on discussing god and religion

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:12 pm

Bob wrote:I personally believe religion to be prescience, but I don’t use this term in a dismissive way. Science is definitely valuable in discovering the inside structures of material life or the measurable interaction of components of the macro- and micro-cosmos. Added to that, science tries to understand the reasons for human reactions within biology, measuring everything that can be measured. It tells us a lot about what the universe is made of and how things happen but less about why – especially when it comes down to human behaviour.


In other words, where does science stop and philosophy start? And where do both intertwined stop and religion start?

Or, as you noted below of science, telling us how something works doesn't explain why it works that way and not another way. Or, in a teleological sense, what it all "means".

Clearly none of us really knows. Or, rather, if some folks do, I haven't come into contact with them.

Human interactions in a wholly determined universe may well be within the reach -- the understanding -- of science. Indeed, human psychology may well itself be no less a "mechanism" bound up in the immutable laws of matter.

And if God is said to be omniscient what does it really mean then to speak of human autonomy?

It's a profound mystery. A really, really enigmatic calculation embedded in a complete understanding of Existence itself. If that is even within the reach of human intelligence.

Bob wrote:Intuition gives us a working model with which we try to understand the world and react accordingly. It also gets adjusted to fit our experience, or what we perceive to be our experience, and develops as we go along. Being an introvert who is very intuitive, I have gone through life registering a vast number of adjustments to my outlook on life and can only be thankful that I haven’t often been in grave danger, otherwise I might not have survived. The lack of danger helps us progress in this area, and also allows us to develop science, but they both belong together. I have read that scientists and clinical doctors will often not live their lives according to what they know professionally. This suggests that science and intuition live inside scientists as much as in other people.


Perhaps. But my reaction to this sort of speculation is to draw a distinction between a "general description" of human interaction, and the extent to which folks are able to bring these conjectures "down to earth"; and then to implicate them in actual behaviors that they choose as this relates to their imagined fate on the other side of the grave.

Otherwise they ever remain just "general descriptions" of...of what exactly?

iambiguous wrote:My own entirely existential understanding of dasein is encompassed here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529

What are you own assumptions then regarding its meaning "out in the world" of human social, political and economic interactions?

Dasein at wiki:

Dasein is a German word that means "being there" or "presence", and is often translated into English with the word "existence". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dasein

Being there instead of here [culturally experientially]. Being here or there now instead of here or there before or later [historically].

What aspects of "I" is this most relevant to? And, on this thread, how that relates to the behaviors we choose "here and now" in order to be in sync with what we imagine our fate to be "there and then".

Bob wrote:My understanding of existence culturally is that I have grown up in a cultural group with a set of values, which I adopted from early on in life. I have also lived within a certain moment in time, which up until now has been better for me than it was for my predecessors. My cultural values have developed over time, including in them christian ideas for some time, but then adapting to include other cultural traditions that I have encountered along the way. I am somewhat mixed, being born in rural Britain, having moved to the far east during my “impressionable age” and since having lived the largest part of my life in Germany.


Again: How then do you relate this to the particular behaviors that you choose?

In part, you can clearly see how they are profoundly intertwined in a set of particular historical and cultural and interpersonal experiences.

But how profoundly?

In other words, to what extent can you and I and others account for all of that and still come to the conclusion that specific behaviors are in fact more reasonable/virtuous than others?

And how is that then intertwined in our religious views: in our current assumptions regarding immortality, salvation and divine justice?

How specific can you be here? Or is what you believe just a general sense of things that appeal to you "here and now".

You note this:

Bob wrote:This is relevant to how I look at myself. I feel that I am less a member of a single family, or cultural group, but rather part of the myriad of humanity. I am an individualist in one sense, but I need people around me and these people should give me room, otherwise I can be unfriendly. I am also the type of person that regards life as a mystery with unknown possibilities, and intuitively I feel that there should be some explanation for the fact that we are transient in a universe that doesn’t seem to care. This is probably why I have tried the various religious concepts that we have, in order to find out where there are answers. I have ended up with nothing scientific – if indeed there is such a thing with regard to the meaning of life.

I have adopted an existentialist approach in that I am aware that faith is a leap, rather than an explanation. However, this leap we all take daily when we get out of bed, assuming that life goes on in the same way that we have experienced it in the past. This leap of faith is an attempt to fathom what we know and make some sense of our existence. It is a contraption, as is any method of understanding and joining in with life. It is a concept, a hypothesis of what life could be about. Of course there are people who need other people to like what they like, and do what they do. Therefore they demand conformity, as the church and other institutions have done over time.


