be what most folks concern themselves with in pursuing God and religion.


I very well understand that. That is not my concern either. I am using that to make our discussion easy, smooth and understandable to both of us. Because, from my experience, i am well aware that starting from the god would not serve any purpose for discussion.

iambiguous wrote:I do not pursue these things myself as a "scholar". On the contrary, as I note over and over again, I am interested in philosophy only to the extent that philosophers are able to implicate and situate their "premises" existentially. In particular with respect to "how ought one to live?"

For me, God and religion are important only to the extent to which I might pursue this "beyond the grave".

So, sure, maybe we are not after the same thing at all here.


That is an easier part. But, in that case, why are you interested in finding physical proof of the god and not focus merely on the issue whether it serves any purpose or not? And, why you are not comfortable with merely in the head and want everything in the backyard?

Nevertheless, i do not have issue either way. It is up to you to decide whether you are interested in merely how one ought to live or whether something exist beyond physical means or not.

But, please make sure as both discussions will take different route.

iambiguous wrote:A moral narrative is reasonable or not reasonable from a point of view. How is a follower of Jesus able to demonstrate that His narrative is deontologically sound other than in insisting that He is the Son of God...or the embodiment of God on earth? What would Jesus tell us about the morality of abortion, capital punishment, the role of government, capitalism, gender norms, homosexuality. Would whatever He tells us then become the "objective truth"?


You are not getting what i was trying to say. What do you think of Ghandi, Mother Teresa, Mandella or MLK? Were they philosophers? Did they address every issue? And, on that grond, should we consider them fools?

Every historical figure addresses his timeline, his context and his surroundings, not the future. There was no need for Jesus to express his views about homosexuality and capitalism. He addressed the intrusions of Judaism and that was his only purpose.

Forget about what Jesus said about the God. Consider him merely a social worker/preacher with noble intention like those social figures. I am asking this to atheists to respect him as a human, at least.

iambiguous wrote:Again and again: It comes down to the extent to which there either is or is not historical evidence to believe that one or another man or woman did or did not exist. That's all we have available to us. But with respect to "how ought we to live?" [and the relationship between that and God and religion] the philosophers you mention here are all over the philosophical map. So, how are we to determine which of them spoke the objective truth?


What kind of historical evidence? Why do you think that the existence of all these all persons, which happened to be there some centuries back that of Jesus, are not in doubt but Jesus's is? Give me reasons.

And, also remember that none of these is/was as famous and influential than Jesus. No one other is as followed and discussed as him. You cannot find any other person in the history of the western world, on whom so many people trusted blindly. Yet, he is the only one whose existence is in doubt! Thus, your argument of all over the philosophical map does not hold water.

Even Aristotle was buried under his books without being noticed. It was Muslim scholars, who dig him out of his grave and introduced the world by his work after some centuries, but nobody questions his existence!

Why only Jesus? Even other religious figures like Moses, Buddha, Mahavira, Muhammad etc are spared! What special evidence these people have that Jesus not! But, the question mark is only behind Jesus! Why?

Whether he said onjective truth or not, can be certainly challenged. Unlike typical theists, I do not mind that.

iambiguous wrote:And, in my view, it is not reasonable to just dismiss the arguments of folks like these:

http://www.godlessgeeks.com/JesusExist.htm
http://www.jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/jpadvert.htm
http://www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm

They make some good points which bear consideration from all reasonable men and women.


I tried to have an idea of those links. There is nothing in those that can be said reasonable. All that is nothing but a foolish and biased atheistic attempt to establish that there was no Jesus whatsoever. They are trying to uproot the whole tree instead of merely forbidding others from having its fruits.

imb, if you start looking only for loop holes in the history of such a person, who existed more than 2000 years back, you will find many. That is not a big deal. There are many controversies about the life of Buddha and Mahavira too but nobody ever denies their existence. Yes, some say that they were not such as presented by their followers. That argument may be right or wrong.

Secondly, does it seem possible to you that merely some writers can create such mass illusion and kept it going for more than 2000 years?

iambiguous wrote:Just think of all the thousands upon thousands of existential variables in your life you either had no control over or are able to understand only from an existential point of view. Do you actually imagine that if you were born hundreds of years ago or were raised in an entirely different culture or had a completely different set of experiences, relationships and sources of information, you would still think the way you do now about so many different things? Things like God and religion and identity and morality?


I am very well understsanding what you are trying to say. That phase of my life has been passed as far as some subjects are concerned. There was a time when i came across to the same question, but with further effort and experiences over the time, i became able to understand the realation of observation/perception with the reality.

iambiguous wrote:For me, instead, the more intriguing question revolves around those things that we can demonstrate to be true for all of us -- and those things that become merely the subjective embodiment of a particular point of view. One that is always [potentially] subject to reconfiguration in a world OF contingency and chance and change. God and religion are just two more aspects of this. Or so it seems to me. And though they may start "from oneself" [in the mind of a particular dasein/individual] there either is or is not an actual God on the other end.


As i said above, there are two ways to settle this issue.

One is that i explain you my process and you question my derived cogitations. But, in that case, you have to assume that i am telling the truth.

The second way is to try to establish whether something exist beyond physical means or not. In this case, mere discussion is enough. If that can be established, then we can think how that can be related to the god. No physical evidence is required.

I am open either way. It is up to you to choose. We can also take both metnods side by side too.

iambiguous wrote:In my own way, this is also the point I am making. 1 + 1 = 2


But, did you ever think that 1into 1 can be 1 too! How are you sure that they will add everytime, whenever they interact, and in the way you are assuming? Means, why they cannnot multiply or devide each other? Why 1 and 1are supposed to be 2 everytime and not 1, 0 or 11? In the case, objectivity will lose its meaning and subjectivity becomes the only reality.

iambiguous wrote:This exchange we are having. The earth orbiting the sun. The rules of language. The laws of nature. I do not believe that the objective existence of these things revolves around my having been brainwashed to believe them.


We have covered that.

iambiguous wrote:That different folks have different [and often profoundly conflicting] views about God and religion is also true objectively. Or seems to be given the extent to which mere mortals are able to demonstrate something as being true objectively.

But the actual existence of a God, the God, our God?

No, it's not all brainwashing, of course. More like an existential nudge -- or push. But it is a long, long, long way from having been demonstrated to be true objectively.


That depends upon what this I/ME is in actual terms. If it is nothing but mere brainwashing and ever changeable too, there is no objectivity in this universe whatsoever. But, if something in this I/ME is constant/eternal, there will be an ultimate objectivity for sure.

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:16 pm

zinnat13 wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Yes, and lots of different people have lots of different experiences in lots of different cultural and historical contexts and [thus] have lots of different personal narratives about God and religion. So, again, how are they then able to demonstrate to others that their own personal narrative is in fact the one true objective reality? That [to me] is what it comes down to. Believing in your own narrative and being able to demonstrate why others ought to believe it as well. Again, juxtaposed to being able to demonstrate to others that in fact we are engaged in this exchange at ILP.


imb,
It seems to me that there is some confusion in your mind about how this issue should be addressed/probed.

One way is to demonstrate hard evidence (in the backyard) but that is not possible, at least on the net. So, it would be a waste of time to focus on that.

The second way is to use personal experiences/cogitations to probe this philosophically, as we do for other philosophical premises. That is within our capacity, so let us focus on that.


Okay, but please note:

This exchange that we are having exist objectively in my view. In other words, anyone in the world [irrespective of their views about God and religion and identity and morality] who has access to a computer and the internet can read these words. Everyone will agree that it in fact does exist. It doesn't make any difference whatsoever how different their experiences, relationships and sources of information are. And that's what I construe to be "objective reality". Again, insofar as mere mortals can ever really grasp that given the staggering mystery that is existence itself.

But then we can ask: which of our arguments is more reasonable? Here our particular experiences, relationships, sources of information etc. will have far more relevance. And then we can ask any philosopher to demonstrate which of our subjective narratives here reflects the most rational and objective manner in which to grasp the "reality" of God and religion.

That, in my view, is a very important distinction to make. And this is where we seem to go in different directions. You will acknowledge that there is "some subjectivity" here whereas I see dasein as considerably more relevant in discussions like this.

To wit: The gap "I" see between any premises we might agree on here and demonstrating the actual existence of a God, the God, your God.

zinnat13 wrote: ...it is not the case that i cannot or hesitating to tell you how i derived my conclusions from my experiences, but the problem with that is, there is no way that you can check the validity of those experiences. So, either you would have to accept that in toto or reject completely. Yes, you can question my conclusions. If that is your intention, i will take this discussion to slightly different route. But, if that is not what you want, let us forget about hard physical evidences of the God and use philosophy only.


This is basically my point though. We live in a world where [through televison, film, the internet etc] we are able to note just how different lives can be for others in different cultures, in different parts of the world, from different historical ages.

That is why I always aim the philosophical beam at those things we all seem to share in common -- objective truths that in fact transcend dasein. One being that God is everywhere. Hundreds and hundreds of denominations. And we can explore the reasons for this. But how much closer does that get us to the actual existing God? If He exists at all.

zinnat13 wrote: If there is nothing without physical reach, there is no possibility of the god either. If there is no arthmatics, there cannot be any algebra either. It is as simple as that. Secondly, it is an easier thing to discuss and conclude than god.


