on discussing god and religion

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Fri Nov 24, 2017 3:26 am

Ierrellus wrote:Is it true that Nero fiddled while Rome burned? In the face of wholesale destruction of the Earth, talk of abortion seems petty. If philosophy is your fiddle,
at least you'll have something to think about while the world self-destructs as overpopulation and tremendous waste predict.


Well, according to WHO, "every year in the world there are an estimated 40-50 million abortions. This corresponds to approximately 125,000 abortions per day."

Now, if you construe an abortion as the killing of a human baby [and many religious folks do] that seems about as far removed from petty as one can get.

Now, the question then is this: given your own understanding of "ecological morality" where does something like this fit into it?

How is God and religion relevant here?

And do you honestly believe that those on both sides of the issue have equal access to God on the other side?

Finally, based on your own personal experiences, how would you go about demonstrating to others that this is a reasonable frame of mind?
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 Ierrellus » Fri Nov 24, 2017 2:51 pm

Apparently, you are too locked into your own mindset to be able to give credence to any other point of view. You are welcome to your bleak outlook on the nature of God and humans. I'm tired of talking to a brick wall. I can only pray that sometime in your life you may think on what's really important--you and God.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:34 pm

Ierrellus wrote:Apparently, you are too locked into your own mindset to be able to give credence to any other point of view. You are welcome to your bleak outlook on the nature of God and humans. I'm tired of talking to a brick wall. I can only pray that sometime in your life you may think on what's really important--you and God.


Note to others:

Why do you suppose he entirely avoids actually responding to the points that I raised above regarding the relationship between abortion and his own reflections on "ecological morality"?

As this relates to his own personal experiences with a God, the God.

Why, instead, does he make me the issue?

Yes, my own frame of mind is brutal, bleak. But that is only because the points that I raise here and now seem reasonable to me. Yet to argue that I am not open to other points of view is merely to sweep under the rug all of the many, many times over the years that others actually have managed to nudge me in entirely new directions.

Just not of late.

Again, my hope is always that I will come upon arguments able to yank be up out of the abyss that is oblivion in an essentially absurd and meaningless world.

If you know some folks who have them, by all means, bring them on board. And I can promise you [and them] that I am willing to explore their own experiences in a sincere and civil manner.

All I ask is that the discussion eventually gets around to connecting the dots between behaviors chosen on this side of the grave, and one's imagined fate on the other side.

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

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:34 am

"God" has a definition, although many enjoy arguing over it. But as it is defined, the human mind cannot actually conceive of it. And also as it is properly defined, it is absurd to claim that it does not exist...


God the word.

Go ahead define it. Then argue with others regarding which definition comes closest to the Gods that either are or are not conceived here. Then note all of your personal experiences with a God, the God in order that we might determine which one comes closest to what either is or is not conceived or defined most reasonably.

And then we can connect the dots between that and the main focus of this thread.
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 30, 2017 7:53 pm

Are you saying the genocides by Hitler, of the Yazidis by extreme Islamists, the mass rapes, and the various evils are meaningless?? so we do not bother these evil acts?
The wisdom is there is no need for a definition of 'supreme good' in this case to understand the above listed acts are evil and thus the need for actions.


The irony here is that any number of religious folks will remind us that without God, it is not possible to wholly differentiate good from evil.

That, in other words, without a transcending [omniscient and omnipotent] point of view, there can be no teleological component available to mere mortals in a universe construed to be but a "brute facticity".

Instead, one or another individual subscribing to one or another "Humanist" philosophy, will concoct one or another moral narrative that is said to reflect the most rational and virtuous frame of mind.

Just pick a context and a set of conflicting value judgments. And then with the right ideological/deontological assessment it can be determined which behaviors all rational men and women are obligated to embrace.

Just ask them.

And then in any particular community ensconced in any particular historical/cultural context a consensus can form around a set of prescribed and proscribed behaviors. Predicated on the assumption that right makes might.