And my reaction is always the same: how "on earth" is this "frame of mind" then translated into actual behaviors when over the course of living your life you come into conflict with others who share your "general description" of things above but who embrace actual conflicting values relating to actual conflicting goods.

And, in turn, are in conflict regarding God and religion insofar as the behaviors we choose "here and now" will be judged so as to have a profound impact on the existence of "I" -- my "soul" -- "there and then".

In other words, beyond the grave.

Bob wrote:I, for example, can live with the fact that we all have our reasons for doing what we do, as long as we have a common understanding that helps us live together without killing or maiming each other.


Okay, this works for you. But it doesn't work for me. Not when you translate "good intentions" into actual behaviors in which folks on both sides of all the various moral and political conflagrations come to insist that a "common understanding" must revolve around their own set of assumptions.

When it's crunch time and we have to establish laws -- rules of behavior -- that either prescribe or proscribe particular behaviors, I am entangled in this:

If I am always of the opinion that 1] my own values are rooted in dasein and 2] that there are no objective values "I" can reach, then every time I make one particular moral/political leap, I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction...or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction. Then "I" begins to fracture and fragment to the point there is nothing able to actually keep it all together. At least not with respect to choosing sides morally and politically.

How then are others not entangled in it?

Bob wrote:Going by what I have written above, the connecting of the dots leaves us with an uncanny feeling and according to what combination of attributes a person may have, he or she will come up with varying answers, just as humankind has done depending on cultural backgrounds. We are, whether we like it or not, still blind to the information that will give us the bigger picture.


Yes, I agree. But it is precisely that which brings me straight back to what is at stake here:

1] our immortality
2] our salvation
3] our place in the part that encompasses Divine Justice

Which I suspect is why folks like Ierrellus take their own leap of faith to a God that includes everyone in the Kingdom.

But: it's not for nothing that the overwhelming preponderance of religious folks balk at this. After all, if there is no Judgment Day then how are we expected to know how to live "righteously" on this side of the grave?

Instead, you go here:

Bob wrote:How we ought to live is, to my mind, a question of interaction and consequently needs a basic agreement between those interacting to function. Again, humanity has over the course of history come up with eight basic requirements for living together, but has failed to keep it that simple. The complications of legislation just prove that human beings apply different aspects to their ideas of what ought to be done, according to their momentary requirements.


Which is far, far, far too vague. At least from my frame of mind. But not just for folks like me. It is for most of the faithful in turn. Once we shift gears to the actual "conflicting goods" that we are all familiar with, existential lines need to be drawn. To abort or not to abort. To allow the unborn their natural right to life or to allow the pregnant women their political right to choose.

And then [on threads like this one] in imagining God's reaction to it.

Bob wrote:You have brought the understanding of nature into the question of how we ought to live, but I don’t see it as something that is as relevant to the question. The survival question was imminent in the competition for resources and food, especially if I was a food source to certain animals. Once this rivalry could be appeased by understanding that we have enough space and resources, and that we could even work together on safeguarding those resources, the interaction became completely different. Then it was a question of how to live together.


Well, if there be a God, He was around both then and now. And we would also need to understand where exactly Nature ends and God begins.

And the global economy today still basically revolves around the assumption that with regard to markets, labor and natural resources, the capitalist ethos prevails: Show Me The Money.

And then you have all manner of conflicting assumptions regarding the extent to which capitalism and religion are compatible.

Including those for whom [for all practical purposes] capitalism is their religion.
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 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:56 pm

Or, as you noted below of science, telling us how something works doesn't explain why it works that way and not another way. Or, in a teleological sense, what it all "means".

Clearly none of us really knows. Or, rather, if some folks do, I haven't come into contact with them.
And if you did come into contact with those folks who know and they told you all they knew, you would reply that it's in their heads.

... and away we go with the same yoyo. :eusa-violin:
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:49 pm

phyllo wrote:
Or, as you noted below of science, telling us how something works doesn't explain why it works that way and not another way. Or, in a teleological sense, what it all "means".

Clearly none of us really knows. Or, rather, if some folks do, I haven't come into contact with them.
And if you did come into contact with those folks who know and they told you all they knew, you would reply that it's in their heads.

