on discussing god and religion

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby zinnat » Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:53 pm

iambiguous wrote:Yes, words like "God" and "religion" in my view. On the other hand, my understanding of "dasein" and "conflicting goods" is such that in using them in discussions relating to God and religion [or value judgments and identity] there is only so much precision available to us. In fact, that is basically my point here. In other words, I just don't want whatever precision that is said to exist to revolve basically around definitions and deductions. Words that are said to be true only because other words insist that they are.


imb,

Words/language is not the ultimate goal. The important thing is that message they carry. You cannot judge the words by other words. Secondly, language cannot be perfect in any case. That is impossible.

Language is mere an expressive approximation of feelings, not the exact translation.

Take the case of Maia. No matter how intelligent or linguistic expert you may be, you cannot make her understand what any color means to you. Language works only when both parties have more or less the same experiences/knowledge, then the language helps them to compare their experiences.

iambiguous wrote:cogitate [v]: To think deeply about something; meditate or reflect.


In spite of my limitations of the English language, I am aware of that.

iambiguous wrote:Same with cogitating about the existence of the Christian Bible and cogitating about the extent to which the Christian Bible reflects the word of the one true God.


Yes. Secondly, the issue in hand is the later subject only. There is no point discussing the former one.

iambiguous wrote:And the extent to which you don't grasp the manner in which I make this distinction is [perhaps] the extent to which I will not grasp yours. We can only try to grapple with this as best we can.


Barring one or two linguistic occasions aside, i have no problem in understanding your perspective so far. Agreeing/disagreeing is different issue.
Secondly, why are you assuming that we will never agree on any issue?

iambiguous wrote:Yes, but to me there is a considerable distinction to be made between noting this [which, let's face it, is merely to point out that we exist in the universe] and in suggesting that all of this is related existentially [and then essentially] to a God, the God, your God. Again, if for no other reason that God is invarably linked to immortality, salvation, divine justice and an objective moral font. And that brings into focus not only the question of what we are but of how we ought to behave in order to align ourselves with the will of a God, the God, your God.


Forget about salvation or morality, there are many other things that connects humans and God, and affects day to day life of humans. You will see it when i put my theory forth.

iambiguous wrote:Sure, and religious investigations are derived from the fact that our brain evolved such that it is able to apprehend and to construct particular continuities out of what it is able perceive and sense regarding the relationship between "in my head" and "out in the world". And, yes, that eventually leads the brain [the conscious mind] to go all the way back to pondering what brought about existence in the first place. And one of the possibilities here is a God, the God, my God.


imb, do not confuse yourself. It is philosophy that tries to make connections between in the head and out there in the world, not religions. Religions, in the strict sense, are much like science and focus mainly on the experimental part of the investigation of the existence. Then, they report their findings back to philosophy to derive conclusions.

What we see as religions today, are basically philosophical doctrines, founded on the empiricism of some scholars. Morality is basically not a religious doctrine, but a philosophical one.

iambiguous wrote:But how specifically is this related to the penis and the vagina?


If you look carefully to that picture again, it is consisted of one perpendicular stick (penis) and one horizontal oval structure (vagina). And, the Shivling also resembles the posture of sexual union also; perpendicular penis inserted from above into horizontal vagina lying below, exact imitation of the missionary posture of a couple having sex .

Sages used this to postulate the doctrine of 0 and that is why it is similar to the shape of vagina, since its inception and same is true for 1, which represents penis in mathematics, and with the union of these two, mathematics is derived. Let me also tell you that in Hindi and Sanskrit, 0 is also written as 0 and 1 is exactly how a sperm looks, a small round head above and a zigzag tail following it.

iambiguous wrote:In other words, what we can know objectively about human sexuality biologically is one thing, and what we can know about the morality of human sexuality, another thing altogether. Or so it seems to me. The biology largely transcends dasein and conflicting goods. But not the morality. Unless, of course, one is able to establish the actual existence OF a transcending moral font. One able to truly settle the conflicts once and for all.


I am not talking about morality above. My only purpose was highlighting how religions affected and decided the course of the mankind.

iambiguous wrote:You say this. But, still, all I can do is to assume that you believe this to be true. But how does it then earn the right to convince others? To me, it is an entirely abstract set of assumptions that you have "deduced' into existence based on all of the other assumptions you have made above


No, imb. Actually, i have every right to convince others. As i said before, there was a time when i was as suspicious about myself as you are but there are no more mere deductions of the head now. To be more precise, i know the way how the existence of divine entities can be verified physically/scientifically and showed to others too, but for some reasons/circumstances, i have not made any effort in that direction. The time is not ripe yet for me but that moment would come eventually.

iambiguous wrote:And what I am looking for instead is a way to connect the dots between these theoretical/conceptual assumptions and the nuts and the bolts of the lives that we live when they come into conflict with others; and the extent to which they can be made relevant to our fate after we die.

In other words, the actual reasons that the overwhelming preponderance of religious folks do predicate their own faith on.


That is fine. But, you must understand that you are trying to establish that very benchmarks/morality indirectly, that you deny.

iambiguous wrote:Yes, and somehow "in your head" this reflects an adequate explanation for the points I raise. And, therefore, you can assume that all the "confusion" here stems from my inability to grasp what, instead, I construe to be basically an intellectual/theoretical/conceptual contraption that in my view exist by and large only in your head.

As though when folks in any particular human community struggle to legislate behaviors relating to conflicting sexual behaviors [like homosexuality from the other thread] your speculations here will actually be of crucial importance. How? And I am still a long, long way from grasping how, further, you connect this to a God, the God, your God. All I know with any real certainty is that, somehow, you have in fact been able to accumplish this "in your head".


imb, you did not answer my simple question-

zinnat13 wrote:
If i ask you what your height is exactly, how would you measure it? Would you take a measuring tape and measure your height from it or will start questioning the authenticity of the tape itself?


I am asking how will you do that in your routine life? And, by which way you can reach to any conclusion?

imb, sometimes, more intellectuality brings more confusion, so do not use it where it is not required. Do not try to sew clothes from the sword, instead of needle, or you will the left with nothing but torn pieces of cloth.

There is nation called common sense and intellectuals should not feel shy of using it just because that the word common attached to it. Knowledgeable person must be aware of the fact that which level of intellectuality would be appropriate in which circumstances. That is what wisdom is and knowledge is lame without it.

iambiguous wrote:As though when folks in any particular human community struggle to legislate behaviors relating to conflicting sexual behaviors [like homosexuality from the other thread] your speculations here will actually be of crucial importance. How? And I am still a long, long way from grasping how, further, you connect this to a God, the God, your God. All I know with any real certainty is that, somehow, you have in fact been able to accumplish this "in your head".


Do not raise this issue here but leave for the other thread. Secondly, if you remember, I did not use any religious reasons for deciding sexual liberty in that thread. My only focus was practical social welfare, not salvation or nirvana.

iambiguous wrote:No, I am providing you with a statistical snapshot of the world we live in. I am then noting the obvious: that men and women who possess considerable political and economic power have had an enormous input in the creation of this world. And in sustaining it to reflect their own material interests. I am not saying that this power is a manifestation of WTP. WTP is merely one philosopher's contention regarding how one might look at a world [sans God] in terms of one particular subjective/subjunctive narrative.

Instead, this revolves around the organic, historical evolution of the capitalist political economy. And then [for some] the extent to which they are able to rationalize it in terms of their own particular rendition of God. After all, most of the folks who own and operate the world economy today are Christians. Or call themselves that.


Sorry imb, There is no such statistical snapshot that proves the existence of WTP. Tell me where it is and who formed it? All that is only in our heads. Furthermore, the whole of mathematics does not have any real existence either. It is merely an illusion created by us for standardization. Numbers do not exist in the nature.

You are diluting your benchmark of in the backyard here. You are admitting that WTP is philosophical creation, then how can it ever exist beyond our heads? Did the science found or any such thing like WTP during the dissections of humans?

You cannot give any such leniency to other philosophical doctrines than what you are not ready to give the God. That would not be fair.

imb wrote;
Okay. And I am most curious to see how you accomplish this. On the other hand, to the extent to which you claim this can be done "easily" is the extent to which it reminds me of others here who insist it might be done "simply". And that to me is but another indication that they will accomplish this largely "in their head". But that, of course, is the one place I can never go. You know, for confirmation.


It is both easy and simple too. It is easy because it is every simple. All you need to get your basics/ontology right and rest would automatically follow.

imb wrote;
I am not at all impressed with their thinking because, in my view, they ask us to believe that the definitions and the deductions that they provide for us in their "analysis" is what makes their argument true.


I would not try any such thing. I am a very simple person and would like to use simple language too.

imb wrote;
And here all I can do is to wait patiently for you to actually connect what I construe to be abstract arguments like this to the lives that we live; and then to what becomes our fate after we stop living [down here]. Either you are able to conflate these two levels of "reality" such that I am able to grasp the existential implications of God and religion [your God and your religion] or you are not. In other words, I keep waiting for what I construe to be more tangible arguments. There are just too many crucial reasons in which, for me, God is not like crude oil at all.


The ontology of the God is actually much like the crude oil, the more you refine/deduct it, the better product it would give.

imb wrote;
So it seems [to me] that you are hinting at the existence of something analogous to a "soul" -- something "spiritual" that "controls and guides" some. And that IF such a thing does exist then there is the POSSIBILITY that God might exist too.

And yet [in all honestly] what most intrigues me is the manner in which you are then able to take a "leap" [as did Kierkegaard?] to the God -- to the God that includes Jesus Christ in His narrative. To Christianity. And then from that to the analysis of behaviors such as homosexuality. In other words, which makes me all the more curious the extent to which you are able to say with any certainty [ie deontologically] what our moral obligations must be if we wish to be "saved" by this God of Jesus once we die.


There is no need for me to take any leap. Moral doctrines can be easily established and explained purely by social implications without provoking the issues such as God's will/salvation. It is merely the incompetence of later religious scholars that gives this impression that morality needs God's verdict on every issue.

imb wrote;
But show me a community of human beings where the "social guidelines" regarding right and wrong behavior is not linked [often intimately linked in some communities] to their belief in God and religion.


I gave you two very prominent examples above of Gandhi and Mother Teresa. Gandhi is considered the father of the nation in India, which represents almost 1/6 th of the world population. What else example do you want? And, people really follow him. He is still the biggest icon and most influential figure in India.

He said very simple things like simple living, speaking truth, cleanness, education , removing poverty, and non-violence but he never said that we should do all this because any God said that. He said that these things are necessary because it will improve the live of the people. You can read about him if you do not believe me.

imb wrote;
And what we need -- or surely what most clearly want -- is a frame of mind in which to know with certainty how a virtuous soul is to behave in order to pass muster on Judgment Day. And that is as close to being factual about God and religion "out in the world" as we are ever likely to establish here. If, in the end, it is not intimately aligned with either "sin" or "not a sin" then what is it really but an academic exercise revolving instead around definitions and deductions. Around what our "ideas" are said to "mean".


You are confused here just because you are using sward when a needle is sufficient. The concept of the judgment day is entirely different issue. Religions combined the two for the simple reason that in that time, neither modern means of communication were available nor everyone was not capable of understanding those. So, they embedded morality directly with the God's will, though most of the morality has nothing to do with the God.

imb wrote;
And this might well speak volumes regarding the gap between us. Or at least the gap as it exist now.


There is no gap whatsoever. The only thing is that you are avoiding the answer.

imb wrote;
After all, there are folks who insist that only by embracing their God and their religion and their moral values can this be realized. Or that only capitalism can bring about this better world. Or that only socialism will bring it about. And then there are any number of "liberals" and "conservatives" who will insist [in turn] that their own political agenda is the only sure fire way of ever bringing about a better world.

And what of issues like abortion or gun control or hunting or animal rights or gender roles or homosexuality --- what makes a world "better" with respect to these behaviors? And hundreds more like them? And how is one's answer to this then linked to the question of a God, the God, my God?

And isn't that an accurate reflection of the world we actually live in?


imb, do not try to avoid the question that asked.

I gave you an example and asked a simple question based on that only but you are bringing homosexuality and gun control into it, instead of answering the first one. Both these can also be answered from the social perspective only but we cannot discuss every social issue separately. That is why i put forth an imaginary situation to show you that the concept of the God is not necessary to answer all morality.

I would ask the same question again. Which city would you prefer to live and why? I am expecting a straight answer this time.

imb wrote;
I did answer it. I directed you to the links of folks who are very much interested to delving into this historically.


I did not ask that. I am not interested in what some people think about Jesus.

I am asking why he is the only one in question but other religious figures are not! I am looking for the intention of the people claiming his non-existence, not their findings.

Why the existence of Buddha, Moses and Muhammad are not questioned but only that of Jesus? That puts the integrity of the investigators into suspicion. If they were true historians, why they did not investigate the existence of other religious figures so rigorously?

imb wrote;
My aim is less to define human identity than to situate it [my own] out in the world existentially as dasein. After all, only actual flesh and blood men or women use the word "I". And, in some respects, to reflect on things that are true objectively, and, in other respects, to offer up subjective opinions regarding the relationship between things. In particular when, in interacting socially, politically and economically, these relationships come into conflict.


That is precisely your mistake. You are getting the priorities wrong. You cannot judge anything completely unless you do not understand/deduct it completely, in the first place.

And, that is precisely why ancient Greek philosophers started philosophy from know thyself, not know what is out there.

Indian Sages followed the same routine even before Greeks. They first try to understand what exactly humans are, and, in the process, they found the God. Neither God nor even the reality/existence was not their first aim. Most of the intellectuals do not pay attention to this subtle difference and thus confuse themselves.

The first question that should be asked is who exactly wants to know (humans). The second question that should be followed how one can know ( Mind). Then, lastly the focus should be given to what is out there to be known (reality/existence).

And, the beauty of this line of questioning is that only the first question gives all the answers.If one can understand only himself completely, there would not be any need to know anything else whatsoever as it covers the whole of the knowledge that existed in this cosmos (omniscience). It does not seem to be true on the face value but it is.


imb wrote;
Let's just say that, as of now, at this juncture in our exchange, it will become considerably more meaningful to me given the extent to which you are able to link it to a God, the God, your God.


imb, there cannot be any instant of direct formula as far as pure intellectual investigation is concerned. You have to go step by step. You have to cross primary before entering into highschool, and highschool before graduation.

imb wrote;
In the interim, as I noted above, I am running out of time. If there be a God, the God, how can I reach Him in time before immortality and salvation really do become [along with everything else pertaining to "I"] nothing at all. You know, for eternity.


But, for that, your mind has to accept that it seems likely that there is a God. Otherwise, all your effort in that dirction would go in vain.

imb wrote;
In short, I am considerably less concerned with what others "think" here and more with what they are able to demonstrate to me -- substantively, substantially -- regarding the actual existence of their God and their religion.


That is precisely i am trying to do but you want to jump the gun.

imb wrote;
Obviously, there are manny, many aspects of the lives we live [of "I"] that have little or nothing to do with brainwashing. And that is because they pertain to those things [and to the relationships between things] that are in fact true objectively. It is only when we contemplate the relationship between "I" and conflicting goods or conflicting Gods or conflicting ontological and teleological speculations, that "I believe" becomes considerably more problematic. And thus considerably more reflective of subjective/subjunctive points of view and personal opinions.


Now, that is confusing and problematic too.

I asked you a simple question-

zinnat13 wrote:
So, does that mean that we are nothing but our layers of brainwashing, or there is something else besides it?


But, you chose to write some lines having no clear answer. A simple yes or no would be enough, or if you are not sure either way, do not hesitate and say that clearly. Can there be any third answer?

Apart of the points that we discussed in this thread, I want to draw your attention to a very famous analogy regarding objectivism/relativism.

You relativism is reminding me a very old doctrine or Jain religion; Anekantavada, which literally means Pluarism or Non-Absolutism.

The second main principle of Jainism is anēkāntavāda. It refers to the principles of pluralism and multiplicity of viewpoints, and to the notion that truth and reality are perceived differently from diverse points of view, no single one of which is complete.[15][16]

Anekāntavāda encourages its adherents to consider the views and beliefs of their rivals and opposing parties. Proponents of anekāntavāda apply this principle to religions and philosophies, reminding themselves that any of these—even Jainism—that clings too dogmatically to its own tenets is committing an error based on its limited point of view.


But, Jainism gives the solution too.

Jains contrast attempts to proclaim absolute truth with this theory, which can be illustrated through the parable of the blind men and an elephant. In this story, each blind man feels a different part of an elephant: its trunk, leg, ear, and so on. All of them claim to understand and explain the true appearance of the elephant but, due to their limited perspectives, can only partly succeed.[19] This principle is more formally stated by observing that objects are infinite in their qualities and modes of existence, so they cannot be completely grasped in all aspects and manifestations by finite human perception. Only Kevalins—omniscient beings—can comprehend objects in all aspects and manifestations; others are only capable of partial knowledge.[20] Accordingly, no single, specific, human view can claim to represent absolute truth


With love,
sanjay
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Nov 16, 2014 9:54 pm

zinnat13 wrote: Words/language is not the ultimate goal. The important thing is that message they carry. You cannot judge the words by other words. Secondly, language cannot be perfect in any case. That is impossible.


For me, the most important thing about words and language is the extent to which we are able to take them "out of our heads" and connect them [substantively, objectively] to the world that we live in. The words "Mary had an abortion" [when in fact she did] and the words, "Mary's abortion was immoral", for example. The words, "I believe in God" and the words, "You should believe in God too."

zinnat13 wrote:Language is mere an expressive approximation of feelings, not the exact translation.


No, language can also be very precise as well. "John is a bachelor". Well, he either is or he is not. On the other hand, it is words like "God" that tend to express approximate feelings: a desire, a yearning that a God, the God, my God is "out there" or "up there" somewhere.

zinnat13 wrote:Take the case of Maia. No matter how intelligent or linguistic expert you may be, you cannot make her understand what any color means to you. Language works only when both parties have more or less the same experiences/knowledge, then the language helps them to compare their experiences.


Again, that is rooted in the objective reality of human biology. It would be like a woman trying to explain to a man what it is like to be pregnant or to give birth or to have an abortion.

Instead, God and religion tend to revolve more around reactions like these: "Why am I blind? It's not fair. It's not just. What is the reason?"

And that is when the Gods are often invoked: "God has a reason for everything. Your blindness fits into God's Will, but not in a way that we mere mortals can fathom."

And then if they live their life being faithful to God they will achieve immortality and salvation. And that is when everything becomes clear.

iambiguous wrote:And the extent to which you don't grasp the manner in which I make this distinction is [perhaps] the extent to which I will not grasp yours. We can only try to grapple with this as best we can.


zinnat13 wrote:...why are you assuming that we will never agree on any issue?


