on discussing god and religion

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:19 pm

Ierrellus wrote:I'd agree that Iamb appears trapped in his intellect and cannot give credence to experiential matters which he claims do not apply to his way of thinking. Experience is the bottom line; our definitions and distinctions rely on experience.


All this reveals is how little you know me. I have spent many, many years immersed in the exploration of God and religion. And these experiences [over and over and over and over again] encompassed considerably more than just intellectual exercises.

And no matter how many times I acknowledge that the personal experiences of others are no less credible than my own, you refuse to accept this as a starting point regarding my own views on these relationships. The irony being that my entire frame of mind here revolves precisely around the existential parameters of dasein. Our perspectives on God and religion are clearly derived in large part from our own subjective/subjunctive interactions with others -- historically, culturally, experientially.

I merely note that in a philosophy venue the focus will invariably be on those things that do transcend that which we merely think or believe or know "in our head"; and, instead, aims to explore that which either can be demonstrated empirically and phenomenally or that which we can encompass logically such that all reasonable men and women are obligated to think and to believe and to know what we do.

And then, on this thread, I am curious as to how all of that is then related to morality on this side of the grave and immortality on the other side of it.

In other words, what, existentially, God and religion are almost always all about.
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 Aug 15, 2016 6:43 pm

Determinism is essentially a religious concept.


And, if an atheist subscribes to the immutable laws of matter as applicable to mind, how is that not in turn but "a leap of faith"?

Of course a neuroscientist exploring the mechanics of human choice through fMRI technology might be either a theist or an atheist.

And there have always been ways to rationalize both frames of mind.

It just comes down to whether or not it is finally resolved before each of us one by one falls over into the abyss.

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

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby One Liner » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:55 pm

phyllo wrote:
If you have a rebellious child who refuses to listen, then you are error.
That's way too simplistic.

It is simplistic to expect another to change but it is far from simplistic to change our own approach when we are in error.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:57 pm

One Liner wrote:It is simplistic to expect another to change but it is far from simplistic to change our own approach when we are in error.


From my perspective, this ever and always revolves around the extent to which [regarding God and religion] one is able to demonstrate that another is in error. As opposed to merely pointing out that "in our heads" we think that we know different [or conflicting] things about them.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:14 pm

This idea that everything is about perspective, is the modern version of solipsism. It can be restated as : "only what I think about things is real".


Bullshit.

There is clearly an important distinction to be made between having a perspetive on God and religion and arguing the only thing that is real about God and religion is what you think about them.

If God and religion are only and always what you think they are "in your head", what would even be the point of coming into a forum like this and exchanging your views with others? After all, would not the exchanges themselves be just one more manifestation [embodiment] of solipsism?

No, instead it makes considerably more sense to speculate that your own particular perspective on God and religion will come in large part from the life that you have lived --- your indoctrination as a child, the cumulative experiences that you had, all of the information and knowledge you happened upon.

And then speculating on how, had all of that been different, your frame of mind would be different in turn.

And then asking yourself to what extent the theologian or the philosopher is able to take all of that into account and then to demonstrate that which all rational men and women are obligated to believe.

This being a forum for discussing God and religion in a philosophy venue.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:05 pm

No, instead it makes considerably more sense to speculate that your own particular perspective on God and religion will come in large part from the life that you have lived --- your indoctrination as a child, the cumulative experiences that you had, all of the information and knowledge you happened upon.

And then speculating on how, had all of that been different, your frame of mind would be different in turn.
This is the idea that a person is a blank slate that is (almost) entirely written by his experiences. He is born without any predisposition or innate characteristics.

Yet scientific studies show that young children show an interest and belief in god even when they have never been exposed to ideas about god.

Other studies show that even very young children have a concept of fairness.

So the 'blank slate' theory seems to be incorrect.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby James S Saint » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:18 pm

This idea that everything is about perspective, is the modern version of solipsism. It can be restated as : "only what I think about things is real".

Exactly true; "Your reality", My reality, ..." .. [i]Relativity.[/i]

iambiguous wrote:If God and religion are only and always what you think they are "in your head", what would even be the point of coming into a forum like this and exchanging your views with others?