And here I always get "stuck": how is this relevant to the lives that we live? In particular when they come into conflict? We discover the laws of nature [and the role that mathematics plays] and we able historically to create the modern, industrial world. But the different perspectives we have on God and religion is irrelevant here. And that is because the laws of physics and mathematics always revolve around either/or. Or do until we enter the domain of QM. There is no question of merely having faith in this. Let alone of worshipping and adoring it. These laws and equations have nothing to do with Sin or Salvation or Immotality or Divine Justice. Unless, of course, they do. But then it is incumbent upon the believer to show us how they do.

iambiguous wrote:Yet this, to me, just takes us back into exchanging what we claim to believe is true and reasonable "in our heads" -- based largely on our personal experiences and on how we define the words we use in our argument and the extent to which we can just assume that our deductions are rational. Which, to me, is what folks like Saint and Phyllo always do.


zinnat13 wrote: I will certianly take you beyond in our heads. There are some ways which it can be done philosophically, without needing the compulsion of in the backyard.


Again -- for all practical purposes -- I don't know what you mean here. You will have to give me examples of this pertaining to the lives we live. Lives that over and again come into conflict.

iambiguous wrote:But we don't need to have new experiences, relationships or sources of information in order to demonstrate that which is in fact true is in fact true. 1 + 1 will always equal 2. This exchange we are having at ILP does exist. A bachelor will always be an unmarried man. The earth does go around the sun. There ARE things that ARE objectively true


zinnat13 wrote: You are getting it slightly wrong here. Actually, it is far more complicated issue than how you presented.

Objective truth does not entail easy availability too.

Secondly, there are many layers of reality, thus objectivty depends on which level of reality/subjectivity one belongs. At some point, objectivity and relativity tend to lose their meaning and the real issue becomes which layer of reality the observer belongs and subjectivity becomes the ultimate objectivity.


Let me explain.

Say that there is a person. What is his reality to you? Obviously a walking, talking and thinking and normal person with some memories and emotions. But, if you put that person in a scientific machine, machine will you that person has some percentages of carbon, oxygen, iron etc. Then, some more advanced machine would tell you that person is nothing but made of many electrons and protons. After that, perhaps some CERN scientist will tell you that all you know till now is not the objective reality, and this person is nothing but merely the clump of enumerable Higgs-Boson.

So, the question is what should be considered as an objective reality? If you go by scientific deduction, you will certainly get smaller and smaller constituents, but in that case, what will happen to collectivity of that person that is represented by his experinces, memories, thoughts, emotions, feelings etc?


Yes, I can agree with this basically. You articulated it well. But what this encompasses [for me] is that profound mystery still beyond the reach of science: the mystery that is mind. In other words, matter that is like no other. Ever. Mindful matter. Matter able to explore itself as matter...as mind. And here the question of autonomy itself is deconstructed. Could it possibly be that we both embody merely the illusion of choosing our words "freely" here? Yeah, sure, mind may well be the second biggest mystery of all. Behind only the mystery of existence itself. Why something and not nothing? Why this something and not another something?

But how does one then make the profound leap from mind to soul...and from soul to God... and from God to my God...and from my God to the only God?

In other words, beyond the definitions and the deductions that are held to be true "in my head"?

iambiguous wrote:We live in a world where we want things. Where we need things. And clearly the historical record shows us that being able to enforce a particular social, political and economic order enables some to get a hell of a lot more of what they want and what they need. And if that does not revolve around what we have come to construe to be "power" what does it revolve around? Around God?

And these behaviors are surely part and parcel of the evolution of life on earth culminating [in terms of complexity] in the human brain. The reality of power is everywhere. That some have coined the expression "the will to power" is just one of the ways in which to situate it out in the world of actual, existential human interactions.


zinnat13 wrote: imb, all these arguments are assumptions. There is no physical evidence to support this. Medical science says that emotions are nothing but merely the result of some chemicals. So, does that mean that WTP is a chemical substance like any hormone?


Again, I am not really certain what you are trying to say here. This is the world that we live in: http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/ ... -and-stats

And it is a world that clearly revolves around political and economic power. And, yes, there are folks who will justify this philosophically by positing things like WTP: Survival of the fittest, might makes right, the masses are sheep etc.

Now, science may not [yet] be able to fully explain our emotional and psychological reactions to these statistics, but it seems rather obscure [to me] to suggest anything other than the brute facticity of power in both creating and then sustaining this world. And if there be an omniscient and omnipotent God, He certainly seems intent on letting it stay this way.

iambiguous wrote:Most religionists posit the existence of the God. Most religionists insist that this is their God. Most religionists argue that a belief in their God is of fundamental importance if one wants to attain immortality and salvation.


zinnat13 wrote:That is true because they have faith. I also have faith but my reasons of having faith are slightly different. Their faith is borrowed but mine is earned. But, i am not saying that they are doing something wrong. My purpose is also the same; immorality and salvation.


This, of course, is the aspect of our discussion that piques my own interest. Different folks have faith in -- believe in -- different Gods. And part and parcel to this is the belief that in worshipping their own God, they will achieve immortality and salvation. But only in worshipping their God. And with immoratality and salvation itself at stake, what could be more crucial than believing in the "right God"? Why yours and not all the others? What substantive arguments can they provide us here.

In fact, this is when arguments like Carl Sagan's seem most relevant:

Ann Druyan suggests an experiment: Look back again at the pale blue dot of the preceding chapter. Take a good long look at it. Stare at the dot for any length of time and then try to convince yourself that God created the whole Universe for one of the 10 million or so species of life that inhabit that speck of dust. Now take it a step further: Imagine that everything was made just for a single shade of that species, or gender, or ethnic or religious subdivision. If this doesn’t strike you as unlikely, pick another dot. Imagine it to be inhabited by a different form of intelligent life. They, too, cherish the notion of a God who has created everything for their benefit. How seriously do you take their claim?

Your God, on the other hand, seems [to me] a million miles away from this. Instead, His existence seems tethered only to the premises you are aiming to examine here. You say that you will make this premise more substantial by taking it "out of your head". But sometimes it seems that you are suggesting just the opposite: that no actual physical evidence need be relevant at all.

And I do look forward to exploring whatever it is you are trying to explain to me. But right now, admittedly, I can't imagine how this can be done other then in the way in which folks like James and Phyllo and Wizard do it: through circular definitions and deductions said to be true because they insist that the definition [and the meaning] of the words they provide are true. And that the arguments of atheists must be wrong because they do not correspond with their own "objective" arguments.

iambiguous wrote:I do not pursue these things myself as a "scholar". On the contrary, as I note over and over again, I am interested in philosophy only to the extent that philosophers are able to implicate and situate their "premises" existentially. In particular with respect to "how ought one to live?"

For me, God and religion are important only to the extent to which I might pursue this "beyond the grave".

So, sure, maybe we are not after the same thing at all here.


zinnat13 wrote:That is an easier part. But, in that case, why are you interested in finding physical proof of the god and not focus merely on the issue whether it serves any purpose or not? And, why you are not comfortable with merely in the head and want everything in the backyard?


If a theist argues that his God does exist but He has nothing to do with attaining immortality, salvation, divine justice and an objective morality...I'd naturally be curious as to what purpose He does serve in our lives. But you yourself noted above that, "[m]y purpose is also the same; immorality and salvation."

And I would venture to say that very, very, very, very few believers are interested in God only as an academic exercise aimed at discovering whether He does in fact merely exist.

And I am still a long way from understanding how "something exist beyond physical means" is related to the existence of a God, the God, your God -- whatever the purpose of believing in Him might be.

iambiguous wrote:A moral narrative is reasonable or not reasonable from a point of view. How is a follower of Jesus able to demonstrate that His narrative is deontologically sound other than in insisting that He is the Son of God...or the embodiment of God on earth? What would Jesus tell us about the morality of abortion, capital punishment, the role of government, capitalism, gender norms, homosexuality. Would whatever He tells us then become the "objective truth"?


zinnat13 wrote:You are not getting what i was trying to say. What do you think of Ghandi, Mother Teresa, Mandella or MLK? Were they philosophers? Did they address every issue? And, on that grond, should we consider them fools?


Yes, we both seem to be on a very different trajectory here. These folks had their own narratives relating to particular Gods and particular religious denominations. But sooner or later they have to address the flock regarding behaviors that will be rewarded or punished. As in on that day of reckoning -- Judgment Day. Now, unless one is arguing that whatever any of them tell their followers to do [in order to be righteous before God], is the right thing to do, what is someone concerned with doing the right thing before God to do?

Really, if any of them [or their followers today] would not be forthright with me regarding the reality of "conflicting goods" out in the world of actual interacting men and women, how seriously could I take them?! If a belief in God is not intimately related to "how ought I to behave?" on the sojourn from birth to death, it would seem entirely sterile to me.

And what does it mean for someone to respect Jesus as a "human being" [as a "social worker"] if they genuinely and sincerely believe that the values he embodied back then are not in accordance with their own regarding issues like abortion or capital punishment or gender roles or economic justice or homosexuality.

zinnat13 wrote:What kind of historical evidence? Why do you think that the existence of all these all persons, which happened to be there some centuries back that of Jesus, are not in doubt but Jesus's is? Give me reasons.


I directed you [and others] to links that explore this. But the link from wiki approaches it from both sides: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus

But the extent to which it can be shown that Jesus did in fact exist as a man back then is of little interest to me in this exchange. It is only the extent to which whatever the historical facts might be can be used to link him to the God of Moses and Abraham -- to the God -- that matters to me.

iambiguous wrote:Just think of all the thousands upon thousands of existential variables in your life you either had no control over or are able to understand only from an existential point of view. Do you actually imagine that if you were born hundreds of years ago or were raised in an entirely different culture or had a completely different set of experiences, relationships and sources of information, you would still think the way you do now about so many different things? Things like God and religion and identity and morality?


zinnat13 wrote: I am very well understsanding what you are trying to say. That phase of my life has been passed as far as some subjects are concerned. There was a time when i came across to the same question, but with further effort and experiences over the time, i became able to understand the realation of observation/perception with the reality.