My point is there are issues in which we can only exchange subjective points of view. Here those issues revolve around conflicting value judgments, religion and God. We can both agree that I do not believe in God. Here and now. But can you convince me that your own belief in God is predicated on more than just what you happen to believe [here and now] is true about Him "in your head"?

iambiguous wrote:Sure, and religious investigations are derived from the fact that our brain evolved such that it is able to apprehend and to construct particular continuities out of what it is able perceive and sense regarding the relationship between "in my head" and "out in the world". And, yes, that eventually leads the brain [the conscious mind] to go all the way back to pondering what brought about existence in the first place. And one of the possibilities here is a God, the God, my God.


zinnat13 wrote:imb, do not confuse yourself.


You have noted this before. The manner in which you make this assumption that it is I who am confused. Which [to me] is just to suggest that I would not be confused if I were able to think about these things as you do. But: Perhaps it is you who are confused.

zinnat13 wrote: It is philosophy that tries to make connections between in the head and out there in the world, not religions. Religions, in the strict sense, are much like science and focus mainly on the experimental part of the investigation of the existence. Then, they report their findings back to philosophy to derive conclusions.


This is entirely too abstract though. It is only when philosophers and scientists and religionists start connecting the dots between what they believe is true "in their heads" and what can then be confirmed as in fact true "out in the world" of human interactions that my own interest is piqued. And, in particular, interactions that come into conflict over value judgments. As with abortion and homosexuality.


zinnat13 wrote: What we see as religions today, are basically philosophical doctrines, founded on the empiricism of some scholars. Morality is basically not a religious doctrine, but a philosophical one.


Do you really believe this? Morality and Sin would seem to be the very foundation of most actual religions "out in the world". And then both are intimately intertwined with immortality and salvation. Or are those who believe this confused too?

iambiguous wrote:You say this. But, still, all I can do is to assume that you believe this to be true. But how does it then earn the right to convince others? To me, it is an entirely abstract set of assumptions that you have "deduced' into existence based on all of the other assumptions you have made above


zinnat13 wrote: No, imb. Actually, i have every right to convince others. As i said before, there was a time when i was as suspicious about myself as you are but there are no more mere deductions of the head now. To be more precise, i know the way how the existence of divine entities can be verified physically/scientifically and showed to others too, but for some reasons/circumstances, i have not made any effort in that direction. The time is not ripe yet for me but that moment would come eventually.


Sure, you have every right to try to convince others that your conclusions have merit. But I still don't see how your point of view here is anything other than what you have deduced [reasoned] to be true "in your head". That you are convinced that you "know the way" I don't doubt. What I wait patiently for is an argument that might convince me in turn.

I say this:

iambiguous wrote:Yes, and somehow "in your head" this reflects an adequate explanation for the points I raise. And, therefore, you can assume that all the "confusion" here stems from my inability to grasp what, instead, I construe to be basically an intellectual/theoretical/conceptual contraption that in my view exist by and large only in your head.

As though when folks in any particular human community struggle to legislate behaviors relating to conflicting sexual behaviors [like homosexuality from the other thread] your speculations here will actually be of crucial importance. How? And I am still a long, long way from grasping how, further, you connect this to a God, the God, your God. All I know with any real certainty is that, somehow, you have in fact been able to accumplish this "in your head".


You respond:

zinnat13 wrote: imb, you did not answer my simple question-

zinnat13 wrote:
If i ask you what your height is exactly, how would you measure it? Would you take a measuring tape and measure your height from it or will start questioning the authenticity of the tape itself?


I am asking how will you do that in your routine life? And, by which way you can reach to any conclusion?

imb, sometimes, more intellectuality brings more confusion, so do not use it where it is not required. Do not try to sew clothes from the sword, instead of needle, or you will the left with nothing but torn pieces of cloth.

There is nation called common sense and intellectuals should not feel shy of using it just because that the word common attached to it. Knowledgeable person must be aware of the fact that which level of intellectuality would be appropriate in which circumstances. That is what wisdom is and knowledge is lame without it.


And all I can think is: "How is this connected?"

In your head it might all be crystal clear...but in my own I truly am confused. What does this [and common sense] have to do with the conflicting value judgments that actual flesh and blood human beings endure? And how is that then related to the part about after we are dead and gone?

This is the whole point of God and religion to most folks.

And this is the case [from my perspective] regarding much of this exchange. I make particular points and you respond to them. But I do not see any substantive connection between them. It is as though we are having two different discussions altogether. But then that has often been my experience with objectivists.

I suppose what I am trying to say is analogous to this: Where's the beef?

imb wrote;
So it seems [to me] that you are hinting at the existence of something analogous to a "soul" -- something "spiritual" that "controls and guides" some. And that IF such a thing does exist then there is the POSSIBILITY that God might exist too.

And yet [in all honestly] what most intrigues me is the manner in which you are then able to take a "leap" [as did Kierkegaard?] to the God -- to the God that includes Jesus Christ in His narrative. To Christianity. And then from that to the analysis of behaviors such as homosexuality. In other words, which makes me all the more curious the extent to which you are able to say with any certainty [ie deontologically] what our moral obligations must be if we wish to be "saved" by this God of Jesus once we die.


zinnat13 wrote:There is no need for me to take any leap. Moral doctrines can be easily established and explained purely by social implications without provoking the issues such as God's will/salvation. It is merely the incompetence of later religious scholars that gives this impression that morality needs God's verdict on every issue.


I agree: God is not necessary in order for mere mortals to establish rules of behavior "down here". But God is surely necessary if mere mortals wish to connect that crucial dot between the behaviors they choose "down here" and attaining immortality and salvation "up there". And for those Christians who do not approach this "scholastically" that was, is and almost certainly always will be, the bottom line.

imb wrote;
And what we need -- or surely what most clearly want -- is a frame of mind in which to know with certainty how a virtuous soul is to behave in order to pass muster on Judgment Day. And that is as close to being factual about God and religion "out in the world" as we are ever likely to establish here. If, in the end, it is not intimately aligned with either "sin" or "not a sin" then what is it really but an academic exercise revolving instead around definitions and deductions. Around what our "ideas" are said to "mean".


zinnat13 wrote:You are confused here just because you are using sward when a needle is sufficient. The concept of the judgment day is entirely different issue. Religions combined the two for the simple reason that in that time, neither modern means of communication were available nor everyone was not capable of understanding those. So, they embedded morality directly with the God's will, though most of the morality has nothing to do with the God.


Again, one is said to be "confused" here when they do not share your own assumptions about these relationships. As though religious scholars themselves must be wrong if they do not share your own narrative here. Are you suggesting this?

imb wrote;
And this might well speak volumes regarding the gap between us. Or at least the gap as it exist now.


zinnat13 wrote:There is no gap whatsoever. The only thing is that you are avoiding the answer.


This is precisely the sort of thing I would expect from James though. The gap between my answers and his. Once I come to agree with his answers, of course, the gap disappears. It never once occurs to him that with respect to these relationships it might be him who is confused.

imb wrote;
After all, there are folks who insist that only by embracing their God and their religion and their moral values can this be realized. Or that only capitalism can bring about this better world. Or that only socialism will bring it about. And then there are any number of "liberals" and "conservatives" who will insist [in turn] that their own political agenda is the only sure fire way of ever bringing about a better world.

And what of issues like abortion or gun control or hunting or animal rights or gender roles or homosexuality --- what makes a world "better" with respect to these behaviors? And hundreds more like them? And how is one's answer to this then linked to the question of a God, the God, my God?

And isn't that an accurate reflection of the world we actually live in?


zinnat13 wrote: imb, do not try to avoid the question that asked.

I gave you an example and asked a simple question based on that only but you are bringing homosexuality and gun control into it, instead of answering the first one. Both these can also be answered from the social perspective only but we cannot discuss every social issue separately. That is why i put forth an imaginary situation to show you that the concept of the God is not necessary to answer all morality.

I would ask the same question again. Which city would you prefer to live and why? I am expecting a straight answer this time.


I can only point out again that while you may feel this is an adequate response to the points I raised, I do not.

And any particular city that any particular individual will prefer to live in will revolve around how she has come to think about answering a question such as this from the perspective of dasein. And, as dasein, she will prefer the city that most closely embodies, existentially, her own set of values. And that, to me, would seem to be "common sense".

imb wrote;
My aim is less to define human identity than to situate it [my own] out in the world existentially as dasein. After all, only actual flesh and blood men or women use the word "I". And, in some respects, to reflect on things that are true objectively, and, in other respects, to offer up subjective opinions regarding the relationship between things. In particular when, in interacting socially, politically and economically, these relationships come into conflict.


zinnat13 wrote:That is precisely your mistake. You are getting the priorities wrong. You cannot judge anything completely unless you do not understand/deduct it completely, in the first place.


But here you sound just like James again. I am making the mistake because I do not share his priorities. As though that gets me even an inch closer to understanding the manner in which he speaks of the Real God! Let alone him demonstrating [beyond what he believes is true about God "in his head"] that this God actually does exist.

And then I begin to wonder: is this exchange just part and parcel of a "pure intellectual investigation" of God for you?

imb wrote;
In the interim, as I noted above, I am running out of time. If there be a God, the God, how can I reach Him in time before immortality and salvation really do become [along with everything else pertaining to "I"] nothing at all. You know, for eternity.


zinnat13 wrote:But, for that, your mind has to accept that it seems likely that there is a God. Otherwise, all your effort in that dirction would go in vain.


Okay, for the sake of argument, suppose you are not successful in taking me in this direction. Suppose I die still convinced that God is just basically the mother of all psychological defense mechanism. Given the manner in which you understand God now, what do you imagine my fate will be?

And then more of this:

imb wrote;

Obviously, there are many, many aspects of the lives we live [of "I"] that have little or nothing to do with brainwashing. And that is because they pertain to those things [and to the relationships between things] that are in fact true objectively. It is only when we contemplate the relationship between "I" and conflicting goods or conflicting Gods or conflicting ontological and teleological speculations, that "I believe" becomes considerably more problematic. And thus considerably more reflective of subjective/subjunctive points of view and personal opinions.


zinnat13 wrote:Now, that is confusing and problematic too.

I asked you a simple question:

So, does that mean that we are nothing but our layers of brainwashing, or there is something else besides it?


And I answered your question. I answered it to the best of my ability. But it wasn't the answer you wanted [or would have given yourself] and so, therefore, it was "problematic and confusing".

zinnat13 wrote:Your relativism is reminding me a very old doctrine or Jain religion; Anekantavada, which literally means Pluarism or Non-Absolutism.

The second main principle of Jainism is anēkāntavāda. It refers to the principles of pluralism and multiplicity of viewpoints, and to the notion that truth and reality are perceived differently from diverse points of view, no single one of which is complete.[15][16]

Anekāntavāda encourages its adherents to consider the views and beliefs of their rivals and opposing parties. Proponents of anekāntavāda apply this principle to religions and philosophies, reminding themselves that any of these—even Jainism—that clings too dogmatically to its own tenets is committing an error based on its limited point of view.


But, Jainism gives the solution too.

Jains contrast attempts to proclaim absolute truth with this theory, which can be illustrated through the parable of the blind men and an elephant. In this story, each blind man feels a different part of an elephant: its trunk, leg, ear, and so on. All of them claim to understand and explain the true appearance of the elephant but, due to their limited perspectives, can only partly succeed.[19] This principle is more formally stated by observing that objects are infinite in their qualities and modes of existence, so they cannot be completely grasped in all aspects and manifestations by finite human perception. Only Kevalins—omniscient beings—can comprehend objects in all aspects and manifestations; others are only capable of partial knowledge.[20] Accordingly, no single, specific, human view can claim to represent absolute truth


But what is this but more abstract speculation in which the argument is said to be true if and only if you agree with all of the assumptions that are made in the argument itself. How is the "logic" here not circular?

And how [substantively/substantially] are these assumptions related to conflicting value judgements, to the manner in which we come to acquire a "sense of self", to the manner in which mere mortals [in the course of living their lives] are inundated with conflicting goods?

And then: how is all of that related to the existence of a God, the God, your God?

In other words, how is it not but one more human perspective, the truth of which being embedded largely in the head of those who believe it? How can it [instead] be demonstrated that all rational people "out in the world" should [must] believe it too?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:53 pm

Atheism is a simplistic solution to the complex problem of human need. If there were no need of a God, one would not even be imagined.


How in the world is atheism a "solution" to anything? What does that even mean?

There have been folks down through the ages who claimed a belief in God. And there have been folks down through the ages who asked them to substantiate His existence.

And believers have tried. They defined God into existence. They deduced God into existence. They read from their Bibles. They pointed to men and women centuries ago who claimed that God existed.

Or they insisted that their belief is a matter of faith.

And, given that all men are mortal, who would argue that there isn't a "need" for God if there is to be any hope at all of attaining immortality?

But how does this get us any closer to an argument [or an accummulation of evidence] that would lead a rational man or woman to conclude that, yes, in fact, a God, the God, does exist?

Though it does seem reasonable [to me] to imagine a belief in God comforts and consoles folks emotionally and psychologically. And that this might somehow be related.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Nov 19, 2014 6:31 pm

Heaven and hell fit into the dogmas of fundamentalists. Reward or punishment in some afterlife should not be the concern of a spiritual person. The concern should be the life best lived in the here and now.


This is the sort of vague, indefinite approach to "God" that seems to work for some. It basically allows for any behavior in the here and now because, after all, any particular man or woman "here and now" may link a "spiritual" frame of mind to, well, any particular behavior.

And then, as for the "afterlife", one has faith that it will take care of itself. In other words, however it is that there is a "spiritual" link between God and the here and now that same link is then applicable after we are dead and gone.

In this way, one does not have to commit to any particular scripture, any particular set of moral and political values or any particular rendition of God. It's just something that one feels more "in the heart" than "in the head".

And then, existentially, this either happens to you [as dasein] or it does not. And, hopefully, if it does, you can sustain this "spiritual feeling" all the way to the grave.

But what I always come back to then is this: what happens when, out in the world of human interaction, two "spiritual" folks come into contact with two very, very different sets of moral and political values.

Aren't they then just basically like all the rest of us? To wit: Daseins confronting conflicting goods in a world ever in the grip of political economy.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:20 pm

It's ironic how judgmental you are. :lol:
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby zinnat » Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:34 pm

iambiguous wrote:For me, the most important thing about words and language is the extent to which we are able to take them "out of our heads" and connect them [substantively, objectively] to the world that we live in


That is not the purpose of the language and we do not use it that way either. We do not need our invented formal languages to connect what is in our heads with what is out there in the world. There is something inbuilt as an a priori in the mind of all living entities, what creates that connection which you mentioned.

Our invented languages do not have any purpose whatsoever other than communicating with others entities, not ourselves.

iambiguous wrote:No, language can also be very precise as well. "John is a bachelor". Well, he either is or he is not. On the other hand, it is words like "God" that tend to express approximate feelings: a desire, a yearning that a God, the God, my God is "out there" or "up there" somewhere.


Not at all. Language cannot be ever precise, no matter how simple it is or how simple issue is dealt by it. The same is with the mathematics too. There will be some degree or approximation always. The degree of the preciseness or the approximation depends not on the language but the experiences/knowledge/perceptions of the parties involved in it.

The reason of this phenomenon is that languages do not exist in the reality or out there but only in our heads, and as every head has some differences from the other one, thus their interpretation of the same words bound to be different, no matter how miniscule it may be.

For example, John is a bachelor does not tell the complete story but only a part of it. In normal present understanding of the term, it only confirms that he has not married yet, nothing else. Like, it does not tell whether he is competent of leading a successful married life or not. In the same way, no matter how much detailed language you provide to a particular subject in order to enable any other person to grasp your intention, something will always be left behind. Total transmission of the intentions is impossible.

imb wrote;
Again, that is rooted in the objective reality of human biology. It would be like a woman trying to explain to a man what it is like to be pregnant or to give birth or to have an abortion.


Yes, that is exactly what i was telling you above. And, it does not happen in the case of biology only but all. The more difference would be between the experiences of two parties, the more different their understanding would be of the same set of language.

imb wrote;
Instead, God and religion tend to revolve more around reactions like these: "Why am I blind? It's not fair. It's not just. What is the reason?"

And that is when the Gods are often invoked: "God has a reason for everything. Your blindness fits into God's Will, but not in a way that we mere mortals can fathom."

And then if they live their life being faithful to God they will achieve immortality and salvation. And that is when everything becomes clear.


That is true, because being an omniscient, God is aware of every subjective understanding/knowledge but we cannot. The definition of omniscience enables God to be aware of every reasoning or answer to all questions.

imb wrote;
But can you convince me that your own belief in God is predicated on more than just what you happen to believe [here and now] is true about Him "in your head"?


Why are you presuming that i will not able to do that? That may or may not happen.

imb wrote;
You have noted this before. The manner in which you make this assumption that it is I who am confused. Which [to me] is just to suggest that I would not be confused if I were able to think about these things as you do. But: Perhaps it is you who are confused.


I am not making any assumption here. You, like most other intellectuals, are unaware of the basics, real purpose and methodology of the religions. Religions are the most misunderstood concepts nowdays.

imb wrote'
This is entirely too abstract though. It is only when philosophers and scientists and religionists start connecting the dots between what they believe is true "in their heads" and what can then be confirmed as in fact true "out in the world" of human interactions that my own interest is piqued. And, in particular, interactions that come into conflict over value judgments. As with abortion and homosexuality.


There is nothing abstract in what i said. Connecting the dots is not the job of religions but philosophy.

zinnat13 wrote:
What we see as religions today, are basically philosophical doctrines, founded on the empiricism of some scholars. Morality is basically not a religious doctrine, but a philosophical one.


imb wrote;
Do you really believe this? Morality and Sin would seem to be the very foundation of most actual religions "out in the world". And then both are intimately intertwined with immortality and salvation. Or are those who believe this confused too?


It is not a matter of belief for me anymore. I rather know that is a reality. That is why said that most of the modern intellectual populace is confused about the basics of the religions.

Philosophy is the mother of knowledge and religions and science are its subsets, which take care of empirical investigations of different forms of matter; science is for physical matter and religions are for metaphysical matter. Both of science and religions have to report their findings back to philosophy in order to draw conclusions. That is how it worked in the past when religions originated.

Morality is not religious doctrine but a philosophical one, though based on the religious investigations. As person can be both scientist and philosopher, in the same way, a person can be religious and philosopher as well; still both are two different streams of knowledge.

Imb wrote;
Sure, you have every right to try to convince others that your conclusions have merit. But I still don't see how your point of view here is anything other than what you have deduced [reasoned] to be true "in your head". That you are convinced that you "know the way" I don't doubt. What I wait patiently for is an argument that might convince me in turn.


Imb, i do not make confirmative statements unless i am not 100% sure of anything. As i said before, it is no more the matter of in my head. I can show it physically too, precisely in the way which science believes but that moment has not come for me yet.

