on discussing god and religion

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:33 pm

"Morality requires a god, whether you’re religious or not"
Gerald K Harrison from The Conversation website

I have no religious convictions. I am, or try to be, a man of reason, not of faith. Nevertheless, I believe a few simple arguments demonstrate that morality requires a god.


This is interesting. Someone who has no religious convictions but has managed to think himself into believing that among mere mortals God is an essential component of morality.

That's my own conclusion in turn. Well, "here and now". No transcending font seems necessarily to suggest that there is no one or no thing mere mortals can turn to when two or more sides pertaining to any particular set of conflicting goods set out to prescribe and proscribe behaviors in any particular community.

Take moral commands. It is trivially true that a moral command is a command. A command is a command, right? It is also true that commands (real ones, rather than apparent or metaphorical ones) are always the commands of an agent, a mind with beliefs and desires. My chair cannot command me to sit in it. And commands cannot issue themselves. It follows that moral commands are the commands of an agent or agents.


Which, of course, most call God. And while others call it something else -- reason, ideology, nature etc. -- they are all over the moral and political map in regard to what actual behaviors ought to be either rewarded or punished.

And this seems reasonable because no mere mortal in the secular realm appear able to demonstrate that their own moral font is either omniscient or omnipotent.

And that is important to assure that no one who breaks the rules can get away with it. That, in other words, they will ever and always be known to have broken the rules. And thus will ever and always be punished for doing so.

Only God fits the bill here.

Many philosophers maintain that moral commands are commands of reason. They are right, I think. But the point still stands. Reason’s commands are commands. Therefore, reason’s commands are the commands of an agent or agents. So if moral commands are a subset of the commands of reason – and they surely are – they must still be commands of an agent or agents.


So, it comes down then to comparing and contrasting a mere mortal as the agent of moral commands with God.

Right?
Objectivists: Like shooting fish in a barrel!

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 Oct 30, 2019 8:18 pm

"Morality requires a god, whether you’re religious or not"
Gerald K Harrison from The Conversation website

We are agents. Could moral commands be our commands? That does not seem plausible. For one thing, it would mean we could make anything morally right just by commanding ourselves to do it. That doesn’t appear to work – and we can test that easily enough. Command yourself to do something that has hitherto seemed obviously wrong to you – physically assaulting someone, say – and see if it suddenly starts to seem morally right to assault someone now. I bet it won’t.


What we become in my view are agents that, with respect to moral commands, are the embodiment of dasein. It's not that some are in fact actually able to command themselves to assault someone, but in grasping all of the existential variables in their lives that predisposed them to command something of themselves that most others do not.

Which always brings me back to those who are able to think themselves into believing that without God's command the choices they make can have nothing to do with commands at at all. They have merely become inclined [for whatever reasons embedded in their accumulated experiences] to prefer certain things which fulfill and satisfy them in a way that is beyond actually grasping fully and comprehensively.

Maybe it is rooted in their genes, maybe in their childhood indoctrination, maybe in a particularly profound experience that changed their life forevermore. Who is really able to peel the onion that is "I" back to something that explains everything they think and feel and do?

If moral commands appeared to us to be our own commands it would strike us as silly to wonder whether an act is right or wrong, or think anyone else could provide us with moral insight into the matter. We know better than anyone else what we are commanding ourselves to do at any given point, so it would be obvious to us that we could establish the morality of any deed by introspection.


No, it strikes some -- in fact most -- as silly because they refuse to construe "I" as anything other than the "real me" in sync with "the right thing to do". That's the part that "here and now" seems lost to me. The idea of "moral commands" is instead just another existential contraption rooted in whatever the actual interaction or genes and memes happened to configure into to fabricate "I" out in this particular world at this particular time.
Objectivists: Like shooting fish in a barrel!

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

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:56 pm

"Morality requires a god, whether you’re religious or not"
Gerald K Harrison from The Conversation website

It’s no good suggesting that moral commands are commands of our communities. Communities are not agents, so cannot actually command anything. And it seems clear physical assault will not suddenly appear right to us just because a majority of agents decide to command us to assault someone.


This merely assumes that those who do follow the commands of those able to command in any particular community are not acting morally because there are may well be others in the community able to command conflicting behaviors. Only an existing God is able to command behaviors that all in the community are obligated to choose.

Except in the world that we actually live in factions within a community may well be able to command behaviors that "for all practical purposes" are embraced as moral commandments by those who merely believe that this is true.

Sure, bring forth this God able to demonstrate the commands emanating from within the community are false commands and case closed. But: No God brought forth speaks volumes regarding what anyone "suggests" about moral commands in the community.

