Something to think about

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Something to think about

Postby phyllo » Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:46 pm

If you want to understand human history, if you want to understand civilization, you have to understand religion. I know that some of my fellow atheists regard that as regrettable. I regard that as a fact and something that we need to understand rather than something that we need to combat.
- Tim Crane

Tim Crane is a professor of philosophy at Central European University in Budapest and the author of The Meaning of Belief - Religion From an Atheist's Point of View.

Brought up strictly Roman Catholic, Crane is now an atheist but he doesn't agree with the dismissive way many of his fellow atheists approach the concept of religion.

"The new atheist approach is relentlessly combative - they see no good in religious belief. They see religious belief as dominated by very simple errors of reasoning," Crane says. "The question [atheists] have to ask themselves... is why aren't they persuading people? Why don't all these very intelligent people who come across their arguments... just say 'oh yes, you're right. I don't have any reason to believe in my belief. I don't have any reason to believe in God."

Crane thinks that by categorically dismissing the concept of religion, atheists may be overlooking its importance in understanding human nature.

"[The religious worldview] a huge mess, the whole thing. It's a very human mess. And you find all the flaws and triumphs of humanity in the history of religion. The real history of religion is the history of humanity, so you see all the horrible side of humanity and you see the great side of humanity. You see amazing vision, moral vision, self-sacrifice, charity, unending kindness and generosity. And you also see cruelty and bigoted behaviour, stupidity, mass hysteria, terrible group-think and people being led to do the most awful things to each other."

Atheists may make a compelling case that there is no scientific proof for the existence of God, but Crane recognizes that these arguments have little impact on people of faith. He says people hold onto their religious convictions because they satisfy a deep human need for connection and belonging.

"It's an obvious fact but it's significant: the things you do, the words you say in a religious ritual like going to mass or praying, are things that are very repetitive. You say the same things every week, sometimes you say the same things every day, you say the same things that people have been saying for thousands of years in some cases... And why is it important to say the same things?... You're linking yourself to the community of people who came before you... This, I think, is the central... element of religious belief which is identification with others. Which again, is a very human thing."

Crane hopes to encourage more tolerance between atheists and religious believers so that they can engage in a healthy debate and coexist harmoniously.

"I think people should be trying to live in peace. And if you're going to live in peace with people, then you have to tolerate other people. The atheists have to tolerate the religious, but the religious have to tolerate the atheists too," he says. "I think if people could just focus on peace rather than conversion, then this would be a start."

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Re: Something to think about

Postby iambiguous » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:26 pm

The problem with this is that, with or without God, the behaviors that we tolerate are still embedded in one or another set of conflicting goods.

So, with regard to issues like abortion, gun control, gender roles, human sexuality, animal rights, immigrants, war and peace etc., which behaviors will be tolerated?

With God of course not only are the conflicts resolved from the perspective of an omniscient/omnipotent frame of mind, but those who chose to embrace one or another particular Scripture are promised immortality and salvation on the other side of the grave.

And none of the carefully reasoned arguments from the atheists [arrogant or otherwise] makes that go away.

That's really what it seems to come down to for me. With God, moral certainty on this side of the grave, and paradise beyond it. Without God, one or another secular combination of "might makes right", "right makes might" or "moderation, negotiation and compromise".

And then oblivion.

Of course, stuck down in the hole that I have dug for myself philosophically [as an ironist], I don't even have access to that anymore. That's only for one or another rendition of the objectivists.

Sacred or secular.
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: Something to think about

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:50 pm

iambiguous wrote:The problem with this is that, with or without God, the behaviors that we tolerate are still embedded in one or another set of conflicting goods.
No, that's not a problem with what he is saying, it simply means it is a not a total solution. You can tolerate the fact that other people, for example, believe in God, while at the same time trying to make the world fit your morals and do this this second thing in struggle with those religious and secular people who disagree with you. If all you need to be intolerant is that someone else believes something you do not, before one even gets to morality, then there is an added problem, added hate, etc. Ontology is being added to harsh discord, rather than simply ethics.

