on discussing god and religion

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:13 pm

phyllo wrote:
Making me the argument. I get that part.
Is that going to be your answer to Gib? In his latest post, he also said that you are not open to change. :wink:


What can I say...

I point out all of the many times in the past that I have changed my mind regarding God and religion. And regarding most other things relating to the world of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. But not only does this not impress you, you scoff at it.

And then I note how it is also true that for many years now, I have been entangled in my dilemma above. As this relates to the manner in which I construe the relationship between God/No God, as this relates to the relationship between morality on this side of the grave and our fate on the other side of it.

I can't just change my mind about this because it bothers folks like you that of late I haven't.

But here I am in places like this searching for other narratives.

Or maybe you just get hung up on my polemical bent. Or the part where I use these exchanges to entertain myself while waiting patiently for godot.

But:

Because you are not "inside my head" and really know nothing at all about my motivations and intentions here [let alone a life lived leading up to them] how would I really even begin to effectively narrow the gap between us?


Me:

What "here and now" do you believe your own fate to be "beyond"? How is this related to your current belief in God? And what of those who reject your frame of mind -- the stuff that you claim to believe or know to be true "in your head"? What is to be their own fate?

You:

I don't know how many times I'm supposed to say "I don't know", "It's not my decision", "It's not under my control".

Now, if that should ever change, please consider bringing the new revelations here.


phyllo wrote: What's wrong with saying that I don't know what is beyond? What's wrong with saying that I don't know what a judgement by God would be like? Or if there even is a judgement?
It seems more honest than claiming that I know all about God and the afterlife, as some people do.

If I don't know my fate in "the beyond", how can I possibly claim to know the fate of the people who disagree with me?


Again, fair enough.

It just fascinates me how those who embody both a belief in God and a belief in objective morality, are able to describe the manner in which this all unfolds "in their head" when they reach those existential junctures where their values do come into conflict with others.

How does God and religion play a part for them "out in the world" of competing wants and needs? Of competing means and ends?

What does it mean to encompass a particular moral agenda here regarding an issue like abortion? Such that one is convinced that The Right Thing To Do is within reach, and one believes that God and religion are a factor in this.

How is this all intertwined in their head?

I always come back to this:

With so much at stake -- immortality, salvation, divine justice -- how could a loving, just and merciful God really leave any room for doubt?

phyllo wrote: Revelations? I have learned a few things over the years. There are productive behaviors and destructive behaviors in the here and now. People are damaging their own lives. I can try to bring that to their attention but I can't make them do anything. I'm not living their lives for them.

I'm not preaching.


Well, at least you have this. For me "productive" and "destructive" bahaviors are still largely embedded in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. They are largely just "existential contraptions" rooted subjectively in the lives that we live out in a particular world viewed from a particular point of view. Out in a world where [from my frame of mind] there is no transcending font that mere mortals can turn to in order to place their wagers on the right God.

Or the right Reason.
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 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:50 pm

I point out all of the many times in the past that I have changed my mind regarding God and religion. And regarding most other things relating to the world of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. But not only does this not impress you, you scoff at it.
All I know is the stuff you have posted here over approximately 6 years and a few of your posts at KTS.

I'm sure you have changed in past ... you did not think the same things as a 5-year-old or 20-year-old, etc. I scoff at it because it's so obviously true.

A person who learns is changing. But that person is getting better at something. He/she knows more right stuff. He/she is better able to distinguish right and wrong. He/she is better able to evaluate.
That doesn't happen within your dasein philosophy. Your "daseiner" just changes from one intellectual contraption to another. He/she never improves.

How is that possible? Why is it only applicable to identity and value judgements? In every other human endeavor, a person who studies and practices... improves. Tennis, music, reading comprehension, etc ...
I can't just change my mind about this because it bothers folks like you that of late I haven't.
It's not the fact that you don't change that bothers me ... it's the fact that you claim that you want help with your dilemma, but you dismiss all suggestions without much thought or effort. You don't consider them. You don't even temporarily go down some hypothetical path.
Or maybe you just get hung up on my polemical bent. Or the part where I use these exchanges to entertain myself while waiting patiently for godot.
Yeah, that's part of it. But think about this ... maybe you don't really want a solution to your dilemma, maybe you only want entertainment and distraction while you wait.

Maybe your dilemma is useful to you and you really want to hang on to it.

Could that be it? It would explain a lot. :-k
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:27 pm

It just fascinates me how those who embody both a belief in God and a belief in objective morality, are able to describe the manner in which this all unfolds "in their head" when they reach those existential junctures where their values do come into conflict with others.
You have control over what you think and what you decide to do. You don't have control over what others think and what they do.

Conflict over values is a fight to promote your values over others.

Yeah, the Nazis want to inflict their world view on me and I want to inflict my world view on them. If they succeed then I'm a slave or dead or I have to accept their view and live within it.

This is the thing... even in a very anti-Semitic society, the number of people willing to build concentration camps and extermination camps is very small.

It goes against objective morality. To make it palatable requires that some humans are dehumanized. Even after decades of propaganda, secrecy and doubt has to be maintained.
How does God and religion play a part for them "out in the world" of competing wants and needs? Of competing means and ends?

What does it mean to encompass a particular moral agenda here regarding an issue like abortion? Such that one is convinced that The Right Thing To Do is within reach, and one believes that God and religion are a factor in this.
Sure, God and religion are the authority that can be used to prop up wants and needs.