Here we will just have to agree to disagree that you either understand the point I am raising about the profoundly problematic nature of dasein [identity] or that you address it. In my view, we think about these things as we do based on the differing experiences, relationships and sources of information we have encountered. There is no objective truth here...only an exchange of subjective/subjunctive vantage points.

iambiguous wrote:For me, instead, the more intriguing question revolves around those things that we can demonstrate to be true for all of us -- and those things that become merely the subjective embodiment of a particular point of view. One that is always [potentially] subject to reconfiguration in a world OF contingency and chance and change. God and religion are just two more aspects of this. Or so it seems to me. And though they may start "from oneself" [in the mind of a particular dasein/individual] there either is or is not an actual God on the other end.


zinnat13 wrote: As i said above, there are two ways to settle this issue.

One is that i explain you my process and you question my derived cogitations. But, in that case, you have to assume that i am telling the truth.


This is simply too abstract for me to sink my teeth into. Either what you believe about God can be translated into the existental lives that we live [lives that come into conflict over value judgments -- judgements pertaining to or not pertaining to God] or it will always be [for me] something that you [now] believe "in your head" that I do not [now] believe "in my head" is true.

zinnat13 wrote: The second way is to try to establish whether something exist beyond physical means or not. In this case, mere discussion is enough. If that can be established, then we can think how that can be related to the god. No physical evidence is required.


Same here. With immortality, salvation, divine justice and objective morality literally at stake, you want me to agree that maybe there is a god if I can agree with you that "something exist beyond physical means". Again: what on earth does that mean pertaining TO "how ought I to live my life" in the here and now in order that I might be embraced by a God, the God, your God after I am dead and gone?

I am willing to explore further your "premise" but I have to honest and note that this seems to be a far cry from the reason most folks believe in God. This really does seem to be just an exercise in scholasticism. Or it does so far to me.

iambiguous wrote:In my own way, this is also the point I am making. 1 + 1 = 2


zinnat13 wrote: But, did you ever think that 1into 1 can be 1 too! How are you sure that they will add everytime, whenever they interact, and in the way you are assuming? Means, why they cannnot multiply or devide each other? Why 1 and 1are supposed to be 2 everytime and not 1, 0 or 11? In the case, objectivity will lose its meaning and subjectivity becomes the only reality.


I hold an orange in my left hand and an orange in my right hand. The one orange plus the other orange equals two oranges. That will never change. Or I can hold an orange in my left hand and an apple in my right hand. One orange plus one apple equals two fruit. And that will never change. But if Joe believes in God A and Joan believes in God B...does that make two Gods? If there is a God, the God, then one of them doesn't really exist at all.

And, again, given what is at stake here when the Grim Reaper comes around, I damn sure want to know which God is the one true God. And if there be a God at all.

Now, scholars and philosophers and theologians may argue that this sort of thinking is "for the masses" but there is a reason for that, right? Because this is really what faith in God comes down to! Pertaining to the lives that we live. And what happens to us after we die.

iambiguous wrote:That different folks have different [and often profoundly conflicting] views about God and religion is also true objectively. Or seems to be given the extent to which mere mortals are able to demonstrate something as being true objectively.

But the actual existence of a God, the God, our God?

No, it's not all brainwashing, of course. More like an existential nudge -- or push. But it is a long, long, long way from having been demonstrated to be true objectively.


zinnat13 wrote: That depends upon what this I/ME is in actual terms. If it is nothing but mere brainwashing and ever changeable too, there is no objectivity in this universe whatsoever. But, if something in this I/ME is constant/eternal, there will be an ultimate objectivity for sure.


Yes, and to me, "I" and "me" are the embodiment of dasein. In other words, the existential layers that we accummulate revolving first around our genetic/biological predispositions, then around our historical and cultural context, and then around the experiences, relationships and sources of information that any one particular individual encounters en route from the cradle to the grave.

Now, what I am curious to know is how you embody what you deem to be "constant/eternal" relating to your own I/ME -- insofar as it can be implicated/situated/integrated into your interactions with others when they come into conflict over value judgments.

And here I am more than willing to acknowledge that we may well be after different things. And also to note that what I am after is not necessarily more important than what you are after. So, sure, we can just agree to disagree and move on to others more inclined to approach God and religion as we do.

Or, instead, we can struggle to bridge the gaps between us. Either way, I believe that we both do respect each other's intelligence.
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 zinnat » Sat Oct 18, 2014 8:26 am

imb,

I am sorry for being late. Others threads kept me busy. I will reply tonight.

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Oct 18, 2014 6:37 pm

zinnat13 wrote:imb,

I am sorry for being late. Others threads kept me busy. I will reply tonight.

with love,
sanjay


No problem. I've been there 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 zinnat » Tue Oct 21, 2014 8:10 pm

iambiguous wrote:Okay, but please note:

This exchange that we are having exist objectively in my view. In other words, anyone in the world [irrespective of their views about God and religion and identity and morality] who has access to a computer and the internet can read these words. Everyone will agree that it in fact does exist. It doesn't make any difference whatsoever how different their experiences, relationships and sources of information are. And that's what I construe to be "objective reality". Again, insofar as mere mortals can ever really grasp that given the staggering mystery that is existence itself.

But then we can ask: which of our arguments is more reasonable? Here our particular experiences, relationships, sources of information etc. will have far more relevance. And then we can ask any philosopher to demonstrate which of our subjective narratives here reflects the most rational and objective manner in which to grasp the "reality" of God and religion.

That, in my view, is a very important distinction to make. And this is where we seem to go in different directions. You will acknowledge that there is "some subjectivity" here whereas I see dasein as considerably more relevant in discussions like this.

To wit: The gap "I" see between any premises we might agree on here and demonstrating the actual existence of a God, the God, your God.


I think that i more or less understood what you are trying to say.

But, it is my humble request not to use too complex or vague language and terms as one can draw any meaning that he wants. Please keep it as straight and simple as possible. That will help both of us.

iambiguous wrote:This is basically my point though. We live in a world where [through televison, film, the internet etc] we are able to note just how different lives can be for others in different cultures, in different parts of the world, from different historical ages.

That is why I always aim the philosophical beam at those things we all seem to share in common -- objective truths that in fact transcend dasein. One being that God is everywhere. Hundreds and hundreds of denominations. And we can explore the reasons for this. But how much closer does that get us to the actual existing God? If He exists at all.


I do not see that there is much difference in how people cogitates things. They all do that the same way. The actual difference is in the benchmark or thought process/perception/a priori knowledge that they use to examine things. That is all.

zinnat13 wrote:
If there is nothing without physical reach, there is no possibility of the god either. If there is no arthmatics, there cannot be any algebra either. It is as simple as that. Secondly, it is an easier thing to discuss and conclude than god.


iambiguous wrote:And here I always get "stuck": how is this relevant to the lives that we live? In particular when they come into conflict? We discover the laws of nature [and the role that mathematics plays] and we able historically to create the modern, industrial world. But the different perspectives we have on God and religion is irrelevant here. And that is because the laws of physics and mathematics always revolve around either/or. Or do until we enter the domain of QM. There is no question of merely having faith in this. Let alone of worshipping and adoring it. These laws and equations have nothing to do with Sin or Salvation or Immotality or Divine Justice. Unless, of course, they do. But then it is incumbent upon the believer to show us how they do.


No need to get stuck.

imb, the first thing that you need to understand here is that is no isolation available here in this universe for anything, whether physical or metaphysical. Anything, if that exists, is somehow related to other things, more or less. Yes, there will be some difference in the degree to that one thing will affect and got affected by other things.

The same applies to the premise of God and the question of whether anything exists beyond our physical reach or not too. These two inquires are not irrelevant but actually the most important ones, far more important than we can assume.

The answers to these two questions decided/decide the course of the mankind. Science, technology, social premises etc are slaves to these answers as they entirely depend how these two questions are probed and what answers we are able derive from these. The all difference that you see between different societies in the world is only because they derived different answers to these questions. There are no other reasons whatsoever.

The cornerstone of mathematics is philosophical derivation from religious investigations. Both 1 and 0 represent male penis and female vagina respectively. These represent Shiva (1 and male) and Shaki ( 0 and female), and when they come together and make a union, creation happens. And, that does not happen once but it is an eternal process. That is why a penis has to go in and out manytimes from the vagina. In the same way, basic numbers from 1to 9 have go in and out from 0 to create mathematics.

Image

So, let us not underestimate the importance of these questions. It is not merely an academic exercise that will be restricted to books only but it crafts our future too in all verticals.

iambiguous wrote:Again -- for all practical purposes -- I don't know what you mean here. You will have to give me examples of this pertaining to the lives we live. Lives that over and again come into conflict.