Thus precipitating assumptions of this sort:

Another basic truth about moral commands (and the commands of reason more generally) is that they have a single source across all of us. This can be demonstrated by the fact that “Tim is morally commanded to X” and “Tim is morally commanded not to X” are clearly contradictory statements. They cannot both be true.


Clearly, if one faction of the community is morally commanding Tim to do "X" while another faction is morally commanding him not to do "X", the only solution is that transcending font which most call God.

But where is this God? Why should the community as a whole follow only His moral commands? Because one or another scripture claims it is their God?

For others though that's where the "philosopher-kings" come in. No God? Then it must be Reason that commands a mere mortal morally. Either that or Nature.
Objectivists: Like shooting fish in a barrel!

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 Nov 07, 2019 8:01 pm

John 3:16,
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. .


Do we actually believe that this "perish" is suppose to mean that people believed that they would not die a physical death if they believed in Christ? Is this what John was teaching?


You come across this in discussions of God and religion all the time. The part where Scripture is quoted and folks go back and forth regarding what it really means.

Indeed, my point on this thread has always been that with so much at stake, why would any Scripture not be definitive regarding what is expected of the faithful on this side of the grave in order to attain immortality and salvation on the other side of it?

You read of these ultra-orthodox denominations that are very, very explicit regarding hundreds and hundreds of behaviors that are either obligatory or prohibited. And this makes sense to me precisely because so much is at stake. In fact, the closer you get to more ecumenical approaches to God and religion the less serious it seems you can take them. After all, if you can just pick and choose behaviors that suit you in your own personal relationship with God then practically anything can be justified.

Right?

One thing that seems rather clear to me is how very few believers are willing to explore the relationship between the right thing to do here and now and the right place to be there and then. At least on this thread.

As soon as you take your religious values out into the world of actual human interaction, you bump into others [even of your own denomination] that you are in conflict with. Then [for me] it's back to what is at stake in getting the values right.
Objectivists: Like shooting fish in a barrel!

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 Nov 14, 2019 7:59 pm

Would you choose a God who is perfect by your perception (namely, not allow evil to exist), in other words, a puppeteer ~~ or a God who is imperfect and allows humans free will?


On the other hand, someone might prefer a God allowing humans free will that is not omniscient. After all, if He is all-knowing, how can that be realistically reconciled with human autonomy? If He knows everything then He knows everything that we will do. And if He already knows that, how could we not but choose behaviors He is already cognizant of?

And then the part about natural disasters, extinction events, deadly diseases, crippling biological disorders, etc. Having free will doesn't make calamities of this sort go away.

What then can the source of evil here be if not God?

Then [of course] it is back to God working in mysterious ways.
Objectivists: Like shooting fish in a barrel!

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 Nov 14, 2019 8:23 pm

The Good, The Bad and Theodicy
John Holroyd on the pitfalls of academic debates about God and evil.

In the classic spaghetti western The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, three gunslingers co-operate and compete with each other in search of a cache of gold. None of them trusts either of the others, and in the final shoot-out ‘The Good’ character (played by Clint Eastwood) kills ‘The Bad’, leaving the third in the trio tied up on top of his share of the loot.

In debates about whether or not a benevolent, omnipotent, all-knowing God would allow evil and suffering in the world, both more and less is at stake than for the characters in the film The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. On both sides there is the honour of ‘winning’ or the indignity of ‘losing’ a public debate. But for many of the disputants who are religious these arguments are about matters of eternal significance for every person, whether they appreciate that or not. For some atheists, too, the issues have seemed imperative. Why waste one’s life on a delusion, they ask, especially when this God delusion can be made abundantly clear? Each party to this debate is engaged to some degree in a life commitment, pursued with passion and conviction.


First, of course, there has never been an atheist around able to demonstrate beyond all doubt that God is just a delusion.

Or, rather, none that I have ever come across.

So, sure, there may well be a "benevolent, omnipotent, all-knowing God" able to reconcile the good the bad and the ugly down here in a way that is simply beyond the reach of mere mortals.

There's just no getting around that. Atheists may fulminate against such "ignorance" but they are in the same boat we are all in: the one that traverses the gap between "I" and "all there is".

And, after all, God is one possible explanation for, well, everything.

Even among the religionists, narratives are able to be forged in which the emphasis is placed either on God sanctioning winning down here or winning up there. In fact, some are able to insist that the more you win down here the more that indicates God's blessing. And not all of them are shyster TV evangelists.

The bottom line: one person's wasted life is still another person's road to salvation. At least as long as morality on this side of the grave and immortality on the other side is relevant to the "human condition".
Objectivists: Like shooting fish in a barrel!

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 Nov 19, 2019 9:00 pm

The Good, The Bad and Theodicy
John Holroyd on the pitfalls of academic debates about God and evil.

