on discussing god and religion

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:10 pm

As a human we don't know squat. We don't know what we can know, and within what we think we know we can know we know very little.
A part can not understand the whole. That much we might understand.

Religon is mankinds way of being honest about that.

So it is not going anywhere, ever.


As human beings we know lots and lots and lots and lots of things.

It's just that as human beings -- mere mortals -- we don't know why these things exist rather than nothing at all. And we don't know why they exist as they do and not some other way.

Also, we don't know what happens to us after we die. And, without access to a set of Commandments, we don't know how to differentiate vice from virtue on this side of the grave.

It might also be argued that Gods and religions are mankind's way of not being honest about all the things we don't know about. That, instead, Gods and religions are invented [historically and culturally] in order to assume that what we think the answers are must prevail over any and all who insist the answers are something else instead.

And, mostly, it is not going anywhere, ever, because it is likely that on into the future people will be afraid of death and need to be convinced that there is in fact a right way and a wrong way to obviate it beyond the grave.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:03 pm

What Is the Relationship Between Religion and Morality?
Thomas Swan at the Owlcation website

...humans have evolved to increase their pro-social behavior by increasing their susceptibility for belief in judgmental deities and spirits. Religious belief is inextricably linked with our sense of morality on an unconscious level. Religious belief intensifies our willingness to display moral behavior, and the need to follow a moral code reduces the scrutiny that we apply to supernatural propositions.


But this is accepted by and large only to the extent that the deities are said to be both omniscient and omnipotent. In fact, with respect to the relationship between morality and religion, that is the whole point of God.

Unlike all the rest of us, there is nothing that He doesn't know. And, so, there is no question of behaving immorally and it not being known. And, in being all powerful, there is absolutely no question of behaving immorally and not being punished for it.

It doesn't take a whole lot of intelligence to recognize that even if mere mortals did have access to an understanding of the most rational, most virtuous behaviors, what good is that if someone can run rampant committing vice after vice, and no one knows it. Or some do know it but are unable to apprehend the miscreants? To punish them.

God [and only God] guarantees both the knowledge of and a just punishment for any and all immoral behavior.

And then God [and only god] can connect the dots between moral behavior here and now and immortality there and then.
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 Jun 13, 2019 6:22 pm

It doesn't take a whole lot of intelligence to recognize that even if mere mortals did have access to an understanding of the most rational, most virtuous behaviors, what good is that if someone can run rampant committing vice after vice, and no one knows it. Or some do know it but are unable to apprehend the miscreants? To punish them.
The ones who follow the "most rational, most virtuous behaviors" have a better life and a better society than those who do not. That's "what good" it is.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:42 pm

phyllo wrote:
It doesn't take a whole lot of intelligence to recognize that even if mere mortals did have access to an understanding of the most rational, most virtuous behaviors, what good is that if someone can run rampant committing vice after vice, and no one knows it. Or some do know it but are unable to apprehend the miscreants? To punish them.
The ones who follow the "most rational, most virtuous behaviors" have a better life and a better society than those who do not. That's "what good" it is.


Right, like all the moral and political objectivists out there aren't insisting that the "most rational, most virtuous" behaviors aren't embodied in their very own moral narratives and political agendas.

It's just that, say, historically, some have gone on in turn to insist that those who refuse to abide by their own normative prescriptions/proscriptions ought to be punished.

Then it becomes a matter of how severe the punishment is rationalized to be as justifiable for the "infidels".

Still, for those objectivists who choose the No God rendition of this, they are still faced with the "for all practical purposes" consequences of possessing neither omniscience nor omnipotence.

But at least they are comforted and consoled by the knowledge that they [and only they] are still on the side of all that is good, right?

Only, in a manner I have never been able to apprehend, you're sticking with God in all this.

The Christian God?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:06 pm

Right, like all the moral and political objectivists out there aren't insisting that the "most rational, most virtuous" behaviors aren't embodied in their very own moral narratives and political agendas.

It's just that, say, historically, some have gone on in turn to insist that those who refuse to abide by their own normative prescriptions/proscriptions ought to be punished.

Then it becomes a matter of how severe the punishment is rationalized to be as justifiable for the "infidels".

Still, for those objectivists who choose the No God rendition of this, they are still faced with the "for all practical purposes" consequences of possessing neither omniscience nor omnipotence.

