on discussing god and religion

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:15 pm

Ierrellus wrote: There is nothing abstract about faith in the innate goodness of human beings (Albert Schweitzer, Anne Frank, the Dalai Lama, et., al.) or the conviction that an ecosystem does not tolerate a we vs them outlook on life.


No, and there is nothing abstract about the moral and political convictions of all those historical/contemporary figures who embraced/embrace an "ecosystem" entirely at odds with theirs. They all may embrace the idea that The Good can be known/lived. But 5 will get you 10 it's their take on it.

That you are able to create a moral "vision" "in your head" which transcends "I", "we" and "them", doesn't make the "ecosystems" that are utterly at odds with your own [regarding any particular set of behaviors in any particular context] go away.

In other words, when you bring a "general description" such as this out into the world, it grapples with the ever conflicting religious, political, ideological, and deontological assessments that involve actual flesh and blood human beings grappling with actual existential conflicts that are anything but "in their heads".

Ierrellus wrote: We humans are all interrelated and therefore interconnected in that we all share a common humanity. Thus each of us needs a hands on commitment for saving the planet, which is our common home. This serious business should take precedence in our thoughts over some selfish worry about afterlife preparations.


You believe this. Of that I have no doubt. And, to believe this, is comforting and consoling. Of that I have no doubt.

But what on earth does it have to do with the things that we are confronted with each and every day on the news?

Your frame of mind is akin [to me] to Rodney King's "can we all just get along?"

Sure we can. But, on whose terms?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Some Guy in History » Fri Aug 18, 2017 3:19 am

We can't help but be self-centered, yet it's been painted across the board as wrong and immoral. If not for being self-centered, what would we be? What could we be other than centered within our selves, forever looking out while trying to look in at times; most of the time, a good amount of us just seeking to retain a center balance and not be taken on unnecessary rides outward or inward. Is it wrong to consider ourselves first, to work toward considering others first at times? Is it wrong to selfishly wish to just live our lives and not concern ourselves with others problems? We interact often enough with others throughout our lives, is it always supposed to be the extremes that society has painted; that even here you both are seeming at odds for being kept from the knowledge that would enable the bridging of the gaps between your two seemingly different viewpoints, each bringing out various points to consider in seeming conversational format with aggressive language developed to make it an argument and fight that neither of you dare to lose or back down from.

Is it wrong that we, while considering all of these things, find ourselves in motion beyond the explaining and analyzing, having found our feet once, find ourselves having to find them again and again, still never saying what we want to say, still never arguing exactly how we want to argue or what we want to argue along the lines that we're stuck at.

Is it wrong that while living our lives, we go from moralistic reasons for doing things to immoral and even those that try to just be free, try to live outside those lines, wind up falling into the intellectual aspect of still having to work to get away with what they can, often never what they want, wanting justification for hard work that is never to be respected, never caring about society, but caring about how it effects them, expecting it to cater to them, forever wanting to get things exactly as they want, not wanting to accept satisfaction, true satisfaction as being dissatisfied most of the time and having to make do.

I think, at the core, what we find is that most of us are at odds with a few out of the infinite multitude; a few being a few on that scale and still the minority but threaten the majority, convince us we're outnumbered, set us at odds against each other and keep expecting us to fight along the same old tired lines and frequencies while we hunger and thirst for something new, something fresh, something beyond what we're doing and where we're at and not knowing what.

Is this thread really about God and Religion and how at odds we are with how they've painted the picture? Or, is it really about trying to reach through the veil of the idiocies we find ourselves speaking, what we think is important breaking through, but never what we truly find important, what we feel we have to argue through to our satisfaction, but there is no satisfaction in chasing lines that are forever slated and cemented to be recursive and circular; that we find whatever we do, however we argue, whatever reasoning we use, never enough for the few who would want to force their reasoning on us all that defies all emotion, all logic, all emotional logic, all rationality and even irrationality and demand that we respect them, cater to them; be the first to 'capitulate' and say please to get them to stop raping us. That they force their way through in no form toward anything that verifies their reasoning and rationality, yet throw down and are entirely found to be in synch with it beyond where even the two of you and so many others, myself included, are struggling to find footing in the mess that they made.

What importance is there is any conversation of a God, the God, or religion at all when it comes down to so much idle intellectual curiosity that inhibits our ability to live our lives, to interact with others freely, denied so much conversation that could be instead, if not for their manic drive to forever keep us at war or fuck up whatever peace we might have.

Ultimately, I find myself being insane as Hell for how rational and reasonable I sound. It's not always me and not always what I'm capable of being. That both of you and so many others are caught up in the mind at time, fighting against me and what is right and whether you know it's not you or not, it's hard to fight against and hard to want to fight against because it's not just me you fight against when they roll you up as the legion, but against the very tenets of life that you would otherwise live, keeping you from understanding your own selves, your own flesh, and I only mention this because both of you are still not fresh as you appear in the mental theater I'm presented; that like me, are hurting in ways that are kept from you, hurting badly beyond so much shit. That I'm not as fresh as I appear in typing this. That for your own reasons as the dark stain continues to spread as we struggle and strive to rise above it; rising above becomes an impossibility for how we are all hammered and slammed by the same insecurity and inadequacy issuing few.