In this article I will not seek to rehearse the arguments for or against the view that the existence of evil and suffering proves that there is no God. Instead, I want to stand back a little from such debates, observe them from a variety of perspectives and consider their ethical character.
So let’s be clear at the outset what is at stake. Epicurus gave us an early formulation of the ‘problem of evil’, a logical problem to do with believing in God. He wrote:
“God either wishes to take away evils and is unable; or he is able and unwilling; or he is neither willing nor able; or he is both willing and able. If he is willing and unable, he is feeble, which is not in accordance with the character of God, if he is able and unwilling, he is envious, which is equally at variance with God; if he is neither willing nor able he is both feeble and envious, and therefore not God, if he is both willing and able, which alone is suitable for God, from what source then are evils? Or why does he not remove them?”


Of course reducing this profoundly problematic, existential relationship down to a "logical problem" is to presume that it can be.

The difficulty philosophers have here revolves precisely around the limitations of philosophy [and the tools at its disposal] when grappling with this relationship.

After all...

Is it logical that God should exist? And, if that is so, is it logical that He be your God? And, if that is so, is it logical that mere mortals might grasp the mind of God?

The "will of God" may well by far, far, far beyond the assumptions that Epicurus [and others] make when considering the relationship between I and Thou and ethics.

Until the existence a God, the God, my God is actually established, speculating about how one should think about Him as philosophers on this tiny little rock circling around this hum drum star in this rather typical galaxy in the vastness of all there is, seems to be little more than just one more thought experiment.
Objectivists: Like shooting fish in a barrel!

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

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:16 pm

The Good, The Bad and Theodicy
John Holroyd on the pitfalls of academic debates about God and evil.

In more recent times Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716) coined the term ‘theodicy’ to refer to systematic attempts to defend belief in God in the face of evil and suffering, such as the arguments offered by St Augustine. In the last twenty years the New Atheists, such as Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens, have brought such debates about theodicy to the fore, excoriating the God of the Bible and the God of the Qur’an for their alleged misdeeds. We might think of these writers, alongside sceptical philosophical heavyweights such as David Hume and John Stuart Mill, as anti-theodicists.


My own reaction to theodicy focuses in on the extent to which it is often irrelevant regarding any particular individual's faith in God. Any number of men and women in any number of contexts are able to push it aside in recognizing that in the absence of God there is no transcendental foundation for morality on this of the grave or hope for immortality on the other side of.

After all, No God and the part about evil, the part about human pain and suffering embedded throughout the course of human history, doesn't go away. And then you die and tumble over into the abyss that is oblivion.

Besides, any number of very, very intelligent men and women have been able to concoct arguments that resurrect God time and again "in their heads". And if you believe something there how does that not make it true for you?

So, consciously, subconsciously and/or unconsciously, their faith revolves around rationalizations. The most common perhaps being that the mind [and the will] of God works in mysterious ways. Thus the gap between His understanding of everything and our own understanding of almost nothing at all, need be as far as the multitudes go.

The rest is history. And, however the future unfolds, the points I raise here are not likely to go away.
Objectivists: Like shooting fish in a barrel!

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

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:06 pm

The Good, The Bad and Theodicy
John Holroyd on the pitfalls of academic debates about God and evil.

The first point here is to do with evil and suffering being transformed from something one experiences into a third person phenomenon. Awful physical or psychological realities for real people are distanced from us as they become objects of rational observation and analysis.

The ‘phenomenological distance’ between the torture chamber and Auschwitz on the one hand, and the philosophy seminar on the other, needs much greater recognition if we are to be true to what is at issue.


You see this over and over again here as the "serious philosophers" encompass "good" and "evil" in one or another world of words. Values as ontological assessments of deontological critiques of utilitarian constructs in which the only consequences revolve around fierce attacks on each other's definitions.

Imagine the "phenomenological distance" being closed if a college course aimed at examining Kant's moral philosophy was being conducted in and around a Planned Parenthood clinic. Abortions are being performed inside, protests are unfolding outside and flesh and blood human beings are everywhere with their own individual stories to tell.

Some religious, some not. Some pro-life, some pro-choice.

Imagine then the exchange back and forth between the scholars intent on pinning down the technical meaning of Kant's deontological assessment of human morality and the folks in and out of the clinic asking how these dense and disciplined definitions are applicable to this abortion or that abortion.

Acknowledging this involves accepting that academic debate all too easily encourages some severe limitations of perspective and understanding. If the nature of debate about the problem of evil obscures the nature of evil itself, then that is self-defeating.


Of course this obscurity simply vanishes into thin air if all one need do is to believe "in their head" that, given an understanding of God's will, evil is merely a word invented by mere mortals to express the gap between them and God's will.