With God of course not only are the conflicts resolved from the perspective of an omniscient/omnipotent frame of mind, but those who chose to embrace one or another particular Scripture are promised immortality and salvation on the other side of the grave.
This is mashing all religions into one category. Further all believers and all scriptures. It is an oversimplification that is not helpful and leads to intolerance and confusion.

And none of the carefully reasoned arguments from the atheists [arrogant or otherwise] makes that go away.
And this is irrelevant also, unless this guy had said, all problems go away if you listen to me.

That's really what it seems to come down to for me. With God, moral certainty on this side of the grave, and paradise beyond it. Without God, one or another secular combination of "might makes right", "right makes might" or "moderation, negotiation and compromise".
The first part here is the same kind of oversimplification of theists - who may also believe, for example in moderation, negotiation and compromise despite their ontological certainties - and then the second part is a very limited view of the options for secular people.

And then oblivion.

Of course, stuck down in the hole that I have dug for myself philosophically [as an ironist], I don't even have access to that anymore. That's only for one or another rendition of the objectivists.

Sacred or secular.
But you don't notice how your own objectivism presents view along the lines of the false dichotomies you feel certain are the choices/range. You are an objectivist around both ontology and epistemology. But worst, because your urge to repeat your position is so strong, every issue, ethical, political, epistmological is distorted to where you can dismiss everyone by repeating your dichotomies as if they are relevent. Now, of course, sometimes they are, but it does not matter if they are, in any given case, because your filters are so strong everything funnels towards how you frame things. One could be an ironist and not do this.
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Re: Something to think about

Postby Prismatic567 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:02 am

Atheists may make a compelling case that there is no scientific proof for the existence of God, but Crane recognizes that these arguments have little impact on people of faith. He says people hold onto their religious convictions because they satisfy a deep human need for connection and belonging.
I believe 'a deep human need for connection and belonging' is not the main basis in driving the majority of people into religion.

The proximate and ultimate root causes of religions is the existential crisis which is inherent in both theists and non-theists. As such both theists and non-theists must strive to 'know thyself' and understand the main causes that drive them into their beliefs and thinking.

Once both theists and non-theists understand the proximate and root causes of their beliefs and behavior they will be more tolerant of each other.

But we also need to understand why the majority of non-theists are so negative, reactive to and anti theists. This is in response to the evil acts and violence propagated by SOME religions and more so when such evil acts are sanctioned and condoned by the theists' God in their holy texts.

I believe the most effective solution to all the evil acts and intents of theists driven from their theistic religion and authorized by their God is to wean off all theistic religions where possible and as soon as possible.

When we understand the proximate and ultimate root causes of theism, it is noted it is impossible at the present to wean off theism, so we need to tolerate theism while striving hard to find solutions to wean off theism on a voluntarily basis without the possibility of any side effects [fool proof].

Based on current trends I am optimistic humanity will be able to wean off theism and replace theism with foolproof alternatives in the future [ASAP] to deal with the inherent unavoidable existential crisis.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: Something to think about

Postby iambiguous » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:43 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
iambiguous wrote:The problem with this is that, with or without God, the behaviors that we tolerate are still embedded in one or another set of conflicting goods.
No, that's not a problem with what he is saying, it simply means it is a not a total solution. You can tolerate the fact that other people, for example, believe in God, while at the same time trying to make the world fit your morals and do this this second thing in struggle with those religious and secular people who disagree with you. If all you need to be intolerant is that someone else believes something you do not, before one even gets to morality, then there is an added problem, added hate, etc. Ontology is being added to harsh discord, rather than simply ethics.


With moral objectivists there is always a "total solution": their God, their ideology, their deontological assessment, their description of natural behavior.