We only become more committed to fighting to the death, since it's all we can do, whether we want to or not, become all the more committed and resolved to commit even murder in the mind against the things that slam us day after day.

And, if I'm saying this and it doesnt apply to 'us' as the majority and to you two as I think, then just blow it off. If it does apply at least upon base lines of reaching our selfishness to just want to live our lives, love freely, have the same base wants of sex, experience, food, interacting by getting back to the days where we could hang out without having to worry about saying the wrong thing and setting off a hellstorm; back to the days where we it didn't matter what we believed or how we believed it and in the concept of adapting without adapting, having that blend with it having to matter what we believe and how we believe it. That if you're like me where you face the constant scrutiny of everything you're doing being wrong, that things continually slam you even in the midst of arguing things you know to be at least on the right path to being more right as you've seemingly been doing in this thread, maybe we can find some semblance of group support at least to knock down the mutual enemies of the majority of time and space and take them down notch by notch.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:55 pm

Some Guy in History wrote:Is this thread really about God and Religion and how at odds we are with how they've painted the picture?


I have tried to be clear regarding the creation of this thread.

1]

Going back to the caves [no doubt] God and religion factor into human interactions. In part because our brain is hard-wired through the evolution of life on earth to be "self-conscious". We have the capacity to connect the dots between "in my head" and "out in the world". And in a manner that far and away exceeds the capacity of any other creature on this planet.

Though, indeed, there may be creatures on other planets that far and away exceed us.

This involves first and foremost a capacity to think up The Big Questions: Why something and not nothing at all? Why this something and not another something instead?

Clearly the existence a God, the God, my God is one possible explanation.

2]

Any particular individual will believe in God, not believe in God or be uncertain. And this is clearly rooted existentially in many, many vast and varied historical, cultural and experiential contexts. Also, any particular individual will interact with others of her kind or not interact with others of her kind. The vast majority of us do. And, as a result of this, our interactions precipitate conflicts that revolve around one or another set of behaviors that revolve around one or another set of values. With or without God. In turn, all of us will die. And that precipitates thoughts and feelings [in any particular individual] regarding our fate on the other side.

This thread was created in order for those individuals who do believe in God to discuss the manner in which they intertwine their behaviors on this side of the grave as that relates to the manner in which they have come to imagine their fate on the other side.

In other words, these narratives will [hopefully] be as far removed from "intellectual contraptions" as it is possible to convey in a forum such as this.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:58 pm

In other words, when you bring a "general description" such as this out into the world, it grapples with the ever conflicting religious, political, ideological, and deontological assessments that involve actual flesh and blood human beings grappling with actual existential conflicts that are anything but "in their heads".
How do the "conflicting assessments" get "out of their heads" and become "actual existential conflicts"?

The conflicts are clashes of "intellectual contraptions" ... so the idea that they are conflicts is itself an intellectual contraption. IOW, the "actual existential conflict" is actually only another idea "in your head".

If it is not just "in your head" then what is the reasoning that justifies that it is not "in your head"? Where is the dividing line? What makes it "real"? What makes it "more real" than "general descriptions" ... "more real" than any other thoughts?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ierrellus » Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:45 pm

Iamb,
If I could make my spiritual experiences palpable, could package them and send them to you, I would. It doesn't work that way. If you are unwilling to do the necessary work to obtain spiritual enlightenment your and my conversation will remain dialogue in our heads. Same for me. But I'm here to tell you that a God more moral than rewarder and punisher cares for you, that evidence of this God's existence is within you, that you can have your own spiritual awakenings. The necessary work is on belief and faith.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:32 pm

As I noted to Some Guy above...

This thread was created in order for those individuals who do believe in God to discuss the manner in which they intertwine their behaviors on this side of the grave as that relates to the manner in which they have come to imagine their fate on the other side.

In other words, these narratives will [hopefully] be as far removed from "intellectual contraptions" as it is possible to convey in a forum such as this.


But you don't want to go there, do you? Instead, of late, you pop up on the thread from time to time only in order to focus the beam on, well, other things.

Technical things.

Okay, sure, I can go there too.

phyllo wrote:
In other words, when you bring a "general description" such as this out into the world, it grapples with the ever conflicting religious, political, ideological, and deontological assessments that involve actual flesh and blood human beings grappling with actual existential conflicts that are anything but "in their heads".

How do the "conflicting assessments" get "out of their heads" and become "actual existential conflicts"?


Well, many folks study philosophy and theology in order to come up with a way -- the best way -- in which to answer questions like this: "How ought one to live?"

Perhaps because they have already been involved in a moral or political conflict and felt uncertainty; or because they come across them "in the news".

Sure, they had been indoctrinated as children [with or without God] to view these conflagrations as conflicts between "one of us" and "one of them". But now they want to "study up on it". Explore what all the great minds have had to say about "ethics" and "politics" over the centuries.

And then sooner or later the manner in which they have come to assess these things in "intellectual contraptions" are going to bump into the conflicting "intellectual contraptions" of others. Only not up in the clouds but down here on the ground.

Then what?

That is what I aim to explore. Again, with or without God.