But at least they are comforted and consoled by the knowledge that they [and only they] are still on the side of all that is good, right?

Only, in a manner I have never been able to apprehend, you're sticking with God in all this.

The Christian God?
What does that have to do with it?

Moral virtuous behavior is more beneficial than immoral non-virtuous behavior, both for the group and the individual. That's why morality exists. Without God, there is an evolutionary advantage. With God, there is a reward in this life and/or the afterlife. It works in both cases.

Why don't you just acknowledge that and move on from there.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:38 pm

phyllo wrote:Moral virtuous behavior is more beneficial than immoral non-virtuous behavior, both for the group and the individual. That's why morality exists. Without God, there is an evolutionary advantage. With God, there is a reward in this life and/or the afterlife. It works in both cases.
I think one can hold this position without believing in objective morals. IOW it benefits - in evolutionary terms - a group to have a common set of interpersonal rules - they can think of these as morals, and most tend to - so that they work together smoothly or at least more smoothly than they would otherwise.

If people have no idea what others will do, even just in social interaction, and how the rest of the community will react to breaches, there will be, I would guess, more distrust, more hesitation, more avoidance, less support and other things that make people head out of the house with some degree of secure feelings and shop, date, have kids, apply for jobs, barter......................

If parents raised their kids by saying anything goes or we think any action or pattern of interaction cannot be seen as better or worse, it's like playing the lottery out there, I think you will have an even more violent society and one that will be vulnerable to other societies that use morals or at least customs (which are also value based) to create cohesion.

Again this doesn't mean we know what society A should have as social heuristics (morals), just that they have something probably promotes more physical health and better protection from other groups. If you have no idea what others will do, you are not a society. This doesn't mean we know exactly which will work best, though we can probably rule out some. Like everyone should kill their kids would inhibit societal survival.

This doesn't mean it is good for societies to survive (in some objective way), but does explain why these things occur, since we do want our groups to do well in relation to other groups - like not being taken over - and to be able to deal with catastrophies ( survival).
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:34 am

phyllo wrote:Moral virtuous behavior is more beneficial than immoral non-virtuous behavior, both for the group and the individual.


Okay, pick your own moral narrative regarding a set of conflicting goods that all of us here are likely to be familiar with. Note how that which you construe to be beneficial outweighs the things that those who take the opposite point of view deem to be more benefical instead.

phyllo wrote:That's why morality exists. Without God, there is an evolutionary advantage. With God, there is a reward in this life and/or the afterlife. It works in both cases.


Indeed, we can take this into account when you name the conflict and demonstrate how your own moral narrative assures the greater "evolutionary advantage".

Or once again is it just to be assumed that those who don't share your own political prejudices flush the species down the toilet.

As for God, let's assume that a God, the God, your God is the one. So, in regard to an issue we are likely to be familiar with, who gets rewarded on Judgment Day?

And why?

phyllo wrote:Why don't you just acknowledge that and move on from there.


Why don't you actually respond to the points I raised above and maybe we can.
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 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:56 pm

Okay, pick your own moral narrative regarding a set of conflicting goods that all of us here are likely to be familiar with. Note how that which you construe to be beneficial outweighs the things that those who take the opposite point of view deem to be more benefical instead.
I'm not talking about my "own moral narratives", "a set of conflicting goods" or that others will not take an "opposite point of view".

I'm saying that there is a benefit to morality which is separate from any particular context and any particular individual.

It's analogous to traffic lights. It's beneficial to have a system of traffic lights and for people to obey traffic lights. I'm not saying that running a red light would not be beneficial to a specific person who is late for work or to someone who is going to the hospital with a medical emergency. I can see those benefits. And I don't claim that those benefits "go away" when I make an argument in favor of traffic lights.

If one looks only at individuals on particular journeys, one can argue that traffic lights slow down that individual in every case. But if there were no traffic lights, the journeys would be much slower and more dangerous, in most cases. If people routinely disobeyed the traffic lights, then the journeys would be much slower and more dangerous.

Therefore, there is a benefit to traffic lights when a large number of people are involved. It's a result that only appears when there are interactions among many people.
Indeed, we can take this into account when you name the conflict and demonstrate how your own moral narrative assures the greater "evolutionary advantage".
Again, it's not about me.