... and away we go with the same yoyo. :eusa-violin:


Just out of curiosity, sometimes I prompt you to make an actual intelligent argument on this thread. And, other times, I seem to reduce you down to "retorts" like this one. Which, as we all know, is just around the corner from huffing and puffing and name-calling.

I know that you are exasperated given all that you have to lose if my own frame of mind here comes to prevail "in your head". I get that. And in part because over the years, I have confronted it among any number of objectivists. Both the God and the No God embodiments.

But rest assured: I still cling to the hope myself that moral nihilism in an essentially absurd and meaningless world that topples over into oblivion for all of eternity is still just an "existential contraption".

My own. Here and now.

I once roundly rejected it myself. And there is always the possibility of bumping into a new experience, a new relationship, a new source of knowledge/information that persuades me to shift gears "in my head" once again.

But [in the end] it always comes down to the extent to which others are able to convince me that what they believe in their head does in fact coincide with that which can be demonstrated to in fact be true for all of us. Out in the world of actual human interactions.

That's what I cling to. The knowledge that the possibility my own moral dilemma on this side of the grave and my dire trepidations regarding the fate of "I" on the other side of it, are almost certainly far removed from whatever the actual objective reality is.

The reality. An understanding of Existence itself. An understanding in which we finally grasp how and why there is a "human condition" at all in the stupefying vastness of All There Is.

Assuming, for example, that our own universe may well be but one of an infinity of others.

"I" in all of that!!!

Then, on this thread, it comes down to engaging in intelligent, substantive discussions about it; or in dealing with the hardcore objectivists, the fanatical True Believers, the Kids and those who allow themselves to be reduced down to an exchange of "retorts".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:43 pm

Ierrellus wrote: Iamb, can you give me an example of an idea that is not in somebody's head?


Idea:

* a thought or suggestion as to a possible course of action.
* a concept or mental impression.
* the aim or purpose.

And in philosophy:

* in Platonic thought: an eternally existing pattern of which individual things in any class are imperfect copies.
* in Kantian thought: a concept of pure reason, not empirically based in experience.

Now, imagine that you are a doctor performing an abortion. To what extent are you able to connect the dots between the ideas "in your head" relating to abortion as a medical procedure [as encompassed in the meaning of "idea" above] and the actual fact of performing the abortion?

Or, if you are a biologist, discussing the relationship between the idea of evolution of life on earth, human sexuality, pregnancy and abortion...and the actual fact of it.

What part of all this would be true for all pregnant women and doctors? And what part would only be a matter of opinion? To what extent, in other words, would the ideas "in your head" overlap with the material reality embedded in any particular context in which abortion is a factor?

On the other hand, with respect to abortion when understood or assessed by the ethicists, some will embrace ideas like yours:

Ierrellus wrote: As for abortion, not being a woman I should have no say on how a woman treats her own body. I could opine that I see abortion as an option in cases of criminal rape, incest or possible death of the mother; but these are mere opinion.


But how "on earth" are you [or those who have different ideas] able to demonstrate that that how they think and feel about it reflects that which all reasonable and righteous men and women are obligated to think and feel about it in turn.

How would these not be "mere opinions"? Opinions embedded, as I see it, in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. Opinions embedded "here and now" in a world bursting at the seams with contingency, chance and change.

What is the one true Platonic or Kantian assessment of abortion as a moral issue?

Well, don't both of them posit one or another rendition of God? That transcendental font that, in the end, "referees" the conflicting assessments of "mere mortals"?

The ultimate [objective] judgment?

With you though any and all ideas and behaviors pursued by mere mortals with respect to any particular abortion are, in the end, reduced down to God's acceptance.

Unless of course I still fail utterly to grasp your understanding of God in all this.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:00 pm

phyllo wrote:
Well, what seems rather succinct to me is that you have come to believe this because emotionally, psychologically it is considerably more comforting and consoling to believe that than to believe that we live in an essentially absurd and meaningless world that, for each of us one by one, topples over into the abyss that is nothing at all -- for "I" -- for all of eternity.
The obvious question is : How would I have to put it so that you do not label it "emotionally and psychologically comforting"? Or put another way : What [would] I have to believe and what would be my necessary reasons be, for it not to get that label from you?


First, of course, any particular frame of mind relating to God and religion either does or does not comfort and console you.

And, if it does comfort and console you, you have to investigate the extent to which being comforted and consoled may in and of itself be an important motivation in prompting you to embody that frame of mind.

And, among other things, that means exploring all the literature available on the nature of "psychological defense mechanisms".