Indeed, how, with or without God, does that change things?

phyllo wrote: If it is not just "in your head" then what is the reasoning that justifies that it is not "in your head"? Where is the dividing line? What makes it "real"? What makes it "more real" than "general descriptions" ... "more real" than any other thoughts?


That's why I always insist that we explore "general descriptions" such as this "out in the world" of actual human interactions.

It's just that on this thread we should aim to connect the dots between what seems "real" to us in our head and how this "reality" fares when confronted with another who insist that, on the contrary, "reality" is something else.

And then connect these dots to the behaviors that we choose on this side of the grave; and then to the behaviors that we anticipate on the other side of it.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:25 pm

In other words, these narratives will [hopefully] be as far removed from "intellectual contraptions" as it is possible to convey in a forum such as this.
But you call everything that anyone says about God and religion - an intellectual contraption. That's you labeling it.
Well, many folks study philosophy and theology in order to come up with a way -- the best way -- in which to answer questions like this: "How ought one to live?"

Perhaps because they have already been involved in a moral or political conflict and felt uncertainty; or because they come across them "in the news".

Sure, they had been indoctrinated as children [with or without God] to view these conflagrations as conflicts between "one of us" and "one of them". But now they want to "study up on it". Explore what all the great minds have had to say about "ethics" and "politics" over the centuries.

And then sooner or later the manner in which they have come to assess these things in "intellectual contraptions" are going to bump into the conflicting "intellectual contraptions" of others. Only not up in the clouds but down here on the ground.

Then what?
My point is that you have a dividing line "on the ground" and "in their heads" but you never make it clear where the line is or why it is there. And given the history of these discussions, I would say that you keep moving the line to suit your yourself.
That's why I always insist that we explore "general descriptions" such as this "out in the world" of actual human interactions.
Over the years, many people have tried to take the discussion "out in the world", only to be shot down by you as being "abstract" or "in the clouds".

Let's take Ierrellus' ideas about "a hands on commitment for saving the planet". It seems to spring from his thoughts about what God wants and expects from us which in turn come from his personal experiences of God. It seems to be translatable into concrete action "in the world" - things like persevering rain forests, reducing waste of natural resources, etc.
Yet, you seem to dismiss it as something which is entirely a construct in his head - a construct which simply makes him feel good. IOW, a construct not founded in anything real or concrete.

Sure, If he pursues it, then he will interact with people who want to burn down or cut down rain forests. But that's separate from the basis of his ideas.

You have from the start, rejected the ideas. Why? Because as a nihilist, you think all action and thought springs forth from nothing? Every action or thought is as reasonable as every other action or thought?

Your assumptions make it impossible to bring anything down out of the clouds.

Your assumptions make it impossible to select among competing ideas, since all ideas are equally unfounded.

Yeah, you have a dilemma because your assumptions don't make any reasonable sense.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:28 pm

phyllo wrote:
In other words, these narratives will [hopefully] be as far removed from "intellectual contraptions" as it is possible to convey in a forum such as this.
But you call everything that anyone says about God and religion - an intellectual contraption. That's you labeling it.


Here on this thread we can only discuss these relationships in an exchange of words. But the words will either refer to actual experiences that we have had [with God and religion] and to actual behaviors that we have chosen [in sync with what we believe "in our heads" about God and religion] or they won't.

For example, there was the experience I had with God and religion in my youth; then the experience I had in Vietnam that roundly reconfigured this frame of mind. There were the experiences I had with God and religion in the Unitarian church; then the experiences I had with No God/No Religion as a radical Marxist.

There is clearly a relationship between the behaviors that any particular individual will choose "here and now" and the manner in which she intertwines them in her thoughts and feelings about God and religion. As this pertains to her thoughts and her feelings about immortality, salvation and divine justice "on the other side"

And folks will either explore it existentially on this thread or they won't. But: We can't discuss the extent to which lines are being drawn and then moved until actual experiences are related.

That's why I always insist that we explore "general descriptions" such as this "out in the world" of actual human interactions.


phyllo wrote: Over the years, many people have tried to take the discussion "out in the world", only to be shot down by you as being "abstract" or "in the clouds".


Cite an example of your own experience with me in this regard.

phyllo wrote: Let's take Ierrellus' ideas about "a hands on commitment for saving the planet". It seems to spring from his thoughts about what God wants and expects from us which in turn come from his personal experiences of God. It seems to be translatable into concrete action "in the world" - things like persevering rain forests, reducing waste of natural resources, etc.
Yet, you seem to dismiss it as something which is entirely a construct in his head - a construct which simply makes him feel good. IOW, a construct not founded in anything real or concrete.


Again, with so much at stake -- immortality, salvation, divine justice -- he is either able to demonstrate to others that his own thoughts, feelings, and experiences with/about God and religion are in sync with what is in fact true or he is not.

His narrative is enough for him. And for you. It is not for me.

phyllo wrote: Sure, If he pursues it, then he will interact with people who want to burn down or cut down rain forests. But that's separate from the basis of his ideas.


What counts [from my frame of mind] is the extent to which it can be shown that the "basis for his belief" is embedded in a God, the God, my God. Otherwise any and all behaviors can be rationalized just by evoking a belief in a God, the God, my God.