And it's not about any specific individual, any specific conflict or any specific moral narrative. Evolution deals with large groups over long periods of time.

If there was no advantage to morality, then social animals would not be using it. It would have been abandoned if it didn't work. Moral social animals are more fit to survive. That's it.
Or once again is it just to be assumed that those who don't share your own political prejudices flush the species down the toilet.
Once again, it's not about me.
As for God, let's assume that a God, the God, your God is the one.
So you want to talk about my God.
So, in regard to an issue we are likely to be familiar with, who gets rewarded on Judgment Day?
But here you impose your own ideas about reward and judgement day on me. Who says that there is a judgement day? You. That's how you want to approach it. It's like you can't imagine anyone thinking about it in any other way.
Why don't you actually respond to the points I raised above and maybe we can.
Okay, I responded. Your turn.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:19 pm

phyllo wrote:
Okay, pick your own moral narrative regarding a set of conflicting goods that all of us here are likely to be familiar with. Note how that which you construe to be beneficial outweighs the things that those who take the opposite point of view deem to be more benefical instead.


I'm not talking about my "own moral narratives", "a set of conflicting goods" or that others will not take an "opposite point of view".

I'm saying that there is a benefit to morality which is separate from any particular context and any particular individual.


Okay, but this thread focuses clearly on the benefits derived from embracing a particular moral agenda as that precipitates particular behaviors on this side of the grave as that precipitates what one imagines their fate to be on the other side of the grave.

Within any given community, sure, social, political and economic interactions are facilitated when rules of behavior are in place. Instead of, say, anarchy or a might makes right agenda.

But sooner or later this "general description" of morality is going to be tested in particular contexts in which conflicting goods confront us with the need to resolve them. This thread merely takes us beyond the here and now and confronts us with the there and then.

phyllo wrote: It's analogous to traffic lights. It's beneficial to have a system of traffic lights and for people to obey traffic lights. I'm not saying that running a red light would not be beneficial to a specific person who is late for work or to someone who is going to the hospital with a medical emergency. I can see those benefits. And I don't claim that those benefits "go away" when I make an argument in favor of traffic lights.

If one looks only at individuals on particular journeys, one can argue that traffic lights slow down that individual in every case. But if there were no traffic lights, the journeys would be much slower and more dangerous, in most cases. If people routinely disobeyed the traffic lights, then the journeys would be much slower and more dangerous.

Therefore, there is a benefit to traffic lights when a large number of people are involved. It's a result that only appears when there are interactions among many people.


Still, even something as concrete [and clearly necessary] as traffic laws are open to dispute given particular contexts. But rarely do these disputes reach the point where God and religion are invoked.

I suppose if someone was a selfish bastard and chose to completely ignore red lights and stop sign and speed limits, resulting in numerous accidents, resulting in numerous injuries and deaths to others, it might come up on Judgment Day.

But how to compare traffic laws with laws revolving around abortion or gun ownership or homosexuality or animal rights? There are some things in common, yes, but in other ways [re God and religion] things become considerably more problematic and consequential.

Indeed, we can take this into account when you name the conflict and demonstrate how your own moral narrative assures the greater "evolutionary advantage".


phyllo wrote: Again, it's not about me.

And it's not about any specific individual, any specific conflict or any specific moral narrative. Evolution deals with large groups over long periods of time.

If there was no advantage to morality, then social animals would not be using it. It would have been abandoned if it didn't work. Moral social animals are more fit to survive. That's it.


No one is arguing that there is no advantage to having "rules of behaviors" -- morality, laws -- in any given human community. Instead, this thread was created specifically to explore this in regard to value judgments that come into conflict precipitating behaviors that then carry over into any particular individual's belief regarding his or her fate on the other side of the grave.

As for God, let's assume that a God, the God, your God is the one.


phyllo wrote: So you want to talk about my God.


How on earth can an exchange that revolves around the behaviors religious folks chose on this side of the grave derived from what they perceive their fate to be on the other side of it, not involve an understanding of what they believe about God?

My own conclusion that moral nihilism seems reasonable on this side of the grave resulting in oblivion on the other side of it, revolves precisely around my belief [here and now] that God does not exist.

But: I have no illusion that this is not in turn just another existential contraption derived from the manner in which I construe the meaning of "I" here as dasein.