And, in some respect, it works the same way with the "academic" approach to evil. The greater the distance between the analyses, the assessments and the arguments concocted in the hallowed halls and the actual existential labyrinths that revolve around conflicting points of view describing conflicting goods embedded out in the real world, the bigger the gap between theory and practice.

After all, out in one or another real world where very real consequences lead to particular behaviors being either prescribed or proscribed in actual communities, boasting of having pinned down the optimal technical definitions of all the words being exchanged back and forth will only take you so far.
Objectivists: Like shooting fish in a barrel!

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

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:01 pm

The Good, The Bad and Theodicy
John Holroyd on the pitfalls of academic debates about God and evil.


This brings me to Tilley’s second point, that the debate between the theodicists and anti-theodicists can detract from other types of discourse, such as coming to terms with and countering suffering. Both the theodicist and the anti-theodicist can be guilty of this, though for good reasons Tilley focuses on how the theodicist is at fault.


Or, perhaps, one can just quit the philosophical/theological debate altogether and take a leap of faith to that deemed [subjectively] to be evil "out in the world". That which you are convinced causes human suffering. That which you decide to do something about.

But this gets all tangled up in the actual options that you have; and in calculating the consequences of doing something rather than nothing. Then the part where the consequences spread out to others. Including those you love. After all, if you take on the behaviors of those that you have convinced yourself bring pain and suffering to the world, they might not take kindly to it. They may choose to fight back. And that brings on the existential risk embedded [potentially] in all sorts of ominous consequences. The part where you are outraged at what some do but in acting on the outrage you bring about the very real possibility of blowback. The rage/fear syndrome as a friend once called it.

Each individual's set of circumstances here is different. So there will always be an inherent gap in communication.

In particular if you are not able to believe in God. With God, the leap you take is backed up with the promise of immortality and salvation. With No God, you're on your own.

Thus...

I want to take an example of this mentioned by Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion. Regarding an encounter with the Christian philosopher Professor Richard Swinburne, Dawkins writes: “I was on a television panel with Swinburne, and also with our Oxford colleague Professor Peter Atkins. Swinburne at one point attempted to justify the Holocaust on the grounds that it gave the Jews a wonderful opportunity to be courageous and noble. Peter Atkins splendidly growled: ‘May you rot in hell’.


That's simply how it works. When you are able to think yourself into believing in a God, the God, my God [or if others manage this for you], you are able to subsume any and all discussion of evil in God. Let the intellectuals debate theodicy. God has His reasons. And [in most cases] being a loving, just and merciful God, it will all make perfect sense in the end.
Objectivists: Like shooting fish in a barrel!

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

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:59 am

The Good, The Bad and Theodicy
John Holroyd on the pitfalls of academic debates about God and evil.

Making Logic Moral

At its best, the debate between the theodicists and anti-theodicists is both a logical and moral enterprise. Whether or not belief in an all-good, omnipotent God is compatible with the existence of evil is a question of great importance in the lives of many people, and the debate is an attempt to pursue that vital question.

To do so honestly, to seek what is most reasonable to believe whatever one’s personal background or inclinations and however much one’s findings may clash with existing beliefs, is a moral pursuit.


Here though the assumption of most is that evil does in fact exist as something able to be demonstrated. Call it logically demonstrable or something else, but one side is said to be right and the other side said to be wrong. That way the most important task for the religionist becomes to [somehow] square secular morality with ecclesiastical Sin. Thus leaving theodicy for the theologians to rationalize. Bottom line: An all-good, omnipotent God can [somehow] be reconciled with the Holocaust. Just don't expect mere mortals to ever grasp it. At least not on this side of the grave.

What my own findings clash with, however, is objective morality itself. God or No God. To pursue it is at best to embody a particular existential leap at a particular time and place to particular "gut feeling". At worse it is to feel hopelessly fractured and fragmented.


Clearly the debate can lead some people to believe in a God and others to lose their faith. These arguments are part of the fabric of many people’s deliberations and perspectives, but how the arguments fit together with personal perspectives is a complex question.


No, the complexity revolves more around the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein here such that what one comes to believe is no more than an existential contraption ever subject to change given new experiences with different people introducing you to new ideas.

It is often ‘reasonably’ driven not so much by some diktat from philosophers that one should be ‘logical’, but by the necessities of life. In our various searches for meaning, psychological survival or personal fulfilment, we are often concerned with what we think it is rational to believe or do. It is hard to justify a claim about what role an argument should play within the living of someone else’s life, without entering into dialogue with them, and into a genuine attempt to appreciate their situation in life.