I am in the process of writing a book in this issue, in which i will talk about hard physical or scientific evidences too, but not before that. People would not take anything seriously. So, till then, i will restrict myself to philosophy only to prove my case.

zinnat13 wrote:
imb, you did not answer my simple question-

zinnat13 wrote:
If i ask you what your height is exactly, how would you measure it? Would you take a measuring tape and measure your height from it or will start questioning the authenticity of the tape itself?

I am asking how will you do that in your routine life? And, by which way you can reach to any conclusion?

imb, sometimes, more intellectuality brings more confusion, so do not use it where it is not required. Do not try to sew clothes from the sword, instead of needle, or you will the left with nothing but torn pieces of cloth.

There is nation called common sense and intellectuals should not feel shy of using it just because that the word common attached to it. Knowledgeable person must be aware of the fact that which level of intellectuality would be appropriate in which circumstances. That is what wisdom is and knowledge is lame without it.


imb wrote;
And all I can think is: "How is this connected?"


That is precisely the problem that you chose to question me instead of giving answer to what i asked. Had you given the answer, i would have shown you how it was pertinent with the issue in hand.

imb, please do not forget that it me who is trying to prove you something, not the other way around. So, you have to move in which way would lead you. If you will refuse to come along, how can i ever enable you to reach there where i want?

Yes, you have every right to question the findings and conclusions that i present, but not the methodology.

If you are serious about the discussion, you have to follow this. If this discussion is about ego (not conceding for anything), then it is different issue.

In your head it might all be crystal clear...but in my own I truly am confused. What does this [and common sense] have to do with the conflicting value judgments that actual flesh and blood human beings endure? And how is that then related to the part about after we are dead and gone?

This is the whole point of God and religion to most folks.

And this is the case [from my perspective] regarding much of this exchange. I make particular points and you respond to them. But I do not see any substantive connection between them. It is as though we are having two different discussions altogether. But then that has often been my experience with objectivists.

I suppose what I am trying to say is analogous to this: Where's the beef?


You may be confused because you do not know where i am leading the argument.

If you live in the desert throughout your life, and someone tells you that show falls from the sky in the hills, you may not believe him and you have every right to do that. But, when that person says that you have to come along to him to the hills to see whether it is true or not, you should ask him that he must show snowfall to you right there in the desert, otherwise you would not believe him. Is that a logical thing to do?

But, that is precisely what you try to do now and then. I am asking you some questions not because i want to score any points over you, but that is the only way which you can follow what my argument is. But, like that person of desert analogy, instead of following the way, you start questioning my question itself. You are insisting that one must show snowfall to you right there in the desert, you would not go to the hill with him anyway.

imb, do not try to make a presumption on such issues, which are not familiar to you. You cannot dictate the course of my argument. Yes, you can question its validity, which i will happily answer at each stage but you have to come along with me for that.

Once again, remember that the burden of proof is on me here, not you. So, please restrict your questioning to the validity of the argument, not its course. I hope that i have myself clear enough.

imb wrote;
I agree: God is not necessary in order for mere mortals to establish rules of behavior "down here". But God is surely necessary if mere mortals wish to connect that crucial dot between the behaviors they choose "down here" and attaining immortality and salvation "up there". And for those Christians who do not approach this "scholastically" that was, is and almost certainly always will be, the bottom line.


The only thing that required for up there is faith, nothing else. Most of the rest of the morality is meant for down here.

imb wrote;
Again, one is said to be "confused" here when they do not share your own assumptions about these relationships. As though religious scholars themselves must be wrong if they do not share your own narrative here. Are you suggesting this?


Yes, most of the modern religious scholars are confused nowdays. Because, they are not true scholars. Religions have been lost the capacity of producing true scholars anymore. All have borrowed knowledge now, not earned. And, that is precisely the reason of the present pathetic conditions of the religions.

imb wrote;
Again, one is said to be "confused" here when they do not share your own assumptions about these relationships. As though religious scholars themselves must be wrong if they do not share your own narrative here. Are you suggesting this?


Do not twist the truth. The gap is because you not answering the simple questions that i asked. I am not saying that you should answer supporting my perspective. Use your own perspective but do not avoid the answer.

Again, you are presuming that your answer might support my perception thus you are avoiding.

imb wrote;
And any particular city that any particular individual will prefer to live in will revolve around how she has come to think about answering a question such as this from the perspective of dasein. And, as dasein, she will prefer the city that most closely embodies, existentially, her own set of values. And that, to me, would seem to be "common sense".


I asked you that which city do you prefer? Use your common sense or relative sense and answer from your perspective. Is that is so difficult thing to decide that you cannot choose A or B simply?

imb wrote;
But here you sound just like James again


Look carefully imb, you did not take much time to form an opinion here about me as you repeated it two times in one answer. Now, may i ask that, with this little interaction of this thread so far, what makes you so sure that i am sounding like James? Is that the behavior of an objectivist or a relativist?

But, when I ask you very simple questions, which may be answered in merely in one or two words, you chose to give such very lengthy and vague answers that no one can blame you for choosing a side. Why?

Secondly, as far as James is concerned, though we come from two entirely different background and culture, and our methodology/ontology of deriving conclusions is also entirely different, yet we agree more than disagree. That sometimes surprises me too.

zinnat13 wrote:
That is precisely your mistake. You are getting the priorities wrong. You cannot judge anything completely unless you do not understand/deduct it completely, in the first place.


imb wrote;
I am making the mistake because I do not share his priorities. As though that gets me even an inch closer to understanding the manner in which he speaks of the Real God! Let alone him demonstrating [beyond what he believes is true about God "in his head"] that this God actually does exist.


Too many presumptions. You are certainly wrong, not because you are against my perception but just because logic says so.
Can you ever judge anything which deducting/analyzing in completely in the first place?
Can you ever tell what a computer can do from its appearance/face value, unless you are not aware of its hardware and software?
Can you show me how i am wrong?

imb wrote;
And then I begin to wonder: is this exchange just part and parcel of a "pure intellectual investigation" of God for you


Certainly. Why do you doubt? Just because, i am not following the line that you anticipated!

imb wrote;
Okay, for the sake of argument, suppose you are not successful in taking me in this direction. Suppose I die still convinced that God is just basically the mother of all psychological defense mechanism. Given the manner in which you understand God now, what do you imagine my fate will be?


You faith will not make any difference to your fate ultimately. You will end up precisely where you are suppose to be, no matter what you believe or disbelieve. But yes, that can make a difference to the journey to this ending up.

zinnat13 wrote:
Now, that is confusing and problematic too.

I asked you a simple question:

So, does that mean that we are nothing but our layers of brainwashing, or there is something else besides it?


imb wrote;
And I answered your question. I answered it to the best of my ability. But it wasn't the answer you wanted [or would have given yourself] and so, therefore, it was "problematic and confusing".


I am expecting nothing but a straightforward answer which could be a simple yes, no or i am not sure. I would not have problem with any of these three but i certainly have a problem with such answer from which i cannot draw anything clear to go ahead.

imb, i am not expecting you to answer what i want from you. But, you are trying to presume what answer i expect from you and i order to avoid that to happen, you are using vague language. But, believe me, there is no such intention from my side. All i want from you is just to come clean or various issues, so that i can understand you and move accordingly.

I want to have this discussion in such manner so that you can understand clearly what i am saying. And for that, you have to be open and honest with me. Remember, we are not arguing but discussing only.

imb wrote;
But what is this but more abstract speculation in which the argument is said to be true if and only if you agree with all of the assumptions that are made in the argument itself. How is the "logic" here not circular?

And how [substantively/substantially] are these assumptions related to conflicting value judgements, to the manner in which we come to acquire a "sense of self", to the manner in which mere mortals [in the course of living their lives] are inundated with conflicting goods?

And then: how is all of that related to the existence of a God, the God, your God?

In other words, how is it not but one more human perspective, the truth of which being embedded largely in the head of those who believe it? How can it [instead] be demonstrated that all rational people "out in the world" should [must] believe it too?


All answers are in this parable.

Jains contrast all attempts to proclaim absolute truth with andhagajanyāyah, which can be illustrated through the parable of the "blind men and an elephant". In this story, each blind man felt a different part of an elephant (trunk, leg, ear, etc.). All the men claimed to understand and explain the true appearance of the elephant, but could only partly succeed, due to their limited perspectives.[3] This principle is more formally stated by observing that objects are infinite in their qualities and modes of existence, so they cannot be completely grasped in all aspects and manifestations by finite human perception. According to the Jains, only the Kevalis—omniscient beings—can comprehend objects in all aspects and manifestations; others are only capable of partial knowledge.[4] Consequently, no single, specific, human view can claim to represent absolute truth.


That parable establishes two things. The first one is that existence of many viewpoints does not mean that there cannot an objective version. Secondly, it says that one has to open his eyes (omniscience) to get the objective picture.

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:58 pm

phyllo wrote:It's ironic how judgmental you are. :lol:


Yes, that is certainly one way to avoid responding to the points I raised with you above: by making me the point instead. :wink:

But, yes, I do make judgments here. After all, it's not like any of us can really avoid this, right? We see these relationships in a particular way. Others see them in very different ways. So, sure, we react to that. Sometimes in very different moods.

Otherwise, we would have to add "you're right from your side and I'm right from mine" after virtually everything we post.

On the other hand, as I have explained elsewhere, I am someone who truly enjoys "tussling" intellectually.

Here is how I once encompassed it at ILP:

What I am is a polemist. At least from time to time.

What does this mean? It means that occasionally I enjoy provocative exchanges. A provocative exchange is one in which folks take opposite sides on an issue and aggressively pursue their own point of view. A polemicist might employ such devices as red herrings, irony, dissembling, sarcasm, needling, pokes and prods, intellectual cul de sacs, satire.

But it's never meant to be personal. It's just a way to ratchet up a discussion and make it more invigorating, intriguing, stimulating.

When the best minds are goaded they are often driven in turn to make their point all the more forcefully. It's like both of you are down in the arena using words for swords.

From my experience these are almost always the most interesting exchanges. As long as they are understood to be just exchanges of polemics.

The paradox is this: the more you seem to be disrepectful of someone's intelligence the more you actually respect it instead. Otherwise why pursue the exchange at all?

But few folks really appreciate this sort of intellectual jousting. It's a lost art to say the least. Gone are the early days of the internet when I could engage in epic battles with Objectivists, Marxists, Kantians, Platonists and the like.


Indeed, in trying to invoke an exchange of polemics with mr reasonable recently, he actually went so far as to turn me in to the authorities. It got me two warnings.

In fact, I have been banned from various philosophy forums precisely for engaging in polemics. Only they called it "trolling". The Philosophy Forums, for example. I guess the powers that be just didn't "get" me. Either that or they didn't like the points I kept raising.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:33 pm

Let's just assume that you are doing something genuine and worthwhile and leave it at that. :wink:
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu Nov 20, 2014 5:49 pm

phyllo wrote:Let's just assume that you are doing something genuine and worthwhile and leave it at that. :wink:


:wink: :

Meaning that [perhaps] we should not leave it at that at all? Anyway, the dilemma embedded in dasein [as I see it above] is there for you [or any other moral objectivist] to deconstruct. Both philosophically and for all practical purposes.

And I can only stress again how a part of me yearns to bump into someone who actually can. You know, make it go away.

Trust me: It can be a truly grim manner in which to view these things.
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 20, 2014 10:06 pm

zinnat13 wrote:
iambiguous wrote:For me, the most important thing about words and language is the extent to which we are able to take them "out of our heads" and connect them [substantively, objectively] to the world that we live in


That is not the purpose of the language and we do not use it that way either. We do not need our invented formal languages to connect what is in our heads with what is out there in the world. There is something inbuilt as an a priori in the mind of all living entities, what creates that connection which you mentioned.

Our invented languages do not have any purpose whatsoever other than communicating with others entities, not ourselves.


Again, you assert this. As though to suggest that how you think about the use of language reflects the way any rational man or woman ought to think about it. As though the manner in which I think about it is somehow "wrong" because it is not the way that you think about it. Which is to say that [in my view] you reduce the extraordinary complexity of language [as it is actually used "out in the world"] down to your own point view. As though it were something analogous to mathematics or the laws of physics.

For me, however, the language that any particular individual uses "out in the world with others" can either express something that is true for all of us, or it is embedded [at least in part] in the subjective interpretation of any particular thing or relationship. And that certainly seems reasonable with respect to God and religion. It is the difference between saying "I am a Christian" -- when in fact you are -- and "every rational man and woman must be a Christian" -- which is just your own subjective point of view.

Now, you may argue that language can be precise with respect to both, but that merely emphasizes the manner in which we think about this relationship differently. One either is or is not a Christian. But how does one go about demonstrating objectively that all rational men and women must be?

True, "John is a bachelor" is bereft of context. But if John is a bachelor that is an objective fact. But suppose someone argues that, in being a bachelor, John is being immoral...or is not living in accordence with the will of [any particular] God? How is that established as in fact true objectively?

This is the distinction that I always make regarding the use of words out in the world.

imb wrote;
Again, that is rooted in the objective reality of human biology. It would be like a woman trying to explain to a man what it is like to be pregnant or to give birth or to have an abortion.


zinnat13 wrote:Yes, that is exactly what i was telling you above. And, it does not happen in the case of biology only but all. The more difference would be between the experiences of two parties, the more different their understanding would be of the same set of language.


Now I am confused again. With respect to the biology of pregnancy and abortion, one truth fits all. It is what it is. It's not just a matter of one's personal opinion. But it is precisely the contradictory perspectives regarding the morality of abortion [rooted in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy] that [to me] renders deontological ethics impotent. In other words, "for all practical purposes".

Or so it seems to me unless and until someone demonstrates to me that this is not a rational manner in which think about it.

imb wrote;
But can you convince me that your own belief in God is predicated on more than just what you happen to believe [here and now] is true about Him "in your head"?


zinnat13 wrote:Why are you presuming that i will not able to do that? That may or may not happen.


As I have noted, that is not the presumption I make at all. All I can attest to is that you have not managed to convince me that you can. I would never argue that the objective truth regarding the morality of abortion does not exist. And it may well be embedded in the existence of a particular God. But I do not believe in God. And I believe morality is embedded instead in the dilemma that seems [to me] inherent in dasein and conflicting goods.

imb wrote;
You have noted this before. The manner in which you make this assumption that it is I who am confused. Which [to me] is just to suggest that I would not be confused if I were able to think about these things as you do. But: Perhaps it is you who are confused.


zinnat13 wrote:I am not making any assumption here. You, like most other intellectuals, are unaware of the basics, real purpose and methodology of the religions. Religions are the most misunderstood concepts nowdays.


So, I can then assume that when you tell me that I am "confused" or "mistaken", you are expressing only a personal opinion derived from the assumptions [premises] you have accummulated with respect to these relsationships? You are acknowledging that it may well be you who are confused and mistaken?

Okay, we can leave it that then.

imb wrote'
This is entirely too abstract though. It is only when philosophers and scientists and religionists start connecting the dots between what they believe is true "in their heads" and what can then be confirmed as in fact true "out in the world" of human interactions that my own interest is piqued. And, in particular, interactions that come into conflict over value judgments. As with abortion and homosexuality.


zinnat13 wrote:There is nothing abstract in what i said. Connecting the dots is not the job of religions but philosophy.


But sooner or later a religion either brings its theological assumptions [its abstract concepts/constructs] down to earth -- pertaining to conflicting value judgments precipitating conflicting begaviors -- or it does not. And it then links "down here" and "up there" -- pertaining to immortality and salvation -- or it does not.

If it does not then [to me] it becomes basically another academic exercise entangled abstractly in a scholastic pursuit of a particular set of priori deductions and definitions.

Which in all honesty I am not nearly as much interested in.

As for the distinction made between religion and science on the one hand and philosophy on the other, my argument is that the tools of philosophy are of limited use with respect to dasein and conflicting goods. Reason and logic and epistemology can only penetrate so far here. For example, if we are faced with the dilemma of living in a world where no babies are aborted then that means living in a world where some women will be forced to give birth against their will. What then can the tools of philosophy do to make these conflicting goods go away? And how can they obviate the fact that individual perspectives on the morality of abortion are rooted in dasein? And in the historical reality of political economy -- with respect to how political power will play a role with regard to enforcing rules of behavior?

Imb wrote;
Sure, you have every right to try to convince others that your conclusions have merit. But I still don't see how your point of view here is anything other than what you have deduced [reasoned] to be true "in your head". That you are convinced that you "know the way" I don't doubt. What I wait patiently for is an argument that might convince me in turn.


zinnat13 wrote:Imb, i do not make confirmative statements unless i am not 100% sure of anything. As i said before, it is no more the matter of in my head. I can show it physically too, precisely in the way which science believes but that moment has not come for me yet.


Two points.

I suspect that there are other scholars out there who view these relationships different from you. And I supsect that they too would argue that they are 100% certain of the asumptions they use to derive their conclusions.

But, so much more to the point [mine], there are folks "out in the world that we live in" who hold entirely different beliefs about entirely different Gods...and share entirely different value judgments regarding any number of human behaviors. And, based on my many years of experience as a political activist, I can assure you that lots and lots and lots of them claimed to be 100% certain about their own moral and political agendas. And their own religious convictions. That, in fact, is the world we live it. It is bursting at the seams with conflict.

How then are you not just one more person who has, is or will write a book examining and then delineating these relationships as they [allegedly] are said to really be?

And then, basically, you are telling me that, in regards to this exhange, the "hard physical or scientific" evidence will not be forthcoming until the book comes out. Instead, you wish to focus purely on philosophical issues. But how does that not just limit me to reacting to your definitions and deductions? Things you believe "in your head" to be true because your conclusions are derived from your assumptions/premises -- and not derived from any substantiave/substantial empirical evidence?

Perhaps then we should just put this exchange on hold until you are willing and able to integrate your philosophical speculations into the world of conflicting value judgments -- judgments that are in turn linked to our post-mortem fate.


zinnat13 wrote:
imb, you did not answer my simple question


Here though [again for me] this exchange with you is not all that different from the exchanges I have had with James.

I do answer your questions. I do answer them to the best of my ability. But [apparently] they are not the answers you want [or would have given yourself] and so, therefore, I am avoiding the questions.

However, to me, this is the difference between asking a medical doctor how she performs an abortion [and her giving you an answer that is true 100%] and asking an ethicist how she is 100% certain that the abortion is either moral or immoral. Or asking someone if he is 100% certain that he believes in the Christian God...and asking him if he is 100% certain that he can prove the actual existence of this God.

zinnat13 wrote: Yes, you have every right to question the findings and conclusions that i present, but not the methodology.

If you are serious about the discussion, you have to follow this. If this discussion is about ego (not conceding for anything), then it is different issue.