Are they your own wants and needs or have they been "given" to you by some overlord? You gotta know yourself.

I think you can know yourself at least well enough to get rid of some biases.
With so much at stake -- immortality, salvation, divine justice -- how could a loving, just and merciful God really leave any room for doubt?
You can't escape your Protestant Christian roots. :D
Last edited by phyllo on Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Only the educated are free" - Epictetus
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy" -Beethoven
"Everyday life is the way" -Wumen
"Do not permit the events of your daily life to bind you, but never withdraw yourself from them" - Wumen
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:33 pm

For me "productive" and "destructive" bahaviors are still largely embedded in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. They are largely just "existential contraptions" rooted subjectively in the lives that we live out in a particular world viewed from a particular point of view.
Yes, we certainly disagree about this.
Out in a world where [from my frame of mind] there is no transcending font that mere mortals can turn to in order to place their wagers on the right God.
The transcending font seems to be human biology produced by evolution. That would be the source of objective morality (if there is any objective morality).
"Only the educated are free" - Epictetus
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy" -Beethoven
"Everyday life is the way" -Wumen
"Do not permit the events of your daily life to bind you, but never withdraw yourself from them" - Wumen
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby James S Saint » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:00 pm

One might as well demand of mathematics that it would be more ethical if 2+2=5.

The child looks upon his father with scorn, "Thou art SO immature!".

Is one being stubborn? Or is there something missing in the foundation of one's reasoning?
      aka. Does one know one's ass from a hole in the ground?
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.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

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

phyllo wrote:
I point out all of the many times in the past that I have changed my mind regarding God and religion. And regarding most other things relating to the world of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. But not only does this not impress you, you scoff at it.
All I know is the stuff you have posted here over approximately 6 years and a few of your posts at KTS.

I'm sure you have changed in past ... you did not think the same things as a 5-year-old or 20-year-old, etc. I scoff at it because it's so obviously true.


Perhaps, but many will go from the cradle to the grave and never once change their minds [significantly] about God. All I can do then is to note why that has not been the case with me.

I lost God in Vietnam. Existentially as it were. And for those who still believe in God, all I can do [realistically] is to ask them to speculate as to why this is a belief that all reasonable men and women might be inclined to embrace.

And then [on this thread] to probe how that belief plays a part in the behaviors they choose on this side of the grave.

phyllo wrote: A person who learns is changing. But that person is getting better at something. He/she knows more right stuff. He/she is better able to distinguish right and wrong. He/she is better able to evaluate.
That doesn't happen within your dasein philosophy. Your "daseiner" just changes from one intellectual contraption to another. He/she never improves.

How is that possible? Why is it only applicable to identity and value judgements? In every other human endeavor, a person who studies and practices... improves. Tennis, music, reading comprehension, etc ...


Indeed, so one might surmise [from this] that as the believer gets older, she is getting better at justifying her belief in God. She is getting better at determining [evaluating] whether a behavior like aborting a human baby is [in the eyes of God] right or wrong.

And my argument is that the moral and political objectivist, embedded in one or another [religious] rendition of this...

1] For one reason or another [rooted largely in dasein], you are taught or come into contact with [through your upbringing, a friend, a book, an experience etc.] a worldview, a philosophy of life.

2] Over time, you become convinced that this perspective expresses and encompasses the most rational and objective truth. This truth then becomes increasingly more vital, more essential to you as a foundation, a justification, a celebration of all that is moral as opposed to immoral, rational as opposed to irrational.

3] Eventually, for some, they begin to bump into others who feel the same way; they may even begin to actively seek out folks similarly inclined to view the world in a particular way.

4] Some begin to share this philosophy with family, friends, colleagues, associates, Internet denizens; increasingly it becomes more and more a part of their life. It becomes, in other words, more intertwined in their personal relationships with others...it begins to bind them emotionally and psychologically.

5] As yet more time passes, they start to feel increasingly compelled not only to share their Truth with others but, in turn, to vigorously defend it against any and all detractors as well.

6] For some, it can reach the point where they are no longer able to realistically construe an argument that disputes their own as merely a difference of opinion; they see it instead as, for all intents and purposes, an attack on their intellectual integrity....on their very Self.

7] Finally, a stage is reached [again for some] where the original philosophical quest for truth, for wisdom has become so profoundly integrated into their self-identity [professionally, socially, psychologically, emotionally] defending it has less and less to do with philosophy at all. And certainly less and less to do with "logic".

...embraces a word like "improve" in order to solidify their conviction that their own value judgments are the right ones. This comforts and consoles them psychologically.

My point though is then this:

What happens when they bump into another who subscribes to the same argument that they use above in choosing particular values/behaviors, only to embrace values and behaviors that are entirely in conflict?

Which of their "improved" frames of mind is now more in sync with what is actually right thing to do? And how do they note the manner in which I probe these conflicts -- re dasein, conflicting goods and political economy -- reflects a less reasonable set of assumptions?

In other words, my point of view revolves around the assumption that, with respect to playing tennis or musical accomplishment and reading comprehension, there are ways to actually test a word like "improvement".

Similarly, a doctor is able to learn how to improve her skills when it comes to performing an abortion. But how is the ethicist evaluated in turn regarding her skills in judging the morality of doing so?

Now, if the doctor is a devout Christian, she might argue that abortion is a sin against God. She might choose not to abort on this side of the grave because she believes that such a behavior will result in her being sent to Hell on the other side of the grave.