Thus I am not "imposing" my own narrative on you. I am suggesting instead that your own narrative may well in turn be but an existential contraption derived from dasein.

You choose behaviors here and now. You have reasons for doing so. Those reason are connected to what you believe about God and religion insofar as "I" is sustained beyond the grave.

Here and now. There and then.

You'll either discuss that in some detail regarding the behaviors that you do choose or you won't.

And nothing could possibly be more absurd [to me] than someone accusing me of not being able to "imagine anyone thinking about it in any other way."

That's all I ever think about!

In fact, it is the existential implications of this that keeps shoving me back down into the hole I'm in.

And all you have to do is to keep clinging to the God that keeps you up out of it. Or, rather, so it seems to me.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:16 pm

No one is arguing that there is no advantage to having "rules of behaviors" -- morality, laws -- in any given human community.
In fact, you seemed to be saying that there is no difference between virtue and vice and no advantage to virtuous behavior.

Right here:
It doesn't take a whole lot of intelligence to recognize that even if mere mortals did have access to an understanding of the most rational, most virtuous behaviors, what good is that if someone can run rampant committing vice after vice, and no one knows it. Or some do know it but are unable to apprehend the miscreants? To punish them.

That's the quote I took issue with and I responded to it specifically. That's the only quote I care about at this point in the thread.

Now you act is if you never wrote it and never meant it. #-o
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:43 pm

phyllo wrote:
No one is arguing that there is no advantage to having "rules of behaviors" -- morality, laws -- in any given human community.
In fact, you seemed to be saying that there is no difference between virtue and vice and no advantage to virtuous behavior.


No, I seem to be saying that in any particular human community, moral conflicts revolve around those objectivists on one side of a moral and political divide who insist not only is there a profound difference between virtue and vice, but that they have in fact already discovered what that is. And if others want all the advantages bestowed on those deemed to be "one of us", they had best become one of them too.

Right?

It doesn't take a whole lot of intelligence to recognize that even if mere mortals did have access to an understanding of the most rational, most virtuous behaviors, what good is that if someone can run rampant committing vice after vice, and no one knows it. Or some do know it but are unable to apprehend the miscreants? To punish them.


phyllo wrote: That's the quote I took issue with and I responded to it specifically. That's the only quote I care about at this point in the thread.

Now you act is if you never wrote it and never meant it. #-o


Huh?!

That part of my argument revolves around a human community that does have access to a demonstrable set of right and wrong behaviors. Philosophically, say, or scientific. They are able to prove that rational men and women are obligated to behave in a certain manner if they wish to be thought of as men and women of vice or virtue.

BUT:

They have no capacity to link this to a God that is in turn able to be demonstrated as in fact existing objectively.

See the problem?

Yes, they have, in fact, figured out what objective morality is. But, sans God, they have no capacity to ensure that those who choose vice over virtue are either caught or punished.

Let alone that if they choose virtue over vice they are assured immortality and salvation on the other side of grave.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:25 am

Huh?!

That part of my argument revolves around a human community that does have access to a demonstrable set of right and wrong behaviors. Philosophically, say, or scientific. They are able to prove that rational men and women are obligated to behave in a certain manner if they wish to be thought of as men and women of vice or virtue.
Sure. They know which behavior is virtuous. You already said that by using this phrase : "if mere mortals did have access to an understanding of the most rational, most virtuous behaviors".
BUT:

They have no capacity to link this to a God that is in turn able to be demonstrated as in fact existing objectively.

See the problem?
No, I don't see the problem. If they know and practice the virtuous behaviors then they are reaping the benefits. The existence of God is irrelevant to them. Or if you prefer, the demonstration of the existence of God is irrelevant.
Yes, they have, in fact, figured out what objective morality is. But, sans God, they have no capacity to ensure that those who choose vice over virtue are either caught or punished.
"Those who choose vice over virtue" do not need to be caught and punished by God. They are punishing themselves by choosing vice. And those who choose virtue are rewarding themselves.

It must work that way if virtue and vice are different and therefore produce objectively different results in life. But if virtue and vice are the same, then God's reward or punishment at Judgement Day constitute the entire difference between virtue and vice - producing different results only in an afterlife . IOW, the idea that vice is bad only because God will catch you and punish you. That looks like what you are thinking.
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