On the other hand, the entire trajectory of human interactions over thousands of years puts the lie to this again and again and again. Instead, we have the same conflicting arguments regarding the same conflicting goods. Nothing ever really ever gets resolved.

And even regarding extreme behaviors like child abuse, rape, murder, slavery and genocide, there appear to be arguments available to those able to rationalize them. And what arguments are available able to obviate the motivation of the sociopaths/narcissists; those who see morality as revolving entirely around what sustains their own wants and needs.

That's why some folks abandon moral narratives per se in order to insist that right and wrong can be understood "naturally". Once you have grasped that the human species is just a natural extension of the evolution of life on earth, you need merely grasp that there are certain "biological imperatives" that underlie all human behaviors. And that, in turn, undermine all attempts by those who suggest that historical and cultural memes have a role to play as well.

In other words, anything [in a Godless universe] that allows them to insist that there is in fact a certainty to be found when values come into conflict. And they know this because, in fact, they have already found it.
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 06, 2017 8:17 pm

On genetic evolution. Barring interference, DNA is predestined to form a certain type of organism. Stem cells are destined to form organs and organisms. The question of how does DNA "know" what to do is answered in that it does what it is It is a self replicating chemical compound that becomes organic growth and development. It constructs from itself. The fuel an organism needs for growth and development are the chemicals found in its own body. I don't know how this fits Leibnizian philosophy. For me there is only one realm, which is chemical, and all other states of organic development are extensions of chemical activity. Organic and inorganic are two interdependent sides of a single phenomenon.


Well put.

But, Leibnizian philosophy aside, how does God fit into something like this?

How can seemingly mindless organic chemicals reconfigure into a consciousness [mindful matter] able to contemplate the relationship between chemistry and "I" and God?

And that mysterious part where inorganic chemistry is able to "become" "life".

Yes, in the minds of some, God may well be the shortest distance between these two points. But it doesn't make the mind-boggling mystery of it all go away sans God.

And I always come around to a world [with God] in which we try to comprehend the extent to which God is either in sync with the immutable laws of matter more or less than the immutable laws of matter are in sync with God.

In other words, even the supposed "either/or" world is still far, far beyond our grasp when we shift gears from "how?" to "why?"
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 Ierrellus » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:04 pm

iambiguous wrote:
On genetic evolution. Barring interference, DNA is predestined to form a certain type of organism. Stem cells are destined to form organs and organisms. The question of how does DNA "know" what to do is answered in that it does what it is It is a self replicating chemical compound that becomes organic growth and development. It constructs from itself. The fuel an organism needs for growth and development are the chemicals found in its own body. I don't know how this fits Leibnizian philosophy. For me there is only one realm, which is chemical, and all other states of organic development are extensions of chemical activity. Organic and inorganic are two interdependent sides of a single phenomenon.


Well put.

But, Leibnizian philosophy aside, how does God fit into something like this?

How can seemingly mindless organic chemicals reconfigure into a consciousness [mindful matter] able to contemplate the relationship between chemistry and "I" and God?

And that mysterious part where inorganic chemistry is able to "become" "life".

Yes, in the minds of some, God may well be the shortest distance between these two points. But it doesn't make the mind-boggling mystery of it all go away sans God.

And I always come around to a world [with God] in which we try to comprehend the extent to which God is either in sync with the immutable laws of matter more or less than the immutable laws of matter are in sync with God.

In other words, even the supposed "either/or" world is still far, far beyond our grasp when we shift gears from "how?" to "why?"

At least give me credit for my above statement.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:38 pm

Many religious thinkers claim God is all-powerfull, all-knowing and all-loving (omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, respectively).
An all-loving God that knows about the suffering in the world, and has the power to alleviate this suffering is very difficult to believe in.
Omnipotence and omniscience contradict one another.
Lets say God has to make a choice between A and B.
Being omniscient God knows which will be chosen, A or B.
But being omnipotent God can choose the option that he/it knows will NOT be chosen.....
This seems obviously contradictory.
Omnipotence seems to contradict itself...
Could God create a rock so heavy.....
Or perhaps when religious thinkers use these words they mean something different to what I understand by them.....