That is why Faust stated that All Atheists Should Shut Up.

iambiguous wrote:And then speculating on how, had all of that been different, your frame of mind would be different in turn.

That applies to literally ALL thoughts that you have concerning anything .. even that thought that you have of there being a difference.

phyllo wrote:Yet scientific studies show that young children show an interest and belief in god even when they have never been exposed to ideas about god.

The notion of God came from children to begin with .. as did everything else.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ierrellus » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:30 pm

Freud believed the concept of God came from children because they had parents. The concept of fairness seems to have evolutionary origins, i.e., it is beneficial for a family of organisms. In any event "One must become as a child" to comprehend these concepts and interpret them in spiritual ways.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Aug 20, 2016 8:02 pm

phyllo wrote:
No, instead it makes considerably more sense to speculate that your own particular perspective on God and religion will come in large part from the life that you have lived --- your indoctrination as a child, the cumulative experiences that you had, all of the information and knowledge you happened upon.

And then speculating on how, had all of that been different, your frame of mind would be different in turn.
This is the idea that a person is a blank slate that is (almost) entirely written by his experiences. He is born without any predisposition or innate characteristics.


What I grapple with here is the extent to which these particular variables play an important role in assessing why we either do or do not believe in God; and, if we do, why we believe in one particular God rather than another; and, if one rather than another, the existential implications of this pertaining to the behaviors that we choose; and, if one rather than another, the manner in which we connect the dots between those behaviors on this side of the grave and our imagined fate on the other side.

In other words, the parts that you basically refuse to explore substantively at all.

Or so it seems to me.

And, then: the extent to which history, culture and personal experiences inform our frame of mind here.

And, finally: the extent to which philosophers and theologians are then able to take that into account in offering assessments that others can react to as more or less rational.


phyllo wrote: Yet scientific studies show that young children show an interest and belief in god even when they have never been exposed to ideas about god.


I suspect this: that, sooner or later, most of us will reach a point in our life when we begin to ponder why anything exists at all; and why it exists as it does and not in some other way; and what our fate might possibly be after we now longer exists on this side of the grave at all.

Sure, God is one possible explanation.

As for a "concept of fairness", yes, we do seem to be hard-wired by the evolution of life on earth to take that into account in our interactions with others.

All I am suggesting is that with respect to behaviors that come into conflict over value judgments, we explore that concept existentially as it pertains to what may or may not be "fair" with regard to issues like abortion or capital punishment or animal rights or social and economic justice.

As this either does or does not relate to our views on God and religion.

Again, you choose the issue and we can explore this more in depth.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Aug 20, 2016 8:29 pm

James S Saint wrote:
iambiguous wrote:If God and religion are only and always what you think they are "in your head", what would even be the point of coming into a forum like this and exchanging your views with others?

That is why Faust stated that All Atheists Should Shut Up.


Faust's point revolves around solipsism? But what if the solipsists are wrong? What if our thoughts and our feelings about God and religion precipitate actual behaviors that precipitate actual consequences that have an actual impact on other flesh and blood human beings out in a particular world construed by each of us from a particular point of view?

What then, James?

iambiguous wrote:And then speculating on how, had all of that been different, your frame of mind would be different in turn.

James S Saint wrote:That applies to literally ALL thoughts that you have concerning anything .. even that thought that you have of there being a difference.


Come on, there are thoughts that we have about, say, the Catholic faith that either are or are not in sync with that which can be demonstrated to be true.

Facts about it that are true for all of us.

But to the extent that we believe "in our head" that the Catholic faith reflects what is in fact in sync with whatever the essential reality of a God/the God is...well, this is the part that clearly seems more in sync with the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein.

Would you care to go there, James? Or, yet again, will you just "pop out" of the thread as you have in the past?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Sep 10, 2016 7:38 pm

In the first instance of everything, would there be a primary duality, something like God and Satan? What would there need to be as the fundaments of existence; something which defines – communication, info, law, principle, maths, material. then something which resists that and causes entropy, illusion and deception, death and disease. Many Christian sects like perhaps the Templars, associated the world and material existence as the product of satan.


Indeed, is there even a single solitary theologian, philosopher or scientist around who can answer this question?