Yes, i will certainly give examples.

iambiguous wrote:Yes, I can agree with this basically. You articulated it well


Yes, i can do that, in spite of my limitations of the English language. But, it is not because that i am a very intelligent person. The only and very simple reason is that my knowledge about these issues in not borrowed but earned. I have gone through the process of acquiring the knowledge in person, instead of having readymade lessons. Thus, the basics are clearer in my mind.

iambiguous wrote:But what this encompasses [for me] is that profound mystery still beyond the reach of science: the mystery that is mind. In other words, matter that is like no other. Ever. Mindful matter. Matter able to explore itself as matter...as mind. And here the question of autonomy itself is deconstructed. Could it possibly be that we both embody merely the illusion of choosing our words "freely" here? Yeah, sure, mind may well be the second biggest mystery of all. Behind only the mystery of existence itself. Why something and not nothing? Why this something and not another something?


imb, if you ever read Upnishads, this is the first thing that they asked; what is reality and how can we know that?
Then, they deduct it further and ask; who is exactly this I/We, that wants to know?

That is what that is the actual purpose of the religions, neither the God, nor the morality. God happened accidently and morality is the use of those small findings they came across during their journey.

It is certainly beyond the reach of the science, but not beyond the reach of mankind for sure. Though, science can easily find the evidence of something beyond physical reach, but unfortunately, it has not made enough attempts in this direction.

iambiguous wrote:But how does one then make the profound leap from mind to soul...and from soul to God... and from God to my God...and from my God to the only God?

In other words, beyond the definitions and the deductions that are held to be true "in my head"?


Although, your line of questioning is right but not the finding the answers. That confuses you and you are not able to make a call on anything and have to keep every judgment pending. That is why you bring God in everything.

Let me ask you one very simple question. If i ask you what your height is exactly, how would you measure it?
Would you take a measuring tape and measure your height from it or will start questioning the authenticity of the tape itself?

That is precisely the issue with you. When i ask you anything, you start questioning your mind. You must remember here that every level of existence has its own reality. So, do not try to measure any existence of one reality from the benchmark of another reality. You will never able to find the answer, unless you become omniscient, and that is not possible for you or anyone else.

That is exactly that happened to our discussion in the poll thread.

Do not bring the issue of in the head or god, when these are not under the scanner per se. Or, leave all other issue behind and first settle the issue of I/WE. Make up your mind.

iambiguous wrote:Again, I am not really certain what you are trying to say here


I am asking a very simple question. Whether N's or Kant's metaphysical premises have any scientific evidence? Can any machine confirm their physical existence? If not, why intellectuals give any importance to these at all?

iambiguous wrote:This is the world that we live in: http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/ ... -and-stats

And it is a world that clearly revolves around political and economic power. And, yes, there are folks who will justify this philosophically by positing things like WTP: Survival of the fittest, might makes right, the masses are sheep etc.

Now, science may not [yet] be able to fully explain our emotional and psychological reactions to these statistics, but it seems rather obscure [to me] to suggest anything other than the brute facticity of power in both creating and then sustaining this world.


That explanation is not scientific by any mean. You may not able to realize but you are arguing in the same way how theists do. You are holding WTP the motivating force while they say it is God. What is the difference? Neither you have any physical evidence nor they.

iambiguous wrote:And if there be an omniscient and omnipotent God, He certainly seems intent on letting it stay this way.


That is an entirely different and complex issue altogether but we will come to that later.

iambiguous wrote:This, of course, is the aspect of our discussion that piques my own interest. Different folks have faith in -- believe in -- different Gods. And part and parcel to this is the belief that in worshipping their own God, they will achieve immortality and salvation. But only in worshipping their God. And with immoratality and salvation itself at stake, what could be more crucial than believing in the "right God"? Why yours and not all the others? What substantive arguments can they provide us here.


I can answer this easily but for that i have to put forth my complete theory of existence, including the God. It is difficult for me to explain that now. We will take up this issue later.

iambiguous wrote:Ann Druyan suggests an experiment: Look back again at the pale blue dot of the preceding chapter. Take a good long look at it. Stare at the dot for any length of time and then try to convince yourself that God created the whole Universe for one of the 10 million or so species of life that inhabit that speck of dust. Now take it a step further: Imagine that everything was made just for a single shade of that species, or gender, or ethnic or religious subdivision. If this doesn’t strike you as unlikely, pick another dot. Imagine it to be inhabited by a different form of intelligent life. They, too, cherish the notion of a God who has created everything for their benefit. How seriously do you take their claim?


She does not have any idea whatsoever about it and merely guessing without knowing the basics.

iambiguous wrote:Your God, on the other hand, seems [to me] a million miles away from this. Instead, His existence seems tethered only to the premises you are aiming to examine here. You say that you will make this premise more substantial by taking it "out of your head". But sometimes it seems that you are suggesting just the opposite: that no actual physical evidence need be relevant at all.

And I do look forward to exploring whatever it is you are trying to explain to me. But right now, admittedly, I can't imagine how this can be done other then in the way in which folks like James and Phyllo and Wizard do it: through circular definitions and deductions said to be true because they insist that the definition [and the meaning] of the words they provide are true. And that the arguments of atheists must be wrong because they do not correspond with their own "objective" arguments.


My reasoning is entirely different from them. As i said before, I will show you that something is existing there for sure which is beyond our physical reach. And, i will not use any highly philosophical arguments but very simple and common things and observations around us, which would certainly be out of the head.

iambiguous wrote:If a theist argues that his God does exist but He has nothing to do with attaining immortality, salvation, divine justice and an objective morality...I'd naturally be curious as to what purpose He does serve in our lives. But you yourself noted above that, "[m]y purpose is also the same; immorality and salvation."


You are again conflating two levels of reality. The concept of God serves different purposes to different levels of human reality/existence. One is for this world and that is morality and the second one is for other level of existence, where it leads to immorality and salvation.

The premise of the god is like crude oil. It gives different byproducts at different stages, from tar to Kerosene oil, Diesel, Petrol and lastly ATF (fuel used for aero planes).

iambiguous wrote:And I would venture to say that very, very, very, very few believers are interested in God only as an academic exercise aimed at discovering whether He does in fact merely exist.


That is true today but that was not the case in the past.

iambiguous wrote:And I am still a long way from understanding how "something exist beyond physical means" is related to the existence of a God, the God, your God -- whatever the purpose of believing in Him might be.


I will try to establish that there is certainly something such in all the living creatures that controls and guides those, yet cannot be verified physically. If there can be anything such for sure, there is a possibility that the God may exist somewhere.

iambiguous wrote:Yes, we both seem to be on a very different trajectory here. These folks had their own narratives relating to particular Gods and particular religious denominations. But sooner or later they have to address the flock regarding behaviors that will be rewarded or punished. As in on that day of reckoning -- Judgment Day. Now, unless one is arguing that whatever any of them tell their followers to do [in order to be righteous before God], is the right thing to do, what is someone concerned with doing the right thing before God to do?

Really, if any of them [or their followers today] would not be forthright with me regarding the reality of "conflicting goods" out in the world of actual interacting men and women, how seriously could I take them?! If a belief in God is not intimately related to "how ought I to behave?" on the sojourn from birth to death, it would seem entirely sterile to me.

And what does it mean for someone to respect Jesus as a "human being" [as a "social worker"] if they genuinely and sincerely believe that the values he embodied back then are not in accordance with their own regarding issues like abortion or capital punishment or gender roles or economic justice or homosexuality.


imb, you seem to be too much obsessed with the idea of theism/atheism. That is intruding your mind. You need to get out from this and try to see the things from other angles.

No matter whatever were the beliefs of Gandhi Or Mother Teresa about the God, they were not in conflict about social guidelines. Both did not talk much about God in their public life. Gandhi’s first priority was the elevation of the last man standing in the line and Teresa devoted her whole life to serve the ill people. Do we need the any religious doctrine to measure whether they did good or bad?

Say, there are two neighboring cities or almost same size and population, A and B. In the A, there are no good public facilities like roads, water, electricity etc. You cannot go in the night alone as you may be robbed. You cannot leave your house alone as there may be a theft. You have to be very watchful in the crowded places as someone may pick your pocket. You may not go out with the females of your families as goons may cause them trouble. You cannot live in your house peacefully as your neighbors are always ready to fight with you on one issue or other. You hesitate to send your children out as they may fall for bad company and so on.

On the other hand, B is relatively free from all these things. People are generally happy and use to live and interact peacefully with each other. Neighborhoods are good and so are the public places.

Now, if i ask you which city is better and you prefer to live?
Would you choose B without any hesitation or start investigating what the people of both cities think about the God, before making your decision?

That city B is my definition of good and better.

It is quite simple and straight. You need not to complicate it by provoking unnecessary philosophical viewpoints.
It cannot be clearer than that.
Do not bring God into this as that is unwarranted here.


iambiguous wrote:I directed you [and others] to links that explore this. But the link from wiki approaches it from both sides: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus

But the extent to which it can be shown that Jesus did in fact exist as a man back then is of little interest to me in this exchange. It is only the extent to which whatever the historical facts might be can be used to link him to the God of Moses and Abraham -- to the God -- that matters to me.


imb, as i said in the last post, it is useless to argue about the authenticity of such a person, who existed more than 2000 years ago. Anyone can say anything, either for or against. It cannot be settled ever.

But, you did not answer my question that, why the question mark is only behind Jesus, neither Moses nor Buddha?

iambiguous wrote:Here we will just have to agree to disagree that you either understand the point I am raising about the profoundly problematic nature of dasein [identity] or that you address it. In my view, we think about these things as we do based on the differing experiences, relationships and sources of information we have encountered. There is no objective truth here...only an exchange of subjective/subjunctive vantage points.


I am not disagreeing with you at all. I understand your perspective but there is something more besides that too, which you still do not know. You are still struggling with the definition of I/We. As you do have an exact answer to that, thus assuming that there cannot any exact answers to any other thing as well. But, that is not true.