Indeed, he "solves" that problem by insisting that his God doesn't give a damn [whatever that means] about which behaviors you choose on this side of the grave. Why? Because everyone has access to immortality, salvation and divine justice on the other side.

And who wouldn't be consoled and comforted by that?!

phyllo wrote: You have from the start, rejected the ideas. Why? Because as a nihilist, you think all action and thought springs forth from nothing? Every action or thought is as reasonable as every other action or thought?


I certainly do not know what all action and thought springs from. I presume it is all derived from whatever the ontological explanation is for the existence of existence itself. And in whether the ontological truth also contains a teleological component: God.

And all I do is to suggest that thought and action entangled in the is/ought world is embedded in the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy.

Trust me: there's not much in the way of comfort and consolation when "in your head" you believe this.


And, in turn, I suspect that your reaction to me [as with others] is entangled in the apprehension that revolves around this: What if he is right?

What does that say about your own rendition of "I" here? What if it, too, is largely just an "existential contraption" [dangling over the abyss] in an essentially absurd and meaningless world?

Or what if all of this is inextricably embedded in a universe that is wholly determine by the immutable laws of matter?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:00 pm

Here on this thread we can only discuss these relationships in an exchange of words. But the words will either refer to actual experiences that we have had [with God and religion] and to actual behaviors that we have chosen [in sync with what we believe "in our heads" about God and religion] or they won't.
...
And folks will either explore it existentially on this thread or they won't. But: We can't discuss the extent to which lines are being drawn and then moved until actual experiences are related.
...
Again, with so much at stake -- immortality, salvation, divine justice -- he is either able to demonstrate to others that his own thoughts, feelings, and experiences with/about God and religion are in sync with what is in fact true or he is not.

His narrative is enough for him. And for you. It is not for me.
...
What counts [from my frame of mind] is the extent to which it can be shown that the "basis for his belief" is embedded in a God, the God, my God. Otherwise any and all behaviors can be rationalized just by evoking a belief in a God, the God, my God.

Indeed, he "solves" that problem by insisting that his God doesn't give a damn [whatever that means] about which behaviors you choose on this side of the grave. Why? Because everyone has access to immortality, salvation and divine justice on the other side.
You could have asked Ierrellus what specific actions he is taking to "save the planet". You could have asked him to describe the experiences with God which lead him to believe that this is what God wants. You could have asked him to describe how he would interact with someone who tries to block his actions ... how he would resolve the conflict.

You had a real world example, and a person who was probably willing to go into some detail, of that this thread is supposedly about. You could have had a dialog. Instead, you quickly dismissed it as "in his head".

I don't know if you are on auto-pilot and just ignoring what people say or if you lack the skills to question people in a non-judgemental, non-threatening way. :confusion-shrug:

Either way, these threads go nowhere.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:04 pm

Ierrellus wrote: Iamb,
If I could make my spiritual experiences palpable, could package them and send them to you, I would. It doesn't work that way.


I understand that.

But that just brings me back to this:

1] we are all going to die
2] there is either something on the other side of the grave for us or there is not
3] if something, it is either intertwined in the existence of a God, the God, my God or it is not
4] if a God, the God, my God, He will either judge the behaviors that we choose on this side or He will not

And here we all are still among the living. And time and again over the course of our lives as "mere mortals", we find ourselves confronting particular contexts in which "the right thing to do" comes into conflict.

This thread was created in order that those who do believe in a God, the God, my God, can ruminate on what is involved here in the course of examining the behaviors that they choose. As this relates to what they believe about God and religion, as they are or are not able to demonstrate that what they believe is that which all reasonable men and women are obligated to believe.

And, this being a philosophy venue, beyond merely noting that "it says so in the Bible.

Ierrellus wrote: If you are unwilling to do the necessary work to obtain spiritual enlightenment your and my conversation will remain dialogue in our heads. Same for me. But I'm here to tell you that a God more moral than rewarder and punisher cares for you, that evidence of this God's existence is within you, that you can have your own spiritual awakenings. The necessary work is on belief and faith.


Think about this. Really think about it.

You can argue that I am unwilling to do the necessary work here [whatever that means], but what of all those who claim to have done precisely that? And have then come to hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of conflicting assessments regarding how "for all practical purposes" one is obligated to connect the dots between before and after the grave?

The ingenuity of your faith here is that no one is ever not welcomed by God into His Kingdom.

And the only way I will ever prove to you that I am doing the necessary work to achieve spiritual enlightenment is when I have found this spiritual enlightenment. And the fact that [here and now] I have not found it merely confirms that I am not doing the necessary work.

And the irony is that whether I find it or not, I too will be welcomed into God's Kingdom.

Where, perhaps, we will resume this discussion.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:04 pm

And, in turn, I suspect that your reaction to me [as with others] is entangled in the apprehension that revolves around this: What if he is right?

What does that say about your own rendition of "I" here? What if it, too, is largely just an "existential contraption" [dangling over the abyss] in an essentially absurd and meaningless world?