And all she need do of course is to believe this. But what I suspect she is unable to do is to demonstrate why all other rational and virtuous men and women are obligated to believe the same.

I can't just change my mind about this because it bothers folks like you that of late I haven't.


phyllo wrote: It's not the fact that you don't change that bothers me ... it's the fact that you claim that you want help with your dilemma, but you dismiss all suggestions without much thought or effort. You don't consider them. You don't even temporarily go down some hypothetical path.


Again, that's you making the assumption that this assertion is true because this is what you have come to believe is true about me.

I don't believe it is true at all. But then we are both "stuck".

That's certainly true.

And please note an example of how you imagine that I might go down some hypothetical path here. I'm not sure what you are getting at.

Or maybe you just get hung up on my polemical bent. Or the part where I use these exchanges to entertain myself while waiting patiently for godot.


phyllo wrote:Yeah, that's part of it. But think about this ... maybe you don't really want a solution to your dilemma, maybe you only want entertainment and distraction while you wait.


Well, if you understood the manner in which I construe the extent to which I -- "I" -- can actually accomplish something like this, you might be considerably less persuaded.

With respect to the relationship between my identity, my values and my capacity to effectuate change pertaining to the political economy that we know today as Trumpworld, it is hard for me to imagine myself any more fractured and fragmented.

But [I suspect] you don't really get that part at all.

And [in part] because you don't want to.
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 Mar 15, 2017 9:01 pm

phyllo wrote:
It just fascinates me how those who embody both a belief in God and a belief in objective morality, are able to describe the manner in which this all unfolds "in their head" when they reach those existential junctures where their values do come into conflict with others.


You have control over what you think and what you decide to do. You don't have control over what others think and what they do.


Well, assuming that some measure of autonomy is a factor in human interactions, we have some control here.

But my point revolves around the extent to which as dasein there may well be any number of variables embedded in our past that clearly circumscribe [or situate] this control.

The part pertaining to historical and cultural junctures, the part pertaining to the actual sequence of experiences and relationships and points of view that we come to embody over the decades. The part entangled in nature and libido and instinct and id. That part entangled in the subconscious and the unconscious mind.

Now, with respect to the world of either/or, that matters considerably less, doesn't it? But with respect to the world of is/ought, [as this is then manifested in the interaction of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy] we'll just have to agree to disagree about our level of control here.

phyllo wrote: Yeah, the Nazis want to inflict their world view on me and I want to inflict my world view on them. If they succeed then I'm a slave or dead or I have to accept their view and live within it.


Yes, but the Nazis reject democracy [moderation, negotiation, compromise] precisely because as moral and political objectivists they have come [historically] to embody right makes might.

As such, they are able to rationalize total control over the citizenry. And that [of course] included convincing enough of them to go along with the building of concentration and extermination camps.

Now, to the extent that God and religion played a factor here, that's still being debated. But then it can be argued [perhaps] that fascism is a kind of religion. That way they can justify what they do without having to crudely fall back on might makes right instead.

How does God and religion play a part for them "out in the world" of competing wants and needs? Of competing means and ends?

What does it mean to encompass a particular moral agenda here regarding an issue like abortion? Such that one is convinced that The Right Thing To Do is within reach, and one believes that God and religion are a factor in this.


phyllo wrote: Sure, God and religion are the authority that can be used to prop up wants and needs.

Are they your own wants and needs or have they been "given" to you by some overlord? You gotta know yourself.



Again, you make the assumption that any particular individual can get to the bottom of this by coming up with a frame of mind that somehow transcends [obviates] the manner in which I contrue the role that dasein, conflicting goods and political economy play here.

phyllo wrote: I think you can know yourself at least well enough to get rid of some biases.

Okay, with respect to your own value judgments as they pertain to a moral conflict we will all likely be familiar with, what particular biases have you gotten rid of?

And what happens when how you know yourself here becomes entangled in important new experiences, relationships, sources of knowledge/information. Won't you basically just rationalize any change of mind by assuming it is necessarily an "improvement" on what you once believed before?

With so much at stake -- immortality, salvation, divine justice -- how could a loving, just and merciful God really leave any room for doubt?


phyllo wrote: You can't escape your Protestant Christian roots. :D


How is this then an adequate response to the point I raise?
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 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:03 pm

Perhaps, but many will go from the cradle to the grave and never once change their minds [significantly] about God.
Sure, some people are more "stable" than others. LOL
Indeed, so one might surmise [from this] that as the believer gets older, she is getting better at justifying her belief in God. She is getting better at determining [evaluating] whether a behavior like aborting a human baby is [in the eyes of God] right or wrong.
That's one way to look at it. Another way is that the believer gets better at identifying his/her erroneous thinking.
Which of their "improved" frames of mind is now more in sync with what is actually right thing to do? And how do they note the manner in which I probe these conflicts -- re dasein, conflicting goods and political economy -- reflects a less reasonable set of assumptions?
But why is improvement only impossible when it comes to identity and value judgements while it remains possible for everything else?
In other words, my point of view revolves around the assumption that, with respect to playing tennis or musical accomplishment and reading comprehension, there are ways to actually test a word like "improvement".