All I ask of them then is that they bring their narrative down to earth and embed it in a discussion of conflicting goods that we are all likely to be familiar with.

What behaviors ought or ought not to be tolerated "with regard to issues like abortion, gun control, gender roles, human sexuality, animal rights, immigrants, war and peace etc"

You tell me which particular "rules of behavior" a community might embrace in order to sustain the least "intolerance and confusion".

Instead, all you provide us [yet again] is another "general description" of...of what exactly?

Your "philosophical" bias?

And none of the carefully reasoned arguments from the atheists [arrogant or otherwise] makes that go away.


Karpel Tunnel wrote:And this is irrelevant also, unless this guy had said, all problems go away if you listen to me.


With most renditions of God, morality on this side of grave and one's fate on the other side are subsumed in God. There are no problems. Not unless you refuse to obey God.

All atheists have is their own hopelessly conflicted "humanistic" rendition of good and bad, right and wrong. And oblivion seems almost certain.

That's really what it seems to come down to for me. With God, moral certainty on this side of the grave, and paradise beyond it. Without God, one or another secular combination of "might makes right", "right makes might" or "moderation, negotiation and compromise".


Karpel Tunnel wrote:The first part here is the same kind of oversimplification of theists - who may also believe, for example in moderation, negotiation and compromise despite their ontological certainties - and then the second part is a very limited view of the options for secular people.


Again, only when we bring these abstractions down to earth and situate them in an actual existential context, can we discuss "options" more substantively.

You choose it.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: You are an objectivist around both ontology and epistemology.


Yes, I get this all the time. But doesn't this really revolve around the manner in which each of us has come to understand the meaning of "an objectivist"?

From my frame of mind, an objectivist is someone who argues that, with respect to value judgments [relating to such things as beauty and morality and political agendas], their point of view reflects the optimal or the only rational perspective.

Now, I would never argue that my own point of view here is wholly in sync with that. On the contrary, it is just one more in a long string of "existential contraptions" that I have come to embody over the years.
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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Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: Something to think about

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:24 am

iambiguous wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote:
iambiguous wrote:The problem with this is that, with or without God, the behaviors that we tolerate are still embedded in one or another set of conflicting goods.
No, that's not a problem with what he is saying, it simply means it is a not a total solution. You can tolerate the fact that other people, for example, believe in God, while at the same time trying to make the world fit your morals and do this this second thing in struggle with those religious and secular people who disagree with you. If all you need to be intolerant is that someone else believes something you do not, before one even gets to morality, then there is an added problem, added hate, etc. Ontology is being added to harsh discord, rather than simply ethics.


With moral objectivists there is always a "total solution": their God, their ideology, their deontological assessment, their description of natural behavior.

All I ask of them then is that they bring their narrative down to earth and embed it in a discussion of conflicting goods that we are all likely to be familiar with.

What behaviors ought or ought not to be tolerated "with regard to issues like abortion, gun control, gender roles, human sexuality, animal rights, immigrants, war and peace etc"

You tell me which particular "rules of behavior" a community might embrace in order to sustain the least "intolerance and confusion".

Instead, all you provide us [yet again] is another "general description" of...of what exactly?

Your "philosophical" bias?

And none of the carefully reasoned arguments from the atheists [arrogant or otherwise] makes that go away.


Karpel Tunnel wrote:And this is irrelevant also, unless this guy had said, all problems go away if you listen to me.


With most renditions of God, morality on this side of grave and one's fate on the other side are subsumed in God. There are no problems. Not unless you refuse to obey God.

All atheists have is their own hopelessly conflicted "humanistic" rendition of good and bad, right and wrong. And oblivion seems almost certain.

That's really what it seems to come down to for me. With God, moral certainty on this side of the grave, and paradise beyond it. Without God, one or another secular combination of "might makes right", "right makes might" or "moderation, negotiation and compromise".