Or what if all of this is inextricably embedded in a universe that is wholly determine by the immutable laws of matter?
I have already considered all those questions and I find no apprehension there.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:21 pm

And the only way I will ever prove to you that I am doing the necessary work to achieve spiritual enlightenment is when I have found this spiritual enlightenment. And the fact that [here and now] I have not found it merely confirms that I am not doing the necessary work.
No, people don't necessarily expect this sort of "proof". I know that I don't.
And the irony is that whether I find it or not, I too will be welcomed into God's Kingdom.
But in this life, you envy Ierrellus' "comfort". And if there is nothing beyond this life, then he will have been comfortable and you ... well, not so much. He loses nothing.

"He's living a lie"? If the world really is meaningless and without God, then "living a lie" is meaningless and irrelevant as well. Then your best bet is to live a "comfortable lie".
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:25 pm

phyllo wrote: You could have asked Ierrellus what specific actions he is taking to "save the planet". You could have asked him to describe the experiences with God which lead him to believe that this is what God wants. You could have asked him to describe how he would interact with someone who tries to block his actions ... how he would resolve the conflict.


I have asked him. And [above] he insisted that this is not how it works.

My point though is that there are many, many renditions of God and religion that make the claim that if you are "one of us", you will know which behaviors are in sync with spiritual enlightenment.

For example, there are any number of capitalists and socialists, liberals and conservatives, who profess a belief in the Christian God.

"So what?", Ierrellus seems to argue. In the end they will all be comforted and consoled by God for all of eternity.

That's the beauty of his own particular religious narrative: nothing is ever wrong to do.

Unless I'm not fully understanding it.

But that doesn't matter because either way I'm assured Salvation.

But: I don't think it's for nothing that the overwhelming preponderance of religious faiths go in the other direction.

You know the one.

phyllo wrote: I don't know if you are on auto-pilot and just ignoring what people say or if you lack the skills to question people in a non-judgemental, non-threatening way. :confusion-shrug:


Note to others:

Given the points I raised above regarding these accusations, is this assessment....fair?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:36 pm

That's the beauty of his own particular religious narrative: nothing is ever wrong to do.
Some things are "wrong to do" because they make you miserable in this life. Religion is not just about salvation and an afterlife... it's about this life.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:56 pm

phyllo wrote:
And the only way I will ever prove to you that I am doing the necessary work to achieve spiritual enlightenment is when I have found this spiritual enlightenment. And the fact that [here and now] I have not found it merely confirms that I am not doing the necessary work.
No, people don't necessarily expect this sort of "proof". I know that I don't.


Here though human psychology can be, well, truly labyrinthian. There is what we think "here and now" consciously, "philosophically" about these things; and there are the considerably more problematic variables embedded in the sub-conscious and unconscious mind. All tangled up in genes and memes out in a particular world ever and always bursting at the seams with contingency, chance and change.

It's all really just a "wild ass guess", isn't it? And that's before the part about dasein. And God.

And the irony is that whether I find it or not, I too will be welcomed into God's Kingdom.

phyllo wrote: But in this life, you envy Ierrellus' "comfort".


You've got that right. Hell, I still remember clearly how deeply [profoundly!] consoled and comforted I was when I believed in the Christian God.

Well, the Protestant Christian God anyway.

And, sure, I'd like to come across a narrative here that might spark me enough to make my own Pascalian wager...to make my own Kierkegaardian leap to God.

But that isn't exactly like flicking a switch to "on" in my brain is it? I have to be convinced [by someone] that the wager makes sense. That it is a reasonable thing to do. Otherwise it becomes just one more rendition of "blind faith". Either that or a ruse.

phyllo wrote: "He's living a lie"? If the world really is meaningless and without God, then "living a lie" is meaningless and irrelevant as well. Then your best bet is to live a "comfortable lie".


I would never argue that he is living a lie. To do so would be to argue that I know what is true. All we can do here is to exchange existential narratives and either be or not be persuaded by them.

And, come on, if you do choose to live that "comfortable lie", will it fool God?

But, again, for Ierrellus, even if you do this in an attempt to fool God, God still welcomes you into His Kingdom.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:05 pm

phyllo wrote:
That's the beauty of his own particular religious narrative: nothing is ever wrong to do.
Some things are "wrong to do" because they make you miserable in this life. Religion is not just about salvation and an afterlife... it's about this life.


True. But on issue after issue after issue after issue after issue, some religious folks insist that unless you do what they do you will be miserable. Or make others miserable.

You know, eventually.

And folks often do things that others insist ought to make them miserable but it makes them happy instead.

And, for sure, there are any number of conflicting religious narratives out there able to reduce all of this down to one or another rendition of, for example, Heaven and Hell.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:32 pm

Here though human psychology can be, well, truly labyrinthian. There is what we think "here and now" consciously, "philosophically" about these things; and there are the considerably more problematic variables embedded in the sub-conscious and unconscious mind. All tangled up in genes and memes out in a particular world ever and always bursting at the seams with contingency, chance and change.

It's all really just a "wild ass guess", isn't it? And that's before the part about dasein. And God.
You over-complicate it, over-think it, and then you dumb it down to "everyone wants this particular type of proof". #-o
And, sure, I'd like to come across a narrative here that might spark me enough to make my own Pascalian wager...to make my own Kierkegaardian leap to God.