Similarly, a doctor is able to learn how to improve her skills when it comes to performing an abortion. But how is the ethicist evaluated in turn regarding her skills in judging the morality of doing so?
You practice playing a musical instrument but you get hit by a bus on the way to the concert where you will demonstrate your skill. Does that mean that you never improved?

People say that there is such a thing as wisdom. That's some kind of ability to judge/evaluate effectively. People seem to be able to detect wisdom. But you say that there is no such thing.

If you present a situation to several people and ask them to evaluate it ... it seems possible to tell when some of them are biased, some of them are bullshitting and some have an understanding of it. But you're saying that even the outright bullshitters are not wrong in any way. How can that be the case?
Again, that's you making the assumption that this assertion is true because this is what you have come to believe is true about me.
Well, I'm not the only one who sees it that way. You might give that some consideration.
And please note an example of how you imagine that I might go down some hypothetical path here. I'm not sure what you are getting at.
If someone proposes discussing a "real world" example, you flood them with questions about details - "which context? which point of view? "
I tried to discuss a violent purse-snatching with you ... immediately you hid in superfluous details.
Well, if you understood the manner in which I construe the extent to which I -- "I" -- can actually accomplish something like this, you might be considerably less persuaded.
You're saying that you (the "I' in question) can't accomplish this task. Yet you keep asking.
What are you saying other than "you guys can't talk me out of this, but let's waste some time talking about it"?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:03 pm

James S Saint wrote:One might as well demand of mathematics that it would be more ethical if 2+2=5.

The child looks upon his father with scorn, "Thou art SO immature!".

Is one being stubborn? Or is there something missing in the foundation of one's reasoning?
      aka. Does one know one's ass from a hole in the ground?


I'm sure this is somehow relevant to the points being raised on this the thread, James.

Unless of course I'm wrong. :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 phyllo » Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:31 pm

Yes, but the Nazis reject democracy [moderation, negotiation, compromise] precisely because as moral and political objectivists they have come [historically] to embody right makes might.
Even in a democracy, I'm in conflict with the mob - the votes make might and that makes right. I'm still involved in a struggle whether it's against fascism or against democracy. I've got a better chance of effecting changes within democracy without being seriously damaged or killed.
As such, they are able to rationalize total control over the citizenry. And that [of course] included convincing enough of them to go along with the building of concentration and extermination camps.
I don't think that "rationalizing" is it. After the concentration camps were exposed after the war, ordinary Germans did not rationalize them, they most denied their reality. Even Neo-nazis deny the holocaust instead of rationalizing it.
Again, you make the assumption that any particular individual can get to the bottom of this by coming up with a frame of mind that somehow transcends [obviates] the manner in which I contrue the role that dasein, conflicting goods and political economy play here.
I think it's possible to to make progress and improve - another thing we disagree on.
Okay, with respect to your own value judgments as they pertain to a moral conflict we will all likely be familiar with, what particular biases have you gotten rid of?
No matter what I say, you will respond by saying that I have exchanged one set of intellectual contractions for another set.
And what happens when how you know yourself here becomes entangled in important new experiences, relationships, sources of knowledge/information. Won't you basically just rationalize any change of mind by assuming it is necessarily an "improvement" on what you once believed before?
This just states that there is no possibility of improving by experience and there is no learning by experience. Again we disagree.
With so much at stake -- immortality, salvation, divine justice -- how could a loving, just and merciful God really leave any room for doubt?



phyllo wrote:
You can't escape your Protestant Christian roots. :D



How is this then an adequate response to the point I raise?
This "concern" for immortality, salvation, divine justice, a loving God, a merciful God ... is very narrow and limited. You can't see the forest for the trees.

What can one say that will shift you from that narrow view?

Nothing.

You won't take your eyes off the tree.

There is "no adequate response to the point you raise".
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:04 pm

The problem with "demonstrating" something :

You practice tennis. You challenge the number one ranked tennis player in the world and you win in straight sets.

Logically, you must have been a good tennis player before the match otherwise you would not have won.

Therefore, it must be possible to be good at something without demonstrating it.

So there is being good and knowing that you are good and people knowing that you are good and people acknowledging that you are good. There are at least four different ideas there.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:14 pm

Religion divorced from science produces cults of imagination in which the dogma has nothing to do with physical reality. Science vs religion, the battle over the last few hundred years, would not have had to take place if religion could have recognized the personal experience of DNA in genetic evolution as sufficient evidence of a God who acts in the here and now of the real world.


That's the paradox, isn't it? The more science is able to astonish us by exposing just how extraordinary the world around us really is, the more it seems to make sense [for some] that a mindless "nature" could not have created all of it "on its own".

So that becomes the "proof" for the existence of at least one or another God.

But even had the Inquisition given way to a partnership between science and religion, neither faction would be able to shelve the parts that most preoccupy me on this thread.

And that is because neither science nor religion have a definitive answer to the question "how ought one to live?"

Instead, the "cults of imagination" still prevail regarding our fate beyond the grave.

And neither religion nor science are able to adequately tackle that other burning question. The one that revolves around theodicy.

Or, as I noted recently in a quote from Charles Darwin...

"It is difficult to believe in the dreadful but quiet war lurking just below the serene facade of nature."

And our own species in particular has come to embody those truly ghastly battles that pertain precisely to the existence of God.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Some Guy in History » Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:08 pm

I started to read what you were saying and then realized: I know this one already, it's something I said a while back.

oh well. that's how things turn out some times. the slow kid in the group was paying attention to other things and then winds up saying stuff that's already been said. Odd phenomenon.

perhaps someone should look into it.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ecmandu » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:03 pm

Iambiguous, you continue to be a jerk, because of your ideology that ignores any evidence to the contrary.