This is surely one of those queries that revolves fundamentally around this:

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.

I mean, who would have ever thunk it that Donald Rumsfeld would capture our "predicament" here so succinctly?

And I suspect those who "swear to God" the answer that they give comes closest are really just intent [content] to come up with something [anything] in which to anchor "I" too.

Probably you, right? :wink:
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 Sep 19, 2016 6:45 pm

Prove that physical existence is the only existence.


As opposed to...

1] prove that something exists beyond the physical
2] prove that that which does exist beyond the physical is a manifestation of God
3] prove that this God is the creator of souls
4] prove that souls exist
5] prove that your soul is a manifestation of the one true God

Or [for some] is all of this more or less reduced down to how you define God 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 Sep 23, 2016 7:20 pm

Faust says: the rationalists go about it the wrong way. They argue: blah blah blah blah, therefore god does or doesnt exist. Raphael is the only one who understands how to talk about god: god exists, therefore blah blah blah blah.

That is the only rational discourse about god.
You assume their existence. You conspire with people that understand why.


In other words, if this appears to be rational to you then "to you" it is rational. It is what you believe. And, in believing that this is true, you will act it out in choosing particular behaviors.

In other words: blah blah blah blah.

And, sure, there was once a time when I was more or less able to embrace this rationalization myself. I assumed that what I believed about religion and God "in my head" was as far as it need go.

And, even in a philosophy venue, this may well be as far as you need to go if, in any particular exchange, it is just understood that you don't have to actually demonstrate that your assumptions about God and religion are in sync with your assumptions about the existential nature of actual flesh and blood human interactions out in any particular world.

As for "conspiring" with people who understand God and religion as you do, that's the part where you make that distinction between "one of us" and "one of them".

And you do all of this "up in the clouds" of "analysis". And, up there, you can only ever be wrong "technically".

In other words, "techically" your God does exist. If only by definition. If only tautologically.

If only "in your head".
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 Sep 25, 2016 7:53 pm

It doesn't make sense to even talk about such as transcendental being - a being that transcends reality itself. It would be like talking about nothingness. Transcend into what? The closest that we can get to that is an expression of fear of the unknown (and perhaps faith is just that). After an encounter with such an unknown, you can't really say anything, nor should be, really, unless you can somehow prove it to be true in empirical sense; and this is where science comes in (but science does not work with transcendental, only with reality).


Well said. Really well said in my opinion.

And isn't this basically where we all get...stuck? The more we try to grapple with "All There Is" using the tools of either science or philosophy the more entangled in the imponderable we seem to become.

Who knows, perhaps the human brain is simply not sophisticated enough to actually figure this out.

We just can't seem to come up with a language able to encompass the part where some argue that the Big Bang came out of nothing at all. And perhaps we will never have the language [the logic] able to encompass the "somethingness" that came after.

And that's before we get to the part about the multi-verse. An alleged infinite number of universes co-existing in an infinite number of dimensions?

That's why most religious denominations steer clear of these seemingly imponderable "metaphysical" questions. Instead, they tend to zero in on the stuff that I seek to explore here on this thread:

How ought we to live on this side of the grave in order that we might maximize our chances of attaining immortality and salvation on the other side of it?

On the other hand, is this more or less comprehendible?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:33 pm

My thoughts: A religion can be called natural if it can show how to derive universal codes for human behavior from observations of physical phenomena.


Here's the rub though.

Historically and culturally, any number of human communities have come to completely opposite conclusions regarding which particular sets of behaviors are worthy of being deemed applicable universally as either moral or immoral.

As either "natural" or "unnatural".

Now, they all come into the world with the same five senses. And they all have the capacity to utilize these senses in the course of observing the world around them.

And then, over the course of actual human history, they all make these political leaps to behaviors that are either prescribed or proscribed.

Then what? What happens when conflicts occur either within the community or between communities?

Who gets to decide which behaviors are really the most ethical, the most natural, the most reasonable?

If not those with the power necessary to enforce one set over another?

Nope, virtually every philosopher [either from the East or the West] recognized this simple fact: the necessity to ground religion in either "the gods", or in a God, the God, my God.