And here I tend to focus more on the limitations of reason -- philosophical or otherwise. Meaning becomes no less constructed, deconstructed and reconstructed as we carom amongst ourselves weaving in and out of contexts teeming with contingency, chance and change. That in my view is about as "genuine" as these exchanges between us are ever likely to get. We can only appreciate the lives of others up to a point. And even if we overlap in many respects in our own community, there are always going to be others in very, very different communities to challenge us.

God merely becomes one of many convenient shortcuts to consensus.

Thinkers from either side of the debate that fail to do this are clumsy; in this sense theodicy is indeed ugly. Discussions about problems of evil and suffering are at their best when the participants put aside the desire to convert someone to their own point of view, and instead are open to an exchange that aims to deal practically with suffering while simultaneously reflecting upon its nature.


The part where human interactions revolve around any number of "for all practical purposes" compacts aimed at sustaining the least dysfunctional communities. And, for some, the "best of all possible worlds" here revolves around moderation, negotiation and compromise.

Give or take whatever particular political economy happens to prevail where you are now.
Objectivists: Like shooting fish in a barrel!

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 Exuberant Teleportation » Wed Dec 18, 2019 7:58 pm

iambiguous wrote:
John 3:16,
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. .


Do we actually believe that this "perish" is suppose to mean that people believed that they would not die a physical death if they believed in Christ? Is this what John was teaching?


You come across this in discussions of God and religion all the time. The part where Scripture is quoted and folks go back and forth regarding what it really means.

Indeed, my point on this thread has always been that with so much at stake, why would any Scripture not be definitive regarding what is expected of the faithful on this side of the grave in order to attain immortality and salvation on the other side of it?

You read of these ultra-orthodox denominations that are very, very explicit regarding hundreds and hundreds of behaviors that are either obligatory or prohibited. And this makes sense to me precisely because so much is at stake. In fact, the closer you get to more ecumenical approaches to God and religion the less serious it seems you can take them. After all, if you can just pick and choose behaviors that suit you in your own personal relationship with God then practically anything can be justified.

Right?

One thing that seems rather clear to me is how very few believers are willing to explore the relationship between the right thing to do here and now and the right place to be there and then. At least on this thread.

As soon as you take your religious values out into the world of actual human interaction, you bump into others [even of your own denomination] that you are in conflict with. Then [for me] it's back to what is at stake in getting the values right.


Why would God make his son Yeshua or Jesus suffer so much? Even if it leads to the best possible good, what if God would never allow that much suffering to begin with, despite the forging of the highest future? I would say that the pains of the present are not worth the glory of the future.

What if it was actually the begging and mercy seeking nature of Satan, or Lucifer to make Jesus go through so many trials of will whereas we already would've been saved without such a sacrifice, that is, if the devil could play fair?

The devil was already scheduled to perish a long time ago I might wonder, but he somehow reversed the laws of existence. Still, because of Satan arguing all the time with justice, he may have lost his ability to keep advantages in arguments.

And about the eternity of the soul, or the necessity of Jesus dying to save us, why can't we just find salvation anyway? Why does there have to be a ceremonial answer to it? I thought that our souls are energy, and that energy can neither be created nor destroyed.

It's fascinating to think about these questions, to wonder what lies beyond the veil. Is it flowers and rainbows, or learning and progress? Only time and wisdom will tell.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:56 pm

Exuberant Teleportation wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
John 3:16,
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. .


Do we actually believe that this "perish" is suppose to mean that people believed that they would not die a physical death if they believed in Christ? Is this what John was teaching?


You come across this in discussions of God and religion all the time. The part where Scripture is quoted and folks go back and forth regarding what it really means.

Indeed, my point on this thread has always been that with so much at stake, why would any Scripture not be definitive regarding what is expected of the faithful on this side of the grave in order to attain immortality and salvation on the other side of it?

You read of these ultra-orthodox denominations that are very, very explicit regarding hundreds and hundreds of behaviors that are either obligatory or prohibited. And this makes sense to me precisely because so much is at stake. In fact, the closer you get to more ecumenical approaches to God and religion the less serious it seems you can take them. After all, if you can just pick and choose behaviors that suit you in your own personal relationship with God then practically anything can be justified.

Right?

One thing that seems rather clear to me is how very few believers are willing to explore the relationship between the right thing to do here and now and the right place to be there and then. At least on this thread.

As soon as you take your religious values out into the world of actual human interaction, you bump into others [even of your own denomination] that you are in conflict with. Then [for me] it's back to what is at stake in getting the values right.


Why would God make his son Yeshua or Jesus suffer so much? Even if it leads to the best possible good, what if God would never allow that much suffering to begin with, despite the forging of the highest future? I would say that the pains of the present are not worth the glory of the future.