I have stated on several occasions that the answer to ethics is to make suicide as easy as possible for all beings and then have nobody do it ... It definitionally logically entails!!!

That's called a SCIENCE of ethics with no conflicting goods!

You know, the same shit your hypocritical ass uses to type posts!!!!!!!!!!' Definitions, logical entailment attempts!!!

The perfect response to your entire world view is to never respond to you, because you define every post of yours as not a post!!!

But people keep taking the bait... Assuming "he can't be THAT stupid or disingenuous". And always, they are proven wrong!!
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Ecmandu's second rule: calculate the set of your argument upon itself before you argue!

Stratification of motivational systems towards conspicuous consumption or extraneous drama cause all human ills - that was the most important thing you'll ever read in your life. - Ecmandu

The biggest problem in life... That more than one person wants the same thing! Solve this, and you have beaten the demon of life!
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:38 pm

phyllo wrote:
Indeed, so one might surmise [from this] that as the believer gets older, she is getting better at justifying her belief in God. She is getting better at determining [evaluating] whether a behavior like aborting a human baby is [in the eyes of God] right or wrong.
That's one way to look at it. Another way is that the believer gets better at identifying his/her erroneous thinking.


But she is still the one making that assessment! And from my point of view that assessment is then rooted in dasein. In other words, if she was assessing whether or not she was in fact pregnant, old or young, there are ways to determine this objectively. She either is or is not pregnant. But how, as she gets older, is she able to assess objectively whether she has gotten better at identifying whether in the eyes of God aborting the baby is either right or wrong?

How, as we get older pertaining to the world of is/ought, are we not just taking subjective leaps of faith to one point of view or another?

To wit:

Which of their "improved" frames of mind is now more in sync with what is actually right thing to do? And how do they note the manner in which I probe these conflicts -- re dasein, conflicting goods and political economy -- reflects a less reasonable set of assumptions?


phyllo wrote:But why is improvement only impossible when it comes to identity and value judgements while it remains possible for everything else?


Because those who embrace a pro-life frame of mind insist that one only "improves" their assessment/evaluation of abortion when they come to think as they do. The same regarding the pro-choice folks.

But to assess whether one is pregnant and then chooses either to abort the baby or to give birth, is [in most cases] able to be ascertained objectively. We don't need God to tell is if someone is pregnant, or if someone does choose to give birth to the baby.

It only gets tricky here if someone is pregnant, induces an abortion to kill the baby, but tells no one about it. Here there is an objective truth but sans God it is a truth known only by the woman herself.

So, if abortion is illegal where she lives, she gets away with it. But, with God, there is no such escape, right? Why on earth do you suppose we need to invent Gods here?

In other words, my point of view revolves around the assumption that, with respect to playing tennis or musical accomplishment and reading comprehension, there are ways to actually test a word like "improvement".

Similarly, a doctor is able to learn how to improve her skills when it comes to performing an abortion. But how is the ethicist evaluated in turn regarding her skills in judging the morality of doing so?

phyllo wrote:You practice playing a musical instrument but you get hit by a bus on the way to the concert where you will demonstrate your skill. Does that mean that you never improved?


Up until the bus hits you, you were either able to demonstrate to others that your skills had improved or you were not. But again this is often rooted in subjective frames of mind. A professional musician may be able to tell if you had improved whereas one with no background or education in music may not.

Then we get into those squabbles about whether it can proven that the music of Philip Glass is better than the music of Justin Bieber. Now, surely, it can be demonstrated that the music of Philip Glass is more sophisticated than the music of Justin Bieber. But how do we then demonstrate definitively that rational folks are obligated to prefer the music of Philip Glass?

It's that distinction between noting the ingredients of a chocolate milkshake are different from the ingredients of a strawberry shortcake, and making the claim that the chocolate milkshake tastes better than strawberry shortcake.

Says who?

phyllo wrote: People say that there is such a thing as wisdom. That's some kind of ability to judge/evaluate effectively. People seem to be able to detect wisdom. But you say that there is no such thing.


No, I am suggesting that with respect to a belief in God [on this thread] there are conflicting arguments regarding that which constitutes wise behaviors on this side of the grave and that which constitutes a wise assessment of one's fate on the other side of the grave.

Then I ask folks like you to assess this as it relates to your own behaviors.

Which then brings us back to this:

Me:

What "here and now" do you believe your own fate to be "beyond"? How is this related to your current belief in God? And what of those who reject your frame of mind -- the stuff that you claim to believe or know to be true "in your head"? What is to be their own fate?

You:

I don't know how many times I'm supposed to say "I don't know", "It's not my decision", "It's not under my control".


We are "stuck" in other words.

phyllo wrote: If you present a situation to several people and ask them to evaluate it ... it seems possible to tell when some of them are biased, some of them are bullshitting and some have an understanding of it. But you're saying that even the outright bullshitters are not wrong in any way. How can that be the case?


What is the context? If several people are discussing the relationship between abortion and God, how would we go about determining who is biased, who has the correct understanding of it, who is just bullshitting us?

To understand whether someone is just bullshitting us you would need to be privy to his intention and motivation. You would have to either be inside his head at the time or know him well enough to tell that he is just bullshitting us.