This of course is the "philosopher's God". And it is always endlessly fascinating to imagine that perhaps we can "reason" ourselves into resolving it once and for all.

But one suspects that for the overwhelming preponderance of religious folks out there, this is the last thing they think about.

Instead, as God and religion relate to the actual lives that they live, they are almost certainly preoccupied by other things:

1] is there a reason for all this?
2] what happens when I die?
3] is there a way to anchor morality to forever?

And the part that swirls around emotional reactions rooted in a brain rooted in nature rooted in whatever made it possible for this particular something to exist instead of something else. Or instead of nothing at all.

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

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby dan25 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:15 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Many religious thinkers claim God is all-powerfull, all-knowing and all-loving (omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, respectively).
An all-loving God that knows about the suffering in the world, and has the power to alleviate this suffering is very difficult to believe in.
Omnipotence and omniscience contradict one another.
Lets say God has to make a choice between A and B.
Being omniscient God knows which will be chosen, A or B.
But being omnipotent God can choose the option that he/it knows will NOT be chosen.....
This seems obviously contradictory.
Omnipotence seems to contradict itself...
Could God create a rock so heavy.....
Or perhaps when religious thinkers use these words they mean something different to what I understand by them.....


This of course is the "philosopher's God". And it is always endlessly fascinating to imagine that perhaps we can "reason" ourselves into resolving it once and for all.

But one suspects that for the overwhelming preponderance of religious folks out there, this is the last thing they think about.

Instead, as God and religion relate to the actual lives that they live, they are almost certainly preoccupied by other things:

1] is there a reason for all this?
2] what happens when I die?
3] is there a way to anchor morality to forever?

And the part that swirls around emotional reactions rooted in a brain rooted in nature rototed in whatever made it possible for this particular something to exist instead of something else. Or instead of nothing at all.

You know, or so it seems to me.


These are very much my own copncerns too.
I write quite a lot of theology, its almost an obsession.
A scarey thought, which also seems to have worried St Augustine, is: what if i get my theology wrong, and God exists, and he/it doesnt like what i have said about him/it...
Could i end up burning in hell?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby dan25 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:21 pm

But just because some God exists (if in fact he/it does) doesnt tell us anything about the afterlife, or even if there is one.
Like Harris says (i forget whete): "there could be a God but no afterlife; there could an afterlife but no God".
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:32 pm

I write quite a lot of theology, its almost an obsession.
A scarey thought, which also seems to have worried St Augustine, is: what if i get my theology wrong, and God exists, and he/it doesnt like what i have said about him/it...
What do you write?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby dan25 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:46 pm

phyllo wrote:
I write quite a lot of theology, its almost an obsession.
A scarey thought, which also seems to have worried St Augustine, is: what if i get my theology wrong, and God exists, and he/it doesnt like what i have said about him/it...
What do you write?


It used to be all about my opinions regarding the nature of God, these days its more about exploring the relationship between God and science..... I'll put some stuff on here soon, possibly tomorrow.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:54 pm

God is not an idea to be accepted or refuted; God is a force to be experienced.


My own reaction here revolves around asking, "how pertinent is an observation of this sort in a philosophy venue?"

Philosophy is defined as, "the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline."

How then would one as a philosopher examine any particular experience that he or she had relating to the existence of God in order to impart how this might further our understanding of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality and existence?

Whether "academically" or "existentially".

It seems of importance here that any personal experiences that one might have has be examined by others in order to extract that which might be construed as true for all of us.

Otherwise this experience might be explained in a way that has nothing to do with the existence of God.

But first and foremost we need to be told [in some detail] what this experience actually consisted of.
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 18, 2017 8:14 pm

dan25 wrote:A scarey thought, which also seems to have worried St Augustine, is: what if i get my theology wrong, and God exists, and he/it doesnt like what i have said about him/it...
Could i end up burning in hell?


As some point out, He did bestow free will upon us.