What if it was actually the begging and mercy seeking nature of Satan, or Lucifer to make Jesus go through so many trials of will whereas we already would've been saved without such a sacrifice, that is, if the devil could play fair?

The devil was already scheduled to perish a long time ago I might wonder, but he somehow reversed the laws of existence. Still, because of Satan arguing all the time with justice, he may have lost his ability to keep advantages in arguments.

And about the eternity of the soul, or the necessity of Jesus dying to save us, why can't we just find salvation anyway? Why does there have to be a ceremonial answer to it? I thought that our souls are energy, and that energy can neither be created nor destroyed.

It's fascinating to think about these questions, to wonder what lies beyond the veil. Is it flowers and rainbows, or learning and progress? Only time and wisdom will tell.


Here you are now, popping up in thread after thread insisting that a world of words such as this one is true merely because you believe that it is!

That's the beauty of it for minds like yours. You have thought yourself into believing this "story" about God and the Devil and the soul. Or, perhaps, others first indoctrinated you into believing it whole cloth.

You offer no substantiation for any of it. And even though you must know there are hundreds of hundreds out there sharing your own belief in God, it's not your God they will tell you, but theirs.

And, sure, a God, the God, your God may well be the one. But if this God is as smart as the True Believers say He is, He'll either have respect for a mind like mine or He won't. And, if He is omniscient, I could not actually have a mind other than the one that He Himself sustains on into eternity.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Exuberant Teleportation » Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:50 pm

iambiguous wrote:Here you are now, popping up in thread after thread insisting that a world of words such as this one is true merely because you believe that it is!

That's the beauty of it for minds like yours. You have thought yourself into believing this "story" about God and the Devil and the soul. Or, perhaps, others first indoctrinated you into believing it whole cloth.

You offer no substantiation for any of it. And even though you must know there are hundreds of hundreds out there sharing your own belief in God, it's not your God they will tell you, but theirs.

And, sure, a God, the God, your God may well be the one. But if this God is as smart as the True Believers say He is, He'll either have respect for a mind like mine or He won't. And, if He is omniscient, I could not actually have a mind other than the one that He Himself sustains on into eternity.


We are all part of the mind of God. It's part of individual, personal polarity. To connect with the all luminous, the all ascended can cannonball us far up the waterfall of meditation. Nobody can hate God. God actualizes all forms, the complete manifestation of the divine intellect. His Knowledge of all things gives birth to infinite love, allowing him to appreciate the all magnificent and consuming qualities of all things and phenomena.

But some parts of God are unnecessary. Although the ultimate blueprint of laws, experiences, and axioms has been made, some of life is meaningless and random. And not even in a magical, possibility opening way. More like a wall that dooms half hearted efforts without nobility to failure.

The power of belief can create entities. It's our soul in things that makes them more possible. If we press for the supernatural, then it may begin to seed.

And, speaking of seeds, our highest cosmologists tell us that there may be a multiverse. So, for that limitless spectra to crystallize, God has to see the spring of pure spirit. This makes it harden, solidify from the endless potentiality to make worlds.

So, my interpretation of quantum mechanics at the macroscopic level may actually entail God as the observer, the actualizer of all worldly bubbling brane possibilities. God is real, and he is beyond definition. He's so far reaching, so infinite, that his victory will be more beautiful than the devil's deepest revenge.
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I programmed Kardashev Macroverse Civilizations Scale levels 10-26 + Bunny Gray Fox atop, and Slowking System + Misdreavus enigma totems + Regigigas Power of One orbs of Lugia into life.

Think about Bunny and You will be Happy Every Day.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby MagsJ » Wed Dec 18, 2019 11:36 pm

God will be your salvation! Pray to your god to save your soul.. SYS, or SOSs.. the choice is yours.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Wait, What! - MagsJ


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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:03 pm

Exuberant Teleportation wrote:
We are all part of the mind of God. It's part of individual, personal polarity. To connect with the all luminous, the all ascended can cannonball us far up the waterfall of meditation. Nobody can hate God. God actualizes all forms, the complete manifestation of the divine intellect. His Knowledge of all things gives birth to infinite love, allowing him to appreciate the all magnificent and consuming qualities of all things and phenomena.


And on and on and on and on you go in post after post after post asserting things like this as though in merely believing it that makes it true.

Okay, fine, if that works for you...if it brings you considerable comfort and consolation...you are one up on me, that's for sure.

But the focus of this thread revolves more around examining the relationship between your spiritual/religious beliefs, the behaviors that you choose on this side of the grave, and how you connect the dots between that and what you imagine your fate to be on the other side of the grave.

Can you go there?