But that isn't exactly like flicking a switch to "on" in my brain is it? I have to be convinced [by someone] that the wager makes sense. That it is a reasonable thing to do. Otherwise it becomes just one more rendition of "blind faith". Either that or a ruse.
The shoes, that you are wearing, hurt your feet, yet you refuse to take them off. The pain itself is not a sufficient argument for you. People point out that you are not comfortable. What more do you want?
And, come on, if you do choose to live that "comfortable lie", will it fool God?
He's not lying to God, at worst he is lying to himself - imagining a "comfortable" God where there is none. But if there is no God, then that "self-lie" is irrelevant. And if there is a God, then he has made an effort to understand that God. Sure, he could be mistaken about the nature of God and the chips will fall where they will in the afterlife.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ierrellus » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:59 pm

Iamb,
Your mind is made up. Consequently we could not have a conversation about ideas you summarily reject.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:42 pm

phyllo wrote:
Here though human psychology can be, well, truly labyrinthian. There is what we think "here and now" consciously, "philosophically" about these things; and there are the considerably more problematic variables embedded in the sub-conscious and unconscious mind. All tangled up in genes and memes out in a particular world ever and always bursting at the seams with contingency, chance and change.

It's all really just a "wild ass guess", isn't it? And that's before the part about dasein. And God.
You over-complicate it, over-think it, and then you dumb it down to "everyone wants this particular type of proof". #-o


Right, like anyone can actually know where to draw the line here between "over-complicating" or "over-simplifying" it.

And the only "patticular type of proof" that makes sense to me here is a demonstration that all reasonable men and women are obligated to embrace your own rendition of "a God, the God, my God".

Otherwise we are back again to what is at stake if you worship and adore the wrong God. Or embrace No God instead. In other words, Ierrellus is in the distinct minority in effacing Judgment Day from his own leap of faith.

And how are others to react to this other than in asking him to demonstrate that what he believes is true? After all, really, what else is there?

And, sure, I'd like to come across a narrative here that might spark me enough to make my own Pascalian wager...to make my own Kierkegaardian leap to God.

But that isn't exactly like flicking a switch to "on" in my brain is it? I have to be convinced [by someone] that the wager makes sense. That it is a reasonable thing to do. Otherwise it becomes just one more rendition of "blind faith". Either that or a ruse.


phyllo wrote:The shoes, that you are wearing, hurt your feet, yet you refuse to take them off. The pain itself is not a sufficient argument for you. People point out that you are not comfortable. What more do you want?


Huh?

If your feet hurt because of the shoes you are wearing and someone comes along and suggests that you take them off...how is that the same as, say, fearing death and oblivion and someone coming along and suggesting that you make a wager on God...or take a leap of faith to one.

You actually see the two as analogous? I must not be understanding your point here.

And, come on, if you do choose to live that "comfortable lie", will it fool God?


phyllo wrote:He's not lying to God, at worst he is lying to himself - imagining a "comfortable" God where there is none. But if there is no God, then that "self-lie" is irrelevant. And if there is a God, then he has made an effort to understand that God. Sure, he could be mistaken about the nature of God and the chips will fall where they will in the afterlife.


Maybe, but Pascal's wager has always struck me more as an "intellectual contraption". You think, "well, what have I got to lose".
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 Aug 23, 2017 7:54 pm

Ierrellus wrote:Iamb,
Your mind is made up. Consequently we could not have a conversation about ideas you summarily reject.


Summarily:
1. in a prompt or direct manner; immediately; straightaway.
2. without notice; precipitately


Right, like this describes my own frame of mind here.

Look, you still have your God and your religious convictions. They still comfort and console you.

I have none of it. And, in having once embraced it all wholeheartedly myself, I know full well what it means to lose it.

Indeed, if you can find someone more willing to be convinced that immortality, salvation and divine justice is the real deal, please, by all means, invite him or her to join us.
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 Aug 23, 2017 8:00 pm

Right, like anyone can actually know where to draw the line here between "over-complicating" or "over-simplifying" it.
Wisdom. Sound judgement. Nobody has that?
Huh?

If your feet hurt because of the shoes you are wearing and someone comes along and suggests that you take them off...how is that the same as, say, fearing death and oblivion and someone coming along and suggesting that you make a wager on God...or take a leap of faith to one.

You actually see the two as analogous? I must not be understanding your point here.
You're wearing "nihilism". You're not comfortable with it but still you refuse to drop it. (Unless secretly you really do like it :wink: )

Let me put it this way. If somebody adopts the philosophy that "Everything is Bullshit"... nobody can talk him out of it because all arguments are dismissed as "bullshit". The only way get out of that kind of philosophy is to realize that it leads nowhere, to realize that your life sucks when you use that philosophy.
That philosophy fails the test of life.

"Take it off" while you still have some time.
Maybe, but Pascal's wager has always struck me more as an "intellectual contraption". You think, "well, what have I got to lose".
Well, he's not using Pascal's wager because there is no negative consequence (no eternal damnation) if everyone goes to heaven. And he does not seem particularly concerned about an afterlife.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:50 pm

phyllo wrote:
Right, like anyone can actually know where to draw the line here between "over-complicating" or "over-simplifying" it.
Wisdom. Sound judgement. Nobody has that?