On the other hand, our distance ancestors did manage to fuck that up in the Garden. In other words, by using it as God intended. But not as God intended.

And, now, because of a choice that they made, we continue to pay the price!

Or so we are told by those absolutely certain that they will never burn in Hell. Why? Because they do grasp the one and the only manner in which to worship and adore the one and the only true God.

They are just unable to demonstrate that to me here. Nor do many seem willing to actually explore the part where the behaviors they choose here and now are connected "in their head" to what they imagine the fate of their soul to be there and then.

49 pages now and almost nothing in that regard!
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 Ierrellus » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:07 pm

iambiguous wrote:
God is not an idea to be accepted or refuted; God is a force to be experienced.


My own reaction here revolves around asking, "how pertinent is an observation of this sort in a philosophy venue?"

Philosophy is defined as, "the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline."

How then would one as a philosopher examine any particular experience that he or she had relating to the existence of God in order to impart how this might further our understanding of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality and existence?

Whether "academically" or "existentially".

It seems of importance here that any personal experiences that one might have has be examined by others in order to extract that which might be construed as true for all of us.

Otherwise this experience might be explained in a way that has nothing to do with the existence of God.

But first and foremost we need to be told [in some detail] what this experience actually consisted of.

Once again you take my posts out of context in another thread in order to enhance, or repeat, your basic arguments. I had hoped we had simply agreed to disagree.. There is nothing further I can give you because you seem able to accept nothing but your own repetitions. Do not quote me from other threads than your own. You do not refute ideas; you simply dismiss them because they do not fit your agenda.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby dan25 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:41 pm

iambiguous wrote:
dan25 wrote:A scarey thought, which also seems to have worried St Augustine, is: what if i get my theology wrong, and God exists, and he/it doesnt like what i have said about him/it...
Could i end up burning in hell?


As some point out, He did bestow free will upon us.

On the other hand, our distance ancestors did manage to fuck that up in the Garden. In other words, by using it as God intended. But not as God intended.

And, now, because of a choice that they made, we continue to pay the price!

Or so we are told by those absolutely certain that they will never burn in Hell. Why? Because they do grasp the one and the only manner in which to worship and adore the one and the only true God.

They are just unable to demonstrate that to me here. Nor do many seem willing to actually explore the part where the behaviors they choose here and now are connected "in their head" to what they imagine the fate of their soul to be there and then.

49 pages now and almost nothing in that regard!


Perhaps we do have free will that has been bestowed on us by God..... Or perhaps we live in a totally deterministic universe, and free will is just an illusion. It feels to me right now that i am choosing to write this on ilp, but there is evidence from neuroscience that free will IS illusory.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ierrellus » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:57 pm

Iamb,
Please do not take my posts out of context in other threads in order to enhance your own. You do not refute ideas; you simply dismiss them in favor of your own inflexible agenda. Do not quote me from threads other than your own.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:02 pm

...if you never doubt your faith, it's not faith and then it becomes faith in your own self, which is just as unreliable, and trust? Some times the only reason we trust is because we have no choice


There are those who seem to make very little distinction between having faith in God and believing in God's existence. Faith does not appear to imply doubt at all to them. At least that has been my own experience in being around them over the years.

And, in a similar way, it might be argued that I myself have faith in No God. After all, how could I possibly assert that God does not exist when I have absolutely no capacity whatsoever in which to determine and then to demonstrate that.

And "choice" here is all the more nebulous. It would seem that in order to attain immortality, salvation and divine justice, there must be a God able to judge those who are worthy of them.

Where things becomes particularly problematic for me [on this thread] is in grappling with the choices we face on this side of the grave given that we seem unable to move beyond faith. More or less blind, perhaps, but still just an existential leap of faith.

I keep coming back to that yawning gap between all that is at stake, and how very little we have at our disposal in determining which God to take that leap to.

If we can even manage to "think"/"will" ourselves into having faith at all.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:37 pm

Ierrellus wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
God is not an idea to be accepted or refuted; God is a force to be experienced.


My own reaction here revolves around asking, "how pertinent is an observation of this sort in a philosophy venue?"