There is certainly an ultimate objectivity of existence. That is precisely what religions postulate as omniscient. One who is aware of and also can correspond to all levels of the reality. When anyone reaches at stage, he becomes truly objective.

iambiguous wrote:This is simply too abstract for me to sink my teeth into. Either what you believe about God can be translated into the existental lives that we live [lives that come into conflict over value judgments -- judgements pertaining to or not pertaining to God] or it will always be [for me] something that you [now] believe "in your head" that I do not [now] believe "in my head" is true.


Okay, let us leave that.

iambiguous wrote:Same here. With immortality, salvation, divine justice and objective morality literally at stake, you want me to agree that maybe there is a god if I can agree with you that "something exist beyond physical means". Again: what on earth does that mean pertaining TO "how ought I to live my life" in the here and now in order that I might be embraced by a God, the God, your God after I am dead and gone?


Whether it could be related to the God or not, is the verification of something exist beyond physical means does not mean anything to you? Is it a small thing?

You are jumping the gun here. You want to settle the issue without going through that because of your presumption.

iambiguous wrote:I am willing to explore further your "premise" but I have to honest and note that this seems to be a far cry from the reason most folks believe in God. This really does seem to be just an exercise in scholasticism. Or it does so far to me.


imb, why are you interested in what other think about this? Let us focus on what we think about this.

iambiguous wrote:I hold an orange in my left hand and an orange in my right hand. The one orange plus the other orange equals two oranges. That will never change. Or I can hold an orange in my left hand and an apple in my right hand. One orange plus one apple equals two fruit. And that will never change


No, that is very much changeable and depends how they interact with each other. Like, if you will them safe within your hands, they will remain 1+1=2. But, if you smash them hard with one another, the result would be different from 2.

iambiguous wrote:But if Joe believes in God A and Joan believes in God B...does that make two Gods? If there is a God, the God, then one of them doesn't really exist at all.

And, again, given what is at stake here when the Grim Reaper comes around, I damn sure want to know which God is the one true God. And if there be a God at all.And, again, given what is at stake here when the Grim Reaper comes around, I damn sure want to know which God is the one true God. And if there be a God at all.

Now, scholars and philosophers and theologians may argue that this sort of thinking is "for the masses" but there is a reason for that, right? Because this is really what faith in God comes down to! Pertaining to the lives that we live. And what happens to us after we die.


As i said above, I will answer that later. I am not able to explain in bits and pieces but need to put a complete theory.

iambiguous wrote:Yes, and to me, "I" and "me" are the embodiment of dasein. In other words, the existential layers that we accummulate revolving first around our genetic/biological predispositions, then around our historical and cultural context, and then around the experiences, relationships and sources of information that any one particular individual encounters en route from the cradle to the grave.


So, does that mean that we are nothing but our layers of brainwashing, or there is something else besides it?
Please make it clear because i will argue on that.

iambiguous wrote:Now, what I am curious to know is how you embody what you deem to be "constant/eternal" relating to your own I/ME -- insofar as it can be implicated/situated/integrated into your interactions with others when they come into conflict over value judgments.


I respect your curiosity as it is almost an endangered quality nowdays.

iambiguous wrote:And here I am more than willing to acknowledge that we may well be after different things. And also to note that what I am after is not necessarily more important than what you are after. So, sure, we can just agree to disagree and move on to others more inclined to approach God and religion as we do.

Or, instead, we can struggle to bridge the gaps between us. Either way, I believe that we both do respect each other's intelligence.


I do mind struggling or sweating in discussion as far as the opponent remains honest with the discussion, no matter what his opinion may be or he agrees with me or not.

As far as the respect is concerned, i respect everyone. Intelligence is not my benchmark for respect anyone.

with love,
sanjay
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:24 pm

zinnat13 wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Okay, but please note:

This exchange that we are having exist objectively in my view. In other words, anyone in the world [irrespective of their views about God and religion and identity and morality] who has access to a computer and the internet can read these words. Everyone will agree that it in fact does exist. It doesn't make any difference whatsoever how different their experiences, relationships and sources of information are. And that's what I construe to be "objective reality". Again, insofar as mere mortals can ever really grasp that given the staggering mystery that is existence itself.

But then we can ask: which of our arguments is more reasonable? Here our particular experiences, relationships, sources of information etc. will have far more relevance. And then we can ask any philosopher to demonstrate which of our subjective narratives here reflects the most rational and objective manner in which to grasp the "reality" of God and religion.


I think that i more or less understood what you are trying to say.

But, it is my humble request not to use too complex or vague language and terms as one can draw any meaning that he wants. Please keep it as straight and simple as possible. That will help both of us.


Yes, words like "God" and "religion" in my view. On the other hand, my understanding of "dasein" and "conflicting goods" is such that in using them in discussions relating to God and religion [or value judgments and identity] there is only so much precision available to us. In fact, that is basically my point here. In other words, I just don't want whatever precision that is said to exist to revolve basically around definitions and deductions. Words that are said to be true only because other words insist that they are.

iambiguous wrote:...I always aim the philosophical beam at those things we all seem to share in common -- objective truths that in fact transcend dasein. One being that God is everywhere. Hundreds and hundreds of denominations. And we can explore the reasons for this. But how much closer does that get us to the actual existing God? If He exists at all.


zinnat13 wrote:I do not see that there is much difference in how people cogitates things. They all do that the same way. The actual difference is in the benchmark or thought process/perception/a priori knowledge that they use to examine things. That is all.


cogitate [v]: To think deeply about something; meditate or reflect.

There is [in my view] a considerable distinction to be made between cogitating about abortion as a medical procedure and cogitating about abortion as a moral issue.

Same with cogitating about the existence of the Christian Bible and cogitating about the extent to which the Christian Bible reflects the word of the one true God.

And the extent to which you don't grasp the manner in which I make this distinction is [perhaps] the extent to which I will not grasp yours. We can only try to grapple with this as best we can.

zinnat13 wrote: imb, the first thing that you need to understand here is that is no isolation available here in this universe for anything, whether physical or metaphysical. Anything, if that exists, is somehow related to other things, more or less. Yes, there will be some difference in the degree to that one thing will affect and got affected by other things.


Yes, but to me there is a considerable distinction to be made between noting this [which, let's face it, is merely to point out that we exist in the universe] and in suggesting that all of this is related existentially [and then essentially] to a God, the God, your God. Again, if for no other reason that God is invarably linked to immortality, salvation, divine justice and an objective moral font. And that brings into focus not only the question of what we are but of how we ought to behave in order to align ourselves with the will of a God, the God, your God.

zinnat13 wrote: The cornerstone of mathematics is philosophical derivation from religious investigations. Both 1 and 0 represent male penis and female vagina respectively. These represent Shiva (1 and male) and Shaki ( 0 and female), and when they come together and make a union, creation happens. And, that does not happen once but it is an eternal process. That is why a penis has to go in and out manytimes from the vagina. In the same way, basic numbers from 1to 9 have go in and out from 0 to create mathematics.


Sure, and religious investigations are derived from the fact that our brain evolved such that it is able to apprehend and to construct particular continuities out of what it is able perceive and sense regarding the relationship between "in my head" and "out in the world". And, yes, that eventually leads the brain [the conscious mind] to go all the way back to pondering what brought about existence in the first place. And one of the possibilities here is a God, the God, my God.

But how specifically is this related to the penis and the vagina?

In other words, what we can know objectively about human sexuality biologically is one thing, and what we can know about the morality of human sexuality, another thing altogether. Or so it seems to me. The biology largely transcends dasein and conflicting goods. But not the morality. Unless, of course, one is able to establish the actual existence OF a transcending moral font. One able to truly settle the conflicts once and for all.

Again:

iambiguous wrote:...what this encompasses [for me] is that profound mystery still beyond the reach of science: the mystery that is mind. In other words, matter that is like no other. Ever. Mindful matter. Matter able to explore itself as matter...as mind. And here the question of autonomy itself is deconstructed. Could it possibly be that we both embody merely the illusion of choosing our words "freely" here? Yeah, sure, mind may well be the second biggest mystery of all. Behind only the mystery of existence itself. Why something and not nothing? Why this something and not another something?


zinnat13 wrote: imb, if you ever read Upnishads, this is the first thing that they asked; what is reality and how can we know that?
Then, they deduct it further and ask; who is exactly this I/We, that wants to know?

That is what that is the actual purpose of the religions, neither the God, nor the morality. God happened accidently and morality is the use of those small findings they came across during their journey.

It is certainly beyond the reach of the science, but not beyond the reach of mankind for sure. Though, science can easily find the evidence of something beyond physical reach, but unfortunately, it has not made enough attempts in this direction.


You say this. But, still, all I can do is to assume that you believe this to be true. But how does it then earn the right to convince others? To me, it is an entirely abstract set of assumptions that you have "deduced' into existence based on all of the other assumptions you have made above. And what I am looking for instead is a way to connect the dots between these theoretical/conceptual assumptions and the nuts and the bolts of the lives that we live when they come into conflict with others; and the extent to which they can be made relevant to our fate after we die.

In other words, the actual reasons that the overwhelming preponderance of religious folks do predicate their own faith on.

To wit:

iambiguous wrote:But how does one then make the profound leap from mind to soul...and from soul to God... and from God to my God...and from my God to the only God?

In other words, beyond the definitions and the deductions that are held to be true "in my head"?