If not, sure, by all means, contribute your own thoughts here on the subject of God and religion. But I'm not interested myself in beliefs that lack any actual existential components.
Objectivists: Like shooting fish in a barrel!

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Dec 28, 2019 9:14 pm

The Good, The Bad and Theodicy
John Holroyd on the pitfalls of academic debates about God and evil

You may imagine that I wish to lower discussions about problems of evil and suffering to a subjective level. I think this underestimates the connectedness of human experience within and beyond the question of believing in a God. Arguments about theodicy find their place within the context of living a life, and of living with others. To say this is to protest against Descartes’ disengaged rationality and allow that there are real issues that concern real choices about how to live life alongside disputes about the logical character of philosophical arguments. Believer and disbeliever alike will do best if they take this approach.


Choosing to take that approach is one thing. But actually being able to reconcile or resolve conflicts regarding where one stops and the other begins, is another thing altogether. Not only that but grasping in turn where genes stop and memes begin. And where I stops and we begins. And where we stop and they begin.

And it's not just a question of lowering the discussions to subjective assessments, but also in including the subjunctive components in turn. The emotional and psychological me intertwined in the more primitive parts of the brain. And not always consciously.

After all, one of the most important functions of God is to make all that go away. As long as He knows where it's all been, where it is now, and where it's going, we can just go along for the ride. As obedient souls.

The most powerful reason for rejecting this kind of perspective is offered by many of the New Atheists. It could be put in this way. If belief in God is a moral hazard then persuading people to stop doing so would seem to be a moral good; and belief in God is a moral hazard; therefore arguing against theodicy is a moral duty.


Still, from my point of view, the New Atheists are no less entangled in the components of my own moral philosophy. Whether God or No God moral narratives. The fact is that the intellectual contraptions promoted by all sides here have got to take words like "moral hazard" and "good" and "duty" out into the world as we know it from conflicting sets of political assumptions about the "human condition".

Which is basically why someone like me takes flack from them all. I'm not arguing for God or No God here. I'm arguing for a fractured and fragmented self unable to sustain any really substantive moral commitment at all.
Objectivists: Like shooting fish in a barrel!

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

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:18 pm

Prehistoric evidence shows that the gods were there when humanity became self-conscious. When modernity banishes the gods it does so at the cost of the depth of the human soul.


The depth of the soul or the death.

Clearly, when the evolution of life on earth brought into existence brains able to create minds able to become conscious of themselves as being creatures with brains able to become self-conscious of themselves as "I", "I" is then able to contemplate what no other conscious brains in no other conscious creatures on earth can: Why?

Why ontologically. Why teleologically. And, here, you can take it back to nature [to the gods] or, as science becomes more and more able to comprehend the laws of nature themselves, back to that which transcends everything. The Creator of it all.

And while "modernity" has banished the gods from the minds of some, it is not able to banish God from the minds of those who recognize that all the science in the world doesn't make oblivion go away. Or create a font from which morality can be garnered in preparation for salvation.
Objectivists: Like shooting fish in a barrel!

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 felix dakat » Mon Dec 30, 2019 2:27 am

iambiguous wrote:
Prehistoric evidence shows that the gods were there when humanity became self-conscious. When modernity banishes the gods it does so at the cost of the depth of the human soul.


The depth of the soul or the death.

Clearly, when the evolution of life on earth brought into existence brains able to create minds able to become conscious of themselves as being creatures with brains able to become self-conscious of themselves as "I", "I" is then able to contemplate what no other conscious brains in no other conscious creatures on earth can: Why?

Why ontologically. Why teleologically. And, here, you can take it back to nature [to the gods] or, as science becomes more and more able to comprehend the laws of nature themselves, back to that which transcends everything. The Creator of it all.

And while "modernity" has banished the gods from the minds of some, it is not able to banish God from the minds of those who recognize that all the science in the world doesn't make oblivion go away. Or create a font from which morality can be garnered in preparation for salvation.


The "I" you speak of is one of the gods, the hero of modernity no less, who "thinks therefore they are". The principle myth of modernity. "Oblivion" you brought to the party.

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:55 am

felix dakat wrote:
The "I" you speak of is one of the gods, the hero of modernity no less, who "thinks therefore they are". The principle myth of modernity. "Oblivion" you brought to the party.


"I" was intertwined historically with the gods in ways that were either similar to or different from the way it is intertwined with a God, the God today. Death is always around and any community of human beings needs to sustain the least dysfunctional interactions by enforcing one or another set of behaviors.

But: there are then the countless social, political and economic permutations awaiting any particular individual out in any particular world construed from any particular point of view.

What always remains the same however is the extent to which what one thinks is true about "the human condition" is able to be demonstrated as either true objectively for all or only deemed true by some subjectively.