Philosophy is defined as, "the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline."

How then would one as a philosopher examine any particular experience that he or she had relating to the existence of God in order to impart how this might further our understanding of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality and existence?

Whether "academically" or "existentially".

It seems of importance here that any personal experiences that one might have has be examined by others in order to extract that which might be construed as true for all of us.

Otherwise this experience might be explained in a way that has nothing to do with the existence of God.

But first and foremost we need to be told [in some detail] what this experience actually consisted of.

Once again you take my posts out of context in another thread in order to enhance, or repeat, your basic arguments.


I created this thread in order to bring zinnat's philosophical speculations about God and religion "down to earth". In other words, given the manner in which religious folks imagine their fate "there and then", how is this pertinent to the behaviors that they choose "here and now".

Which is fundamentally related to that which interest me most about philosophy: the extent to which philosophers are able to connect the dots between the technical discipline and the quandary that I keep coming back to over and over again: How ought one to live?

In other words, given that, both philosophically and existentially, I have become entangled in this:

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

And God is certainly one possible means in which to extract myself from it.

Right?

Ierrellus wrote: I had hoped we had simply agreed to disagree.. There is nothing further I can give you because you seem able to accept nothing but your own repetitions. Do not quote me from other threads than your own. You do not refute ideas; you simply dismiss them because they do not fit your agenda.


Look, you make the claim that "God is a force to be experienced". And that you have in fact had the requisite experience. And now [in your own way] you have the comfort and the consolation of believing what you do.

Yet you come into a philosophy venue and insist that one's own personal experience with God is all that matters.

Or so it seems to me.

And, sure, okay, if that works for you, fine.

But that doesn't disqualify me and others from probing into it. What particular experiences did you have? How can others experience the same in order to bring themselves closer to a God, the God, my God?

You'll either go there or you won't.

But if you expect others in a philosophy venue to just accept that anyone's experiences [about anything] need be as far as they go in demonstrating its "wisdom", well, let's just say we think about philosophy in very different ways.

But, okay, from now I will refrain from bringing you into this thread.
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 20, 2017 8:54 pm

dan25 wrote:Perhaps we do have free will that has been bestowed on us by God..... Or perhaps we live in a totally deterministic universe, and free will is just an illusion. It feels to me right now that i am choosing to write this on ilp, but there is evidence from neuroscience that free will IS illusory.


It does get problematic.

Inherently no doubt.

Well, whatever that means.

With God and religion, the arguments tend to revolve around reconciling human autonomy with an alleged omniscient Creator. If God knows everything, the argument goes, then He already knows what you will say, feel and do. And if He already knows this what actual choice do you have?

On the other hand, the arguments here can become considerably more sophisticated.
Just google "god and free will": https://www.google.com/search?q=god+and ... ll&ie=&oe=
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby dan25 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:33 pm

iambiguous wrote:
dan25 wrote:Perhaps we do have free will that has been bestowed on us by God..... Or perhaps we live in a totally deterministic universe, and free will is just an illusion. It feels to me right now that i am choosing to write this on ilp, but there is evidence from neuroscience that free will IS illusory.


It does get problematic.

Inherently no doubt.

Well, whatever that means.

With God and religion, the arguments tend to revolve around reconciling human autonomy with an alleged omniscient Creator. If God knows everything, the argument goes, then He already knows what you will say, feel and do. And if He already knows this what actual choice do you have?

On the other hand, the arguments here can become considerably more sophisticated.
Just google "god and free will": https://www.google.com/search?q=god+and ... ll&ie=&oe=


I think it was Augustine (or maybe Aquinas) who argued that God can be all-knowing, and man still have free will, because God exists outside of time; and so God sees the past, present and future all at once, in a timeless sort of way.
(Your probably familiar with the argument)
But then it is very difficult to understand how anything could exist outside of time. How could God ever have a thought, for example? A thought must have a beginning, a middle and an end (surely even Gods thoughts must be structured like this, right?), but these concepts only make sense WITHIN time.
Or maybe this is just a limitation of our time-bound minds...
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:56 pm

dan25 wrote:I think it was Augustine (or maybe Aquinas) who argued that God can be all-knowing, and man still have free will, because God exists outside of time; and so God sees the past, present and future all at once, in a timeless sort of way.