A "methodolgy" for me is relevant to the extent that I can at least imagine its existential use and exchange value with respect to actual human interactions. Interactions that revolve around identity, values and political/economic power. That is simply how I think about this relationship between words and worlds. And to the extent a "serious philosopher" keeps putting that relationship on hold is the extent to which I begin to wonder wonder if he or she has any accummulating evidence to close the gap between theory and practice.

zinnat13 wrote: If you live in the desert throughout your life, and someone tells you that s[n]ow falls from the sky in the hills, you may not believe him and you have every right to do that. But, when that person says that you have to come along to him to the hills to see whether it is true or not, you should ask him that he must show snowfall to you right there in the desert, otherwise you would not believe him. Is that a logical thing to do?


You make these distinctions but I truly do not understand the point. The desert does exist. The hills do exist. There is either snow falling in the hills or there is not. I would never insist that someone prove to me that snow does fall in the hills before going with with her to find out myself.

And basically what you seem to be doing here is telling me that objective morality does exist. And [somehow] it is connected to the existence of God. But you cannot now take me to this God able to confirm the existence of objective morality. Instead, we have to stay right here while you explain to me the philosophical "methodolgy" that must be grappled with and then wholly encompassed before that journey begins.

And then I ask myself: How is that really different from James insisting that he will not discuss the objective morality of Mary and John and their dead baby until I up into the stratosphere of abstraction with him and agree with his definitions and deductions pertaining to RM/AO.

And all I ask of him is at least some evidence that RM/AO is able to address the conflicting goods embedded existentially in the abortion conflagration "out in the world".

imb wrote;
I agree: God is not necessary in order for mere mortals to establish rules of behavior "down here". But God is surely necessary if mere mortals wish to connect that crucial dot between the behaviors they choose "down here" and attaining immortality and salvation "up there". And for those Christians who do not approach this "scholastically" that was, is and almost certainly always will be, the bottom line.


zinnat13 wrote: The only thing that required for up there is faith, nothing else. Most of the rest of the morality is meant for down here.


No. That is not how I construe these things. One can have faith in anything. Just as one can believe in anything. If all someone is telling me is that they have faith in God [or the precepts/tenets of their religion], why is that something I ought to lend any weight to? All I can do is keep pointing out that, historically, God and religion have always been linked instead to behaviors said to be judged by God -- such that in so being judged the immortality and salvation of a human soul itself is said to be at stake.

imb wrote;
Again, one is said to be "confused" here when they do not share your own assumptions about these relationships. As though religious scholars themselves must be wrong if they do not share your own narrative here. Are you suggesting this?


zinnat13 wrote: Yes, most of the modern religious scholars are confused nowdays. Because, they are not true scholars. Religions have been lost the capacity of producing true scholars anymore. All have borrowed knowledge now, not earned. And, that is precisely the reason of the present pathetic conditions of the religions.


So [like James] you are arguing that even "up there" among who those are well-educated in discussing these things philosophically, scientifically, theologically etc., there are conflicting and contradictory definitions/deductions being endlessly discussed and debated back and forth.

That then reminds me of the exchange between James and Eugene Morrow. They were not even discussing morality or conflicting goods. They were instead at odds relating to the physical laws of nature itself! In other words, relationships that would seem to revolve entirely around either/or.

imb wrote;
And any particular city that any particular individual will prefer to live in will revolve around how she has come to think about answering a question such as this from the perspective of dasein. And, as dasein, she will prefer the city that most closely embodies, existentially, her own set of values. And that, to me, would seem to be "common sense".


zinnat13 wrote: I asked you that which city do you prefer? Use your common sense or relative sense and answer from your perspective. Is that is so difficult thing to decide that you cannot choose A or B simply?


No, you are asking me which city "I" would prefer. But: "I" as I understand it is rooted in dasein. A particular dasein that, in the course of living his particular life, has acquired a set of values more or less conducive to living in one rather than another town. But that is not the same thing as suggesting [which I think you are] that any rational man or women would choose A or B. Here "common sense" revolves around your own interpretation of it. Right? But who are "you"? And why/how have you become predisposed existentially to choosing what you do? And is there [philosophically, scientifically, theologically, religiously etc] a choice that all rational folks would/could/should/must embrace?

To answer such questions with either a "simple" yes or a "simple" no is the sort of approach that someone like mr reasonable seems to take. But "simple" answers are the last thing that I would ever endorse. And if I were to answer "I don't know" it would be embedded in the assumption that objectively [given the nature of dasein and conflicting goods] no one can ever know the answer.

Again: We do not think about these things [these relationships] in the same way.

And what makes you and James objectivists to me is not the actual substance of your arguments, but the manner in which you both seem to be convinced that the substance that you espouse is within reach of anyone who is in fact a rational human being.

And then how you both [somehow] link this "substance" to the Christian God. Only, from my vantage point, neither of your arguments are really substantive at all. Merely an analysis/argument rooted in the circular logic of your definition and deductions.

Thus when you ask me if I can "show you where I am wrong?", there is nothing really substantial there for me to sink my teeth into. No beef. At least not yet.

imb wrote;
And then I begin to wonder: is this exchange just part and parcel of a "pure intellectual investigation" of God for you


zinnat13 wrote: Certainly. Why do you doubt? Just because, i am not following the line that you anticipated!


If this is the case, we may well want to just conclude this exchange right here. Right now. I am simply not interested in an "academic" or "scholastic" or "theological" pursuit of the relationship between God, religion, science, philosophy, objectivity, and morality. And I begin to suspect that your "very long and detailed answer" will just evolve into another "intellectual contraption" like RM/AO.

Perhaps, instead, we should wait until you have published your book and can discuss actual human behaviors like abortion and homosexuality then -- in less abstract terms.

imb wrote;
Okay, for the sake of argument, suppose you are not successful in taking me in this direction. Suppose I die still convinced that God is just basically the mother of all psychological defense mechanism. Given the manner in which you understand God now, what do you imagine my fate will be?


zinnat13 wrote:You faith will not make any difference to your fate ultimately. You will end up precisely where you are suppose to be, no matter what you believe or disbelieve. But yes, that can make a difference to the journey to this ending up.


This sounds rather Calvinistic. As though God really is omniscient/omnipotent such that He has sealed your fate from the very beginning. Thus it really makes no difference what behaviors you choose with respect to moral conflicts like abortion or homosexuality.

If so, isn't the journey itself just one more manifestation of it?

zinnat13 wrote:Remember, we are not arguing but discussing only.


When someone keeps suggesting that I am "confused" or "mistaken" regarding the answers I give. Or that I refuse to answer "simple" questions with "simple" answers, I am going to argue that this is not the case. When I am convinced that it is not. And as I noted to Phyllo above I do tend to become more or less polemical in exchanges such as this. Sorry. That's all but hard-wired into me after all these years.

But I understand your point and I will try to integrate that into me reactions should you decide to continue the exchange.

zinnat13 wrote:That parable establishes two things. The first one is that existence of many viewpoints does not mean that there cannot an objective version. Secondly, it says that one has to open his eyes (omniscience) to get the objective picture.


I agree. There may well be an objective answer with respect to points of view that come into conflict. But if one person argues that Jim will be executed for murdering Jane because Jim did in fact murder Jane [he admits it] and that Jim will be executed tomorrow at noon because in fact he will be executed tomorrow at noon, and another argues that none of this is true, the objective truth is there to be determined. None of it is just a matter of one's personal opinion.

But if some argue that his execution is moral while others argue that it is immoral, how is the "objective truth" to be determined then? Sure, it might exist. And some might link it to a particular God and He might exist. But how do philosophers determine it? And how do mere mortals [who are not omniscient] come up with a "simple" yes or no answer?
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 » Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:37 pm

All self generating Universes HAVE to obey the law of determinism.
It's so painfully obvious. The universe is necessary, so it is necessarily determined. There is no room for god in this finite scheme.


Is this observation then an inherent component of that universe? Are the words that I am typing here and now merely another intrinsic aspect of whatever the laws might have been that brought about the existence of the universe?

And are the ofttimes heated exchanges between theists and atheists here but more cosmological dominos toppling over on top of each other? Just an example of how astonishing the immutable laws of physics can be?

In other words, is there any possible way in which mere mortals can determine if the regress is derived from infinite space and time? from nothing at all? from God?

And what does it tell us about the nature of human psychology that there are actually an endless number of folks who really do believe that they have an answer.

Even the answer?!
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 zinnat » Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:24 pm

iambiguous wrote:Again, you assert this. As though to suggest that how you think about the use of language reflects the way any rational man or woman ought to think about it. As though the manner in which I think about it is somehow "wrong" because it is not the way that you think about it. Which is to say that [in my view] you reduce the extraordinary complexity of language [as it is actually used "out in the world"] down to your own point view. As though it were something analogous to mathematics or the laws of physics.

For me, however, the language that any particular individual uses "out in the world with others" can either express something that is true for all of us, or it is embedded [at least in part] in the subjective interpretation of any particular thing or relationship. And that certainly seems reasonable with respect to God and religion. It is the difference between saying "I am a Christian" -- when in fact you are -- and "every rational man and woman must be a Christian" -- which is just your own subjective point of view.

Now, you may argue that language can be precise with respect to both, but that merely emphasizes the manner in which we think about this relationship differently. One either is or is not a Christian. But how does one go about demonstrating objectively that all rational men and women must be?


My point was very simple.

The first thing is that our invented languages are not necessary for our perception/thinking. Our mind does not think in the terms of English or German.

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=186176

I have discussed this issue in detail in the above mentioned thread. You may have a look.

The second point is that when we communicate with others, firstly we have to translate our thoughts to our mutually understandable language. But, in no case, that translation would be 100% precise. There would be always some difference between what exactly we thought and what set of language we used to express that thought. That is first approximation.

Now, the other person would hear that language, and once again, his mind has to translate that set of language in its own terminology. And, just like the first time, this translation would be not 100% perfect this time also. This is second approximation.

That happens every time when we communicate. That is why i am saying that the language can never be precise but there will be some content of approximation in that for sure.

iambiguous wrote:True, "John is a bachelor" is bereft of context. But if John is a bachelor that is an objective fact. But suppose someone argues that, in being a bachelor, John is being immoral...or is not living in accordence with the will of [any particular] God? How is that established as in fact true objectively?


John is a bachelor is a fact or truth but in a limited sense. If you tell it to such person, who does not know John completely, what meaning would he draw from it? The only thing he would able to understand that John has not married yet, nothing else. He may also assume that by saying that John is bachelor, your intention may be that though he is ready or want to marry but not married yet. That is from where approximation starts.

But, you may be talking about such a John, who is impotent or in the coma for some years. Then, your statement (John is a bachelor) will lose its true meaning, even though it is a truth.

I was drawing your attention to this phenomenon. That happens in every communication. No matter how hard you try, your intent will not be conveyed by 100%, something will be always left behind.

imb wrote;


Now I am confused again. With respect to the biology of pregnancy and abortion, one truth fits all. It is what it is. It's not just a matter of one's personal opinion. But it is precisely the contradictory perspectives regarding the morality of abortion [rooted in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy] that [to me] renders deontological ethics impotent. In other words, "for all practical purposes".

Or so it seems to me unless and until someone demonstrates to me that this is not a rational manner in which think about it.


It seems to me that you did not get in which context i was saying that. I was talking about how the language operates between two persons, not the morality.

My point was that neither a women can explain what her physical and mental experiences were at the time of pregnancy, birth/abortion, not a man would be ever able to understand her feelings, no matter how hard both will try. That is the limitation of the language. Language is entirely dependent on the similarity of the experiences of the parties involved. Thus, the experience of womanhood could not be neither conveyed by the women nor understood by the men.

imb wrote;
As I have noted, that is not the presumption I make at all. All I can attest to is that you have not managed to convince me that you can. I would never argue that the objective truth regarding the morality of abortion does not exist. And it may well be embedded in the existence of a particular God. But I do not believe in God. And I believe morality is embedded instead in the dilemma that seems [to me] inherent in dasein and conflicting goods.


The fact of the matter is that we have not touched the actual subject yet. I have not said a single word about the God so far. We are rather engaged in objectivity/subjectivity discussion in different contexts.

imb wrote;
So, I can then assume that when you tell me that I am "confused" or "mistaken", you are expressing only a personal opinion derived from the assumptions [premises] you have accummulated with respect to these relsationships?


Certainly. Is there any other way of drawing the conclusions? Yes, those may be right or wrong.

But, the story does not end here. All conclusions derived by such methodology should be brought to the table and should be challenged and discussed. Then, the most appropriate conclusion should be accepted as an objective opinion by all. Merely saying that every opinion is subjective does not serve the purpose.

Secondly, it is true that every opinion bounds to be subjective, but this does not mean that all such subjective opinions must have equal value. There will be some merits/demerits and proofs/assumptions in every opinion and they should be judged on that benchmark. Keep the judgment pending is not the solution.

Imb wrote;
But sooner or later a religion either brings its theological assumptions [its abstract concepts/constructs] down to earth -- pertaining to conflicting value judgments precipitating conflicting begaviors -- or it does not. And it then links "down here" and "up there" -- pertaining to immortality and salvation -- or it does not.


But, they become philosophy when they do that.

As i said in the last post, what you considering as religions, are actually philosophies in true sense, not religions. In the strict sense, religions are limited to spiritual investigation by scholars in person. When their findings are used to form morality or lifestyle, they become philosophy by default. And, they should be seen accordingly too.

In crude language, religions are just lab assistants, which are on the payroll of philosophy.

imb wrote;
If it does not then [to me] it becomes basically another academic exercise entangled abstractly in a scholastic pursuit of a particular set of priori deductions and definitions.

Which in all honesty I am not nearly as much interested in.


Actually, that is what the religions are. What we are discussing here or people generally discuss considering religions, are philosophies, based on some spiritual findings.

As for the distinction made between religion and science on the one hand and philosophy on the other, my argument is that the tools of philosophy are of limited use with respect to dasein and conflicting goods. Reason and logic and epistemology can only penetrate so far here


That is precisely the perception that misleads you.

Like religions, science is also the lab assistant to philosophy. Science is restricted to the verifications of philosophical assumptions. That is how it has worked throughout the history of the mankind, except last 2-3 centuries, especially after Hume. I think that it was Hume, who is basically responsible for separating science from philosophy.

When science talks about assumptions like Big-Bang, how different is it from WTP of N?
Like religions, most of the science is also philosophy, if you exclude work done in the laboratories. These three streams of knowledge are so integrated and inter-dependent that you cannot draw a clear cut line between them.

I would like to draw your attention towards one more finding of the science. Einstein rejected the premise of Newton that the time is objective and concluded that it is also relative like location and speed. But, did he give any evidence of that? Not at the time, though it was later confirmed by placing two same clocks having same time at different heights like watch towers and satellites.

http://alternativephysics.org/book/Time ... iments.htm

Now, what would you call this whole process, right from assumption to physical verification, science or philosophy?

Imb wrote;
I suspect that there are other scholars out there who view these relationships different from you. And I supsect that they too would argue that they are 100% certain of the asumptions they use to derive their conclusions.


Quite possible.

imb wrote;
But, so much more to the point [mine], there are folks "out in the world that we live in" who hold entirely different beliefs about entirely different Gods...and share entirely different value judgments regarding any number of human behaviors. And, based on my many years of experience as a political activist, I can assure you that lots and lots and lots of them claimed to be 100% certain about their own moral and political agendas. And their own religious convictions. That, in fact, is the world we live it. It is bursting at the seams with conflict.


I can agree with that.

imb wrote;
How then are you not just one more person who has, is or will write a book examining and then delineating these relationships as they [allegedly] are said to really be?


I will certainly be one of those, neither first nor the last. I am well aware of that.
And, what i am trying to do here is homework or taking feedback for my book. I want to know in advance what criticism by book will attract, so that i can address that already.

Imb wrote,
And then, basically, you are telling me that, in regards to this exhange, the "hard physical or scientific" evidence will not be forthcoming until the book comes out.


Yes, because that is not possible on the net either and needs interaction in person. Secondly, nobody is going to believe me either, like you will say that it is all in my head. Do you not? So, what other option i have?

imb wrote;
Instead, you wish to focus purely on philosophical issues. But how does that not just limit me to reacting to your definitions and deductions? Things you believe "in your head" to be true because your conclusions are derived from your assumptions/premises -- and not derived from any substantiave/substantial empirical evidence?


No, actually it can also be proved philosophically to quite extent without going for new investigative scientific evidences, but by using some such phenomena, which is common and familiar (undisputed) to all. I will use those undisputed day to day experiences as evidences. There are many such phenomena around us but we do not pay attention to those. Actually, they are so common that we take those as granted.

imb wrote;
Perhaps then we should just put this exchange on hold until you are willing and able to integrate your philosophical speculations into the world of conflicting value judgments -- judgments that are in turn linked to our post-mortem fate.


Both things have to be done side by side. Without the theory, there cannot be any value judgments. You need a benchmark to judge anything.

imb wrote;
I do answer your questions. I do answer them to the best of my ability. But [apparently] they are not the answers you want [or would have given yourself] and so, therefore, I am avoiding the questions.


You are only saying so but not doing that honestly, at least you are sounding such to me.
Look at this statement of yours again.

imb wrote;
Here though [again for me] this exchange with you is not all that different from the exchanges I have had with James.


See, that is very straightforward and honest statement by you. You did not bring desdein into it, like you use it in every other statement. Why? Anyone can easily understand that you are passing a judgment and what is its true meaning. That clearly shows that it is not the case that you do not make clear subjective judgments. You do that when you want to do but when i am asking for the same, you steps back and vary carefully choose a very complex and confusing language, so i cannot accuse of taking a call. That is my objection.

And to the extent a "serious philosopher" keeps putting that relationship on hold is the extent to which I begin to wonder if he or she has any accummulating evidence to close the gap between theory and practice.


I was talking precisely about your that habit of wondering. All i was saying that do not wonder or try to presume what is pertinent or not before i complete my any point by putting all things into perspective. After that, you are welcome to question as hard as you like.

I may lead you to some points or some phenomena, which may seem to you completely out of the context, but they will be not. You will also realize their relevance later.

Imb, you need to understand what i am trying to do and why. I can put all that very succinctly and directly but that would be in the way which i understand. That may be difficult for you to comprehend because you have gone through that what i experienced. Thus, you will keep repeating the same phrase of yours that is all in the head, not out there in the reality. And, this whole discussion will come to an end without achieving anything.

Thus, to overcome this problem, i am trying to talk in the language of your head, instead of my head. That is why i come up with these simple questions between our discussion. That will help your head to tune with my head. There is no other reason whatsoever. But, that can serve the purpose only when you give me honest and straight answers, not manipulative ones.

You make these distinctions but I truly do not understand the point. The desert does exist. The hills do exist. There is either snow falling in the hills or there is not. I would never insist that someone prove to me that snow does fall in the hills before going with her to find out myself.