Then one would need to be familiar with the extent to which this relationship in any particular individual reflects the precise intertwining of genes and memes out in a particular world that is ever evolving and changing. As this impacts the interaction between "in my head" and "out in the world".

And since I clearly do not grasp this fully myself, I will be the first to acknowledge that my own assessment here is but one more "existential contraption".

As, I suspect, your own is.

Then it comes down to making that crucial distinction between those who acknowledge this [and the implications of it in the is/ought world] and those who insist that, on the contrary, the manner in which they understand their own assessment of these relationships is in fact true objectively for all rational and virtuous human beings.

And then grounding this in either God, Reason, Political Ideology or Nature.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:04 pm

Just out of curiosity, sometimes I prompt you to make an actual intelligent argument on this thread. And, other times, I seem to reduce you down to "retorts" like this one. Which, as we all know, is just around the corner from huffing and puffing and name-calling.
It's not huffing, puffing or name-calling. It's a graphic description of what goes on in your threads.

You ask for an argument, someone gives it, you reject it as "in his head", you ask for an argument, someone gives it, you reject it as "in his head", ...

You go between the two same positions 'asking' and 'rejecting' just as a yoyo moves up and down repeatedly.

You never seem to grasp that your 'philosophy' makes you automatically reject all arguments - that's the nature of the 'philosophy'. You will never get an acceptable argument until you drop that 'philosophy' and take up another one.
I know that you are exasperated given all that you have to lose if my own frame of mind here comes to prevail "in your head". I get that. And in part because over the years, I have confronted it among any number of objectivists. Both the God and the No God embodiments.
I'm only exasperated because you make no effort to move from your particular position although you keep saying that you want to move. You just seem to want to talk about moving rather than actually moving.
I'm not afraid of losing anything. I have already said so several times in this thread.
Assuming, for example, that our own universe may well be but one of an infinity of others.
Other universes are irrelevant because there is no interaction between them - that's how universes work. IOW, other universes cannot have any impact on any philosophy.
Determinism is also irrelevant. :D
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:11 pm

First, of course, any particular frame of mind relating to God and religion either does or does not comfort and console you.
Stop right there. That's your particular point of view. Before you go any further, investigate how reasonable it is.

If it's your POV then keep it to yourself and don't stick it on other people.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:35 pm

Today is a good day to end it. :techie-offtheair:
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ierrellus » Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:51 pm

Apparently, Iamb, you have opinions about God and abortion. You need not refer to Plato or Kant in hopes that they might make your opinion purely objective. Neither had enough knowledge of science to be aware that they were integral parts of an ecosystem or about religion to question the morality of the popular God. If you ever find objective certainty, let me know.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:09 pm

If you ever find objective certainty, let me know.
Given human limitations, certainty is impossible but objectivity is not impossible. That's why you can do science and that's why science changes.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Arminius » Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:36 pm

Ierrellus wrote:Apparently, Iamb, you have opinions about God and abortion. You need not refer to Plato or Kant in hopes that they might make your opinion purely objective. Neither had enough knowledge of science to be aware that they were integral parts of an ecosystem or about religion to question the morality of the popular God.

Kant knew much about science.

Kant is best known for his work in the philosophy of ethics and metaphysics,[39] but he made significant contributions to other disciplines. He made an important astronomical discovery about the nature of Earth's rotation, for which he won the Berlin Academy Prize in 1754. According to Lord Kelvin in 1897, Kant made contributions useful to mathematicians or physical astronomers. According to Thomas Huxley in 1867 Kant made contributions to geology as well when, in 1775 [1755], he wrote his General Natural History and Theory of the Celestial Bodies; or, an Attempt to Account for the Constitutional and Mechanical Origin of the Universe, upon Newtonian Principles."

In the General History of Nature and Theory of the Heavens (Allgemeine Naturgeschichte und Theorie des Himmels) (1755), Kant laid out the Nebular hypothesis, in which he deduced that the Solar System formed from a large cloud of gas, a nebula. Thus he tried to explain the order of the solar system, which Isaac Newton had explained as imposed from the beginning by God. Kant also correctly deduced that the Milky Way was a large disk of stars, which he theorized also formed from a (much larger) spinning cloud of gas. He further suggested that other nebulae might also be similarly large and distant disks of stars. These postulations opened new horizons for astronomy: for the first time extending astronomy beyond the solar system to galactic and extragalactic realms.[40]
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ierrellus » Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:37 pm

Arminius wrote:
Ierrellus wrote:Apparently, Iamb, you have opinions about God and abortion. You need not refer to Plato or Kant in hopes that they might make your opinion purely objective. Neither had enough knowledge of science to be aware that they were integral parts of an ecosystem or about religion to question the morality of the popular God.