Right?

And please note an example of how you imagine that I might go down some hypothetical path here. I'm not sure what you are getting at.

phyllo wrote: If someone proposes discussing a "real world" example, you flood them with questions about details - "which context? which point of view? "
I tried to discuss a violent purse-snatching with you ... immediately you hid in superfluous details.


Refresh my memory please. If someone chooses to attack a woman, beat her and steal her purse, he may well be able to rationalize it by insisting that, in a Godless universe, right and wrong revolves entirely around that which he perceives as "self-gratification". He shifts his concern then from "is it okay to do this" to "how do I make sure I am not caught doing this".

So, where is the philosophical argument able to demonstrate that this frame of mind is necessarily irrational in a Godless universe. Again, that's why the gods need to be invented!

God sees all, knows all. God embodies Divine Justice. And, so, the parts before and after the grave are always covered.

phyllo wrote: What are you saying other than "you guys can't talk me out of this, but let's waste some time talking about it"?


Well, I could point out all of the times in the past when I had insisted that others could not talk be out of any number of objectivist frames of mind -- and then did -- but I'm sure you'd just scoff at it.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:39 pm

But she is still the one making that assessment! And from my point of view that assessment is then rooted in dasein.
Basically, you're saying that there is no way to analyze somebody's logic or the way he has presented his argument. You're saying that a person can't be wrong in the way that he thinks.
Because those who embrace a pro-life frame of mind insist that one only "improves" their assessment/evaluation of abortion when they come to think as they do. The same regarding the pro-choice folks.

But to assess whether one is pregnant and then chooses either to abort the baby or to give birth, is [in most cases] able to be ascertained objectively. We don't need God to tell is if someone is pregnant, or if someone does choose to give birth to the baby.

It only gets tricky here if someone is pregnant, induces an abortion to kill the baby, but tells no one about it. Here there is an objective truth but sans God it is a truth known only by the woman herself.

So, if abortion is illegal where she lives, she gets away with it. But, with God, there is no such escape, right? Why on earth do you suppose we need to invent Gods here?
Ignore particular contexts for the moment. You're saying that there is no way to improve in any sense when it comes to identity and value judgements.
Up until the bus hits you, you were either able to demonstrate to others that your skills had improved or you were not. But again this is often rooted in subjective frames of mind. A professional musician may be able to tell if you had improved whereas one with no background or education in music may not.
The musician is the one who is in a position to judge your ability. A scientist is able to judge the merit of a scientific theory or experiment and not some dimwit in the street. What's astonishing about that?

Anyways, you missed the main point ... you have the skill even if you don't demonstrate it. Logically that must be true.

Which brings into question your insistence on demonstration.
Then we get into those squabbles about whether it can proven that the music of Philip Glass is better than the music of Justin Bieber.
No we don't. You're just bringing that up to muddy the waters. It's an entirely different discussion.
No, I am suggesting that with respect to a belief in God [on this thread] there are conflicting arguments regarding that which constitutes wise behaviors on this side of the grave and that which constitutes a wise assessment of one's fate on the other side of the grave.

Then I ask folks like you to assess this as it relates to your own behaviors.
I'm talking about the nature of wisdom and you go off on a tangent about God.

What it comes down to is : You're saying that it's impossible to be wise. Not it those exact words but you're meaning is clear.
What is the context?
Again you get lost in details.
To understand whether someone is just bullshitting us you would need to be privy to his intention and motivation. You would have to either be inside his head at the time or know him well enough to tell that he is just bullshitting us.
No. That's complete nonsense.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:22 pm

phyllo wrote:
Yes, but the Nazis reject democracy [moderation, negotiation, compromise] precisely because as moral and political objectivists they have come [historically] to embody right makes might.
Even in a democracy, I'm in conflict with the mob - the votes make might and that makes right. I'm still involved in a struggle whether it's against fascism or against democracy. I've got a better chance of effecting changes within democracy without being seriously damaged or killed.


In conflict over what though? In what particular context?

In other words, what particular behaviors do the "struggles" revolve around?

Crucially, objectivists almost always reject democracy precisely because when you are certain that you are right, it would be foolish to allow others the opportunity to vote in that which you know to be wrong.

A crimp however can revolve around those who choose democracy only because they are convinced that once they are voted in democratically, they will be able to persuade everyone that they and they alone are in fact necessarily rational and virtuous. Then the others will choose to become "one of us" too.

Meanwhile the real world revolves instead around the nihilism embedded in those who own and operate the global economy.

As such, they are able to rationalize total control over the citizenry. And that [of course] included convincing enough of them to go along with the building of concentration and extermination camps.

phyllo wrote: I don't think that "rationalizing" is it. After the concentration camps were exposed after the war, ordinary Germans did not rationalize them, they most denied their reality. Even Neo-nazis deny the holocaust instead of rationalizing it.


The fact is that many in power at the time did believe what Hitler believed about the Jews. And they acted on that belief. The rest as they say is history.

Of course knowing precisely when a belief does become a rationalization entails knowing precisely how "psychological defense mechanisms" function to contain and then to sustain "I" for "the naked ape".

And I merely note but one possible rendition of this: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296

Okay, with respect to your own value judgments as they pertain to a moral conflict we will all likely be familiar with, what particular biases have you gotten rid of?


phyllo wrote: No matter what I say, you will respond by saying that I have exchanged one set of intellectual contractions for another set.