But, You may have not realized but that is exactly what you did by questioning the validity of my question. You refused to come along to the hills to verify the snowfall. You are saying that going to the hill is not pertinent with the verification of snowfall.

And basically what you seem to be doing here is telling me that objective morality does exist. And [somehow] it is connected to the existence of God. But you cannot now take me to this God able to confirm the existence of objective morality. Instead, we have to stay right here while you explain to me the philosophical "methodolgy" that must be grappled with and then wholly encompassed before that journey begins.


Actually i am taking you to the God, though not physically but philosophically for sure. You can make that journey from where you are. But, let your intellect travel with me to new thoughts. Do not question my way of constructing the argument, but only the argument itself. Otherwise, it would be the same mistake that the man of that desert analogy does.

And then I ask myself: How is that really different from James insisting that he will not discuss the objective morality of Mary and John and their dead baby until I up into the stratosphere of abstraction with him and agree with his definitions and deductions pertaining to RM/AO.

And all I ask of him is at least some evidence that RM/AO is able to address the conflicting goods embedded existentially in the abortion conflagration "out in the world".


You seem to be too much influenced by the James, either in right way or wrong way. We are not discussing here what James thinks or not. Please get out of this.

So [like James] you are arguing that even "up there" among who those are well-educated in discussing these things philosophically, scientifically, theologically etc., there are conflicting and contradictory definitions/deductions being endlessly discussed and debated back and forth.

That then reminds me of the exchange between James and Eugene Morrow. They were not even discussing morality or conflicting goods. They were instead at odds relating to the physical laws of nature itself! In other words, relationships that would seem to revolve entirely around either/or.


You completely misunderstood my point. I was not talking about all this.

If you remember my definition of the religions, which i gave above in this thread too, they are restricted to metaphysical investigations/spiritual practices in person. But, religious scholars do not do that anymore. They found faith in something by either by culture or reading the literature instead, to be a religious scholar, and think that they have been become a true religious scholar but they are not. They are actually mere intellectuals having faith in any particular philosophy. Religiosity entails investigation in person, otherwise it is mere philosophy.

Let me explain it. There would be a lot of difference in the understanding of a mere commentator and a real player. A commentator cannot be a true one, unless he is not played the game in person. What religions have now are mere commentators, who have never played the game themselves but trying to be an expert merely on the basis of known experiences of the past players. But, then the issue of the language approximation comes into play and that will not let them to understand what the other person has actually said and they start interpreting scriptures according to their incomplete understanding. That is exactly what the most of the religious scholars are doing since long.

No, you are asking me which city "I" would prefer. But: "I" as I understand it is rooted in dasein. A particular dasein that, in the course of living his particular life, has acquired a set of values more or less conducive to living in one rather than another town. But that is not the same thing as suggesting [which I think you are] that any rational man or women would choose A or B. Here "common sense" revolves around your own interpretation of it. Right? But who are "you"? And why/how have you become predisposed existentially to choosing what you do? And is there [philosophically, scientifically, theologically, religiously etc] a choice that all rational folks would/could/should/must embrace?


You stretching this like a rubber. I am not saying that your I is not rooted in a particular dasein. Of course, it certainly would be. I am neither challenging it nor asking you to discard that either. All i am asking you to use that dasein and give me an answer at least, instead of repeating again and again that your values are rooted in your such subjective dasein, which i cannot understand.

To answer such questions with either a "simple" yes or a "simple" no is the sort of approach that someone like mr reasonable seems to take. But "simple" answers are the last thing that I would ever endorse.


But, you do not stick to this your very mindset or principle when you gave definition of subjectivists in the other thread!
Look again-

iambiguous wrote:
But James, as with all objectivists, will never, ever concede that any argument other than his own is the most rational.


Now, what is this? Is it not a simple yes or no? Are you not very clearly concluding that objectivists will never concede to anyone? Did you not use your I here, which is rooted in your particular dasein, to draw a unmanipulated, simple and clear cut answer? But, you refuse to do the same when i ask you any question. Why do you behave differently when you want to decide anything and when i ask you to decide? And, this statement of yours is not the only one such example. You do that often.

That is my objection. Had you showed the same mindset regarding all the issues, i would have not objected. And, that also gives me impression that you are being selective with your this premise of subjectivity and use and discard it according to your convince.

imb wrote;
And if I were to answer "I don't know" it would be embedded in the assumption that objectively [given the nature of dasein and conflicting goods] no one can ever know the answer.


No, that is not true. I do not know merely means that a particular person does not know. It does not entail that no one can ever know it. You may be unable to decide the objectivity but someone else, now or in the future, may be able to do that.

And what makes you and James objectivists to me is not the actual substance of your arguments, but the manner in which you both seem to be convinced that the substance that you espouse is within reach of anyone who is in fact a rational human being.


That is certainly true in my case. I will not deny that even if that is some sort of shortcoming, mistake or accusation by you. Having said that, i listen to other versions and my criticism patiently and open to change for the better too.

Having said that, I want to add a slight caveat to that. Objectivism is as much about the process too, as about the goal. If an objectivist will not able to find the perfect solution, it would settle for the best among the lot.

I am simply not interested in an "academic" or "scholastic" or "theological" pursuit of the relationship between God, religion, science, philosophy, objectivity, and morality. And I begin to suspect that your "very long and detailed answer" will just evolve into another "intellectual contraption" like RM/AO.


imb, to be honest, i do not know exactly what you expect from me and how you are expecting me to give you that. All i am trying to do in this thread is giving you the proof of the God, in the best way that you can understand and is possible on the net. That is all. And, that would be nothing like RM/AO but very simple arguments about very simple and common things/phenomena around us.

inb wrote;
If this is the case, we may well want to just conclude this exchange right here. Right now.

Perhaps, instead, we should wait until you have published your book and can discuss actual human behaviors like abortion and homosexuality then -- in less abstract terms.


I do not have any issue either in continuing or concluding. That depends entirely upon you. I am open either way. If you see any worth in having discussion with me, you can continue, otherwise you can simply ask me to stop. I would not mind that at all. As you initiated this thread, thus should be your call. Though, personally i do not mind continuing. The only thing I would never tolerate is losing civility.

imb wrote;
This sounds rather Calvinistic.


Maybe. You asked me a question and i give you such answer which i consider true.

imb wrote'
As though God really is omniscient/omnipotent such that He has sealed your fate from the very beginning. Thus it really makes no difference what behaviors you choose with respect to moral conflicts like abortion or homosexuality.


It actually makes do difference to the ultimate outcome.

If so, isn't the journey itself just one more manifestation of it?


No. The journey is predetermined at macro level only, not the micro level. There is some room for free will also in the broder framework of determination. And, that free will can change the course and time taken during the journey, though ultimately it will end up precisely where it was supposed to be initially.

When someone keeps suggesting that I am "confused" or "mistaken" regarding the answers I give. Or that I refuse to answer "simple" questions with "simple" answers, I am going to argue that this is not the case.


I am not saying that you should not explain yourself. I just told you my intention behind this discussion.

But I understand your point and I will try to integrate that into me reactions should you decide to continue the exchange.


Glad to hear that.

I agree. There may well be an objective answer with respect to points of view that come into conflict.


Yes.

But if one person argues that Jim will be executed for murdering Jane because Jim did in fact murder Jane [he admits it] and that Jim will be executed tomorrow at noon because in fact he will be executed tomorrow at noon, and another argues that none of this is true, the objective truth is there to be determined. None of it is just a matter of one's personal opinion.


Sorry, i did not get what you are trying to say here. It looks to me that perhaps there is some linguistic issue with that.

imb wrote;
But if some argue that his execution is moral while others argue that it is immoral, how is the "objective truth" to be determined then? Sure, it might exist. And some might link it to a particular God and He might exist. But how do philosophers determine it? And how do mere mortals [who are not omniscient] come up with a "simple" yes or no answer?


By discussing and testing all viewpoints from every possible angles, with the best of the our ability and honestly too.

with love,
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:14 pm

zinnat13 wrote:
iambiguous wrote:For me...the language that any particular individual uses "out in the world with others" can either express something that is true for all of us, or it is embedded [at least in part] in the subjective interpretation of any particular thing or relationship. And that certainly seems reasonable with respect to God and religion. It is the difference between saying "I am a Christian" -- when in fact you are -- and "every rational man and woman must be a Christian" -- which is just your own subjective point of view.


My point was very simple.

The first thing is that our invented languages are not necessary for our perception/thinking. Our mind does not think in the terms of English or German.

The second point is that when we communicate with others, firstly we have to translate our thoughts to our mutually understandable language. But, in no case, that translation would be 100% precise. There would be always some difference between what exactly we thought and what set of language we used to express that thought. That is first approximation.

Now, the other person would hear that language, and once again, his mind has to translate that set of language in its own terminology. And, just like the first time, this translation would be not 100% perfect this time also. This is second approximation.

That happens every time when we communicate. That is why i am saying that the language can never be precise but there will be some content of approximation in that for sure.


But what does this really -- really -- have to do with the distinctions I keep making between words that are able to express what is true objectively for all of us [the laws of nature, empirical facts, the rules of language etc.] and words that seem able only to express a subjective point of view?

There may not be a precise translation when a German and an English doctor discuss performing abortions, but that which they are discussing is still embedded in the objective reality of human biology.

Not so when they discuss the morality of abortion. When one views abortion as moral and the other immoral.

How much less precise is the language then?

imb wrote;
With respect to the biology of pregnancy and abortion, one truth fits all. It is what it is. It's not just a matter of one's personal opinion. But it is precisely the contradictory perspectives regarding the morality of abortion [rooted in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy] that [to me] renders deontological ethics impotent. In other words, "for all practical purposes".

Or so it seems to me unless and until someone demonstrates to me that this is not a rational manner in which think about it.


zinnat13 wrote:It seems to me that you did not get in which context i was saying that. I was talking about how the language operates between two persons, not the morality.

My point was that neither a women can explain what her physical and mental experiences were at the time of pregnancy, birth/abortion, not a man would be ever able to understand her feelings, no matter how hard both will try. That is the limitation of the language. Language is entirely dependent on the similarity of the experiences of the parties involved. Thus, the experience of womanhood could not be neither conveyed by the women nor understood by the men.


Same here. What does this really -- really -- have to do with addressing the point I am raising? We can use language to encompass both the biology of human sexuality and the biology of abortion...and this biology [embedded in the evolution of life on earth] is the same around the globe for all flesh and blood human beings. That, biologically, men are not women is an objective fact. And from this fact men can never understand pregnancy and abortion as women do. But who is arguing that they ought to? And yet "out in the world" there are both men and women who argue that abortion is either moral or immoral.

When are you then going to focus the beam more on the manner in which I discuss these opposing moral agendas with respect to dasein, conflicting goods and political economy? Biology is one thing, morality something altogether different with respect to things we can reduce down to either/or.

imb wrote;

As I have noted, that is not the presumption I make at all. All I can attest to is that you have not managed to convince me that you can. I would never argue that the objective truth regarding the morality of abortion does not exist. And it may well be embedded in the existence of a particular God. But I do not believe in God. And I believe morality is embedded instead in the dilemma that seems [to me] inherent in dasein and conflicting goods.


zinnat13 wrote: The fact of the matter is that we have not touched the actual subject yet. I have not said a single word about the God so far. We are rather engaged in objectivity/subjectivity discussion in different contexts.


But this just reminds me yet again of James. In other words, only when I have finally understood the technical, philosophical distinction between "objective" and "subjective" [or the one true distinction between science, philosophy and religion] can we then move on to the parts that intrigue me. The parts relating to actual conflicting behaviors of actual human beings interacting out in the actual world that we live in.

Ah, but that will only happen [or so it certainly seems to me here and now] when I am able to agree with him about what this distinction is "logically", "epistemologically". Which [of course] entails that I embrace his own definitions and deductions. After all, how can his conclusions be said to be true unless they follow from his premises?

And here he becomes but one more objectivist qua abstractionist.

imb wrote;
So, I can then assume that when you tell me that I am "confused" or "mistaken", you are expressing only a personal opinion derived from the assumptions [premises] you have accummulated with respect to these relsationships?
....
But sooner or later a religion either brings its theological assumptions [its abstract concepts/constructs] down to earth -- pertaining to conflicting value judgments precipitating conflicting begaviors -- or it does not. And it then links "down here" and "up there" -- pertaining to immortality and salvation -- or it does not.


zinnat13 wrote: Certainly. Is there any other way of drawing the conclusions? Yes, those may be right or wrong.

But, the story does not end here. All conclusions derived by such methodology should be brought to the table and should be challenged and discussed. Then, the most appropriate conclusion should be accepted as an objective opinion by all. Merely saying that every opinion is subjective does not serve the purpose.

Secondly, it is true that every opinion bounds to be subjective, but this does not mean that all such subjective opinions must have equal value. There will be some merits/demerits and proofs/assumptions in every opinion and they should be judged on that benchmark. Keep the judgment pending is not the solution.


And my reaction is invariably the same: What in the world does this have to do with the lives that we actually live? Now, the preponderance of religionists that I have come upon in venues such as this may not be as scholarly in grasping the manner in which you connect the dots between religion and philosophy, but at least I recognized the world that we do live in when they spoke of their belief in God. I just didn't share their faith.

Imb wrote,
And then, basically, you are telling me that, in regards to this exhange, the "hard physical or scientific" evidence will not be forthcoming until the book comes out.


zinnat13 wrote: Yes, because that is not possible on the net either and needs interaction in person. Secondly, nobody is going to believe me either, like you will say that it is all in my head. Do you not? So, what other option i have?


When I discuss the manner in which I construe the relationship between words, language, objectivity, subjectivity, moral and political values, identity, political economy etc., I don't have any problems illustrating the text. Over and again I situate the manner in which I have come to understand the meaning of these words into actual flesh and blood human interactions. Indeed, I always ask the moral objectivists I come upon to join me "down here" so that we can in fact make our arguments more substantive.

You say:

zinnat13 wrote:...actually it can also be proved philosophically to quite extent without going for new investigative scientific evidences, but by using some such phenomena, which is common and familiar (undisputed) to all. I will use those undisputed day to day experiences as evidences. There are many such phenomena around us but we do not pay attention to those. Actually, they are so common that we take those as granted.


But I don't really have a clue as to what this actually means. It is simply too abstract pertaining to conflicting value judgments...and the manner in which they are embedded in a religous narrative.

Instead, I must first grasp your "theory". And then back again to understanding [and agreeing with] your definitions and your deductions. Out of which you extract the asssumptions that [circularly] make your arguments true objectively. That is how I react to abstractions like these.

imb wrote;
I do answer your questions. I do answer them to the best of my ability. But [apparently] they are not the answers you want [or would have given yourself] and so, therefore, I am avoiding the questions.


zinnat13 wrote:You are only saying so but not doing that honestly, at least you are sounding such to me.


Yes, if I were answering them honestly you would recognize it as the sort of answer that is honest. And that will be the sort of answer that you would give. And then around and around we go.

zinnat13 wrote:Look at this statement of yours again.

imb wrote;
Here though [again for me] this exchange with you is not all that different from the exchanges I have had with James.


See, that is very straightforward and honest statement by you. You did not bring desdein into it, like you use it in every other statement. Why? Anyone can easily understand that you are passing a judgment and what is its true meaning. That clearly shows that it is not the case that you do not make clear subjective judgments. You do that when you want to do but when i am asking for the same, you steps back and vary carefully choose a very complex and confusing language, so i cannot accuse of taking a call. That is my objection.


In my view, my language is "complex and confusing" because it requires your language to come down out of the clouds of abstraction...i.e. to note how it is is relevant to the lives that we live. Lives that again and again come into conflict over moral, political and religious values. And, in my view, you will become more honest [as I perceive the meaning of that word here] when you are able to acknowledge just how much your argument is dependent on the internal logic of those definitions and deductions.

And I use dasein only when it is appropriate. In other words, when it pertains to identity and to value judgments. And then, time and again, I note the many, many, many instances in which it is not relevant at all: regarding that which is in fact true objectively for all of us. So, no, I do not keep repeating [mindlessly] the phrase "in your head". I note instead the crucial the distinction between what we claim to believe is true subjectively "in our heads" and that which we are then able to demonstrate to others is in fact true objectively "out in the world" for all of us. Thus, when I ask "where's the beef?" I am merely noting how, in my own estimation, you do not do this. Instead, as with James, that part will always come "later".

You make these distinctions but I truly do not understand the point. The desert does exist. The hills do exist. There is either snow falling in the hills or there is not. I would never insist that someone prove to me that snow does fall in the hills before going with her to find out myself.


zinnat13 wrote:But, You may have not realized but that is exactly what you did by questioning the validity of my question. You refused to come along to the hills to verify the snowfall. You are saying that going to the hill is not pertinent with the verification of snowfall.


But you don't take me to the hills at all here. Instead, you want me to go "up there" where we can discuss the hills and the falling snow "theoretically". Only after I have come understand this as you do can we go to the actual hills. Same with objective morality and God. Again, they come "later". Now, however, as "serious philosophers", we must first learn how to think "logically" about these things. The way James does. Or the way you do. Or the way hundreds and hundreds of additional objectivists do. And then when I point out how they all embrace conflicting and contradictory moral, political and religious dogmas, I am basically told, "well, what does that have to do with anything?" What counts, in other words, is that their own "theory" is the correct one.

You tell me that when our journey ends here you will not be taking me to the real God "physically", but to the real God "philosophically". Similarly, you will not be focusing here on resolving any actual "conflicting goods" I note with respect to issues like abortion or homosexuality; but only in demonstrating the "philosophical" truth one needs to grasp in order to bring the "logic" down here.

And then I ask myself: How is that really different from James insisting that he will not discuss the objective morality of Mary and John and their dead baby until I up into the stratosphere of abstraction with him and agree with his definitions and deductions pertaining to RM/AO.

And all I ask of him is at least some evidence that RM/AO is able to address the conflicting goods embedded existentially in the abortion conflagration "out in the world".


zinnat13 wrote:You seem to be too much influenced by the James, either in right way or wrong way. We are not discussing here what James thinks or not. Please get out of this.


James in my view is an abstractionist. At least with respect to moral and political value judgments and to God. In some threads, he has this "theoretical" construct where everything fits together "logically". And then, in other threads, he passes judgments on particular human behaviors. "Up there" here and "down here" there. But he refuses to connect the dots between them.

So [like James] you are arguing that even "up there" among who those are well-educated in discussing these things philosophically, scientifically, theologically etc., there are conflicting and contradictory definitions/deductions being endlessly discussed and debated back and forth.

That then reminds me of the exchange between James and Eugene Morrow. They were not even discussing morality or conflicting goods. They were instead at odds relating to the physical laws of nature itself! In other words, relationships that would seem to revolve entirely around either/or.


zinnat13 wrote:You completely misunderstood my point. I was not talking about all this.