Kant knew much about science.

Kant is best known for his work in the philosophy of ethics and metaphysics,[39] but he made significant contributions to other disciplines. He made an important astronomical discovery about the nature of Earth's rotation, for which he won the Berlin Academy Prize in 1754. According to Lord Kelvin in 1897, Kant made contributions useful to mathematicians or physical astronomers. According to Thomas Huxley in 1867 Kant made contributions to geology as well when, in 1775 [1755], he wrote his General Natural History and Theory of the Celestial Bodies; or, an Attempt to Account for the Constitutional and Mechanical Origin of the Universe, upon Newtonian Principles."

In the General History of Nature and Theory of the Heavens (Allgemeine Naturgeschichte und Theorie des Himmels) (1755), Kant laid out the Nebular hypothesis, in which he deduced that the Solar System formed from a large cloud of gas, a nebula. Thus he tried to explain the order of the solar system, which Isaac Newton had explained as imposed from the beginning by God. Kant also correctly deduced that the Milky Way was a large disk of stars, which he theorized also formed from a (much larger) spinning cloud of gas. He further suggested that other nebulae might also be similarly large and distant disks of stars. These postulations opened new horizons for astronomy: for the first time extending astronomy beyond the solar system to galactic and extragalactic realms.[40]
**

I was referring to the biological sciences, ecosystems in particular. Kant seems unaware of this as does Iamb.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ierrellus » Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:50 pm

phyllo wrote:
If you ever find objective certainty, let me know.
Given human limitations, certainty is impossible but objectivity is not impossible. That's why you can do science and that's why science changes.

Science amounts to our best guesses yet about the workings of our known universe. We can make accurate predictions based on current theories. That's probably about as objective as we can get. Religion and God, however, call for the practicality of intersubjective agreements involving a type of certainty based on individual experience. Iamb does not recognize the validity of a God experience.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ierrellus » Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:52 pm

Can anyone give me an objective description of religion or God?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Arminius » Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:48 pm

Ierrellus wrote:
Arminius wrote:
Ierrellus wrote:Apparently, Iamb, you have opinions about God and abortion. You need not refer to Plato or Kant in hopes that they might make your opinion purely objective. Neither had enough knowledge of science to be aware that they were integral parts of an ecosystem or about religion to question the morality of the popular God.

Kant knew much about science.

Kant is best known for his work in the philosophy of ethics and metaphysics,[39] but he made significant contributions to other disciplines. He made an important astronomical discovery about the nature of Earth's rotation, for which he won the Berlin Academy Prize in 1754. According to Lord Kelvin in 1897, Kant made contributions useful to mathematicians or physical astronomers. According to Thomas Huxley in 1867 Kant made contributions to geology as well when, in 1775 [1755], he wrote his General Natural History and Theory of the Celestial Bodies; or, an Attempt to Account for the Constitutional and Mechanical Origin of the Universe, upon Newtonian Principles."

In the General History of Nature and Theory of the Heavens (Allgemeine Naturgeschichte und Theorie des Himmels) (1755), Kant laid out the Nebular hypothesis, in which he deduced that the Solar System formed from a large cloud of gas, a nebula. Thus he tried to explain the order of the solar system, which Isaac Newton had explained as imposed from the beginning by God. Kant also correctly deduced that the Milky Way was a large disk of stars, which he theorized also formed from a (much larger) spinning cloud of gas. He further suggested that other nebulae might also be similarly large and distant disks of stars. These postulations opened new horizons for astronomy: for the first time extending astronomy beyond the solar system to galactic and extragalactic realms.[40]
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I was referring to the biological sciences, ecosystems in particular. Kant seems unaware of this ....

Kant knew much about the biological sciences too, ecpecially about anthropological sciences. Kant was really ingenious.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Arminius » Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:56 pm

Ierrellus wrote:Can anyone give me an objective description of ... God?

Do you mean "The Real God"?

James S. Saint wrote: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 Bob » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:34 am

iambiguous wrote:In other words, where does science stop and philosophy start? And where do both intertwined stop and religion start?

Or, as you noted below of science, telling us how something works doesn't explain why it works that way and not another way. Or, in a teleological sense, what it all "means".

Clearly none of us really knows. Or, rather, if some folks do, I haven't come into contact with them.