Karpel Tunnel wrote:The first part here is the same kind of oversimplification of theists - who may also believe, for example in moderation, negotiation and compromise despite their ontological certainties - and then the second part is a very limited view of the options for secular people.


Again, only when we bring these abstractions down to earth and situate them in an actual existential context, can we discuss "options" more substantively.

You choose it.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: You are an objectivist around both ontology and epistemology.


Yes, I get this all the time. But doesn't this really revolve around the manner in which each of us has come to understand the meaning of "an objectivist"?

From my frame of mind, an objectivist is someone who argues that, with respect to value judgments [relating to such things as beauty and morality and political agendas], their point of view reflects the optimal or the only rational perspective.

Now, I would never argue that my own point of view here is wholly in sync with that. On the contrary, it is just one more in a long string of "existential contraptions" that I have come to embody over the years.
You responded to him in a way that made it seem like he was saying one thing when he was saying something else. You did not interact with this point, but simply jumped off into repeating what you generally do.
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Re: Something to think about

Postby iambiguous » Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:03 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
iambiguous wrote:The problem with this is that, with or without God, the behaviors that we tolerate are still embedded in one or another set of conflicting goods.
No, that's not a problem with what he is saying, it simply means it is a not a total solution. You can tolerate the fact that other people, for example, believe in God, while at the same time trying to make the world fit your morals and do this this second thing in struggle with those religious and secular people who disagree with you. If all you need to be intolerant is that someone else believes something you do not, before one even gets to morality, then there is an added problem, added hate, etc. Ontology is being added to harsh discord, rather than simply ethics.


With moral objectivists there is always a "total solution": their God, their ideology, their deontological assessment, their description of natural behavior.

All I ask of them then is that they bring their narrative down to earth and embed it in a discussion of conflicting goods that we are all likely to be familiar with.

What behaviors ought or ought not to be tolerated "with regard to issues like abortion, gun control, gender roles, human sexuality, animal rights, immigrants, war and peace etc"

You tell me which particular "rules of behavior" a community might embrace in order to sustain the least "intolerance and confusion".

Instead, all you provide us [yet again] is another "general description" of...of what exactly?

Your "philosophical" bias?

And none of the carefully reasoned arguments from the atheists [arrogant or otherwise] makes that go away.


Karpel Tunnel wrote:And this is irrelevant also, unless this guy had said, all problems go away if you listen to me.


With most renditions of God, morality on this side of grave and one's fate on the other side are subsumed in God. There are no problems. Not unless you refuse to obey God.

All atheists have is their own hopelessly conflicted "humanistic" rendition of good and bad, right and wrong. And oblivion seems almost certain.

That's really what it seems to come down to for me. With God, moral certainty on this side of the grave, and paradise beyond it. Without God, one or another secular combination of "might makes right", "right makes might" or "moderation, negotiation and compromise".


Karpel Tunnel wrote:The first part here is the same kind of oversimplification of theists - who may also believe, for example in moderation, negotiation and compromise despite their ontological certainties - and then the second part is a very limited view of the options for secular people.


Again, only when we bring these abstractions down to earth and situate them in an actual existential context, can we discuss "options" more substantively.

You choose it.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: You are an objectivist around both ontology and epistemology.


Yes, I get this all the time. But doesn't this really revolve around the manner in which each of us has come to understand the meaning of "an objectivist"?

From my frame of mind, an objectivist is someone who argues that, with respect to value judgments [relating to such things as beauty and morality and political agendas], their point of view reflects the optimal or the only rational perspective.

Now, I would never argue that my own point of view here is wholly in sync with that. On the contrary, it is just one more in a long string of "existential contraptions" that I have come to embody over the years.


Karpel Tunnel wrote:You responded to him in a way that made it seem like he was saying one thing when he was saying something else. You did not interact with this point, but simply jumped off into repeating what you generally do.


All of the points I rasied here and this is what you choose to reduce your reaction down to?

Please note his point for us again. Please interact with this point as you imagine that I should have.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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