If you remember my definition of the religions, which i gave above in this thread too, they are restricted to metaphysical investigations/spiritual practices in person. But, religious scholars do not do that anymore. They found faith in something by either by culture or reading the literature instead, to be a religious scholar, and think that they have been become a true religious scholar but they are not. They are actually mere intellectuals having faith in any particular philosophy. Religiosity entails investigation in person, otherwise it is mere philosophy.

Let me explain it. There would be a lot of difference in the understanding of a mere commentator and a real player. A commentator cannot be a true one, unless he is not played the game in person. What religions have now are mere commentators, who have never played the game themselves but trying to be an expert merely on the basis of known experiences of the past players. But, then the issue of the language approximation comes into play and that will not let them to understand what the other person has actually said and they start interpreting scriptures according to their incomplete understanding. That is exactly what the most of the religious scholars are doing since long.


Al I can do here is once again note how [to me] this is an analysis/argument that amounts to little more than a string of words defining and defending more words still. Is it true? Well, true with respect to what? How is it relevant to the lives that we live from day to day? Of what practical use or exchange value is it when we are confronted with the question, "how ought I to live?"

In fact, this is precisely the sort "dueling deduction" approach to philosophy that we come across on threads like Lys's "Performance Ontology". Paragraph after paragraph after paragraph of these dense, scholastic, autodidactic abstractions. The stuff of pedants more often than not. In my view, this is precisely what makes "serious philosophy" today increasingly irrelevant to the lives we live.

No, you are asking me which city "I" would prefer. But: "I" as I understand it is rooted in dasein. A particular dasein that, in the course of living his particular life, has acquired a set of values more or less conducive to living in one rather than another town. But that is not the same thing as suggesting [which I think you are] that any rational man or women would choose A or B. Here "common sense" revolves around your own interpretation of it. Right? But who are "you"? And why/how have you become predisposed existentially to choosing what you do? And is there [philosophically, scientifically, theologically, religiously etc] a choice that all rational folks would/could/should/must embrace?


zinnat13 wrote:You stretching this like a rubber. I am not saying that your I is not rooted in a particular dasein. Of course, it certainly would be. I am neither challenging it nor asking you to discard that either. All i am asking you to use that dasein and give me an answer at least, instead of repeating again and again that your values are rooted in your such subjective dasein, which i cannot understand.


But: What you are asking me to do is to answer this question such that the manner in which I think about any particular individual answering a question such as this is discarded altogether.

As though there were a "real me" that would be able to answer it as either A or B. As though "theoretically" a true philosopher would clearly be able to answer it in the only logical manner in which a rational human being could answer it. And yet over and again I do situate the manner in which "I" understanding these relationships out in the actual world. Something I can never get you to do. Only when questions and answers like this are reduced down to either/or are moral objectivists satisfied. Or, rather, this has been my own experience with them.

imb wrote;
Perhaps, instead, we should wait until you have published your book and can discuss actual human behaviors like abortion and homosexuality then -- in less abstract terms.


zinnat13 wrote:I do not have any issue either in continuing or concluding. That depends entirely upon you. I am open either way. If you see any worth in having discussion with me, you can continue, otherwise you can simply ask me to stop. I would not mind that at all. As you initiated this thread, thus should be your call. Though, personally i do not mind continuing. The only thing I would never tolerate is losing civility.


For me, this always comes down to the extent to which I become convinced that someone's "definitions and deductions" will never pitch tent down here until and unless I agree to go up into the stratosphere in order to discuss and debate how, once and for all [logically], a truly serious philosopher must define and deduce these things.

As with James, I ask you only to at least give me a rough idea of how your moral and religious values "down here" are intertwined into your philosophical sense of how one distinguishes between an objective truth and a subjective point of view. James, of course, won't go anywhere near that until I do agree to discuss all this "theoretically". And then [though he won't admit this] agree that his TOE must be the starting point when finally grappling with "existential reality".

But if one person argues that Jim will be executed for murdering Jane because Jim did in fact murder Jane [he admits it] and that Jim will be executed tomorrow at noon because in fact he will be executed tomorrow at noon, and another argues that none of this is true, the objective truth is there to be determined. None of it is just a matter of one's personal opinion.


zinnat13 wrote: Sorry, i did not get what you are trying to say here. It looks to me that perhaps there is some linguistic issue with that.


Linguistic? I am noting something that is in fact true with regard to all actual contexts in which someone does commit a capital crime. He admits that he committed the crime. The evidence confirms it overwhelmingly. And since the crime is a capital offense, he is sentenced to be executed for committing it.

Who is going to argue about the meaning of these words? If all of this is true objectively, what does it then mean [for all practical purposes] for someone to say that, on the contrary, in his opinion, none of it is true?

Instead, the heated discussions and debates revolve around whether it is just and moral for the state to execute the man.

Around political narratives like this: http://deathpenalty.procon.org/

In other words, to what extent, using the tools of philosophy, are rational men and women able to employ language in order to articulate the most rational argument of all? So as to articulate a deontological assesmment of this conflict.

And then, to what extent is someone who believes in God, able to integrate this argument into their religious narrative in turn.

And, in my view, it is in responding to this that you and James seem basically cut from the same cloth.

Or, rather, so it seems to me here and now.

You say that this can be accomplished...

zinnat13 wrote: ....[b]y discussing and testing all viewpoints from every possible angles, with the best of the our ability and honestly too.


But how in the world could any mere mortal come even remotely close to making contact with all of the various conflicting viewpoints here? After all, most of these viewpoints are precisely rooted in all of the many historical, cultural and experiential contexts that millions upon millions of different men and women have been embedded in throughout human history.

How could one's "ability" and "honesty" not be profoundly problematic here precisely for this reason?

Or consider this:

Mike wants Mitch to be executed because Mitch raped, tortured and killed his 12 year old daughter. His death will at least bring him some closure, some peace of mind to him and his family.

Mary does not want Mitch killed because Mitch is her brother. His execution will cause her [and her family] great pain and suffering.

Here are words being used to articulate a context viewed from two conflicting points of view. Now, given your own philosophical tenets and religious beliefs, what would your own reaction be?

Again, at least nudge me in the direction you would like for me to go.
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 27, 2014 6:02 pm

"Imagine no religion"--that's possible. Imagine no spirituality--not possible. I could wish for my children that they know the difference and do not have to become atheists simply as a reaction to the harm religion caused and causes in this world.


Another quote from John Lennon: "God is a concept by which we measure our pain".

And who does not have to endure pain? Now, with religion you have a place to dump it all. With God [whether in the context of a particular denomination or in a broader -- and considerably vaguer -- "spiritual" relationship] you can situate it in His "Will", in His plan for you, in His "mysterious ways".

So, sure, if you are able to acquire [existentially, as dasein] such a "spiritual" connection with your own "personal" God, why not? You can merely point to what you believe to be true about Him "in your head".

But then [in my view] you are still faced with this: What ought I to do such that my behaviors "down here" will be judged favorably by God "up there" so as to attain immortality and salvation?

And what of those who believe in another, different God? Or those who believe in no God at all? What will be their fate?

But, for the ecumenical religionists, is that really their concern at all? As long as they are covered "spiritually" regarding their own "personal" relationship with God, that need be as far as it goes.

I only wish that I could figure out a way to believe that "in my head".
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 zinnat » Sat Nov 29, 2014 4:28 am

sorry
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby zinnat » Sat Nov 29, 2014 4:33 am

Lmb,

I am sorry for the delay. I am not having much spare time since last 3-4 days.

Actually, the first issue with me that the English is neither my first language nor i am an expert of it. I cannot think in the terms of English. I have to think in my mother tounge before translating it into English, especially regarding subtle and complex issues. That takes a lot of time.

Secondly, for some reasons, my mind takes a long time to reach any conclusion. And, i cannot do that it parts. Means, i need at least two hours time at a streach to reply in such threads, in which we are involved right now. That makes it more diffcult for me.

I hope that you understand and bear with me.

Nevertheless, i will make posts tomorrow in both of the threads.

with love,
sanjay
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:20 am

Will we get a syncretistic religion?


This, in other words: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syncretism

And isn't that just another rendition of this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecumenism

Now, sure, I can well understand the appeal of this. In fact, I was once a member of the Unitarian church right here in Baltimore. And Untitarian-Universalism is not all that far removed from the two above: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unitarian_Universalism

It is appealing because it seeks to obviate the sectarian nature of denominational religion and places the emphasis more on your own personal "spititual growth". It was basically my own attempt to find some sort of middle ground between "our God" in the Protestant Community Church and "no God at all".

But it didn't take. Or not for long. I was becoming increasingly more embedded in the political struggle to reconfigure "the system" back then; and many, many folks here were quite radical. And that invariably meant that they were atheists. And so I became one too.

Also, I have never really understood how one can believe in a God, the God...then subscribe to one or another rendition of scripture...then link it all to one or another rendition immortality and salvation.

It was like a "cafeteria" approach to right and wrong, moral and immoral behavior. As long as you were able to convince yourself that any particular behaivor was not a Sin, then God would overlook it on Judgment Day. You know, if it did not coincide with His actual will.

Thus it seemed more a way to reduce everything down to some vague "spiritual" intuition. A way to set aside conflicting value judgments rather then to meet them head on.
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 Nov 30, 2014 1:21 am

zinnat13 wrote:Lmb,

I am sorry for the delay. I am not having much spare time since last 3-4 days.

Actually, the first issue with me that the English is neither my first language nor i am an expert of it. I cannot think in the terms of English. I have to think in my mother tounge before translating it into English, especially regarding subtle and complex issues. That takes a lot of time.

Secondly, for some reasons, my mind takes a long time to reach any conclusion. And, i cannot do that it parts. Means, i need at least two hours time at a streach to reply in such threads, in which we are involved right now. That makes it more diffcult for me.

I hope that you understand and bear with me.

Nevertheless, i will make posts tomorrow in both of the threads.

with love,
sanjay


Again, respond when you are able. No problem from my end.
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 Nov 30, 2014 8:42 pm

Talk of bread would involve finding and compiling the necessary ingredients, cooking at the proper temperature, cooling down, breaking and eating.


Of course the necessary ingredients here are the actual ingredients one either has access to or does not. You either have bread to eat in the end or you do not.

The same steps are found in the Bread of Life, i.e. the holy spirit.


And, yes, there are folks who can then make that leap from bread that you bake in an actual oven with actual ingredients to the "bread of life" where the ingredients become baked "in your head". Speculative ingredients that allow you to feel what you have come to connote as a "spiritual" frame of mind.

But since the "bread of life" is basically just a subjective point of view, it is all but futile trying to refute it. If for no other reason that you are not able to experience it yourself. After all, in order to experience it you would have to have lived the life of one who does.

All you can do here is to point this out to the "true believer" and ask him the extent to which he is then able to demonstrate beyond what he believes to be true "in his head" is in fact true.
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 01, 2014 1:35 am

I'm not sure that [synergistic religion] is what we need, and therefore I would say no.

What we need is a reconciliation to the understanding that all human beings have a world view, and cultures promote a world view which best helps them as a society. Religion is essentially a set of ideas about the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, and everyone has some idea about that, but opt for the one which brings the biggest advantages.

The current disarray in the world has to do with fear and lack of empathy for other people. The West is forcing its "way of life" on people who are rightly sceptical about many aspects of western life, and we are jolted by the extremism it brings forth. The has to do with our ignorance of the effect of globalisation on other cultures, as well as the fact that we don't really care, even if we are not so bold as to say that. We want resources in the whole world and therefore we want people to become "civilized".

The fact that we in the west have chosen agnosticim or atheism, or a bland or even a militant brand of Christianity is made to be the measure for all other people. The atrocities of small groups are blown out of proportion in comparison to the way the west has forced itself on other people. Some day we may have a universal faith, but it won't be syncretistic, because it will not reconcile.

A syncretistic religion would be a religion of the soul and inclusive rather than exclusive


I think this is a fairly reasonable way in which to imagine one possible future for religion. But [of necessity] it is conveyed in a rather abstract manner. It notes the role that political economy plays in shaping and molding our existential narratives down here in "the real world" -- but it is not able to actually prescribe any practical remedies.

I merely suggest then that there are two possible reasons for this: dasein and conflicting goods.

It seems to me that [at best] we can agree only to disagree about the stuff that can never be resolved objectively -- other than in a world in which one or another God does choose to reveal Himself such that even the most devout atheist has to admit to His existence.

And then He can finally lay down the law regarding what either is or is not a Sin.

And then we can either agree to behave accordingly or not. Assuming someone is able to explain how human autonomy is reconcilable with a God that is said to be omniscient. Assuming that any actual existing God is.
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 01, 2014 6:23 pm

There are theists who positively affect the world just like there are atheists who positively affect the world, same goes for spiritual people and non spiritual people.


This is basically the point I keep coming back to.

We can discuss and debate the meaning of words like "God", "religion", "soul" and "spirit". We can try [to the best of our abilities] to relate to others what these words have come to mean to us in the context of the life that we have lived.

That, in my view, is the "in my head" part. That's the part where some folks are comforted and consoled by the manner in which they have come to react to these words in a particular way out in a particular word.

But that is basically where many stop. They simply will not or cannot broach the implications of this when behaviors come into conflict over value judgments. In other words, how do they factor what these words have come to mean to them into their reaction to moral and political conflicts?

For example, are they arguing that those on either side of the abortion conflict who believe in God, the soul, a spiritual or religious narrative etc., are all justified in behaving in accordance with their belief?

Are they suggesting that the particular God they believe in will not judge those who are either for or against abortion -- as long as their faith/belief in Him is genuine?

As always, it is the relationship between "in my head" and "out in the world with others", between "down here" and "up there", that most intrigues me. So, I wonder, why doesn't it also seem to intrigue them?
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 Dec 03, 2014 5:34 pm

I don't have "An argument for the existence of God". What argument I might make depends upon to whom I am presenting it. A good argument to one is a poor argument to another.

But I tend to begin with the definition of a god and of the God:
A god ≡ who/whatever incontestably determines what can or cannot be concerning a particular situation.
The God ≡ Who/Whatever incontestably determines All that can or cannot be concerning any situation.

Care to challenge that much?


How in the world can someone [anyone] challange it? Basically what the poster is arguing is that "in his head" he has defined "a God" to be this and "the God" to be that.

Now, he either believes this to be true or he does not. But how does he go about demonstrating that what he believes is true "intellectually", "theoretically" etc., is so other than in insisting that others must believe it in their heads too.

The whole argument is completely insubstantial...relying soley on what someone claims is true if you share his premises. That is the font of his "objectivity".

Thus a "good" or a "poor" argument revolves wholly around figuring out a way to get others to share your deductions regarding the "act" of defining God.

And, really, what does any of that have to so with the lives that we live "out in the world" with others?
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 zinnat » Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:59 pm

Sorry imb, I could not kept my promise.

iambiguous wrote:But what does this really -- really -- have to do with the distinctions I keep making between words that are able to express what is true objectively for all of us [the laws of nature, empirical facts, the rules of language etc.] and words that seem able only to express a subjective point of view?


Nothing. I was merely continuing with my explanation of the approximation of the language.

iambiguous wrote:There may not be a precise translation when a German and an English doctor discuss performing abortions, but that which they are discussing is still embedded in the objective reality of human biology.


That is true. But, that happens precisely the explanation that i gave in the last post. They can understand each other because they have same experience of the subject. That fills the gap of approximation.

iambiguous wrote:Not so when they discuss the morality of abortion. When one views abortion as moral and the other immoral.


That is true again. And, that is so because their experience and process of deriving moral conclusions is not the same.

iambiguous wrote:How much less precise is the language then?


It is no more the issue of the language when they differ in their perception. Approximation of the language is a very subtle issue and does not come into play every time, but only when we see it from the lens of precision. Otherwise, language works fine.

iambiguous wrote:Same here. What does this really -- really -- have to do with addressing the point I am raising?


Nothing again. I mentioned that in the last post too. If you go back to the old posts, you will find that i have not said that in the reply of morality. I was merely explaining my pov of the working of the language.

iambiguous wrote:We can use language to encompass both the biology of human sexuality and the biology of abortion...and this biology [embedded in the evolution of life on earth] is the same around the globe for all flesh and blood human beings. That, biologically, men are not women is an objective fact. And from this fact men can never understand pregnancy and abortion as women do. But who is arguing that they ought to? And yet "out in the world" there are both men and women who argue that abortion is either moral or immoral.

They argue because their perception, which is derived from their experience, is not the same.


iambiguous wrote:When are you then going to focus the beam more on the manner in which I discuss these opposing moral agendas with respect to dasein, conflicting goods and political economy?


Let us keep that for the other thread; otherwise you will again complain that i am not focusing on the issue of God.

iambiguous wrote:But this just reminds me yet again of James. In other words, only when I have finally understood the technical, philosophical distinction between "objective" and "subjective" [or the one true distinction between science, philosophy and religion] can we then move on to the parts that intrigue me. The parts relating to actual conflicting behaviors of actual human beings interacting out in the actual world that we live in.


As i said above, let us keep the subjects of two threads different, otherwise it will become messy. Leave objective/subjective discussion to the other thread.

iambiguous wrote: Ah, but that will only happen [or so it certainly seems to me here and now] when I am able to agree with him about what this distinction is "logically", "epistemologically". Which [of course] entails that I embrace his own definitions and deductions. After all, how can his conclusions be said to be true unless they follow from his premises?

And here he becomes but one more objectivist qua abstractionist.


To be honest, that was neither my intention nor i tried any such thing.

You did not realize but actually it is you who pushed me into the discussion of various related premises. This is what you said in our second post-

iambiguous wrote: But, sure, let's focus the beam for now on the "premises" we may well agree on.

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=186929#p2500893

I would have gone straight to the proof of the God, but before i would have said anything about the subject, you raised the issue of in the head and out there in the world. And, i had no choice but to reply.

You are blaming me that i am putting some preconditions before addressing to the actual subject, but have you not done the same by saying the whatever i would say, it would be in my head only. Then, how can you expect me to leave that and move on?

By the way, agreeing on certain basic premises is not a bad thing either. That is why I did not object. Is it not better to discuss arithmetic before discussing Algebra?

iambiguous wrote: And my reaction is invariably the same: What in the world does this have to do with the lives that we actually live?


Though, this was also the extension of explanation of the approximation of language but it actually has a lot to do with the lives that actually live, even far more than you can assume.

This was/is the only issue with the religions so far. Had religious scriptures came with lexicons, this world would have been quite different from what it is now. Merely one Jesus or Buddha would have been enough to transform the world.

iambiguous wrote:Now, the preponderance of religionists that I have come upon in venues such as this may not be as scholarly in grasping the manner in which you connect the dots between religion and philosophy, but at least I recognized the world that we do live in when they spoke of their belief in God. I just didn't share their faith.