Human interactions in a wholly determined universe may well be within the reach -- the understanding -- of science. Indeed, human psychology may well itself be no less a "mechanism" bound up in the immutable laws of matter.

And if God is said to be omniscient what does it really mean then to speak of human autonomy?

It's a profound mystery. A really, really enigmatic calculation embedded in a complete understanding of Existence itself. If that is even within the reach of human intelligence.

I think its hard to decide whether we want to pursue the investigation of a determined universe, or a “mechanistic” one. To my mind the question of why there is something and I can take part in it all leads us to assume that my awareness is normal. It seems to be where life in the universe is leading to, but whether there is a personality behind it all who is interested in my personal part in it all and has interest in all my deeds seems to me to be illusional. I follow a perhaps deistic view that yes, this was set in motion with an aim “in mind”, but it is for each of us to find our way through it all.

I am also quite convinced that in the outcome, if we should ever know what that is, it would be very different from the individual ideas that our cultures have come up with. And yet, I think that our cultural traditions may have at least an inkling of something beyond our knowledge. So yes, in the end nobody knows.

iambiguous wrote:But my reaction to this sort of speculation is to draw a distinction between a "general description" of human interaction, and the extent to which folks are able to bring these conjectures "down to earth"; and then to implicate them in actual behaviors that they choose as this relates to their imagined fate on the other side of the grave.

Otherwise they ever remain just "general descriptions" of...of what exactly?

They are general descriptions or “working concepts” as I said. We need a hypothesis to work on because the possibilities broaden as our knowledge increases. The more we find a way of coping with our situation, accepting that the solution is not readily available, the more we can learn from experience and learn to intuitively understand, albeit to a small degree, what is going on. I am quite sure that this intuition is more able to come up with a breakthrough than scientific study, although science would have to follow up. The reason I say this is that all discoveries have been enhanced by intuition, and breakthroughs have very often happened away from the laboratory, on a bus or in a crowd, in the country or in the bath.

Of course such working concepts give us ideas about the other side of the grave and it seems that most people have a feeling, whether right or wrong, that life will go on and they prepare for it as their cultural upbringing dictates.

iambiguous wrote:Again: How then do you relate this to the particular behaviors that you choose?

In part, you can clearly see how they are profoundly intertwined in a set of particular historical and cultural and interpersonal experiences.

But how profoundly?

In other words, to what extent can you and I and others account for all of that and still come to the conclusion that specific behaviors are in fact more reasonable/virtuous than others?

And how is that then intertwined in our religious views: in our current assumptions regarding immortality, salvation and divine justice?

How specific can you be here? Or is what you believe just a general sense of things that appeal to you "here and now".

My behaviour is dictated first of all by the common agreement, and less by my intuition. At least my behaviour in public is, although it is to a certain degree at least guided by my intuition. The more my intuitive decisions find acceptance among my peers, the more I can influence the common agreement – at least locally at first. Historically, such influences have been shared by more people before they find acceptance. This seems to be the process of all developments, good and bad.

Such processes build on each other until they are knocked down. And if they are carried by a majority at some time, they never go away but become a part of the fabric of society until they fade and are less present. Nonetheless, something always survives, even if the ideas are dated.

We come to the conclusion that a set of behaviours are more appropriate than others by experience or what we perceive to be experience. Being appropriate we can call them reasonable or virtuous, but it is a question of time until we have to revaluate our experiences.

The more we have conserved religious views in scripture and made ourselves doctrines, the more we have the conflict of the Letter and the Spirit. Intuitively we may contradict a doctrine but when that doctrine is wrapped up in personal identity or salvation, we struggle. The Reformation was one example of that struggle.

Of course, absolute certainty eludes us, which is the reason why sages have always encouraged humility.

iambiguous wrote:
Bob wrote:I, for example, can live with the fact that we all have our reasons for doing what we do, as long as we have a common understanding that helps us live together without killing or maiming each other.


Okay, this works for you. But it doesn't work for me. Not when you translate "good intentions" into actual behaviors in which folks on both sides of all the various moral and political conflagrations come to insist that a "common understanding" must revolve around their own set of assumptions.

When it's crunch time and we have to establish laws -- rules of behavior -- that either prescribe or proscribe particular behaviors, I am entangled in this:

If I am always of the opinion that 1] my own values are rooted in dasein and 2] that there are no objective values "I" can reach, then every time I make one particular moral/political leap, I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction...or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction. Then "I" begins to fracture and fragment to the point there is nothing able to actually keep it all together. At least not with respect to choosing sides morally and politically.