And you respond:

zinnat13 wrote: Although, your line of questioning is right but not the finding the answers. That confuses you and you are not able to make a call on anything and have to keep every judgment pending. That is why you bring God in everything.

Let me ask you one very simple question. If i ask you what your height is exactly, how would you measure it?
Would you take a measuring tape and measure your height from it or will start questioning the authenticity of the tape itself?

That is precisely the issue with you. When i ask you anything, you start questioning your mind. You must remember here that every level of existence has its own reality. So, do not try to measure any existence of one reality from the benchmark of another reality. You will never able to find the answer, unless you become omniscient, and that is not possible for you or anyone else.

That is exactly that happened to our discussion in the poll thread.

Do not bring the issue of in the head or god, when these are not under the scanner per se. Or, leave all other issue behind and first settle the issue of I/WE. Make up your mind.


Yes, and somehow "in your head" this reflects an adequate explanation for the points I raise. And, therefore, you can assume that all the "confusion" here stems from my inability to grasp what, instead, I construe to be basically an intellectual/theoretical/conceptual contraption that in my view exist by and large only in your head.

As though when folks in any particular human community struggle to legislate behaviors relating to conflicting sexual behaviors [like homosexuality from the other thread] your speculations here will actually be of crucial importance. How? And I am still a long, long way from grasping how, further, you connect this to a God, the God, your God. All I know with any real certainty is that, somehow, you have in fact been able to accumplish this "in your head".

iambiguous wrote:This is the world that we live in: http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/ ... -and-stats

And it is a world that clearly revolves around political and economic power. And, yes, there are folks who will justify this philosophically by positing things like WTP: Survival of the fittest, might makes right, the masses are sheep etc.

Now, science may not [yet] be able to fully explain our emotional and psychological reactions to these statistics, but it seems rather obscure [to me] to suggest anything other than the brute facticity of power in both creating and then sustaining this world.


zinnat13 wrote: That explanation is not scientific by any mean. You may not able to realize but you are arguing in the same way how theists do. You are holding WTP the motivating force while they say it is God. What is the difference? Neither you have any physical evidence nor they.


No, I am providing you with a statistical snapshot of the world we live in. I am then noting the obvious: that men and women who possess considerable political and economic power have had an enormous input in the creation of this world. And in sustaining it to reflect their own material interests. I am not saying that this power is a manifestation of WTP. WTP is merely one philosopher's contention regarding how one might look at a world [sans God] in terms of one particular subjective/subjunctive narrative.

Instead, this revolves around the organic, historical evolution of the capitalist political economy. And then [for some] the extent to which they are able to rationalize it in terms of their own particular rendition of God. After all, most of the folks who own and operate the world economy today are Christians. Or call themselves that.

iambiguous wrote:This, of course, is the aspect of our discussion that piques my own interest. Different folks have faith in -- believe in -- different Gods. And part and parcel to this is the belief that in worshipping their own God, they will achieve immortality and salvation. But only in worshipping their God. And with immortality and salvation itself at stake, what could be more crucial than believing in the "right God"? Why yours and not all the others? What substantive arguments can they provide us here.


zinnat13 wrote: I can answer this easily but for that i have to put forth my complete theory of existence, including the God. It is difficult for me to explain that now. We will take up this issue later.


Okay. And I am most curious to see how you accomplish this. On the other hand, to the extent to which you claim this can be done "easily" is the extent to which it reminds me of others here who insist it might be done "simply". And that to me is but another indication that they will accomplish this largely "in their head". But that, of course, is the one place I can never go. You know, for confirmation.

zinnat13 wrote: My reasoning is entirely different from [James and Phyllo and Wizard]. As i said before, I will show you that something is existing there for sure which is beyond our physical reach. And, i will not use any highly philosophical arguments but very simple and common things and observations around us, which would certainly be out of the head.


Again, just to be clear:

I am not at all impressed with their thinking because, in my view, they ask us to believe that the definitions and the deductions that they provide for us in their "analysis" is what makes their argument true.

And that seems to revolve not only around their God but around human behaviors that come into conflict [morally and politically] over conflicting goods; and then the manner in which we acquire an identity.

iambiguous wrote:If a theist argues that his God does exist but He has nothing to do with attaining immortality, salvation, divine justice and an objective morality...I'd naturally be curious as to what purpose He does serve in our lives. But you yourself noted above that, "[m]y purpose is also the same; immorality and salvation."


zinnat13 wrote: You are again conflating two levels of reality. The concept of God serves different purposes to different levels of human reality/existence. One is for this world and that is morality and the second one is for other level of existence, where it leads to immorality and salvation.

The premise of the god is like crude oil. It gives different byproducts at different stages, from tar to Kerosene oil, Diesel, Petrol and lastly ATF (fuel used for aero planes).


And here all I can do is to wait patiently for you to actually connect what I construe to be abstract arguments like this to the lives that we live; and then to what becomes our fate after we stop living [down here]. Either you are able to conflate these two levels of "reality" such that I am able to grasp the existential implications of God and religion [your God and your religion] or you are not. In other words, I keep waiting for what I construe to be more tangible arguments. There are just too many crucial reasons in which, for me, God is not like crude oil at all.

iambiguous wrote:And I am still a long way from understanding how "something exist beyond physical means" is related to the existence of a God, the God, your God -- whatever the purpose of believing in Him might be.


zinnat13 wrote: I will try to establish that there is certainly something such in all the living creatures that controls and guides those, yet cannot be verified physically. If there can be anything such for sure, there is a possibility that the God may exist somewhere.


So it seems [to me] that you are hinting at the existence of something analogous to a "soul" -- something "spiritual" that "controls and guides" some. And that IF such a thing does exist then there is the POSSIBILITY that God might exist too.

And yet [in all honestly] what most intrigues me is the manner in which you are then able to take a "leap" [as did Kierkegaard?] to the God -- to the God that includes Jesus Christ in His narrative. To Christianity. And then from that to the analysis of behaviors such as homosexuality. In other words, which makes me all the more curious the extent to which you are able to say with any certainty [ie deontologically] what our moral obligations must be if we wish to be "saved" by this God of Jesus once we die.

iambiguous wrote:Yes, we both seem to be on a very different trajectory here. These folks had their own narratives relating to particular Gods and particular religious denominations. But sooner or later they have to address the flock regarding behaviors that will be rewarded or punished. As in on that day of reckoning -- Judgment Day. Now, unless one is arguing that whatever any of them tell their followers to do [in order to be righteous before God], is the right thing to do, what is someone concerned with doing the right thing before God to do?

Really, if any of them [or their followers today] would not be forthright with me regarding the reality of "conflicting goods" out in the world of actual interacting men and women, how seriously could I take them?! If a belief in God is not intimately related to "how ought I to behave?" on the sojourn from birth to death, it would seem entirely sterile to me.

And what does it mean for someone to respect Jesus as a "human being" [as a "social worker"] if they genuinely and sincerely believe that the values he embodied back then are not in accordance with their own regarding issues like abortion or capital punishment or gender roles or economic justice or homosexuality.


zinnat13 wrote: imb, you seem to be too much obsessed with the idea of theism/atheism. That is intruding your mind. You need to get out from this and try to see the things from other angles.


Idea:
1] a thought, plan, or suggestion about what to do
2] an opinion or belief
3] something that you imagine or picture in your mind


So, in regard to the relationship between "I" and God and religion, it is the extent to which any particular ideas that any particular individuals have are able to be encompassed such that they can be shown to be true for all of us. In other words, such that it is not just something they hold to be true "in their mind" -- but something that in fact is true objectively.

zinnat13 wrote: No matter whatever were the beliefs of Gandhi Or Mother Teresa about the God, they were not in conflict about social guidelines. Both did not talk much about God in their public life. Gandhi’s first priority was the elevation of the last man standing in the line and Teresa devoted her whole life to serve the ill people. Do we need the any religious doctrine to measure whether they did good or bad?


But show me a community of human beings where the "social guidelines" regarding right and wrong behavior is not linked [often intimately linked in some communities] to their belief in God and religion.

You can have a community where the behavior we call homosexuality is entirely tolerated and permitted...or one in which to engage in it means a certain punishment. Even death. Now, one can either link their own narrative here to the existential reality of this "out in the world" that we live in today or they can't.

And what we need -- or surely what most clearly want -- is a frame of mind in which to know with certainty how a virtuous soul is to behave in order to pass muster on Judgment Day. And that is as close to being factual about God and religion "out in the world" as we are ever likely to establish here. If, in the end, it is not intimately aligned with either "sin" or "not a sin" then what is it really but an academic exercise revolving instead around definitions and deductions. Around what our "ideas" are said to "mean".

zinnat13 wrote: Say, there are two neighboring cities or almost same size and population, A and B. In the A, there are no good public facilities like roads, water, electricity etc. You cannot go in the night alone as you may be robbed. You cannot leave your house alone as there may be a theft. You have to be very watchful in the crowded places as someone may pick your pocket. You may not go out with the females of your families as goons may cause them trouble. You cannot live in your house peacefully as your neighbors are always ready to fight with you on one issue or other. You hesitate to send your children out as they may fall for bad company and so on.

On the other hand, B is relatively free from all these things. People are generally happy and use to live and interact peacefully with each other. Neighborhoods are good and so are the public places.

Now, if i ask you which city is better and you prefer to live?
Would you choose B without any hesitation or start investigating what the people of both cities think about the God, before making your decision?

That city B is my definition of good and better.

It is quite simple and straight. You need not to complicate it by provoking unnecessary philosophical viewpoints.
It cannot be clearer than that.
Do not bring God into this as that is unwarranted here.