Firstly, I do not consider myself scholar either, as this term is generally understood now. I am more an Empiricist than a scholar or commentator. I learned the game by playing on the ground in person, not from what other players has been said about their gaming experiences in the past. I do not need Bible, Quran or Gita to have faith in either of their respective religions. Most of the scholars would not be able to say that but I can.

Secondly, how you concluded that what i am saying or will say will have nothing to do with our lives, and that also without knowing what I would say! Should you not wait a little longer to form an opinion? That is not expected from a subjectivist, at least.

iambiguous wrote:When I discuss the manner in which I construe the relationship between words, language, objectivity, subjectivity, moral and political values, identity, political economy etc., I don't have any problems illustrating the text. Over and again I situate the manner in which I have come to understand the meaning of these words into actual flesh and blood human interactions. Indeed, I always ask the moral objectivists I come upon to join me "down here" so that we can in fact make our arguments more substantive.


I have no problem or hesitation in joining you down there at any issue that you want. But, keep that for the other thread otherwise both of your threads will lose the direction and will go nowhere.


iambiguous wrote:But I don't really have a clue as to what this actually means.


That is true. That is why am asking you again and again not to presume much.

iambiguous wrote:Instead, I must first grasp your "theory". And then back again to understanding [and agreeing with] your definitions and your deductions. Out of which you extract the asssumptions that [circularly] make your arguments true objectively. That is how I react to abstractions like these.


I would have done that, had you not raised issues like in your head and out there in the world.

iambiguous wrote:Yes, if I were answering them honestly you would recognize it as the sort of answer that is honest. And that will be the sort of answer that you would give. And then around and around we go.


Once again, i am not expecting any particular answer from you. All i want is such an answer from which i can draw any meaning. After all, what could be any other purpose of answering? I am even ready to accept i do not know. But, you says that you know yet not say anything.

iambiguous wrote:In my view, my language is "complex and confusing" because it requires your language to come down out of the clouds of abstraction...


That is not the point.

Complexity does not entail confusion.. Either go for any option or say that i am not sure either way. Do not hang in between. That does not serve any purpose.

If you are confused or unable to decide, let others take the decision. And, when they do that, do not raise the issue of in your head. Now, do not question their process of decision making by saying that it is their subjective decision. Yes, once they are done with that, you can raise objection again if you find anything objectionable. Then, let your head collides and see what happens.

Do not hamper the evolution of decision. Allow it to take its own natural course
.

iambiguous wrote:But you don't take me to the hills at all here. Instead, you want me to go "up there" where we can discuss the hills and the falling snow "theoretically". Only after I have come understand this as you do can we go to the actual hills. Same with objective morality and God. Again, they come "later". Now, however, as "serious philosophers", we must first learn how to think "logically" about these things. The way James does. Or the way you do. Or the way hundreds and hundreds of additional objectivists do. And then when I point out how they all embrace conflicting and contradictory moral, political and religious dogmas, I am basically told, "well, what does that have to do with anything?" What counts, in other words, is that their own "theory" is the correct one.

You tell me that when our journey ends here you will not be taking me to the real God "physically", but to the real God "philosophically". Similarly, you will not be focusing here on resolving any actual "conflicting goods" I note with respect to issues like abortion or homosexuality; but only in demonstrating the "philosophical" truth one needs to grasp in order to bring the "logic" down here.


Once again, you are missing the point altogether.

First of all, i am neither from that breed of serious philosophers nor want to be included in that list. I have nothing like RM in my sleeve, though i consider it logical and useful.

Secondly, i am literally taking you up to the hills because you want proof and there is no other way i can give you that. But, you are asking me whether i really have seen the snowfall or it is merely my illusion (in my head), standing right there in the desert? You are not ready to follow my argument till the end. On the contrary, you are questioning my methodology even before i say anything.

This is what you are doing. Are you not asking me again and again how this is related to the proof of the God? How can you know or decide what is pertinent or not, given that you are not aware of what i am going to say? Leave that to me, at least for now. You will again get the chance to raise objections, when i would be done with that. But, not now.

imb, you are not the only one who is making this mistake. Most of the people do that. Unless and until, you are not ready to listen to anyone keeping your bias aside, you will never able to truly understand what the other person is saying. One has to leave his previous perception aside to grasp the essence of the other person's perception. You have to make some room for something new, otherwise it will bounce back instead of coming in.

listen like a student but question like a master.

iambiguous wrote: And all I ask of him is at least some evidence that RM/AO is able to address the conflicting goods embedded existentially in the abortion conflagration "out in the world".


You would not have that issue with me at all. I will do that by all means.

iambiguous wrote:James in my view is an abstractionist. At least with respect to moral and political value judgments and to God. In some threads, he has this "theoretical" construct where everything fits together "logically". And then, in other threads, he passes judgments on particular human behaviors. "Up there" here and "down here" there. But he refuses to connect the dots between them.


imb, do not bring other people into discussion. Otherwise, that will do nothing but cause more distraction.
But, as i said above, i will connect the dots from up there to right up to down here.

iambiguous wrote: Al I can do here is once again note how [to me] this is an analysis/argument that amounts to little more than a string of words defining and defending more words still. Is it true? Well, true with respect to what? How is it relevant to the lives that we live from day to day? Of what practical use or exchange value is it when we are confronted with the question, "how ought I to live?"


It is very pertinent with how i ought to live. Nothing is useless. A mere 0 can enhance or reduce the value of any figure by ten times. The same is with the language. If one is not aware of the context, intention of the narrator and the targeted audience, he can easily confuse rope with snake and vice-verse.

I would like you give an example here. Below is the English translation of some verses of Quran from Al-Baqarah Chapter 2 :

Verse 67 - And remember when Moses said to his people: ‘Allah commands you to slaughter a cow,’ They said, "Do you make fun of us?" He said, "I take Allah's Refuge from being among Al-Jahilun (the ignorants or the foolish)."

Verse 68 - They said, "Call upon your Lord for us that He may make plain to us what it is!" He said, "He says, 'Verily, it is a cow neither too old nor too young, but (it is) between the two conditions', so do what you are commanded."
Verse 69 - They said, "Call upon your Lord for us to make plain to us its colour." He said, "He says, 'It is a yellow cow, bright in its colour, pleasing to the beholders.' "
Verse 70 - They said, "Call upon your Lord for us to make plain to us what it is. Verily to us all cows are alike, And surely, if Allah wills, we will be guided."
Verse 71 - He [Musa (Moses)] said, "He says, 'It is a cow neither trained to till the soil nor water the fields, sound, having no other colour except bright yellow.' " They said, "Now you have brought the truth." So they slaughtered it though they were near to not doing it.

Now, may I ask what you can make of these verses?

Any literate person would say that The God is asking Muslims to sacrifice the cows in his name. But, Musa was not talking about the cows at all. He used cow as metaphor for human intellect.

This is still an issue in India because Hindus worship cows and Muslims want to sacrifice them. That often leads to conflicts and communal riots, though not much now. But, this has affected or even killed enumerable people so far. See, how the approximation of the language affects the lives down here.

I can give you enumerable examples of that.

iambiguous wrote:And, in my view, you will become more honest [as I perceive the meaning of that word here] when you are able to acknowledge just how much your argument is dependent on the internal logic of those definitions and deductions.


I know that and have been acknowledged that too manytimes in both threads. I am sure that you have been noticed that too. But, you insisted repetition of that tells me that you may have not got the same response from the other objectivists. Perhaps, they would have said that they have concluded all pure objectively. But, i am not going to commit the same mistake.

iambiguous wrote:And I use dasein only when it is appropriate. In other words, when it pertains to identity and to value judgments. And then, time and again, I note the many, many, many instances in which it is not relevant at all: regarding that which is in fact true objectively for all of us


Why? Why are you choosy? And, how you decide that any moment is appropriate for considering anything truly objective? Do you have any other benchmark other than your dasein? Are you not committing the same mistake, for which you accuse objectivists?

iambiguous wrote:So, no, I do not keep repeating [mindlessly] the phrase "in your head".


I would not say mindlessly but you do not realize that you tend to use it far more than it is required and justified. And, others take offence to that too.

Let me give you an example how it looks from the other side.

You passed many judgments at the James. Right. Say, i pick anyone of those, and start debating you that you are wrong about him and all this is nothing but [u]in your head
. How will you respond? Firstly, you will try to convince me, but if i keep repeating the same line for every explanation coming from your side, what would you do? And, also remember, i would not be wrong either saying that because all that would be actually coming from your head!

iambiguous wrote:I note instead the crucial the distinction between what we claim to believe is true subjectively "in our heads" and that which we are then able to demonstrate to others is in fact true objectively "out in the world" for all of us.


But, you did not use the same benchmark for N's WTP! You seem to be pleading for that it actually exists out there in the world.

Secondly, does almost the whole of the philosophy not exist merely in our heads instead of out there?
Are you also aware of the fact that the same argument of yours is now given by the majority of scientists that all this intellectual philosophy is nothing but an illusion, which is merely in the heads of some people, not out there in the real world?

Do you agree with that? If not, how would you like to defend philosophy?

Thirdly, i would like to extend that argument a bit and apply it on thoughts and emotions. You and i know that we have thoughts and emotions. We would not argue on their existence, whether either of us have any proof or not. But, if an android or an alien would ask us to prove the existence of thoughts or emotions on the ground, how would we be able to do that?

imb, there are three levels of verifications. First party, Second party and Third party.

Religions deal in First party verifications, philosophy in Second party and science purely on Third party. Philosophical verifications are of the nature of Second party only. It is mutual between two such parties, who are at par in the terms of experience. Do not expect philosophy (as of now) to bring third party verifications. I can guarantee you that he whole of philosophy would fail at this very issue.

A hardcore scientist would simply keep repeating that all that is in the head of the philosophers, not in the real world out there. And, no one would be able to counter that either. Out there are only third party evidences, neither second nor the first ones.

zinnat13 wrote:
Let me explain it. There would be a lot of difference in the understanding of a mere commentator and a real player. A commentator cannot be a true one, unless he is not played the game in person. What religions have now are mere commentators, who have never played the game themselves but trying to be an expert merely on the basis of known experiences of the past players. But, then the issue of the language approximation comes into play and that will not let them to understand what the other person has actually said and they start interpreting scriptures according to their incomplete understanding. That is exactly what the most of the religious scholars are doing since long.


iambiguous wrote:Al I can do here is once again note how [to me] this is an analysis/argument that amounts to little more than a string of words defining and defending more words still. Is it true? Well, true with respect to what? How is it relevant to the lives that we live from day to day? Of what practical use or exchange value is it when we are confronted with the question, "how ought I to live?"


imb, you response surprised me this time. I am just fail to understand how do not see this pertinent with daily lives of the people and religions.

I explained you the difference between knowledge ( Empirical knowledge) and information (Bookish knowledge).
And, i also explained above to you how the lives of many people was/is affected by the slight misunderstanding caused by no having actual knowledge but mere information.

iambiguous wrote:In fact, this is precisely the sort "dueling deduction" approach to philosophy that we come across on threads like Lys's "Performance Ontology". Paragraph after paragraph after paragraph of these dense, scholastic, autodidactic abstractions. The stuff of pedants more often than not. In my view, this is precisely what makes "serious philosophy" today increasingly irrelevant to the lives we live.


imb, i hate to do that kind of philosophy. Secondly, my English is not good enough for that either. I cannot use those heavy words.


iambiguous wrote:But: What you are asking me to do is to answer this question such that the manner in which I think about any particular individual answering a question such as this is discarded altogether.


No. In my last post, i very clearly asked from you, not any other individual.

iambiguous wrote:As though there were a "real me" that would be able to answer it as either A or B. As though "theoretically" a true philosopher would clearly be able to answer it in the only logical manner in which a rational human being could answer it. And yet over and again I do situate the manner in which "I" understanding these relationships out in the actual world. Something I can never get you to do. Only when questions and answers like this are reduced down to either/or are moral objectivists satisfied. Or, rather, this has been my own experience with them.


So, you again chose not to an answer but wrote a whole para instead! By the way, are you not doing the same, for which you just accused Lyssa, writing para after para but not addressing how one ought to live? Is if fair on your part?

imb, you are avoiding answer not because you are unable to decide, but because that would challenge your subjective mindset. Nevertheless, the job is done because that is all what i wanted.

It has nothing to do with my satisfaction. I was merely trying to show you that one does not need the God all the time to answer the moral questions, as you suggested. And, i am sure that the message has been conveyed.

iambiguous wrote:For me, this always comes down to the extent to which I become convinced that someone's "definitions and deductions" will never pitch tent down here until and unless I agree to go up into the stratosphere in order to discuss and debate how, once and for all [logically], a truly serious philosopher must define and deduce these things.


Though, there is nothing wrong in that either but i have not done anything such intentionally. Such things come and go in long discussions. I do not see it very big deal either.

iambiguous wrote:As with James, I ask you only to at least give me a rough idea of how your moral and religious values "down here" are intertwined into your philosophical sense of how one distinguishes between an objective truth and a subjective point of view. James, of course, won't go anywhere near that until I do agree to discuss all this "theoretically". And then [though he won't admit this] agree that his TOE must be the starting point when finally grappling with "existential reality".


I can give you exact idea, not to say about any rough clue. But, for that, you need to focus on the issue and stop side stepping. You tend to bring many other people, your past experiences and thus derived conclusions on them, and i have no option but to respond.

iambiguous wrote:Linguistic? I am noting something that is in fact true with regard to all actual contexts in which someone does commit a capital crime. He admits that he committed the crime. The evidence confirms it overwhelmingly. And since the crime is a capital offense, he is sentenced to be executed for committing it.

Who is going to argue about the meaning of these words? If all of this is true objectively, what does it then mean [for all practical purposes] for someone to say that, on the contrary, in his opinion, none of it is true?

Instead, the heated discussions and debates revolve around whether it is just and moral for the state to execute the man.

Around political narratives like this: http://deathpenalty.procon.org/

In other words, to what extent, using the tools of philosophy, are rational men and women able to employ language in order to articulate the most rational argument of all? So as to articulate a deontological assesmment of this conflict.

And then, to what extent is someone who believes in God, able to integrate this argument into their religious narrative in turn.

And, in my view, it is in responding to this that you and James seem basically cut from the same cloth.

Or, rather, so it seems to me here and now.

You say that this can be accomplished...


Let us shift to the other thread and use it as a test case to test objectivity/subjectivity.

For now, as a principle, the capital punishment depends on the state of culprit, not much on the crime. If there is any scope of improvement, capital punishment should be avoided, no matter how serious the crime may be. But, if the culprit has been gone beyond cure and the crime are very serious too, capital punishment may be awarded.

So, it depends on the case. In principle, there should be provision for the capital punishment in the law.

iambiguous wrote:But how in the world could any mere mortal come even remotely close to making contact with all of the various conflicting viewpoints here?


By provoking the accumulated knowledge, that mankind has been earned so far. That is best option that we have.

iambiguous wrote:After all, most of these viewpoints are precisely rooted in all of the many historical, cultural and experiential contexts that millions upon millions of different men and women have been embedded in throughout human history.


That is true. So what? How that does come in the way of making any decision? On the contrary, are they not a test case for us? Does our courts do not recite and consider their past judgments while deciding the new ones?

iambiguous wrote:How could one's "ability" and "honesty" not be profoundly problematic here precisely for this reason?


That may be true in some cases. But, we have to stick that very methodology because that is the best option that we have for now. You can suggest if you have any better one. Otherwise, follow what is best choice for you.

iambiguous wrote:Mike wants Mitch to be executed because Mitch raped, tortured and killed his 12 year old daughter. His death will at least bring him some closure, some peace of mind to him and his family.

Mary does not want Mitch killed because Mitch is her brother. His execution will cause her [and her family] great pain and suffering.

Here are words being used to articulate a context viewed from two conflicting points of view. Now, given your own philosophical tenets and religious beliefs, what would your own reaction be?

Again, at least nudge me in the direction you would like for me to go.


Shift this also to the other thread.

Lastly, if you want to discuss only the proof of the God, focus merely on that. If you want to discuss morality and how one ought to live, stay on that. Do not conflate between both threads. Or, it is also fine to me if you want to have just general discussion. It is up to you to decide, not me. I am merely responding to what you are saying.

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:47 am

zinnat13 wrote:
iambiguous wrote:But what does this really -- really -- have to do with the distinctions I keep making between words that are able to express what is true objectively for all of us [the laws of nature, empirical facts, the rules of language etc.] and words that seem able only to express a subjective point of view?


Nothing. I was merely continuing with my explanation of the approximation of the language.


I wish, however, that you would examine this distinction that I make with respect to any particular individual's belief in God or in embracing one rather than another conflicting good.

iambiguous wrote:There may not be a precise translation when a German and an English doctor discuss performing abortions, but that which they are discussing is still embedded in the objective reality of human biology.


zinnat13 wrote:That is true. But, that happens precisely the explanation that i gave in the last post. They can understand each other because they have same experience of the subject. That fills the gap of approximation.


No, they can understand each other objectively because with respect to human biology something either is or is not objectively true. They may also have the "same experience" in having to choose whether to argue that abortion is moral or immoral. But how is that distinct from discussing abortion as a medical procedure? In fact, here their experiences are rooted far more in the subjective narratives derived from dasein.

With abortion as a medical procedure "language works fine" because it was invented to be applicable to the actual biological parts embedded in a woman's reproductive system. With abortion as a moral issue it works fine only to the extent that you embrace the premises rooted in the arguments from both sides. But one side is not able to make the premises of the other side go away. One side argues that the unborn have the right to live. But that does not make the argument that women should not be forced to give birth go away. Right?

zinnat13 wrote:Let us keep that for the other thread; otherwise you will again complain that i am not focusing on the issue of God.


I'll try, but please note:

Generally, when someone tells me that they believe in God, they are telling me that they have found a font [an omniscient, omnipotent font] that enables them to ground their moral values in an objective source. So, sooner or later they have to connect this dot themselves. Otherwise, what does the discussion have to do with dasein and conflicting goods?

And this, after all, is my own main focus in discussions of this sort.

And, as you noted recently to James:

zinnat13 wrote:James, pure Intellectual philosophy was/is never my first priority or purpose. I am more interested the empirical part of religions, because that is how i got into all this. I looked into the religions for the explanations of my experiences, and in that process, i became aware of their scholars and work to some extent.


To me, it is as though you wish to make a distinction that really cannot be made with respect to the lives that we actually live. At least if we choose to live/interact with others.

zinnat13 wrote:By the way, agreeing on certain basic premises is not a bad thing either. That is why I did not object. Is it not better to discuss arithmetic before discussing Algebra?