How then are others not entangled in it?

If then there are no objective values to be reached, then I have to live with the fact that I could have come to a different decision – but I didn’t and my intuition is all I have to help me. The more experience I gain, the more reliable my intuition may be, but certainty eludes us. We can remain entangled or throw off the bonds of insecurity and accept humbly that I only have my intuition.

iambiguous wrote:
Bob wrote:Going by what I have written above, the connecting of the dots leaves us with an uncanny feeling and according to what combination of attributes a person may have, he or she will come up with varying answers, just as humankind has done depending on cultural backgrounds. We are, whether we like it or not, still blind to the information that will give us the bigger picture.


Yes, I agree. But it is precisely that which brings me straight back to what is at stake here:

1] our immortality
2] our salvation
3] our place in the part that encompasses Divine Justice

Which I suspect is why folks like Ierrellus take their own leap of faith to a God that includes everyone in the Kingdom.

But: it's not for nothing that the overwhelming preponderance of religious folks balk at this. After all, if there is no Judgment Day then how are we expected to know how to live "righteously" on this side of the grave?

Instead, you go here:

Bob wrote:How we ought to live is, to my mind, a question of interaction and consequently needs a basic agreement between those interacting to function. Again, humanity has over the course of history come up with eight basic requirements for living together, but has failed to keep it that simple. The complications of legislation just prove that human beings apply different aspects to their ideas of what ought to be done, according to their momentary requirements.


Which is far, far, far too vague. At least from my frame of mind. But not just for folks like me. It is for most of the faithful in turn. Once we shift gears to the actual "conflicting goods" that we are all familiar with, existential lines need to be drawn. To abort or not to abort. To allow the unborn their natural right to life or to allow the pregnant women their political right to choose.

And then [on threads like this one] in imagining God's reaction to it.

I experience existence as vague. There are people who have long before I ever saw the light of day tried to fathom out how to live. I find that their conclusions are occaionally helpful and sometimes they are too primitive and fail to take the whole picture into account. However, I am today in the position to learn from many people, form the past and present, which is all I can hope for.

iambiguous wrote:
Bob wrote:You have brought the understanding of nature into the question of how we ought to live, but I don’t see it as something that is as relevant to the question. The survival question was imminent in the competition for resources and food, especially if I was a food source to certain animals. Once this rivalry could be appeased by understanding that we have enough space and resources, and that we could even work together on safeguarding those resources, the interaction became completely different. Then it was a question of how to live together.


Well, if there be a God, He was around both then and now. And we would also need to understand where exactly Nature ends and God begins.

And the global economy today still basically revolves around the assumption that with regard to markets, labor and natural resources, the capitalist ethos prevails: Show Me The Money.

And then you have all manner of conflicting assumptions regarding the extent to which capitalism and religion are compatible.

Including those for whom [for all practical purposes] capitalism is their religion.

As you say, if there was a God … I know nature and I know that it can be friendly and also threatening. It doesn’t seem to care. I thought I knew God, but had to accept that I knew what I thought, but that wasn’t necessarily God.

Regarding capitalism and religion, the world shows us that capitalism isn’t working for a large majority of people but only for a small minority. Religion has often warned about this.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ierrellus » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:22 pm

Arminius wrote:
Ierrellus wrote:Can anyone give me an objective description of ... God?

Do you mean "The Real God"?

James S. Saint wrote: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".

You'd have to run JSS past Iamb., whose thread this is and who expects a concrete notion of God. It does not suit me. Too impersonal and abstract.
So Kant was aware of ecosystems and the sense of morality inferred from them? I thought that was Spinoza.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:40 pm

Regarding capitalism and religion, the world shows us that capitalism isn’t working for a large majority of people but only for a small minority. Religion has often warned about this.
Humans have thousands of years of experience ... which economic systems worked and why?

It appears that capitalism substantially raised the standard of living of the "lower classes". Is that not right?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:46 pm

phyllo wrote:
The only way in which any particular one of us can claim to be expressing actual "essential truths" is the extent to which we are able to demonstrate to others that we have access to all the facts that explain Reality/Existence itself.
"access to all the facts that explain reality/existence itself" - That's obviously a ridiculous and unnecessary requirement for expressing "essential truths".