On the other hand, what "on earth" does this mean?

My own reaction to speculation of this sort [embedded in one or another intellectual contraption] is the same: to note that crucial distinction between believing it "in your head" and demonstrating that all rational men and women are obligated to believe the same.

Someone is either able to demonstrate [to me, to others] that this is a rational frame of mind or they are not.

First of course by demonstrating the actual existence of a God, the God, my God. An entity that is not in turn largely just an intellectual contraption defined or deduced into existence.

Or predicated on personal experiences able to be conveyed to me, to others, such that I/they might have similar experiences ourselves.

Really in a philosophy venue what else is there?

You can either note how your propositions are applicable to all by connecting the dots between words and worlds, or you can insist the definition and the meaning that you give to the words in your argument [anchored to a particular set of assumptions] is by default the starting point for any discussion. Or by insisting that your own personal experiences need be as far as you go in demonstrating the truthfulness of your claims.

In any event this thread was created in order to explore the relationship between whatever others construe God to be and the manner in which this is pertinent to the behaviors that they choose in a world that I construe to be bursting at the seams with conflicting goods.

In other words, why do so many religious folks here seem to bend over backwards to avoid exploring what appears to me the most fundamental reason for the existence of religion: the parts that swirl around immortality, salvation and divine justice.

And the fact that in order to attain them you must 1] die and then 2] be judged by one or another God as being worthy of them.

And surely this is profoundly related to the manner in which you choose particular behaviors 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

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby dan25 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:28 pm

iambiguous wrote:
dan25 wrote:I think it was Augustine (or maybe Aquinas) who argued that God can be all-knowing, and man still have free will, because God exists outside of time; and so God sees the past, present and future all at once, in a timeless sort of way.


On the other hand, what "on earth" does this mean?

My own reaction to speculation of this sort [embedded in one or another intellectual contraption] is the same: to note that crucial distinction between believing it "in your head" and demonstrating that all rational men and women are obligated to believe the same.

Someone is either able to demonstrate [to me, to others] that this is a rational frame of mind or they are not.

First of course by demonstrating the actual existence of a God, the God, my God. An entity that is not in turn largely just an intellectual contraption defined or deduced into existence.

Or predicated on personal experiences able to be conveyed to me, to others, such that I/they might have similar experiences ourselves.

Really in a philosophy venue what else is there?

You can either note how your propositions are applicable to all by connecting the dots between words and worlds, or you can insist the definition and the meaning that you give to the words in your argument [anchored to a particular set of assumptions] is by default the starting point for any discussion. Or by insisting that your own personal experiences need be as far as you go in demonstrating the truthfulness of your claims.

In any event this thread was created in order to explore the relationship between whatever others construe God to be and the manner in which this is pertinent to the behaviors that they choose in a world that I construe to be bursting at the seams with conflicting goods.

In other words, why do so many religious folks here seem to bend over backwards to avoid exploring what appears to me the most fundamental reason for the existence of religion: the parts that swirl around immortality, salvation and divine justice.

And the fact that in order to attain them you must 1] die and then 2] be judged by one or another God as being worthy of them.

And surely this is profoundly related to the manner in which you choose particular behaviors on this side of the grave.

You brought up the argument (from the religious perspective) about free will, I just mentioned a possible counter argument...
But if I understand you correctly, this doesn't mean much "on earth".
Philosophy doesn't have a single object of study. What concerns you might not concern the next philosopher so much.... Don't get me wrong you seem to be interested in the right problems (to me at least), and I can tell you are a smart guy, but my own experience has led me to where I am, yours has led you to where you are....