And here, more than a myth, we'll need a context.
Objectivists: Like shooting fish in a barrel!

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 felix dakat » Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:20 pm

iambiguous wrote:
felix dakat wrote:
The "I" you speak of is one of the gods, the hero of modernity no less, who "thinks therefore they are". The principle myth of modernity. "Oblivion" you brought to the party.


"I" was intertwined historically with the gods in ways that were either similar to or different from the way it is intertwined with a God, the God today. Death is always around and any community of human beings needs to sustain the least dysfunctional interactions by enforcing one or another set of behaviors.

But: there are then the countless social, political and economic permutations awaiting any particular individual out in any particular world construed from any particular point of view.

What always remains the same however is the extent to which what one thinks is true about "the human condition" is able to be demonstrated as either true objectively for all or only deemed true by some subjectively.

And here, more than a myth, we'll need a context.


I thought we already had a context: the modern myth of the conscious rational ego as a hero slaying the irrational monster of received religion.

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:41 pm

felix dakat wrote:I thought we already had a context: the modern myth of the conscious rational ego as a hero slaying the irrational monster of received religion.


By context I mean a specific set of circumstances. A "situation" familiar to all of us. One in which we can discuss "the modern myth of the conscious rational ego as a hero slaying the irrational monster of received religion".

After all, the "conscious rational ego" seems unable to establish once and for all the distinction between the right thing to do and the wrong thing to do in a specific set of circumstances.

Not is it yet able to determine what the fate of "I" is after we die.

Which is why for hundreds of millions, a leap of faith is still better than the alternative.
Objectivists: Like shooting fish in a barrel!

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 felix dakat » Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:15 pm

iambiguous wrote:
felix dakat wrote:I thought we already had a context: the modern myth of the conscious rational ego as a hero slaying the irrational monster of received religion.


By context I mean a specific set of circumstances. A "situation" familiar to all of us. One in which we can discuss "the modern myth of the conscious rational ego as a hero slaying the irrational monster of received religion".

After all, the "conscious rational ego" seems unable to establish once and for all the distinction between the right thing to do and the wrong thing to do in a specific set of circumstances.

Not is it yet able to determine what the fate of "I" is after we die.

Which is why for hundreds of millions, a leap of faith is still better than the alternative.


We're already discussing God and religion on a thread entitled “On discussing God and religion”. How many more iterations of meta do we need? We’re enacting the conscious rational ego slaying the irrational monster of received religion on this very virtual page.

Uncertainty seems unavoidable for anyone who reflects on ethics seriously. But I can’t be certain about that. :wink: I’m not big on afterlife fantasies. But, hey...go for it! Thinking that we can comprehend the “leap of faith” of “hundreds of millions” involves a leap of imagination.

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:46 pm

felix dakat wrote:
We're already discussing God and religion on a thread entitled “On discussing God and religion”. How many more iterations of meta do we need? We’re enacting the conscious rational ego slaying the irrational monster of received religion on this very virtual page.


As I iterate from time to time, this thread was created in order to explore the existential relationship between the behaviors that we choose on this side of the grave, what we imagine our fate to be on the other side of the grave, and how our thoughts regarding God and religion pertain to that.

Contexts embedded in that.

"Meta" -- as in "more comprehensive...transcending" -- is there [in my view] only when we go out to the very end of the reality limb: solipsism, sim worlds, dream worlds, the matrix; or in regard to questions revolving around human autonomy; or the human condition going all the way back to a comprehensive understanding of existence itself.

Or, of course, "I" if there really is an existing God. A god, the God. The overarching reality behind any particular individual's "self" if God does exist.

felix dakat wrote:Uncertainty seems unavoidable for anyone who reflects on ethics seriously. But I can’t be certain about that. :wink: I’m not big on afterlife fantasies. But, hey...go for it! Thinking that we can comprehend the “leap of faith” of “hundreds of millions” involves a leap of imagination.


Sure, if, in regard to God and religion, that frame of mind works for you then, by all means, stop there [here] and move on to the parts that revolve around actually living your life from day to day.

Me, I'm interested in whatever others think about these relationships insofar as it does impact on the behaviors that they choose after they leave this discussion and go about the business of living their lives. With or without a belief in God.
Objectivists: Like shooting fish in a barrel!

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 felix dakat » Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:24 pm

But there's a certain literal-mindedness in that isn't there? As if some of these words on the virtual page are privileged to be more than mere words on the virtual page. We're back to the myth of the heroic ego-- the one personification of the mind who is charged by modernity to take itself as literally real. And that culturally reinforced mainstream Western ego is thereby locked in. Only I am real. Other putative entities are real to the degree that they think like I do. Otherwise they are in the " hundreds of millions" outgroup.

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