And this might well speak volumes regarding the gap between us. Or at least the gap as it exist now.

After all, there are folks who insist that only by embracing their God and their religion and their moral values can this be realized. Or that only capitalism can bring about this better world. Or that only socialism will bring it about. And then there are any number of "liberals" and "conservatives" who will insist [in turn] that their own political agenda is the only sure fire way of ever bringing about a better world.

And what of issues like abortion or gun control or hunting or animal rights or gender roles or homosexuality --- what makes a world "better" with respect to these behaviors? And hundreds more like them? And how is one's answer to this then linked to the question of a God, the God, my God?

And isn't that an accurate reflection of the world we actually live in?

....
zinnat13 wrote: ....you did not answer my question that, why the question mark is only behind Jesus, neither Moses nor Buddha?


I did answer it. I directed you to the links of folks who are very much interested to delving into this historically. Me, I am interested more in the extent to which those who claim to establish the existence of "Jesus the man" are then able to link him in turn to the actual existence of the Christian God.

Or the extent to which the moral and political agenda embodied by the historical Christ can be shown [philosophically] to reflect a deontological ethics.

iambiguous wrote:Here we will just have to agree to disagree that you either understand the point I am raising about the profoundly problematic nature of dasein [identity] or that you address it. In my view, we think about these things as we do based on the differing experiences, relationships and sources of information we have encountered. There is no objective truth here...only an exchange of subjective/subjunctive vantage points.


zinnat13 wrote: I am not disagreeing with you at all. I understand your perspective but there is something more besides that too, which you still do not know. You are still struggling with the definition of I/We. As you do have an exact answer to that, thus assuming that there cannot any exact answers to any other thing as well. But, that is not true.


My aim is less to define human identity than to situate it [my own] out in the world existentially as dasein. After all, only actual flesh and blood men or women use the word "I". And, in some respects, to reflect on things that are true objectively, and, in other respects, to offer up subjective opinions regarding the relationship between things. In particular when, in interacting socially, politically and economically, these relationships come into conflict.

With or without God and religion.

iambiguous wrote:With immortality, salvation, divine justice and objective morality literally at stake, you want me to agree that maybe there is a god if I can agree with you that "something exist beyond physical means". Again: what on earth does that mean pertaining TO "how ought I to live my life" in the here and now in order that I might be embraced by a God, the God, your God after I am dead and gone?


zinnat13 wrote: Whether it could be related to the God or not, is the verification of something exist beyond physical means does not mean anything to you? Is it a small thing?


Let's just say that, as of now, at this juncture in our exchange, it will become considerably more meaningful to me given the extent to which you are able to link it to a God, the God, your God.

Otherwise you are just leading me to a premise -- a premise about the relationship bewteen the life that I do live and the mere possibility that it is linked to something that "exist beyond physical means".

In the interim, as I noted above, I am running out of time. If there be a God, the God, how can I reach Him in time before immortality and salvation really do become [along with everything else pertaining to "I"] nothing at all. You know, for eternity.

In short, I am considerably less concerned with what others "think" here and more with what they are able to demonstrate to me -- substantively, substantially -- regarding the actual existence of their God and their religion.

iambiguous wrote:Yes, and to me, "I" and "me" are the embodiment of dasein. In other words, the existential layers that we accummulate revolving first around our genetic/biological predispositions, then around our historical and cultural context, and then around the experiences, relationships and sources of information that any one particular individual encounters en route from the cradle to the grave.


zinnat13 wrote: So, does that mean that we are nothing but our layers of brainwashing, or there is something else besides it?
Please make it clear because i will argue on that.


Obviously, there are manny, many aspects of the lives we live [of "I"] that have little or nothing to do with brainwashing. And that is because they pertain to those things [and to the relationships between things] that are in fact true objectively. It is only when we contemplate the relationship between "I" and conflicting goods or conflicting Gods or conflicting ontological and teleological speculations, that "I believe" becomes considerably more problematic. And thus considerably more reflective of subjective/subjunctive points of view and personal opinions.

For example, when I speak of living in Baltimore, of being male, of being 5' 10" tall, of having a daughter, of wearing glasses, of typing these words etc., that is not because I was indoctrinated to believe it.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:50 pm

zinnat13 wrote :
Now, if i ask you which city is better and you prefer to live?

What you need to understand is that in Iambig's philosophy, there is no 'good' or 'better'. There is simply no way to evaluate these concepts.

If a decision/action is made and you look at the consequences, then there will be a person A who, because of his experiences, will evaluate it as good and a person B who, because of his experiences, will evaluate it as bad. Nothing can be said that can negate either of these opinions.

That's why he keeps referring to God. God, if he exists, could come down and break the tie - make the correct judgement.

But sans God ...
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu Oct 23, 2014 4:49 am

phyllo wrote:
What you need to understand is that in Iambig's philosophy, there is no 'good' or 'better'. There is simply no way to evaluate these concepts.


No, in my view, there is no essential or objective or universal "good" or "better" -- at least not with respect to conflicting value judgments that revolve around conflicting goods. Judgments that are understood existentially from the perspective of a mere mortal living out in a particular world and viewing it from a particular point of view. And in a world that revolves around [and evolves from] contingency and chance and change.

And yet even here I am willing to acknowledge that, sure, theoretically, there may well be such a truth -- but that no one has yet been able to demonstrate it to me. Just as, in this respect, there may well be an existing God that no one has managed to convince me of.

phyllo wrote:If a decision/action is made and you look at the consequences, then there will be a person A who, because of his experiences, will evaluate it as good and a person B who, because of his experiences, will evaluate it as bad. Nothing can be said that can negate either of these opinions.


Yes, this seems to be a reasonable manner in which to frame my point of view. Thus if John is raised in a Christian community to believe in the Christian God and Muhammad is raised in a Moslem community to believe in the Islamic God and Javier is raised in a Cuban or Chinese or North Korean community to believe in No God, they may very well come to believe that the others are wrong in what they believe.

Okay, so how would the philosopher go about establishing which point of view here reflects the objective truth? Not even counting all of the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of additional ways in which a particular individual [as dasein] might come to think about God and religion.

And, in particular, with respect to immortality and salvation and divine justice -- the attaining of which seems to be predicated not only on believing in a God, but on the God.

Which is then, in turn, intimately intertwined in the conviction by almost all religionists that one must behave in a way not deemed "sinful" by the God.

phyllo wrote:That's why he keeps referring to God. God, if he exists, could come down and break the tie - make the correct judgement. But sans God ...


No, my aim here with Zinnat is to discover the extent to which he can nudge me in the direction of a premise that might lead me down the path to considering the existence of a God, the God, his God.

But more to the point I am interested in the extent to which any religionist is able to convince me that his or her own God is the one true path to immortality, salvation, divine justice and an objective moral font.

And you certainly have not.

Which does not make you wrong, of course. But the whole point of our exchanges here must necessarily revolve around the extent to which we are able to convince others that our own narratives are or are not reasonable.

For example, to the best of my knowledge you believe in the Christian God. You also believe that abortion is objectively moral. Well, there are any number of Christians that I have come across over the years who insist that abortion is objectively immoral. And they will use their Christian faith as their own moral font. The same with, say, homosexuality.

So, just out of curiosity, let me ask you: Given the manner in which you construe the relationship between God and these behaviors, what will be the fate of those who practice them come their own day of judgment?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Thu Oct 23, 2014 4:33 pm

But more to the point I am interested in the extent to which any religionist is able to convince me that his or her own God is the one true path to immortality, salvation, divine justice and an objective moral font.

And you certainly have not.
I have not convinced you? No surprising since I have not tried to convince you. I have written very little about these things.
I avoided God entirely when we had our chat in Rant. Although you might say that 'reason' was my God in that discussion.

What should I say about my own God now?
My understanding of God is based on a few simple axioms and the logical consequences which follow.

- We do not occupy a privileged position in the universe

Therefore, the truth must be available to anyone in any place and at any time. It must be possible to know the truth purely from interactions with the universe. The truth cannot be contained in any particular book.

Our behavior cannot be guided by some inaccessible knowledge. The afterlife is beyond knowing. Therefore, morality cannot be based on attaining some reward or punishment in an afterlife.

So:
Immortality - Unknown. Continuity and permanence is a common feeling. My instinct says that there is immortality. But that could be an illusion. Not particularly important to be right about this.
Salvation - You are 'saved' by correct actions in this life. Heaven and hell are created on Earth, both for the individual and others.
Divine Justice - Unclear what this would be. We understand human justice, so divine justice (if there is such a thing) would be similar but applied better and more consistently. Unimportant to living.
Objective morality - Determined by actions of humans within a community on planet Earth.
For example, to the best of my knowledge you believe in the Christian God. You also believe that abortion is objectively moral. Well, there are any number of Christians that I have come across over the years who insist that abortion is objectively immoral. And they will use their Christian faith as their own moral font. The same with, say, homosexuality.

So, just out of curiosity, let me ask you: Given the manner in which you construe the relationship between God and these behaviors, what will be the fate of those who practice them come their own day of judgment?
In the context of what I just wrote, it should be obvious that I don't know what the fate of these people would be, or even if there is a judgement.

A person is not homosexuality. A person is not an abortion. If there is a judgement, then the entire person and all he has done would be judged. The interaction with others would be judged.