Im in a bit of a rush right now, but I hope to talk to you more after Xmas (and address the points you raise).
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:26 pm

dan25 wrote: You brought up the argument (from the religious perspective) about free will, I just mentioned a possible counter argument...
But if I understand you correctly, this doesn't mean much "on earth".


On earth is just where our own rendition of mindful matter happens to reside. Here and now. Though it seems absolutely mindboggling that a God, the God would create a universe as staggeringly immense as this one seems to be and then put those who worship and adore Him only on this particular rock.

But what does that mean? And how would I/could I possibly convey what it means to others? How can I even know with any certainty that the words I am typing here are not only as they ever could have been typed? Or that if there is a God and this God is said to be omniscient, that my own "will" here could possibly not be wholly in sync with His?

That seems to be the problem: That any arguments about God seem to be inherently problematic. We don't even really know if this is something that we ever really can know.

Sure, it's utterly fascinating to explore, but we all seem to be in the same boat here: specks of existence on the ocean of reality intertwined somehow in whatever or whoever brought into existence Existence itself.

So, what always dumbfounds me are those who actually imagine that this is something that they can know...do know.

Recognizing that in the past [over and again] I was one of them.

Meanwhile, here we here: interacting in one or another human community and ever and always confronted with the question, "how ought one to live?"

Then it all depends on the extent to which your own particular life [here and now] is either more or less tumultuous when confronting it.

Yes, if your life hardly changes at all from day to day to day, and you are able to sustain this stability for months or years, it is possible to anchor your answer to something that seems like a foundation. Maybe philosophical, maybe political, maybe religious.

Or maybe just circumstantial.

I'm just not one of them. From my frame of mind, my interaction with others is entangled precariously in my dilemma above; and predicated on the assumption that in a world without God, human interactions are essentially meaningless and absurd; and ending for all of eternity in death and oblivion.

dan25 wrote: Philosophy doesn't have a single object of study. What concerns you might not concern the next philosopher so much.... Don't get me wrong you seem to be interested in the right problems (to me at least), and I can tell you are a smart guy, but my own experience has led me to where I am, yours has led you to where you are....


Okay, with respect to your own interactions with others -- interactions revolving around conflicting value judgments, conflicting goods -- what have your own experiences conveyed to you?

And if you do acknowledge that your own frame of mind [here and now] is in fact embedded in that particular sequence of experience, to what extent can philosophy enable you to transcend this in providing a moral and political framework applicable to all reasonable men and women?

Either with or without God.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:42 pm

The basis of theism is psychological.
In the future humanity will have the knowledge and technology to understand fully the neuro-psychological mechanics and processes that drive theism with its good and evil elements. Then one will be able to switch off or inhibit the psychological impulses [re theism] via other non-theistic fool proof methods to deal with the same inherent unavoidable existential crisis within.
At present non-theistic Buddhism and other spiritualities without any negative baggages are already doing that.


All of the above [a No God narrative basically] may well be entirely in sync with the optimal or the only rational manner in which to construe the meaning of God and religion.

Let's just assume this.

To me, this would seem to suggest...

1] "I" is obliterated for all time to come when we die
2] there is no teleological font "behind" existence; so, for all practical purposes, we live in an essentially absurd and meaningless world
3] morality [on this side of the grave] is basically just an existential contraption rooted in particular historical, cultural and experiential [interpersonal] contexts
4] given oblivion, there is no possibility of Justice rooted in one or another teleological font

So the question might then be this: How is all of this not applicable in turn to non-theistic narratives?

How would they go about encompassing "fool proof methods to deal with the same inherent unavoidable existential crisis within"? Crises that seem so handily, readily shunted aside by a belief in one or another "loving just and merciful God" --- a denominational God that works in "mysterious ways, His wonders to behold"?

From my frame of mind, a leap of faith to a God, the God, my God is basically just the acknowledgment that there seem to be no viable alternatives around.

At least none that folks like me see.

And the psychological element here seems applicable to all frames of mind that argue for a way in which to construe, among other things, the "meaning of life" in terms of "one of us" or "one of them".

Again, the more important point being not which of us is right, but that one of us must be.
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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