For mere mortals, is there really any way around this?
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 21, 2016 7:16 pm

People who are members of organized religions, not just Christianity, outlast everyone in every country I've researched.


Let's explore this...ironically.

The longer the True Believers are able to stick around down here, the longer it will take for them to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Right?

So, what does it really mean then to point out something like this as though to...to boast about it?

That's how it works though, isn't it? The True Believers are often as frightened [even terrified] of death as the non believers.

In part [for some] because they have faith in God and faith implies doubt. There's always that part of them that suspects that maybe there really isn't a God. That, in other words, maybe when they die, they tumble over into the abyss for all of eternity. All the way back to star stuff.

Sure, that frame of mind one can respect. But what of the True Believers who have no doubt at all? Why on earth would they want to stick around down here any longer then it is absolutely necessary?

Shouldn't a part of them be eagerly awaiting their earthly demise? Yet few that I have ever been around seemed to exhibit any sort of indication that this was the case.

So, basically, we are all still in the same boat. There may or there may not be a God. But you have to die first to find out, don't you?

Are there any believers here willing to explore this more substantively?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:21 pm

On reflection, the world would be a better place if God actually prevented certain evil acts on people, animals and this earth.

I mean, why did God, (the all seeing God), for example, see the atrocities being perpetrated on the Jews and allow it. He gave man free will, but even a child has to be halted in some of the things he/she does and shown the error of their ways.

Why not have caused Hitler to die of a heart attack in 1936, preventing the damage he wielded of his own free will, which caused so much misery to the world and its people.


More to the point is this: That God is said to be all-knowing. And if God is omniscient then how is this able to be reconciled with human autonomy?

One of many things in my view that the true believers don't really think through. And I have never really puzzled as much about God and Hitler as I have about God and earthquakes, God and tsunamis, God and volcanoes, God and extinction events.

Here there is considerably less relating to the choices that we make and considerably more to the choices that He made in making our own planet and the universe itself an unimaginably violent and punishing place.

Obviously, when confronted with this the true believers can only fall back on God's "mysterious ways"

What if we don't have a choice and we're inherently good? What if all the things people think are evil are really just necessary but ugly parts of nature or how the world has to work?


What does it mean [for all practical purposes] to speak of being either inherently good or inherently bad if we don't have a choice in the matter? And why would an omnipotent God by necessity be forced to create a world awash in ugliness? Nature itself is nothing short of an immense slaughterhouse. The primary purpose of the young for example is to become food for the old.

Again, the whole point of religion seems to be to rationalize this sort of thing away. Religion is there to tell you how to behave on this side of the grave so as to be judged favorably with respect to all of eternity on the other side of the grave.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:54 pm

Having no experience with God does not imply God does not exist. In other words, when you claim there is no God, and speak for everybody, you are denying the experiences of those who have had God experiences and are attempting to justify your mindset as universal. It is not universal.


Very true.

So I invite all of those among us here who have had personal experiences with God to...

1] describe what they mean by this
2] note what the particular experiences were
3] note any evidence they have accumulated to substantiate the experiences

And then they can intertwine all of that into an existential examination of how they connect the dots between God on this side of the grave and God on the other side of it.

As this pertains to the behaviors that they choose.

This being the point of the thread.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:03 pm

So I invite all of those among us here who have had personal experiences with God to...

1] describe what they mean by this
2] note what the particular experiences were
3] note any evidence they have accumulated to substantiate the experiences
What do you mean by "personal experiences"?

The sun rises and warms the Earth, the seasons change, food grows, the body maintains itself.

Are these personal experiences with God?

No ... why not?

Yes ... then you have also had experiences with God.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:19 pm

phyllo wrote:
So I invite all of those among us here who have had personal experiences with God to...

1] describe what they mean by this
2] note what the particular experiences were
3] note any evidence they have accumulated to substantiate the experiences
What do you mean by "personal experiences"?

The sun rises and warms the Earth, the seasons change, food grows, the body maintains itself.

Are these personal experiences with God?


True. Some will argue that in the broadest sense the fact that anything exists at all can be ascribed to the existence of God.