Yes, I understand your point but I can only note my own many experiences with religionists and moral objectivists in venues such as this. They seem willing to come "down here" only after I go "up there" and agree with them regarding which definitions and deductions are the starting point for discussing the existence of God and/or human morality. Again, if I cannot grasp how they think about these things theoretically "in their heads" how can I possibly understand how they think about something like abortion or homosexuality "down here"? And that part is invariably "later". Only later always seems to revolve around me agreeing with them with respect to the discussion "here and now".

iambiguous wrote:Yes, if I were answering them honestly you would recognize it as the sort of answer that is honest. And that will be the sort of answer that you would give. And then around and around we go.


zinnat13 wrote:Once again, i am not expecting any particular answer from you. All i want is such an answer from which i can draw any meaning. After all, what could be any other purpose of answering? I am even ready to accept i do not know. But, you says that you know yet not say anything.


All I can do is imagine others reading this and then wondering: What does this have to do with my own belief in God, with my own value judgments? From my own experience, it is one thing to go around and around regarding definitions and deductions...and another thing regarding the relationship between our value judgments, our behaviors and the actual existential consequences of those behaviors. After all, what are the consequences of dueling definitions and deductions here?

The complexity of logic is related to the complexity of human interactions in conflict. Sure. But what are the limitations of language in resolving those conflicts? Similarly, in my view, the complexities of definitions and deductions pertaining to the arguments one is able to give regarding the existence of God theoretically is not the same as actually demonstrating the existence of this God. Or not to me.

iambiguous wrote:But you don't take me to the hills at all here. Instead, you want me to go "up there" where we can discuss the hills and the falling snow "theoretically". Only after I have come understand this as you do can we go to the actual hills. Same with objective morality and God. Again, they come "later". Now, however, as "serious philosophers", we must first learn how to think "logically" about these things. The way James does. Or the way you do. Or the way hundreds and hundreds of additional objectivists do. And then when I point out how they all embrace conflicting and contradictory moral, political and religious dogmas, I am basically told, "well, what does that have to do with anything?" What counts, in other words, is that their own "theory" is the correct one.

You tell me that when our journey ends here you will not be taking me to the real God "physically", but to the real God "philosophically". Similarly, you will not be focusing here on resolving any actual "conflicting goods" I note with respect to issues like abortion or homosexuality; but only in demonstrating the "philosophical" truth one needs to grasp in order to bring the "logic" down here.


zinnat13 wrote:Once again, you are missing the point altogether.


Or, perhaps, you are missing my point altogether.

zinnat13 wrote:First of all, i am neither from that breed of serious philosophers nor want to be included in that list. I have nothing like RM in my sleeve, though i consider it logical and useful.


But: What is it that you do have...something which might be able to nudge nonbelievers into examining God from the direction you wish them to go? And you seem to acknowledge that the hills and the snow are part and parcel of some intellectual contraption that you have deduced in your head. As though the hills and the snow here are just a rhetorical device to move the discussion along.

zinnat13 wrote:Are you not asking me again and again how this is related to the proof of the God? How can you know or decide what is pertinent or not, given that you are not aware of what i am going to say? Leave that to me, at least for now. You will again get the chance to raise objections, when i would be done with that. But, not now.


Perhaps you should just ignore the manner in which I strive to bring the discussion here down to earth. Perhaps you should just continue on to examining "whether something exists beyond our limit of physical approach or not". But: It is coming up now on two months since you first broached that. And I still have no idea how this is related [substantively] to a God, the God, your God.

But, sure, that may [largely] be my own doing. And yet from my point of view you are just as culpable in ignoring the direction that I wish the discussion to go. No doubt, bringing us back to the manner in which we may well be in two separate discussions here. Discussions predicated on two very different sets of assumptions/premises. And, yes, that may well lead to its unraveling.

zinnat13 wrote:imb, you are not the only one who is making this mistake. Most of the people do that. Unless and until, you are not ready to listen to anyone keeping your bias aside, you will never able to truly understand what the other person is saying. One has to leave his previous perception aside to grasp the essence of the other person's perception. You have to make some room for something new, otherwise it will bounce back instead of coming in.


Again, the assumption is that I am biased, not you. And yet, with respect to these relationships, I start with the assumption that we can only exchange subjective points of view derived [at least in part] from the limitations of language. And logic. And definitions and deductions] in exploring them.

I seek to suggest here that this is beyond the capability of philosophers. Unless, of course, that are able to make that leap to God. Their God then becoming their font for deducing objective morality. Just as Kant did here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=174111&p=2192848&hilit=Christine+Korsgaard#p2192848

iambiguous wrote: Al I can do here is once again note how [to me] this is an analysis/argument that amounts to little more than a string of words defining and defending more words still. Is it true? Well, true with respect to what? How is it relevant to the lives that we live from day to day? Of what practical use or exchange value is it when we are confronted with the question, "how ought I to live?"


zinnat13 wrote:It is very pertinent with how i ought to live. Nothing is useless. A mere 0 can enhance or reduce the value of any figure by ten times. The same is with the language. If one is not aware of the context, intention of the narrator and the targeted audience, he can easily confuse rope with snake and vice-verse.

I would like you give an example here. Below is the English translation of some verses of Quran from Al-Baqarah Chapter 2 :

Verse 67 - And remember when Moses said to his people: ‘Allah commands you to slaughter a cow,’ They said, "Do you make fun of us?" He said, "I take Allah's Refuge from being among Al-Jahilun (the ignorants or the foolish)."

Verse 68 - They said, "Call upon your Lord for us that He may make plain to us what it is!" He said, "He says, 'Verily, it is a cow neither too old nor too young, but (it is) between the two conditions', so do what you are commanded."
Verse 69 - They said, "Call upon your Lord for us to make plain to us its colour." He said, "He says, 'It is a yellow cow, bright in its colour, pleasing to the beholders.' "
Verse 70 - They said, "Call upon your Lord for us to make plain to us what it is. Verily to us all cows are alike, And surely, if Allah wills, we will be guided."
Verse 71 - He [Musa (Moses)] said, "He says, 'It is a cow neither trained to till the soil nor water the fields, sound, having no other colour except bright yellow.' " They said, "Now you have brought the truth." So they slaughtered it though they were near to not doing it.

Now, may I ask what you can make of these verses?


Well, some [myself included] have argued that, historically, in a particular place and time, a particular human community came to believe in the existence of this God. A God, the God of Moses and Abraham. And then, historically, Christianity, Islam and Judaism were derived from different renditions of what it means to believe in and to worship this God. And thus how one reacts to the verses above will be predicated on which particular denominational rendition of this God one subscribes to.

That's what I make of them. First and foremost anyway. That is how these beliefs are rooted historically, existentially "out in the world". Out in a particular world at a particular time.

zinnat13 wrote:Any literate person would say that The God is asking Muslims to sacrifice the cows in his name. But, Musa was not talking about the cows at all. He used cow as metaphor for human intellect.


Here, though, you seem to be setting yourself up as, what, an authority on that which is being conveyed here? Thus, if others do not agree with you they are perforce wrong?

Are you suggesting that?

zinnat13 wrote:This is still an issue in India because Hindus worship cows and Muslims want to sacrifice them. That often leads to conflicts and communal riots, though not much now. But, this has affected or even killed enumerable people so far. See, how the approximation of the language affects the lives down here.


Yes, and all of this "down here" is predicated on how one does connect the dots between cows and God. The cows do in fact exist though. But what about God? Let alone that how one human community connects the dots there is entirely at odds with how another community will. Then what? How, given the manner in which you consture the existence of God, should one go about discussing this with those communities embattled regarding what are clearly conflicting goods? The fact is that in India, people have been slaughtering each other now for centuries over what is deemed to be objectively moral. And how that is then related to God. And not just with respect to cows.

iambiguous wrote:...I use dasein only when it is appropriate. In other words, when it pertains to identity and to value judgments. And then, time and again, I note the many, many, many instances in which it is not relevant at all: regarding that which is in fact true objectively for all of us


zinnat13 wrote:Why? Why are you choosy? And, how you decide that any moment is appropriate for considering anything truly objective? Do you have any other benchmark other than your dasein? Are you not committing the same mistake, for which you accuse objectivists?


I don't know how to explain it better than I already have. There either is an existing God or there is not. You are either able to demonstrate his existence or you are not. You are either able to connect the dots between your belief in this God and your value judgments pertaining to behaviors such as homosexuality or you are not.

This as opposed to what [to me] is the objective reality of this exchange we are in fact having here and now. Sure, you and I [and this exchange] may well exist only in the mind of someone who is dreaming all of this into existence. Or we can go down deep into the technical arguments of Descartes and the solipsists and the Platonist [with their reality in and out of the cave] and reduce the exchange down to definitions and deductions.

Me, I'll take a leap to the actual objective existence of the exchange. But I won't do the same regarding the alleged objective existence of God or objective morality. I will need a more persuasive argument than the one that you have provided me so far.

iambiguous wrote:So, no, I do not keep repeating [mindlessly] the phrase "in your head".


zinnat13 wrote:I would not say mindlessly but you do not realize that you tend to use it far more than it is required and justified. And, others take offence to that too.


Again, as with dasein, I use it when I deem it is appropriate to use it. And, with respect to identity, value judgments, God and relegion, that is quite a lot. Why? Because many folks will assert many things about them without examining in depth the extent to
which they are able to conflate what they believe "in their head" and that which all rational men and women must believe.

How do they actually go about demonstrating the distinction between what can shown to be true objectively for all of us [math, science, empircal facts, logic etc,] and what is instead only presumed to be true "in their heads" based on the assumptions they make.

As for James, is it or is it not true that he refuses to connect the dots between the abstract, theoretical claims he makes in the threads relating to RM and the Real God, and the moral and political narratives he espouses on other forums?

The question I then raise here is this: Is this not also true regarding yourself?

iambiguous wrote:I note instead the crucial the distinction between what we claim to believe is true subjectively "in our heads" and that which we are then able to demonstrate to others is in fact true objectively "out in the world" for all of us.


zinnat13 wrote:But, you did not use the same benchmark for N's WTP! You seem to be pleading for that it actually exists [u]out there in the world.


I honestly do not follow your train of thought here. WTP is merely Nietzsche's own subjective rendition of how one might [or ought to] explain human interaction out in the world. But, as I recently noted on another thread, did or did not Nietzsche himself largely live in a "world of words"? After all, what sort of actual power did Nietzsche wield out in the world with others? Instead, he seemed ever plagued with one or another psycho-somatic ailment and eventually went insane.

Indeed, there are any number of folks from KTS here who embrace one or another rendition of WTP. But how do they go about making the distinction between objective truths and subjective points of view? Are they not as well abstractionists by and large.

As I noted above:

In fact, this is precisely the sort "dueling deduction" approach to philosophy that we come across on threads like Lys's "Performance Ontology". Paragraph after paragraph after paragraph of these dense, scholastic, autodidactic abstractions. The stuff of pedants more often than not. In my view, this is precisely what makes "serious philosophy" today increasingly irrelevant to the lives we live.

Now, to what extent are you be able to transcend this yourself in our exhange here? Below you note how you don't do this sort of thing yourself. How you "hate this kind of philosophy".

And yet it is to both of you that I would still ask [over and again]: Where is the beef? The existential beef? I see a distinction here that you do not.

zinnat13 wrote:Are you also aware of the fact that the same argument of yours is now given by the majority of scientists that all this intellectual philosophy is nothing but an illusion, which is merely in the heads of some people, not out there in the real world?

Do you agree with that? If not, how would you like to defend philosophy?


Yes, but many scientists root this in determinism. In the immutable laws of matter. Or they argue that with respect to morality, science has no business being involved at all because the tools of science function only in regard to those things that can be reduced down to either/or. At least with respect to the macro-world of human interaction.

Here though I root my own indeterminancy [philosophically] in my "dasein dilemma".

zinnat13 wrote:Thirdly, i would like to extend that argument a bit and apply it on thoughts and emotions. You and i know that we have thoughts and emotions. We would not argue on their existence, whether either of us have any proof or not. But, if an android or an alien would ask us to prove the existence of thoughts or emotions on the ground, how would we be able to do that?

imb, there are three levels of verifications. First party, Second party and Third party.

Religions deal in First party verifications, philosophy in Second party and science purely on Third party. Philosophical verifications are of the nature of Second party only. It is mutual between two such parties, who are at par in the terms of experience. Do not expect philosophy (as of now) to bring third party verifications. I can guarantee you that he whole of philosophy would fail at this very issue.


Again, I can only note to others how abstract this is. What particular thoughts and what particulat emotions relating to what particular God or value judgment...pertaining to what particular self embodying them? And in what particular context?

When Jim justifies condeming Jane's abortion as immoral per his faith in God, how is first, second and third party "verifications" then brought into the discussion? Or can that only come later -- after we nail down theoretically how [logically, epistimologically, linguistically etc.] this distinction must be made?

iambiguous wrote:But: What you are asking me to do is to answer this question such that the manner in which I think about any particular individual answering a question such as this is discarded altogether.


zinnat13 wrote:No. In my last post, i very clearly asked from you, not any other individual.


But: You do not think of identity from the perspective of dasein. As I do. So, in choosing a city in which the distinction revolves around one set of values as opposed to another, "I" can only respond from within the existential context of my actual life. And not from within the context of what an alleged rational man or woman would be said to choose if they wish to be thought of as a rational human being. And, even though you deny it below, that seems to be more your own rendition of "choosing" here. At least to me. As though to suggest that if I don't choose the "right" city, then I am not thinking about the question as a rational man would.

To wit:

iambiguous wrote:As though there were a "real me" that would be able to answer it as either A or B. As though "theoretically" a true philosopher would clearly be able to answer it in the only logical manner in which a rational human being could answer it. And yet over and again I do situate the manner in which "I" understanding these relationships out in the actual world. Something I can never get you to do. Only when questions and answers like this are reduced down to either/or are moral objectivists satisfied. Or, rather, this has been my own experience with them.


zinnat13 wrote:imb, you are avoiding answer not because you are unable to decide, but because that would challenge your subjective mindset. Nevertheless, the job is done because that is all what i wanted.


No, the answer I gave revolves around that manner in which I think of questions like this -- as revolving largely around subjective points of view rooted in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. In a world sans God. And, in turn, from the point of view that there are limitations beyond which language and logic cannot go. Or, rather, in the manner in which I construe these relationships here and now.

iambiguous wrote:As with James, I ask you only to at least give me a rough idea of how your moral and religious values "down here" are intertwined into your philosophical sense of how one distinguishes between an objective truth and a subjective point of view. James, of course, won't go anywhere near that until I do agree to discuss all this "theoretically". And then [though he won't admit this] agree that his TOE must be the starting point when finally grappling with "existential reality".


zinnat13 wrote:I can give you exact idea, not to say about any rough clue.


You say that you can. But first comes this:

zinnat13 wrote:But, for that, you need to focus on the issue and stop side stepping. You tend to bring many other people, your past experiences and thus derived conclusions on them, and i have no option but to respond.


Yes, but I don't make these distinctions as you do. To discuss God and/or morality without bringing the world that we live in into it right from the start is the route that most abstractionists seem to prefer. First, they tell me, let me show you the only rational and logically manner in which to think about these things. And then after you agree with me about that, we can begin to illustrate the text. You keep pointing out that this is not your intention here at all and yet you still refuse to offer anything other than those definitions and deductions. Or so it seems to me. Why can't/don't/won't you at least nudge me in the direction of how you link your existential views on homosexuality and and your views on God and philosophy? If I could begin to understand that more clearly it would certainly pique my interest further.

You suggest instead that we can focus more on that over at the other thread. Okay, I'll wait and see what you have to say there. But, again, for me, identity, values, ethics, philosophy, religion, God etc., are either integrated "out in the world" through our arguments here or they are not. It just doesn't make much sense [to me] to say "first one, than the other". As an existentialist, I just don't think like that. At least not with respect to the relationship between identity, values, political economy and the limitations of language.

iambiguous wrote:But how in the world could any mere mortal come even remotely close to making contact with all of the various conflicting viewpoints here?


zinnat13 wrote:By provoking the accumulated knowledge, that mankind has been earned so far. That is best option that we have.


But that can still only be reflected from [or condensed down into] a particular point of view. Google capital punishment: https://www.google.com/search?sourceid= ... punishment

Thousands upon thousands of particular sites you can go to dispensing thousands upon thousands of particular points of view rooted in thousands upon thousands of particular historical, cultural and experientiental contexts.

And, in the end, we are still left with conflicting goods that no philosophical argument that I have ever come across is able to resolve. Instead, folks embrace a particular set of assumptions and take their existential/political leaps. Just like you and I do.

And: with or without God.

So: one's "best option". How far removed is that from the "objective truth"? And how is this factored into one's belief in God and religion?

iambiguous wrote:After all, most of these viewpoints are precisely rooted in all of the many historical, cultural and experiential contexts that millions upon millions of different men and women have been embedded in throughout human history.


zinnat13 wrote:That is true. So what?


So what?!!! Boy, does that speak volumes regarding the gap between us. At least from my point of view.

zinnat13 wrote:How that does come in the way of making any decision? On the contrary, are they not a test case for us? Does our courts do not recite and consider their past judgments while deciding the new ones?


Throughout the ages historically, and across the globe culturally, different folks [enacting different laws] have come to view everything from abortion and slavery to gender roles and capital punishment from every imaginable point of view. But one thing that the philosophers/ethicists have never managed to accomplish is to delineate the most rational argument so as to resolve these conflicts once and for all.

But, sure, here too one can insert a "so what?" And then argue that theoretically the one objective truth does exist and some day we will find it. With or without God. But then most moral objectivists are quick to add that when they finally do find it, it will coincide precisely with what they think is true right now. Just as, when God finally does choose to reveal Himself, it will be their God.

Go ahead, ask them.
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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iambiguous
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:13 pm

I take it that you concede that a god could exist and that you have no way of proving that it cannot. Your proof only works for some specific conceptions of god.


Well, I certainly concede that.

And I concern myself less with any particular conception of God and more with the extent to which one who believes in this concept of God is able to demonstrate, in turn, the extent to which it can lead to a proof of the actual existence of a God, the God, my God.

Or the extent to which God's existence actually is an "existential" phenomenon at all; or, instead, is rooted more in an essential state of "being" -- one that might well be beyond the capacity of mere mortals to grasp at all.

And this, in my view, is the one many religionists embrace. They are then relieved of the responsibility of "proving" the existence of God at all. Why? Because the very nature of God's existence lies precisely in those "mysterious ways" attributed to Him. And these can be grappled with "out in the world" only when God chooses to reveal Himself. As with, say, the Second Coming of Christ.

That way any particular individual religionist is free to believe in any particular conception of God in any particular way that works for him or her "in their head".

In fact, some are even willing to concede this by accepting the fact that a "faith in God" may well be as far as it can ever go for mere mortals. At least on this side of 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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