I don't know how to make my point here any clearer.

With respect to objectivists [the God or the No God adherents] only those deemed to be "one of us" are said to possess wisdom and sound judgment.

When has that ever not been the case?

All I am providing on this thread is the opportunity for the God proponents to speculate on the manner in which "here and now" their understanding of these life and death relationships propels [or even compels] the behaviors that they choose on this side of the grave.

If your feet hurt because of the shoes you are wearing and someone comes along and suggests that you take them off...how is that the same as, say, fearing death and oblivion and someone coming along and suggesting that you make a wager on God...or take a leap of faith to one.

You actually see the two as analogous? I must not be understanding your point here.


phyllo wrote: You're wearing "nihilism". You're not comfortable with it but still you refuse to drop it. (Unless secretly you really do like it :wink: )


You don't wear a philosophy of life [or a moral narrative] like you wear a pair of shoes. Or, rather, I don't. Instead, over the course of actually living my life, I had a particular set of experiences, relationships, access to information/knowledge etc., that predisposed me existentially to think as I now do.

I can't just reach inside my head now and yank that all out like I might reach for another pair of more comfortable shoes.

You do understand that, right?

Or did you just pluck your own God/Objective morality frame of mind from a tree? :wink:

phyllo wrote: Let me put it this way. If somebody adopts the philosophy that "Everything is Bullshit"... nobody can talk him out of it because all arguments are dismissed as "bullshit". The only way get out of that kind of philosophy is to realize that it leads nowhere, to realize that your life sucks when you use that philosophy.


Note to others:

What does a "retort" of this nature tell us about him? I'm not arguing that those who don't share my own frame of mind here are just bullshitting us. And I certainly have never argued that "everything is bullshit".

Instead, I make what I construe to be that crucial distinction between what we claim to know or to believe is true "in our head" about a God, the God, my God, and what we are able to demonstrate to others is in fact a true knowledge, a true belief.

I merely point out the obvious: That, on this thread, there is considerably more at stake: immortality, salvation and the possibility of divine justice.

Also, over and again I note that, pertaining to our lives on "this side of the grave", nihilism is not without its benefits. For one thing, moral nihilists are afforded considerably more options when choosing behaviors. Why? Because unlike the moral objectivists they are not obligated [by God, by Reason, by Nature] to always be in sync with Doing The Right Thing.

Maybe, but Pascal's wager has always struck me more as an "intellectual contraption". You think, "well, what have I got to lose".


phyllo wrote: Well, he's not using Pascal's wager because there is no negative consequence (no eternal damnation) if everyone goes to heaven. And he does not seem particularly concerned about an afterlife.


Note to Ierrellus:

How about that? Is this the manner in which you construe Pascal and his wager? How about Kierkegaard and his leap of faith?

And is it true that you are not "particularly concerned" with the part where mere mortals fall over into the abyss for all of eternity? The possibility of nothingness.

Or does your frame of mind [here and now] have that covered? A belief in somethingness.

My own rendition of that is this:

Sooner or later the pain of living becomes unbearable. And it can come from so many different directions. You might even find yourself begging to die just in order to stop it.

That I suspect is the only thing that will work for me.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Some Guy in History » Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:17 pm

About making your point clearer... I used to have that same problem. I eventually got to a point of roundabout thinking to be able to summarize things succinctly in a short-fashion, but it took me years to progress to that level of simplicity.

With respect to objectivists [the God or the No God adherents] only those deemed to be "one of us" are said to possess wisdom and sound judgment.

When has that ever not been the case?


Did you... you didn't take the two things you weren't supposed to take, did you?

My mother put in me a love for King Solomon and his wisdom. To choose it over women and money and then, by the end of his life, have all three in abundance until one misstep error in wisdom, and one of his 900 wives undoes him. To be fair, nobody from a reasonable state of clear-minded and informed thinking is going to choose wisdom over riches and sex until they've had their fair share of riches and sex and that is wisdom, isn't it?

Looking back, I wouldn't have made that same choice if I hadn't already been through it.

Sooner or later the pain of living becomes unbearable. And it can come from so many different directions. You might even find yourself begging to die just in order to stop it.


All the same, for how unbearable it is, the truly 'unbearable' part is that it is bearable, proven by your passage through to the other side of it.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Sun Aug 27, 2017 4:27 pm

With respect to objectivists [the God or the No God adherents] only those deemed to be "one of us" are said to possess wisdom and sound judgment.

When has that ever not been the case?
I think that this is just a plain misunderstanding of how people think and behave. (not that some people are not like this but overall it misses the mark)
You don't wear a philosophy of life [or a moral narrative] like you wear a pair of shoes. Or, rather, I don't. Instead, over the course of actually living my life, I had a particular set of experiences, relationships, access to information/knowledge etc., that predisposed me existentially to think as I now do.

I can't just reach inside my head now and yank that all out like I might reach for another pair of more comfortable shoes.