Or others will argue that they go to church or read the Bible and that this constitutes the experience.

Still, others claim to have had a much more intense, intimate, personal experience with God.

It was in fact the latter that I was most interested it.

And then they only have to argue/demonstrate why it is their God and not some other.

And then they can connect the dots existentially so as to be in sync with, among other things, the reason that I started the thread.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:25 pm

In other words, you want to talk about experiences with God but you wont commit yourself to saying what an "experience with God" might be.

Why?

If you restricted it to "supernatural apparition", then you might get somewhere.

If you accepted it as "common events", then you might get somewhere.

But by leaving it open, you don't go anywhere.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:51 pm

phyllo wrote: In other words, you want to talk about experiences with God but you wont commit yourself to saying what an "experience with God" might be.


My argument is that a "personal experience with God" is rooted largely in dasein. Which is rooted largely in particular historical, cultural and experiential contexts.

My aim is always to be as far removed from a scholastic/theological assessment as we can possibly be.

Again, the whole point of this thread is to examine whatever particular experiences that any particular one of us have had with any particular God, and then to connect the dots existentially between before and after the grave.

phyllo wrote: If you restricted it to "supernatural apparition", then you might get somewhere.

If you accepted it as "common events", then you might get somewhere.

But by leaving it open, you don't go anywhere.


I'm not restricting it at all.

That's why I asked folks to first describe what they mean by an "experience with God".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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 phyllo » Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:15 pm

My argument is that a "personal experience with God" is rooted largely in dasein. Which is rooted largely in particular historical, cultural and experiential contexts.
This places God expressly in dasein. If God actually exists and is manifest in the world then you have misplaced God. It's like saying that gravity is "largely rooted in dasein". It's potentially a huge error.
My aim is always to be as far removed from a scholastic/theological assessment as we can possibly be.
But your error may be in placing God in the category of "scholastic" or "theological".
Again, the whole point of this thread is to examine whatever particular experiences that any particular one of us have had with any particular God, and then to connect the dots existentially between before and after the grave.
Before you connect the dots between "before and after the grave", you need to examine the validity of your thoughts about God in general.
I'm not restricting it at all.

That's why I asked folks to first describe what they mean by an "experience with God".
But you have already made up your mind.
You show as much in this post. "My argument is that a "personal experience with God" is rooted largely in dasein."

Do you comprehend what I'm saying here?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Arcturus Descending » Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:37 pm

Personal experience of God...

When i believed in God, there were times after Mass when I would go outside. It was already dark. I would walk behind the church to the cemetery and just stand quietly looking up at the stars. Oh, how I love the stars. It didn't happen always but there were times when I looked up at them and because of my faith and my love of God, I would sometimes be drawn to my knees. I had no other choice but to simply place myself in God's presence and marvel at that exquisite view. There was no conversation...just a complete intimate moment (which might last a moment or minutes) between myself and my God. I realize that everything which I had become from the beginning of my life's journey was part and parcel of who it was who knelt there.

A real experience TO ME at that time but i cannot say that it would be real for everyone.
Joseph Joubert ~~

It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it.


The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory but progress.


“We love repose of mind so well, that we are arrested by anything which has even the appearance of truth; and so we fall asleep on clouds.”


You have to be like the pebble in the stream, keeping the grain and rolling along without being dissolved or dissolving anything else.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:51 pm

Arcturus Descending wrote:Personal experience of God...

When i believed in God, there were times after Mass when I would go outside. It was already dark. I would walk behind the church to the cemetery and just stand quietly looking up at the stars. Oh, how I love the stars. It didn't happen always but there were times when I looked up at them and because of my faith and my love of God, I would sometimes be drawn to my knees. I had no other choice but to simply place myself in God's presence and marvel at that exquisite view. There was no conversation...just a complete intimate moment (which might last a moment or minutes) between myself and my God. I realize that everything which I had become from the beginning of my life's journey was part and parcel of who it was who knelt there.

A real experience TO ME at that time but i cannot say that it would be real for everyone.
Iambig evaluates your experience as "largely rooted in dasein". Then he asks you to describe your experience. Why? Why bother describing it for him? He already knows(or thinks he knows) what it is.
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