As for the morality of these actions in the here and now, the actions need to be evaluated to determine if they are beneficial to the individual and the community. Again, the interaction with others is judged. Is it constructive, destructive or neutral?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:35 pm

phyllo wrote:
I have not convinced you? No surprising since I have not tried to convince you. I have written very little about these things.
I avoided God entirely when we had our chat in Rant. Although you might say that 'reason' was my God in that discussion.


So, you are not a Christian then?

Just out of curiosity, would you say that James is? Over and again I would try to get him to flesh out the relationship between logic, RM, the Real God and objectivity. But I could never get beyond what he thinks that is "in his head".

In fact, this is ultimately my aim with zinnat as well.

In other words:

It's the whole point of my being in ILP: to connect the dots between what others construe to be God/Reason and the manner in which any particular "I" reacts to behaviors that come into conflict over value judgments. In other words, is there a way to think about this that is not as bleak as the manner in which I construe these relationships to be in terms of the dilemma that is dasein.

The rest was just me acting out the polemicist. Or the clown.

phyllo wrote:What should I say about my own God now?
My understanding of God is based on a few simple axioms and the logical consequences which follow.

- We do not occupy a privileged position in the universe

Therefore, the truth must be available to anyone in any place and at any time. It must be possible to know the truth purely from interactions with the universe. The truth cannot be contained in any particular book.


Again, I don't doubt that you believe this. But how could anyone ever possibly know this for sure? Which is just to point out that, aside from the premises out of which you constructed this conclusion, how could you [or, again, anyone] go about actually demonstrating that this is in fact true?

phyllo wrote: Our behavior cannot be guided by some inaccessible knowledge. The afterlife is beyond knowing. Therefore, morality cannot be based on attaining some reward or punishment in an afterlife.


Then it would seem that you are among the very, very few "believers" I have come upon over the years who think like this with respect to religion and God.

To wit: Most folks don't want to die. They want to believe that "I" [as a "soul"] is immortal. And they want to believe that after they have shuffled off this mortal coil, there is something analogous to Paradise and Salvation awaiting them. And there, at last, they will be with God and all their loved ones. And for all of eternity. They will have access to the justice they felt they were deprived of "down here".

For example, all of the infidels and sinners will burn in Hell.

But:

Before any of that can happen they know they will be judged. And these judgments will of course revolve around their behaviors as mere mortals. But one cannot be properly [or fairly] judged unless they are first given access to a Scripture that delineates what either is or is not a Sin before God.

And, in that respect, having or performing an abortion or engaging in homosexual acts are certainly near the top of most lists as behaviors to avoid. Or, rather, this would seem to be the case given my own interactions with folks who believe in God.

So, you don't believe in any of that? Instead, you believe that abortion and homosexuality and all other behaviors derived from conflicting value judgments can be judged using logic and reason alone?

And thus if someone engages in a behavior that others deem to be irrational [immoral] the extent of their reaction would be to pass laws making these behaviors illegal...and then punishing those who break the law? And that this will "for all practical purposes" revolve around any particular political concensus a given community of men and women is able to muster?

Because that's what I believe. I merely stress the need for moderation, negotiation and compromise in a world [governed by the rule of law] where objective truths here do not exist.

phyllo wrote:As for the morality of these actions in the here and now, the actions need to be evaluated to determine if they are beneficial to the individual and the community. Again, the interaction with others is judged. Is it constructive, destructive or neutral?


Here though I come back to the manner in which I implicate dasein, conflicting goods and political economy in the social, political and economic interactions of mere mortals.

And in that context I do not see how one can derive an argument that is said to reflect -- logically -- the "objective truth".

We will just have to agree to disagree about 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 iambiguous » Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:20 pm

God is the life raft for many who flail about in a perilous sea. Why snatch this raft from those who need it? My wife and I used to spend hours criticizing religion until we discovered that criticism can be just another ego game--we weren't helping. For me the concept of God is that of source and sustainer. God is there for those who need a God.


Personally, I can live with this. It's a good answer.

It's just that the older some get, the more they seem to need God. Why? Come on.
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 28, 2014 8:51 pm

I don't think any true believer in the Christian god has come forward yet....if it is so good why doesn't someone on ILP tell us exactly how good it is...


On the other hand, to tell us is only to apprise us of what one believes is true. But, again and again, how wide is the gap then between telling us and showing us?

And even this must assume that all of the many, many, many Christian denominations [narratives] can somehow be chiseled down into the one true Christian agenda.

In regard to, say, abortion...or homosexuality.

And, perforce, that is always before we get to, well, all of the other Gods.
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 zinnat » Thu Oct 30, 2014 6:22 am

imb,

Last some days were very busy as my elder brother died. I will try to reply tonight or tomorrow.

with love,
sanjay
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Chakra Superstar » Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:29 am

zinnat13 wrote:imb,

Last some days were very busy as my elder brother died. I will try to reply tonight or tomorrow.

with love,
sanjay


Sorry to hear that, Zinnat.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:37 pm

zinnat13 wrote:imb,

Last some days were very busy as my elder brother died. I will try to reply tonight or tomorrow.

with love,
sanjay


Take as long as you need. I'm sorry for your loss.
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 31, 2014 5:24 pm

A god ≡ who/whatever incontestably determines what can or cannot be concerning a particular situation.
The God ≡ Who/Whatever incontestably determines All that can or cannot be concerning any situation.

God ≡ is the ever-present, ongoing cause of the universe, the reason that the universe persists (whatever that reason might be).


Maybe.

But don't expect any of this to have any substantial use value or exchange value "out in the world" that we live in.

Still, that rarely stops folks who construct daunting deductions of this sort from insisting that their own moral and political agenda might just as well have been carved into stone by these Gods that they define into existence.
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 31, 2014 5:26 pm

For me God is the source and sustainer of the universe. I realize atheists would say that the universe needs neither. Stalemate.
For me God will, at any final end, reclaim all creations, which includes us. I realize atheists believe that when we die our elements go back into nature.
Stalemate.
Show me an argument that is more than he said, she said.


You can't argue with this right? After all, it only requires of one to either believe or not to believe that it is true.

Which means that God can be [or defined to be] practically anything; and then come to mean practically anything in our lives.

And that is fine until the manner in which we link what we think God is to the manner in which we interact with others.

And here what we think and believe about God can come into conflict with what others think and believe about Him.

The rest is history.
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 Nov 02, 2014 6:56 pm

I will die before I give up my belief in God.


Lots of people do that, don't they? In fact lots of people die never having given their belief in God much thought at all.

Here of course we bump into the folks that do. Well, more or less.

But my own reaction to them is not all that far removed from my reaction to those who don't [or won't] give it much thought at all.

I ask them to examine the extent to which their belief in God is rooted in dasein -- in the uniquely individual lives that they have lived existentially. I ask them to note the distinction between what they believe subjectively about God "in their head" and what they are able to demonstrate to others as being true objectively "out in the world". I ask them to explain the relationship between what they believe is true about God and the manner in which they then translate that into behaviors they construe to be moral or immoral.

And then I ask them to examine these behaviors when they come into conflict with the behaviors of those who have a different set of beliefs "in their heads" about a different God.

So, sure, if you know of anyone who is equally fascinated by these relationships -- in the manner in which they fascinate me above -- invite them to participate in this exchange.

By contrast, however, let me give you a classic example of a belief in God that [in my view] refuses to touch on any of the points I raised above:

God is a powerful Word, concept, and idea, because it is also the most Creative word.

God is creation, the essence of creation, to create all existence.

And so any attempt, by a human, to create, recreate, procreate, etc. are all vainly attempted acts to imitate god. And everybody can see immediately how difficult it would be to Define God when god is prescribed as divinely inspired, creative agency. Because to define is also a creative act. For example, many poets creatively attempt to define love. And that is very creative. It requires a powerful imagination and sophistication.


Please: do not send folks like these here, okay?
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 03, 2014 8:06 pm

I could not have a social life. In gradeschool dancing was taught in gymn class. I had to tell this cute little red-haired girl that my religion would not allow me to dance with her. I sat on the bleachers while all other children were learning how to dance. This, more or less, describes my upbringing. I was sixteen before I saw a movie with my parent's permission. It was "Old Yeller". It was in college, when I began to read Eastern religions and attend dances that I came to realize how fucked up I was because of religion. In college I met friends whom my religion would have damned to hell and loved them!


Think about this...

Here are folks who claim that certain behaviors are Sins before God. That you risk etrernal damnation if you engage in them.

Many are taught to believe this as children. And some will literally go to the grave believing it is true.

But others will have a set of experiences that yank them away from this. Instead, they will come to believe that these behaviors are not Sins before God. They will engage in these behaviors convinced that they do not risk eternal damnation at all.

And yet the bottom line remains: Their God either exists or does not exist. And, if He does, these behaviors either are or are not Sins. And, if you engage in them, you either do or do not risk eternal damnation.

Isn't that the dilemma we all face? Is there a God? Are there behaviors deemed to be Sins by this God?

But: Which God? Which behaviors? Which rendition of being "forgiven"?

This in fact is what I always come back to. There is so much at stake here but we really have nothing more than a "leap of faith", a "wager" to make on that profoundly problematic sojourn to the abyss.

In other words, religionists who embrace a more "ecumenical" approach to God, might distance themselves from the "fundamentalist" denominations. But the arguments of the fundamentalists don't go away. If there be a God, there will be a Judgment Day. And would not this Judgment revolve around all of our behaviors? Thus the fundamentalist arguments might be seen as a more reasonable manner in which to embody a belief in God. At least in so far as this belief is related directly to the lives that we live and the behaviors that we choose.
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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