In other words, you are insisting that even though you do not have access to all that would need to be known ontologically [teleologically?] about the very existence of Reality itself [or the very reality of Existence itself] you are still confident that that which you construe to be "essential truths" about the relationship between "in my head" and "out in the world" prevails.

And, if, pertaining to any possible discrepancies between you and, say, James S. Saint, your essential truths are more truly essential than his own.

And we are asked to believe this because you say so.

And that this is all true in turn pertaining to your assessment of God and religion as that is pertinent to the behaviors that you choose on this side of the grave as they will gain you access to one or another rendition of immortality, salvation and divine justice.

Whatever this even means to you. Let alone your capacity to encompass what it means to you for the rest of us.

Now, over and over and over again, I make it abundantly clear that short of the fabled "theory [and understanding] of everything", mathematics, the laws of nature, the empirical world around us and the logical rules of language would certainly seem to qualify as essential truths.


phyllo wrote: One can state "essential truths" about the physical universe without having "access to all the facts".


I don't agree. Until we have a complete understanding of how and why anything and everything exists at all, we come up against Hume's speculation about the difference between correlation and cause and effect. All we can ever know about the Reality of Existence [and the "human condition" that is a part of it "here and now"] is predicated on the knowledge that we have been able to accumulate "so far".

That's just common sense.

And even philosophers have speculated endlessly regarding that which epistemologically we either can or cannot know. Or has one of them actually pinned this part...

Noumenon [plural Noumena] in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, the thing-in-itself (das Ding an sich) as opposed to what Kant called the phenomenon—the thing as it appears to an observer. the precise relationship between noumenal and phenomenal existence.

...down.

Hell, they can't even pin down the precise relationship between memes and genes. Or determine if this exchange is only as it ever could have been.

phyllo wrote: One can build a telephone system based on some facts about electricity without knowing everything. It's possible that our understanding of electrons is basically wrong but it's not so wrong that we can't build electronic devices.


Yes, but what is the "essential truth" regarding this: Ought the NSA be using the telephone system to spy on American citizens in the name of "national security"?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:02 pm

I don't agree.
We can leave it there.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Magnus Anderson » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:47 pm

Biguous has an idealistic understanding of truth.
So he thinks everyone else does too.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:24 pm

phyllo wrote:
I don't agree.
We can leave it there.



In other words, with your comforting and consoling God and "essential truths" still intact.

Though [perhaps] frayed a little? :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 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:34 pm

In other words, with your comforting and consoling God and "essential truths" still intact.

Though [perhaps] frayed a little? :wink:
It seems to me that if I wanted comforting and consoling truths, then I would pick a different bunch of them. I can think of many which would be preferable to the ones I have "discovered" or logically deduced from observations. And, yeah, some of them have to do with the nature of God. :o

But, you know, it's impossible to explain that to you.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:10 pm

phyllo wrote:
In other words, with your comforting and consoling God and "essential truths" still intact.

Though [perhaps] frayed a little? :wink:
It seems to me that if I wanted comforting and consoling truths, then I would pick a different bunch of them. I can think of many which would be preferable to the ones I have "discovered" or logically deduced from observations. And, yeah, some of them have to do with the nature of God. :o

But, you know, it's impossible to explain that to you.


Again, the entirety of this thread revolves around allowing those who do have a relationship with God to at least make an attempt at explaining to others what this means when "out in the world" they find themselves having to choose particular behaviors. Choosing behaviors such that it brings them back to connecting the dots between "here and now" and "there and then".

How [for them] is this not embedded in the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein and conflicting goods? In other words, when the behaviors that they choose come into conflict with that which others would have them choose instead.

And that brings me back to the gap that I perceive between my rendition of this and yours.

Now, historically, the traditional source of "comfort and consolation" for most who believe in God is rather straightforward: behave on this side of the grave so that you will be judged favorably by God on the other side of it. And that's the part where immortality, salvation and divine justice comes in.

And you will either grapple with the difference between that and your own narrative or you won't.

Because I still don't really have a clue as to how "for all practical purposes" that "works" for you regarding the behaviors that you do choose. How are or are you not comforted and consoled by God and religion in your day to day experiences.

And, thus, where the exchange should end reasonably is when you come to the conclusion that you have in fact explained all of this to the best of your ability and I just don't get it.

Then you move on to others.

Or, you come up with a new way to reconfigure your narrative, and try again.

Or, in a world of contingency chance and change, your narrative itself is reconfigured by new experiences, relationships and/or sources of information/knowledge.

Then you bring that here.
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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