Of course noting this relieves you of all responsibility for actually naming the particular biases that you have ousted with respect to a particular conflicting good. Next no doubt you will just dismiss me altogether and vow not to continue any further exchanges.

And what happens when how you know yourself here becomes entangled in important new experiences, relationships, sources of knowledge/information. Won't you basically just rationalize any change of mind by assuming it is necessarily an "improvement" on what you once believed before?


phyllo wrote:This just states that there is no possibility of improving by experience and there is no learning by experience. Again we disagree.


Okay, but how does this make my point any less true. Basically, what you are arguing is this:

1] when I was younger I once believed this about that
2] as I got older, however, new experiences prompted me to believe something else instead
3] but what I believe now is such that any further new experiences will not change my mind

So, you "improve" to the point where the "real you" is no longer able to improve further because what you believe now reflects the optimal frame of mind.

Not counting of course the part above where you "don't know" because "it's not your decision" and "it's not under your control".

With so much at stake -- immortality, salvation, divine justice -- how could a loving, just and merciful God really leave any room for doubt?



phyllo wrote:
You can't escape your Protestant Christian roots. :D



How is this then an adequate response to the point I raise?


phyllo wrote: This "concern" for immortality, salvation, divine justice, a loving God, a merciful God ... is very narrow and limited. You can't see the forest for the trees.


What could possibly be of more concern to any mere mortal then his or her fate for the rest of all eternity?!!

If that's not the fucking forest in the context of "all there is" what is then? Is it the fact that we "don't know" because "it's not our decision" and is "beyond our control"?

And it is the objectivists who insist that [with or without God] all rational and virtuous men and women are required -- obligated -- to climb up into their tree.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:02 pm

phyllo wrote:
But she is still the one making that assessment! And from my point of view that assessment is then rooted in dasein.
Basically, you're saying that there is no way to analyze somebody's logic or the way he has presented his argument. You're saying that a person can't be wrong in the way that he thinks.


No, I'm pointing out the limits of logic when confronted with conflicting goods that are derived by and large from subjective/subjunctive assessments of the world around us. But even here only as this relates to value judgments.

Reasonable arguments can be made to defend abortion. Reasonable arguments can be made to defend the right of the unborn to live.

What then is the logical thing to do here?

And is it possible for men and women to derive conclusions here that entirely obviate the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein?

If so, I'd like to hear some. I'd like to hear yours. But -- when push comes to shove and the rubber meets the road -- you "don't know". It's "beyond your control". It's "not your decision to make".

I'm just trying to grasp how that might play out in your head if you were ever confronted with an actual context in which an abortion was in fact being considered and you were confronted with conflicting value judgments?

As I was above with John and Mary.

Me, I am entangled in my dilemma. How, then, are individual objectivists that I come across not entangled in it. Or less entangled.

All I can do here is to ask, right?

Because those who embrace a pro-life frame of mind insist that one only "improves" their assessment/evaluation of abortion when they come to think as they do. The same regarding the pro-choice folks.

But to assess whether one is pregnant and then chooses either to abort the baby or to give birth, is [in most cases] able to be ascertained objectively. We don't need God to tell is if someone is pregnant, or if someone does choose to give birth to the baby.

It only gets tricky here if someone is pregnant, induces an abortion to kill the baby, but tells no one about it. Here there is an objective truth but sans God it is a truth known only by the woman herself.

So, if abortion is illegal where she lives, she gets away with it. But, with God, there is no such escape, right? Why on earth do you suppose we need to invent Gods here?


phyllo wrote: Ignore particular contexts for the moment. You're saying that there is no way to improve in any sense when it comes to identity and value judgements.


Sure, if you ignore actual existential contexts, actual abortions, you can construct an argument regarding the relationship between identity and value judgments that is, well, flawless. You merely insist that the manner in which you define the meaning of the words in the argument is the starting point for any discussion. And then you make sure that the words are defended only by more words still.

You know, like Satyr does here:

"Judgment is the appreciation of the ideal, in relation to the real, or within the world.
It determines orientation and the path chosen.

Consequences, follow this choice and are the costs/benefits exposing the judgment's quality.

Consequence is the outcome of the application of a judgment. If survived it forces an adjustment, unless it is protected from its own errors, in which case the costs are postponed, until they accumulate into an unavoidable reckoning."


And then when I ask him to defend this particular point as it might be applicable to a particular abortion, he...demurs? He merely eschews God altogether by reconfiguring Him into Nature.

Up until the bus hits you, you were either able to demonstrate to others that your skills had improved or you were not. But again this is often rooted in subjective frames of mind. A professional musician may be able to tell if you had improved whereas one with no background or education in music may not.


phyllo wrote: The musician is the one who is in a position to judge your ability. A scientist is able to judge the merit of a scientific theory or experiment and not some dimwit in the street. What's astonishing about that?


Okay, but what musician [or scientist] is able to establish definitively that the music of Philip Glass is better than the music of Justin Bieber. That all rational men and women are obligated to prefer Glass over Bieber.

Or Mozart over Glass?

Objectivists of Ayn Rand's ilk will actually attempt to establish "intellectually" how folk music or jazz are inferior to the sort of stuff that they listen to.

Again, I'm just trying to suggest that there are limits to logic when the discussion shifts from those things that can be assessed reasonably, to those things that are considerably more a matter of "taste".