You do understand that, right?
What you seem to be saying is that you are entirely reactive. You wait for someone or something to change your mind. You are not able to apply your will and to act proactively. :confusion-shrug:
Or did you just pluck your own God/Objective morality frame of mind from a tree? :wink:
Well I decided to use a particular philosophy and morality. Is that "plucking it off a tree"?
What does a "retort" of this nature tell us about him? I'm not arguing that those who don't share my own frame of mind here are just bullshitting us. And I certainly have never argued that "everything is bullshit".
This was an attempt to get you to see how ridiculous it is to ask from "an argument" to get you out of your dilemma when you dismiss all arguments as "intellectual contraptions".
It just flew over your head. #-o
Because unlike the moral objectivists they are not obligated [by God, by Reason, by Nature] to always be in sync with Doing The Right Thing.
You realize that "moral objectivists" can choose to be immoral. Right?

The belief that an objective morality exists, does not obligate one to always act in a particular way.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Bob » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:14 pm

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

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

Isn’t there a danger that even if people do what you said they should do “on the one hand” that they remain within the particular? I find that for all of my experimentation, my arguments still use the symbolism, the metaphors and the allegories I grew up with. I think this is because we need a language within which we can make ourselves understood – and of course I’m not just talking about English, French or German etc.

The example at hand is your use of the word Dasein, which in my daily use of German has a specific meaning, but which doesn’t harmonise with yours. Thereby our communication is hampered by the fact that our communication is restricted to written exchanges and that lacking many facets of communication, as well as experience, we may never fully understand each other. We communicate, but we have particular assumptions about each other and our understanding of Dasein.

The same happens when people talk about God. We may have a one-on-one conversation on God and still come away not knowing what the others concept of God is – if they do at all have one. I have always wondered at Evangelicals who have ridiculed my intuitive approach to spirituality because it is “fuzzy”, but talk to three Christians separately and then you know what “fuzzy” is, or you know who has been telling them what/who God has to be for them.

1]

Going back to the caves [no doubt] God and religion factor into human interactions. In part because our brain is hard-wired through the evolution of life on earth to be "self-conscious". We have the capacity to connect the dots between "in my head" and "out in the world". And in a manner that far and away exceeds the capacity of any other creature on this planet.

Though, indeed, there may be creatures on other planets that far and away exceed us.

This involves first and foremost a capacity to think up The Big Questions: Why something and not nothing at all? Why this something and not another something instead? 

Clearly the existence a God, the God, my God is one possible explanation.

You know, this “caveman's God” has been bantered about for some time and I have doubts. Studies show that the brain of the “caveman” had enormous potential, and also that we fail to use the potential of our brains because we are preoccupied and distracted most of the time. The caveman couldn’t be distracted or he was dead and his distracted genes didn’t get passed on. He was focused and alert, and he was learning all the time. In fact, there is a lot of speculation going on today about this guys learning curve and consequently the collective learning curve. We seem to have simplified our outlook over time, rather than complicated it.

The observations will of course have brought forth false assumptions, but they will have have to learn pretty quickly to verify those assumptions. The rule of measure will be the usefulness and reliability of assumptions – nothing more. They won’t have considered whether their terminology is correct or whether a story is “true” in the sense that we use the word “true” nowadays. If it is useful or reliable, or both, they’ll keep their assumptions to heighten their resilience in a world that has numerous life-forms combatting each other in order to spread their species across the globe.

One question that will have occurred is what this experience or happening is all about, rather than why can I think about this and no-one else. The survivors who managed to reproduce themselves will have been those who formed a working theory that roughly fitted reality. It will only be later, when humankind had time to think deeply about their situation that they’ll have further developed those concepts. This too as an attempt to heighten resilience by increasing foresight and flexibility.

2] 

Any particular individual will believe in God, not believe in God or be uncertain. And this is clearly rooted existentially in many, many vast and varied historical, cultural and experiential contexts. Also, any particular individual will interact with others of her kind or not interact with others of her kind. The vast majority of us do. And, as a result of this, our interactions precipitate conflicts that revolve around one or another set of behaviors that revolve around one or another set of values. With or without God. In turn, all of us will die. And that precipitates thoughts and feelings [in any particular individual] regarding our fate on the other side.

This thread was created in order for those individuals who do believe in God to discuss the manner in which they intertwine their behaviors on this side of the grave as that relates to the manner in which they have come to imagine their fate on the other side.

In other words, these narratives will [hopefully] be as far removed from "intellectual contraptions" as it is possible to convey in a forum such as this.

I think that the “caveman” will have been more a part of the collective than we are, with our imagined individuality and attempts to be unique in some way. Therefore, if the group had the concept of a singular or multiple Gods, our man will have too. If there is no God-concept, he will have none either. Therefore the interaction of our man is active and not reflective like ours is deemed to be. We forget that we can’t not communicate, we can’t not interact either. In one way or another we are always interacting, even though we might not notice or even forget where it was apparent.

Therefore, I think that there are false assumptions on your part that means that the discussion you want isn’t actually happening. The question you should ask is the last one: How do they intertwine their behaviour on this side of the grave in order to have an effect on their fate on the other side.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the only answer you’ll get amounts to pascals wager.
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Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
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