No, I am suggesting that with respect to a belief in God [on this thread] there are conflicting arguments regarding that which constitutes wise behaviors on this side of the grave and that which constitutes a wise assessment of one's fate on the other side of the grave.

Then I ask folks like you to assess this as it relates to your own behaviors.


phyllo wrote: I'm talking about the nature of wisdom and you go off on a tangent about God.


Huh? This thread was created in order to discuss the existential relationship between that which is construed to be "wise behaviors" on this side of the grave, and that which [through one's belief in one or another God/religion] is construed to be "wise" as this pertains to one's assessment of immortality and salvation.

How on earth can one believe in God and not make that attempt to connect the dots between before and after one dies?

phyllo wrote: What it comes down to is : You're saying that it's impossible to be wise. Not it those exact words but you're meaning is clear.


No, I'm suggesting that with respect to mathematics, the laws of nature, the logical rules of language etc., wisdom seems to be embedded objectively in the world of either/or. That there are things able to be reasonably demonstrated as true for all of us.

Here the only problematic component is the extent to which it can be determined [demonstrated] that a God, the God, my God is behind all of it.

But, regarding the existential nature of identity, values and political power -- the relationship between them out in any particular world -- what can be determined [demonstrated] to be true objectively for all of us?

To understand whether someone is just bullshitting us you would need to be privy to his intention and motivation. You would have to either be inside his head at the time or know him well enough to tell that he is just bullshitting us.


phyllo wrote: No. That's complete nonsense.


Bullshit: "talk nonsense to (someone), typically to be misleading or deceptive."

How [in any particular context] would this not revolve around the bullshitter's motivation and intention? And how would we be able to grasp this unless we were privy to his motivation and intention?

Or if we know him well enough to reasonably ascertain that he is just bullshitting us?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:02 pm

You seem to think that by asking questions, you are making an argument. You're not.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:14 pm

phyllo wrote:You seem to think that by asking questions, you are making an argument. You're not.


Okay, then this is my argument:

Why do you behave as you do on this side of the grave? Is how you choose to behave embedded in the manner in which existentially you have come to understand the world around you? Do you believe in God? If so, how is your belief in God related to the manner in which you choose particular behaviors here and now? How is this related to the manner in which you construe the meaning of immortality, salvation and divine justice?

Now, your answers -- I don't know, it's not for me to decide, it's beyond my control -- are really not all that far removed from my own.

So, let's explore this, okay?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:27 pm

Okay, then this is my argument:

Why do you behave as you do on this side of the grave? Is how you choose to behave embedded in the manner in which existentially you have come to understand the world around you? Do you believe in God? If so, how is your belief in God related to the manner in which you choose particular behaviors here and now? How is this related to the manner in which you construe the meaning of immortality, salvation and divine justice?
Funny. Your argument consists entirely of questions.

And they say that you don't have a sense of humor. :D
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Some Guy in History » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:28 pm

Is one side of the grave different than the other in terms of how we act? Do we actually have much of a choice in it at certain points? Will this diatribe of a conversation of foolish responses continue forever?

Stay tuned, children, tomorrow is another day and it never comes and today is a long day as yesterday fades. Tune your radios and wrestle your rabbit-ear TV antennas; amateur hour at the philosophy club has begun. Let's see these philosophers in their natural habitat: cheetoh-fingered and gorged with life and their supposed thoughts of it, what do they do when it throws them a curveball? forces them to the flat of their backs against the metaphorical wall? What do they do when the storms overcome them and they go under? We'll never have the answers to these questions by asking them and they're unimportant to the current conversation. Or, are they?

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:37 pm

Now, your answers -- I don't know, it's not for me to decide, it's beyond my control -- are really not all that far removed from my own.
The difference being that I respond this way when asked about the afterlife and certain characteristics and actions of God. You don't even know and you can't decide about basic human interactions on Earth.

I think that I can know and I can decide about human interactions in some reasonable sense. And at least some characteristics of God can be determined from the nature of life on Earth.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:54 pm

If the descriptions of the afterlife are vague and contradictory, then why would I spend huge amounts of time thinking and talking and worrying about it? :-k

Why would I organize my life around one particular cherry picked version of the afterlife? :-k
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:42 pm

phyllo wrote:
Okay, then this is my argument:

Why do you behave as you do on this side of the grave? Is how you choose to behave embedded in the manner in which existentially you have come to understand the world around you? Do you believe in God? If so, how is your belief in God related to the manner in which you choose particular behaviors here and now? How is this related to the manner in which you construe the meaning of immortality, salvation and divine justice?
Funny. Your argument consists entirely of questions.

And they say that you don't have a sense of humor. :D


I was merely substantiating your accusation. Mere mortals [with or without God] ask questions. Why then do particular individuals ask the ones that they do? And why do particular individuals answer these questions as they do and not in some other way?

How is that relevant to the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy?

Like you, in the end, I really don't know. And the answers are almost certainly [in many crucial respects] beyond my control; and involve factors which circumscribe [circumvent] my capacity to decide.

But then, existentially, out in the world with others, I tumble over into my dilemma.

And [again] all I can do in places like this is to probe the extent to which others are able to yank themselves up out of that particular hole; and then are able to come closer to believing "in their head" that there is an objective morality...one that is connected [no less in their head] to religion. And God.

I wonder: How do they accomplish this in such a way that I do not describe as either a political prejudice or as a psychological defense mechanism.
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